Monday, December 31, 2012

Movie Review: Les Miserable


My family braved snowy roads on Christmas for the premier of Les Miserables. Ten hours later I'm still recovering and feel a little silly writing a review about it. To say it was amazing is an understatement. In fact, I went back to my review of the Hobbit from last week and demoted it.  

Things I was worried about before going:
  • Russel Crowe singing
  • Singing for 2 hours and 39 minutes
  • Feeling depressed (it is a story of "the miserable" after all)
Russel Crowe did surprising well and his rigid strong voice fit his character. The characters have very few actual speaking lines, but it didn't take long to get accustomed to the singing. Though the movie was long it was griping. Sometimes at musical plays I find myself glancing at the program and wondering when a number will end. There wasn't a single scene in the movie that dragged. The songs weren't too long and the transitions were quick. 

Things that I expected to enjoy and wasn't disappointed:
  • Cinematography. I love carefully executed colors and well crafted sets. 
  • Hugh Jackman's performance. 
  • A phenomenal story. Any feelings of depression were outdone by motivating themes (I won't reveal more for those who don't know the story).  
You should go see it if:
  • You can hack dramas. I'm not talking about Bachelorette-style drama. Real stuff. Things that are hard to watch, painful to sympathize with, and that may require a pack of tissues. 
  • You have a good babysitter and don't have to take the children. 
  • You can appreciate the art of a good musical performance. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Baby

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. 

Because it's Christmas I'm keeping this post short.

Last year I was 39 weeks pregnant on Christmas so when our baby girl came a week later my young son still had Christmas on the brain.

We were getting ready to leave the hospital and take our new baby home.  I said to my son, "should we take your new baby sister home?"  He replied, "no, I don't want a baby sister.  I want a baby Jesus."


Sorry son, can't help you there.

Some kids are impossible to please.

...........................................................................................................

This is my last post before we end this blog on December 31st.  Thanks to all of our readers who have been keeping us company for the past (almost) two years!



Better late than never?

I finally got a review of The Hobbit up.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

No One Likes Goodbyes


What a fitting end to my run here at Pear Shaped Thoughts...Christmas Eve...No one likes goodbyes, it's hard...I know...Would you like me to pass you some tissue?  It has been lovely getting to know you, it truly has, and I will miss you!  I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to blog here at Pear Shaped thoughts.  But, I will continue to blog in my own space at my own place, That's What She Said..., and would love for you to follow along with me there.

In respect for the celebrated Eve of our Saviors birth, in the event you are actually reading today, I would like to leave you with a little Christmas Story I wrote about my daughter a few years ago...

"One busy day during the Christmas season, I found myself hurriedly running from one store to another with three children in tow. The frenzy of the season and all of its activities were bearing down and had left me tired and exhausted. On one of our last stops, I quickly pushed passed the aisle of Christmas decorations, despite the protests of my children, so that I could soon return home. At that moment, I realized that my daughter was missing. A sudden surge of panic came over me, but as I turned to look for her, I heard her call out to me.

“Oh, Mommy,” she exclaimed “Look!”

There was my daughter standing before a light-up yard nativity scene. In the midst of busy shoppers pushing passed, she slowly knelt before the Baby Jesus. The shoppers, still passing by, did not even notice one small girl kneeling before the manger. I reverently watched as she looked on lovingly at the Baby and spoke quiet words to Him. It was as though time stopped for me that night. While the crowds thronged on through the store, there was only a mother, with tears in her eyes, whose heart swelled with love for her daughter and her Savior, and a little girl who took the time to stop, remember and admire the precious Christ child.

When she was through, Ladybug rose to her feet and walked back to join me. As she slipped her hand in mine and we turned to walk away, I said a silent prayer of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for this wonderful gift of a daughter and this sacred Christmas experience. I was reminded of a scripture in Isaiah 11:6 “…and a little child shall lead them.” With all the wisdom of a six year old, Ladybug led me by the hand that night out of a busy store and into a more Christ filled Christmas.
"

~Lisa Hamer~

Until we meet again...


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Baking Soda

Is anyone else weirded out about baking soda?

How is it that the same substance that goes in my cookie recipes can also be used to brush my teeth, do my laundry, and deodorize my fridge?  It's creepy.

And what exactly is it made of?  I'm sure the answer is very scientific, so don't bother telling me if you know.

Well, I'm off to scrub my sink with the stuff.  And if I have any leftover maybe I'll whip up a cake.

P.S. As I was searching for a picture of baking soda I also found out it can be made into a scrub to get rid of black heads.  It just keeps getting stranger.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Movie Review: The Hobbit


We geek out over LOTR at my house. We're obviously nerdy enough to use an acronym (Lord of the Rings). But, I'm afraid it gets worse than acronyms folks. We watched all three movies on our week long honeymoon because I hadn't seen them all the way through and they are so "epic" (my husband has since repented). He even took his capstone course in college on Tolkien and logged a few hours playing the video game as home work. 

When he heard Peter Jackson was making a new movie adaptation of the Hobbit, the prequel to LOTR,   I'm sure my husband lost sleep. The question to be asked was not if we would see it in theaters, but how many times. 

So, I've definitely seen it. And all of the "making of" films. And read the book in preparation. If I'm not qualified to give a pear shaped review at this point, heaven help the woman who is. 


Eye candy: -1




Hairy hobbit feet, braided dwarf beards, drooling trolls, pus-pocked gremlins, slimy golum, fleshy orks,  and in general a lack of Orlando Bloom as Legolas really do anything but get me goin'. Call me vain, call my picky, but please don't call me Friday night if you are of the above mentioned creatures.


The Hobbit 46

The one redeeming handsome fellow of the lot gets minuscule screen time. I recommend gazing at your own handsome fellow when you need a break from the ugly. 

Acting: 9

All the creatures filled the measure of their creation. Definitely believable...well, if you believe in fantasy characters that is. 

Inspirational Moments: 7


It will be no surprise that I cried three times during the movie. Even if you're not a bawl-baby, I think you'd be moved in several scenes by the bravery, courage, and selflessness exhibited. 
[One wizard] believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love. Why [bring] Bilbo Baggins [with us]? That's because I am afraid and it gives me courage. -Gandalf
Cinematography: 8

The director shot the movie using double the number of frames per second than any other movie ever created. That means it is clear, super clear. Action shots are easy to watch without getting a headache or lost and you feel like you can reach out and touch the characters. This feature will only be available in theaters so if you like that kind of thing, go now. 

Costuming: 10



The work that went into building these characters is unreal. I'm thinking that the whole braid trend of late is going to hop aboard the men's ship this year after this movie. We looked up all the actors who played the characters and they are nearly unrecognizable under all the make-up.

Length: 3 or 10

This really depends on which camp you're in. The movie is 169 minutes long (2.8 hours). If you are in love with the story you'll soak in every detail and immediately begin making a paper chain to count down the second movie's release. If you are married to a LOTR nerd and have vowed to support him in all things, including fantasy sickness and health, you'll go enjoy the good parts and check your watch repeatedly wondering all the while if your baby is surviving the babysitter. 

Overall: 7 (don't hate me husband)

For most readers I'd probably recommend you send your husband with your sons, fathers, friends, and uncles on their merry way while you head joyfully to the mall. It's good. It's worth the money. It's long and if you don't love this sort of thing, you can probably stand to wait for Redbox. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I know it's Wednesday...

I know it's Wednesday, but this still totally applies....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Cereal Diet

Today, I learned about possibly the weirdest diet I've ever heard of. And I've heard a few doozies. So this one is good.

As the title gives away, it's called The Cereal Diet and involves eating cereal for three meals a day and only snacking on.. wait for it... cereal bars!! and fruits and vegetables. I guess the theory is that you will be consuming a low calorie diet but still feel satisfied and full. Breakfast is after all the most important meal of the day... why not have it 3 times?

I can see a wide range of flaws with this diet, but let me point out just three.

1. The majority of cereals are sooooooooooo incredibly bad for you it's not even funny. High in sugar, low in nutrients, full of junk! Exhibit A:

2. Cereal doesn't really provide a balanced diet. A variety of carbs, maybe, if you choose a variety of cereals. A few fruit bits if you choose fruity cereals. But that's about it. And all cereals are sweet. I don't know about you but I get tired of eating sweet things, but maybe I'm weird. I do like Vegemite. Like a lot.

3. This is the big one. And I can't stress this enough. Cereal is gross. That is all.

So has anyone tried this new fad or know of anyone who has? Did it really work? Did they get diabetes? Did they die? Did they lose three hundred pounds while dying? Tell me!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Awkward Christmas Cards

It's no secret that I like myself a good awkward photo.  So in light of the upcoming holiday I'd like to present....Awkward Photos: Christmas Special.

I'm sure his grandma was thrilled to receive this card in the mail.  The rest of their family and friends?  I'm guessing horrified.
Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a leopard killing a gazelle amidst a smiling family.  It's the circle of life.  And it moves us all.
I didn't think anything could be better than a superimposed floating human head.  Clearly, I was mistaken. 
My husband loves bacon around the holidays, too.  We usually eat ours for breakfast but we obviously weren't looking at all of the possibilities.
I get that parents want to seem cool to their teens...and I think they're doing a fine job.
Just because you know how to photoshop doesn't mean you should.
Even felons like to spread Christmas cheer.


A Christmas tree out of people.  How clever.  And creepy.
Hope your holidays are purrfect. 
I'm laughing at her shorts.  What are you laughing at?
I saw a photo shoot just like this once on America's Next Top Model.  But it wasn't done by a baby.  Nor was the person wearing a Santa hat.  Nor were they naked.

I wish I would have thought of this last year when I was 8 months pregnant!

I'm not gonna lie, I love puns.

So wrong.  So very, very wrong.

Happy Holidays! 

P.S.  I found the pictures here, here, here, and here.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Husband the Adonis



Recently, my husband, KT, and I were out driving when we passed a gym with a sign out front that read "Look better Naked!". I read it to him, and he was a little perplexed by their ad. Ironic that I had to explain to him, anywhoo, I told him what we women all know...that we are our own worst critics, and when we look in the mirror naked we see all our flaws. He answered back

"When I look in the mirror, I see an Adonis!" 

As I laughed, he said, "What? I can't help it, that's the way God made me.

I wish I had that kind of self confidence...


(On a side note...Doesn't the Tebow look a lot like the Adonis pose)


Friday, December 14, 2012

Tis the Season

I've started getting Christmas cards in the mail this week. Hooray! Christmas cards are one of my favorite things about this time of the year.

I'm not sure why. It's not like I don't know what's already happening in everyone's lives or that I haven't already seen 500+ pictures of their family this year. With facebook, instagram, and blogs how can I not stay updated?

A friend of mine recently posed a question on facebook asking if sending Christmas cards via e-mail is tacky. I don't know about tacky but there is just something that warms my soul to have happy smiling faces of people I love on my fridge. Maybe it's the symbol of time invested. Really any snail mail I get that isn't a bill or ad is almost fridge-worthy. Handwritten notes or even just personal correspondence are so precious and rare. I think receiving something personal makes me feel special--I must mean something to someone if they are willing to deal with the hassel of finding a paper and pen, along with an envelope and a stamp, AND getting the mail to the mailbox.

Where do you stand on the issue? Do you send them and to who? Do you receive many? What do you think about e-mail versus snail mail Christmas cards?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Consider Me An Expert

Just yesterday while driving home on my usual route I spotted a skunk!  That's right... a striped skunk wandering about right by the elementary school in the middle of the day.  Luckily I was at a four way stop and able to snap a picture.  This all took place within one block of my house.  I don't think I've ever seen a live skunk before and obviously all common sense went out the window when I decided to roll it down and get a picture.  What if it had sprayed me?
I sat in my car in the driveway for a good five minutes working up the courage to get out of the car and go into the house but not before I quickly googled how fast skunks can run (10 miles per hour).  I made it in and out of the house ok and I'm here to tell about it!  Thanks to Wikipedia, I'm now an expert on skunks. 

Here are some interesting facts:

1.  They are omniverous - eating both plants and animals (rodents, birds and human gargbage).  It was garbage day too!  What are the odds?

2.  They range from 1 pound to 18 pounds!  Can you even imagine coming across an 18 pound skunk?

3.  They can spray as far as 10 feet with a great deal of accuracy.

4.  It's predator is the Great Horned Owl, which interestingly enough doesn't have a sense of smell.

5.  Skunks are native to America though they can be found in Canada and the UK.

Even though skunks can be domesticated as pets, I sure hope an elementary-aged school child doesn't find it and try to take it home with those famous words of "Can we keep it?"





Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Time Warp



I think it is appropriate to talk about time on 12-12-12. None of us will ever see the "repetitive dates" again in our lifetime, and our children might if they grow to a ripe old age. You know how time seems to go faster as you grow older? When you were in elementary school, the school year seem to last F-O-R-E-V-E-R, but  now that you are a parent, your children's years seem to fly by? Especially that first one. My baby will be one on Saturday, and I am amazed at how quickly that went by.

Is anyone else stuck in a time warp some days? When you look at your calendar and think, middle of December, how could that be? Wasn't it September just last week? And the holidays seem to especially fly by. So many cute crafts and yummy treats, and only 19 days until the New Year!

I really try not to cram too much into my holiday season so I can try and enjoy the little things with my kiddos, but for some reason, my house refuses to stay clean during December. I have a super fantastic husband who really helps me out on his days off, but yesterday I was sorting laundry and feeling a little frustrated because, seriously, I just washed these clothes two days ago! And then I realized that it was more like eight days ago. Where did those eight days go? I just did this! I usually feel the same way when I realize that I need to mop my floors because it has indeed been three weeks instead of four days since I lasted mopped.

Sometimes when I watch Dr. Who, my brain hurts thinking about  time travel and its various implications.

What kind of things make your days all blur together? What month should it actually be on your internal calendar?



Monday, December 10, 2012

Sleep Talking 2 Year Olds

A few nights ago, my almost 2 year old woke up crying at 3am. Maybe he'd had a bad dream, I have no idea. He can't talk well yet so I just have to guess. Whatever the issue, he was quite upset so I brought him into bed with me to allow him to calm down and sleep soundly. It's nice to cuddle him occasionally anyway.

After a few minutes a wriggling around and kicking his little feet, he fell asleep. I watched him lovingly and patted his forehead. They're so cute when they sleep.


Shortly after, I was relaxing and trying to coerce my body to sleep when I heard my little boy talk in his sleep. Did you know that little boys who can barely talk when they're awake can talk in their sleep? He said 'Ouch coldy'. Brilliant I know - He's a child prodigy. Someone call MENSA.

Anyway, a few minutes later, he woke up saying 'More Icy Mummy. More Icy'. He was convinced that he'd just been eating an icy pole (I think you Americans call them popsicles) and wanted another. At 3am. While sleeping. Probably not little fella!

Gotta love them. And all the journal worthy stories they give us.

Katrina

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pop Quiz

If you're like me you've probably been out of school for some time.  Maybe once in a while you miss parts of it.  Well, just to cheer you up from your out-of-school-melancholy I have created a short quiz.  You're welcome.


1.  Which of the following is the most embarrassing?
     a.  Forgetting your baby's name when someone asks you what it is.
     b.  Falling down on the sidewalk in front of your house, ripping a hole in your jeans, and skinning both knees.
     c.  Going to a function and realizing you and another lady are wearing the same article of clothing.
     d.  Showing up to your calling as Primary Chorister and realizing you have no idea how the tune goes to a song you're supposed to teach that day .

2.  What is the most painful experience someone can go through?
     a.  Potty training.
     b.  Family pictures.
     c.  Getting your leg cut off with a dull, rusty knife.
     d.  Childbirth

3.  What is always impossible to find in the morning when you are in a hurry?
     a.  Your keys
     b.  Your cell phone
     c.  Your wallet
     d.  Your children

4.  It is better to have a...
     a.  Child who sucks their thumb
     b.  Child who takes a pacifier

5.  You can never catch up on...
     a.  The laundry
     b.  Cleaning the house
     c.  Scrapbooking
     d.  All of the past Modern Family seasons
     e.  All of the above

Extra Credit:  If you're supposed to be to an appointment in 20 minutes but the location is 30 minutes away and your baby is crying because he's hungry and your 1st grader needs to be dropped off at school and you just remembered that your car is low in gas and you only got 4 hours of sleep the night before, what is the best course of action?

Pencils down.

Answers:

1. C.  Hands down.  All of the answers have happened to me in the past few months but nothing makes me want to hide in a corner more than wearing the same clothes as someone else.

2.  B.  That one should have been easy.

3.  E.  All of the above.

4.  I don't know.  The jury is still out.

5.  E.  All of the above.

Extra Credit:  Your guess is as good as mine.


How'd you do?

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Free Gift For You



I know you are generally looking for some funny here at the Pear Shaped Thoughts, but I thought today I would grace you with a Christmas Gift.  I recently posted this gift on my own personal blog, and ended up being recognized in an article in the Deseret News.  I was so excited for my one day of Fame, that I thought I would share it with you here, too.

When my kids were little we used a count down to Christmas that I had put together called the 24 Days of Christmas.  It is a compilation of Scripture, song and a Christmas story up until Christmas Eve.  Recently, I retyped everything and gave them out as Christmas gifts.  Because I like you all so much, I wanted to let you know that you can go over to my blog and download your own free copy as a Christmas gift from me.  I have 2 versions:  LDS Version and a Non LDS Version.

Merry Christmas!! (early...)


Thursday, December 6, 2012

The End is Near

When I say "the end is near" please understand that I don't mean for you to picture me as the homeless man on the corner with a cardboard sign. That's not the end I'm referring to. (And let's be honest, if it came to that I'd have perfect vinyl letters cut out and they'd be on a scrapbooked poster board trimmed in a feathered-boa-rhinestoned border and I'd be copying it from something I saw on Pinterest).

Nor am I referring to the end of the year. Or the zombie apocalypse.

I'm referring to the end of this blog.

I know, it's just as shocking.

It's been grand really. We'll have had 591 posts by the time we close up shop on the 31st. In a reckless era where personal blogs are being abandoned left and right we prevailed.

On the days we miss it we'll just have to mutter our pear-shaped-thoughts under our breath to our children/spouses who pretend not to hear. On the days we don't miss it we'll sleep in, change diapers, taxi kids, fix dinner, and probably not think about the blog for an instasecond.

In the meantime, please enjoy our final moments together.

We hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have. Have you? Tell us. Which posts have been your favorite?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

$ay Chee$e

Perhaps this post stems from the frustration of trying to find a good, reasonably-priced family photographer, but I'm about ready to give up the search and setup the tripod.  Here are the recurring themes I've found:

Selection
Maybe this is just a Utah thing, but the selection of photographers is overwhelming!  I don't know how many Facebook status updates I see that are inviting friends to "Like" their new photography page.  Or my other favorite scenario, the status update where someone is selling their point and shoot camera because they just upgraded to a Nikon or Canon that cost as much as the average mortgage payment.  Who do you choose when there are so many options?


Price
I have a hard time with this one.  I am willing to pay for really good pictures and I do understand the value of a photographer's time, but when they start to bill like an attorney, I draw the line.  $500/hr sounds a little crazy to me, but then they offer a 30 minute "mini session" for $295.  Am I the cheap one here?  Is that really rhe going rate for pictures?

Location
Will I date stamp myself in 10 years if I go with a trendy location like a backdrop that looks like scrapbook paper?  What about the classic photo walking down the train tracks?  I would have to say my recent favorite location is the wheat field with retro-inspired couch or armchair in the middle of it.  What will I still like in 10 years that won't end up on an awkward family photos website?



Post-Processing
I want the finished product to look like me.  I don't want the editing process to give me neon colored eyes or candy-colored lips and cheeks.  My ideal photographer should feel free to play with lighting and cropping, but I still want to appear human.



Please feel free to offer me some reassurance and/or advice!  Maybe this is why so many people are now photographers themselves.

Monday, December 3, 2012

You Can Only Have One Hobby (in other words...I quit)

I am the third of three girls. This is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to motherhood. The blessing: plenty of good advice on everything from diaper rash to hair accessories. The curse: plenty of "just you waits."

Maybe it's because I'm stubborn or maybe it's because I think I know better than everyone else or that I'm different than everyone else, but sometimes when I get a "just you wait" I ignore it and do what I want anyway thinking, "Oh, come on! It can't be that bad." So a few years ago when my oldest sister had her third child, she said to me one day when running,

"[after three kids] You can only have one hobby."

And guess what? As with most "just you waits" I'm given, she was right. I know that there will be a day when I once again have the time to dabble in all sorts of outside interests of my own, but currently I have a school-aged child, a pre-schooler, and a new toddler (who by herself takes up 60% of my daily energy with head bonking).

So it is with sadness that I need to quit writing for this little blog that could. Where to begin? This blog has been fun at times, painful at times, a needed diversion many times, and mostly a fun way to get my thoughts out in writing. It got me through a pregnancy, a birth, two big moves, and four Bachelor/ette seasons. I've never been asked, but since this is my last hurrah, I'll go ahead and tell you the question you didn't want to know...

What was my favorite post that I ever wrote? 

This one.

Sometimes I laugh at my own jokes. And now to the other question you didn't want to know.

 If you're giving this up, what is the hobby you're choosing? 

At the moment, it's cross-stitching (I've also been really into smoothies lately). I'm not kidding. So farewell dear friends! Perhaps the blogosphere will one day hear my thoughts again, but until then, I'll just have to bug my sisters, husband, and friends with them (don't cry for me, cry for them).

Lindsay


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Let the Christmas Festivities Begin!


Today, December 1st = Christmas Tree Day!!

Yes, I realize a lot of people have already put up their Christmas tree and that the celebrations are well and truly underway. Sadly, you all have bad luck. Ok, not really. But here, in Australia, it is somewhat of a tradition to put up the tree December 1 and then take it down January 1. So following tradition, my husband and I anxiously waited until today to put up our tree.
Having a child that wakes before 6am every day (in fact, 5:30am is a sleep in these days… lucky me), we were able to have our tree up and beautiful before 9am. Go team! And I am so excited! And it’s weird because I’m not usually this excited about Christmas. Obviously I love the Christmas message, but it’s all the fuss and festivities. I’m usually a little blaze’. But this year, I’m like a kid at…. well… Christmas!
Our house is decorated, we’ve had carols playing all day, we went to a Carols by Candelight concert, and we’ve started reading the Christmas story with our little boy. Ahhh, Christmas. Why didn’t I fall in love with you sooner?
Now I’m looking to start some new family traditions with my little family. My Last year (with our then 11 month old) we began a few traditions. We decided to do a Christmas nativity story that goes for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. That idea was from my friend Bobbie – she posted it on her blog this year so check it out if you want details. And, we also decided we’d buy or make one new Christmas tree ornament each year that represents each family member. So my little boy might get a bike or a shoe or something else that represents things he loves. Then, in five or ten years we’ll have a very personalized tree with lots of family memories. I think it’ll be great!
We have other traditions about food and family visits, but we are on the lookout for other lovely, different ideas. So if you have some, share! We are all always looking for new ways to make Christmas special.