Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Old Schmold

My birthday is fast approaching and I am feeling old!

You should know that I am not actually old. My definition of old changes with every birthday. Seventy is totally the new forty.

At church this week I was introduced as a new young women’s leader to the teenage girls. One of the older ones in the back whispered, “What? She looks like she’s sixteen.” Um, hello. I can like totally hear you. I may look like I’m sixteen thanks to the baby fat that I’m still storing in my face, but I have news for you, some things have definitely changed around these parts.

And I’m not just talking about body parts, but they are definitely an issue. Do I need to elaborate ladies? I anticipated changes after childbirth. From what I hear no amount of vitamin E or snake oil can stop them from happening and I’m fully ready to accept them in all their glory, but what about so soon with no child to claim as the reward/cause? Lame. Things have definitely moved south to flabtown and apparently they are happy there because I don’t foresee them moving back any time soon.

As terrible as physical aging is to all of us youth-coveting Americans, I’m actually more intrigued by how old I feel mentally. If my sixteen-year-old-self could hear me waxing profound on the social ills of immodesty, exclusive dating in high school, the value of hard work and manual labor (i.e. get a job teenage self!), or even the need for chocolate in a balanced diet (I was a bit of a health nut in those days) I would have probably been so embarrassed/shocked/annoyed at my future self I would have written down all the ways I was going to stay cool as an adult and be the best parent ever. Wait. I did that anyway. It’s partially embarrassing for current me but mostly just entertaining.

I have a feeling that there is nothing I could have said to sixteen-year-old me that would make me change my opinion, even though I’d try because sharing unwanted opinions is something old people do well and it’s an art I’m perfecting. So I’ll just have to wait until sixteen-year-old me moves to Utah, that’ll do 30% of the job, and then marries my husband and that’ll take care of the last 70%. (He may be nearly thirty-something but he’s going on seventy-something with his social ideologies and he’s taking me down with him. I mean up. Want an example? I have hundreds, but I’ll save them for a future post. They are that good.)

Being old isn’t really so bad. Unless you’re young, and then it’s confusing for the younger folk who think you’re supposed to be cool.

I may look sixteen in the face my friends, but inside where it counts (i.e. in my heart, mind, and joints), I’m 23 going on 77.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What's the Deal with Brown?

I went into a furniture store a few days ago and, not surprisingly, everything was brown. The beds were brown, the entertainment centers were brown, the throw pillows were brown, the little ball doodads that people put on their tables were brown...you get my drift.

I've been noticing this monochromatic trend in local magazines who have advertisements for interior designers. The interior design companies include a picture of their work which is usually a family room that boasts, you guessed it, brown walls, brown floors, brown furniture, brown picture frames, brown accents.

And if the brown interior wasn't bad enough, what's with the neighborhoods filled entirely with nothing but brown stucco houses? They're popping up everywhere. Hello, there are other choices out there!

So, what's the point of this post? Nothing, except to say I don't get it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Three Goals I Made in Therapy (a.k.a. Relief Society)

Ok. So I actually went to a Relief Society activity where I learned something useful.

Not being critical here. I like going to RS activities for the time away/girl talk and all, and I hardly ever miss one, but sometimes the activity either through execution or by sheer idea just doesn't grab me.

I thought the idea of "Stress Management and Time Management Skills" was just one of those ideas where I'd go, listen, eat, chat, but ultimately would come home just having a good time with the ladies in the ward.

But NO! I really did need this sort of therapy.

Here are the three goals I made as a result of tonight's meeting:

1. Make a task list every night with no more than 6 things on it for the next day.

These are not all routine things that I would normally do (like getting my kids dressed), but some of them may be (like getting myself dressed...you've got to put some of these things on your list sometimes to make the list not so daunting). Prioritize them with 1 being the first or most important thing to do and 6 being the thing that takes the lowest priority or can wait until later in the day, then work on them in that order the next day.

2. No computer time until my kids are in bed.

We were taught that it takes on average 15 minutes to get back on task once you've been distracted from the task at hand. If you're like me, you can sit down at the computer for a quick check of your e-mail or check of the weather and find yourself perusing for an hour. Let's face it, my kids distract me enough when doing anything that isn't them, so I don't need anything else to distract me when they are awake. And honestly, there is nothing necessary that I can't do online at night when my time is mine.

3. Live in the moment and breathe.

I'm having myself a bit of a stressful moment in life. I'm pregnant with my 3rd child, moving across the country (one month before this baby is due), will be driving 2000 + miles in my 33rd week of pregnancy, have no doctor scheduled there yet, have no place to live when we get there, am sending my oldest child to all day Kindergarten less than a week after we arrive, and looking to sell all my furniture, one car, and refurnish an entire household before this baby comes. It seems like a lot. And it is a lot. But at the moment, there is nothing I can really control about the situation. It's too early to find a place to live or a doctor (I'm waiting to schedule until the first of June...so soon, this will be off the list), and it's too early to sell the car or furniture or pack.

Tonight I realized that in the end, I know that if I live in the moment, take things one at a time, and look at the individual tasks instead of the whole picture, it will all get done, and we'll be on our way. I just need to control what I can control and let the rest work itself out.

Wow! I never knew therapy could be so cheap.

Now I need you all to join me in collectively breathing in and breathing out.

Ready?

Breathe in...

Breathe out...

I already feel better.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Harsh Reality

We recently had a minor health scare in our family that led my husband and I to have the “what would you do if I died” conversation. After sobbing unnecessarily for a brief interval I gathered my wits and replied in all seriousness with the answer I’ve known all-my-life life:

“I would cry for a long time, but then I would buck up, be strong, dedicate myself to my career and saving the world, become a role model for millions and naturally, be famous.”

He laughed.

Me: Why are you laughing?

Him: I think that sounds like a great plan. I just think it’s funny you think you would become famous.

Me: (thinking to myself) What!? How have we been married for this long and he is still unaware that this was my subconscious 40-year plan. Wait. Why is this part of my plan?

Him: You don’t think you would get re-married?

Me: No.

Him: Who would you live with?

Me: I don’t know. Probably Sherri Dew. Naturally we would be running in the same circles.

Him: Ok dear.

I never planned on being Lady Ga-Ga famous, more like famous for do-gooder things but after this conversation, I’ve been recognizing how my opportunities are quickly dwindling.

Missed opportunity #1: I got married.


This automatically took me out of the running for the next First Lady, Princess Di (Kate would have had a run for her hoards of royal money), Bachelorette, and Mother Theresa, or in reality the LDS version--Sherri Dew.


Missed opportunity # 2: The Oprah Show. 


If you haven’t heard, it’s all over, which is sad on so many levels. I always thought I’d do something cool enough to make it on the show. I had my whole lifetime to do it and I failed. The only plus to this missed opportunity is that Oprah is leaving a void behind that yours truly could fill quite nicely. Minus the African-American, powerful woman, who raised herself up from rags to riches from a troubled childhood and who has no children, but does have a live in boyfriend part, I think we have a lot in common.

Missed opportunity #3: I became a dietitian.



This simultaneously destroyed my chances for being a contestant on The Biggest Loser and America’s Next Top Model.

Missed opportunity #4: I quit gymnastics and started dance too late.


No Olympic games, DWTS, or SYTYCD for me.

Missed opportunity # 5: I wrote this blog. (No offense)

This means I will probably not be called to serve as a General Relief Society President any time soon. I don’t think you’re allowed to make fun of Utah and then represent it to the world. Just a hunch.

I’m willing to settle for being a BYU Women’s Conference Speaker though (if the powers that be are interested you can contact me here).

The only shards of hope I have left is the possibility that I might someday write a book, have octuplets, or become a scandalous house wife (not likely). 

Or, of course, this blog. Please don't let me down. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Day at the Mall

My brother is getting married in a few weeks, which means I need a dress for the wedding. Preferably, within the wedding colors. It's hard enough to find a decent dress nowadays, but limit it to 3 or 4 colors and it's pretty near impossible, am I right? I'm right.

So I ventured to the mall a few days ago. Outcome: unsuccessful. I walked into every store that offered clothing and only found two dresses that were worth trying on.

I must have been hiding under a rock for a year, but when did all (and I do mean all) of the dresses start hitting three inches above the knee? And in Utah, no less (I can't imagine what it must be like trying to find a dress in the mission field, bless your hearts). Does this mean I should start shopping in the *gulp* woman's section? Maybe I should have made this change long ago, but the junior's section is just more appealing. You know, because they don't carry a large section of tropical clothing or pastel jogging suits like my new found friend the woman's section.

And mall workers - not helpful. Thank you for trying, though, partially shaved head female mall worker, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say our sense of style is probably not very similar. Mainly because I prefer to keep the hair on my head.

And also, I hate department stores. I prefer a store where you can circle the entire room in 2 minutes. My sense of direction is poor anyway, but put me in a department store and I circle the entire thing 2 or 3 times before I finally realize I've already been there.

So all in all another disappointing day at the mall. I should have bought a cheese corn dog, then my shopping would not have been in vain.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What Else? The Bachelorette Begins!


Yeah, I feel a little stupid posting about The Bachelorette after Erica so marvelously made me think about sexual stigmas in society with yesterday's post; so for the record, before I begin, I DO NOT let my children watch any part of The Bachelor/ette franchise.

It's my own downfall/addiction, that I hope to be rid of by the time I grow up.

Dear Kids,
May you never get sucked in to crummy reality T.V. like your mother has. Even if she does it in part for her own wicked/sarcastic amusement. And for the record, I do not condone meeting your spouse on television. I won't even pay for your wedding if you decide to do this.
Love,
Mom

Now that that is out of the way, let's begin.

Ashley Hebert began her quest to find true love on Monday night's season premiere of The Bachelorette. And you better believe that I set the DVR, watched and have some observations about and predictions for the upcoming season.

Let's start from the beginning. I love how Ashley has gone from a being a dentist, to a dental student, to an aspiring dancer all within 5 months. What else about Ashley is there to know? Is she technically going to school to be a dental assistant? It wouldn't shock me. One thing we do know? She's been known to lie on resumes.

Quite possibly my favorite moment of the night was the interpretive dance about Ashley's lameness in telling Brad how she felt last season. I haven't felt that awkward since Tenley danced for Jake or Jenny danced for Brad. That was the point when the husband had to leave the room. Hmmmm? I may be guessing here, but there's a possibility that Ashley was trying out for Dancing With The Stars with that little number. With that gig coming up next, let's face it, she's NEVER going to finish dental (assisting) school.

Then came the limo introductions. Can I just say that I love the first episode for so many reasons, one of them being the "I had to stand out" element? A broken compass, pink dental floss, glasses of wine, poems, being picked up like a sack of potatoes. These guys came to play. My favorite introduction though came from this guy:

Ryan M. who insisted on getting a picture with Ashley (actually he made her take two pictures...the first one was blurry) and then seemed equally excited for her to take his picture with Chris Harrison later that night at the cocktail party.

Besides the dismissal of the drunk dude, the cocktail party had a shocking lack of action for my Bachelor/ette liking. I saw no dancers, no musicians, no one obviously looking to promote a career just a few lack luster conversations ("Hey, you like cupcakes and my nickname is 'cupcake'. We're made for each other!") and a dude wearing a mask.

Let's start with that dude (Jeff) who decided to wear the mask:

What does he really look like?:

He's got crazy in his eyes. There's always one of these (remember Fangs?). I'm convinced that the producers cast a person like this every season and then nudge and wink at the Bachelor/ette that they need to keep this person around for ratings. This isn't my first time around the Bachelorette block.

Other cast members to watch out for?

The Villain:

And for the record, I already don't feel bad for Ashley when it's revealed by the designated "Tattler" that Bentley really wishes she were Emily (doesn't every guy in America secretly wish every girl was Emily? J/K). She was warned (and don't we all think that Michelle Money had something to do with this?). If this guy appears in previews for one of those LDS films during the course of the season, we'll know something is up. And another thing, Cozy is just about the worst little girl name I've ever heard.

And just who will be the Tattler? My money is on this guy:

Ryan P. has Jake Pavelka "cheeseball" written all over him. Two predictions: 1. Ashley will tag him as "friend" material and 2. He will shed tears at some point in the season.

Since I'm making predictions, let's go with who I think she's going to pick. (Note: I haven't read any spoilers...pure instincts here):


Ben P., the wine maker. There's really no obvious choice (like Roberto was for Ali) so far this season, but I think this guy is one to look out for.

I'd say we should watch out for this guy too:

but William is a cell phone salesman who does impersonations. And since we've already established that Ashley isn't graduating dental (assisting) school, she'll most likely go for someone more "established."

My sister called me a few summer's ago and asked,

"Do you think they cast The Bachelorette by swinging a dead cat around a Gold's Gym and taking whomever it hits?"

The answer is YES. YES I DO.

But can true love be found at a Gold's Gym? We'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Girls

Disclaimer: We usually like to keep things light here at PST, but there are just a few topics we can’t hold back on—this is one those topics.

Earlier this year I read this post where a saddened and angered momma bear wrote an excellent piece about letting little girls (or encouraging them even) grow up too fast into super sexualized pre-teens. I don’t even have little girls yet and it made me mad! What are we thinking people! If you haven’t read the article yet, start there.

If you don’t have time here is an excerpt:
Sexy, sexy, sex, sex, sex. Everywhere. Walk by any teenage store. Half dressed pouty sexy models with hardly any clothes on, or worse yet are the giant posters with boys and girls laying all over each other with hardly any clothes on. The TV shows I hear these girls talk about watching. Parents letting their children watch! Have you paged through Seventeen magazine lately? It's not our Seventeen magazine that's for sure. TV, Hollywood, the music industry...oh barf. Pure barf all of the time. PG-13 is the new R, what a scam. Why would I want my 13 year old to see such trash let alone my 16 year old? Once it's in their minds, it's never out. It makes an impression whether they or YOU, are conscious of it or not. Every image, every act, every word, it's in their brains forever. Why would I want my children's minds filled with trash? ALL these little impressions...day in and day out...add up to a difference in the way girls view their purpose, their bodies, their sexuality. (If you have time, watch this on advertising and women....and just a tip of the iceberg.)
Think that this is a bit over the top? Consider recent occurrences in the news:
1. The T.V. show Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC where out of control parents are raising spoiled selfish divas whose main goal in life is to be the prettiest girl at the ball. Sounds like the making for great citizens and future mothers.

2. The eight year old girl who has been receiving botox injections from her mom and upper thigh waxing because hair “just isn’t lady like”

3. Abercrombie’s push-up bra bikini top for seven year olds

4. Sketcher’s shape up sneakers to help those little girls shape up their hineys while their chasing boys in the sandbox.  
5. The Playboy Mansion cameo in kids animated movies. 
6. Sexy little pony, Barbie, trolls, and Bratz dolls marketed to kids. For what reason? I like my ugly troll just fine and it never made me feel ugly!
 At what point to you draw the line? Adult women already have a hard enough time as it is getting over ideas of sexual objectification they’ve been fed for years (have no idea what I’m talking about? Read this. And this. And this.). What can we do to protect our little girls from the encroaching garbage?

I look back at some of things I used to think I needed to do and be as a teenager and I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed that I let recognition from boys and “pretty” status dictate my self-worth and interests. My little sister, who is 16 and very beautiful, recently went to the mall not dolled up and came home and cried and was depressed because there were girls there that were prettier than her. (The feminist in me was pulling out my hair). What do you think makes her feel that way?

In high school I would have blamed boys, but I don’t think men are to blame. In reality I think it’s the general message that media and industry promote. Sometimes is direct (i.e. Victoria’s Secret’s mission statement that says women are empowered when they are sexually attractive), others are not (Carl’s Jr. commercials). Men aren’t any more immune than women and unfortunately it leads to poor treatment and respect of women and general objectification. I don’t think men get this (well, some do), and unfortunately too little women have given it serious thought.

So I can’t blame men, I could try and blame the media, but that would only distance the problem and create an out for me to sit here on my laptop and complain without doing anything about it.

I’m going to blame myself. And you. It’s the environment we create every time we doll up our little girls and make them feel special only when they’re pretty pretty princesses or say that they’re too young to play with this or that juvenile toy. It's our fault when we ignore it. Remember the frog in the pot of boiling water?

I'm not one who typically jumps on a crazy bandwagon of conspiracy theorists. I'm just one who recognizes the harm this issue did in my own life and someone who wants to help my own kids (boys and girls) and those I teach figure it out sooner than I did.

Thoughts?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Calling Fellow Netflixers

When it comes to technology I'm on the slow side. My first time on the internet was when I was a senior in high school, I've never owned an ipod, and my husband and I signed up for Netflix for the first time this month. We just have the Netflix instant watch feature, not the DVD by mail feature, and let me just say I'm not super impressed with the movie selection. Luckily there are a few t.v. series that I have been indulging in during nap time:

Friday Night Lights - I wouldn't consider myself a football fan, I don't get most of what goes on during games, but if you love teenage drama (and I do) this is the show for you.

Say Yes to the Dress - Love it. How they can make an entertaining show about Bridezillas trying on wedding dresses is beyond me, but entertaining it is.

Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team - I should be embarrassed to admit I watch this, but this is my kind of reality t.v. There's just something intriguing (and a little sad) about watching girls try out for the DCC who have dreamed of being a cheerleader since they were 5.

Hoarders - Maybe it's the social worker in me, but I find this show fascinating. And also totally disgusting. I usually have a stomach ache by the end of it.

Those are my diamonds in the rough I have found thus far. I'm nearing the end of some of them, so if any of you are fellow Netflixers and have suggestions of good shows to watch please enlighten me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's a Girl...Again

Welp, we just found out that there'll be no lack of estrogen around here. We're having our third girl.

Really, who'd of thunk it?

When we were first married and thought of future children, I would have never guessed in a million years that we would have three girls. But that's just the thing about life. You never can tell.

Thoughts:

1. My 5 year-old had to rub it in right after we heard it was a girl by promptly telling her dad, "Wow, now there's 4 girls in our family and only 1 boy." Yeah, I think he knows.

2. Right after that my husband mentioned something about the cost of weddings...

3. But then I jokingly made the statement, "Yeah, but girls don't have to go to college so..."

4. Then the husband jokingly made the statement, "Well, but who's going to teach them to cook and sew?"

5. Right about now I'm feeling really good about the following purchases:



6. This pretty much ensures that we will never be called as leaders in the scouting program. (Lucky?)

7. I'm the third of three girls so I have a strange connection to this little one. I know what she can expect...hand-me-down everything (clothes, books, toys), endless advice, and friends for life.

8. You know what they say (I actually have no idea who "they" is), "A son is yours until he gets married, but a daughter is yours for life." I think we're pretty set for life, lucky dogs.

9. I've checked out (albeit, briefly) the baby boy clothing section, and I think I'll happily stay on the girl side for now.

10. Ultimately, the true blessing of the ultrasound is to see that things all look good physically with the baby, so for that we are very thankful.

11. And of course, the two big sisters couldn't be more pleased.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Utah Hair

If you’ve ever lived out of the 801 you shouldn’t need much of an introduction, but in case you do, here it is:

Women in Utah have a very distinct look and way about doing their hair. I recognized this at EFY every year. I could spot a Utah girl a mile away (probably because she was surrounded by cute boys, but this is beside the point, or is it?)

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, hop over to this site. I don’t know these ladies or anything about them but the first thing I thought when stumbling across their page was “Oh man, these ladies are the epitome of Utah girls” and a lot of that has to do with their hair.

When I was in high school, the girls at my dance studio would often be silly and “do Utah hair” for dance practice. At this time that meant backcombing (i.e. ratting…what a lovely name for a hair style trend) to high heaven to compliment our bouncing pony tails. Thankfully I think most of the ratting has died down here but every once in a while I see a terrible culprit (I will not post a picture because that could be very embarrassing, but you know who they/you are).

Now back to the divas I linked to above. I think they look great and I even have a little bit of hair envy.

I was unfortunate enough not to grow up in Zion and as a result ended up with this do in seventh grade:


Seriously? Why was this stylist allowed to cut hair? Thinning shears people.  I’m no fashion-trend-timeline expert but I don’t think this coiffure was ever the shiz-niz.

When I brought this picture up with my mom, she just cooed and said I was so cute and she thinks I look beautiful. Thanks mom, but that is beside the point. 

It doesn't get any better two years later folks. I'm hoping that the center zig zag was at sometime "in" and not just a solitary bolt of inspiration on my part.


So in conclusion, if you live outside of Utah, I feel sorry for you.

Find a Utah stylist quickly. Either in Utah or one that has been transplanted to where ever it is you are. Your well being and the well being of your disadvantaged teenager depend on it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Walk the Line

The line between concerned citizen and someone who needs a life, that is.
(I'm starting to feel like I'm divulging all of my oddities on this here blog. The nice thing about writing about myself, though, is I don't have to do any research or fact checking).


Example #1:
When my brother was in high school and I was in my early 20's he received a postcard in the mail from Playboy offering him a student discount to their magazine. Seems illegal offering such questionable material to someone under the age of 18, right? So I called the local law enforcement. They said they couldn't do anything about it. It was almost as if they had more important things to do like saving lives, solving crimes, and keeping criminals at bay, or something. So, I took matters into my own hands. I wrote Playboy a scathing letter. It didn't do a thing. Two months later they sent him another postcard.

Example #2:
I took my son to a nearby park not too long ago. Their were two teenage delinquents there - during school hours (gasp)! One was a boy the other was a girl. This information will be important later on. Now, I'm not against sluffing in general. I may have dabbled in it a bit myself. But these teens were being very, very friendly with each other. Not that my son noticed anything at his age, but it won't take long until he's more observant and, sheesh, he should be able to just enjoy the park. Plus, I don't want the park to be known as "the place" to sluff. So, I called the police and they said they would send a patrol car over to check it out. Take that you hooky playing juveniles. I haven't seen those same two young'uns again, but in the past month there has been 3 different groups of teens hanging out at the park when they should be at school, so obviously word hasn't gotten around.

You tell me - is my police calling too excessive over silly things, or do I keep up the crusade?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Comeback Kid of Reality TV

It's no secret that I love a little reality television. Add to that wintery weather and the love intensifies. Add to that a very sick first trimester of pregnancy and well, I'm practically begging for something to do as I lay in the fetal position on the couch every night.

So out of desperation this winter I began watching shows that I have ditched in the past. Namely, American Idol and Survivor.

Let's start with Idol. I tried. I really tried this season. At some point though, I just couldn't do it anymore. I haven't really watched Idol in about 4 years, and now, I remember why.

I think these girls sound like really talented 13 year-olds:


No really, close your eyes as you listen to them, and tell me how old you think they are. Granted, they really aren't much older than 13, but the problem is that I am.

And I hate honky tonk country music in general, and what's worse is when it's done, again, by teens:
This guy has the opposite problem though. He sounds like he's 65.

And now that the judges don't really judge, there just wasn't enough interest to keep me in it. I also heard a story when I was in college about JLo leaving an interview to go get an emergency manicure so I just can't take her seriously.

Not only that, but haven't failed Idol artists in the past proven that people buy good songs, not good singers? I mean, Josh Groban is a great singer, but other than him, you only have to be good to a certain point to make it.

So I left Idol about a month ago, and this time, I vow not to go back.

But the surprise for me this year was Survivor. Survivor first started when I was just out of high school, and it was the first time I really ever watched reality T.V. I watched about 4 seasons, and then I left. For no particular reason except I guess I got tired of it or just didn't care anymore.

Well, they just wrapped up season 22 on Sunday, and can I just say that I haven't had so much fun watching T.V. in a while.

They brought back Boston Rob which for me didn't mean much as I only vaguely remember him from the first time he played Survivor and got kicked off early as I remember. They also brought back Russell, which I guess was a big deal too, but not to me at all as I have missed roughly 18 seasons:


Well, Russell was a huge disappointment, but Boston Rob was something of a wonder to watch. Add the comic relief of this guy:
and you have yourself some entertaining Wednesday nights. Even the husband watched, which doesn't often happen when I watch my shows.

I know what you're all thinking. Really? Survivor? What is this, 2001? Yes, I'm telling you. If you too are sick, bored, in need of something to distract you while you fold your laundry or do your dishes or scrub your floors, I highly suggest you go to hulu and watch every episode from this season. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Potty Talk

As one who frequents public restrooms because…

A) I have a bladder the size of a walnut (I hear this is going to get worse with pregnancy, heaven help our tp budget).
B)  I get free unlimited fountain drinks at the hospital
C)  I spend all day at the hospital

…I have an opinion or two about public restroom etiquette.
(I’m no mathematician but B + C = >64 oz/A is enough to make me a self-proclaimed expert on the subject)

As a tween I loved taking quizzes in ridiculous magazines looking for wisdom and truth concerning my personality/face shape/perfect finger nail polish color/crush of the week. I think some of that love may still be lingering because here I am writing a ridiculous etiquette quiz teen people style.

On a totally random side note, looking at tween magazines online just now I ran into this YahooAnswers thread. Heaven help our tweeners. 

What are some teen/tween magazines?

I'm turning 13 soon and I'm getting bored with the magazines that I already have.
Here's some info about me that may help:
I'm goth
I hate kiddie stuff
I'm a very avid reader
I love vampires, black, and you get the idea.....

Thanks,
Aly

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

i love twilight/vampire diaries 2!!!
okay so, seventeen magazine
and you can always look for magazines that have twilight/vampire diaries on the cover(most mags do at least 1-3 issues of twilight related stuff)

What? Where was the sensible response to this girl's plight suggesting that an avid reader such as herself visit the library, or Google books, or download something intelligent to her smart phone, or stay a kid for a while, wear pink, ditch the vampires and be her own woman, or...anything really except this junk. 

Ok back to the bathroom etiquette quiz. 
Disclaimer: Obviously, many of these issues are only relevant to women. I have no knowledge (nor do I plan to seek any) on the bathroom habits and etiquette of the average man. (From what I hear it’s a strange world). 

Scenario 1:
You enter a small public restroom and a woman is definitely checking herself out in the mirror. What do you expect her to do if she is following the social norms of bathroom behavior?

a) Immediately pretend like she was just leaving even though you both know you caught her in the act
b) Continue to pull at her shirt, turn to the side and suck in for a nice profile shot. (Doesn't she look so good?)
c) Make an awkward comment about how she had a rough morning and looks terrible. (Like you were asking...)

Scenario 2:
Your cell phone rings while you are in the bathroom stall. It is socially acceptable to:

a) Answer it duh! You cannot wait for all the juicy details of your sister’s date last night and comment loudly with ooohs and ahhs.
b) Silence your phone to answer it after you leave the restroom
c) Look at the caller ID and mumble to yourself, “why does this person keep calling me.”

Monday, May 16, 2011

When You're a Celebrity

There are a lot of reasons I would not like to be famous (not that it's ever been an option, but who among us hasn't thought about it?).

First of all, everyone knows everything about you - the good, the bad, and the ugly. And thanks to gossip writers they also know your whereabouts practically at any time. This is besides the point, but how sad is the life of a gossip columnist who spend their lives tracking down and writing about other people?

Secondly, the papa-paparazzi (even though this is the second time I've referenced Lady Gaga, I've never actually heard her sing an entire song before). I mean, I got sick of having my picture taken on my wedding day so just imagine how awful it would be to have your photo taken every time you went to the grocery store or pumped gas. No thanks.

But mostly I would hate being famous because of this:
How creepy would it be knowing hundreds, possibly thousands of people had a doll likeness of you in their living rooms? I'm sure this is targeted to old ladies, no offense but they're suckers for little knick knacks, but still. Weird. So weird.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

To Schedule or Not To Schedule, That Is My Question


You'd never guess it from the weather in these parts, but May is here. I check out mentally every May, and I'm pretty sure it dates back to my teaching days. Everyone is dying for a break in May. Teachers are ready, students are ready, parents are ready. Heck, I even remember the lunch ladies doing half a job at this point. I've been a stay-at-homer now for about 3 years, but still May hits and all I can think of is sunscreen, pools, vacations, and frozen treats (or maybe that's what I think about all the time?).

So, while I only have one kid in half day preschool three days per week, I am ready for her to be home all the time.

Or am I?

Last summer we did dance twice per week. Nothing against dance classes, but for some reason during the summer this just seemed like a huge bummer. We'd be running through sprinklers, sitting in the shade, sipping our lemonade, and WHAM...I'd look at the clock and realize we had somewhere to be. "Come on kids. Let's stop all the lovely weather fun we've been having. We have to change clothes, shower, and go somewhere that none of us really want to be." So this year we did dance in the winter and soccer in the spring (ends next week).

I have purposefully left summer pretty open. But now I'm worried a bit. What are we going to do all day? What if I am too pregnant and HOT (temperature-wise) to want to be out in the summer sun all day like last year?

Also dating back to my teaching days is a compulsive need to schedule. I never really considered myself to be a scheduled-type until I realized that with 26 little ones, a scene from Lord of the Flies was inevitable unless I had every moment of the day scheduled and prepared for. I lived and died by that schedule.

So when I became a stay-at-homer, I thought that a schedule was exactly the answer to every problem. How do I keep my home clean?...make a schedule. How do I make sure my kids get the nutrition they need?...make a schedule. How can bedtime become easy?...make a schedule. How can I figure out dinner every night and only go to the store once per week?...make a schedule. How can I be sure my kids don't become T.V. heads?...make a schedule.

But here's the thing I've learned the last three years...when dealing with only two kids 24/7 and not answering to anyone (the husband is rather relaxed), I don't live or die by my schedules. In fact, I've learned they can be avoided quite nicely, and sometimes when we're not hampered by the schedule, things are much more pleasant.

So here's my question to all of you that have read this very long thought train of mine, should I set up a "Summer Family Fun Schedule" to keep us active, and not bored in the summer? This would involve outings, school reviews, scheduled play dates, and mini vacations. Or should I just avoid scheduling now because in a few years, whether I like it or not, my kids lives will be our schedule, and it will be one I can't avoid and do have to answer for? You know, when they decide their own activities, have camps, and I become a 20 hour per week cab driver.

Is summer more enjoyable (and frankly, just as meaningful) if we just go with the flow?

Here's where you tell me what to do. Or at least what you would do.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Going Green

It's that time of the month again. 

No, not the time full of misery, migraines, and Midol--it's time for another guest post!  The post this month is by a friend of mine from high school who is super cute, spunky, crafty (which, as was mentioned, is a pre-requisite around these here parts), and even makes dinner frequently (I know what you're thinking, "who is this girl" right?). I love how she has such a great way about calling things like she sees them and I think you will too. 

Welcome to PST Erin!

___________

I am pretty sure that my friends and family think I am a hippie. Or that I at least tend to sway in the hippie direction. I try to make a conscious effort to bring reusable bags when I shop. I will walk somewhere if the weather is good enough and it is within a mile radius of my home. I plant a garden every year even though we have lived in an apartment for the past 3 years. I try to upcycle old t-shirts into things that me or my daughter will wear. If organic produce or foods are a similar price to the non organic foods, I will even spend a couple cents extra to buy organic. I even tried my hand at cloth diapering for a year.

There are some things that I put my foot down on when it comes to being green though. I bought the new Suave Rosemary and Mint line of shampoos and conditioners that claim to be ‘as invigorating as AVEDA’ recently. They smell and invigorate so well that I want to be one of those Herbal Essence commercial girls oohing and aahing in my shower; but that is beside the point. While I was washing my hair one day I read the back of the shampoo bottle.


It says: Did you know that your family could save up to $150 and 3,200 gallons of water per year by turning off the water when you shampoo and condition? Turn off the tap.

And here was my exact answer: Uhhhhhhh. No.

Maybe it is just me but a shower in the eyes of a mother is like a 5 minute sanctuary from everything that your baby, toddler, child, or teenager throws at you (literally and figuratively.) There is no chance that I am going to stand naked, wet and cold in my shower while I shampoo and condition. No way! My shower time is holy- no one and nothing disturbs it. I would like to meet the person who suggested this on the back of the bottle. Do they follow their own advice? And if they do, how miserable are they and do they really expect the people (aka college student moms) who buy the Suave knock offs of AVEDA shampoo to do this?  In conclusion, if my long hot shower is costing me $150 a year, I say that it is well worth the money. I’m not that green.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Never as Easy as it Looks



Do “do it yourself” projects take anyone else 5 bazillion times longer than expected and come out looking like kindergarten handy work? I recently recovered a lampshade. The step by step instructions claimed, “If you can use scissors, you can do this project!” And, I suppose it’s true. I do know how to use scissors and I did complete the project, but it took me an hour just to finish step number 3 (the actual recovering of the old lampshade). Which was 55 minutes longer than it took the person on the instructional video to do it. Not to mention the additional 20 minutes it took me to scrub the spray glue off of my kitchen counter, which the girl on the video didn’t have to do. My bad.

Another DIY project gone bad occurred the summer my sister and I thought we’d make a dozen or so aprons to sell at a local boutique. Oh how young and innocent we were. We did make the aprons. Only it took two years. To make one.

I won’t even get started on house projects. Okay, I will. When we first moved into our home we thought we would update one room a month. Ha. Ha! We’ve been here almost a year and we’re still “working” on the first room.

Practically every craft project I have pursued has the same results. So will I stop trying? Probably not because, after all, I'm a woman in Utah and crafting is what we do. I think it's a residency requirement or something.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Is This About Me Or Them?

As mentioned before, I really want new crib bedding. It doesn't matter that I don't even know the gender of my unborn child, I still have been spending some time perusing my favorite "dream websites" (like pottery barn kids, restoration hardware baby and child, and land of nod), so that I can admire the rooms they've put together there, and promptly head to Target, TJMaxx, Ikea, and Home Goods to copy the same looks for less $.

While looking last night, I wandered away from the nurseries and headed over to the kids' playrooms. I saw these lovely scenes:



Ahh. Wouldn't we all love to sit in these rooms (which I'm sure smell like roses), listen to classical music, perhaps read a book or two, and admire our perfectly coifed, well-behaved children as they mildly played with one perfectly coordinated organic toy at a time? It sounds like a little piece of heaven.

It was at this point in my coveting that I needed a bathroom break and walked past my own playroom. I'll spare you (or maybe me) a picture. Let's just say the contrast was shocking. It looked like a hurricane had hit. Child number 1 and child number 2 as well as a neighbor friend had made short work of the room that I had organized just that morning and the only artwork on the wall was a non-commissioned mural done by my 2 year-old.

I enjoy a well-decorated home as much as the next person, sometimes even more, but as I headed back to look at these rooms, I got thinking:

Are these rooms that kids would love to play in, or are they rooms that their parents would like them to play (if you can call what those children are doing playing) in?

My bet is on the latter.

My kids love the playroom. They love their bright Fisher Price toys. They love the Barbies, Polly Pockets, Littlest Pet Shops, and Princesses and all the tiny pieces that go with them. (I only have girls, obviously). It's me who hates them. Would I really want to deprive them of one of the joys of childhood just to have a beautifully coordinated room? No.

There will come a day when I will have the chance to reclaim all areas of my living space, but now is not that time. Now is the time to laugh at their antics, keep that room as organized as possible, and let them enjoy the only time in their life when they get to "play."

Then I got thinking are there other non-important areas of their lives that I make more about "me" and less about "them". I am as guilty as the next person on all of these:

1. Birthday parties. I've steered clear of child number 1's favorite colors of black and yellow for a number of years in favor of pink because, darn it, pink looked a heck of a lot cuter on a cupcake wrapper. And let's not talk about the themes I've talked her out of so that I could decorate the way I wanted to. Who's birthday is this anyway?

2. Clothing. My daughter oohs and ahhs over everything with a princess on it. She'd feel like the queen of the world if I ever let her wear character clothing in public. But I don't. I've compromised on pajamas, but even then, I roll my eyes.

3. Hair. My daughter's don't care about their hair one bit. In many instances they would rather I didn't do their hair. But I do. Every day. Is it that I really care that their hair gets done or is it that I don't want others to think that I don't take care of my kids?

4. Books. This one is going to make me sound like a huge snob, but at our nightly reading time, I try to get them to read books by "quality" authors and illustrators over the ones that came with a doll or were an animated movie before they were ever a book. Most of the books I persuade them to read are ones with a bit of adult humor in them too. Again, is story time about me or them?

Of course there are things that I don't think you should let your kids do even if they want to. Like eat candy and french fries all day long or swim in shark infested waters or watch obscene T.V. You still have to parent. But this revelation has given me a new goal. I'm going to try harder to make things that are about them actually be about them. After all, they are kids, not little adults.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm a Pro Now Guys

I think it's a remnant of my teen-age know-it-all ness.

Maybe even the after effects of oldest child syndrome.

Either way,  I have this funny little concern about people thinking I'm a silly young thing who doesn't know a thing or two about which way is up. I just don't like it. At all.

It's this silly self-consciousness that has caused my husband a lot of smirking in the last month as we introduce ourselves to the new neighbors. I don't have enough fingers to count how many times someone has asked us if we are newlyweds (just waiting to ohh and ahh like we are cute babies for my response. Bleck).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-marriage. It's the best thing I ever did. I just want to skip quickly past the part where everyone thinks of all the awkward moments and figuring things out you have to go through as a newlywed and how people shake their heads and tsk tsk and think "those poor kids don't know what they're getting themselves into" and go straight to the grey haired sage stage (I've always been old at heart).

So let me ask you, at what point do you stop being a newlywed?

Is it when the wife stops burning dinner? If so, I just might be an eternal newlywed.

Is it when you stop sitting next to each other on the couch? Because we've got that covered. 

Is it when you have a child? We don't have any kids.

What if you make a honeymoon baby, are you immediately dubbed "experienced?" I think I'm probably more experienced than this couple... in all marital duties minus the children part.

Is it at a certain year mark? One year? Two years? Three years? How about four? Consider for me the fact that within four years people graduate from high school or college, have time enough to walk around the world, and develop from immobile infancy to hyperactive chatty children. Four years sounds like an awful long time to gain experience to me people...

Can I be experienced now please? I promise I know what I'm doing.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dang Those Parenting Magazines

I need to stop reading parenting magazines. I can't handle the guilt.

Did you know you're not supposed to let children watch television at all until they're three? That would have been good to know six months ago. Now, it's too late. My two year old has a movie rotation of Toy Story 1, Toy Story 3, and Cars. Yeah, they're not even educational movies. Do I get points for only letting him watch one movie a day?

I guess if I was Super Parent (which I used to be, before I had kids of my own) I would decide to stop letting him watch movies altogether but I'm afraid of two things: 1) the tantrum that would inevitably ensue and 2) losing free time to do things without feeling guilty. It's nice to be able to clean, check e-mail, start dinner, or read without worrying that I'm ignoring my son because, let's face it, while watching a movie he's happier than a tornado in a trailer park (obviously I've seen Cars a number of times, too). Let's just ignore the fact that he also has a two hour nap every day during which I could clean or check e-mail or start dinner or read.

So, is it a problem that my two year old can quote lines from movies and talks about Lightning McQueen in his sleep? Yes.
Am I going to stop letting him watch movies? No. Heck no.

Tell me I'm not alone.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Why God Made Moms

When I was younger I loved watching Kids Say the Darndest Things. You can't go wrong with Bill Cosby and cute kids who just tell it like it is.

A friend of mine from an old ward (who is also a mah-ve-lous photographer) posted this on her blog today and I thought it was just too amusing not to share.


WHY GOD MADE MOMS
Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:
Why did God make mothers?
1. She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.
How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me.  He just used bigger parts.
What ingredients are mothers made of ?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and  one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.
Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We’re related
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s moms like me.
What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.
What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?
Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world.  And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.
Who’s the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goof ball.
2. Mom . You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.
What’s the difference between moms & dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power ’cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend’s.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.
What does your mom do in her spare time?
1.  Mothers don’t do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.
What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she’s already perfect.  Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I’d diet, maybe blue.
If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean.  I’d get rid of that.
2. I’d make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my brother who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Weirdest Darned Pregnancy Memento Ever

If you're pregnant nowadays, you most-likely will find out the gender of your baby at your 18 to 22 week ultrasound. Unless of course you are ultra patient and like the idea of your doctor telling you at the moment baby is born and your favorite colors to put on any baby are yellow and green.

But if you live in Utah and are even less patient than the average impatient woman, then you can choose to pay approximately $50 to $200 to find out between weeks 14 and 20 at the mall.

Yes the mall.

I'm not judging. After all, I've been that person. The gum chewing gal at the mall told me that my first baby was a girl at week 15, and by-darned, she was right.

So when I hit week 14 this pregnancy, my wheels started turning. Should I go? Do I have 6 weeks in me? Even worse than me was the husband. He's usually the voice of reason around here, but for some reason, he was even thinking that spending money for something we were going to find out for free was a good idea.

So one day we decided that this was the day we were going to find out. I looked online at the website of the studio where they do these ultrasounds, and while perusing all the services they offer, I came upon this:



If you're like me, you're thinking: What the devil is that?

Well, my friends, it's a plaster "belly cast" that you can pay to have made of your pregnant belly at your ultrasound. Not only that, but you get to paint it while you are there with whoever you brought with you. To me, the arts and crafts movement has hit a whole new level of strange with this.

Where in your house are you supposed to display this? On a shelf? Coffee table? Even in the nursery seems odd to me.

Or maybe you could wait until all your children are born and do a grouping:


I understand doing this if say someone gave you this service as a gift or maybe you won it as part of a contest, but guess how much they are charging for one of these things?

$100!

Really? I'd maybe pay $10. No, actually, that $10 could buy me onesies. I wouldn't pay for this at all.

In the end, I was so turned off by these beauties (and I want new crib bedding), that reason won out, and we didn't go.

So we will find out for free in two weeks. And send your crib bedding suggestions my way.




Friday, May 6, 2011

The Story of Being Somebody's Mom




I don't have children yet but when I do I imagine that I'll be saying the things my mom said repeatedly in her finest mothering moments.

You know the things I'm talking about--motherisms. The things I swore I'd never say to my own children (because my children will be perfectly behaved and if not, I will be)(please tell me there is someone out there who held true to this oath so I know there is hope):

"I'm not just talking to hear myself talk.
"Did you think your clothes were going to pick themselves up?"
"How many times do I have to tell you to _____?"
"I'm starting to sound like a broken record around here!"
"What part of NO don't you understand."
"If it were a snake it would have bitten you."
"I'm not going to ask you again."
"I've had it up to here..."

And of course, my all time favorite, totally non-politically-correct threat:
"You'd better watch it or I'll sell you to the gypsies.

Just writing them makes me roll my eyes and laugh (sorry mom, somethings never change). In preparation for mother's day I thought all you moms (and children of mothers) might enjoy this little diddy I saw on a poster at work the other day. 
There once was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.
But Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it.

But Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about it, because it was everybody's job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it,and Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody and Nobody did the job that Anybody could have done in the first place.
Hope y'all have a grand mother's day and soak up all the recognition you'll be getting for the work you do that Nobody does quite like you, Somebody couldn't do without your help, and Everyone appreciates.