Friday, November 30, 2012

Great Filler Book

You know when you have your heart set on reading a certain book but you don't actually have a physical copy of it? This is the time that I have to turn to a filler book.  I don't do the whole nook/kindle thing because I'm cheap and I like real books, but my aversion to technology leaves me in a reading lurch from time to time. I'm a slave to the library and if I'm determined to read something that the library doesn't carry, I'm forced to order it off Amazon and wait for it in the mail. It's worth it, but I like to keep a short list of "filler books" on the ready. I found some titles of short quick books on a website called "Good Reads" and I decided I'd better start one while I wait for my next Kate Morton book.

I chose a book called "On the Island". I got into really quickly and the story moves along very fast. Three days later I was done, and I don't read during the day. Just a little before bed. The night I finished it, I was shocked to find out that I'd stayed up til one o'clock in the morning. I NEVER stay up that late. I normally close up shop by 11:30. I like my sleep and my kids get up at quarter to dawn, so I'm not a night owl at all these days.  The book was adorable and I couldn't put it down. Definitely an easy read, and I enjoyed the story.
I read that the author published the book herself and it's sold well strictly from word of mouth advertising and the wonders of social media. I like that she made a success of herself this way. She seems like a great storyteller and I was happy to buy her book.

If you do choose to read this book I think I should share my image of the male main character. Dave and I watch Survivor religiously. It's one of my all time favorite shows. This season, one of the stranded contestants is a handsome young man named Malcom. It was obviously his good looks and the island setting that brought him to mind when I started reading the book. I had also probably just watched Survivor before I started the book. Whatever the reason, I like to picture young Malcom as the guy in this story.  This might also be the reason I zipped right through the book. I'm a sucker for my T.V. crushes. In the great words of  Dora the Explorer," Yum, yum, yum, yum! Delicioso!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Ugly Dress

Yesterday, I was forced to deal with something I've been avoiding for years. It's something I've been keeping in the closet for quite sometime. I think I'll feel a million times better when I just get it out there and let this problem face the light of day.

My deep dark secret is my senseless love of a horribly ugly dress. This isn't just any ugly dress, this is my secret lover of an ugly dress.  It makes me look and feel so good, but every time I wear it, I know that it's wrong. I think it makes my 5'1" frame appear taller.  I'm not sure if it's an illusion given to me by the psychedelic pattern or just a delusional thought in my brain. It's a love/hate thing. I see this thing on a hanger and I say "GROSS!", but then I put it on and it's like, "Oh hell yeah!".  I don't even know how this is possible but this is the reality of the situation. I've fallen into this trap enough times to end up wearing this atrocity to some weddings. I wore it to my sisters wedding and to my long time pal, Patsy's wedding. I'm embarrassed that I wore such an ugly dress to these weddings, especially because I KNOW how hideous it is. The magic of the dress only reveals itself when you're in it. What am I to do?

This photo makes me cringe. It's the ugliest dress ever!!!

I remember the day I bought my ugly duckling. I was trying on dresses at Dillards and my mom was babysitting my child. I was free to try on as many as I wanted and I was determined to do just that. I grabbed all different styles of dresses. The plan was to get out of my comfort zone and try on things I wouldn't normally choose. I wanted to see what looked best on my figure, instead of just getting what I would normally be drawn to. The ugly dress worked it's magic on me right then and there. It was a no brainer, I was absolutely going to buy this atrocious dress.

Well yesterday, during the closet clean out, I was amped up enough to throw it in the donation pile. It must have been quite a high I was on, because I shoved it in the donation bag without hesitation. I was really trying to do myself a favor. I knew if it wasn't hanging in my closet, then it couldn't even be an option for me to choose in a pinch. All afternoon I was fine with the decision to part ways with it. Then fate stepped in.

I was planning on returning a Redbox movie in the afternoon and that was also when I'd planned on dropping off all my old clothes into the donation bin. Well as I pulled up to the bin, I saw about five garbage bags of clothes sitting on the ground in front of the bin. It was FULL! So I returned home with the bags of old clothes still sitting in the back of my car. As I was admiring my clean closet later that night, I started panicking about my ugly dress. I miss it. I think I need it. I really want to keep it. And then it hit me, I didn't get rid of it yet. It's still in the back of the car!  I don't think I can part with it just yet... I think I'm going to dig it out of the garbage bag. Why oh why am I compelled to keep something so awful?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Closet Purge

I woke up this morning in a "throw it all away" mood. I was happy, but very much in the mood to give away all the crap that I don't use and will never wear. I LOVE THIS MOOD! I dropped the kids off at school and came home to start the closet purge. Nothing could stop me. I went directly to the closet, passing up my precious Words With Friends and Song Pop time. What happens next is both shameful and wonderful.

Take a good look at your closet. How many hangers hold a favorite shirt? Not many at my house. I have tops that I remember liking a long time ago, but now they are SO NOT MY STYLE, or they've just been washed to many times and are now covered with those ugly little lint balls. I hate those! It happens to so many of my shirts and I don't know how to fix it or prevent it from happening. I saw something on Pinterest that suggested shaving them off with razor. I'm sure that would work, but give me a freaking break. Who's really going to sit home all day shaving their clothes? I think I'd prefer to have freshly shaved legs and a new shirt.

I am very guilty of owning tons of shirts that I would NEVER want to wear. Some don't fit, some would look super cute if I were pregnant, some require a tank top underneath to look appropriate and some are just so ugly that I question how they got into my closet in the first place. Seeing a photo of myself wearing a horrible shirt seems to be the best way for me to fully understand how unflattering or ugly some of these clothes are. The mirror doesn't always tell the truth for me. A picture really sends the message loud and clear.  How many times have you seen an old photo of yourself and thought, "What the hell was I thinking with that outfit?"

I also got rid of my old jeans. I am so used to skinny jeans now that I feel like I'm wearing a costume when I put on boot cut jeans.  The funny thing is that a few years ago it was just the opposite. I'd try on a pair of skinny jeans and cringe. The proportions looked so wrong to me, but now I just can't imagine wearing any other cut because I'm so used to it now. The same goes for the super low rise jeans. I trashed them as well. I don't want my pants sitting so low anymore. First of all, the low rise jean is unflattering to most women and I don't want to worry about my butt hanging out of my pants. Low rise jeans give skinny girls love handles that they don't really have. I look a million times better in jeans with a longer rise. Besides, it's not like many of us are tucking our shirts in anymore and I'm so sick of seeing every ones ass crack. It looks bad on everyone and it's just gross. Don't even get me started on the kids jeans that are low rise. I'm not about to be the mother of the kid at school with their butt crack hanging out. That is the number one thing I check for when buying my girls their jeans. I have them try the jeans on and I make them sit down "indian style" to check for it.

Last but not least I got rid of a ton of old bras. I went down to Shopko last week and bought two more of those great bras that I wrote about. This is my number one bra and I hate wearing any of my old bras now. Also, after having and nursing two babies, my boobs have finally decided what size they want to be and there's no point having a bunch of bras that are too big. Plus, when you're trashing old bras, you start to ask yourself why you kept some of them so long? I had bras in that basket that haven't fit in forever, but they were pretty or pricey. What's the point of hanging onto an expensive bra that doesn't fit you? There is no point, get rid of them. I did and I feel so much better now!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Dumbest Buyer

I almost sold a wagon today. I put an ad for it on KSL, which is a local online classified ad, much like Craigs list, but way less creepy. I'm 99% sure that you can't find a transvestite hooker on KSL.  So this lady that's interested in the wagon called me and asked me a bunch of dumb questions about it. I answered them all, but in my head I was thinking, "It's a kids wagon idiot! The photo really tells the whole story on something like that." These really were some thought provoking questions like, "Can a person that's 5'8"pull it?", to which I answered, "Does this person have arms?"

I guess the wagon passed the test because she was ready to drop the hammer and make the deal. She told me that her dad or father in law would be driving past Ogden and he would pick it up. She then asked me if I could meet him by the freeway to make the exchange. Now, KSL deals already feel a bit drug deal-ish,  but meeting just off the freeway in Ogden would make it more like an actual drug deal, so I picked a busy gas station near the mall. When grandpa called, I gave him directions to get there. I made what would later be considered a critical mistake and told him to get off at the 30th street exit. I did this only because you take 30th street to get on the freeway and I totally forgot that the freeway exit was on 31st.

So I drive down to the gas station and wait, and wait and wait some more. I finally get a hold of the guy on the phone and discover that this guy is dumber than a box of rocks. I should have expected as much. He tells me that he saw a 31st street exit (a major freeway exit) and he thought he'd better stay on the freeway a while longer to see if a 30th street exit would appear. Ogden is a pretty solid grid of a town and the ascending numerical exits like, 12th, 21st, 24th and then 31st just threw him for a loop. Mind you Ogden is NOT a sprawling metropolis, but it was so crazy for this man that he honestly thought a 30th street exit would appear a few more miles south. WRONG!

Then he somehow turned around and tried this frightening 31st exit. He then ignores all my directions and calls me back from the airport which is not even close to where he was supposed to be. Apparently "east of the freeway" changes when you change directions. I guided him back to the freeway and told him to forget about the wagon because I don't have any signal flares on me to guide him the direction I told him to drive. He told me we could try it again another day and I said, probably not.  Then I did what I should have done in the first place and dropped it off at Kid 2 Kid. SOLD! Sometimes I forget how much I dislike the general public. Not today though. I went to a sketchy Walmart  this morning and dealt with these fools in the afternoon. I'm thankful that the red wagon isn't taking up space in my garage tonight! Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wonderful Book

I just finished the best book. It was one of those that you can't stop reading, even though you never want it to end. Obviously I wanted to solve all the mysteries in the book, but I so enjoyed the process of reading it. This writer, Kate Morton, is a natural born storyteller. The Forgotten Garden is a work of fiction, but it's told like it all happened and the author just had to share every last juicy detail. I officially love Kate Morton. Her books can be found at the library which I love too. I can't wait to start reading another one of her books.

Last night I finished it and I was both pleased and devastated. This fictitious world was so captivating and I wanted to spend so more time there. This happens to me frequently when I read a great book. There is always a mini depression when I finish them, especially if I can't find a fantastic book to read next, or worse, if I'm reading a series and the writer isn't releasing the next one for 6 more months. Lucky for me, this is the first Kate Morton book I've read and I believe she has written at least four, big, thick novels. Now it's just a matter of getting my hands on them. For a Kate book, I'll even venture down to the ghetto library. I like her that much. I'll deal with the catcalls from the toothless, homeless guys, and the stares from the meth nation, who love to smoke in a crowd at the library doors. I know, it makes no sense to me either.....but that's what's going on at the downtown library.  It's a classic case of "one of these things just doesn't belong" and that thing seems to be me. But I digress, this is the latest book that put me in a book trance.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Which Toy Was Worth the Money?

I'm a little bit of a toy hater. My kids have more than they need and it seems that most of our toys don't really get played with, just strewn about. The pig sty that is our playroom seems to indicate that my kids favorite game is called "Total Destruction". Don't rush out to the store trying to find it. It isn't a board or computer game. It's a made up game, where my kids dump out all the adorable storage bins that I bought before I understood that organization is a pipe dream. Sometimes, if it's dark outside, they turn on the disco light and use that as their only light source during this game. Music will be blasting out of the stereo and I'll hear nothing but squealing joy. I call that version of the game, "Axl Rose at the Plaza".

When Christmas or a birthday approaches, I try to make smart decisions about toy buying. How would my kid play with this? Would it be a treasured toy or a bore? How long could this item entertain my child? Are there batteries, because mama hates changing batteries? Could this be used a weapon in a cat fight? Are there tiny pieces, because mama hates hunting for tiny pieces?

That list of questions helps me with decisions, but it also eliminates everything. I'm shopping smart this year. I'd love to know what happened with your kids Christmas toys after the New Year. I have a short list of the toys and games that really get some regular use. Let's learn something from each other. What was a hit at your house?

Jensen House Toy Success

  1. Mega Blocks- The huge building blocks that really young kids can handle. They are like legos, only a million times easier to clean up. Sasha got a small package for her first birthday and we added a few more over the years. These are used frequently to build castles and towers. We love them.
  2. Lego Friends- a.k.a. Girl Legos. My kids have two sets of girl legos and they love them. These entertain them for a while. They have also allowed some of Dave's Star Wars and Indiana Jones legos to mix with theirs. It's pretty common to see a storm trooper eating in the Lego Friends Cafe, or Indiana Jones riding with two girls in the Beach Cruiser Jeep.
  3. The Nintendo Wii- My girls could bowl or play table tennis on the Wii for hours. Wii Resort, Wii Sports and Wii Play are our favorite games. The whole family enjoys these. Mario Kart and Mario Galaxy are also frequently played games. And I personally love the Michael Jackson dance game.
  4. Princess Dresses- My girls are three and six. They can't get enough of the princess gowns. They also go nuts for princess heels. Sadly the heels are hidden in Dave's night stand right now. They had to go to toy prison for causing violent riots.
  5. Dollar Store puzzles- If you didn't know that the Dollar Store sells puzzles, well now you know. My kids love puzzles. 24 pieces up to 100. Always a hit.
  6. Tiny Nerf Footballs- These too can be purchased at the Dollar Store and they are great. My girls love to play catch with these. Inside or out, the Nerf ball gets a lot of play.
  7. Water color paints with the waterproof coloring books- Princess themed, Barbie themed, it makes no difference. They like to color, but painting is their favorite. Lyla could paint for a few hours and it's not really messy. It wipes up with a wet towel and it disappears in the laundry. I have a plastic place mat for each kid and those help with the mess as well. I give them several tiny water cups too. Save a few small applesauce or mandarin orange cups for this. They are just the right size.
  8. Play Doh- I know, I know. It's such a mess, but seriously they love it.
  9. Bubble wands-  I've found these super long, super narrow bubble wands that dip into their own narrow tube of bubbles. What kid doesn't love bubbles? These are a hit and easily refillable.
  10. Doll Strollers- Every kid that walks into my house goes immediately for the baby carriage. Who can blame them? I'd do the exact same if I were a kid.
  11. The Tiny Barbie Laptop- It is a great learning tool. I can't recommend it without saying that it is way too loud. If you put a piece of duct tape over the speaker, it really helps with the loudness. I hate when a toy can't be turned down, but my kids love that toy, so it makes the list.
  12. Dream Light- You know, those pillow pets that do a light show on your kids bedroom ceiling. My kids love "pets", and they were thrilled to get a dream light. It turns off automatically after about 10 minutes, and I like that. Plus, if your kid wakes up from a bad dream or something, turning on the dream light seems to calm that situation quickly. More sleep for me!
  13. Automoblox Car- My mother in law found the coolest car at a garage sale. It was still in the box when she bought it, and I'm glad she got it. This car is made of wood, but it has rubber wheels. This car is so cool because it can be taken apart and kids love to reassemble it. It rides like a dream on the wood floors. There's just something cool about it. Even I love to play with this thing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gym Nudist

I don't usually go to the gym, but when I do it's for my sisters entertainment. She is VERY FIT and VERY STRONG. I'm totally fit when compared with normal folks, and I'd say I'm fairly strong for my size, but in the Crossfit section of the gym, I am not exceptionally strong at all, but I try my best and I never quit. My sister gets a giggle out of watching me get my ass kicked by Crossfit and I'm happy to oblige. The first time I went with her, I seriously thought that the warm up was the workout. I was dead wrong and frightened,but I push through and complete every task she throws and me and it's exhilarating honestly. You can't leave Crossfit without feeling like a little bit of a badass. At least I can't...and I 'm proud to say that I didn't even feel like barfing after today's workout and that's a new experience. Also, I had no trouble walking immediately following the workout. This too is new and wonderful.

All of the horribleness will hit me tomorrow. I'll get out of bed and feel as though I've been trying to recover from some awful accident. Like perhaps maybe a bus hit me and left me for dead. No joke, the last time I did Crossfit, sleeping hurt for the following week. I COULD NOT raise my arms above my head. It's bizarre, but the thought process goes like this: I'm scared to go to Crossfit, then suddenly my fear transforms into me being totally pumped! Then there's the workout high that happens while you're doing it, followed by the nausea. Then you feel like a badass until the pain starts. Then you think there's something seriously wrong with your body and you might need to see a doctor. Then you swear off Crossfit and tell yourself that you are more of a Yoga gal, even though you've never stayed awake long enough to finish a single yoga workout. By this point the pain is getting duller each day and you start wondering how awesome it would be to age gracefully in a crossfit body. Who wouldn't want to be a ripped grandma? And then you go again and it all starts over.

Oh I see, you were waiting for the nudist part of the story....
So my sis and I walk into the locker room/bathroom after the workout to wash all the germs and what have you from our hands. As we turn the corner to enter the bathroom I was taken aback by the sight of a naked lady on the scale. The scale is near the back of the bathroom and you could only see the back of the naked lady, but still, I don't often see this sort of thing in a public bathroom because I hardly ever hit the gym. The sight of her brings back frightening memories of a childhood spent a the gym. Every time I went into the locker room, I'd get an unpleasant glimpse at what mother nature had in store for me. That was back in the eighties so it usually meant lots of jungle like lady bits. Some of these women were legit just changing their clothes, but some were taking it to a whole other level. The nudist/exhibitionist level where it's like they want you to be horrified. Ahhh the awful memories. "Get dressed already, this isn't nasty old whore house!", that was always my inner dialogue. And also, "Go home and shower there! You car can handle the minuscule amount of sweat in your pits!" BARF!!

So here we are again in the locker room with the naked lady on the scale, no biggie I'll just wash my hands and get on with life. But as we're about to leave the bathroom, she's still there. She has gotten off the scale, readjusted the weights on it and is now getting on for another go. Perhaps she's farted and wants to see if it's affected her precious weight. Nope, but she does it again and again and again. I was baffled but my sister assures me that this will go on for quite sometime because this gal is a fixture in the locker room. My sister has never seen her face, just her tanning bed butt and pony tail. I'm stunned as she tells me this story. We go grab a protein shake ( oh yes we did and it was delicious) and I can't take it anymore. I have to go back and see if she's still there. My sister is just as horrible as me, so we head back to the locker room. We turn the corner and BAM, naked crazy lady is still on the scale. Unbelievable! This is the crazy behaviour that belongs at home or in a mental institution. Did I mention that the lady is in fine shape. She's not obese, she's not anorexic.  She's a perfectly normal weight and she's nuts!
We didn't leave the bathroom. I couldn't leave. I had the perfect plan ready to go in my head. I told my sister what we had to do. "Okay, we need to get totally naked and go wait in line to use the scale! It will be hilarious. Let's do it okay! If you won't, I will. I have to do it. I can't leave this gym without getting naked and waiting in line to use it." My sister knew that she wouldn't be able to handle the hilariousness of that whole event. She would absolutely need to keep her clothes on, because she would surely pee her pants with laughter if I did it. So I got started. I took off my jacket and my shoes when suddenly I got the realization that I would have to tap the naked lady on her nude back to let her know I was waiting and I KNEW I couldn't do that without exploding in snorting laughter. So we left the locker room like normal people do! Until next time naked lady.

Nobody cares how much you weigh! NO ONE! Your weight doesn't make you attractive. Your attitude does and that's it. You either know that you're the bomb or you don't. A couple of pounds, and a few ounces aren't going to get you there. Confidence is the most attractive thing in the world.
That being said, I'm in no way trying to belittle this woman. I don't know her or anything about her. Ultimately, I felt sad for her. Weighing yourself again and again for over twenty minutes is a sign that this womans self esteem is in a bad place. I just wish every woman could understand that no one loves you or loathes you based on the number of pounds you weigh. It just doesn't matter at all.At my chubbiest, all the fellas thought I was fresh to death, simply because I believed that I was.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Bestest Bra EVER!!!

O.M.G.! I am so deliriously happy right now. No man could possibly understand what I'm about to write, but I know so many women will be thrilled for me. I just found the PERFECT BRA and it was on clearance! This bra was meant for me and it was hanging there just waiting for me to stumble upon it. It was the only bra that I glanced at and I wasn't even browsing for bras. It's no coincidence that it just happened to be my size. The fact that it was wonderful AND on the clearance rack is mind blowing. Did I even mention that I had an additional store coupon that would further drop the price of my perfect bra? Well I did and my joy is overwhelming! I didn't even try it on and it still fits perfect. I'm not one for trying on bras at the store because that's gross and my 3 year old would be narrating my every move in the dressing room and that alone is reason to avoid trying anything on. Also, dressing rooms or "the locker room" as Lyla calls it,  makes my three year old feel like she needs to pee and the last thing I want to do in a fitting room is hear the words "I need to go potty really bad!".

Here it is!

The front is awesome because it does up in the front and it has these cool little hidden adjustment straps. That sliding adjuster that most bras have can get loose after a while and slip out of place making your bra looser than you want. With this hooked adjuster, that will never happen. I was slightly confused by it at first, but now I see that it's genius.

So this is the back. It doesn't look fancy or anything, and I was weirded out by the sports bra look of it at the store, but when I put it on, my mind was blown. This plain looking back is SO COMFORTABLE. I am in bra heaven right now. It's soft and it moves with you and absolutely nothing is digging into my skin. And I think it's worth saying that this bra feels true to size.

The brand is Assets by Sara Blakely. She's the Spanx inventor who apparently knows her stuff. The bra that I bought is called the "Brilliant Bra" and I can attest that it is in fact, brilliant. A bra like this was supposed to retail for $36.00, and I'm too cheap to pay that much for a bra. I found it on the clearance rack marked down to $10.80 and with my coupon I took this gem home for around $8.00. Comfort and a price like that just doesn't happen. This is reason number one that I hate bra shopping. I always find a cute bra in the right size and it will either be a million bucks or it will be one of those awful bras that gives you torpedo boobs. My boobs aren't even a little bit torpedo shaped and I don't think I've ever met a woman who would want her boobs to be all rocket like. Round is nice, but bra makers aren't understanding this concept. This new bra of mine has a nice shape to it. I don't feel like the Spanx lady would ever make a torpedo bra. I love her. Dear Sara Blakely, I love you so much and I want to find more of you products on the clearance rack so that I can feel comfort like this in every color of the rainbow!  It's like you've taken all my wildest dreams and dipped them in the fryer at Chick-fil-A. It's that good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Pumpkin Smashers

Sunday morning, my Facebook status read the following :"Some dumb ass teens tried to smash our pumpkins last night. In you face idiots! THEY'RE FROZEN!!! I hope somebody got seriously hurt!"

I loved that this happened. I'm nothing but pleased that some idiot walked up the icy path to my front porch in pursuit of my two pumpkins. I love it because it saved me from doing this task and there was no room for two solid pumpkins in my trash can anyway, due to a massive leaf clean up a few days prior. So I'm overjoyed that this idiot didn't understand that smashing a frozen pumpkin would yield very different results than smashing a soft one. I can only hope that this dumb ass kicked the pumpkin. I honestly would have paid money to have watched the whole thing play out. I would have paid double to have seen Dave watch a couple of strangers walk onto the front porch in the middle of the night. I've seen him flip his lid for a lot less. These kids must not have known who lived here, because Dave and I are trying our hardest to build up the reputation of being the scary people who will chase down "door-bell-ditchers" with a sawed off shotgun.

The first week of school, a couple of idiot boys learned a lasting lesson on their walk home from school. The two of them were taking turns ringing every door bell on the street and running away. I guess they were having great time with this game, that is until they knocked on my door. You see, my street is chalk full of geriatrics, but I'm a spry young thing. I'm no Usain Bolt, but I now know that I can easily outrun a ten year old boy with my bare feet. They banged on my door as I was filling a sippy cup for my child. I was out the door, sippy cup in hand, in no time. I watched what they were doing and I sprang into action. Within half a block I had the boys cornered. The one who was still standing took the brunt of it. I grabbed his back pack strap and wagged that sippy cup in his face. He got an ear full for sure. I may have even dropped a few four letter words in the process. I told them how disrespectful and idiotic it is to knock on some old persons door and make them hobble to the door on a bad hip for no good reason. I also told them that their parents should be ashamed of themselves for raising such jerky kids. Then I threatened to walk them both home so their moms could personally thank me for teaching them this valuable lesson. The boys looked like they'd peed themselves. I felt better and every kid within half a mile learned that you don't want to mess with the crazy, tiny, shoeless, large haired gal on this street.

The point is this. Teach your kids how to avoid being giant assholes. It isn't adorable and it will get them nowhere. I can't even think of one evening in my high school career that my friends and I were so bored that we wanted to smash pumpkins. The kids who do that sort of thing are the dumb ones who can't figure out how to get their hands on some wine coolers. Pathetic....

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Drive -Thru Ladies Laugh at Me

I just had a strange experience at Wendy's. I pulled up to the drive-up window to pick up my food and the three women working by the window started laughing like crazy. Some folks would be offended, or bothered by this, but I was laughing too because I'm totally in on the joke. Here's the deal.

My three year old has Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome (FPIES for short). This basically means that she eats a VERY different diet than most kids her age. If  any corn, rice, wheat....any grain at all really, gets into Lyla's belly, trouble will be coming. She can eat the bad stuff and all will seem fine until about two hours later, when out of nowhere, she'll start throwing up as if she's got food poisoning. It will go on and on until she's down to the yellow stomach bile. She will be totally dehydrated and she will want nothing more than to sleep. Once she wakes up, all is well again.

I figured all this out when she was about 8 months old. The first thing they tell you to feed your baby is rice cereal. I instinctively knew that her excessive "spit up" was a sign that rice cereal was not Lyla's thing. I moved on to basic, plain fruits and vegetables and she was fine. Then one day I fed her some new baby food jar that had corn mixed with the sweet potatoes. Two hours later she threw up so many times in the car that I had to sit in the backseat and hold her in my arms as Dave drove us home. I thought surely no child on the planet could be allergic to rice and corn. The doctor said it was possible, but after testing her for those allergies, it all came back negative. The doctor that helped me was great. He knew that any allergy she might have would be triggered instantly after she ate the offending food. That two hour time lapse guided him to the diagnosis of FPIES.

I hit the internet with my new knowledge and lucky for me I found an online group of women whose babies had the same strange thing as my child did. Some cases were less severe,  and some seemed more intense with many of these poor parents making many trips to the emergency room with infants that had gone into shock. I was very lucky to have a well informed doctor that knew exactly what my kid had. We decided to just stick with the foods we already knew she could have and not try to many new foods.
A few years later, she is nearly four and still eats "jars" (our big girl word for baby food) nearly everyday. She took a long time to get used to food with more texture, but she also eats a certain brand of potato chip, chicken, turkey, raisins, craisins, and lots of different canned and fresh fruits and vegetables. She is very limited and we DO NOT branch out, for fear of a reaction. Our saving grace has by far been the potato. My kid would still be 20 pounds if it weren't for the potato. She can eat french fries at Wendy's and In and Out Burger. These are the only local places that have pure potato french fries that are cooked in an oil that she can eat. Do you even know what a pain in the ass it has been to find all this out? It sucks. She is so limited, but we LOVE being able to go to the Wendy's drive thru and pick her up a "value fry". She loves the taste, but more than that, she loves the normalcy. She never gets to eat what the other kids or adults are eating. It's alienating, even for a three and a half year old. So that's what we do, we stop at Wendy's a lot and we let her eat fries. I don't feel the least bit bad about it. I'm not scared of the grease! I love it. Those greasy fries have put some weight on my girl and they make her feel happy and normal. Lyla gets fries whenever she wants fries. She's NEVER eaten a cookie, she's NEVER eaten a slice of bread or a cheerio or macaroni or "nuggets", or ice-cream. She's totally allergic to dairy, did I even mention that? That one she may not grow out of, but we are told she should outgrow the FPIES. Fingers crossed.

So I pick Lyla up from pre-school today and we drive straight to Wendy's. This is pretty normal. We pull up to order our food. We ALWAYS order a "value fry". I can tell you from memory that it will be $1.07. But today I had my older daughter with us, so we ordered two value fries ($2.14). I pay the register lady and pull up to the food window.  Remember now that every employee at Wendy's know me and my order well. We're practically family. So the ladies start cracking up, because they've been expecting me and no one has come through and ordered the single value fry. So they see an order of two value fries and they are sure that someone has screwed up because they KNOW that I only get one. So they have my single order ready and then I tell them I really did order two and they crack up. My favorite gal tells me, "We knew it was you and you NEVER get two". Camaraderie is great. I love my Wendy's gals!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

No! Not the T.V.

I should be ashamed to admit this, but it has to be said. My kids murdered our T.V.! Yes, it's true. It's lights out for the Samsung LCD television. They watched that sucker to death. Entertaining my family was just too much of a burden. That pricey screen just couldn't keep up with all the Sponge Bob and Funniest Home Videos. It is DEAD.

Samsung T.V.
This is sort of a pathetic life span for a television. The one that died a few days ago was our first modern, thin television. Dave and I searched for weeks trying to figure how our money would be best spent. I was VERY pregnant with our first born and still we wandered all the stores looking for the right one! We had just finished our basement and Dave was looking for a perfect huge man T.V.  It was too big for the great room off of our kitchen and honestly that was the only place that we ever wanted to watch t.v. It seems silly now that we bought an expensive television for our normally vacant basement. Like I said though, we didn't yet know what life with kids would really be like. I guess we figured we'd just put the baby in the crib and enjoy long, surround sound, movies in the basement all night. We wouldn't be tired. We certainly wouldn't endure weeks of colic! We weren't thinking practically, Dave just wanted a man t.v. and he seemed to enjoy the process of buying it. We thought we made the right choice. It was pricey and the brand seemed flashy. Once we moved to our current house, the mega, mega television started getting heavy use because it finally found itself on the main floor! The kids were super into cartoons and movies and that thing was on a lot! I guess it just proved to be too much.
We'll replace it, I'm sure, but the last few mornings have been really nice. It's been nice not hearing about Squidward and Sponge Bobs lives. My first grader read a few extra books in the morning and we got to school early. I prefer it quiet. Well quiet isn't ever a good word to use when describing a house with two young (loud), bossy, singing daughters. The kids think they miss the cartoons, but they certainly don't act like it. They play and wrestle and do all the same dance performances that they normally do, only now the t.v. isn't making any additional background noise. It might be a good change.
I should mention that we have another, fully functioning television upstairs. The kids are very aware of it, but it hasn't once occurred to them to leave the room that I'm in, to go watch it. I half expected that, but it's nice that they still choose my company over the couch upstairs. We'll see how long this lasts.

My daughters have their own theories about exactly what happened to the television. Lyla, who is 3, insists that it's just run out of batteries. If I could just find some double A's this whole ordeal would be over. Sasha, age 6, thinks that Lyla's theory is absurd. She believes that this is how it went down, "I think all the gears inside the t.v. were working just fine, and then something like maybe the film, fell down and jammed the gears. So it's probably just film in the gears. Old machines have something called film. It can run out. So if it isn't jammed in the gears, it probably just ran out."

Monday, November 5, 2012

Man Period

I'm cetain that such a thing exists. I've recently seen it in person.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Eye Shadow

I see make-up photos like this all over Pinterest. I like a lot of these looks. Kim Kardashian is probably the queen of the smokey eye and I see tons of make-up shots featuring her famous eye make-up. She looks gorgeous! I would love to emulate this look.......but it doesn't ever go as planned.

When I attempt this look, I always end up looking like I took a severe beating. It's as if my face rejects this look. It doesn't work on me. I almost NEVER wear eyeshadow for this very reason. I remember once going to the MAC counter in Nordstroms and having some random make-up artist do my eye make-up. I was feeling very chic as I walked through the mall that day. That feeling came crashing down when I took one last look at my eyes in the rear view mirror in the parking garage. I had only been wearing all this liner and eye shadow for an hour, yet I already looked like I'd had my ass kicked. It was as if I'd gone to the gym in full make-up. It somehow melted down on my eyelids. During the meltdown, I transitioned from a glamour girl to a walk of shame girl. I knew right then and there that I wasn't destined to wear eyeshadow.

In truth, I don't really know very many women who wear eyeshadow on a daily basis. It's a fancy night look around these parts. I save my black and blue beat down eyes for special occasions only!
On a side note, take a look at that perfectly groomed eyebrow. I don't know how that happens. I am an expert with the wax and I'm no stranger to the tweezers but I was not blessed with beautiful brows. My brows would be trouble if I lived in a time before tweezers. Some of my brows grow up, some down, some grow properly and a few might even be growing in backward. On top of that genetic nightmare, they are naturally asymmetrical.  They certainly aren't identical twins, not even fraternal twins for that matter. I'd go so far as to say that the left one has no relation to the right one. They need constant maintenece. I'm the person who has no choice but to smuggle tweezers onto the airplane. They aren't a weapon. They are a tool for peace.

The upside to all of this seems to be that NO ONE notices and NO ONE cares. I'm the only person who is bothered by the sight of twelve unplucked, stray eye brow hairs. Dave doesn't notice and no friend of mine has ever voiced a complaint. I've got enough personality to cope with eyes that don't showcase eyeshadow. My eyelid's rejection of color hurts no one but the share holders at Maybelline.  I'm certain I'm not the only gal with magical, make-up melting eyelids. Oh well, one less step for me when getting ready in the morning.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Fun

As always, it's the day after Halloween that I feel so glad about choosing to make costumes for my kids. The princess dresses looked so cute and I'm so happy that I pulled through and finished them on time. There were a few ugly moments along the way. I recall one evening that my sewing machine was on the fritz and I threw a mini temper tantrum and screamed "I'm freaking DONE! I'm not gonna finish this stupid dress! I'm BUYING costumes this year!".  The next day I got my shit together, got my machine fixed and unpicked seams for an hour. It sucked, but I go so much done that day and by nightfall, Rapunzel's dress was all but finished. It was fun in hindsight. I loved going overboard with the trim. In the end, I'm so glad I stuck it out because the finished product really makes me smile....and my daughter loves it too.

The Belle dress was easy. It came to together in a flash. I stressed about what I wanted it to look like and I stressed about what techniques to use, but I love how it turned out. Elastic thread was the magic ingredient. Lyla wants to wear it again today, so I'd call it a success.

I'm already wondering what I'll be making next year. They always threaten to be Ariel in her full mermaid regalia. I know this would be a pain in the butt and a logistical nightmare, but secretly I've been planning a way to attack the mermaid tail for months. We'll wait and see I guess. As Sasha gets older, I know I've only got another year or two of sweet costumes and then they'll both want to be "dead" this or "zombie" that. For now, I'm just fine with the princess dresses.....and poodle skirts. I couldn't resist making one for myself! I think it was a good choice. I thought my kids would be slightly mortified if I wore my Snooki costume again. It was tough to retire it. I had a grand plan to wear it again this year, but I was going to add a baby Bjorn to it, with a doll inside. The mock baby boy would be wearing leopard pajamas and a rope chain. It would have killed at any Halloween party!