Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When Friends Unite

As a single student, my husband lived in a house with four other guys. They lived like a family and really looked out for each other. They drank Bundaberg Ginger Beer (if you haven’t tried it, you simply must), helped each other get women, had parties, helped each other break up with women, and loved life. Of course, as time went on they began to marry and separate from the herd.

This weekend, my husband and I went on a mini vacation with these guys and their now families. They came from all over Australia and one came from where he now lives with his wife in Florida. This was big business. We got together up the Sunshine Coast, which for those who don’t know is a beautiful beach location north of Brisbane and we were staying with four other families in a large resort style home.

We did some of the same things they did when they were single – drank Ginger Beer and had parties, but this time we talked about children and families and life…. And there were wives there. It was great fun and a real tribute to friendship.

The biggest tribute to friendship? When one of the wives accidentally brings a stomach bug to the vacation (that was me.. whoops) which spreads through the group (sorry everyone!) leaving virtually no one safe from its horrible, stomach destroying grasp and rather than hate and ignore, they all laugh about it. That’s pretty hard to do with your head over a bucket. Now that’s love.

Time to catch up with your friends! But may I suggest you leave your stomach bug at home…

Here’s a picture of the group (with a few who visited for the day).

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Events That May Not Make Your DVR

My favorite Olympic event is the women's gymnastics.  I'm not going to lie, after the 1992 Olympics I sort of dreamed of being discovered by Bela Karolyi.  You know, this guy...
Every chance I got I would make sure I would balance on curbs, logs, whatever in case he was driving by and was inspired to take me under his wing.  No matter that I couldn't even do a decent somersault or that I was 10 years old, which was about 10 years too late to start gymnastics, I was going to be discovered.  This probably goes without saying, but it didn't happen. 

Even with my shattered dreams I still enjoy watching gymnastics, along with swimming, diving, running, etc.

However, there are a few events that I don't bother to watch....


Trampoline...Doing flips and spins from the floor?  Awesome.  Off a diving board?  Very impressive.  But even I can do a flip on a trampoline (sort of). 

Table Tennis...I think anyone who has a Wii and a few hours on their hands could get good at table tennis, which means perhaps it shouldn't be an Olympic event.

Shooting...Maybe it's just me, but I always have viewed the Olympics as an event to show off your athleticism.  To be good at shooting you don't have to be athletic.  In fact, you could be 100 pounds overweight, a chain smoker, and eat donuts for every meal and still be good at shooting.
Handball...What the heck is handball?

But really, anyone who makes it to the Olympics is awesome.  I'm probably jealous because of my failed attempt.  Dang those somersaults.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Identity Crisis

It seems to me that in younger years my peers often had "things" that defined them. I knew a girl in high school that never ate the ends of food--french fries, sandwiches, and ice cream cones were all consumed until the very last bite and then hopelessly abandoned. Not eating the ends of foods was her "thing." Whatever.

I thought that as people grew up these silly defining "things" became less important to who they were.

Until I got stung by a bee last week.

I had never before been stung by a bee. At first I was legitimately hurt and confused. I was picking raspberries and didn't even see the bugger.

 Then I was mad.

This bee totally ruined my "thing." Never being stung by a bee was one of the last pure and almost perfect records I held.

I have a dentist appointment coming up and I'm praying they don't find a cavity. If they do it's all downhill from here folks. Who am I anymore?

Plus, then I will be out two awesome distractors for "two truths and a lie."

Friday, July 27, 2012

Linz's 2012 Not-So-Martha Tips


 I pride myself on the knowledge I have learned over the past few years.  Before I had kids, there used to be time to make cleaning, cooking, decorating and crafting more of a priority.  Now, most days, we are just in survival mode.  Here are a few great tips that I felt were only fair to pass on.

1.  If your kids are crying, whining, cranky, tired, etc. Macaroni and Cheese will take twice as long to cook.  The boiling water just knows that you need it to go fast, so it goes EXTRA slow.  Choose to make something else on those days.

2.  If you need to clean your house but have zero energy and limited time, watch an episode of Hoarders, and you will feel much better about the state of your home.

3.  Closets are a great place for hiding messes.  People will notice that your house looks clean, but it would be very rude of them to look in the closets.  So, those are safe places to shove things if you are in a hurry.  This will also work for a limited time before your husband gets home from work.  This makes him think that you slaved away all day.  You just can't leave it like that over a day.  Chances are, he will open one of the closets and realize what a slob you are.

4. Don't paint your nails while it is humid.  They take forever to dry.  If you unfortunately live somewhere humid, do the base coat on Monday, a color coat on Tuesday, another color coat on Wednesday, and the top coat on Thursday.  This way, they will actually look nice for date night on Friday. 

5.  If a recipe says to fold an ingredient in gently with a spoon, you better believe this means to put your mixer on the lowest speed.  Gently with a spoon?  Ha!

6.  Always make your bed.  Unless you are going to take a nap later.  Then it's just a waste of time.

7.  Always, always, always carry wet wipes and sanitizer.  Kids or no kids. 

8.  Take your shoes off before walking through your house.  No matter what.  It will save on hours of cleaning and you will thank me later. 

9.  Watch your swearing around your children unless you already have a good explanation prepared for their Sunbeam teacher.

10.  Most likely you won't look like Heidi Klum did 6 weeks after giving birth.  Don't beat yourself up.  Have a bowl of ice cream....and use your leftover baby belly to balance the bowl and make it more hands-free.

11.  Do not dress yourself or your children until you are practically walking out the door for church.  For family pictures, dressing them on location is actually the best idea, but you should still plan back-up outfits.

12.  Always keep at least 2 ready-to-go meals in your freezer.  You never know when the crap is going to hit the fan....and inevitably on those days, the Relief Society president will call and ask you to bring a meal to someone else.

13.  Vacuuming is the fastest way to make your house presentable.  Dusting isn't as much of a priority if you close your blinds and make sure the sun isn't shining in.

14.  Always keep your shower curtain closed.  It prevents mildew on the curtain and also hides any disasters that may lurk in the bathtub until you are ready to face them.

15.  Don't buy anything that has to be ironed or dry cleaned.  Until your kids are at least 10.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

If you love IKEA...

I mean, who doesn't love something about Ikea? I've said it before, but in a perfect world we all would have enough money to not go to Ikea. But you really have to respect what they do with that furniture via their catalog.

I could spend all day looking at their catalog. How they put all that cheap stuff together to look like that? Amazing, really.

One thing that happens to you once you have a third child of the same gender is that you start justifying spending more money and time on everything because after all, all 3 of them will use it, right? So recently, I seriously had a moment of revelation. I don't love to cast my pearls before swine (I'm not calling our readers swine, but you know what I mean). But this idea literally came to me in a dream. I am going to make a huge dollhouse out of an Ikea shelf with furniture and all for Christmas. It's going to be a labor of love.

Well, I'm not the only one who has gotten this same kind of revelation according to this blog. As much time as I have spent in the Ikea catalog, because of my project, I have spent a number of hours perusing this site. Particularly the kids section. Go there. You'll be inspired too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Human Codes

Ever notice how you sometimes get random compliments from people you hardly know? They always seem so out of the blue and you’re not sure if they mean it or not. Well, the English ‘social’ language is a complicated one. So for those of you who are confused, here’s a few tips.

When someone says ‘Oh you dyed your hair!’ What they mean is, ‘Eh… you probably shouldn’t have.’

When someone says ‘Your shirt is so cute’, there’s a good chance they mean they hate your pants.

When you’re told that your noisy toddler is ‘Adorable’, perhaps they mean ‘She’d be cuter with a sock in her mouth.’

And sometimes a compliment just means ‘I have nothing else to say.’

We are a weird lot, are we not?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why I Wouldn't Last Two Days as a Pioneer

Today is Pioneer Day in Utah.  Is this event recognized by Mormons outside of Utah?  If not, that's sad. 

In honor of this holiday I thought I'd compile a list on why I'd be the worst Pioneer ever:

  • I don't function well in temperatures of 90 degrees or above.
  • I don't function well in temperatures of 30 degrees or below.
  • I don't function well in rain, snow, or strong wind.
  • Basically I'm a big fat baby.
  • I think I'm scared of oxen.
  • I can't turn on a barbecue grill let alone start a fire.
  • I can barely get my clothes clean in the washing machine.  Only having access to a river and some stones would be a disaster.
  • I'm a mean person when I don't have a full stomach.
  • I gag when my child steps on dog poop.  Imagine sending him out to pick up buffalo poop.  Which is huge, by the way.
  • I can't sleep when I hear one person sleep.  Sleeping next to a whole company would be bad news.
  • I don't like camping outside.  Or in a tent for that matter.
  • My feet hurt when I walk around the block.
The list could go on and on.  But in all seriousness I'm grateful for the Pioneers and all of the sacrifices they made.  And I'm really glad I didn't have to be one.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Couponing Etc..

I don't really have anything to write about today, so I'll just share some random thoughts with you. 1.) I can't see myself enjoying the world of extreme couponing. Because sometimes I want fresh strawberries in the middle of winter and I am not willing to wait around till April when there is a sale or a coupon to get them. And sometimes, when I get a hankering for Jimmy Dean sausage, I buy it, enjoy it, without ever thinking, "man I should have gotten the ham instead because I could have doubled up on my coupons between the hours of six and ten, Wednesdays only, and saved $1!" 2.) Being able to walk to church on Sunday is a real pleasure. 3.) I love fishing. 4.) I'm wondering what ever became of Lydia Bennett and the evil Mr. Wickham? Was he faithful to her? Did she remain ingorant of his past? Were there children? 5.) I bet I save about $20 a month on our water bill just from showering at the gym. I should tell my husband. Because even though I'm anti extreme couponing (I still use coupons, just not excessivly) at least I'm frugal elsewhere. 6.) I'm so happy I don't have to buy formula anymore. And I think that about sums it up. I know, my thoughts are truly invaluable :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Medical Improvements

I am a self-admitted pill popper.  I don’t like to feel uncomfortable or be in pain if I don’t have to be.  I have always known this about myself.  If I have a little headache, I take Advil.  If I slept funny and my neck hurts, I take Advil.  If I have a cold, I am very happy to completely knock myself out with NyQuil.  If I feel bloated, I take a GasX.  If I accidentally eat an almond, I take a Benadryl.  If I ran hard or had a great workout, I usually like to feel the pain of that for a day or two.  That is pain with a sense of accomplishment.  However, if I pulled a hamstring, I take Advil.  

I am so happy to live today when we have so many health options.  I love that we have antibiotics,  and medicines to help fight different chronic diseases, not to mention I could just kiss whoever created the epidural.   However, I feel like we still need some medical advancements.

Two weeks ago I got a sinus infection.  Usually, I would dope myself up on NyQuil and Tylenol Cold for a few days and then head into the Dr. to get an antibiotic.  Well,  guess what you can take when you are pregnant?  Pretty much nothing.  At least nothing that does any good.  I called my OB and he basically told me to buck up and just try to live through it.  I've never been so miserable.   I always think of 200 years ago when they just had to live through their colds, but that is why I was born now.  I am a wimp. Don't you think that by now someone could invent some medications for pregnancy that are perfectly safe for the baby? Does the medical field not have enough funding?  Because I would be happy to sponsor a few bake sales to do the trick. 

And while they are developing safer medications for pregnancy, can't they think of a better way to have a baby besides the "natural way"?  With all of the medical advancements made in the last hundred years, shouldn't they be able to transport/teleport/apparate the baby out by now?  Just a suggestion.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Blooper Reel

Tonight I had a bad experience. A very bad experience. For some reason I thought that the week I was going to visit family in Utah (by myself with three kids nonetheless) and pack up most of my house was the perfect week to schedule THE one thing that I have dreaded most for the last two years...


Why can't this be the 80s where everyone just wears what they want to wear and they go to the local studio with some sort of laser or fake tree backdrop. You get maybe two or three takes. Good or bad? It doesn't matter. You pay your 2o bucks and everyone is on their merry way.

Oh no! That's not what we're dealing with these days. Now we have to think about EVERYONE'S outfits and if they "go together." We don't want them to seem "too matchy" though. And we have to think about all angles of the outfits too. Don't think that I didn't check out my backside before picking out the pants I was going to wear because the inevitable "holding hands and walking together from behind" picture is going to be taken. Your session is going to be at least 45 minutes long and your kids will need to hold up that whole time. There will be about 200 pictures and possible outfit changes.

So back to tonight's photo session. I don't really want to talk about it. Let's just say it was 100 degrees with at least 80 percent humidity. My 3 1/2 year old who is usually terrible at taking pictures was even more rotten than usual. The hairdo's went completely flat, and that's not even taking my hairdo into consideration. I decided to wear pumps on brick paths. We were all incredibly sweaty. Like, gross sweaty.

I'm sort of scared to get the pictures. I can only pray that there is one good one for a Christmas card photo. PLEASE let there be just one! Otherwise, there will be no Christmas card this year because I am not doing that again for a long time.

This was a moment that I really wanted video footage of, however. A blooper reel, if you will. I want to show it at my 3 year old's wedding. I want to give it to my daughters when they become moms and are having a hard day with their kids.

Do you have bad moments that you really wish you had a blooper reel video of?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Who’s Job is Harder? Husband vs Wife

Recently, it seems relationships within marriage have become a new competitive zone. Who has the hardest job? Randomly, this question has come up in a few discussions with friends, coworkers, and random people in parks. Does it ever come up for you?

So I wanted to put it out there. Who do you think has the hardest job?
Now this is not to say that we do not appreciate our husbands or that they do not appreciate us. It is not to create hard feelings or to hear stories of your husband not cleaning the dishes or that he always leaves the toilet seat up. All that stuff is irrelevant right now. We understand that men and women each have divine roles and that we are to work in partnership. But what’s a partnership without a bit of a friendly competition?

We’re talking here about the role of husband and the role of wife. Obviously there are specific and special cases where the husband may be the stay at home child carer or whatever.
(Let me just say that I totally wanted to write obnoxious things under each heading… like ‘Watch football, Pick nose’ etc but chose to keep it sensible. I’m sure I’ll regret that decision later. Nope, I already do.)
The Role of a Husband
Provide for and protect the family
Lead the home

The Role of a Wife
Nurture the children
Home duties – cooking, cleaning, etc
Clearly a very simplistic description, but I can’t write in more detail or my opinionated detailing will likely sway your decisions. I’m very manipulative that way.
So just go for it. Vote! Who’s job is harder? Husband or wife?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Have you ever heard someone say that they don't regret a single thing they've ever done because it's led them to where they are?  I think that is a very positive outlook to have.  I also think it's totally bonkers.  I regret tons of things.

I remember as a junior in high school I decided to run for student council. Was it because I thought it would look good on my college applications? No. Did I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to gain some leadership skills? Not really. I ran because I wanted to be in my town's parade that summer. And yes, the parade was everything I had hoped for. Now I'm stuck with the responsibility of planning the rest of my high school's reunions until kingdom come. I don't think I should have taken on a 60+ year responsibility at the young age of 17.

But that's not all...

I regret not investing in Facebook back in 2005 because if I had I would probably be super rich.

I regret every single embarrassing thing I've ever done in front of people.  And to those people who have the mantra of "not regretting anything" I ask you - does this include falling on your face in front of the person you had a crush on?

I regret having big bangs.  And a perm.

Every time morning rolls around I regret not going to bed earlier.

I regret waiting until after I had been married for two years to learn to cook.

I regret watching multiple seasons of America's Next Top Model.

And I regret procrastinating writing this post until 2 hours after my bed time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm Running Out of Options

Today, my four-year-old belched (LOUDLY) in the middle of sacrament meeting. And then, after we very sternly told him not to do that ever again, what do ya know, he did it. again. It was completely disgusting and embarrassing. And to top it all off, his two year old brother decided to follow in his brother's footsteps and display his own loud version of a burp. That equals three belches during one very quiet sacrament meeting. I suppose I could use the "Oh, he's only four" bit, but I can't use that forever. I mean what if he cracks one off when he's eighteen in the middle of sacrament meeting. Should I just look up at the bishop and say, "Oh, he's only eighteen"? That just wouldn't work. I've been dealing with their naughtiness for far too long during that hour of church and we just can't seem to come up with a solution to it. We've tried just about everything. Snacks, coloring, puzzles, toys, books, muzzles. (I'm kidding about the muzzles of course. Although it does sound tempting :)). Then we tried limiting those things to only one toy or one snack or one puzzle. I'm running out of ideas here. Please help me!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Food Finds

I found some old friends this week.

They are beautiful and years ago I thought we grow so close, and yet we haven't, despite my best intentions to visit them often.

I'm speaking of my collection of cookbooks. They still look fabulous (if you have a thing for pictures of food) and my mouth waters flipping through their pages, but the honest truth is that I haven't made a single recipe from them.

I think cookbooks are dead my friends.
(Apart from the ward and family cookbooks of course).

They have no comments, stars rating their goodness, or suggestions for ingredient substitutions.When I have chicken, water chestnuts, and cottage cheese in the fridge, cookbooks never provide instant results with what I should make for dinner.

What have they done for you lately?

I've been seeing other sources.

One of which is this lovely blog. Healthy, beautiful, delicious food with ingredients I actually have in my home. I  have NEVER made something from this site that didn't make it onto my "keeper" list. Seriously. The meals have all even been husband approved (like this one, this one, and this one) which is a big accomplishment around these parts. I recommend it to all my patients, friends, family, and random strangers on the internet frequently (like so).

I've tried allrecipes.com, but 9 times out of 10 I'm disappointed--even after I read and apply suggestions from all 209 commenters.

Where do you go to find your family favorites?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bachelorette Catch Up

Ok guys. I haven't "Real Timed" for a few weeks due to summer time. My kids are almost never in bed by my 8:00 start time and once I get them down and sit down to watch, I'm usually an hour in and at that point, what's the point? So here are some thoughts up to now.

1. Poor, poor Sean. On paper, that's definitely who Emily should have chosen. He has muscles, she's a blond bombshell. He's southern, she's southern. He's not funny (that lame joke about him living at home went over like a lead balloon), she's dryer than Arizona. He's a born again evangelical type, she's a born again evangelical type. He's dying to be a husband, she's dying to have a husband. Oh and did I mention that Sean has muscles?

I'm all for Sean becoming the next Bachelor (although I heard a Roberto rumor). And I've got to give it to him...he didn't even cry...well, maybe a little. Didn't we all see it coming though? They had zero chemistry.

2. Emily looked surprisingly weird in a ponytail and tank top at the last rose ceremony. Were she less "endowed" I think this look would have been better on her. Yes, I just said it. Sometimes being flat can work to your advantage. (Very few times, however). Sorry about the lame photo...it's the best I could do.

3. Thoughts on One F Jef. I don't hate Jef. His name is spelled wrong. He has a bad haircut. He's a lapsed Mormon, and his family is probably cringing internally at the thought that he's on this show (except for the one SIL who nominated him??? I'm a bit confused by her). But I have to say, he's represented much better than the last two lapsed Mormons to go on the show:

And really, Emily is a sweetheart. So if she and Jef get married (odds are against them) I wish them well.

4. Thoughts on Arie. The way they play up the relationship with Emily and Arie makes me think that she'll choose Jef. It's gotten all gross and physical on us. He's almost not my favorite guy anymore because he never talks. She's all over Arie like a cheap suit, and if Emily weren't a mom with, dare I say it, "baggage", I'd say Arie wins this thing by a landslide. But he's not living a daddy lifestyle. Not that any of us were before we were parents, but I'd say that Arie is the womanizing type. Great for a single gal...not for a mommy.

So it's Arie or Jef. I'm taking bets (in the comment form).

Friday, July 13, 2012

A win for the husband

I am a small scale DIYer. My favourite blog is Young HouseLove, and if you DIY, you know the Petersiks. I love painting furniture, reupholstering chairs, creating art projects, and helping the husband build things. We love it.

My husband and I have decided to take our small scale DIYing up a notch and do some real DIYing around our home. We want to plaster, paint, redo floors, redo our kitchen and bathroom. Lots of potential projects to try out… and potentially ruin. That’s part of the fun of DIYing.

One of the plans included ripping up the existing carpets and laying floorboards or tiles in the main living areas. This has been a small source of contention. I despise carpet. I hate seeing dirt in it and I hate that I don’t know what’s in its deeper layers. I hate that it’s hard to clean when there are spills and I cannot stand pet hair on carpet. Not a carpet fan. My husband however loves carpet. He thinks it makes a house feel homely. He wants lots of carpet whilst I want very little. Thus, we debate.

We’ve been mulling over what to do in relation to the stairs. Do we want carpet on the stairs or no? I bet you can guess which side I was on.

This week as we were measuring and discussing the stairs from the top of the staircase, we had a little accident. And when I say little accident, I mean the person who had the accident was little. Our 17 month old. And when I say accident I mean he literally catapulted himself down the stairs and looked like he was awkwardly cart wheeling down the stairs using his head instead of his hands.   
In this moment, my husband won. And I hate it when that happens. My 17 month old had a few tears and definitely a fright, but no real injury from falling down the stairs. Not even a bruise. And that kid was flying! The carpet totally saved him. He was back up and using them again just a few minutes later.

So yes honey, we’ll keep carpet on the stairs. In case we have any more dare devils in the family.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Sand Bucket List

My kids and I sat down last week and wrote down a list of things we want to do this summer.  My 3 year old didn't contribute much and my baby even less so as usual I bore the brunt of the work.

Since it's a summer list we named it our Summer Sand Bucket List. Don't worry, I'm not that clever. I'm sure I read that idea somewhere else. On second thought, I can't remember where I read it. Maybe I am that clever.
And then I hung it up where I can see it every day. I wouldn't want August 31st to roll around only to realize we've done nothing but twiddle our thumbs and watch Thomas the Train all summer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Does A Stay-At-Home-Mom Do All Day?

As a stay-at-home-mom, I often get the question, “what do you do all day?”  Every time someone asks me this questions I generally come up with some sort of crap about “Oh, I go to the store and blah, blah blah, then to the library and then to the gym or park with the kids….blah, blah, blah.”  Which is sometimes true.  But when it comes down to it, my days don’t always equal fun filled days with the kids at the park and farmers market where my hair is done and I’ve somehow managed to make sweatpants look fashionable (ahem. Heidi Klum.)  So, to give all those askers a better, more precise, rundown of my day, I’ve

1.)   organized the events of the day into areas of the house or community where my day is spent and
2.)   given it a percentage of how much of my time is actually spent there. 

The Bathroom25% This does NOT include the time I spend getting ready in the morning.  This only includes the amount of times I’m helping kids pull their pants down so they don’t pee on themselves and washing hands to prevent the spread of disgustingness.  

The Yard:  10%  This includes pulling weeds, mowing, general maintenance, and playing with the kids outside as well as the time I spend telling my son it is not okay to pee on the front lawn. 

The Gym5%  This includes a workout and getting ready for the day.

Walmart/Target/Lowes/Costco10%  No matter how many times I read over my list I always manage to forget something on it and end up back at one of these stores later that night.  

The Park/Pool/Library/Fun Places10%  We do have fun from time to time.   Mostly when the kids are bugging me and I need to get us all out of the house J 

And the biggest taker of my time…..

The Kitchen40%  Some days I just wish we could all function without food because I am really getting tired of preparing, serving and cleaning it all up.  I can’t even count how many times I’ve wiped off my counter today.  And I know crying over spilled milk is clichĂ©, but when it’s the fifth cup spilled in a day, a good cry is about all I’ve got left to give.  Ironically, it’s about that same time I remember how delicious milk and cookies are and I venture back in there to eat my feelings J  So, as you can see, the kitchen is a well consumed place. 

So, there you go.  I know you thought we played canasta all day.  Sorry to disappoint you.   But this is how it really is.  Now, go home, give your mom a big hug and thank her for all those years she responded lovingly to "mom, come wipe my butt." 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Conspiracy Theories

I have a budding theory that Netflix documentaries are shaping a lot of public opinion these days.

Think about it--how many people do you know who have Netflix? Or better yet, do not have Netflix? We are all consumers and we all know how plentiful the instant play selection is. It doesn't take long to get to the bottom of the bucket and pretty soon you find yourself venturing into the land of documentaries.

The thing is, who is more passionate and willing to give away their films for cheap than documentary makers on a crusade? Biased much?

I can't tell you how many people I meet with who tell me they aren't eating X,Y, and Z or that they're doing this and that with their diet because they saw a documentary on Netflix. It's not just food issues--I've seen it with vaccines, biblical mysteries, and migratory patterns of birds...okay, maybe not with birds.

Don't get me wrong, I love me a good conspiracy theory. I'm reminded of something my mom always used to say; "in every pound of sarcasm there is an ounce of truth." Maybe that could be adjusted to replace "sarcasm" with "conspiracy theories. "

But, then again, I'm also reminded that she told me "don't believe everything you see on T.V."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Magic Potion

If you are like me, you are always searching for new beauty products that work miracles.  Well ladies, I am in need of a small miracle.  I am coming to you for tips, advice, secret recipes, and grandmother's potions.

I made it through two pregnancies with just 2 tiny stretch marks.  I can deal with 2 stretch marks.  However, I made the rather catastrophic mistake of searching Google for pictures of twin pregnancies.  HOLY STRETCH MARKS!!!  And now I'm panicking.  So, what are your best kept stretch-mark-stopping secrets?

My only other option is a tummy tuck....which I may do anyway.....right after I get my tubes tied.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Aussie Accent

Accents are cool, right? You hear a foreign sound and instantly you’re intrigued and want to know more. I have always liked foreign accents and am personally quite partial to the South African accent. People from other countries tend to love the Australian accent, which I must tell you has come in handy a number of times... especially in my single days.
My four sisters and I are all travelers. We’ve all lived overseas at some point or another. We’ve all been to a number of foreign countries and think our overseas adventures have been some of the best times of our lives. Two of us have lived in Colorado, but not at the same time. Another lived in Virginia. This past week, the last two sisters returned from their overseas adventures – one returned from studying in Canada and the other from serving a mission in Idaho.
Our travels have all had different motivations and different results. Some friendships, some fiancés, and some deeper relationships with Heavenly Father. But one thing has been common.
Upon our return, we all found the Australian accent hard to listen to. It was like nails down a chalk board.
As we discussed why we felt this way, we came up with this analogy. Imagine you are living in a little bubble where all you hear is Mormon Tabernacle Choir. That’s all you listen to all day long. Gentle, soothing sounds where words are spoken slowly and rhythmically, where words are pronounced fully and easily understood. Then, one day a rude next door neighbor starts playing Bon Jovi. Sure, you don’t mind Bon Jovi, but it’s not soothing and gentle. His voice is a bit harsh, he speaks quickly and you can’t quite understand everything he says. He grates on your nerves and he kinda irritates you. You want to punch him in the face.
This is what it is like hearing the Australian accent after not really hearing it for a year. It’s a harsh sound, with badly slurred words all run together quickly.
Luckily the hate is just a phase and it eventually becomes normal again. Phew.
If you too would like to sound harsh, slurred, and mildy Australian, click this youtube clip. He focusses a bit much on the stereotypical facets, but it's still a crack up. Try it out :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

I Want to Ride my Bicycle

Warmer weather means more bikers on the road.
I'm not talking about these kind...

I'm talking about these kind...
And with them comes the ever confusing bike hand signals. 

The other day I found myself behind a biker when he flashed me one of these. 

I had no idea what it meant.  Hey, how you doing?  I'm turning right?  I'm turning left?  Pass me because I'm slower than you?  No idea.  Then he proceeded to hold up two fingers.  Now I was even more confused.  Peace?  There are two more in my party?  And then he held up one finger, and then he turned right.  So basically what he was trying to say is "I'm turning right in two seconds."  It was considerate but let's be real - no one knows hand bike signals so it's really helping no one. 

Why can't they just point the way they're going to turn?  Or better yet, wait until there are no cars behind them so we don't mistake a "I'm going to turn in front of you in about two seconds" for a "go ahead and pass me."  Or better-er yet, get off their bikes and walk across the street when it's safe like my mom used to make me do when I was nine.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Four-Year-Old Scripture Stories

I love asking my kids what they learned about in primary and/or nursery on Sunday afternoon.  It's the highlight of my day to hear what they have to say.  

Recently, my husband asked my four-year-old what he learned about in Primary.  Their conversation carried out like this:

Husband:  What did you learn about in Primary today?
Four-Year-Old:  Um, we learned about the ten leopards?
Husband:  You mean the ten lepers?
FYO: Yeah, the ten leopards.
Husband:  Okay.  Tell me about the ten lepers.
FYO:  Well, there were ten of them and they were sick and had really dry skin and it was falling off.
Husband:  Okay, what did they do?
FYO:  They went to Jesus, and Jesus told them to go to the priest and then they walked away and got better.
Husband:  Good job, buddy.  Then what happened?
FYO:  Then one came back and said thank you to Jesus, but the other nine didn't.  We should be like the one, and not the nine. 

Some moments I'm confident I'm talking to a four-year-old and other moments I think I'm talking to my adult conscience.  Because a four-year-old would surely mistake the Lepers for Leopards, but it's my adult conscience that would tell me I should be like the one, and not the nine, right?  So, do I actually have a four-year-old conscience? If so,  this explains a lot about my maturity.  

Then, I asked my two-year-old what he learned about in Nursery.  His response:

Two-Year-Old:  Hearts.
Me:  Oh, that's good.  

At least "hearts" is a step up from the usual "snacks" response.  I'm already proud.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Have you ever had the experience where you say a word many times over, so much in fact, that it doesn't even sound the same any more... it sounds foreign to your ears and feels funny in your mouth?

Well, I've done that very same thing a few times with eyebrows. But not the word itself, the actual brows on my face.

They are so weird.

If you stare at them long enough they look like misplaced caterpillars even when they're plucked, waxed and trimmed.

That being said, I'm so grateful I have them because if not we'd all look like this:


Which reminds me of this creature for some reason. Ga-rosss.

And in the spirit of the 4th (for everyone but Katrina and company), I'm so glad we have the freedom to do whatever we want with our eyebrows, hair, clothes, employment, worship, families, etc. Happy Independence Day everyone! Might I suggest not celebrating with overzealous plucking.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Never Ignore an Impression


You know when you have a feeling about something but you can't believe it is actually true, so you ignore the feeling?  Well, I am guilty, guilty, guilty of ignoring feelings and impressions. 

A little over 3 months ago, I felt an impression that we should get pregnant.  I ignored that feeling.  I ignored it like the plague. It wasn't time.  I wasn't ready.  Apparently it was time.  I found out I was pregnant a month later.  I actually couldn't sleep because I was worried that I was pregnant, so I got up at 4 am and took a test just so I could go back to sleep.  Well, a positive pregnancy test at 4 am means that you don't get to go back to sleep.  My husband was ecstatic.  I was a mess.  A week or two later, I got sick.  Like deathbed sick.  So sick that my kids destroyed the house while I kept my head in the toilet for 23 hours a day.  Then I had a feeling that it was twins.  I thought, "One baby would never make me this sick!  There has got to be two in there!"  But, again, I ignored that feeling because I would never have twins.  That is ridiculous.  Then I had a dream about twins.  Then my belly started getting abnormally large.  I just attributed that to the 3rd pregnancy.   Finally, I went to my first OB appointment.  My husband couldn't go with me.  He had to work and said, "Meh, it's the 3rd baby.  Just bring the ultrasound picture home". 

The Dr. started the ultrasound and said, "So, you said you have 2 boys at home?"
Me: "Yes.  4 and 18 months."
Dr: "Well, how do you feel about two girls?"
Me: "Ha!  Not two girls.  Just this one baby, then we are done.  Wait, did you say two?  As in two are already in there?"
Dr: "You have twins!"
Me: "I knew it!"
Dr: "You did?"
Me: "Yes, but I thought I was just having crazy person thoughts! Are you sure?  That only looks like one to me.  I think you are doing it wrong. You are just showing me the front and back of the same baby."
Dr: "No, I'm doing it right.  Here is another view.  See?  TWO.  Here is Baby A's heartbeat, and here is Baby B's heartbeat."
Me: "Oh, crap."

Then I went catatonic.  I just sat there with my mouth agape.  The nurse kept asking if I was ok and I kept telling her no.  I think she almost took my car keys away.  I walked to my car in shock.  The Dr. told me to plan a big announcement for my husband and really surprise him.  All I could do was call him sobbing.  He answered the phone, heard the hysterics and said, "Oh honey, I'm sorry.  Could they not find a heartbeat?"  Me: "No, they found TWO heartbeats!"  Husband, "WAHOO, this is awesome!!!  Wait....why are you crying?"

(Now before you judge me and think I'm a horrible person, put yourself in my shoes for a minute.  Two babies.  That means you give birth twice (in one day).  There are two babies to feed.  There are two babies to change.  There are two babies to wake up with at night.  There are two babies to send on missions at the same time.  There are two babies to get the flu.  There are two babies that need to be soothed when crying.....I think you get the point.  Plus, there are already two older brothers. )

Now a month has passed since we found out.  I am warming up to the idea of twins.  Looking at newborn pictures of twins has helped a lot.  Could they be more darling?  So, my belly is huge.  My emotions are double a regular pregnancy.  I'm not sleeping at all.  But, I did learn my lesson. Heavenly Father,  I will not ignore impressions.  Please don't try to make a point again anytime soon.

Monday, July 2, 2012

If You're Looking For a Pick-Me-Up, Don't Read Me!

Have you ever felt like you were Cathy, from the comic strip Cathy?

It's currently 9:00 pm the night before my post is due; the temperature outside is 95 degrees. I hate humidity. I mean HATE!!! We had a massive unexpected storm hit on Friday night that completely wiped out power to most power lights and grocery stores and homes. My go to store was only selling non-perishables all weekend. Not great if you need milk, which I did. I was lucky and only had my lights flicker a bit; I cannot believe people are functioning with no air conditioning right now. This should have me feeling pretty good about my situation in life, but no. They say that the best writing comes from the most honest place, and tonight my honest place is grumpy.

So here's a list of things I hate (in general and at the moment). Why? I don't know. Only that sharing them with you makes me feel better in some way:

1. I'm moving in less than a month and have no place to live. No one wants to rent to someone with 3 kids. Can't say that I blame them. But I can say that they stink.

2. I can't stand hearing about people's foot surgeries. My entire legs go weak.

3. Country music, particularly those songs about drinking. Sorry, but drunken stupors are just about the last thing on earth I want to hear a song about.

4. Competitive Eating. Gross.

5. Big summer action movies, particularly those based on a cartoon, board game, comic book, etc.

6. My foot size. I wear a 5 (and it really can't be a 5 1/2). Next time you're shopping for shoes, I want you to look at the options for 5's and then think of me. I have to buy shoes online and pay twice as much.

7. When they make you stand to sing hymns in church. (Happened today when I had finally gotten my baby to hold still and be quiet...standing should be optional.)

8. How disastrous my house looks after the weekend. Where is my cleaning fairy?

9. Teething.

10. Diaper rash.

11. I need to start packing up my house. The worst. I packed up my house last summer. I get to pack up my house this summer and I will be packing up my house next summer and for some reason that has me ticked right now.

12. I need to paint my toe nails, but would really rather that someone else did it for me.

13. I sweat like a pig out here.

14. I can't think of a good way to end this post and go to bed...