"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Odd Saying

:Scene Last Night:

Int: An ordinary - if overly beige - living room, just before bed time. Father is slouched on one couch and Mother is sprawled on another, both obviously exhausted. Two blurs are careening around the room, one is pink and has a high pitched sound emanating unceasingly while the other is slightly blue and drags a poor scrap of blanket behind it.

Pink Blur (aka: da Boo): Can't catch me! Can't catch me!

Blue Blur (aka: the Boy): Cat me! Cat me!

(This goes on for several minutes. Despite it being time for rest, the two blurs race around the lower level of the house, bare feet slapping on linoleum and carpet without hesitation.)

The Man: ...

Me: Do you think this is what they meant by 'hearing the pitter patter of little feet?'

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not Just Any Soldier

As most of you know I have a brother serving in the military (and yes, that is a picture of him). He's my younger brother and normally I would give him some clever sort of nickname to keep him anonymous but his lovely wife recently started a blog and she used their real names, so there it is.

My brother, Larry, has always been someone who stood out from the crowd. Don't get me wrong, he was never one to want the spotlight. In fact, he was painfully shy until he discovered that...well, he's funny. He could even get the teachers laughing in class so you know the kid had talent. He was usually their favorite, too. And he can play just about any wind instrument, which kinda makes me hate him...just a little. I could tell you all sorts of blackmail-worthy stories about him, as we were pretty inseparable when we were younger and often conspired together. There was that one time we found a mysterious bag on the way home from school and then ended up in the back of a police car...

Anyway, Larry is in the Air Force. It was always a dream of his to join. He's already been stationed in a couple different states. But currently, he is in Afghanistan, serving for six months. I love my brother dearly and I think of him often. I also think of his young wife and their new little boy. When he is on base, he can email, phone and even visit the store for American products. It's amazingly hot but still has some comforts of home. However, he's not always on base. And I can't tell you where he goes because you don't have security clearance and I might have to kill you afterwards.

There's a program called Any Soldier that helps people send care packages to those in the Armed Forces, giving the soldiers a taste of home and support while they are away. They give you guidelines on what to send or the option to purchase a pre-packaged gift. You can choose which branch of the military receives your package, if you have a preference for say, Air Force guys with cute newborns at home. And the soldiers that receive these packages don't keep it all for themselves. The items inside are handed around to everyone. Think of the difference in their day a simple package can make! This is such a worthwhile cause that my elder brother, Chuckles' son is working with the program as part of his Eagle Scout project.

"A soldier in Iraq can't see your ribbon,
Or the flag at your front door.
But a letter they hold in their hands,
To them means so much more."
Supporter Liam Sweeny


I am going to do this. I will send a package. And I won't send it just to my brother. So I am challenging you, my dear Internet, to do the same. Pick a name from the list and make a difference.


You know you want to...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy Pills

Ever since my freaking out about the Alpine Slide, I decided it was time to talk to the doctor again. When the Boy was an infant, I started taking "happy pills" (prescribed by a doctor and perfectly legal, of course) that helped me think rationally and kept me from blowing a gasket over simple things (like oncoming traffic or odd beeping noises). Said pills are also not conducive to producing a healthy baby so when the baby hungries hit, I stopped taking the pills. I thought I'd be fine. Surely my panic attacks were over and I could function as a normal person. Yeah, that's not exactly what happened.

After the last "vacation," I called the doctor. He said to take my happy pills and when I was pregnant, then stop taking them. Bless him! Some interesting side effects of my happy pills: the chronic pain in my shoulder is lessened, my dreams aren't nearly as interesting, I wake up several times a night but fall back asleep almost immediately, I get really tired during the day. So the shoulder thing is rather nice but I miss sleeping. Yesterday, I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open. Luckily, I had some in-house babysitting so I laid down "for just a minute." Woke up an hour later. Felt better for a while. Come 10 pm, I was yawning and feeling drowsy again. Even chugging a can of Diet Pepsi isn't saving me. It's annoying being this tired!

Any tips on keeping awake, other than using duck tape to keep my eyelids open?

Monday, August 27, 2007

They're Heeeeeeere!

My in-laws arrived last night. They're bringing their youngest child to BYU. Yippppeeee! More free babysitting! It also means we'll have more family close by and another place at the table on Sundays (hopefully...unless she gets engaged before mid-terms).

I've read a lot of blogs where the in-laws drive the wife nuts for many different reasons. That's not the case here. My in-laws are great! Really got lucky in that department. In fact, my mother-in-law and I are pretty similar. So are our husbands, which makes for some interesting note-comparing.

While they are here, I am looking forward to the in-house babysitting, occasional meal I didn't cook and maybe even a pedicure (but I'd have to shave my legs first).

Hope you have a good day, too!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

On the Calendar...

"Chocolate is not really bad for your skin.
That's an old wives tale.
Old wives tell it so
they can eat all the chocolate."

-365 Reasons to Eat Chocolate

Friday, August 24, 2007

A First and A Third

Okay, I know I am a little too paranoid as a mother and I am really trying to work on it. Case in point: da Boo has never seen a movie in an actual movie theater...until tonight!

Tonight was the father/son campout and the Man took the Boy for a fun-filled adventure. (I fully expect to receive a raise and much adulation once the Man returns from this experience.) Since it was going to be "just the girls," I wanted to do something fun. Just so happened that Shrek the Third was at the dollar movies! We went to dinner first at a local place that has amazing food. Then, we went to the movie.

This is the same theater where the Man and I had our first date and I don't think they've fixed it up any since then. The seats we were sitting in were so low to the ground that da Boo had to sit on the very edge of her chair and lean out into the aisle in order to see. She spent most of the movie on my lap. And that was nice. This way, when she started to get scared by something, I could just point out how funny something was and she was fine! No tears. No hiding under her chair (not that she could have fit under it). No rushing to the potty at a crucial point. It was fun! And for those of you who haven't seen the movie yet, here's a little for you:




And if you can't see it, click here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Purple Is NOT My Favorite Color

Remember how we spent days repainting the downstairs bathroom? Remember how I obsessed over this faux finish and was so in love with my plans for the bathroom that I wanted to adopt them and name them George? Okay...so the faux finish was completed. Looked cool. The red accent was done, needed a little touch-up. The trim was done (took me four days). All that was left was the blue accents, hang the shelf and the art print.

Last week, da Boo begged to play with her art set and being the wonderful mother that I am, I let her. It's a large pad of pictures that has a holder for watercolors, markers, crayons and scissors (can you see where this is going?). So she quietly painted and hummed and all was right in the world. I was upstairs doing laundry and tidying up (or I might have been blogging). Da Boo is usually very quiet but doesn't make a mess so it was no big deal to leave her alone.

Later that night, the kids are in bed. I was done working on the kitchen and decided to use the bathroom before going upstairs. I turned on the light. The sound I made brought the Man running. There was purple. Lots and lots of purple. On the door, on the light switch, on the counter, on the toilet, on the Man's ladder, on the trim, on the WALL. She had taken the purple marker from her art set and drawn X's on everything. I was so upset, I went charging upstairs and woke da Boo up, demanding to know why she had done that to the wall (who cares about the toilet seat?). She was still sleepy so I let her go back to sleep but promised we would discuss this in the morning.

The next morning, the Man got to have the discussion with her and then she helped me try to clean it off. It came off the counter and ladder easily. Part of the toilet was easy to clean but the toilet seat was still really purple. And the wall...well, at one point I think I might have cried, just a little. It wouldn't come off. Da Boo was grounded from TV for the day, we canceled a playdate she had the next day and she wasn't allowed to use any drawing utensils for a week. She scrubbed at her former artwork for a while. She was pretty subdued the whole day but that's because she knew she was in serious trouble. And at one point, I did leave her downstairs by herself so I could do some stuff on the computer (but not blogs, this time).

That was a mistake. Should not have left her alone.

Just as I am getting the house straightened up before making dinner, I find a book laying open on the couch. Is anyone else gasping in anticipation of the approaching horrors? On the very back page of the book, da Boo has carefully written her name (guess she can't blame that one anyone else). It wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for two crucial details:

1) It was the SAME purple marker that befouled my walls.
2) That was a library book.

She was sent to her room for the rest of the evening, only allowed out when it was time for dinner and for family prayer. No bedtime treat and no story. In fact, I removed all the books from her bed because she had shown that she didn't know how to treat a book. Also, she had to take the library book back and tell the librarian what she did. The librarian was really very nice (I would have liked her to be a little tougher) but she did ask da Boo to pay $1 for the damage to the book. She paid for it out of her piggy bank.

The Man took Q-tips and nail polish remover to the X's. While the marker came off, unfortunately some of the paint did too. Now the bathroom is delayed a little longer. Sorry!

Today is the first day I've allowed her to use crayons and so far, she hasn't asked to color. Can't say I'm surprised but from now on every time I see a purple marker, I might cry...just a little.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FHE: FHE

Last night's FHE was an interesting one!

The Man had come home from work early with a terrible headache. I offered to do the lesson last night for him but he insisted, saying he already had an idea. Then he couldn't find the paper that his lesson was based on (I blame the gnomes) so he just grabbed the latest copy of the The Friend.

Opening Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (yup, the Boy was in charge of songs).

Opening Prayer: Da Boo called on me to say the opening prayer.

Lesson: The Man read the story in The Friend from President Hinckley and his family having Family Home Evening. Then we discussed what we liked best about having FHE together. At first da Boo couldn't think of anything. I said I liked hearing the kids sing songs. The Man liked being together as a family, doing something together. The Boy was distracted by some toys that found their way under his chair. Da Boo said she liked to draw pictures for FHE. Then we all agreed that we liked the treats!

Closing Song: (after telling the Boy he had to pick a song other than Twinkle Little Star) Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree - and I had to keep from giggling the whole song because have you even seen a 2 year old doing the hand motions to that song? It's priceless! And just reinforces how much I like it when the kids sing.

Closing Prayer: da Boo. And I tried not to giggle when she prayed that the treats - which I was keeping secret - would taste good. Like I would give them brussel sprouts instead of something stuffed full of sugar.

Treat: Puppy Chow. I was in charge of treat but didn't have a chance to make it before FHE so after the lesson, I headed to the kitchen while the Man read more stories from the Friend. I listened as he read and just relished the feeling of family. Then he read this story. I laughed so hard, I almost messed up the treats and da Boo kept looking at me funny. After a few stories, the kids were getting restless so they switched to playing the Wii instead.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pretty, pretty, shiny, shiny!

So as part of my cure for the blues, I spent some money. I originally justified the expense as a really early birthday present for myself. Then, once the weekend hit, I decided it was money well spent. This is what I bought. Gorgeous, isn't it?

What is it about jewelry? The guys don't get all wide-eyed when we present them with new keychains and they certainly don't drool over the displays of beltbuckles. So why do those blessed with two X chromosomes do ga-ga over gemstones? I think it has to be with the "spoiling" factor. I like to say that I'm not spoiled just well taken care of. But don't we just love getting spoiled by our beloveds? Open that little velvety box (they don't make those for sports tickets!) and seeing what's inside...I just love surprises! Once, my mom was being all sneaky trying to find out my ring size just before Christmas. I thought I was getting a CTR ring, because I had just purchased one for a friend and had commented to my parents how much I would like one. So when my mom gave me a small ring box for Christmas, I was excited but I was pretty sure I already knew what it was (I'm not so subtle about letting potential gift-givers know exactly what I want). Imagine my surprise when I opened the box to find - not a turquoise CTR emblem - but a gold ring set with sapphires and diamonds! Sapphires are my birthstone. I still have that ring and I still smile whenever I think about opening that box.

What was the last piece of jewelry someone gave you?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

grumble...grumble...grumble...

Well, crud.

Today, overall, was a fairly good day. I decorated a cake, went to a party/BBQ with some good buddies, even have an great embarassing story to tell all of the Boy's future girlfriends. BUT then something happened. I can't tell the Internet without you running away, scratching your eyes out and yelling "TMI! TMI!" so just trust me when I say this blew my whole weekend to pieces.

And now I am in a funk. Grumbly and moody. Not even the secret stash of good chocolate seems to help. Maybe I need to try something different....What do you do when you are in a lousy mood? What is the one thing that really pulls you through?

A-caching We Will Go!

On the way home from Steamboat, we just had to pull out the ol' GPS and do a little geocaching. After all, picking up a few more caches was what this trip had originally been all about. We only found four because the kids didn't like the fact that we wouldn't let them out of the car. Still, it was fun.

The first one we stopped at was a multi-cache. This means that were are more than one stages to find before you find the actual hide. In this case, the first stop was a historical marker placed by the Daughter of the Utah Pioneers. It told the tale of Jensen's Ferry that helped so many pioneers make it across the river. There's even a tiny replica of the ferry on top of the monument.


To find the next step, you had to find a date on the marker, then using that date, plug the numbers into a coordinate and voila! You had the completed coordinates to the site of the cache, which wasn't very far from the marker. I was wearing sandals. The Man had to go find this one.

The second cache of the day was actually located in the front yard of a cacher. That was a little awkward, walking up to the front of someone's house and trying to look like you belonged there while looking for a cache. After that one, there was another historical marker as a virtual cache. A couple reasons why I love geocaching is because we find all these awesome parks all over the city, that we would have never known existed if they hadn't been harboring a cache, and that we learn abstract pieces of history. In this case, the marker spoke of the town's first bank and how the bricks for the building were originally mailed via the postal service from Salt Lake City because postage was cheaper than freight! This was a virtual cache, requiring the cacher to write down a crucial piece of information from the actual plaque in order to claim it.

This one was fun! The Boy about blew a gasket when we pulled up...well, just have a look for yourself.


We were passing through Vernal, Utah, which is very close to Dinosaur National Park. They take pride in the dinosaur-ness and have the ancient amphibians on virtually every building. This guy changes with the seasons.
Now, most of this stuff you've learned from my previous posts on the sport. So here's the next lesson: Travel Bugs. These are very specific to the geocaching game and are highly sought-after items. The travel bug can be anything: small toy, plastic card, stuffed animal, etc. As long as it's small enough, just about anything works. The thing that sets is apart from everything else in the cache is the dog tag attached to it. These dog tags carry an ID number, which, when entered into the Geocaching website tells you many things about the travel bug: who started it, where it's been and, most importantly, where it wants to go. See, every travel bug (or TB) has a goal. For instance, a plastic astronaut figurine might want to visit locations (or caches near those places) important to the Space Race, a rubber crawdad might want to see the various lakes or streams of the world, or a small Jeep might want to go on adventures while entering you in a contest to win an actual Jeep. We've found several TBs and have tried to send them on their way towards their goals. We also have a geocoin, which is similar to the function of the TB but is, in fact, a coin and not attached to anything. It's even a Utah Geocoin and we log it into every cache we've visited as a way to "track" the miles we've cached. It's just for fun and we don't leave it in those caches; it stays on my desk. Right next to my chocolate calendar.

Friday, August 17, 2007

New Cake Posted!

Hey, I did a cake yesterday. Remember how someone won the auction for my talents? Well, she requested the cake for her daughter's birthday party this week.

It's rather odd...her three-year-old daughter is obsessed with witches, especially ones with green faces. So she asked for a witch party. Since it's still a party for a little girl, the mom wanted to make it as girly as possible, with purple and pink. The mother had no idea what to do for a cake. I thought about it and gave her a few choices. She picked the idea that I thought was the best, too. I made a witch attending her bubbling cauldron. I really liked how it turned out! I had to dye the hair on the little doll pick and I don't know if the purple will come out. If not, oh well! It was all for a good cause, right?

Here's the link, if you'd like to see it!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

FHE: Music

Okay, I've been behind on the FHE posts. We didn't have a formal, sit down Family Home Evening this week due to my husband's concert. Instead, we talked about music a little and then went to the concert. This is how the conversation went:

Me: What is your favorite instrument, Boy?
Boy: Git-tar.
Me: Okay, good. How about you, Boo?
Da Boo: The Holy Ghost:
Me: ???
Da Boo: The Holy Ghost is God's instrument.

We arrived for the concert just after the second song began. Unfortunately, the Wasatch Winds were not the only ones to play that evening. American Fork's marching band was also there (just playing, no marching). The place was packed.

We wedged ourselves into some seats way on the top. Luckily, they were playing a fairly short set so it was too terribly uncomfortable. When da Boo started to get restless, I let her take some pictures. The Boy, however, was mesmerized the whole time.

And I was staring, too. Maybe drooling a little...

We stayed for the marching band's performance, too, but left our seats to join the Man. Ended up sitting on a stone wall behind the amphitheater's stage so the sound wasn't the greatest but it was very cool to watch their drum line, how in sync they were with their movements.

Afterwards, we headed home. It was drizzling on and off, so ideal weather. The kids were pretty tired. We split a leftover chocolate Easter bunny (how did that escape my chocolate cravings?) and went to bed pretty tired.

Hiking and the Springs

The last day of vacation was very nice. After packing a picnic lunch, we headed to a local park for a short hike. We then sat down to eat and were immensely entertained by the various chipmunks and ground squirrels that clamored for our attention (and our food). After lunch, we continued on the path until we came to this:


It's beautiful, isn't it?


Kids got to play in the water a little. The Boy didn't much care for the really cold water, so there aren't any picture of him in the water. Another kid was there with her parents. My brother warned his daughter not to go too far. The other kid heard this and immediately headed out "too far." She fell in the water and didn't look very happy to be so wet. Lesson learned!

After the hike, we headed over to a rather nice city park that held several of their famous springs.

This one is Sulphur Spring. While rather lovely, it sure did stink to high heaven!

Soda Spring. Not that impressive. Apparently, nearby construction actually disturbed this several years ago and now not much flows. It's called Soda Spring because it was rather fizzy.

This lake is actually a collection of several springs.

And then there's us!

We took the kids back to the condo for naps and I tried getting a little rest, which is nearly impossible when both your kids find it soooo entertaining that you're in the room with them. I finally gave up and went out with the adults, where I finished reading Harry Potter: the Deathly Hallows. For dinner, we went to a local restaurant that had a 50s theme. )For those of you familiar with Provo, think Galaxy Diner.) My nephew and I ordered the same burger. He had entirely demolished his before I had taken more than a few bites! Teenagers.

After dinner, we strolled along the main street, peeking into stores and picking up a few bribes - I mean, souvenirs for the kids. Just when I was really getting into the window shopping, da Boo tripped and skinned her knee something fierce. We headed back to get her cleaned up and put the kids to bed. That night, we played Phase 10. Honestly, I hate the game. I've never made it past Phase 4 and it's no fun playing a game at which you are no good. But my gastrically-blessed nephew took pity on me and discarded a couple essential cards and I actually made it to Phase 10! But he ended up winning the game first. Hey, I'm just glad to make it out of my losing streak.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Days When Your Perscription Just Isn't Enough

Day #3.

A day that will live in vacation infamy.

The day started out normal enough. The kids got up and Chuckles fed them breakfast while the Man and I were lazy and stayed in the non-bed.

Agony #1 - Pictures. My brother's family has a tradition of going to those photo places were you get dressed up costumes and take your picture. They do this on their vacations and the photos look pretty cool. Chuckles had called the local photo place (the only one in town that did this sort of thing). He called on Monday. The guy said he wasn't open on Mondays. Ooookay. How 'bout Tuesday. Nope, had a lot of meetings that day. (Meetings? What, is he in a union or something?). Alrighty, what were the hours on Wednesday? He said he'd be open 11-5pm. My brother said we'd all be there just after 11. So we pile into our separate vehicles and head over. We arrive just after 11. The place is closed. Sign says he doesn't have any hours until Friday, the day we leave. Geesh...

Agony #2 - Movie. So we're strolling along the streets, thinking maybe we'd take in an afternoon movie. This is a small town. The local theater is only showing three movies. The only kids' show is Ratatouille. Only one listing and not until the evening. Dang.

Agony #3 - Lunch. We had lunch at the local Wendy's. We decided to go inside and sit down, enjoy the small town atmosphere. We stood in line for far too long...I don't actually know how long it was because we adults were chatting and having a good time, while the kids were seated and getting hungry (and cranky). It must have been close to half an hour, which is not fast food at all. Turns out the girl at the register was new and kept having to ask her co-workers for help. And they only had one prize for the kids' meals. That meant six of the same toy for six kids to fight over the rest of the vacation. Oodles of joy.

Agony #4 - Bowling. It was now 2pm and normally naptime but we had planned to go bowling after lunch (just didn't expect lunch to take so long). So we head to the only bowling alley in town. Chuckles had a coupon for $2 games between the hours of 1 and 5. Perfect! We should have known better. Turns out that the bowling alley doesn't actually open until 3pm.

At this point, my nephew has a complete rant on the utter lame-osity of this "vacation" destination. It was really funny because he was totally peeved and because it was exactly what I wanted to say! We headed back to the condo for naps.

Agony #5 - Hot Tubs. The condo reservation was made with the promise of a hot tub. Upon arrival, we could find no hot tub. Upon further inquiry, Chuckles was told the hot tub area was being renovated. Interesting. Upon further inquiry, the front-desk person suggested the local hot springs, for which the town is famous. Fine idea, but they wouldn't give us any vouchers for using the springs, we had to pay out of pocket. Begrudgingly, the front-desk guy offered to let our party use another building's hot tub. This one also had a pool. The two dads were sent to investigate, as we were becoming all too familiar with this town's utter lack of set hours. Turns out the lady at the other building was not at all happy that we were given permission to use their facilities and would only allow us access to a hot tub. No pool.

Agony #6 - The Springs. Still trying to salvage the day, my sister-in-law contacted the local hot springs, for which this town is famous. They have a pool, smaller hot pool, water slide, massage table, sauna, and an exercise gym. A little pricey but sounds like it's well worth it, right? Remember how I mentioned that summer is the "off-season" for this ski town? The hot springs were using the summer months to renovate. Everything at the hot springs was under construction, except for the main pool. Even with limited access, the pool was still full price. Also in town was a little league baseball tournament. We weren't going to mingle with the hordes of tween baseball players and their families.

Agony #7 - Dinner. Now, this was only an agony for me and a little bit for the Man. Still, it was agony. Ahead of time, Chuckles' wife and I had discussed meal options. We would eat out only one meal a day. Breakfast would always be at the condo, lunch would be sandwiches that could be taken for picnics and dinner was divided. I was in charge of dinner on Day #3. I brought most of the stuff with me to make Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and garlic bread, which is on my short list of things I can make well. I haven't been myself lately, with all the panic attacks and such. I'm a little more air-headed than usual. So I had the chicken...but no parmesan cheese. I had the bread...but no garlic powder. And only one burner on the stove worked, which I didn't discover until I had been trying to boil the spaghetti water for 20 minutes and it was only lukewarm. Finally, I tearfully asked the Man to go to the store for me so at least the meal wouldn't be horrible. Dinner was about an hour later than we had planned. Oh, and I forgot about the garlic bread still being in the oven as I was getting my kids' plates filled. It was a little brown but still tasty.

Agony #8 - That awful bed!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Good Reasons For Having Kids (And Allowing Them To Survive Into Their Teens)

After our stinky little detour, we finally make it up to the top of the gondola ride. Took some time to locate the rest of the group and when we did, this is what we saw:

Are these two girls giggling over a secret or what? Turns out that da Boo had picked a flower for me and it was hidden in her pocket. Too cute.

Let the hiking commence! The trail we took was about a mile in a loop. No worries. Kids can handle it. Oh wait, we've got little kids...hmmmmm, we might have a problem. But then again, we have two dads and two strapping young lads.

Problem fixed! Let's keep moving. Of course, da Boo just had to tease her cousin.


How can you not fall over giggling at that picture? Just look at the expression on her face! She's enjoying the torment!



Wait a minute...this fork in the road is not shown on the map. This is where having a kid with boundless energy comes in handy: send him running up one path to see if that's the way to go. With that problem solved, we soldier on. That's when the Boy makes a fascinating discovery:

"Look, Mommy! Nature!" Yes, son, and it looks better than on TV!

After the hike, we rode the gondola up and down a couple more times until I was good and afraid of heights. Then it was naptime. And the kids took a nap, too.

Here's another reason why you should always travel with teenagers: they watch the kids! My brother asked his two older boys if they would be willing to keep an eye on the littler kids while the parents went out to dinner. They actually agreed! These are good guys, these two. So my brother ordered pizza for the kids and we headed out for a local Mexican place. The restaurant was pretty good (except for the fact that our waitress looked horrified that I would select red meat over the chicken). It was a good day. If only it didn't have to end on that miserable bed...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shirts and Ski Slopes

Ask me why I am wearing a different shirt than I was five minutes ago. Go ahead, ask! It's because I was peed on. With pee! Seriously, this hasn't happened since the Boy was an infant. He is so not going to an Ivy League college with this kind of attitude.

Back to the vacation.

Day #2 we packed a lunch and headed up the mountain to the local ski slopes. No, you didn't mis-read that. And no, there wasn't any snow. The idea was to ride the gondola up to the ski lodge, have a picnic lunch and then maybe take a short hike around the area. Sounds lovely, right? Well, remember how this vacation didn't go as planned? This is what happened: lightning. Apparently, lightning is very attracted to the large metal poles (and why wouldn't it be attracted? Those poles are so slender and pretty) that hold up the gondolas and such. So no go. No problem. We can adapt. We had lunch at the base of the gondola, in the patio area of a closed restaurant (not the busy season, remember?) and that was fun.

By the time we finished the Doritos, they had reopened the gondola. Yippee!
The Boy celebrated the contraption's reopening by immediately filling his diapers. Boo!
I neglected to pack an extra diaper. BOO!
But, hey! This time I remembered the camera! Yippee!

We sent da Boo up the mountain with her cousins. The Man ran (literally, because with a load like this, you cannot afford to wait around) back to the van and returned with diapers and extra wipes (he's so very smart). Now with clean pants, we stepped onto the gondola to join the rest of the family.

I'll talk about the hike tomorrow but now, it's PICTURE TIME!


Looks like they're having fun, right? That's because I am trying to distract them from what's out the window:



Yikes! Don't look down! The Man said he could see the condo from here. I think he was lying.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Steamboat Springs!

I am going to recount the daily highlights from our recent vacation to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I'm doing this because you all know that I take a LOT of pictures. Wouldn't want you to miss out on my kids licking the wooden ice cream cone! (Seriously, they did this...and I do have a picture...and a lot of antiseptic.)

Originally, we wanted to go camping. This camping would also involve quite a bit of geocaching. Since we had gotten a few siblings addicted to the sport, we thought "Hey! Let's meet up with some family and cache together!" So we asked my eldest brother, whom - for the reason of blog anonymity - I shall refer to as Chuckles. Turns out he had a scheduled vacation coming up very quickly and why, yes! He'd love to go camping, just had to run the idea by his wife. Wife, while a fan of camping, is an even bigger fan of indoor plumbing. They found an excellent deal on a resort condo set in the picturesque town of Steamboat Springs. While known for it's natural hot springs, it's also a ski town; therefore, very reasonably priced and not completely overrun with tourists during the summer months (important later).

With a week to get ready, we packed our bags! It was a six hour drive but not a bad one. I had ample bribes for the kids. We arrived and were set for a fun vacation.

The first morning, this was the scene:


Kids are already having a great time. That first day, we headed to the Alpine Slide. Okay, remember how I mentioned my panic attacks? Well, they went into overdrive. Had to remind myself that it was perfectly fine, no need to go screaming after my babies as their father took them for an exciting ride. Bit my lip so hard it bled. I.Did.Not.Ride.The.Alpine.Slide. Nope. Sat at the bottom of the hill and tried not to cry. Honestly, I don't remember much else that we did that day because I was kinda freakin' out. Just a little. But da Boo had a blast! When asked what he thought, the Boy replied "Fast." Yup. And I forgot the camera.
That night, I was introduced to the Non-Bed. Had to take pain killers in the morning, my bionic shoulder hurt so much. But it was a new day! Without alpine slides! Had to be good, right?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tag-a-licious

Kristie tagged me with this one. My very first tag! Yipppeee!

Here goes:

Jobs I've had:
1) Cookie Aficionado for GACC...in the mall...shear torture for a teenager.
2) Telemarketing - the really annoying kind, selling credit cards. I got cussed out routinely. Real mature people, picking on a poor girl who doesn't have a good enough resume to get a better job!
3) Temp Company. I got lousy assignments for the first few months, then got office work so that was more interesting.
4) "Team" member at Mervyn's.
5) Receptionist and then managed a product line for an aloe vera company.
6) Market research, the kind where we PAY you for your opinions. Hated the weeks we did the diaper testing (since the parents were required to bring the *used* diapers back).
7) Reading books onto tape for students at BYU. Possibly my favorite paying job.
8) Administrative Assistant for a financial planner. Possibly the worst job.
9) Wife and Mother. Best jobs!

Movies I love:
1) The Fifth Element
2) Stranger Than Fiction
3) The Princess Bride
4) Labyrinth (there's something about a man wearing that much make-up)

Places I've Lived:
1) Independence, MO
2) Wheat Ridge, CO
3) Carrollton, TX
4) Commerce, TX (for only one semester)
5) Provo, UT
6) Happy Place, UT (not gonna say the real town...remember, I'm paranoid).

Favorite TV shows
1) Heroes
2) House
3) Psych
4) The 4400 (although it's losing me...jumped the shark)
5) Medium
6) Burn Notice
But I don't get to watch a lot of TV that isn't pre-recorded.

Vacation Spots:
1) Zion's National Park. Any National Park, really. I'll even put the State Parks in there, too.
2) Anywhere near family (or in the case of my last vacation, with family).
3) London.

Websites:
I have a list of my favorites right over there on my blog page. And if you look a little lower, you'll see the blogs that I frequent. So there ya have it!

Places I'd Rather be:
1) On the couch, watching a movie with the Man.
2) Closer to more family.
3) If I have to be out of the house, I love to go window shopping. Don't have to buy anything, I just like to look.

People I want to tag:
Ummmm...most everyone I know with a blog has already been tagged...
1) Lyn
2) Emma
3) Kelly
4) Wendy
5) Tawny

And if you don't see this tag appear on their blogs, comment on there that they are being slackers! hehehehe...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Home Sweet Home!

We're back!

It was a...fun...trip. Well, that's not entirely true...some parts of the vacation were pretty lousy (and I cried) but we were away from work and with my brother's family so that was good. I will fill you in on the details later but I have an appointment with my bed.

Have you met my bed? It's not only lovely, but it is very, very comfy...and calling my name. See, my bed and I have a special relationship and we miss each other very much when separated. While I was gone, my bed had an old comforter and a giant teddy bear to keep it company. I, on the other hand, had another bed that should not have been classified as a sleeping apparatus. No, not at all. In fact I think "slab of granite" is a more fitting description of that thing, albeit disguised to look as if rest would be possible. Many a nights were spent trying to force sleep upon that charlatan. Didn't help that we had to wedge the pack n' play between two beds, giving the Boy the leverage he needed to escape his nightly confinement. Yeah, that wasn't fun, either; especially when he wakes up so much earlier than me on account of the "can't sleep on hard, sheet-covered cement."

Night, night!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

28 Secrets to Happiness

I got this from church years ago. I had missed the lesson the previous week but these were tucked inside the roll, so I took one. It's been hanging on my fridge ever since. Every now and then (whenever waiting for something to boil or stalling before making dinner) I read the list...and I feel like I should be doing more. So pick one of the items from the list and try it the whole time I am gone. I expect a full report upon my return.

28 Secrets to Happiness
  1. Live beneath your means and within your seams. (Easy enough to do when I keep buying bigger seams!)
  2. Return everything you borrow. (I do...except for that one library book we can't seem to find...)
  3. Donate blood. (I did, once. They sent me a very polite letter telling me never to come back. True story!)
  4. Stop blaming other people. (But it was soooooo their fault!)
  5. Admit it when you make a mistake. (If it ever happens, I'm sure I'll admit it.)
  6. Give all the clothes you haven't worn in the last three years to charity. (I do this regularly. Kinda feels good to have less clothes than my husband.)
  7. Do something nice every day and try not to get caught. (One to work on.)
  8. Listen more; talk less. (DEFINITELY one to work on.)
  9. Every day take a 30-minute walk in your neighborhood. (Good idea! Might get to know the people across the street if I did this.)
  10. Skip two meals a week and give the money to the homeless. (Do something similar.)
  11. Strive for excellence, not perfection. (Tough one! 'Cuz I'm already perfect.)
  12. Be on time. (Yikes! You mean...all the time?)
  13. Don't make excuses. (Goes with #4, dontcha think?)
  14. Don't argue. (But I am so good at it!)
  15. Get organized. (Yeah, that would be nice.)
  16. Be kind to kind people. (Okay.)
  17. Be even kinder to unkind people. (Hmmmm...maybe.)
  18. Let someone cut ahead of you in line. (Only if their kid is screaming louder than mine.)
  19. Take time to be alone. (Does hiding from my kids in the closet count?)
  20. Reread a favorite book. (I do this one every now and then. Usually read "Jane Eyre.")
  21. Cultivate good manners. (Hard one with small children who seem to delight in being ill-mannered.)
  22. Be humble. (That's easy enough because every time I start thinking I'm good at something, it always goes horribly wrong.)
  23. Understand and accept that life isn't always fair. (Don't I know it!)
  24. Know when to say something. (Oh, I always have something to say; hence the unnecessary comments after each point!)
  25. Know when to keep your mouth shut. (Ummmm, that's a hard one for me. Obviously.)
  26. Don't criticize for 24 hours. (I think I will pick this one...)
  27. Learn from the past, plan for the future and live in the present. (But I do miss the 80s.)
  28. Don't sweat the small stuff. (Grrrr...my favorite thing to do is stress out about the little things.)
Okay, I'm going with #26. Gonna try it for the whole vacation, but I'm limiting it only to those in our immediate party. Wait staff and obvious idiots in public are free game.

And did you notice my way cool map at the bottom of the blog? Pretty nifty, eh? It's all the states I've been to with the Man (and eventually, with the kids). I just love how they had to tell people that Alaska was "not to scale." Makes me giggle!

Miss me while I'm gone!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Another One!

Because you can never have enough of the Simpsons...

This one I made myself at the website linked above. The hair isn't right but I like the shirt!

And I am going on vacation this weekend. A real honest-to-goodness vacation, with agendas and no working and free access to indoor plumbing. Ahhhhhhhh...it's will be so nice. We're headed to Steamboat Springs, Colorado with my oldest brother and his family. We leave Sunday and get back Friday night. I'll probably post at least one more time before I leave but can't guarantee that there will be Internet connection while away. Won't have a guest blogger this time so if you're missing me (and really, how could you not?) just check out one of the blogs I frequent.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Me As A Simpson

(I started to title this Jessica Simpson but that just as an entirely different connotation.)

Ever wondered what you would look like as a character on the Simpsons?

I uploaded a picture of me :


and this is what I got back:It's kinda fun! Just takes a while to get the picture up. Go ahead...you know you want to...SIMPSONIZE YOURSELF!

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