Thursday, May 31, 2012

Learning Something New

I think I might be an 80 year old at heart.  Sometimes I make my family wait to eat dinner until after Jepoardy is over, I'd faint if I saw Bing Crosby in concert  (you know, back when he was alive and actually performing), I think people who skateboard are hooligans (and that includes my brother), I like to wear mumus and slippers around the house (not really), and I have a strong desire to while away the day crocheting. 
Problem: I don't know how to crochet.

My first idea was to ask my elderly neighbor to teach me.  She's been doing it for decades, and as a bonus I would probably learn all of her family's deepest darkest secrets because she's quite chatty.  However between my children's naps and her volunteering at the senior center I thought finding a time would be difficult, so I acted my age and found an alternative on the Internet. 

Enter Crochet School, an online course on everything you need to know about crocheting.  There are 23 lessons and I'm still stuck on lesson 2 which covers how to hold your hook.  It's not a particularly hard thing, holding a crochet hook, but I have bad experiences with my hands and not learning to do things right. 

It all started in 1st grade...I distinctly remember my teacher telling us how to hold our pencils the correct way.  However, it wasn't natural for me so I opted to hold it a different way.  I'm not one to hang onto grudges but my pencil holding was never corrected and my current death grip on pens makes my hand so sore that I can only write about a paragraph before my hand cramps up.  Darn you Mrs. P.

A more recent example...in my mid-20's I started taking banjo lessons (now before you contact me about playing at your wedding I have to tell you I'm not very good.  Unless you are particularly fond of "Oh Susanna" then I'd be happy to play).  I had been taking lessons for several weeks before my banjo teacher informed me that my pinky and ring finger should be resting on the banjo drum head, not sticking up in the air like I was currently doing.  By then it was too late, the habit had been formed.  Undeterred my teacher started taping my fingers to the banjo.  It was embarrassing, and truth be told, unsuccesful.

That's why I'm determined to learn how to hold the hook correctly the first time around.  Of couse, at the rate I'm going I'll probably really be 80 by the time I learn.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Man Speak

Once while my husband was at the gym stretching and doing crunches a certain man approached him.

Without any prior greeting the man said, "So where'd you play."

My husband: "Excuse me?"

Man: "Where did you play?"

(Meaning, where did you play ball, because you look like an athlete. However he was speaking 'man speak' wherein you can only use as few words as possible to explain what you're talking about so he didn't explain further. Good thing my husband is fluent in 'man speak' so he knew what the guy was referring to.)

My husband: "I didn't play anywhere."

Man: "So God just gave you a great body, huh?"

Me upon hearing this story later...bahahahahahahahahaha [gasp for air] hahahahaha. Don't get me wrong I think by husband is a total hunk and yes he does have nice sized muscles but what man comes up and tells another guy something like this.

Men are so weird. Every time we go on a double date with friends I'll hear the question asked, "So what are you weighing these days?" and, thankfully, it is never addressed to me.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Choose Your Era

Does anyone else think that they may have been born in the wrong era? I think it would have been really fun to live in some different times and different places. 

I would have loved to live during Jane Austen's time.  Every time I read an Austen novel I think I would have fit well during that time.  I love the way everyone spoke so politely.  I love the idea of going to London for all of the balls and to the country for the summer.  I get a little bored living in the same place all year long.....with no balls or reasons to dress up fancy.  


I also love the idea of the Reconstruction Era after the civil war.  Business was booming everywhere, the country was putting itself back together, bathing became more encouraged, women began to have careers (crappy careers, but careers)...and the clothes!  Oh my, I love the skinny waists and bustles.  Those corsets could really do some good for me. 


The last era I wish I could try out was 1900-1910.  It would have been so exciting to see all of the new inventions.  The car was becoming more popular, the Victrola, the first movies....it just seems like it would have been really fun.  

Alas, I didn't make it to any of these eras.  I'm just a product of the early 80's.  Even though I am a little sad about this, there are a few modern conveniences I am really grateful for.

1. Tampons.  I think I mentioned this before, but I am really glad these were invented.
2. Hot showers.  Even though I usually have a child screaming on the other side of the door, at least I have warm, running water.
3. Disposable diapers
4. Sweat pants.  I'm pretty sure corsets were worn all day. 
5. Advil
6. Target
7. Taco Bell
8. Cell phones
9. Wikipedia

What era would you have picked if you had the choice?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It Doesn't Get Worse Than Swimsuit Shopping


Is there anyone out there who likes to shop for swimsuits? I have an inner battle with myself every year around this time. Here it is in dramatic form.

Note: All of these characters are different inner voices of mine. Schizophrenia?

Francis McFunMom: YAY! It's summer! Finally, you can get out there with your littles, so pull out your outdoor toys! Buy every frozen treat you can!! Load up on sunscreen, because we are hitting the pool EVERYDAY! Oh, you say I have to wear a swimsuit to get in that pool with my baby? Well, it's not about me anyway, so I'm just going to do it! I don't look THAT bad afterall!

Sally Stayhome: Yeah, you say that you don't really care, but you know the minute you feel that wind hit your thighs and you see Wendy Wardmember getting a backside view at the local pool, you'll be singing a different tune. You'll be wishing you had spent more money on a Wii to entertain your children in the summer instead of that swimsuit.

Francis McFunMom: Who cares! I'm not about me! I'm about my kids! It's natural for a mom of three to have extra padding. I'm not that vain. I don't want my kids to miss out because their mom can't get over herself.

Sally Stayhome: Do you know who else gets out there with her kids? Holly HotBod, who's had some work done since last summer. She goes to the local pool all the time. She'll most likely sit right next to you.

Carrie Compromise: You know what...there are some great cover-ups out there. You can just throw one of those on the millisecond you are out of the water. Or just stick to the backyard wading pool. Your kids are still little enough for that, right?

Crazy, right? This is the reason that I have had the same plain black swimsuit for the last 5 years. It's simple; it fits as well as anything; it does the job. Besides that, two of those summers were spent rather pregnant...

You know, that's one good thing about being pregnant in the summer. You're given a free pass to wear your cover-up AT ALL TIMES. Not one person blames you. You buy the best maternity swimsuit you can and then you cover it up and just stick your feet in the water, and everyone is more than fine with this arrangement. Alas I digress...

So, this year I once again pulled out Old Trusty, and noticed something...a hole. Where and when this hole appeared I have no idea (scary, right?). And now I'm on a quest to find something that Francis McFunMom, Sally Stayhome, and Carrie Compromise can all agree on.

Just today, I was perusing online what's out there. I know that the best idea is to go to the store and try it on, but then I face the dreaded FLUORESCENT LIGHTING!!!

WHY?! WHY?!!!

I'm not ready!! I don't deserve that!! No one does! So I'll probably order online and send back multiple times. Once again, I have gone to the online reviews to help me navigate this world, and once again, the braggers are making it to the blog! These are all real reviews.

Brag is Highlighted

"I took a chance and ordered this suit online, and am very glad I did. I'm a 34DD and tend to stick to two pieces so that I can get a small enough size for my rear, and a large enough size for my chest, but this suit actually fits! It does ride up a tad, but not more than other suits I've had."

"I am 20 so a little skin doesn't bother me but may if your looking for a little more coverage. Overall very cute suit!"

"I love this suit! I am 16 months post-baby delivery...and while my weight is back to pre-pregnancy normal, things have shifted. I am fuller on top..."

It's really quite shocking how little people talk about the product in their reviews and how much they talk about themselves!

If anyone out there has a swimsuit company that is their go to, I'd love to hear it. After all, this suit needs to last at least another 5 years.



Friday, May 25, 2012

Remember Dating?

Do you remember what it was like? Dating was a lot of fun. Dating was spontaneous and exciting. Dating was full of unanswered questions, flirty text messages, and moments you could never be prepared for. Dating was also full of hilarious moments you love to reminisce about.
 Today my husband and I were doing just that. Reminiscing. Talking about first dates, the debate over when we actually met, spontaneously seeing dolphins as we walked along the beach, first kisses (and blaming each other for making the move), staying up talking all night, getting locked out of our homes because we were out too late, running out of fuel, hitting a koala with a car (don’t worry, it survived), tickle fights, running despite the rain, laughing, crying, planning, conspiring, pulling pranks on friends, breaking up, getting back together, buying a dog (pre engagement… we were weird), and the list goes on.
We also shared a few funny stores from our dating past, pre-each other.
I’m proud to say I dated more before marriage than my husband did. That means I win. It also means I have a few more weird and wonderful stories than him.
What is your favourite dating moment?
Here is one of mine.
Many moons ago I went on a first date with a lovely guy I’d been flirting with for a few weeks. He was nice, funny and maybe a little bit shy. For our date we went to a movie. I can’t remember which movie now, but my journal does.
About half way through the movie, I noticed his hand inching closer and closer to my knee. Soon after, I felt just the lightest brush and when I looked down, I saw his pinky finger resting gently on my knee. I could tell he was nervous. Some time passed and we had a second finger. By now I was cracking up inside, but finding it far too amusing to grab his hand and put the poor guy out of his misery. What can I say, I enjoyed watching him suffer. Then there was a third, later a fourth and then finally, just as the credits began to roll, the whole hand jumped happily onto my knee. I think I heard just the faintest sigh of relief.
That was, by far, the most awkward first move that was ever made on me. And it was also the last move he ever had the chance to make on me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Celebrity Sightings: Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

I'm against bragging, generally.  However, there are a few times when I think it's okay.  Like when you see a celebrity.  Espeically when you live in Utah and it's a semi rare occurence.

I was at Costco yesterday when I saw one.  A celebrity, that is.  When I told my husband about my star sighting he laughed and told she wasn't a celebrity.  Men.

Uh, hello - I'm pretty sure Julie B. Beck the former Relief Society General President is, indeed, a celebrity.  She does (did) hobnob with the Prophet after all.
She even spoke to me.  Sure it was, "can you get by?" as I tried to squeeze my akward cart full of diapers and children past her, but I'm not picky.

While we're on the topic I also saw Dale Murphy two weeks ago.  Don't worry if you don't know who he is, your husband probably does.
As you can see from the picture he used to be a professional baseball player (he's much older now than he appears in this picture).  When my husband informed me of his famous status I decided to shake his hand.  Now I can shake someone elses hand and say "now you shook the hand of the person who shook the hand of Dale Murphy."

That reminds me...about 5 years ago I did an internship at the hospital.  One day an elderly patient and I were talking and, naturally, we got on the topic of Frank Sinatra.  Well, this patient had met Frank back when ol' blue eyes was still alive and, get this, he shook his hand.  So then the elderly patient shook my hand and said, "you shook the hand of the man who shook the hand of Frank Sinatra."  I died.
If you know me I'll be more than happy to shake your hand so that you can tell people that you "shook the hand of the woman who shook the hand of the man who shook the hand of Frank Sinatra."  I realize that the more people involved in the hand shaking chain the less cool it is.  But still.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Breaking Down Breaking Dawn




As a FORMER TwiHard it almost pains me to even tell what I'm about to tell you.  But then I remember I just used the word “TwiHard” and how disgusting the word “TwiHard” actually is, and my pain seems to evade me. 

Long ago I read all four Twilight books.  They were a good, fun, easy read.  But then they became ultra, super popular with the movies and the posters and the music and, quite frankly, I started getting sick of hearing about Twilight ALL. THE. TIME.  I disliked hearing women confess their undying love to Edward Cullen, a fictional character.  I mean, it’s one thing to love you a little Mr. Darcy or Mr. Bingley, but Edward Cullen and Jacob Black?  Yuck.  Then people started naming their children Edward and Bella and Jacob and that’s when I just about started giving myself swirlies in the toilet.  I mean absolutely no offense to Ms. Meyers, for she is surely a lovely woman.  It’s the hype and the craziness that surrounds the empire that I don't like. 

So, to stick it to my old self, I am selling all four books at our Scout yard sale.  Hopefully they will fund someone’s camp expense and hopefully no one will name their child Edward as a direct result.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Since taking things from the curb isn't stealing, we now have a brand new CAR!

Just kidding....

Holy cow, though. I am very surprised by the amount of experience readers from my personal blog have with garbage picking (which is evidently, by genearl consensus, NOT stealing).

My husband and I are now a part of that crowd.

It all started 2 weeks ago, when my husband suggested we buy me some rollerblades. I agreed to this wholeheartedly, because having rollerblades has always been my dream. My parents never let me have them. I suspect that was for one of two reasons:
  1. They didn't want to take me rollerblading or
  2. They didn't want to take me to the emergency room
(My husband has not had to take me to the ER (though there have been a few close calls) but he HAS had to take me rollerblading every day since our purchse.)

We don't have a lot of time during the day, so we've taken up something we like to call MIDNIGHT ROLLERBLADING.

(also, I've incorporated roller blading into other daily activities, like doing the dishes and yardwork. I'm thinking of starting a company called Maids on Skates. Good idea, no? My husband didn't think so....party pooper.) (See exhibit A)

Maids on Skates

Anyway, during one particular midnight rollerblade, we passed a house with a giant box next to their garbage. My husband was uncharacteristicly curious (usually that's my role) and stopped to see their exiting new purchase. It was this:



La-z-boy Patio Furniture
Market value: like, $8000

And right next to the big box...their old patio furniture! Good as new, just sitting there, waiting to be smashed in the garbage truck (or some other adventure as seen on Toy Story 3).

Noooooo!!!!!

My husband and I spent some time looking at the doomed treasure, and then roller-bladed home to ponder the moral issues behind taking things from the curb.

We didn't spend much time pondering. Maybe like five minutes. We ran upstairs, changed all into black (because, if not unethical, it's still taboo, right?) and drove (headlights off) back to the fancy furniture house.

Awkwardly, the furniture didn't fit in our small trunk and I had to sit in the trunk on top of the chairs. Even more awkwardly, we passed our neighbor and his wife (who also happens to be the mission president) who were out on a midnight walk, both going to AND from our house.

In the end, though, it was definitely worth it. We brought our find home, hosed them down (for safety puropses. We may be scavengers, but we are infections-diseases-educated scavegers!) and now we can sit in our backyard! Yay!   

I think from now on, we'll make it a point to go midnight rollerblading the each garbage-day eve.

_______

Many thanks to Cami from this guest post who is helping fill-in while I'm on "maternity leave" from real life. Isn't she a hoot?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Helicopter Mom


When I had my first baby, my dad nicknamed me "Paranoid Polly".  Maybe I was a tad protective of my precious little darling.  Maybe I checked on him while he slept every 14 minutes.  Maybe I took him to the doctor with a spreadsheet of questions.  Maybe I cut up his grapes until he was 3.   I'm sure I looked like a crazy person to most people.  I have since relaxed (a little) and stopped hovering (for the most part).

Recently, it has come to my attention, that maybe I am still a little paranoid.  A friend of mine lives near a grocery store.  She was chatting with her friend one day and the friend said, "Isn't it great that the grocery store is across the street?  My husband and I put the kids to bed, lock the doors, and go grocery shopping alone.  It's like our own little date night!"

WHAT?!?!?  After I stopped freaking out, I asked her how old the kids were.  Four and two. Those are about the ages of my kids.  I know my 4 year old can unlock our doors.  I also know that if he woke up for some reason and we were gone, he would panic.  As I chatted with some other moms about this, a lot of them revealed that they do the SAME THING!  Don't they know that they could get their kids taken away from them with a quick call to CPS by the neighbors?

Maybe they think it is safe to leave small children home alone since we live in Utah.  Hello?  There are still kidnappers in Utah.  Anyone ever heard of Elizabeth Smart?!?

Am I overreacting and ultra-paranoid, or does this just seem like a really bad idea?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shape Up People!

Oh gosh. When will we ever learn that there is NO magic pill, piece of equipment, clothing, single food source, or shoe that will get you a rockin' bod?

I remember 2009-2010 like it was yesterday. I remember the first time I saw a pair of these weird-looking shoes:


I remember the model that they used to peddle these things. She was perky; she looked healthy and fit and had a nice toned back side. And she wasn't even on a piece of gym equipment!! She was just running regular errands. "Who doesn't want that?" I thought.

But then, I thought again.

Last time I checked, standing on a balance ball all day isn't proven to take off the pounds. And when I think about walking around on two balance balls all day long, the two words that come to mind are BACK and ACHE.

These are the mental checks that I assumed most people made in regards to these shoes. Then one day at Costco I saw a flock of women surrounding a display of shape-ups scouring the racks looking for their size. And they weren't the only ones. Turns out that Skechers made 1 billion dollars selling shoes like this. Of course, like most fitness fads go, it didn't last, and to be honest it's been awhile since I've seen anyone wearing these things.

BUT then on the radio today, I heard about a lawsuit against Skechers where they've been ordered to give $40 million dollars to consumers who bought Shape-Ups, a refund for false advertising. You'd think that you'd need a receipt or a box or something in order to show that you purchased Shape-Ups and then didn't really "shape up", but no! All you have to do is go to www.skecherssettlement.com, fill out a form and you can get your money back.

Really? Why can't people just admit that they didn't really think about diet or real exercise and just learn from the $50 to $100 they just wasted? It's never their fault. (Oh my goodness! That sounded just like my dad!)

And can we just talk a minute about the fashion faux-pas of these? I have a brand of running shoe that I will never leave because the shoes have been so good to me over the years, but they are NOT the most fashionable running shoe on the market, so I'm not vain about my exercise shoes at all, but COME ON! What's even worse is now, the shape-up trend is trying out sandals:

Stop, Lindsay! Don't show us more! Why! WHY!

Well, I'm sorry. They are also trying out work appropriate shoes:



And boots:

My inner Stacy and Clinton are going nuts right now!! I think these are the shoes that should be called UGGS. Either that or FRAUDS.

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Giant Hyper-Thalamus

I came across this picture a few weeks ago.

 Until today, it totally rung true. Today, it seemed completely false. My child did NOT enjoy Elmo. Elmo made him mad. Cheerios and playdoh were like curse words. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and The Wheels On the Bus were recipes for disaster. And worst of all, so bad that I barely dare to speak it, ‘kissing it better ’no longer made it better.
So I made a new one to represent my child.

Huge hyper-thalamus. Lots of adrenalin causing LOTS of tantrums. And notice the size of tantrum-topia? It probably should be double that size.
My toddler will be 16 months old on Monday. Today he woke up having learned in his sleep to throw tantrums. I think he was visited by some sick twisted nightmare fairy in the night who taught him that throwing himself on the floor whilst crying and flailing all limbs was the best reaction to every single situation. And I mean every… single… situation.

The only things that made him happy for a few moments today? Endlessly riding escalators (no we don’t have one at home – but how cool would that be - we were shopping) and patting and cuddling animals, including the gigantic wolf type dogs that live next door that I had never let him touch until today. I was picking my battles. And today, rather than just interrupting my phone calls with noise, he interrupted them by grabbing my phone from my hand and throwing it on the ground.
What a day.
Please tell me this is just a phase?!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Interjections (Hey!) Show Excitement (Yow!) or Emotion (Ouch!)

As a junior in high school I found myself in an honors English class with possibly the best teacher I have ever had.  She wasn't the best teacher because I could skip her class 16 times and still get an A (although I did like that class, too).  She wasn't the best teacher because she joked around with her students and brought us treats (teachers like that give me the heebie jeebies).  No, she was the best teacher because she taught well and had high expectations.  Like really, really high. 

SIDE NOTE: Please don't judge any of my grammatical errors based on my teacher.  Remember I ended up going into social work, not English.

Anyway, it's great to have a teacher that expects you to know your stuff, except when she's the first one who ever really has.  Then you just find yourself in a whole lot of trouble. 

Which is why my red-headed friend and I found ourselves at the local movie rental store the night before our big "parts of speech" test.  If it was any other class then we may have been looking for the latest blockbuster hit to pass the night away, knowing that even if we bombed the test there would be a way for us to still get a good grade by the time report cards came out.  But remember, this class was different.  So, what were we looking for, you ask?  This...

Source
Yes, the same School House Rock that you usually watch as an elementary student, except remember, we were 16 years old.  We were a little shaky on the differences between pronouns, nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, interjections, prepositions, and conjunctions so we "crammed" for our test by eating popcorn and watching the tape (yes, I'm old and it was a VHS) a few times.  It paid off, we aced the class.  And so what if we were humming "conjunction junction what's your function" during the exam?  It's normal.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Things I Will Miss About Richmond


Things I will miss about Richmond, VA.

1.)Who’s going to call me Shuga’ at the grocery store?  (I’ve also heard “honey” and “baby”)

2.) You Utahn’s don’t know about the existence of these, but at grocery stores on the East coast they have signs in front of top rated parking spaces that say, “reserved for pregnant women or parents with infants”.  Boo-ya.

3.) Proximity to the beach.  (I will miss the beach, but I will not miss the effort it takes to go to the beach with three kids)

4.) People thinking I’m super woman for having three kids.  (My self esteem is going to plummet when we reach Utah.)

5.) People whom I could hold on to on their way to heaven via their timely translation.  (Have I mentioned how AMAZING the people are here?)

6.) YMCA.  (I might be bathing my pillow with tears over this one.)

7.)   The public libraries (But not that guy at the public library that told me how to discipline my kid.)

8.)   That guy that asked me if I was a doctor

9.)   That lady that told me it looked like I was having a girl when I was pregnant. 

10.)  Our ward Organist.  (BEST. ORGANIST. EVER.)


Things I will NOT miss about Richmond, VA.

1.)   Gunshots in the hood.

2.)   No sidewalks.  (It’s like the city is encouraging us to be lazy.)

3.)   No shoulders on the roads. 

4.)   No public pools

5.)   The cold yet snowless winters

6.)   The mold growing in about every crevice of my house

7.)   Driving in the middle lane with my doors locked downtown.

8.)   Creepy crickets

9.)   The two hour drive to get to the temple.

10.)   The way A road turns into B road and B road turns into C road  (my husband would say, “Obviously, Richmond was not developed by a prophet of God” J)

Goodbye Richmond.  We’ll miss you.  Well, mostly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baptism by Fire

It's an early Christmas miracle this morning that I am mentally present enough to be writing a post. My baby is one week-old today. She arrived just in time for Mother's Day. She's so thoughtful already, right?

People always told me newborns were hard, but this "hardship" is one of those things you just can't understand until you live through it.

Although motherhood is a lifelong career, the learning curve seems to be sharp and steep. It's sink or swim these days. Here are the 5 timeless lessons I've learned about being a mother in the first 5 days of motherhood:

1. Control? I have none. 
Due dates, sleeping, feeding, leaking, diapering, crying, and limb flailing all happen spontaneously, erratically, and sometimes even simultaneously. If you are really lucky they will happen on your first public outing on the fifth day of life and your waiter will tell your mom as an aside, "Newborn? They will learn."

2. Let Go (Related to number 1)
Sometimes knees won't bend to fit in tight onesies no matter how hard you gently try. Letting go is sometimes the best option to coax a strong willed being. (This lesson is applicable to husbands too).

3. Make them think it's their idea
I'm convinced that persuasion and long suffering are the brick and mortar to parenthood. It's not rational to think that I can talk my baby into sleeping, but I have been lucky so far by calmly providing her a list of options for things we can do, making sure to repeat sleep every other option, until she chooses it.

4. It's okay to say "no," and "yes please"
No, I'm can't help you with x,y, and z; I'm home bound/tired/hungry/unorganized for a while. And yes please, you can help me with dinner, laundry, and errands. I don't have to it all and blog about it too.

5. All you need is love
My husband and I always joke about this maxim. No one ever survived stranded on a desert island on fluffy love cakes. It's akin to the pieces of bad advice Kasey talked about earlier.  HOWEVER, I have never eaten so poorly, slept so little, cried so much, been so unattractive, experienced so much pain and felt so completely and utterly happy. No, not happy, elated. Love really does make the world go round.

Hope your mother's day was as warm and cuddly as mine was.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Emily's Men

Tonight marks the beginning of another season of the Bachelorette!  Don't be embarrassed.  I know you have been looking forward to it as much as I have.  If not more.  I love the tacky cliches about the "journeys" and "leaps of faith" and I always love that this will be the most "dramatic season yet".  I should actually count how many times they say those this season.

Is it just me, or would you be ticked if these were the bachelors you had to choose from? I know, I know, they probably all have wonderful personalities, but I have to be honest, when my husband takes his shirt off, I am hardly ever thinking about his personality.  Emily has to be one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen.  I doubt they were lacking in options for bachelors.  Couldn't ABC have picked a few hot ones?  I could do the job.  I wonder if they are hiring? My hope is that the surprise of the season will be a helicopter-drop of actual hot guys.

Anyway, due to lack of hotness, the prediction categories I previously decided on had to be altered a bit.  Sad.  Here we go!

(Pictures and profile info found here.  Check it out.  You won't be sorry.)

1.  Gouda:  This guy is pure cheese.  Most likely he will be a little clingy and probably talk about how he knows that they are already soul mates.  He just barely trumped the guy who had "The Notebook" listed as his favorite movie.  Meet Doug!


2. Trip McNeely:   Had his heyday in high school and never quite got over it.  Hello, Chris!



3.  Boy Band: The idiot that will use song to weasel his way into her heart.  This would never work on me.  Bye, Bye, Bye, David.


4.  Blue Steel:  This guy is only there to further his acting/modeling career.  However, I sure hope Jackson is just an underwear model.  He has a weird face to me.  Does he kind of look like a shark?



5.  Meat Head:  This guy uses his muscles for attention and may try to fight one of the other guys in the house.  Here's Ryan!  AKA Rocky Balboa.


6. Token Utahn:  It seems to be a new trend in the Bachelor franchise to have someone from Utah.  And, in typical Utah fashion, Jef's name is spelled weird. He looks like he will be funny.  Maybe it is the NKOTB haircut?


7. Best Celebrity Look-a-like:  James Van Der Beek anyone?  I'm not sure what his real name is.  We'll just call him Dawson.


The winners I chose for the last season of the Bachelor were soooo far off.  I'm hoping I have better luck this time.  Here are my choices for the final four.


Alessandro:  I like his rugged look.  Plus he's Brazilian.  Nothing like a man with an accent to whisper sweet nothings in your ear.


Arie: He is my wild card for the final four.  He's a race car driver.  I'm not sure if that is insensitive or not, given Emily's background, but maybe it will be something they have in common.  Plus, he has really great hair....which is seriously lacking this season.


Charlie:  I think he has a really nice face.  He just looks like a sincere person.  There is always a "nice guy" in the final two.  Sadly, the nice guy rarely gets picked.


Tony: I bet he will be funny.  Plus, he's a lumber trader.  I like a man with a manly job.  Unless lumber trader means he works at Home Depot....


Who is my pick for the winner?  Honestly, I hope Brad Womack comes begging and they live happily ever after.

Thoughts on the upcoming season?



Saturday, May 12, 2012

What She REALLY Wants This Mother's Day

There is something people need to understand about the stage of motherhood I am in (young kids, at home and in school). It's work. It's my job. It's what I do day in and day out. I wouldn't call it 24/7 (except when there's a newborn), but to put in a 15 hour day (even on weekends) including housework when the kids are in bed isn't out of the ordinary. I do dishes and laundry every single day. That's a lot when you think about there being 365 days in a year. I straighten rooms multiple times per day and make beds every single day. I make sure that kids are fed 3+ times per day and bathed regularly. I change roughly 5 to 8 diapers every day. When the stars align during the day and everyone is cared for and happy and/or napping, I do get some breaks, and when my husband is home, I often get breaks. But motherhood is work...hard tedious work. 

I didn't become a mom to get awards or thank you's or pats on the back, and I don't hate my job at all. In fact with the monotony of my life, I often have what I like to call "pay day moments" that make all my work more than worth it.  Like when my three year old gives me random hugs...pay day moment. Or when my 7 month old smiles and laughs at me while moving all of her chubby limbs at once...pay day moment. Or every day when my Kindergartener walks out of school smiling, healthy, and happy to see me...pay day moment. Or when my kids play and belly laugh together in the back seat of the car...pay day moment. Or when any one of my kids learns a new skill and beams with pride...pay day moment.

I didn't ask for it, but Hallmark gave my job a holiday where gifts are often given and sort of expected. To be honest, stuff is great, but really what I want and what most moms in my stage of life want is this:

A BREAK

My grandpa was a gem of a guy who understood this. Every year on Mother's Day he'd coordinate a dinner where the men did all the cooking. He'd set up a table in their living room with nice china and flowers and the men and kids would serve the moms. All the men and kids had to eat outside and were not allowed in the living room. The moms would stay in there for hours chatting with my grandma and each other. A great break.

I don't think that all men need to do what my grandpa did. He liked to cook, so the food suffered not at all when he was at the helm. So for the rest of you, I have come up with a list of ways (some expensive and some free) that you can reward the mother of your children with what she needs...A BREAK.

1. Clean the house. If that seems too much for you or your skills (not judging...just saying), hire a one time cleaning lady.  Of course send mom out of the house when this is happening.

2. Take her car to get detailed and cleaned. Cleaning the car is actually one thing that is kind of hard for a mom with young kids to do with car seats and kids in tow. Leave a note or flowers in that clean car and you're in business.

3. Send her out with cash for a day by herself. I don't care if you give her $20 to spend. $20 of guilt free spending is priceless to most moms. **But let me note something here...if you let her come home to unfed, unbathed children who should be in bed, and a sink full of dishes, you really didn't do her any favors.

4. Make a special dinner and do all the dinner clean up. If you don't cook, consider take out from somewhere she loves.

5. Get snacks, magazines, a book, or some movies she loves and lock her in her room to chill for a few hours of uninterrupted alone time. **Again of course, if she comes out to a messy house and crying kids, she would have rather not taken this break at all.

6. Give her a Barnes and Noble gift card (or another store she loves) that she can take to Barnes and Noble that very day to spend and have a few hours reading in those big chairs. (I am so jealous of people who can spend hours at Barnes and Noble...that's where this idea comes from). Again...see the asterisk items above!

7. You can do a special date night together, BUT you get the sitter and plan it all and do all the prep work for a sitter.

8. I don't know any girl who hates a pedicure. Although a gift certificate for this is good, it's better if you offer to let her go right away to get one. See the asterisks above!!!

9. If possible, offer to take care of carpool for a week.

10. Offer to do all laundry for a week.

11. Do breakfast for kids and for mom, but not if you have early church...that's just begging for a grumpy frazzled mom.

12. Coordinate with other dads and let moms go out to lunch together. AGAIN see the asterisks!

Do you know who else Hallmark made a holiday for? Dads. Any guy out there want to create a list of what dads really want for Father's Day? I'm guessing the list is similar only with guy things. Am I wrong?


Friday, May 11, 2012

Fashion trends worth forgetting

There are some trends worth following, and others I wish we could ignore. Let’s have a look at a few of those:

Rattails
I thought for sure these would be gone by now. But, they just seem to evolve. We no longer see the eighties ‘shaved head with tail’ like the one below, but kids at school still sport variations of these hideous beasts.

 If you’re trying to gross people out, why not just dissect an actual rat and use it as a hat. Or try this style:

Low and lazy
Remember Clueless and how cool it was to wear your pants super low? Note to all men. Women do not want to see your underwear where your pants should be. Ever. If I can see the whole curve of your butt before I can see your pants then we've got problems.

 Tighty not-so-whiteys
I know it’s fashionable to wear tights right now and I’ll give you this:

I will NOT, however, give you this:

 A frill on the back of stockings? This is supposed to look good enough to cost the $200 price tag? Sorry, but you appear to be doing a very unattractive interpretation of The Little Mermaid. I can step into a pillowcase and achieve that for free.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Advice

There's some advice that has been quoted so often that I think we don't really stop to think about what's being said. 

For instance...

"Live each day as if it were your last."  Let's be honest, if I knew that today was going to be my last day on earth I would not waste my time cleaning the house or making meals (fast food would be a more convenient option).  I would probably sit on my couch, hold my kids, and cry all day.  So living a month of this advice would probably result in a disgusting house, obese family members, and emotionally scarred children.

"Work like you don't need the money." I, nor probably about 87% of Americans, would work if we didn't need to.  Call it laziness, but that's the cold hard facts.  I think a more appropriate phrase would be "Work like you don't want to live under an overpass."  Of course, that wouldn't look as cute as a vinyl sign on the mantle.

"Dance like no one's watching." Ugh.  Every time I hear this quote I die a little inside.  It's cheesy.  I dance rarely as it is, but if no one ever, ever watched me dance then I would probably stick to my favorite dance move.  Which is the sprinkler.  But guess what dance move I do even if people are watching?  The sprinkler.  Verdict: this quote means nothing to me.

"Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."  I've stated this in a previous post but the only time I lost my breath is when I fell out of a tree.  And I say my life is not measured by my tree falling incident the summer of 1998.

"Whatever you are be a good one." I actually like this quote, but what if what you were, like, a murderer or something?  You've got to be careful with this one.

So my advice to you?  Think before you vinyl.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

House Trends


When I talk about trends it’s usually in regard to clothing.  But, as it happens, there are trends in other areas of our lives.  Homes, for example.  Generally you can look at a home and guestimate the year it took ground based on its features that derived from the trends of the time. 

Well, my Compadre and I are on the quest for a new home.  (Not actually new, but new to us.)  One of the homes I visited sported that popcorn ceiling from the 1970’s (or was it 1960’s).  A big trend for the time, right?  

As I contemplated this trend, I thought, “Why in the ______ was this even trendy?” (True story.  I actually thought ‘blank’ in my head.)  What is it about this texture that had people lining up to get it sprayed on their ceiling?  Because, for me, just looking at it gives me the heebie geebies. 

Was it because it looked like popcorn/cottage cheese and thus suppressed their appetite just by looking at it?  A sure fire way to loose weight.  Or did it have the opposite effect and make them hungry?  Maybe it was the little sparkles interlaced with the popcorn that drove them to it? 

Truth is, I don’t know.  I’m just glad it’s not trending now.  Because I don’t like it.  That and the whole asbestos thing.  Not even interlaced sparkles can make up for that.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Perpetual Honeymooners

My husband and I were flying home from Christmas break last year, lifting our tray-tables and seat-backs, and minding our own business when the guy across from us asked if we were on our honeymoon. I, of course, wanted to say yes.

(I always want to tell people we are on our honeymoon - don't honeymooners make people happy? Make people smile? Yes! My husband thinks this is dishonest, to which I say, 'pish posh'.)

BUT, My husband (AKA, Honest Abe) smiled and said "no".

To which the man replied, "Oh good, you guys look WAY too young to be married!"

(FYI, we had just celebrated the 2 year anniversary of our marriage earlier that week.)

Awwwwkward.

I was content to smile and nod, but Honest Abe over there smiled and said, "Oh, no, we got married a few years ago!"

"mumble mumble" goes the man, followed by a loud "how OLD are you guys?"

(WHICH, by the way, is a VERY rude question. I should know, I just bought this book on Amazon.)

Anyway, the man and my husband continued in awkward conversation about age and marriage while the man's wife and I sat, silent and red-faced, until we landed, collected our belongings, and de-boarded the plane.

Next time we're asked if we're on our honeymoon, I'm saying YES.



(Us in 95 years, still on our honeymoon.)

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Tree of Life

source

I am taking a lot of risks when I post the following story, but I just can't help it.  This story has to be shared.  Luckily for me I am really bad at making friends and I don't really know anyone in my ward, so hopefully I can tell this story without getting caught.

About  a month ago, I walked into Sunday School and sat down for the lesson.  This sweet little old lady got up to teach.  To open her lesson she started talking about her daughter (or granddaughter, I can't remember) who had just given birth.  Now, I don't know about you, but birthing stories always grab my attention.  Well, this was not a birthing story.  It was an afterbirth story....or a placenta story, if you will.  She proceeded to tell about how people are getting into the trend of ingesting their placentas.  Apparently doing so will help with postpartum depression, milk supply, and increase energy.  I'm not here to judge on this.  It is your placenta, do what you want with it.  However, when she started talking about this, you could see all of the men in the room start to slink down in their seats and stare at the ground.  Placenta talk doesn't usually bother the women, but the men were about to die.  Anyway, she talked about how her daughter's placenta was cut in half to be prepared for encapsulation

Then she drew a picture of it.

And it ended up looking like a tree.

She said that the placenta reminded her of the Tree of Life and the 3 umbilical arteries going into the placenta could symbolize the Godhead.

This is when I realized that you can liken the scriptures to just about anything.....even a placenta. 



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Feeding the Baby Like a Bird


Story goes that I went to a Relief Society activity the other day where a pediatric nurse came to share her knowledge of child development and safety, etc. It was a good activity with good information that made my "mother guilt" go from about a 10 to about 100. 

After the presentation a few of us moms were gathered around visiting when one mom pipes up and says something to the effect of:

"Yeah, a girl I know premasticates her baby's food. She says that there's a lot of evidence that it's good for your baby."

SAY WHAT?!

In other words, she chews her baby's food immediately before giving it to her baby.

As we stood there talking, I was amazed that I was the only shocked one in the group. Where have I been? Is this common? Do people often use their mouths as a Cuisinart?

So I did a little research. Turns out that about a month ago Alicia Silverstone (who really hasn't been in anything worth mentioning except Clueless), posted a video of herself feeding her baby (whose name is Bear Blu [another post for another day]) just like a mother bird. She chews the food then they go mouth to mouth. Again, where have I been?

I'm trying really hard to not be judgmental, and yeah, if you live in rural Africa, then I get it.

But ewwww. I mean EWWWWWW.

The logic that studies are using is that it builds baby's immunity to share saliva and bacteria with it's mother. In that case, I'm going to start coughing on my child whenever I feel a cold coming on. A few sneezes ought to do the trick too.

Please tell me that I'm not the crazy one here!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

My Bucket List


What’s on your bucket list? Maybe a world trip, bungee jumping, sky diving, reading a certain book, buying a jeep, eating an entire room full of chocolate, punching an ex-boyfriend in the face. Whatever it is, I think it’s safe to say we all have a few things we’d like to do before we kick the proverbial bucket.

I am thoroughly excited to announce that today I will tick off the first big thing on my bucket list.
It may disappoint you to learn that my bucket list does not contain anything life threatening. So this post is not THAT exciting. If I am going to die, it is not going to be because I intentionally threw myself out of a plane or off a bridge in an attempt to feel my adrenalin pumping. Driving in peak hour in LA was enough to do that.


So what is it that I am ticking off, you ask?
Tonight, I will perform in an on stage musical. It’s something I have wanted to do forever and I am finally doing it.


The show is a big budget blockbuster (tiny little community theatre company) production of Brigadoon. All singers are highly paid (volunteers) and the dance scenes are perfectly choreographed (not at all). I wowed them with my audition (there weren’t any) for which I landed the lead role (okay, I’m singing in the chorus).

So I’m thrilled. One thing less on my list to spend hours per day plotting planning.
Still to do:
1.       Be mortgage free.
2.       Swim with dolphins.
3.       Bite the head off a snake, Bear Grylls style.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes...Comes Some Pretty Funny Stuff

Image

Sometimes I get a kick out of my 3 year old (but only sometimes).

We were having Family Home Evening on Monday and we were naming off people who love my son.  Then I said, "but there are two people who love you more than anyone.  They are Heavenly Father and..." I paused so he could fill in the blank.  He answered, very matter-of fact, "Buzz Lightyear."  Oy vey.

Last weekend my mom, my kids, and I went out to lunch.  Our waiter had shoulder length, curly hair, and a pretty bushy beard.  After he took our order and walked away my son stated, "he's a lion."  Offensive? Yes.  Funny?  Yes.

We have a neighbor who is an actor in LDS films so sometimes he grows his hair out and has facial hair.  This past winter my son was convinced he was Jesus and would say "hi Jesus" as we walked past him in church.  One day my son was determined to get my neighbor's attention so he could ask him a question.  "Jesus, Jesus," he said, "where's Santa Claus?"  Really?  That's the question he would ask if he met Jesus?  Not one of my proudest mothering moments.

And while we're on the topic of funny things kids say let me share my favorite Primary conversation.  Bear with me if you've already heard it.

I was teaching a lesson on Heaven to 5 year olds...

Boy #1: I wish I could live with Jesus in Heaven.

Boy #2: Not me!  I wish I lived in California.

Girl #1: Me too.  That's where Justin Bieber lives.

Funny people, those kids.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stupid Surveys


I came across this little gem of information whilst exercising today.  
(actual picture from an actual magazine)

That’s right, folks.  Someone actually spend time and resources to get the answer to this incredibly lame question.  Would you rather be the cool mom or the hot mom?   I mean, sure, I can be a little bit superficial and shallow at times but to concern myself with being a hot or cool mom is a new low, even for me.  Is this really something women think about?  Trying to be viewed by their children and/or children’s friends as ‘hot’ or ‘cool’?  I personally want to be viewed as the parent who loves her children, who sets boundries, who encourages them to be kind (even though I sometimes am not), and supports them in their desire to be the chess club president if they want.  To be viewed as ‘cool’ or ‘hot’ is fine, but to earnestly seek those things out in an effort to be defined as such, probably not so much.  As a parent, there must be more pressing issues to face.

But it seems that women get caught up in being the cool mom from time to time.  Several years ago I overheard a mother talking to her pre-teen daughter in the eyeglass store.  Their conversation went a little something like this:

Mom:  Well, what about these?  Are these okay?  You know...I wanna be the cool mom.
Daughter:  Oh yeah, mom.  Those are cool.  They will totally work.

I am not even making this up.  She was actually concerned about having the right eyeglasses in order to look cool to her daughter's friends.  I was flabbergasted.  What was she teaching her preteen daughter in this situation?  That the most important thing is the way you are viewed by others? 

I don’t know what else to say, except, if this is what is being taught in homes across America, then I am limiting my childrens’ friendships to dogs and superheros.    

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Movie Review: The Lucky One

I was supposed to give birth to my firstborn yesterday, but alas, I was not the "lucky one."

To pass the time my mother suggested we go see a movie. She loves chick flicks, I do not. My only stipulation was that it would NOT make me cry (I have plenty of other reasons to be crying right about now). She had read the the book, "The Lucky One" and promised it would do no such thing. 

Really, a Nicholas Sparks story with a happy ending? This was worth seeing firsthand. 

The Review: On a scale of 1 to 10

Acting: 9
Great acting. I don't know that they were given Academy Award winning dialogue to work with, but they were very believable in their roles. Zac did spend 99.9% of the show with a very stoic expression; I think he smiled twice. I'll cut him a break though, he was supposed to be a post-war troubled marine.

Eye-candy: 7
In the words of my mother 30 seconds into the film, "it doesn't hurt that we have Zac Effron to look at."
 Personally, I preferred his looks when he was a teeny bopper on the Disney Channel 
(please don't confuse me for a cougar ladies, I actually married an aged man).


Ponytail pull-off points: 10

 
Taylor Schilling did not have a single shot in which her hair was done. Perhaps it was styled to look "undone." Nevertheless, it was always adorable and gives me hope for the upcoming weeks of post-partumdom. 

Granny Wisdom: 8

I'm always a fan of the supporting grandma roles, especially when the grandmas are a hair fiery, say what needs to be said, and aren't too meddlesome. 

Louisiana Love: 7


Movie producers do such a good job at making any location seem lovely. The droopy trees and peaceful, simple life on the bayou seemed idyllic. They of course, did not show any mosquito bites or hot humid afternoons, let us not romanticize too much.

Overall: 10



If I were to describe this movie in one word it would be "sweet." It was a very sweet story involving good people trying to find happiness and joy in life. I'd recommend seeing it, maybe even before it comes out on Netflix.