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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Party Pooper

Hey, I've got a dilemma and am having a heck of a time making a decision. Care to weigh in on it?

Da Boo's birthday is fast approaching. She decides a year in advance what the theme will be and then insists on discussing ideas for her party on a weekly basis. And believe me, I wish that last statement was an exaggeration. It is not. This year, since her birthday is so very close to October 31st, she decided she wanted a Halloween party. Cool. I love Halloween.

Now, here's the problem. Halloween is on a Sunday this year. We don't, as a family rule, have friend parties on Sundays. Breaking that rule just this once is not possible. Ain't gonna happen (we Mormons are hard-headed like that). So that's Factor #1.

Factor #2 is the fact that I am Goddess of the Activities for my church (or Ward Activities Chair, for those of you in on the lingo). I have to plan, prepare, and pull-off four activities per year with an average attendance of 250 people. Not an easy task. The Fall event -- already scheduled and half-planned with other committees contributing -- is set for the Friday before Halloween. Since I will already be going half crazy from the ward event, I cannot, for the love of sanity, mix Boo's party into the same weekend. That takes out a Friday or Saturday party. (And let's be honest, Thursday's gone, too.)

So maybe I just have it earlier; like the weekend before or maybe sooner that week. However, I, like many of my mom friends, usually do not have the kids' costumes completely finished this far in advance. Do I have it early and risk some kids not coming because they don't have an outfit yet? There's Factor #3.

Boo's actual birthday is just a day or two after Halloween. So here's the dilemma you've all been waiting for: I've considered holding the party on her actual birthday. Would this be totally lame? Would the costumes already be stashed away? Too much of a candy overload? Put yourself in the parent-role of a child invited to a Halloween costume party after Halloween and tell me what you would think.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Obligatory First Day of School Posting and Evidence of How Cruel I Have Become

Wanna see da Boo on the first day of school? Of course, you do! Why else would you be here? My contest is closed and it's not like I post much of interest lately...

Anyway, here she is:


We had a bit of a clothing emergency the night before school started. See, I recently discovered Crazy 8's clothes and I really love them. I had an outfit all picked out for that big first impression, but when I went to lay it out for her...the skirt looked ginormous. She tried it on and it slid down her hips. Not exactly the look I was going for. Luckily for us, we were also out of bread and milk and baby wipes so a trip to the store was already essential. I joined the ranks of the forlorn, hunting for correct sizes amongst the picked-over racks in Target (since I'd much rather give them my money than Wally World). And since the mall was already closed. I found this ensemble still on sale. Crisis averted!


The Boy starts kindergarten this year but not until next week. He's looking forward to riding the bus but not actually going to school. I think it's because he's going to miss me. And you can't really tell from this picture but his shirt has a zombie on it, demanding "BRAAAAAINS!" Apparently I am not the only one anticipating an undead apocalypse. We just vary in how excited we are at that prospect.

One of the things I like about my community are the seasonal traditions we developed over the years. For instance, on the first day of school, parents and kiddos gather at the bus stop, bringing breakfast with them. We've turned it into a fun little party; a nice way to send the kids off to school, where we can give high-fives to other moms or maybe even hand over the tissues to the occasional teary-eyed ones, all while we munch on donuts and silently pray that our daughter doesn't dump that whole cup of chocolate milk down her shirt because boy howdy, would we be in a fix. Or at least, most people bring donuts....Remember how I am trying to trim down my fluffiness? And have I mentioned how we're getting much better at recycling? So I stroll up to the party carrying this:


Mmmm...totally drool-worthy. Oh, but wait! I haven't opened it yet! Inside? Are these:


Frozen grapes. Like popsicles without the sticks and in wrappers that you eat! Who wouldn't love 'em? Well, everyone who was expecting cream puffs, apparently. I think they're the perfect snack to eat just before the kids get home from school, you know, so you have the energy to finally get out of bed and get something done, other than determining if those teens shuffling down the street might be looking to increase their grades by eating your brains.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Sweet Smell of School Bus Exhaust

It's that lovely time of year when the bugs are dying off, the weather is cooling in the evening, and the sun sets a little sooner. AND SCHOOL STARTS!

Oh, come on! You can't tell me you're not celebrating, too! And even if you don't have kids in school, those buy-one-get-one-1/2-off shoe sales are pretty awesome.

When da Boo started kindergarten, I got a little teary-eyed. My bay-bee! Now, she's a big, bad second-grader ready to reclaim her place as the best reader in the class (she's finishing up the first Harry Potter and only had to ask me about a handful of words; and those were things that are found mostly in England).

This time, it's the Boy's turn to climb the big yellow bus and start school. He's done well in preschool so I'm not worried about his skills. There are a few friends in his class so I'm not worried about him, socially. Kindergartners only go half the day so no worries about his uber picky eating habits. I got him really cool clothes and he can match his own shoes to what he's wearing so he'll be fine there.

So what am I worried about? No, really. I'm asking.

Nearly every night for the past two weeks, I've woken up at 4:40-ish. When I go back to sleep, I wake up again approximately every 20 minutes after having a nightmare - a vast majority of them feature my only son. The school bus eats him. He turns into a lizard-type creature and is kicked out of school but no one calls to tell me. The beloved principle is replaced by an android who absorbs small boys. And those are just the ones that have stuck with me...no telling how many others I've forgotten.

Maybe I'm not as prepared as I thought I was. Apparently, internally, I am a mess! Are there any words of wisdom from veteran moms or other anxiety-ridden folk? What am I so afraid of? I don't think it's androids...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

You Guys Know Me So Well

Remember my little giveaway? Where I asked you to pick which item you though I got: the cookie press, rose-shaped pan, or the set of circle cutters.

Finals Statistics
Cookie Press: 3
Bundt Pan: 4
Circle Cutters: 12

I guess it wasn't as tricky a decision as it seemed at the time. Yes, I got the circle cutters! They've already arrived (seriously fast shipping!) and I've got big plans for them. Check my cake blog after the weekend for polka dot cupcakes.

I asked Random.org to find me a winner. The first pick was someone who thought I got the bundt pan so I asked again and behold! Kristie won! Congrats, my friend!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fight the Fat*

Yeah, so...I'm fat.

I've come to grips with it. And really, it isn't all that terrible. I don't get too cold in the winter because of all the added insulation. People usually avoid sitting right next to me on airplanes so I get extra elbow room. And our waiter never forgets to bring around the dessert tray. Being fat ain't all that bad.

But then again, I own a mirror.

I'm trying to be better. I have since dropped my addiction to Nutty Bars and switched to diet sodas (and usually only one a day). Even the Wii Fit and I are on speaking terms again. Progress with diet alone is s-l-o-w...so I gave in and started exercising.

I hate exercising.

I especially hate it when the kids are around and want to know why I'm breathing so loud, why I'm all sweaty, and whether or not what I'm doing is any fun.

No. No, it's not fun.

I have a few friends that are runners; even participating regularly in such insane endeavors as marathons. They rave about endorphins and sleek muscles, even about the thrill of the run. So I'd like to ask them: When does running become fun? At what point will I start looking forward to the pounding of pavement?

In my efforts at improved hawtness, I started the Couch-to-5k program. It boasts of taking a couch potato and turning them into a runner fit for a 5k. I would only have to work out three days a week and would be running the races in nine weeks. Easy enough. I even found a 5k that was close enough, supported a cause I believed in, and actually sounded like fun. Sweet.

At Week 3, I fizzled. It was just so hard. And not getting any easier. I dreaded getting on the treadmill. Dreaded it...almost to the point of crying.

So I stopped.

And I gained three pounds.

Now, I've started again. Back to Week 1.

Please tell how I can make it not suck this time around...I really don't want the Wii to yell at me...


* A direct quote from the Wii Fit. It totally hates me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

We've had a busy summer! I can blame my lackluster posting on the events going down amongst the heat and bugs. While soaking in the family time, I managed to actually learn a few things along the way.


Mario Kart on the Wii is really, really fun. Driving a real cart is even better! (Unless, of course, a younger cousin gets in the way...don't worry, he was fine!)

Kansas consists of sunflowers, cornfields, humidity, and bugs. Mostly the bugs.


Grandmas have magical abilities but Great-Grandma is even more beguiling, capable of soothing multiple babies at once.

Most of my cute tops require a shirt underneath (so I'm not scaring young children when I lean over). But layered shirts and high humidity are not friends. In fact, they pretty much hate each other and will make life miserable for anyone who dares to combine them.


Young boys would much rather sleep in a cave consisting of couch cushions and a table than share the pull-out sofa with their sister.


When visiting your cousins, you might discover you failed to pack an essential item: lipgloss. No worries, my Boo. Butter makes an excellent substitute. (And pay no attention to the odd looks you get from the other diners and wait staff...they're just envious that they didn't think of it first!)

(Baby + dumdum sucker)carseat = Impossibly Sticky Mess. I'm just glad she wasn't wearing white.


It's never too early to introduce your offspring to the finer things in life, like expensive cheese, trips to exotic locales, and massage chairs. Baby stayed in this chair for a solid hour, which is quite the feat when she's not asleep.

There you have it! Now you, too, can benefit from my knowledge and save yourself the two-day-one-way trip in a van with three small children. It's been a couple weeks since we've returned and I still haven't recovered...of course, it might help if I actually finished unpacking.

What did you learn this summer?

And if you haven't already done so, enter to win a $25 gift certificate!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Want I Want

So I'm doing another giveaway. 'Cuz nothing says "I love my readers" like free stuff! (Or maybe I should just provide interesting content that has redeeming value...)

There's this incredible website that I love to go coveting: Bakeware.com. I could not only spend days on that site but also my husband's entire salary. I had a gift certificate burning a hole in my laptop and that just made it all the more difficult to narrow down the choices. Looking at baking supplies for me is like looking at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue would be for teenage boys.

Do I go with the automatic cookie press? I've had my eye on one of those for years...
Maybe that really fun rose-shaped bundt pan. Oh, so pretty.
Or does the practical side of me win out and I go for the stacked set of circle cutters that would really make my life easier?

What do you think?

Tell you what...I'll give a $25 gift certificate for csnstores.com to one of my readers that picks the correct answer. Sound good? All you have to do is leave a comment stating which one of the above three items you think I ordered. From the correct entries, I will randomly select a winner. The contest will close one week from now, so Monday, August 16, at 9 pm.

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Eye of the Beholder

I have a few fears and phobias. I hate basements...especially at night. I don't like feet on me (but have a complete double standard on that and I insist on putting my cold feet on the Man's warm legs). The thought of fish touching me absolutely terrifies me. Hey, never said I was rational.

But don't even discuss touching my eyes. I think it started with with movie "Fire in the Sky." It's about alien abduction. In one scene, they show some of the experiments the alleged aliens performed on their victims. It involves the guy's head held still, eyelid pried open, and a very, very long needle. Makes my eyes water just thinking about it.

Then there was that kid in my high school...he left his contact lenses in for three weeks straight -- this was before you were supposed to do that ('cuz I'm old) -- and had to have them surgically removed. It's one of the big reasons why I'm very grateful for my good eyesight, which does not require me to wear glasses, much less contacts. Also why I don't encourage the Man to trade in his specs. I don't think I could handle watching him put in contacts and take them out. Ugh...shivers my spine when I imagine that. But with two kids in glasses and most likely a third one, I don't think I'll dodge that bullet much longer.

Okay, so what's my point? Before I go on and on about trying to take better care of myself, make more of an effort, blah blah blah, I'll cut to the chase: I got an eyelash curler. I've never used one before. Never had one used on me, either. Not even in the infamous Glamour Shots. And frankly, I have no idea how to use it.

Do I use the curler after mascara or before? Maybe between coats? How long do I hold it there? Seriously, how long? After a few seconds, my eye starts to twitch and I begin to wonder if I might accidentally rip off all my lashes. Someone please tell me that can't actually happen...I think I'd rather be abducted by aliens than be lashless.

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