Thursday, October 25, 2012


Where Did I Put the Snow Clothes?

I'm looking outside this beautiful October morning and I see tons of snow and sunshine! It is unquestionably gorgeous, albeit a bit early for my taste. Living in Utah means living with snow. I'm fine with it. One day, when my kids are a little bit older, I intend to utilize the ski resorts again. I prefer sunshine and green grass, but I'm able to see the beauty in snow. In fact, I hope we have a very snowy winter this year. After all, more snow on the mountains will translate to more water in the reservoir that we love to boat on. Water is good!

So seeing the snow is fine. The trouble happens when my kids get involved. Of course they are thrilled with the snow because they want to play in it. I love to see them so excited. I don't love to search the house for snow attire that fits. This is always the drama on the first snow day of the season. First and foremost, where did I put all the snow clothes? I'm sure I tucked them away somewhere very clever indeed, but where would that be? No, I'm serious....does anyone have an idea of where the hell I put it all?

So now that I've located all the gear, lets try it on my children. The coats are tiny, the snow pants are short. No problem for Lyla, the younger kid can always rely on hand me downs. The trouble comes for the oldest child. Luckily her snow pants will work for one more year and her head has stayed the same size for her hat to fit. Dave and I hit the jackpot on gloves at Costco last weekend so we're good there.  I was also fortunate enough to have stumbled upon an adorable snow coat at Walmart last week. I wasn't shopping for one, I just found the cutest coat and bought it for Sasha on impulse. I am so thankful that I did because we would have had a serious problem this morning if I hadn't bought that.

It seems that we are set, but no. Boots??? The bane of my existence is keeping up on the correct size of shoes for my children's growing feet (every mothers nightmare). Sasha's snow boots from last year didn't even come close to fitting. She tried to wedge her foot into one, but it was like a scene out of Cinderella. There was just no way it would ever work. Just then a light bulb went on in my brain. Yes, I had recalled that I had bought her clearance boots last spring. I did my best to guess what size her feet might be come winter time. I remember that I wanted to be prepared for winter this year. Hopefully I guessed correctly, because if not, we've go NOTHING! Now where did I put those boots? Ten minutes of searching later, I found them.  The moment of truth is here. They are......freaking HUGE. Oh well, good enough. It's monster boots or sausage casings. She decided on the enormous clown boots and who could blame her? So I shoved all her snow clothes in an extra bag and handed it to her in addition to her already full back pack. She picked it all up and headed out the door. The last thing I heard my six year old say was, "It's okay  that I have two bags mom. I bet most the kids in my class are going to bring a lot of extra shit to school today." And there you have it, the apple didn't fall to from from the snow covered apple tree.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

House of Girls

I love having two daughters, but I often laugh at the estrogen filled problems that come with it. I don't think a lot of brothers have the arguments that my girls have. I'll find my daughters having a screaming, tear filled fight and for two seconds I'll actually believe that something serious is wrong. Then I'll hear one of them yell, "But she tried to ruin my dance!"  You wouldn't believe the waterworks that have spilled over ruined dances in this house.

In a house of daughters, you must choose your words carefully. For instance, if I accidentally say, "Get Dressed", I know that neither child will leave house in anything  other than a dress. The term "dressed" can only be interpreted as "put on a dress".  If I want my girls to wear pants or shorts, I have to say, "Put on your day clothes". On the same note, if one child is wearing a dress, then I know I can expect the other one to cry at least a few tears over the horrible injustice of being forced to wear shorts versus a dress. This problem happens with boots as well. If Sasha is wearing boots, Lyla MUST also have boots to wear. If I get it wrong, I'll never hear the end of it. I have been forced to turn the car around to right these types of wrongs.

Hair is another big issue in a house full of girls. The other day I was driving Lyla to pre-school, when she scared the crap out of me with a loud gasp. I turned off the radio and asked her what was wrong, expecting it to be something awful. She started to tear up as she informed me that I forgot to do her hair. It was brushed and smooth, but there were no barrettes or pony tails. She was genuinely alarmed that this detail had been overlooked. It was as serious as if I'd forgotten to put her pants on her.  I forgave her for the mini heart attack she caused with her gasp, because she is too young to tell time. If she knew how late we were running that day, she wouldn't have wondered about her lack of  "hair do".

I also wonder if boys would cry about being forced to hear song 7, when their hearts were set on song 9. This is biggie in our daily lives. Car rides are most pleasant when only one child is riding in the car.  Lyla was playing DJ in the car yesterday. It was fine because it was just the two of us. She wanted to hear the old Cure song, Boys Don't Cry. My girls get such a kick out of this song. Lyla informed me that little boys DO cry. "Little boys at school cry. Grown up daddy's don't cry. Thems don't know how to do it right." So there you have grown men. You don't cry because you lack the proper technique. Out of the mouths of babes.

Thursday, October 18, 2012



I have a love-hate relationship with Play-Doh. On the one hand, it entertains my children for a VERY long time, but when the fun is over, the mess will linger forever. Tiny little crumbs of it will be found for weeks. It finds a way to embed itself in the grooves of the hard wood floors. The Dyson is almost no match for it. I hate this.

During the summer, I'll put the little kid picnic table outside and let the girls go Play-Doh crazy out there. They bust out the mini rolling pin and the cookie cutters and it's a dream day for the kids. I love to see them so happy, but watching this scene outside is almost the only way for me to handle it. It's a sure sign that I'm insane, but the chaotic mess of it all is too much for my brain to deal with. It's the crumbs really, I just can't contain all the brightly colored crumbs. At least I can sweep them off the deck when we're outside.

And don't even get me started on the mixing. The sight of fresh Play-doh is wonderful. Each color is absolutely pristine. In a perfect world I'd only let my kids play with one color at a time, just to keep them perfect. That scenario has never once happened. It goes from bright beautiful colors to a grayish brown lump in a hurry. I hate that this bothers me, but I will admit that it does. Thankfully, Play-Doh is cheap and my garbage can is always hungry.

Three cheers for the crazy moms! Now excuse me while I try to extract some dried up Play-Doh from the kitchen rug.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hair Do

I am Loving...

I was starving in the check out line at the grocery store. I glanced over at the impulse buy snack rack and the next thing you know I purchased some jerky. Needless to say it was delicious and I can't believe I ever forgot how tasty jerky is. Any brand will do. I LOVE IT ALL!

The Property Brothers are my favorite. HGTV is full of good shows, but I love these guys. They have big ideas and great taste. I have seen their newer show, called Buying and Selling, but I prefer the original. If you ever get the chance, watch an episode and you'll fall in love too.

I once believed that I hated Greek yogurt. I could not understand why this style of yogurt started taking over the grocery store shelves. Then my nephew told me to try the Oikos Key Lime flavor. I will try anything once, and I'm glad I did. It was SO GOOD and it was very filling. After reading the nutritional facts, I decided that I might try the yoplait 100 calorie version. It is really good too, but it's no Oikos. It's pronouncible, but it's not the same. Maybe this is why I hated greek yogurt. How can I recommend a yogurt if I can't even figure out how to say it's name?

I am obsessed with sewing trim. I have gone trim crazy on my daughters Halloween costume. There is just something about racks and racks of trim that makes me crazy happy. Someday I WILL go to a store in New York called M & J Trimmings. I will go there alone and I will stay there all day long if possible. I can't tell you how inspired I am by decorative trim. This may sound a bit crazy, but I just can't get enough of it. Ric rac is my thing! I could spend a fortune on TRIM! I just love it.

Arby's Chocolate Turnovers! I don't eat these very often, but I think about them all the time. They are warm, chocolaty and delicious. I'm sure they are horrible for your health and your waistline, but I'm telling you that everyone needs to try one at some point. They are heaven.

This stupid game is AWESOME! It is very addicting and it lets me utilize my endless supply of useless music trivia. This game plays super short song clips from almost EVERY genre of music and you have a couple of seconds to choose the artist or song title from 4 possible answers. It's challenging, but really fun, and it makes you remember old songs that you loved, but forgot about. Ice Ice Baby is a fantastic song. The Offspring had some good songs in the nineties. Animotions, one hit wonder "Obsession" is CRAZY good! Dolly Parton is still top notch. Fifty Cents hit, In the Club is a classic! Why don't I listen to Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" everyday? Memories!
You must try Song Pop at least one time. It's super fun!


Monday, October 15, 2012

John Mayer

Is John Mayer a romantic,an egomaniac, a genius or a complete D-Bag? It sort of depends on the month I guess. I love some of his songs but most I could do without. I own one of his Cd's and it's only because I won it at my bachelorette party (but that's another story). Sometimes you'll see a picture of him and he looks gorgeous, then other times he looks like a total wreck. Ladies love him anyway. He's some sort of enigma. I pay attention when I see him though. He has mastered the art of fascinating me, because we've all met a few "John Mayer's" in our lives and I'll never stop trying to understand how they operate.

Yes Please!

     Same Guy!
    If this doesn't      demomnstrate the importance of a good haircut, I don't know what would?

A month ago, not only did I discover a new channel in my cable lineup, but I also found an old show I loved called, Storytellers. The new channel is called "Palladia". It's basically what MTV and VH1 used to be, what they are supposed to be really. They play tons of great shows that are all music based. I've caught a few good concerts and great old shows like Unplugged and Storytellers.

I've always loved Storytellers. A great song ALWAYS has a great story behind it. I long to know the back story. Who wronged you so bad that you wrote that song? Who did you love so much that you wrote that song? Where was the inspiration?  How did that musical genius come about? These are the questions I'm always filled with. After all, when you really listen closely, almost every song is about someone.

When I see that John Mayer is going to be the star on Storytellers, I am instantly intrigued! I'm thrilled I watched it, because it didn't disappoint. I wanted to hear about an old song called "Back to You", but it wasn't played and I'm left only to imagine the story. His bigger hits are songs I don't really care for and I knew he'd only chat about the biggies. I had expected John to tell some juicy stories, because just like me, he seems helplessly controlled by his big mouth. "Your Body is a Wonderland", is NOT about Jennifer Love-Hewitt like everyone thought. It was about his first serious girlfriend from when he was a teenager. I totally buy it because that makes plenty of sense when you hear the song.

Through out the show they showed little clips of a Q&A session with the audience. Someone asked John a great question and his answer was awesome. It sticks with me because he answered so honestly and without any hesitation. It was obvious he had thought about this plenty of times. The answer seems sort of douchy, but I absolutely understand why he'd answer this way and I love it!

Audience question: "Have you ever written a song about a woman and then told her it was about her?"
John Mayer: "No, because it would give her a life long satisfaction that I wouldn't want her to have."

Congratulations Mr. Mayer. Keeping stuff like that to yourself is a huge challenge for those of us with big mouths. I applaud this jerky control freak aspect of John Mayer. I wonder what's wrong with me that I love that so much?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Picture Day

Today is picture day at my daughters school. This is a fun day for me, especially at the morning drop off. I love seeing moms with their hair spray cans, and their last minute child lip gloss applications. I even got to watch a mother spit shine a milk mustache off of her mortified son. It was pure love. Sure I stress out for 20 minutes when the picture day envelope comes home, with the 500 picture package options, but then I'm excited.

 The company doing the school photos actually gives you a $5 retouching option. I see the upside to this, but I would never choose to do it. I bet that option gets selected by pimple faced teens, but I think who cares if your school pictures portray what you really look like. All your classmates see you everyday. You're fooling no one. Wear that pimple proud! If second graders have to smile with their brand new enormous teeth or their blacked out toothless gaps, you can weather the storm of zit. It's a rite of passage.

But back to elementary picture day. This for me is a very telling day. I certainly wouldn't expect every kids parents to buy them a brand new outfit, but the day is worthy of at least a good hair brushing. Maybe a cute top or a hair accessory for the girls. It makes me sad to walk the into the cafeteria on picture day and see half the kids dolled up in their best outfit with thoughtful hairdos and the other half of them in ratty T-shirts and bed head. I can't imagine sending my kid to school without even running a brush through her hair.

Picture day is supposed to be a fun day. A day for kids to be proud and feel special. Rub a little lotion on those dry cheeks. Chap stick those rough lips. Dress them in something that makes them smile when they pass a mirror. If you feel capable, go the extra mile with the hair. You can bet your bottom dollar the curling iron made an appearance at our house this morning.  Picture day is the prom of elementary school. Go nuts with it. They are worth the extra time and effort.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Not Just Dumb, Walmart Dumb!

If anyone would like an overstuffed turkey sandwich, come on over! We have plenty of deli sliced turkey meat to go around. I didn't intend to have this much turkey. I didn't ask for this much turkey, but sometimes math and number talk goes out the door at the deli counter. Especially when the girl working the slicer is dumber than a box a rocks. I found that special gal yesterday.

Normally I don't buy lunch meat from the deli, especially the Walmart deli, but we tried it out last week and it went well. The turkey was really good  and it ended up being really cheap because the employee working the deli counter charged me way less than what she was supposed to. Again, math doesn't agree with the Walmart Deli workers. I do have a brain, which is why I didn't alert the woman to her mistake, plus she made me wait at the counter forever before she even came to ask me what I was waiting for. The corn dogs required far more of her attention than a customer. I wasn't mad, I knew full well that I was inside the Walmart and this is to be expected.

I encountered a different employee yesterday, but she was just as dim as the first gal. After she let me wait for her to finish her long conversation with her co-worker, she asked me what I needed. I told her I needed a pound of turkey. She got what I needed and placed it on the slicer. While she did this, I told her I would need a little bit more than a pound, so how about we make it a pound and a quarter. She said fine. Only it wasn't fine, because I hadn't taken into account her Walmart math skills. In my world, a quarter means .25. I thought this was common is not. In her head a quarter is  .75, as in 3 quarters. I wondered briefly how many times she'd seen a car wash vacuum that required 75 cents and she put in one quarter and wondered why it didn't turn on?

So the next thing I know, she hands me an enormous bag of sliced turkey and said, "There you go. A pound and a quarter." I knew instantly what had happened. I took the bag that held 1.75 lbs. of turkey and walked away. The price was high. She was very aware of how the price codes worked, so I would also have the privilege of buying all this at full price. I was irritated, because I'm cheap as hell and I didn't need all this extra turkey for the week, I especially didn't want to pay for it. The only way to make it right was to return to the deli and explain the problem to the slicer girl. But there was no good way to do that. What could I have said that wouldn't have equated to me telling a grown woman that she was dumb as hell? I don't care for confrontation and I certainly don't want to teach a woman the basics of her job, when it's not my business to do so. I did the only thing I could do, I paid for the turkey and learned a lesson about how you order meat at Walmart. "I need one point two five of turkey. The point will look exactly like a period or a dot. If that's too confusing, go ahead and just get me One of turkey."

Friday, October 5, 2012


This goes for cereal, crackers, chips, jugs of milk and kool-aid. If it's will stay empty.

My New Author


I'm only just a few pages away from finishing my book, but I can officially say that I love this author.
This is the first Jonathan Tropper book that I've read, but I can safely say that I love the way he writes. It might be considered crude and at times slightly vulgar, but the characters are perfectly written. Most of them are self serving jerks, but very well written, and the stories are so easy picture in your mind. If this book were made into a movie, I'd pay to see it in the theaters and that's saying a lot coming from me.

 This is one of those books that you start reading and you immediately hope that the author has already written at least five more books. I knew right away that I would be very happy to read everything he's written. According to, he has at least five more for me to read. I love this fact, because finding an author that you really love isn't easy and I hate going on blind dates with new books. I can only hope that his other books are similar to this one. Will my local library have them all? That's a different story, but I would buy a book with this fellas name on the cover.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Modern Technology

Yesterday was a big day at our house. A member of the Jensen household stepped into the modern world. Dave got an iPhone5! This, as some may not know, is a first for us. Two days ago, Dave was still the proud owner of an old school Nokia. I'm talking WAY old school. No data plan, no internet, NO PHOTOS, nothing! You can only imagine the thrill of skipping all the middle steps, Blackberry, Droid, first edition iPhone and going straight to the big leagues. It was a thrill for all of us and it only belongs to Dave.

I don't even no why I'm excited. I still feel like a bad ass with my flip phone. I'm not blind. I realize that pre-teens have better phones than me, but it gets the job done. I don't have a contract or a high monthly bill either, so that's the upside of my antique phone. I'm a "pay as you go girl" (that sounds sort of prostitute like, but that's not what I mean at all). T-Mobile understands me and how I like to operate.

So Dave opens the brand new phone box at 5:00 and he doesn't put it down until 11:00. There is so much to see, so much to learn. He's fascinated with this phone's endless capabilities. The photos are CRAZY good. He has an app that can listen to a song playing in a store or on the radio and it will then report to you who sings it and what the song title is. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into Wet Seal and longed for a pocket sized device to tell me who sings the fantastic songs that pour through the store speakers! It's absurd that I was rewinding VHS tapes ten years ago and today Siri can make snide remarks to me from an iPhone.

Speaking of Siri, that crazy talking robot feature, my kids can't get enough of it. They could ask Siri non sense questions for hours. That poor phone robot got asked 50 fart questions and 30 poop questions in the 10 minutes Sasha played with it. Lyla took her turn a few times, telling Siri that she's pretty and that she has rainbow farts. The kids were snorting with laughter as they berated Siri with toilet talk. Sadly, it was hysterical to Dave and I as well. Look out future...her we come!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Your Stuff

When I was 21, I bought a condo. I had been renting it from my grandma and she sold it to me for crazy cheap. It was a dream come true. I loved the area I lived in, and my place had plenty of space and covered parking. The best part of all was that the people who owned the condo above me were never there. They lived in a different state most of the time and only came to live above me a few weeks out of the year. I was officially living the dream. Slowly but surely, I began to acquire all the things that a grown up acquires. I had a nice couch, a fancy bed, a gorgeous armoire and all the other things that make your own home feel like a home. Life was good and I felt like I had a great head start on the grown up game.

A friend of mine was living out of state, attending college. She was sharing a classic college apartment with several friends and didn't seem the least bit inclined to begin acquiring grown up stuff. She shared her philosophy about "stuff" with me. This is what she told me, "You don't own your stuff.  Your stuff owns you." I laughed out loud at this. She was probably taking some crazy philosophy courses at the time and her ideas about life seemed so idealistic to me. I'll love her til the day she dies, but she and I shared very different world views and it was comical that we managed to stay such close friends.

Fast forward 12 years and she, just like the rest of us, now has a house and a child and all the junk that comes with it. We are both in the world of excess stuff and now I completely agree with her idealistic philosophy that she shared with me so many years ago. I am not the owner of any of this stuff. All of it owns me. I am a slave to every last bit of it.

Yesterday I spent the majority of my day returning all our stuff back to it's proper place. Most of it was folding laundry and getting back to it's drawer of origin, but so much of that awful busy work was putting toys back in toy bins, fabric back in the sewing area, cups back in the dishwasher, shoes back in their lockers and children's books back on the shelves. It went on all day. I was angry about it. The chaos of my house was disturbing my mood. I was cleaning up with a resentful conversation playing in my head. I wondered again and again how my life turned into this dumb game of my family making messes and me cleaning them up? The answer is that I acquired too much stuff.

I don't want all this stuff. I dread ever having to move with all this crap to pack up. I'm not a hoarder at all. I love the feeling of donating old clothes and forgotten toys. I love recycling papers  and getting the trash out of here. I like less. Problem is, we bought a large house and slowly but surely, it will get filled up with more stuff. My kids have opinions of their own about their things and they aren't so thrilled about my love of the trash can. They both know it won't bother me a bit to get rid of the game with the lost pieces or the trinkets we got with our kids meal.

I know we do use a lot of our things and I do enjoy my fancy mixer and my electronics, but at the same time, I feel overwhelmed by all of it. My mind would feel at ease if I could move without the help of 5 men and a semi-truck. Our life here is not portable at all. It's cumbersome and heavy. My old pal was completely right about our stuff owning us. I think I should mention that I recently told her how right she was. She is currently inundated with all the baby gear and she understands that it's necessary at times to have all this crap, but wouldn't it be nice to feel free of it's burden? And why can't everyone clean up after themselves? That, I suppose, is the underlying point of this rant.