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...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Traveling with Children


A wise woman once said, “I need therapy every time I travel with my kids”.  And when I ended up in an airport bathroom stall with my luggage squished under the toilet paper roll, my baby strapped to the front of me in the bjorn, and my two-year-old wiggling out of the stroller trying to splash in a bathroom “puddle”,  all while I squatted down to pee, I’d say I deserve some time in the shrink’s office too. J 

I’d better schedule my appointment soon, because I’ll be traveling this weekend with the whole crew.  I’m hoping we don’t have any bad repeats from our past traveling experiences.  Like that time the woman behind us on the plane decided to intervene while we were dealing with a screaming one-year-old by saying, “you might wanna try something else, because this is obviously not working”.  After which I cried, and possibly swore a little.  

This time, I may or may not pack a tranquilizer for my offspring.  And after our ten hour travel day, I’ll go to bed at night dreaming of the days long ago when I read books and celebrity gossip on airplanes and maybe, just maybe, I won’t have to pay for a therapist after all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Picker-Upper

I recently read a inspiring and impressive story in The Week:

It's a good week for instant karma after Victor Giesbrecht, 61, stopped on a Wisconsin highway to help a stranger, Sara Berg, change a tire. After he drove off, Giesbrecht suffered a heart attack; Bern then stopped her car, and saved his life by performing CPR. 

Morale of the story: Some call it karma and others "The Secret" but it all boils down to doing good things so you can be rewarded.

So, what are you waiting for? Start exercising that goodwill!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gluttony



I always appreciate getting an invitation to something that says, “A light lunch will be served”. Or, “Please join us for finger food and fun!”. To me this is code for, “You are probably going to starve”. This is when I literally stuff my face before I get there. Sometimes I even take a snack for the drive there. That way I can enjoy the light lunch without worrying if I will look emaciated by the time I get home.



What I don’t appreciate is showing up to something and a light lunch is served and I didn’t know so I came hungry. I’m always too embarrassed to go back to the food table too many times. By the way, how many times is too many? Two, three, seven? And because of my embarrassment I just sit there and think about how hungry I still am….until I find my kid’s emergency stash of goldfish in my purse and then I ration them out for the remainder of the party.



A few months ago I went to a wedding. It was nothing short of AWESOME. Yes, the ceremony was lovely, overlooking the White House and the Washington Monument, the bride looked radiant, the music was exceptional, but it was the food that tipped the scale (pun intended) towards heaven. I knew they were serving dinner, but I had no idea about the appetizers. And not just any appetizers; jumbo shrimp, chicken kabobs, cheeseburgers…..none of that sissy cheese and crackers crap. Then they served dinner. Right after the appetizers. No waiting. I can’t even explain how happy I was. You know how most people hate feeling really full? I think that is when I feel most content.



You would think I grew up in a third world country and that I was afraid of starving. Maybe this is the product of being the 7th child?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

DWTS: The Only Reason To Become Famous

This is officially the single most embarrassing post I've done on this blog. And that's saying something, especially with gems like this to compete with. So without further ado:

I'm 99% satisfied with my life. I wake up each day happy to be me, living the life I live. Yep, I'm all smiles until Monday night. Because on Monday night there's 1% of me that wishes I were famous.

Because if I were famous, there would be a chance that I could go on this show:



On the surface, I really hate Dancing With the Stars. There's a campy host, staged talking heads, and the professional dancers are more famous than most of the "stars." I've never even heard of half the cast before they are on this show. Not to mention all the spray tans going on, and that's not the only fake thing you'll see (if you catch my drift).

I nearly turn it off every week, but then I see this guy dance...

And suddenly, I have this weird daydream that he could turn me into a ballroom dancer, sequens, spray tan, and all (except the "fake" stuff I mentioned before). Of course, he's the only partner I'll accept, because everyone else on the show fails miserably in comparison.

So my question to you is this:

Does writing for this blog make me famous enough for ABC to want to put me on this show? Because I'm pretty sure that everything else I do (picking up my kid at school, cleaning my house, going to the store, making dinner, etc.) puts me safely in the "not famous" category.

I mean really, do you know who any of these former cast members are?



Well, neither do I.

So if they're considered "stars," why not consider a 30 year-old, mom of three, who writes for a snarky Mormon blog for women? Makes total sense, right?

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Great Toy Conspiracy

As we lead up to Christmas, there is more and more advertising about the type of toys I desperately need to effectively entertain and educate my child. I’m getting the remains of a thousand trees in my mail box every day. Stores selling brands like Fisher Price, Leap Frog, Playskool all vying for our Christmas dollar. They try to convince us that we need them, but do we?

Let’s look at this. What is the best toy? What will entertain my child and allow him to learn problem solving, motor skills and other important things at his young age? It’s a tough choice.

My child, like many, is difficult to entertain with just any normal toy. It’s not that he doesn’t like toys. He’s happy to watch me play with them for about two minutes, but if I leave him to play independently he is done in even less time… maybe three seconds.

Here are some images of things he does enjoy playing with:





Do these teach him important skills? Sure! It’s very important for a child to know how to use a vacuum and broom. It teaches them gross motor skills and to be clean. Cleanliness is close to godliness! Using a saucepan and spoon as a drum will not only teach him music but also give him an early interest in cooking. And surely playing with and attempting to bite our dog’s tail is teaching him to be kind and gentle with animals.

I guess these may not be the most sophisticated of toys, but they are most certainly effective child entertainers.

So sorry Fisher Price. We won’t be needing you this year.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pet Cemetery


My sister's bunny died the other day. Most of us were surprised to hear that the bunny had been alive up to that point as it just sat in a cage for the past 9 years and didn't say much.

It reminded me of how I used to love having a pet when I was younger. But the bad thing about pets - they die. Frequently.

My first pet was a cat named Melissa (don't you love when animals have human names?) I loved her so much that I started to believe she was taking on humanistic qualities. I even thought her face looked more human than cat. I know, weird. I had her for several years until one day she just disappeared. I don't know which is worse: seeing your pet dead so you have closure or waiting around for 5 plus years thinking they'll some day show up. Sad.

So then I moved on to one of earth's most exciting creatures - the turtle. I think his name was Mickey (the name game is not my forte). I had him for a few weeks before he entered hibernation. Trouble was he never came out of his hibernation. Biggest waste of $12 ever.

Then I had a lizard. One day I thought he was probably getting tired of eating his regular old food, so I cut up some hot dogs and put them in his bucket. I was a very thoughtful child, obviously. The lizard didn't eat the hot dog and so they made his bucket smell, well, hot-doggy. I took the hot dogs out, sprayed a generous amount of potpourri into his bucket, and left for a few hours. When I came back, much to my surprise, the old lizard was dead.

I decided to go back to having mammals and got a rabbit. Thumper (creative, right?). The bunny was cute and everything a bunny should be (which is, as far as I can tell, nothing but a ball of nerves). My family was going out of town so I asked my friend (who shall remain nameless) to watch my bunny while we were gone. My friend also had bunnies so she took Thumper to her house and put her in one of their cages. Well, Thumper tried to escape the cage but only managed to break her back. Guess what happens to little bunnies who break their backs? That's right. A good ol' dose of euthanasia.

While I was at the vets office to take my bunny in to be slaughtered they kindly offered me a mutt of a puppy. He became known as Gilbert (after Anne of Green Gables, of course). Gilbert was your typical mutt. Dumb. We had him for several years. Towards the end he got sick and his fate fell the same way as Thumpers (minus the broken back).

Gilbert was the last pet I had as a child. Now as an adult I've discovered something: I don't like having pets all that much.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guilt: The Great Motivator


Once upon a time I worked for a Salesman.  One of those Salesmen.  I liked him, I really did, but truth is, we did NOT mesh well.  He tried to motivate me the same way you motivate any salesman....via competition.  Which, for me, doesn’t work.  AT ALL.  Competition just brings out evil Jami.  If you want results from this busy bee,  the sure fire way to success is guilt.  (Disclaimer:  I still worked hard for him.  But it wasn’t the girl-from-“Enchanted”-cleaning-the-house kind of hard work.  The pleasantry wasn’t bursting at the seams.)

If we take a look back at my life and see where guilt got me compared to competition, I can show you how much better a motivator guilt truly is. 

Competition-based motivation


1.)   High School Drill Team-  Let’s just say we never won anything better than a 9th place trophy.  (Can you believe they even give out 9th place trophies??)

2.)   Playing “Settler of Catan”- I once threatened Linz’s husband with something so scary he almost wet himself.  (okay, not really, but I was less than kind to him.  Much, much less.)

3.)   Third Grade Girls Bathroom- Upon entrance to the bathroom a friend dared me to climb over the bathroom stall doors.  Which landed me on a seat…..in the teacher’s office. 

Guilt-based motivation


1.)   Life at Home- After sternly speaking at my three-year-old and giving him that “I mean business” look, he says to me all sweet and three-year-old like, “I’m sorry Mom.  Just don’t look at me with those strange eyes again.”  Result:  REPENTANCE!!  And less yelling.

2.)   Family History- I’ll tell you what, I'm always feeling guilty after a good dose of general conference.  Thankfully, it’s all for the better.  Result:  This time, they got me going on some family history.

3.)   Breakfast time- One day (okay, several days) I ate a hot dog for breakfast and/or cookies.  Guilt-based motivation Result:  I ate a salad for lunch ;)

I was going nowhere, fast, with that competition crap.  But with a little guilt, my future looks brighter than ever J

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Uggs! or Ugh...

I love this time of year and unpacking trendy and cozy clothes from hibernation.

I don't pretend to be the most fashion forward gal on the block, but it seems to me that Uggs have be "in" for quite some time...like longer than a normal "trend cycle." Am I right? I've been wearing them for about a decade.

I know the Ugg brand likes to keep things fresh every year adding new fur, pom-pom, rope, button, and leather embelishments, but I think they may have taken it a bit too far this year.

Their new advertising angle: Men in Uggs


I don't know what I think about this. 

I'm actually surprised it didn't catch on sooner. I know some of our husbands are willing to sacrifice style for comfort any day. My biggest concern is that I don't think men can be trusted to know the appropriate time and place to wear Uggs. 

Even darling Ben seems misguided. With a suit Ben? Really? 


This is too reminiscent of Crocks with suits at church. Gag.

It turns out I'm not supposed to be judgemental (says my Sunday School teacher this week), but if you didn't have that lesson, I'll post a few more pictures for you to decide and let me know...




Monday, November 7, 2011

Motherhood: A Secret Society


I have always wanted to be a mom. When I was five, my mom wrote in my journal that I wanted 24 kids and 24 sheep so that I could make all of their clothing. I was a very ambitious child. I always made my Barbies have babies. I loved to pretend my dolls were my real babies. I loved to babysit. I couldn't pick a career choice for the life of me because all I really wanted was to be a mother. Well, all of my dreams came true and I am a mom. I LOVE it. However, there are a few things that I don't think other mothers tell you before you become a mother. But, since I like to be open and honest....I will tell you the things that no one else tells you.

1. Having a baby hurts. This isn't news. But no one tells you that it hurts like nothing else you could imagine. It is so painful that you push the thought of it back into the deepest recesses of your memory and forget all about it. And then you are stupid enough to do it again.

2. Babies are always leaking something. Drool, snot, pee, poop. Always. And you will get to the point where none of it grosses you out anymore. Then one day you will wipe your kid's nose with your own shirt and realize how disgusting you have become.

3. Setting your clocks back does not mean you get an extra hour of sleep anymore. It just means that your kids wake up an hour earlier.

4. You will drive all the way back to church for the hand sanitizer that has become your child's most cherished possession when he forgot it in the nursery. Or you will turn around, race back to the grocery store to find the stuffed animal that was left behind in the shopping cart. Then you will swear that the next time they forget it, you are just going to leave it there....but you can't bring yourself to ever do it because their tears melt you to pieces.

5. You will most likely sink to your child's level at some point. This may include sticking your tongue out at them, rolling your eyes, slamming your bedroom door, pouting, mimicking, or all of the above.

6. You will clean up barf. Probably more times than you thought possible.

7. No matter what you do to prevent it, your child will get a hold of a permanent marker, make-up, pen or something else that might be used for wall/body art. The damage is child-specific.

8. And one day, your child will tell you they love you, all on their own, without any prompts and you will turn to mush.

Maybe no one tells you these things because it would scare you off. Maybe it is because motherhood is amazing. Boogers, barf, tantrums and all.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What Are Mormons Doing At a Beer Party?


I am just learning that Oktoberfest is basically a German Beer Party. I took about 4 years of German in Jr. High/High School, but when you take German in Utah taught by former Mormon Missionaries who served in Germany, you don't talk much about the drinking habits of Germans. (You don't learn much German either, but that's another post for another day.)

We were invited by our neighbors to their Oktoberfest party, and not really knowing what Oktoberfest was, we went. And took our children.

It was something to see our host scramble to find anything non-alcoholic in his house (seltzer water, San Pellegrino, an old Martinellis that was rather flat); they obviously didn't know they had invited Mormons.

Despite these hiccups we were having a great time chatting with our new neighborhood pals, some of which were young people with kids around the ages of my kids. My husband made a comment about serving his mission in a place one of our neighbors frequents on business; then he mentioned that he attended BYU. So yeah, I'm pretty sure they all knew we were Mormons. And we're from Utah and drinking water at a beer party, so you know, there you go.

I'm going to sound super cultured when I say that my husband has had a lot more experience than I have talking to and working with people not of our faith.

He chose to talk about his mission and his education (both make him sound interesting in a good way).

What did I choose to talk about?

When asked about my life in a new place with a new baby, I made the following statement:

"It's been very different than having a baby in Utah, because I usually have my sisters around to help."

That made me sound interesting in a not-so-good way. It wasn't until I got home and reviewed what I had said that the strange look I got from one of the neighbors when saying this made sense.

DARN THAT KODY BROWN!



Of course I meant my actual sisters (who are very helpful, btw). The ones who share my parents and have husbands and kids of their own, but this may not have been clear to people who only know what they've seen on TLC.

I'm pretty sure that's the last party we're invited to.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Birthdays

We all have them. Some people dread them. I love them.


I had one this week. A birthday that is. I turned 28. That’s a pretty good age, I reckon. For some people, turning 28 is the start of a mental breakdown. You know, you’re now closer to 30 than 25. And once you’re 30, you’re so close to 40! And once you’re 40…. Well, I might stop there.

Not so for me. I figure you’re getting older anyway. Every day you’re older than the day before. In fact, every second you’re older than the second before. I know. I’m blowing your mind. So, even if I am technically a year older, what’s changed? Not a lot. I’m basically the same as I was this time last year… except that this year I don’t have pregnancy induced elephantitis of the stomach.

I like to take the chance to make a big deal about my birthday. I enjoy having everyone dote on me, bring me presents, and tell me how wonderful I am just for one day. It really only happens once a year, so I like to really milk it for all it’s worth. And I did.

Don’t worry, I totally return the favor when it’s someone elses birthday. You want a cake with someone to jump out of and sing you happy birthday? I’m your man. You want balloons and streamers, a surprise party, and a week long celebration? No worries, I can help you out with that.

So, to quote a classic, ‘Party on Wayne!’ And if it just so happens to be your birthday today, happy birthday! Gee, you’ve got a great smile.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baby Weight


I had a goal with this pregnancy to only gain 25 pounds (as opposed to the 40 I gained with the first).

Well, I'm happy to announce that I achieved that goal. I am not happy to announce, however, that I achieved the goal 9 weeks early. Oi.

It makes me wonder, though, how you can control how much weight you gain during pregnancy? You know, unless you're already exercising before you get pregnant you're not exactly supposed to pick up an exercise regime. Guess who wasn't exercising before she got pregnant. That would be me. Also, how are you supposed to eat sensibly when you have the appetite of a 400 pound man? It's beyond me.

Well, as they say "que sera sera." I'll happily continue to eat down my son's Halloween candy stash and worry about the extra poundage later.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pinterest: What's the Deal?

I’ve been hearing about Pinterest all over the place.  ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE.  I do have a basic understanding of it; a virtual pin board to post and share ideas with others and help you organize it all.  Sounds nice, right?  A good way to save time by being organized?  But then, I keep hearing these kinds of things about it:


“I’m addicted to Pinterest”
“Just spent three hours pinning” 
“Pinterest is my new diet coke”
“I’m IN LOVE with Pinterest”  (get a boyfriend, ladies.  They are way better.  And hotter. And sometimes rub your feet.)

(Also, I may have made up half of these quotes.)

So, I’m confused.  How is Pinterest going to save me time by helping me waste my time? And why would I want another addiction?  I already can't get off the sugar

I’m open to your opinion on it.  Please help me understand why I should/or should not join.   But it’s likely I will only join if bribed with money… or a nanny.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Name Game

I'm picking out baby names.

It is so much harder than I anticipated! As it turns out this baby is going to be a REAL person and I have to live with whatever name I pick, and so does that real person. Also, my husband has an opinion (as does every family member, friend, and newly acquired neighbor).

I like the option to search by nationality of origin. I wondered, what names are truly, originally American?

How about L-a or J-a. (la-dash-a, ja-dash-a)

Or Abcde (any ideas on how this is pronounced? Ab-sid-ee? Abee-ceedee)


It turns out when you live in a country where everyone came from somewhere else, all the names are taken and you have to get really creative to be unique (or literally Unique).

Here are some of my favorites: Chakaluka (how is this American?), Espn, Humvee, Lol, Modesty (why hasn't this one hit Utah?), Pansy (doesn't this have a negative connotation?), and Moon-unit.