Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Ran Away From Home (I quit Facebook)

Quitting Facebook is the new "running away from home" and I decided to run.

There are tons of reasons to use Facebook. You might need to share your bathroom mirror selfies. You might need validation from strangers.  You may be trying to sell me $90 Nerium face wash, or maybe you just like to lurk on other peoples Facebook pages. Tons of valid reasons.  I used it to socialize at first and then it morphed into something else.

 I connected with real current friends, acquaintance friends, high school friends and stranger friends. That sounds normal to FB users, but to non Facebookers, it sounds weird. I understand it sounding weird because, HELLO, it is weird. "Friends with strangers" is a weird concept.

Every person turned into a story. I was always curious to learn more and know more. That's weird when you aren't seeing or speaking to these folks anywhere but Facebook. Why did I get so invested? Why do I care about hundreds of things I don't need to care about? Why do I need to know what you ate for dinner or where you ate it? Why do I need to hear how wonderful your spouse is? Why are you sharing that info with me and not feeding it directly to your spouse? It's weird.  It's overload for a brain like mine.

On top of all that, I feel like I don't do well with the highlight reel of other peoples lives. I can't hear all the great stuff about everyone's lives without hearing about the humdrum stuff mixed in, the way you do when you're actually talking to a friend. This is the danger of being friends with people exclusively on the internet. You never get the whole truth and it can depress you in your own life. My life is pretty decent, but I'm not traveling the world, sipping margaritas on the beach these days. I'm a homebody, raising some kids and living in a regular marriage. Dave isn't surprising me with trips to exotic locations, fancy dinners or couples massages. An exciting night in our life involves a good television show and kids who stay asleep after I put them to bed. Maybe we try a new flavor of Crystal Light and pop some microwave popcorn without burning it. If all goes well, it's lights out at 10:30 and we'll power sleep. Wow, that sounds like a hell of a Friday night to 35 year old me, but it isn't share worthy.

I guess it's normal to compare your life to the lives of others, but it never makes me feel great when I'm getting the super edited version. My contemporaries have their shit together (or at least it appears that way on Facebook). I don't chit chat with meth moms and prison dads. I guess I'm saying that my pretend friends are setting the bar pretty high with their portrayals of their lives. I would be thrilled for all these pretend friends if I didn't know better. I know that darling baby of yours cries his eyes out all night long and your husband maxed out your credit card on something totally stupid. I know that your house is a pigsty just outside the borders of that profile picture and I know that your expensive dinner will probably make you feel like you're having a poop baby for the next 24 hours. I know the truth!

For now, I'm staying off Facebook and Candy Crush and Pinterest and all the other monster time suckers. I'm going to take care of me and mine. I'm going to fold all my laundry, workout and call my real life friends and really connect with them. I adore these gals and I want to share my time and ear with them more than strangers. If I see you at the store and we strike up a conversation I don't want to use the awful phrase, "Oh yeah, I heard about that on Facebook". I want to hear your stories from you and no where else.

Plus, I've recently discovered that my thoughts flow through my head in "status update" form. When I see something funny or think something hilarious, my mind automatically formats it into three to four well worded sentences that would fit nicely into my Facebook status box. This is a problem. I feel like a major loser even admitting this, but it's so true. I want my old brain back and I hope it goes back to normal eventually. If not, I'm suing Mark Zuckerberg!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mini Van Shame

Guess what world, I want a freaking mini van. There, I said it. I totally want one. Anyone with two or more kids probably has a deep, dark, hidden desire for a mini van, but most folks will hide it well. Do you know why most people hide that secret so well? I do, it's because so many people understand the concept that I call, "mini-van shame". I can only explain it like this, you know how wonderful and convenient a mini van would be, but you won't indulge yourself in those wonders because you don't want to be caught dead driving a mini van. You KNOW with absolute certainty that you would be ashamed to be seen driving one. It's a slippery slope, I totally get it. Besides, who wants to spend the money on a new car and then feel ashamed every time you walk in your garage and see your mini van waiting for you to drive it. You wouldn't feel pride, that's for sure.

Despite the shame, I still want one. I want all those seats! I want doors that open with the push of a button! I want doors that my kids can't swing outward with enough force to dent the shit of out the fancy car parked next to us. I want to be able to fit my entire body in the back seat while I explain to my child (for the thousandth time) how exactly to fasten a seat belt. I also want the DVD player so that my kids will be too distracted to bug the shit out of each other. I want the option to put one kid on the back row and one kid on the middle row. I want the convenience so bad that I could scream!!!

All that being said, Dave totally laughs at me when I even suggest that I need one. It does look absurd from the outside. I am a little cool and I don't belong in a mini van. I only have two kids of my own and I am not having any more. So the question remains, why now? Why do I suddenly feel that it's van time? My only answer is this, reality. Sure I only have two kids, but I find myself hauling around WAY more than two kids. I hate contorting my body into odd positions while I try desperately to fasten kids into seat belts when they are all sitting in these absurdly large car seats and boosters. It makes me angry. It turns me into a sweaty mess that longs for the good old days. The days when you could throw tons of kids in the bed of a truck and go. Life was easy back then. My mom didn't have to deal with boosters. I bet if I really looked into the current Utah laws, I would find that I truly still belong in a booster seat. It's just all too much.

So yeah, I want to give up on my image and get real. I want a mini van! As dumb as it sounds, I realize that I would be mortified to run into anyone while driving it, especially a hottie, but I might be able to get past all of that. It's just a stupid looking car when you get right down to it. Lots of people drive ugly cars that don't even have push button sliding door. They probably don't even loose sleep over it. I hope I can overcome my fears and just do it. It's so much harder than it sounds. I want to drive without shame. Can't we all just pretend like mini vans are super cool?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pinterest Anxiety

When I first discovered Pinterest, I was in love. It's the perfect blend of hoarding ideas and organizing them. I thought I'd discovered the perfect way to store my ideas without cluttering up my brain anymore than it already is. It seemed to good to be true....and it is.

The last couple of months I've been to busy with other things to really sit down and browse Pinterest. I've had real responsibilities to attend to like staring at my dog and taking tons of pictures of her and tons of fake responsibilities like Candy Crush Saga and.....well Candy Crush mostly. Well this morning I had a some free time and I decided it would be best wasted on a good, long Pinterest browsing session. WRONG!!!!!

After an extended break from Pinterest I discovered the horrible truth about that site. Pinterest doesn't help me to organize great ideas, it causes me a great deal of anxiety! It doesn't calm me, it hypes me up and overwhelms me. After scrolling through it for a couple of minutes, I felt as though I just drank 6 cups of coffee. I'm jittery and anxious.

 There are to many great ideas. To many cleaning tips. To many clever craft projects and to many beautifully decorated dream home ideas. It's overwhelming and I honestly feel like shit about myself right now. My house could be so much cleaner. My body could be so much more toned. My make-up could look so much better. My children could be crafting so much more intensely. My family could be posing better for staged family pictures that we aren't getting. All the parties that I don't throw could be so much cuter with balloon lined walkways and banners above the food staging area. I could be making really great recipes, growing beautiful gardens and getting super clever tattoos. I'm not up to the challenge today....or ever. It's to much pressure!!!

I'm never going to need my "board" of cute outfits that I've pinned. I'm never gonna wear that shit. If I had a pin of a T-shirt with shorts that probably should have been washed three days ago, paired with the old sandals that I wear every single day, then I'd be in luck. I'm not a fashionista. I'm a mom that lives in O-town. My thoughtless, simple outfits that I rotate on repeat work great and I look super duper for life here. My kids have never put me on the worst dressed list, not even once.

My house doesn't look perfect either. There is a princess dress sitting under my kitchen table (???), along with a my daughters slippers, two dog toys and a princess cash register. I've got at least five pairs of shoes scattered around the front door and the dirty breakfast dishes are still sitting on the table waiting for the dish fairy to find and clean them. My living room looks similarly lived in and so does every other inch of my house. Guess what? My bed isn't even made yet and there is a laundry basket full of unfolded laundry sitting on top of it. It's not perfect, but I can assure you that it's normal. Despite all of this un-Pinteresty chaos, I'm still breathing and my heart is miraculously still beating.  I'm A-Okay! I could seriously go on about this all day, and I would if there wasn't candy that needed crushing. I've got serious work to do. Level 213 isn't going to clear itself (though I totally wish it would).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Great Life Lesson

As some of you may already know, I've had a couple of changes in my life recently. They aren't huge changes, but they have taught me a lot about myself and life in general. I love when I figure out something big without even trying to, so this has been great for me.

 First, I began babysitting my friends darling baby girl three days a week.  She was three months old when I began watching her. Now let me remind you in case you don't know or you've forgotten, babies are a lot of work. It's not back breaking work, but a three month old needs you for EVERYTHING....all the time. On top of that, they require you to schedule your life around them. If you're one of those people who thinks that life goes on as normal with a newborn, I've got news for you. YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG! The point is that it's a big commitment.

I love babies and I pride myself on being somewhat of a "baby whisperer", so I totally volunteered myself for the job. I knew I would adore cuddling a baby at first, but I wondered like all people do, if taking this on would get old fast. Well, the verdict is in and I am loving it. I get an intense baby fix, and yet my weekends are free and I get to sleep all night without worrying about those pesky 2 a.m. feedings. It's like I'm a grandma at age 34, minus all the horrid circumstances that would cause someone to become a grandma at age 34. Plus the baby is adorable, did I mention that?

The second change is much more recent. We got a dog, a Chihuahua to be specific. Now I would never have seen a tiny lap dog in my future, but this particular dog just called to me. I saw her picture and one minute of video footage of her on a dog rescue website and I just knew that this dog was meant to be with me. I made the critical idiot mother error by showing the video and picture of the dog to my seven year old daughter before even discussing it with my husband. My husband and I  weren't even thinking about getting a dog the day I found my dog online. I can't even figure out why I was looking at that website. It was meant to be is all I can say.

My poor kids have lots of weird allergies so I called the dogs foster mom and asked her if we could come see the Chihuahua and possibly take her home for a trial period. I would not have even considered adopting the dog without that option. The foster mom thought it was a great idea and we drove down to her house to meet the dog. My husband is very much a cat guy (he grew up with cats), but he agreed to meet the dog. When we first saw her, it was love at first sight. She is so delicate and darling and very calm. We let the kids play with her for about twenty minutes and everything was going really well. Dave took a quick work related phone call, and when he was done, he shocked me by saying to the foster mom, "So I guess we'll be taking her home for a trial period. Is that still okay with you?" I was stunned!!! I could not believe he wasn't putting the brakes on this whole deal. With that, I grabbed my check, filled it out to the rescue organization and we all hopped in the truck and left.

By the time we got home the dog was named Minnie and we'd already stopped at the store to buy her a kennel and supplies. The kids love her and I do too. She came to us house trained and so far so good. We've had a few problems with her outsmarting the kennel and her complete resistance to being leashed on our walks, but other than that she does so well with our family. She's even become my purse dog. She loves  it! Dave honestly wishes she were a cat for convenience reasons. Cat's don't have to be let out to pee and they don't seem sad when you leave. Dogs can be a pain in the butt for sure, but we're getting used to it.

Both the dog and the baby have taught me something very basic and very important. The point of life isn't to make things as easy as possible for yourself. A life without any bother is a dull life. I actually like the bother of it all, it's very fulfilling. I like waking the dog around the block two minutes after I wake up in the morning. I love soothing and snuggling a crying, tired baby. I'm good at it and I have a confidence in myself that I wish I had when I first became a mother. This new experience has shown me how far I've come. With my first baby, I was a paranoid, nervous wreck. I didn't realize it at the time, but in hind sight I see that I was so tightly wound. You can't calm and soothe a baby when you're giving of that anxious energy. Fast forward seven years and I know with absolute certainty that I really am an excellent care giver. I thrive on it. I am so glad that I opened myself up to these opportunities. Yesterday morning my daughters and I took the dog on a walk and I carried the baby in the baby Bjorn carrier. Cheesy as it sounds, my heart was overflowing with joy. It's not a burden at all. There was no place else I would have rather been. Now that is a huge life lesson.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I'll Tell You Why I Mow the Lawn

I mow the grass for a few reasons. Reason number one is pretty needs to be done and I'm home way more than my husband is so I might as well just get it done. I learned a long time ago that if you want something done right now (as I always do), you better know how to do it yourself. Plus, it's a great workout. I can't walk on a treadmill in good conscious knowing that I could be walking behind my mower getting the yard done. Two birds, one stone.

I was roughly twelve years old when I first got acquainted with a lawn mower. I used to do a lot of babysitting for my aunt and she quickly learned that I loved responsibility and I was pretty reliable. One day, she was home and I was helping out at her house. Her small lawn needed mowing, so she started the mower, gave me a couple of pointers and left me to it. I figured out a pattern and the next thing you know, it was done and I felt a nice sense of accomplishment. She also taught me how to bake bread, pick fruit, and milk a goat among many other useful skills. She needed help and I don't think she cared if I did things perfectly, she just needed them done. I enjoyed being the big cheese that she could count on. Win-win.

When Dave and I were dating, Dave decided to start mowing lawns and doing a little snow removal to earn extra money while he was in school and only working a part time job. Who do you think his best and only employee was? You guessed it, me! So I can not only mow lawns like a champ, but I can also clear a snow covered driveway in no time at all (with or without a snow blower).

I mowed tons of lawns during the early years of our relationship, both on a riding mower and walking behind the push mower. Dave did all the weed eating, only because I struggle when it comes to managing that stupid pull starter on the trimmer. I still shy away from it to this very day. I've heard good things about the Ryobi electric start trimmer and I'd love to own one (A girl can dream, right?). It must also be said, that I was not paid for any of this work. Dave used the money to buy new equipment and an engagement ring for yours truly. I wasn't "given" a diamond ring, so much as I "earned" it, free and clear.

That last paragraph makes me sound like an idiot and Dave sound like a dick. Both are probably a tiny bit true, but honestly it was fun working together like we did. We were partners and I liked it. Mowing lawns in the heat (on my days off from the salon) sucked, but I was good at it and I was efficient. I thrive on being efficient. The fun times were the winter nights when we'd clear snow. We'd go out at night after a storm and work in the silent moonlight. The roads would be sketchy and we'd slide around, but it was fun because almost no cars were on the roads. Plus, we were still in that awesome super in LOVE phase where you just love being together no matter where you  are or what you're doing.

I also mow the lawn now because I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from it. There's nothing like a fresh cut lawn to really amp up your curb appeal. The hair stylist in me loves to cut things into nice clean shapes. Our yard is like an enormous clipper cut. I love to make it look nice, trimmed and perfect. Every time I cut our grass, I find a new, more efficient pattern to mow. Our yard is not square and there are a million ways to cut it. I want to find the perfect pattern and I'm not quite there yet. I know it's weird, but it feels wonderful to make each blade of grass level and clean looking. I feel warm and giddy just writing about it. Cutting things is certainly my calling. I would get the same feeling from cutting off a mullet. Mangy to groomed is my specialty. Perhaps this is why I also shave my legs every single day. It brings me peace.

The last reason is the worst of all because it's pride based. I want to be useful. I want to be a jack of all trades. If Dave ever divorced me, and let's face it, I have a mouth on me and the possibility is there. I would want Dave to marry a useless woman who expects Dave to do everything for her. Then I would live the rest of my life knowing that Dave would cry himself to sleep every single night knowing that I was the most awesome wife of all. I would be appreciated and my true worth as a useful, efficient woman would finally be recognized. I told Dave this last night and he patted me on the arm and said, "Good job." I guess that's all the thanks I'm getting.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gel Polish is a Serious Commitment

I never ever go to the nail salon. Maybe I've seen too many episodes of Dateline and I'm certain that an incurable infection is just waiting to attack my feet or maybe I'm just cheap. Sure, both of those factors play into my shunning of the pedicure world, but the main reason I don't get my mani-pedis is because I hate when the ladies at the nail place have secret Vietnamese conversations right in front of me. I just know that they're talking smack or making fun of me and I can't do anything to stop it. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I can't stand the thought of someone hating on me right in front of me.

If they put boiling hot water in the fungus covered foot bath, I don't say a word. If the lady is torturing me, I don't say a word. If she's tickling my foot to the point that I'm going to pee my pants, I pee in silence. I don't want to give them any reason to start the smack talk. I refuse to make them mad or even irritate them a little. I cringe when someone in the chair next to me starts getting specific about how they want their toenails trimmed or criticizes the nail ladies in any way at all. But on the other hand, I like it, because it takes the heat off of me. Go ahead nail lady, talk smack about the complainer in the chair next to me. I'll just mind my own beeswax and enjoy the beating that this massage chair is giving me.

The whole experience isn't relaxing for me if I haven't already painted that picture for you. So it may not come as a surprise that I go there as a last resort. I went the other day and all my worst case scenarios played out. Tons of foreign language laughter and shit talk, old lady complaining up a storm in the chair right next to me, and who know if any tools were cleaned before I got there.  Only this time, I added to my own drama by making an awful decision right as I walked in the door. I asked for the gel nail polish. This stuff is like UV light cured, permanent polish. In other words, choose wisely because you are practically getting your nails tattooed. It's no time for dolphin designs and experimental color combos!

I survived my pedicure experience and all was going well right up until the end when I was faced with decision time. The lady asked me to choose a polish color and I chose a nice gold and coral glitter polish. It was light and subtle and just what I wanted. The nail lady informed me that it wasn't really a color, so much as it was just a glitter that you put on top of a color. She then urged me to put an orange toned polish under the glitter coat to jazz it up a bit. She might as well have held a gun to my head. I think I made it clear above that I don't argue with women who are fluent in Vietnamese, EVER. So I panicked and shook my stupid head up and down and smiled out the words, "Sure, whatever you think is best".

BIG MISTAKE, HUGE MISTAKE! I walked out of the salon ten minutes later with a color that can only be called, "Florescent Glitter Construction Cone Orange". Hideous doesn't begin to describe it, but I didn't show a hint of horror as I smiled and tipped her generously. I walked out into the sunlight and shit only got worse. I was blinded by my own toes.

So I go home and take to Facebook to figure out exactly how I get this gel polish off my nails and it turns out it will be a long process that involves lots of Acetone and filing and scrubbing. I can't put my toes through that process, so I've opted to do the next best free thing. I'm painting a normal nail polish color right over the top. Two coats ought to do it I think. It's been a shit-tastic  lesson to learn, but at least I know that I can't handle making long term decisions at the nail salon. Thank you universe. It won't happen again.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Gym IS NOT a Meat Market

I recently joined a tiny little 24 hour gym and it's a dream come true. There are no waiting lists to use the cardio machines and there are no roid rage meat heads grunting away at the squat rack. The place is great! It doesn't even have that lingering body odor aroma in the air. It's clean and fresh and practically all mine. I love that there is hardly anyone there, but I would have hated that when I was younger. The non-meat market atmosphere would have sucked all the fun out of going to the gym. The thrill of the hunt would have been gone. Boy how times have changed.

Years ago, before kids and marriage, I had a membership at a different gym. That gym was VERY busy and it was most certainly a meat market...for me anyway. I would get all set up on the stairmaster, listen to some hip hop or metal on my disc man and then workout in oblivion while enjoying all the eye candy. The time just flew by. There were guys everywhere and most of them were decent looking (if you squint your eyes a little bit) and they were all very friendly. The gym was like a rated PG, daylight, dance club. It was fun and it made going to gym sort of exciting. It was a great distraction and a motivator to get me to the gym.

Fast forward to the year 2013 and my reasons for going to my new gym are very different. I go there for a little alone time. Me time. Kid-free time. My nearly vacant gym is sort of like my own apartment. I can go there at the end of the day and unwind.  I don't even care about the fit factor. I just like being there and enjoying a little peace and quiet  in my air conditioned oasis. The upside is that I'm actually working out for an hour too! My body is going to look great because I now go to the gym even when I don't really feel like exercising. It's a win-win situation!

 It's not even awkward when a stranger walks into my oasis and hops on the treadmill because the weirdos at my gym completely ignore each other. This is amusing to me. I have never experienced this behavior at a gym before. I haven't been going there for very long, but I'm already learning about the regulars. This is a dull cast of characters indeed, but one in particular I find very strange.

I call him "treadmill guy". He seems normal enough. I couldn't really guess his age. He could be anywhere from 25-40. He walks in, gets on his treadmill and he runs 7 miles, without any music. He silently alternates between staring directly at himself in the mirror and closing his eyes. When he's done running, he gets down on the floor and does the kind of leg lifts that ONLY ladies do. It's bizarre to say the least and that behavior leads me to believe that he has an eating disorder and body image issues.

 Yesterday I was running on the treadmill next to him and I kept looking over at him to see if he was even aware of anyone next to him. He didn't acknowledge me at all, to the point that it was comical.  I was trying so hard not to bust up laughing. I got a hell of an ab workout just from that alone. Then he did something only a dude would do...he sort of blew his nose into his bare hand. I don't know if anything came out, but I'll bet he blew a snot rocket, and I was very grossed out. Why do guys do that and think it's okay?  No woman in her right mind would ever do that. He's now a serial killer as far as I'm concerned. Be warned "treadmill guy", I know your secret and I'll be keeping an eye on you (even if you want to pretend I'm not).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Tried on a One Piece

I opened my mailbox the other day and found my worst nightmare inside. My credit card bill. I'm not in debt, but I HATE that moment when every purchase from the previous month is brought to your attention all at once. I find myself wondering why the hell I needed this much stuff over the course of one month. Why is my grocery bill higher than my wishful $100 a week budget? I spent how much on gas? I don't even remember buying something from Amazon, so why is there a charge from there?

The whole list of expenditures just brings me down and ruins and my day. But there is one teeny tiny upside to spending too much money on my credit card....REWARDS!!! This is why I put my last C-section on my Old Navy card.  I get rewarded with free clothes from Old Navy. This isn't exciting for most people, but I love it. Old Navy is one of those wonderful stores that puts clothes on clearance quickly and constantly. This means that I can get a lot of bang for my buck. So you can imagine my joy when I uncovered a reward check for $35. At Old Navy that amount of money might as well be a hundred dollar bill. I had a shopping spree in my immediate future. I loaded the kids in the car and the rest was history.

I hit pay dirt as soon as I walked in the heavy glass doors of the store. My favorite workout shorts were ten bucks a piece and I get an additional 10% off just because it was Tuesday and I'm a card holder. Then it was on to some plum colored denim shorts and a super soft T-shirt in a coral shade. I wasn't as wild about the stuff in the kids department, but my girls found a few cute things to try on and we hit the jackpot on sale priced children's swimwear. 

On our way to the dressing rooms, I spied a lone rack of women's swim suits that had beautiful, bright orange sale stickers covering the original price tags. I was intrigued. I perused the rack and did something I've never done as an adult. I picked up a one piece swim suit to try on. The color was a nice purlplish magenta, the price was right and I thought, hey why not? Then the kids and I piled into the handicap dressing  room to begin trying on our soon to be loot.

I have several regular thoughts that pass through my head in the Old Navy dressing room:
1. Was this even designed to be worn on a human body?
2. Holy shit I'm short!
3. Cambodian sweat shop workers are weird.
5. OMG, Do I really look like this in real life??? Gross!!!
6. How did I live before I owned this? It was meant for me!!!!
7. I'll buy this if it goes on clearance, but they are up in the night if they think I'm paying twenty six bucks for this!

After putting on a one piece swimsuit and stepping in front of a dressing room mirror, I could add a new phrase to that list and it goes something like this, "I feel pornographic!".  I don't even know how this is possible, but I felt over exposed in that purple one piece. It felt so weird to have it on. I have worn bikini's for so long that it just felt wrong to have all that spandex clinging to my body.  It felt dirty and I felt somehow shorter than I really am. I could not imagine stepping onto a beach, taking off my sundress and exposing myself to the public in that thing. I can't understand why a bikini doesn't make me feel naked and weird, but they just don't. It's almost like all that extra material was hiding something mysterious and it draws more attention to all your flaws. I don't get it, but it wasn't my cup of tea at all. I'm cringing as I relive it right now. Needless to say, I didn't buy it, but my kids got a good laugh over seeing mom in a one piece. Even they saw the awkwardness of it all.

 I know there are tons of women who feel like they can't wear a bikini, but you have to try a few on (preferably at home where the lighting is better and you're not confined in a dressing room that forces you to stand two inches away from the worlds most unflattering mirror). Who knew that the world of one piece shopping was this traumatizing? I thought it would be easy to find one that looked nice, but that experience put me off them for life. I'm destined to be that nasty old lady that wears a bikini and all her sagging glory. You're welcome world!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Costco aggravates me. Yes, I'm a member there. I choose to go there, but I find myself getting incredibly irritated almost every time I shop there. Oddly enough, I pay for this experience. It's mind boggling.

I am 90% certain that my death will occur in the Costco parking lot. It's a morbid thought, but honestly I suspect that this is my fate. It could happen any number of ways. An aggressive mini-van mom could mindlessly back right into me because her cargo area is stacked to the brim with frozen waffles and toilet paper.  She could also just ram me head on because she remembers that I'm the huge haired guidette that took victory from her in an earlier parking spot battle. What can I say, my blinker is brighter and I won't take no for an answer.

My death could also stem from a physical brawl. Hand to hand combat if you will. Why, just last week Dave almost got into a fist fight with a middle aged Prius driver. This old dude made a classic error. He didn't get to pull out of his parking spot for a bit because parking lot traffic was rather heavy. So he did what we all do in that scenario. He started talking shit. That's all fine and dandy in the winter, but it can get you into trouble when the weather's nice, because we tend to forget that everyone can hear that smack talk when our windows are down.

 This fellas trash talk was LOUD (like he was speaking in capital letters loud), and Dave wasn't havin' it. Something just comes over people in that damn parking lot, rage I think it is. So my husband slammed on the brakes and put the car in park. He then exited the vehicle to see if old man really wanted to continue the brawl once he saw who he had mistakenly chosen to battle (a descendant of the Vikings). Needless to say, grandpa shut his trap and drove home. I loved every second of this encounter. I suspect that this is ultimately what is wrong with me.

I've also thought that my death could happen just as easily inside the walls of the store. Any number of ways really. It could be as simple as me refusing to show my membership card at the door. It's a warehouse store for goodness sake!!! It's not like I'm trying to waltz into a North Korea. Maybe the "bouncer" at the Costco entrance won't be in the mood for my antics and bam, I'm bludgeoned to death with a flat screen or a large jar of mayonnaise. You just never know.

My mouth could get me into trouble too. Sometimes my thought bubbles burst and I accidentally voice my inner judgements aloud. Like yesterday for example. I was looking over the produce when I spied a woman that was practically begging me to judge her. She was at Costco, midday, just like me, only she was dressed like a dowdy hooker. I couldn't help wondering why anyone would bother dressing like a homely street walker when their plans include a trip to a warehouse store? I don't know if she heard me, but I couldn't help myself from letting out a sad, "Oh boy" upon seeing her awful ensemble. I mean honestly, if you're dead set on looking like a lady of the night, at least make a better effort and look hot. If I was her pimp, I'd smack her around over that outfit choice for sure.

The last cause of death is pretty simple. Cardiac arrest. I had a hell of a meal there yesterday. Nope, it wasn't the pizza and churros at the front of the store. I ate enough greasy, delicious samples to harden and clog even the fittest of arteries. My sample lunch was delectable. Sausage, potato ravioli, cheese ravioli, pot stickers, teriyaki chicken, popcorn, cheddar cheese (like anyone has NEVER tasted cheddar cheese???), granola bar, potato chips and pasta with a lovely red sauce. Why anyone would waste their money on food at the front of the store is just beyond me. They are handing it out for free all over the store! Well, not exactly free, I did buy a membership to eat that free lunch. I'm dumb as hell sometimes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

Way to go Linda! I love you and I still can't believe you had me without any sort of drugs. Oh yeah, and I'm super sorry that I caused you to get that hernia. I love you and appreciate all that you've done for me and my own kids. Happy Mothers Day.
I am having a fantastic Mothers Day! Really, it's just been a great week all together. My own darling daughter began eating tortillas and crackers (at the ripe old age of four). My oldest daughter performed in a her ballet recital and made me her most heartfelt mothers day card to date. I colored my hair darker (and shinier) and had Jackie cut my hair, so my layers are really outstanding right now.  Plus, Dave and I had one of our thrice yearly heart to hearts where I tell him everything he needs to change about his behaviour to make my life easier. I like those talks because he's AWESOME for a good solid week after. He really makes an effort to be a grown up husband. It's been great.

Apparently the timing of our chat could not have been better. I was handsomely rewarded with one of the best gifts I've ever received during our 11 year marriage. An iPad mini!!! As some of you may already know, I do not own a smart phone. I'm still rockin' the flip phone and for the most part I'm fine with it. Sure, it's a little embarrassing to have the same phone that most elementary school kids own, but it gets the job done for a tenth of the price of a smart phone. I just have that T-mobile pay as you go plan and my phone service costs about $150 a year. I get the thrill of a good deal just even typing that last sentence.

But I digress, I now have an Apple gadget and I feel sort of bad ass if I'm being honest. This thing just kicks ass. I can read books on it, play Candy Crush on it and it somehow it magically gathered all my iTunes music onto it. Oh yeah, I can even text on it. This is revolutionary for a gal like me. You need to recall that texting on your old flip phone sucked royally. If I want to type the letter "c", I gotta tap that #2 three times. Remember that? It's brutal. The upside is that I have no choice but to pull over if I'm sending a text. I'm a hell of a multi-tasker, but even I can't memorize how many times I need to press the #8 to access a letter "V". I'm not entirely certain how it all works on the iPad, but I'm willing to learn because I love this gadget like the third child I'm not having.

Yep, Dave knocked it out of the park with this one. He stepped out for a few hours Saturday morning to "check a job". He legitimately did have to go check a job site, but then he went shopping my gift. This is usually Dave's standard protocol. He goes to a store and buys me a present and a card. He chooses great cards and then he goes out to his truck and writes, "Yeah, that sounds like something I would say" right after all the sweet, Hallmark sentiments and he signs it, "Love, Davey".  He then drives directly home, walks in the door (washes his hands because he's a germaphobe) and gives me my gift in the shopping bag from the store. The receipt is always still in the bag and then he'll say, "There's the receipt if you want to return it and get something better".  He doesn't give a shit if it's ten days before the holiday or the day of. He doesn't dink around with wrapping paper and hiding spots.

This year he accidentally gave me a triple threat gift. Our anniversary is a week or two away from Mothers Day and the price of this gift means that it will cover him for both occasions. He then accidentally got me a card that says, "Happy Birthday" and the bottom instead of "Happy Mothers Day" (this is classic Dave).  He was very pleased when I brought this to his attention. He will now joke for the next 5 months about how he's already taken care of my birthday gift and card (albeit VERY early).

As they say in the South, "Bless his heart!".

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Wheat Joy!!!

With 3, count em, THREE exclamation points!!!

This post needs to be read with extreme enthusiasm. Last week, my four year old daughter ate wheat! She ate a few pieces of whole wheat pasta to be exact. If she passed this food trial I knew that her life was going to change in such a positive way. If she ended up throwing up for hours, we would be looking at a pretty major set back. This is the odd world of Food Protein Induced Entercolitis Syndrome (FPIES for short). A world that we have been living  in since we first learned that acronym when Lyla was 7 months old.

Six weeks ago I decided to take my daughters digestive problem into my own hands. I scheduled an appointment with a Chiropractor. Little one wasn't getting adjusted or anything like what you'd expect from the word Chiropractor. I took her to a man who uses a treatment called Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET for short, we like acronyms around these parts).

This treatment is weird and it involves concepts like "balancing energies". It sounds hokey to a lot of people, but it's totally non-invasive and it's the only thing available to try. I'll admit that before we even met Dr. Goulding, I was already referring to him as the "witch doctor". I had done a lot of internet research about this strange treatment and the two main points that I took with me were these. Leave your logic at the door, and it works for a lot people. With that in mind, I went for it and I'm glad I did. It was strange as hell, and my husband thinks I am crazy (nothing new there), but my daughter is sitting across from me right now, eating a freaking cracker!!!  Believe it or not, this has been my wildest dream for the last three and a half years. It has been realized and now I want to ride a unicorn over a rainbow with Adam Levine. Fingers crossed, that will happen too!

She isn't eating something really tasty like a goldfish cracker or Ritz (way too many ingredients for me to panic about). She is indulging in a box of Carr's Table Water Crackers. If you don't know what these are or what they taste like, I'll explain. Go to your grandma's house and look for a dusty black box in the back of her pantry. Inside you'll find a sleeve of bland, tasteless, white crackers. You'll taste one and you'll throw the rest away because you're certain they're too stale to eat. They've gone bad is what you'll think. The average 5 year old would spit it out during a taste test. They aren't special. Your grandma doesn't even like them. She eats one every now and again to remind herself of the horrible, lean times of her childhood, better known as the Great Depression.

So Little one is eating the tasteless crackers and she is overwhelmed with excitement. She is giddy as can be with this new addition to her diet. She is fighting the urge to put this entire sleeve of white crackers into her tiny belly. "These are just too Yummy!" she says with absolute sincerity. This little cracker represents the beginning of what I hope will be a more normal diet. We haven't tried her other food enemies yet, corn and rice. Last time I checked,  milk and eggs give her hives. Who knows if she can have oats? Her favorite treat is a Hall's cough drop (don't judge, corn syrup free and milk free sweets are impossible to find). It's not a slice of pizza or anything, but she  can eat a bland cracker and I'm thrilled beyond belief. It's days like this that I know for certain that it's the little things in life that you have to grab onto and enjoy. This is, without a doubt,  my best little moment of the year.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A New Kind of Drug Dealer

Please don't confuse this post with a political statement. It's merely an idea I've been tossing around in my head.

I wish that I knew a local drug dealer that rose above the crowd and started dealing nothing but antibiotics.  I would hope that this business would be lucrative enough that said drug dealer would be able to do this exclusively, there by letting me avoid the meth heads and crack whores when doing our drug deals. I would do a good deal of business that sort of person. If you're the person in your family that is in charge of the schedules and the finances, you probably understand exactly where I'm coming from here. When someone in my house gets strep or pink eye, I just want access to the meds, without jumping through all the formal medical hoops.

We have health insurance now, we haven't always, but we do now. We pay a hefty price for it too. I'm grateful that it's there, but most of the time I consider it to be "oh shit" insurance. By that I mean that this insurance sucks for the day to day stuff, but I'd be really glad I had it if someone in my family needed surgery or something majorly expensive. If the diagnosis makes me say "oh shit", we're covered. But this insurance company will haggle you to death on everything else. Example, "Are you sure you weren't crazy before we started your coverage?" "We'll need proof that your kids case of pink eye happened after your coverage started. For all we know she's had pink eye for the last six months and you're only deciding to treat it now." Pathetic really.

Not to mention that they take a good six months to decide if they're paying your doctors a cent. The management at that company really needs to eliminate Facebook access from the office. I know every claim processor is a whiz at Words with Friends and they must all be near the end of the Candy Crush Saga. They sure as hell aren't working away at paying claims. I'm embarrassed to go to a doctor because of this. I'm a prompt bill payer and it infuriates me that I look like someone that gets regular collection calls.

I remember when I first became a parent and I needed the doctors opinions and advice for every little cough or sneeze. Those days are long gone. I know pink eye when I see it. I don't want to wait for a doctor appointment, pay the office $125, and waste and hour and half of my time for the doctor to tell me what I already know....we need prescription eye drops. Let's cut to the chase already. When a kid wakes up with red, goopy eyes I want to page my dealer (I'm so 1996) and meet up in a parking lot for the exchange. It's simple and effective.

I'm not saying I'm qualified to be a doctor (though I totally think I'm qualified to be a doctor), but I know strep when I see it. I know an ear infection when my kid is burning up and crying in horrible pain,  and I don't want to make an appointment at the Pediatric care. My mind calms down and sings one song over and over again. It's the famous words of my favorite Youtube anthem, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What's the Moral of Beauty and the Beast?

Lyla's idea of a great afternoon always involves princess dolls and a doll house. She insists that I play with her and she ALWAYS has to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast and she makes me be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I'm fine with my assigned character. I like Ariel and her prince, Eric. I guess Lyla likes Eric too. The first thing that her Belle dolls says during our play session is this, "Hi Ariel, I'm Belle and I'm getting ready to go on a date with Eric". She says this right to Ariels face! I'm forced to respond by saying, "I'm sorry Belle, but that's just not going to happen. Eric is my man!"  She starts the drama because she loves to watch Ariel cry her eyes out in the dollhouse bathroom and also because, let's be honest here, who really wants to date the Beast? Not my daughter, I hope.

 This scenario always makes me try to figure out the Disney moral of the Beauty and the Beast story. Whatever it is, I want nothing to do with it. I just flat out told my girls that I would be VERY disappointed if they ended up like Belle. Yes I know Belle is the princess who reads books, but come on, it hasn't helped her much. I would go ballistic if either one of my girls began dating an over sized dog, with obvious rage issues. Especially if said dog had held them prisoner in his castle.

Forget all the talking dishes and singing candlesticks. That whole story is a glorified, textbook case of Stockholm syndrome. I don't care how much you like the library inside the castle. If that rabid dog lets you outside for a snowball fight, you bug outta there as quick as you can. You don't stick around to find out if a little unnecessary kindness will soften  his A-hole, outer shell. He might seem nicer for a while, but what if in a few years you accidentally delete his show from the DVR, or forget to pick-up his dry cleaning. And God forbid you accidentally rent a shitty romantic comedy from Redbox. He's gonna go ballistic on you. Before you know it you'll be covering your bruises with concealer and spray tan. You'll tell your friends that you "fell down the palace stairs" or the "talking ottoman tripped you". I see your future with the beast Belle, and it ain't pretty girl!  It certainly isn't happily ever after, that's for sure.

Run Belle! You don't have to marry that handsome Gaston either. You can always get a restraining order against him if he won't leave you alone. You don't have to marry either of those guys because they aren't right for you. Move to a different village if you have to, just don't settle down with a rage-a-holic canine. You can do so much better girl. In the meantime, get some cats and some yoga pants. Buy a box of Zinfandel and fill your freezer with Lean Cuisines. Start watching Lost and Dexter from the beginning. That will fill those lonely Friday nights. Someone worth your while will come along eventually. Don't sell yourself short.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Writing Your Own Future

After writing about old journals, my next thought involved future journals. What do I want to happen next in my life? I like to write so I'm forced to look at this from that angle. Where should the story go from here? My life story that is. I'm a married 34 year old with a couple of kids. Is all the wild and crazy adventure over? Am I too old for a few more "out of the box" decisions?  An adventure maybe? Well of course I say YES to excitement and adventure...Dave, not so much. He's more practical, sometimes overly practical. Yin and yang, right?

Here is my proposed plan. I want to sell the palace. I want to simplify. By that I mean, buy a much smaller, much less expensive home and free up some "living money". Dave basically agrees with me up to this point. He would love to take a few great vacations every year. There's nothing better than getting up every morning and mentally doing the count down to your next vacation. Two or three trips a year would be so much fun to look forward to. Lots of adventure, lots of great journal worthy memories made, especially for the kids.

All that sounds amazing, but something inside me wants to take it a huge step further. I want to move for a year of two. I want to sell the house and most of the stuff in it, get a storage unit and roll out. I want to move our family to Hawaii for a while. Rent an apartment, get mediocre part time jobs there and just live in paradise for a bit.

 It's expensive to live there though. Rent isn't out of control (I've spent lots of time on the internet figuring it out), but everything else like gas and groceries are very expensive. We wouldn't get ahead financially, but we could break even, so why not? I think I need to move out of Utah for a bit. Not forever, just long enough to figure out what I appreciate about Utah.  So far I think the best thing about Utah is my proximity to my family and the cheaper living expenses.  I already know that I love living near family, but temporarily it would be fun to try something new. I think it would be great for my kids especially. What an amazing chapter that would make!

It would be a lot of work to get to the point where it would really happen. There are a lot of road blocks and question marks standing in the way, but I still long to do it. Who knows if I'll ever convince Dave. I want to do all this stuff while we're young, versus waiting until retirement and hoping it all works out then.  Lately especially, I've been reminded that you never know how much time you've got. Maybe your investment portfolio would be massive by the time you're 65 (I dount it) and you'd have the means to move to an island, but what good will all that cash be if you aren't healthy enough (or alive) to do it? What if we're too tired then? To set in our ways? I want to share an adventure with my girls, while they're young and excited about spending time with their parents.

It's good to dream. Maybe I'll win this battle, probably not, but isn't this a good one? Who wouldn't want to do this? I'll just keep watching Hawaii Life and House Hunters International until I convince Dave that we just have to take a risk and do it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Did you ever write in a journal? I'm not referring to your first "diary" that had a lock on it, that contained your deepest darkest, third grade dramas. I mean a journal that you wrote in when life was just starting to get interesting. High school, college, those years.

I had a huge notebook that served as my journal for the high school years and my friend Sara upgraded me to a real journal when I graduated from high school. Obviously the book like journal is holding up much better than the spiral bound notebook and I'm so glad Sara thought to give me a really nice book for my post graduation journaling. Those entries are much more entertaining to read than the high school stuff.

So that leads me to my next question. If you did keep a journal, have you ever taken time to go back and read the stuff you wrote? I do it all the time. The high school stuff is embarrassing to re-read. My immaturity blatantly jumps right off the pages. I was pitifully stupid and practically soaked, head to toe, with drama. Most of those pages are painful to read. I want to hop in a Delorian equipped with a flex capacitor and go back to 1995 and smack myself. Honestly it just scares the crap out of me because I am currently raising two girls and quietly dreading the teenage years. I beg my daughters, please be smater than me!!!!

The "college" journal (Beauty school totally counts as college) is where the good stuff is. A lot of it was written in a drunken stupor at two in the morning, but it's pure comedy to read it back as a somewhat stable adult. Yes, it's also embarrassing to re-read, but if you sift through the stupidity, you can see little hints of a smart adult starting to unfold. I had a clear idea of what I wanted my immediate future to look like and in so many ways, it all turned out better than I'd hoped.

The hardest parts to read are the on again, off again boyfriend dramas. I wasted so much time in a dead end relationship and the worst part about it was that I knew how horrible the relationship was while I floundered in and out of it. I had very little hope that I'd ever meet someone that would be the right fit for me. I was certain that I would absolutely have to settle, from day one, if I ever wanted to get married. I believed that I couldn't truly just be myself and find real love that was fit for me. I aspired to it, but for whatever reason I didn't believe I'd ever find it.

That didn't stop me from going out with a wild spectrum of guys. Let me add that all these dudes are the absolute highlight of that journal. I met some of Ogden's most charismatic bar flies. Guys with lots of swag and game. Guys that would have been perfect for me if they'd just avoided a few bad decisions prior to our meeting. But that's life right. That's what everyone means when they say that the "timing" just wasn't right. It's so true. Timing plays such huge role in the world of love and relationships. You have to meet when the timing is right or it just won't have a chance to unfold properly.

I ran out of pages in my college journal at the exact right time. The book ends just after I met my future husband, Dave. It's a happy ending I'd say (after 10+ years of marriage I sometimes question that statement). I found a great guy and learned the major lesson that would finish that chapter in my life. I figured out that you don't have to settle. When you meet "the one", you won't have to work at making it work. You'll fall in love and the first few years should basically be a love tranced, breeze (the work phase of the relationship will come later). You won't have to play all the dumb games. If Dave wanted to talk to me, he called me. If he wanted to see me, he'd tell me. He wanted to be with me all the time and I wanted to be with him all the time. What a simple, yet refreshing concept. We wanted each other at the same time!  This is the magic glue that is so tough to find in the "dating" world. The timing was right. Are we perfect? Not even a little bit, but ultimately we both must want to be together, because we are.

 If a relationship is hard in the beginning, I'm afraid you'll have very little hope of it ever getting easier. Grown up life and kids will complicate your relationship enough. You have to have some sort of foundation that is solid. Life will get tough. Marriage will make you long to punch your spouse in the face from time to time. But going back and reading that old journal helps me remember what life was really like before I met an uncomplicated, great guy. That's my foundation.

Give your kid journal. Let them teach themselves a lesson.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy Questions

The word "happy" is a big one. We all want this magical thing called happiness, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself what exactly that is? I think about the meaning of that word all the time. So far as I can tell, it's all relative. The definition of that big word is very personal. Your definition will be determined by where you're at in your life and your circumstances.

If you've lived an easy life, your answer will be vastly different than that of a person living with heavier burdens. I often hear stories of Americans visiting third world countries and seeing first hand the horrible living conditions of so many people in the world. The first assumption it that a person living in extreme poverty would be unhappy. But often it turns out that these people are the happiest. I don't know if the simplicity of their lives attributes to that or if their definition of contentment is skewed by their understanding of true hardship.

 Honestly, I've never lived true hardship. Electricity, plumbing and my ease of access to clean water has eliminated almost all hardship from my life. When all of our basic needs are met, we start creating problems for ourselves. We have plenty of time freed up every day to create drama where none exists. Survival has been removed from my equation and now I'm left to stress about my broken iPod and the difficulty of passing level 97 on Candy Crush Saga. My kids are also victims of this. Lyla can pitch a serious fit about wearing pants when she had her heart set on a dress or her Youtube video that just isn't loading fast enough. Tiny "problems" and minuscule dramas are far to easy to create in our heads when all our true needs are met and our lives are filled with excess. This is why it's so easy for me to feel like I have so many problems and a person living in a shack, walking miles for clean water can be happy. It's absurd, but true.

That being said, ask yourself these questions and get to know yourself a little better today.

1. Are you happy?

2. What is happiness?

3. What do you believe you need to be happy?

4. What did you once believe would bring you happiness that you have since learned doesn't?

5. Do you have any problems that are insurmountable?

6. Are you happy now that you've really thought about it?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Drought

The Great book drought has begun. I'm desperate and searching. I wish E-harmony had a site that lined up great women with amazing books. Sometimes I wish that I'd never read a really amazing book before, that way all the crap books they pitch to me on Amazon might actually hold my attention. I'm not super picky, but I hate reading super cheesy books, unless it's a cliche love triangle that really tugs at the old heart strings.

I fully admit that I loved the first Twilight book (and the rest of the series,   except for New Moon which drove me nuts because I am so team Edward). The Hunger Games books were wonderful too and they really held my attention. After the first 100 dragging pages of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I got VERY sucked into those books as well. The True Blood vampire series was a hit with me also. I loved those books and I remember being so excited that it was going to be made into an HBO series. The first season was good, but then it spun out of control. I'm over the show and the books at this point, because I am so confused about what characters are dead in the show and who's still alive in the books.  It just confuses people.

 I'm not opposed to best sellers at all, but I struggle to find books that are the right fit for me. After I heard the hype, I did cave and I read the first Fifty Shades of Grey book. Yes, it was super hot and Christian Grey sounds like a nasty guy, but the story was dumb. I couldn't stomach the second book and I abandoned it after two chapters. I want an unforgettable story. I honestly can't even recall what the plot of Fifty Shades of Grey was. Sex, was that the plot? Can that be a plot? I guess so, but it's not really what I'm looking for.

I've got a new book on my nightstand, but I don't have a verdict on it just yet. It seems good so far, but we'll wait and see where it goes. Hopefully a storm of great books comes my way and the drought will come to an end.

I'm So Sorry Bruno

A while back I wrote a post about the big Victoria's Secret Fashion show. I still think the whole show is merely a vehicle for anorexic models to find their newest rock star boyfriends and maybe a little bit of network tame porn to boost ratings. They ain't selling lingerie! That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

One part of the show that I do like is the music. They always have great bands and singers playing live on the runway and it makes the show tolerable to normal women. Justin Bieber was there and that won me over for sure. The Biebs can do no wrong (I don't care if you smoke a little weed Biebs, you deserve it. You work hard and that Selena Gomez break-up was probably tough on you. You should drink a little liquor too, I don't care if you're underage. I won't judge you a bit.). They also had Bruno Mars perform. Before that performance, I will totally admit that I HATED Bruno Mars music. I would change the channel immediately if his horrible "Grenade" song came on the radio. I didn't get it and I didn't want to. Well, it turns out that he's a hell of an entertainer on a stage. He's got charisma up the yin yang and it's enjoyable to watch. I still didn't care for his songs, but I knew that he was a little firecracker and I could get on board if he was singing the right tunes. That being said though, I still talked a lot of trash on him in my Victoria's Secret post.

Fast forward 6 months and I'm sold. This tiny little fella put out a new CD and I've only heard a few songs, but I love them. This "Locked Outta Heaven" song that he played at the Grammy's with Sting is fantas-mic! This is some grade "A", kick ass pop music and I love it. I even bought this track, with real money, on iTunes and so I felt like he deserved an apology.

I'm sorry Bruno. I was wrong. You're Grenade song is still HORRIBLE, but you've outdone yourself with this new song and I can officially say that I like you. My running shoes thank you!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Candid Kids

Anyone that's friends with me on Facebook knows that I have some funny kids. I'm always (probably too much) sharing the hilarious, random comments that my kids say. I can't help it though. These kids really crack me up some days. My oldest, Sasha, is usually the star of these posts, but Lyla is really coming into her own with the one liners.

Last week we were eating breakfast and out of nowhere, my four year old says, "So after Jesus made me, was I just like out in space with my space helmet on?" I'm not exactly sure myself on the details of her where abouts before she was born, so I told her that I didn't think so. I guessed that she was in my tummy at that point. She then said, "With my space helmet on???" I don't know kid.

So the other day we are sitting in a waiting room with several strangers and a woman smiles at Lyla. My daughter then looks at me and very loudly says, "That lady just smiled at me mom. She smiled because I'm the cutest thing she's ever seen in the whole wide land." Everyone in the place sort of giggled a bit. A few minutes pass and some people leave the room and new folks arrive. It's pretty quiet now and Lyla has new information to share.

"Who did that fart?" I quietly shake my head at her, hoping that she'll stop. This kid goes C.S.I. when it comes to flatulence. She won't stop until she solves the case. It plagues her.  "I heard a fart mom. Who did that fart? Sasha, did you do that fart?" I am about to crack up, but I shake my head again, encouraging her to drop the subject. Sasha tells her that she is NOT responsible for the fart and tells Lyla to stop it. Lyla then says, "Probably one of them did it", and she gestures toward the strangers in the room who are desperately trying to ignore my kid. Now I am embarrassed for all of us. She then thankfully wraps it up with this little gem, "Well, maybe I probably did it. Sorry!"

In the end, I'm just thankful that it was the fart thing she latched on to. At age four, it could have been a lot worse. Lyla has hit an age where she is certain that any woman with an over sized belly has at least a couple of babies in her tummy. I will be mortified if this guess of hers is ever revealed in a quiet waiting room. We usually hear that one at grocery stores or restaurants where other noise drowns it out. We also get Sasha's fashion police comments like, "Wow, that outfit is VERY inappropriate. I can see way too much of that ladies boobs. She really needs a belt too mom, because I can see the top of her butt. Who's mom would let them dress like that?"

Inappropriate is one of the most used words in this house. I like that the kids are getting a feel for what is appropriate and what seems very inappropriate, especially when it relates to clothing choices. It probably doesn't help that they read US Weekly magazine while they get their hair done each day. As soon as those kids step foot in my salon, they simply can't sit down in my chair without grabbing a gossip magazine. They love to critique every one's ensemble. No one is safe, not even Miley Cyrus's dad, Brad Pitt.

Brad Pitt
Billy Ray Cyrus

Sasha is absolutely certain that these two people are the same man. They are both Miley's dad, and they both need to tell Miley that her outfits have been VERY inappropriate lately, and that her hair looks better longer.

Honest too a fault I guess. I shouldn't enjoy their comments nearly as much as I do.

Monday, March 25, 2013

James Franco

My friend Jessica and I went to the movies over the weekend. She is my perfect movie date. We love a good R-rated flick, especially if it's a comedy. We have the same taste in shows. So when I called her up and told her we should go see Spring Breakers, she was totally on board.

So we sit down in the theater and within five minutes of the movie starting, we look at each other and Jessica says, "We'll give it five more minutes." Everyone knows exactly what that means. She and I are NOT prudes at all. I was a wild child myself, but this movie took it a million steps further instantly. I think we might have been close to being slightly offended by the content of the show. A movie has to be pretty crude to make me and Jessica feel like old maids. We were both like, "Whoa, we are totally moms now!!!" It freaked us out about raising our own daughters in the world today.

I love Selena Gomez and the whole first half of the show we were just hoping that Selena would smarten up and get away from her awful, foul mouthed, dirty, violent friends. I couldn't relax until she was 100 miles away from all the Spring Break debauchery. We both wanted her to be safe.  I just kept thinking, run Selena! Justin Bieber will take you back and keep you safe girl! What the hell are you doing in Florida anyway?

We stayed for the entire, crazy, movie though. It was only an hour and a half, but it got super weird. I wouldn't recommend this show to anyone, but I have to say that James Franco was amazing. He was completely unrecognizable and he played the thuggy, trashy, drug dealer type to perfection. He was like a skinnier Kevin Federline. The more I think about it, the more impressed I am with him. If this movie were anything other than "Spring Breakers", he would be up for an Oscar for sure. The dude is committed when he's playing a part. Jessica works for Delta and she always sees James at the airport. I told her she needs to ask him if he was super uncomfortable during some of the scenes in this dirty movie. How could he not be? My skin is crawling just thinking about it. Good work James. I hope you got to keep that shiny grill as a souvenir!

Isn't this a crazy transformation? That guy up there normally looks like this guy down here.
Good hair and clothes make a huge difference.

My spell checker always has to try to correct me on the same words. When is this system going to learn that "Bieber" is a word and "Thuggy" is a word?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Case for a Bounce House

Having kids has taught me so much about the world. Like for instance, the world DOES NOT revolve around me (blew my mind) and no one cares if my dinner is cold when I sit down to eat it. My kids also taught me that my living room floor is covered, not by carpet, but by an alarming amount of hot molten lava. So much so that my kids are often forced to tear apart my pricey leather couch and jump from one cushion to another just to avoid burning to death in said lava. While I appreciate their caution, I also found myself getting really sick and tired of reassembling my couch everyday. That's when the stroke of genius hit me. I don't need a nice looking living room with couches that never get sat on. I need a trampoline or bounce house.

I remembering seeing the movie Big when I was a kid. Tom Hanks had two things that rarely go together. A kids mentality and money. He got himself a huge loft apartment and filled it with everything a kid could possibly want, full size arcade games, Foosball table, toys and a trampoline. I was so inspired by his awesome loft apartment. I swore right then and there that I would put a trampoline inside my house when I became an adult and I had my own money. I also vowed to own my own roller rink and marry the lead singer of Skid Row. The roller rink and the rock star proved to be beyond my grasp, but I can totally purchase a trampoline.  I ended up marrying a grown up though and the trampoline plan was quickly vetoed. So I went with the next best thing, an inflatable bounce house.

I told Dave my plan and he was not on board. The following weekend was my daughters birthday and we went to Boondocks (a family fun center) to celebrate. We came home with thin wallets, loads of junky toys and my oldest daughter got the best souvenir of all....Pink Eye! Dave, ever the raging germaphobe, immediately concluded that we would never again visit the germ ridden Boondocks. The kids were devastated by the news and I realized I finally had a great angle to sell him my bounce house pitch. It would be our very own, "uncontaminated", brand new "clean" bounce house and our kids could be super entertained without picking up all the kid sicknesses that plague our house and Dave's brain. SOLD!

I looked at a ton of them online and decide which one I wanted and I ordered it. Five days later it arrived on my porch and five minutes after that my couch was pushed up against the wall and we were bouncing. My kids were thrilled and they felt compelled to build up my mother ego again and again by telling me, and I quote, "You are the best mom in the whole world!" Gee thanks, and just yesterday I was called the meanest mom on the planet for insisting that my kid get her homework finished before we left for school. It's a manic life with young kids.

So here's the verdict. I am very happy with my purchase. This thing inflates in 20 seconds and deflated in a minute. Supposedly it folds up small enough to fit in a duffel bag, though we've yet to find a reason to put it away. My kids haven't had any interest in the T.V. (except for some Mario kart racing) and the couch hasn't been touched since the day the bounce house arrived. It's absolutely wonderful and if someone comes into my house and thinks it looks stupid sitting there in the living room, they are free to turn around and leave. So far though, everyone seems to love it just as much as we do.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Confessions of a Candy Crush Addict

I made a horrible confession on Facebook yesterday. It was painful to do, but there is something so nice about outing yourself via social media. I confessed that I am horribly addicted to the game Candy Crush Saga. It's so true and very embarrassing.

This dumb game was introduced to me on Facebook, but it's a really popular free ap that you can download. Free being the key word here. I adore free games and I  make fun of anyone who would pay real money to download a game or buy "boosters" that would get them further in the game. Paying money for this stuff is absurd because you don't have a chance of winning any real prize by beating your game. It's not like you're gambling in Vegas and you actually stand a slim chance of hitting a jackpot. If I get to the end of Candy Crush Saga I will not win anything. I would probably just be sad that it was over and my house would finally get a good cleaning.

Yesterday I became my worst nightmare. I could not pass a certain level of Candy Crush and I did what I swore I would NEVER do. I bought some boosters...with real money. I paid five dollars and I received boosters that would give me 5 more moves and boosters that would explode tons of candy. It paid off immediately because within a few minutes I passed several difficult levels of my game. This thrilled me to no end. I also had the joy of hitting rock bottom in my life. What have I become? How did this happen? It was so quick and easy to hand over my real money and I found out how the other half lives. I don't want to be like that. I want to hoard my money. I want to pass those levels without the aid of costly boosters. I crossed a line I never wanted to cross and it felt dirty.

Confessing all of this was wonderful. There is no way in hell that I'm going to send another penny to the Candy Crush creators. It won't happen. One of my girlfriends that I used to work with added a great comment under that Facebook confession. She said, "Don't tell Dave! You'll be in trouble!" She knows me and Dave all to well. I would be in big trouble and that's just fine with me, because I would punch Dave in the face if he spent real money on a game as dumb as Candy Crush Saga. I would change the passwords on the Paypal account and take away his credit card. I would Freak the Freak as we say in this house and I am certain he would do the same. That's exactly why I didn't mention this to him.

I will continue to play the dumb game and I swear that I will never again pay for a booster. It's times like this that I feel thankful that Facebook doesn't offer me instant shots of heroine by clicking "okay" to the credit card charges.  God only knows where I'd be now if they did.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Post Bachelor Depression

While I totally loved the finale of the Bachelor last night, I'm overcome with Post Bachelor Depression. Dancing With the Stars doesn't fill that Monday night void for me. Magical Mondays are gone until ABC can drum up some more of that sweet Bachelor drama for me. I'd kill for a new season of Bachelor Pad, but I haven't even heard whispers of one on the horizon. I'm truly shocked by this because there are so many gorgeous rejects left over from Sean's season. These women need a shot at Bachelor Pad. ABC can save a little money on the casting of it because I volunteer to do it for free! I was made for that job.

So back to the finale. I was totally rooting for Catherine half way into the episode. Lindsey is great too, but there was something so much more genuine and real about the pain and angst that Catherine was going through. It was so honest and heartfelt. I LOVED when Sean kissed her goodnight and left her room and she went after him. That's love for sure. I was not sure why Chris Harrison chose to make such a big deal about the moment when Catherine professed her love to Sean and he didn't say it back. He's not allowed to say it back. He touched his forehead to hers and I knew right then and there that he loved her back. I thought it was so tender. I was getting a little teary eyed about it.

The ending was magical. The letter, the gold dress, the hyperventilating. I loved every second of it. It worked out so perfect. Lindsey will look back on this experience and be thankful that Sean didn't propose to her. It will take time, but she will eventually come to accept that you don't want to be wearing that HORRIBLE silver dress of hers when you get engaged. It was so beyond awful. It gave her no shape at all and she just looked like a walking fish, a Salmon perhaps. I hated it so bad that I wonder if it didn't make it easier for Sean to dump her.

I'm very much looking forward to the televised wedding. Ashley and J.P.'s wedding was so fun to watch and I hope that Catherine and Sean have something similar. I was hoping that they had eloped already and that was the big surprise, but I'll be glad to watch it play out on T.V. All and all. Best Bachelor Finale EVER!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

People I'd Like to Smack

If the words "white trash" offend you, this post might not be for you.

Sometimes I do a little grocery shopping at a sketchy store that is often filled with a mix of bargain hunters (myself included) and the ever interesting members of "meth nation". It's shopping and a show. Sometimes it's entertaining, sometimes it's a frightening look into the future of America. I got the stomach turning glimpse the last time I went.

I stumbled upon a couple with a baby and what appeared to be another bun in the oven (it could have been a monstrous muffin top, but I'm guessing it was a pregnancy). The baby in the carseat was wearing a long sleeved onesie with an unsnapped crotch ( I guess it takes a lot of effort to snap a kids crotch snaps)....and that was the extent of the clothing. No socks, no pants, no coat, no nothing. Dad (I'm assuming here) had head tattoos, which is never a good sign. The head tats appeared to be gang related, which really does make a head tattoo that much worse. It just seems like a very limiting life decision. In this economy I'm not wanting a gang tattoo on my forehead. What if you need a job and only the "Bloods" are hiring and here you've got a "Cryp" tattoo right there on your face?

Mom was also a hot mess in pajama pants and slipper at 1:30 in the afternoon, but we won't even go there. They were ahead of me in the check out line and watching them made me really super excited to go get my taxes done. They had three separate grocery orders on the conveyor belt. Two were paid for with food stamps. That covered all their basics like bread, peanut butter, milk, cheese, eggs and formula. The third order, the one they were paying for, included the most important purchases. They had a case of beer, a carton of cigarettes, five 12 packs of Mountain Dew and a boat load of hamburger meat. The total on this grocery order was expensive. Soda and cigarettes can really eat up a grocery budget. I was glad they had those food stamps for the other stuff, because it would have cost them an arm and a leg if they had to pay for all of it themselves!

I paid for my groceries and headed out to the parking lot, relieved to be out of there and that's where the plot thickened. The lovely family had loaded their groceries into the GMC Yukon and dad sat in the front seat, taking on his I-phone. Mom lit herself a cigarette inside the car, with all the windows closed so that the little kid in the carseat could get all the benefits of a cigarette while still lacking the dexterity to hold a cigarette for herself. Lovely. I drove home feeling so sad for that kid in the carseat with two complete idiots for parents. I thought to myself, what chance does that little girl have for success in the world when her example is dumb and dumber?

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Baker

Every now and again Dave mentions that he wants me to bake him some cookies. He feels sort of picked on that I don't bake specifically for him. With all the food allergies in this house, I bake my signature eggless pumpkin muffins on a regular basis and on holidays I'll whip up my delicious eggless sugar cookies. The theme here is eggless, as in the six year old dessert fanatic can eat them. I think it's rude enough baking delicious treats in front of Lyla that she can't have, but it crosses the line to make egg containing cookies in front of my cookie loving allergic kid. It's rude. Dave still wants me to do it, but I always say no and that's when he takes matters into his own hands.

Before I went to the grocery store on Sunday, Dave reminded me to buy him some fresh eggs because he was planning to do some baking before dinner. I rolled my eyes but I did remember to buy his ingredients at the store. When I got home I put the new eggs in the fridge and set the old ones on the counter by the trash can because Dave was taking out the trash.

Dave starts his baking extravaganza and twenty minutes in, there are a million dirty dishes but he's doing his thing. He then opens the fridge and yells something like, "Damn it woman! Are these eggs in the fridge the new ones or the expired ones?" I mumbled a smart ass comment like, "Read the freaking date on the side genius!", and then proceeded to tell him that of course the fresh eggs are in the fridge because that's where they belong. Dave then blew a gasket because he had used the expired eggs in his cookie recipe. He was very dramatic about dumping his dough in the sink along with the "contaminated" bowl. He was really upset about this set back, but he decided to start over. This is where I get my mind blown. He now needs to use all new bowls, spoons, measuring cups and measuring spoons. He is now doubling the absurd amount of dirty dishes required for man baking. I only complain about this because Dave isn't entirely sure how to start our dishwasher. We've only lived here for three years and he hasn't learned how this new one works. I'm sure by next year he'll have gotten the hang of it. It is a two button process that the four year old has mastered but it can be really complex.

If I watched him bake in slow motion, I still wouldn't be able to figure out why he makes such a huge mess. It's like he can't possibly be expected to measure flour in the same measuring cup that he used for sugar. That would be gross! He also seemed alarmed that our flour is unbleached. He was hoping I had a bag of bleached flour hidden away in case of emergencies. I don't understand this dude or his methods. The good news is that the cookies turned out really good. The bad news (for my belly) is that the cookies turned out really good. I'm going to ask Dave to put them somewhere up high and out of my reach. This is a major plus side of being short. If I have to climb up onto the counter to reach the sweets, I'll usually just stay away from them. Out of sight, out of mind.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hair Stylist Problems

Sicky, Sick, Sick

I try my best not to use the F-bomb, but it was totally called for in this situation (and in the kind of traffic where it's not moving for no reason what so ever). Everyone on the planet would agree.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Magical Parenting Advice

This morning was a typical hectic, fast paced, weekday morning at my house. The only thing a little bit different was that Dave was here. He normally leaves for work before the kids eat. I made the coffee, got Lyla's hashbrowns going and I poured two cups of soy milk for the girls. Lyla is a big shot four year old now, so I gave her an open cup, a.k.a. a big girl cup, in place of cup that has a lid. She doesn't always drink her milk, but I like to think she enjoys being treated like a big kid anyway.

Lyla played with Legos at the table instead of drinking her milk. Typical really. She then knocked the cup over with her elbow and it spilled all over the table, onto her chair and onto the rug under the table. Dave looked over, grumbled a few expletives (we all do it) and wiped up part of it with a towel. He then gave me the blame look because I gave her the open cup, therefore inviting this mess. I shot back with my super irritated look, which I should get a patent on because it really is that good.  I got a wet wash cloth and tried to wipe up the rest. Spilled milk sucks, but seriously we have a spill of some sort everyday and I manage to clean it up and move on. Dave is not nearly as used to it as I am. He spends his days with adults who apparently don't play with toys at the table. Lucky him!

Dave then looks over at Lyla and spouts off some of the best parental guidance I've ever heard. It was truly amazing and I knew right away that it was my responsibility to share it with the world. Pay attention as I deliver this advice word for word. He said, "Lyla, don't spill your milk anymore. Okay?" She nodded her head in agreement, letting him know that she won't spill milk anymore.

Problem solved, just like that! It was so simple. I honestly wondered why I'd never thought to tell her that in the first place. Imagine the messes that could have been avoided! "Hey tiny baby, stop doing those explosive blow out poops in your diaper. You know, the ones that shoot yellow crap all the way up your back and stain your cutest clothes. Go ahead and stop doing those, okay?" or "Hey kid, don't touch anything at school that might be covered in germs and don't get sick anyomore. Okay?" I'm excited to think of other ways I could bend this advice to fit other situations. No need to thank me, you are already so welcome.

Out of Patience

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bachelor Monday

The best part of primarily being a "stay at home mom" is that Mondays don't suck at all, especially during "Bachelor Season". In fact, I sort of love Mondays. Both kids go to school for a little bit and there is that wonderful Bachelor anticipation all day long. I realize that this statement sounds so pathetic, but I almost always have a fantastic day when I know that one of my favorite shows will be on later that night. If that isn't appreciating the little things in life, I don't know what is.

Today shouldn't be a wonderful day. I have a kid home sick from school and I stepped on a Lego (barefoot on the wood floor) so hard yesterday that the sole of my foot was gushing blood. I was in severe pain, but I was impressed by how much the bottom of ones foot can bleed. I've never cut myself there before. Stepping on Lego's in carpet is nothing in comparison that awful wound! But I digress. Today is super dull, but the thought of watching Sean's fantasy suite dates tonight has brightened every last bit of my day. I just folded all the laundry that my husband "forgot" he left in the dryer and I wasn't even bugged. That is the magic of a good show.

I have read the latest episode of US Weekly, cover to cover, and they tried to spoil my fantasy date episode. If you don't keep up on gossip magazines, the big news about Sean is that he's some sort of born again virgin so there isn't going to be any funny business inside those closed hotel room doors. I don't care. Whatever floats your boat (or not) Sean. I don't care if they make-out, chat, watch porn while snorting coke or even if they play a little scrabble.  Doesn't bother me a bit. I've watched enough Bachelor drama in my day to know that I wasn't going to see any of the get it on action anyway. I'm sure he is a virgin again (whatever that means) and more power to him. I have no doubt in my mind that he still wants to have a hardcore make-out session with each one of those girls and honestly who doesn't love a good hot and heavy make-out? That's some of the hottest stuff around. If you can recall your life's best make-out sessions, you'll probably agree. My point is that I'm just so happy to be getting my Bachelor fix tonight! This whole season has been like a good book. I want to know how it's going to end so bad, but I'll be devastated when it's actually over. It's going to be a great episode!

I CAN'T WAIT (even if Sean claims he can)!

Friday, February 22, 2013


It happens everyday

Hardcore Runner

Here in Utah, we see every season to it's fullest. It's so cold your snot freezes in February and by July you're seeing a freak mirage in the street because it's so hot and dry. Some folks adapt well to the change, acting as though weather has no effect on them. These weirdos are the hardcores.

This morning, I woke up to snow on the ground and the sky was eagerly dumping more. It's sure pretty, but you know the roads are going to icy and you have to factor in time for shoveling. It's only a few months out of the year, but still when you're running late, it's an inconvenience for sure. This morning was just that. I'm trying to get the kids in the car to get them to school and I have to hurry and do some quick cardio shoveling of the drive way. I moved the snow really fast and broke a little sweat to warm me up. Now we pull out of the driveway in a super low gear and four wheel drive in hopes that our car doesn't slide straight down the hill into the school cross walk.

We took it really slow and arrived at the first stop, the elementary school, without incident. Kids are slipping left and right and plenty of cars are fishtailing, trying to find some traction on the slick roads. I drop off kid one and proceed to pre-school. I pull out, very slowly this time, onto a super narrow road that is always really slick. It's dangerous to drive on this narrow road, but I have no choice. That's when I see it. One of the dumbest and yet most common sights to witness on this narrow, twisty stretch of road. The hardcore runner.

Try as I might, I can't figure out the thought process of the hardcore runner. I don't know if they've just seen to many Nike ads and the compulsion to "Just Do It" is tattooed on their brains. I can't figure out why they MUST go for a run in a snow storm. I guess I should admire the dedication, but the stupidity always overrides the admiration.

A glimpse into the hardcore runners mind. I'm guessing here, so bear with me:

Why don't I just glance out the window while I drink my protein shake. Oh hell yeah, a blizzard. So my run is on for sure! Now the question is what should I wear. I totally had my heart set on my fluorescent running shorts with the one inch inseam. They seem to show off the most leg possible without exposing my nut sack (and I am a heterosexual man, so that seems normal), but I'll be practical today and just wear my spandex man leggings.

Now for my route. Let's see here. There has got to be a road nearby that has ZERO sidewalks and it must be incredibly narrow. I want to ensure that I'm either hit and killed during my morning run, or at least guarantee that traffic will have to stop while I gallivant the narrows of the barely snow plowed road. I hope those economy cars have their snow tires on, because I need my space on tiny roads. OMG, I've got it! Old Post Road, and if I time it just right, I can run it during the morning school drop off! I'm so hardcore! I'm so ready to JUST DO IT! Those Ethiopians that always win the marathons have nothing on me! Now where did I put my Nike windbreaker???? Oh yes, it's hanging on my treadmill.