Dec 31, 2011

Meet the Newest Addition to Our Family

This is Kate. We are all in love.

(actually this is a picture of Kate's sister I took off the internet. It was too dark when we got home to take a picture of Kate.)
She's a 2006 Toyota Sienna XLE and she's got enough space for every member of our entire family.
We are so very happy to be done minivan shopping. :)

Kate has power sliding doors. You can't know how cool that is unless you've got kids too small to open car doors on their own. Did I mention there are TWO of them? She also has leather seats (easy to clean with kids) and for being such an old gal, has barely any miles on her at all.

When The Boy figured out we wouldn't be coming home with Jane (our Camry) he hugged the bumper and cried. But he got over it quick when we brought Kate home.

The Boy is in love with all of Kate's buttons. And really, she's got quite a few. We don't even know what all of them do yet but I do know her heated seat buttons are adjustable. As in, you can adjust exactly how hot you want your behind to be. That's just nifty. I'm also loving the power hatch in back. When it comes time for a road trip, the DVD player will be handy. I'm also looking forward to the wireless headphones for the DVD player. (Mom and Dad don't have to listen to Jungle Book three times in a row!) And there's an AC power outlet in back. I have no idea what for, but it's there.

When we called the insurance company to switch stuff over, we actually ended up saving $160 a year on car insurance. How cool is that?

But do you want to know the best part about Kate? She's paid for. I can't tell you how much Dave Ramsey has changed our lives. It's amazing what a little planning, a little foresight and some saving can do for a person's bank account. I'm not gonna lie, though. That's the biggest check I've ever written and it was PAINFUL. It took us weeks to work up the courage to sign a check that big. It's also why we waited until the last day of the year to buy. Saved ourselves about $5k buying today vs a couple weeks ago.

I'm so happy that tonight I can sleep knowing that whenever baby comes, we have a vehicle big enough to fit three car seats in and all my children can ride safely.

Dec 30, 2011

Want to know what's going on?

Post Dates

It turns out being past your due date feels exactly like being pregnant before your due date. Who knew?
Based on how everyone acts about it, I thought for sure one or the other of us would've exploded or something by now.
Well, I did kind of explode on Facebook at all the people "checking to see how I am". Oops.

Anyway, today the kids and I went to the park and made a Costco run. A nice old couple wished me luck on my upcoming delivery, which was a nice change from, "are you STILL pregnant?" Like it's my fault or something for not having given birth yet. Seriously. If I were in charge of this show, little dude would be at least a month old right now.
After dinner, the boy and I headed for the next town over to visit a friend.
When we got home I cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen and did some laundry because it turns out having just had company is a lot like right before you have company except that instead of planning the cleaning out and doing it in stages, it all needs done at once because your house is trashed.

I keep thinking I need to tackle the master closet. It seems like a project for a weekend, being roughly the size of Rhode Island. Why anybody would waste that much space on a closet escapes me until I realize our house has pretty much zero storage elsewhere, which explains why the rest of the closets were easy-peazy in relation.  Anyway, the end result of having a closet that big is that everything gets dumped in there and it's not really designed to store anything except clothes. If FEMA saw it, I'm pretty sure I would get disaster funding to clean it up. Maybe I should send pictures...

Husband has come down with a cold. I'm glad I'm not in labor tonight so he can get some good sleep. Heaven knows I won't sleep through the coughing he's doing. 

PS It's sort of entertaining watching my kid flip from one side of my uterus to the other. Disturbing in an Alien kind of way, but entertaining.

Dec 29, 2011

The Due Date

I woke up at 4:45 to pee and couldn't go back to sleep. So instead I woke up my husband. What? Why should I be the only one awake deciding between a Toyota and a Honda? 
We got ready for the day, made breakfast and managed to pile my sisters and mom into the car by 7:02am for the drive to the airport. 

I kept hoping the whole way there my uterus would spontaneously start to expel the baby so my mom would stay. No such luck. They boarded the plane and headed back home. :(

I drove to yet another dealership to look at a minivan (because when you have the third baby, you need a minivan, apparently). Then I came home and instantly fell into a two hour coma while my children continued to watch TV. 

Upon waking I had this overwhelming urge for Carrot Halwa, so I started grating carrots and reducing milk before I needed to leave for acupuncture. (If you haven't eaten this Punjabi slice of awesomeness I highly encourage you to do so at once. You haven't lived until you've experienced Halwa.)

Can I just say that acupuncture is the BEST $45 I spend EVER? I always leave feeling AWESOME. I'm not saying every acupuncturist is this great, but mine sure is. :)

Then I came home to kids still watching TV, finished the hulwa and shopped online some more for cars. 
We drove our kids to the in-laws while we went to test drive some cars. 

And that's how I spent my due date. Good thing the baby didn't like, explode or anything from not coming out on the medically prescribed totally irrelevant guess date. THAT woulda sucked. 

Dec 28, 2011


Guess what's more depressing than still being pregnant?

Getting 47 million texts, IMs and emails asking if I've had a baby yet.

Ferills, people. Chill.

Due dates are not expiration dates. They are a GUESS. If I pass the due date, baby won't poof into non-existence or anything. I swear, it's still in there. Also, nobody wants baby to come out more than me. I can offer a 100% money-back guarantee on that.

Plus, you're making me cry. Or throw giant hissy fits. Neither is pretty at this point.

Dec 27, 2011


OK, maybe life isn't SO bad. My mama just offered to take me out for Indian tonight.

I <3 my mama. :)

PS Still Pregnant.

Tick Tock

It's two days until my (medically (ir)relevant) due date.

I'm still pregnant.

Watch this space for updates.

PS Pray I don't loose my ever-loving mind in the mean time, mkay?

PPS Bah Humbug. YOU try being happy with a twelve pound bowling ball sitting on YOUR nether regions.

Dec 20, 2011

Steaming Pile of Excrement

This will come as no surprise to those who know me, but I've gotten my self into a hot mess.
I blame boredom.
Really, I should stick to knitting, sleeping,  or something equally harmless when I'm all antsy and have nothing else to do.

Yesterday I went to see a hospital based midwife. It's kind of a long story how I got there. I'll try to be brief.

1. Home birth midwife fired me.
2. Family found out, then freaked out.
3. The freak-out lasted for quite a number of days and affected me enough I started to question stuff, like the lie of the baby. (This is where I start to blame boredom. If I'd had something to DO through it all, I probably wouldn't have cared as much.)
4. I knew of exactly ONE hospital based provider I'd trust. Several mama's I know have used her and I've seen her and had enough conversations with her at Birth Circles and the like to feel that she was a reasonable individual. Plus, I needed a prescription, so I made an appointment.
5. Hospital Midwife was NOT pleased that I waited until 38 and a half weeks to seek care.
6. Bottom line: she really, REALLY wants me to birth in hospital. Well, duh. That's kind of the general consensus amongst folks who work in them. *I've* even held that opinion. Look where it got me. Hacked to bits with emotional scarring to boot and several years of intense therapy. That's where.
7. All that expensive fancy EMDR therapy I did makes it so I don't totally loathe and fear hospitals anymore. Now it's more of an icky taste on the back of my tongue. Kind of a "if it's necessary I can choke it down but I'd really rather spit it out" kind of taste. One would think that would make my choice easier, but really it's just made it harder because now I don't know what I want or what I should do.

Hospital Pros
There’s a one in three chance I get the midwife I want (part of a practice, she’s not on call every day)
IF something happens, I can be cared for quickly
Logically the safest place IF people leave me alone
Hospital Cons
Continuous Monitoring. I don’t want to be hooked up to a machine the entire time I’m there. The machine that goes ping is over rated.
Which nurse you get is kind of a crap shoot. I could end up with someone awesome or someone horrid. I’d rather have more control over my team.
I’m on a clock, and must deliver on their schedule.
No access to shower/tub for pain relief during labor
I have to drive there. In labor. Unless you’ve driven somewhere in extreme discomfort, you can’t know how annoying that is.
Emotionally challenging location with baggage.
I’m a little scared I can’t do this with people watching me, or at all.
Astronomically Expensive.

Home Birth Pros
Being in my own environment will likely shorten labor time and definitely reduces the risk of infection for me and baby
I don’t need to change locations when things start to get intense
Not on a clock
I control who is and is not invited in the room
Not tied to a monitor/room/bed
Can access the shower or tub without anyone else’s say so.
Baby never leaves my arms. No need to fight off interventions for baby.
Home Birth Cons
IF something goes south, it would take a while to get help. IF the southbound train is a complete rupture, baby and I are pretty much both dead.
I’m in charge of the clean up.
No chance of help from an official midwife
I’m a little scared I can’t do this on my own, or at all
There are probably plenty of things wrong with me, and even with my brain. At least one of them isn't a brain-eating amoeba.

Dec 16, 2011

Argh! Or Calling the Cops On My Four Year Old

STOMP! made an appearance at The Children's Museum today, and since our year pass was about to expire it seemed like a good time to make one last trip. These things always seem like a good idea in theory. Upon arrival we saw FIVE full size school buses. Yes, FIVE. And a news van. Hoo Boy.

Well, we went inside and got ourselves settled for the show. It turns out our bit of carpet was vacant for a reason; the sun was particularly blinding in that location. Oh well. I figured that fact fit in with the five full sized school buses out front. The Boy was so excited to see STOMP! since I'd been showing him YouTube clips. While we were discussing this, Zsa Zsa managed to sneak off. Museum staff were alerted of her disappearance and after a few minutes we located her, 5 feet from where I'd been sitting. Obviously she wasn't there the whole time but I was glad to have her back, at any rate, regardless of where she'd been.

The kids and I had a repeat of the conversation in the car on the drive over; namely if you can't see Mom, Mom can't see you and THAT IS NOT OK. Stay where you can see Mom or when you are found, we will all leave immediately! If only I'd left with them after that mini-disappearance. It was but a foreshadowing of things to come. (dum dum DUMMMM!)

After the show (which kind of sucked, by the way. Even the STOMP! guy said so...) we went upstairs to play. AGAIN I said, "if you'd like to leave this room, come tell Mommy first!" The kids did pretty well at first, but when it was time to move to a different exhibit, The Boy said he'd like to go to the bathroom. Well, that's just fine, let me get your sister and we'll go. By the time I got her collected, The Boy was no where in site. I figured he REALLY had to go and had high tailed it to the restroom so Zsa and I made our (laborious) way there. No Boy. Hmmm. Well I'm like 40 million months pregnant and I was standing IN the restroom so it's not like I could pass up the opportunity and Zsa, regardless of the fact that she's back in diapers, likes using the mini potty and sink so she needed to go, too. She also felt the need to strip from the waist down, including her socks so it took a while to get her put back together. The Boy was still missing.

Zsa and I combed the third floor looking for my missing spawn. We alerted museum staff. Nothing. More nothing. On a hunch I took Zsa and we looked through every exhibit on all three floors. We checked back in with museum staff. Nothing. I walked the entire museum AGAIN. More nothing. At this point it had been 30 full minutes since I'd seen him last.

Now, we go to the Children's Museum almost weekly. My kids are VERY comfortable with that building and go missing regularly, but I'm usually able to locate them within two or three minutes, and they have NEVER strayed from the floor on which I first lost sight of them. They have their favorite exhibits and it's easy to find them. Until today.

When we reached the 30 minute mark I told the employee in charge of the search that it was time to call the police. I'm not an alarmist when it comes to my missing children. I know they are usually playing somewhere completely oblivious to my searching for them. But half an hour in a rapidly emptying museum? That was pushing it, even for me. The employee said that I could talk to his supervisor about calling in extra help. My response to that?
"You can call whomever you like to talk it over, I'm calling the police NOW. It's been 30 minutes." I had my finger hoovering over the second 1 in 9-1-1 when his radio crackled and the freaking gift shop reported having found my son.

He was THREE ever loving stories away from where he'd first disappeared. In the year we've been attending the museum, we have NEVER EVEN ENTERED the gift shop. That's a can of over-priced worms I haven't felt the need to open.

You might imagine that I felt all kinds of relieved to have found my son but the only emotion I've felt since the whole thing started is anger. I'm so MAD at my kids. "Stay where you can see Mom" is simple. It's direct. There's not a lot of ambiguity with that statement. Both kids are totally capable of following it. Both kids completely ignored me and made me waddle all over this freaking museum we only go to because I'm trying to be a good mom. I have a pair of THE most ungrateful children on planet earth and I'm really REALLY sick of being their mother. How did I end up being totally taken for granted by my kids?

Anyway, it turns out The Boy had taken the elevator to the first floor to use the bathroom we normally use on our way in, and then had decided to stay down there and browse the gift shop without his mother. I am glad we didn't have to call the cops and issue an Amber Alert, but Sheez Louise. If I don't have an extra three gray hairs from this experience, it's not because my kids didn't try.

Dec 14, 2011

My Birthday

To be perfectly honest, I kinda thought having a birthday at 38 weeks pregnant would pretty much suck. I was all set to write a whiny post about all the things I WOULD have done, had I not been enormous and awkward. (Horseback riding, four wheeling, bowling, roller blading, deep sea diving... OK not deep sea diving. That last one sounds more like a punishment.) Imagine my surprise when my birthday actually turned out amazing! 

Most of the credit for the totally awesome birthday goes to my wonderful husband. First, I woke up to waffles. Now, The Hubs normally (always) ruins waffles but today he actually read AND followed the recipe and not only were they edible, they were really yummy. The kids gave me finger-painted cards. The best bit was when Zsa Zsa told me what I thought was a flower stem was, in fact, her sharp SHARP teeth. Awesome Sauce. Husband surprised me with a gift for a deep tissue massage. I'm holding on to that puppy until AFTER the baby arrives. 

One of my besties came over with a bag full of kitchen gadgets I totally needed AND I got to shower alone. Woo Hoo!

Then the kids and I went to the monthly home school PE activity at Xtreme Air. This place is pretty awesome. There's a football field sized room with wall to wall trampolines. We all bounced and bounced for two hours. I tried to bounce my baby out, but it didn't work. I did end up a tad sore, though. 

We stopped at Chick-Fil-A for lunch on our way home and then I laid down and had contractions for three hours because, hello, I'd just irritated the living daylights out of my uterus by bouncing all over with a giant baby in my belly. Another friend dropped off some flowers to pretty up my house.

When Husband was done working, we jumped in the car and headed to the chiropractor. The bun in my oven had turned transverse so we needed to get that changed before the weekend, just in case. A few adjustments later and I'm happy to report that baby is now head down. I'm hoping that lasts through the night, just in case.

Then we dropped the kids at my sister in law's house. She kindly offered to watch them so Husband and I could go out. We went to Joe's Farm Grill, because the food is A-MAZ-ING. There's a reason it's been on TV. A quick trip to the mall for some eyebrow beautification and slice of Cheesecake Factory's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake rounded out my perfect day.

I know it sounds totally lame, but it was exactly what I needed. Thank you husband, for walking slowly through the mall with me, waiting patiently while I used every bathroom we passed, and changing a poopy kid when it wasn't your turn because it WAS my birthday. You are amazing. I am so blessed to have you in my life. Mwah!

PS My kids were pretty certain I needed a cake. Apparently it's not a birthday if there's not a cake with FIRE on top!

Dec 9, 2011

Morning Routine

When I wake up the first thing I do is check to see if the baby fell out of my uterus during the night. (Hey, it could happen.) Then I check in with my brain to see if, while sleeping, I've had an epiphany and can finally attach a moniker to the parasite currently inhabiting my womb.
We are having a devil of a time even coming up with a list of names for this baby. Hubs keeps shooting down all the good ones like Howard, Cedric, and Pedro. Names that end in 'S' are out and recently I learned about this thing called a sibset or sibling set. Apparently you have to choose names for your children that "go together".  Whatever. That would have been useful information to have BEFORE I started naming little people.

Then I make my kids' breakfast. No matter what I make, The Boy will complain or ask why he didn't get "a hundred of it".

Then I explain to Zsa Zsa how it's not "an accident, mama" if you did it repeatedly and on purpose. You'd think that conversation wouldn't be a daily morning occurrence, but only if you didn't know my daughter. Today it was in regards to slamming the silverware drawer. Over.and.over.and.over.again.

I get about 10 minutes of alone time in the shower while the kids watch Sesame Street before someone is mean to someone else or uses a "language word" the other kid feels mom needs to know about. At this point I'm lucky if that's long enough to shampoo and shave one leg.

Being a mom is super glamorous. Especially first thing in the morning.

Dec 4, 2011

Zsa Zsa's Third Birthday and Party

In a stark contrast with last year, I did not spend the night before Zsa Zsa's birthday sobbing in my mother's arms. I did not spend it sobbing, at all, in fact.

I think this is evidence that EMDR Therapy is working. It should be, at $140 a session. Holy Toledo.

We all (except the Boy) had a great day celebrating Zsa Zsa's 3rd birthday.

She chose green pancakes for breakfast (whole wheat blender pancakes with a handful of spinach added in) and we ate them happily (except for The Boy).

Then we took baths (happily, except for The Boy) and got dressed. The Birthday Girl got to wear a super cute princess dress. :)

Then we headed out to run errands. While at Costco, I let her look at the cakes. I was half thinking I'd copycat which ever design she chose and half thinking of ordering the cake, because I'm seriously, seriously pregnant. Plus, clearly we needed a cake that feeds 48 since the invite list had a total of 6 kids on it.  From ALL the cake designs she could have chosen, the winner was...

Blue Dinosaur. 

I'm serious. She could have had a princess, a clown, flowers, balloons...but no. Blue Dinosaur was the clear winner. So much so, in fact, that there was a fight between The Boy and Zsa about who got to have Blue Dinosaur Cake for their birthday. We finally decided both of them could. Phew. Disaster averted.

A few days later we had her party. With The Boy's 3rd birthday I kind of went over the top. Like, rented a bouncy house and invited everyone we knew, over the top. Because we only do parties on odd years, Zsa's party was the first one we've had since then. I have learned that 3 year old's don't need bouncy houses. (Husband and the accounting gods are doing a happy dance.)

3 year old's don't even need formal invitations. I texted four moms whose kids play with us frequently.
We met at the park and ate cake and ice cream and played on the toys. Best.Idea.Ever.
 Can we agree I got the important part on video? Keeping the candles lit in the wind was enough of a challenge...

 Who wants cake? 
Notice the happy grin...and my extremely gravid uterus atop spindly legs...

If you are my daughter, happiness is a park, chocolate cake and not holding your pee while playing in the sand. 
Happy Birthday, my sweet Energizer Bunny. 

Dec 3, 2011

Pomegranate Pancakes and Apple Cider Syrup

I had this awesome idea to do green and red pancakes for Christmas morning. Because really, how cool would that be? The other day we added spinach to our normal blender pancake recipe and it was, while not awesome (because hello, spinach) it was edible (thank you, syrup). The kids thought green pancakes were fun.

Tonight I tried to make red pancakes but here's the deal, I used pomegranates. At first I only added 1/2 the pomegranate seeds and the batter ended up gray. Gray is not really an appetizing food color. In fact, I won't eat Mexican gray squash simply because of the name. So I added the other half of the seeds and ended up with purple batter, which makes sense, since pomegranate juice is purple. Clearly, this was a well thought out experiment. The pancakes tasted fine and cooked up pancake colored, but what really made the meal awesome was this syrup from One Perfect Bite. YUM.
I think maybe beet juice would make red, or at the least pink, pancakes. I'll give it a try and report back.

Here are the recipes:

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes From Make a Treat With Wheat ( I think. The recipe is copied from my mom's house and I'm pretty sure it was in that cook book, which is now out of print.)

1 cup wheat berries
1 cup milk
blend on high for 2 minutes in a regular blender or 30 seconds in a commercial grade blender.
1/2 cup additional milk blend additional 2 minutes or 30 seconds, depending on blender
1 egg
1/2 cup oil or applesauce
2 T sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Blend until combined

Green Pancakes
Add a handful of spinach to the wheat and milk blending, reduce 1/2 cup milk to 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup depending on the spinach amount ( you want the batter to poor but not to be watery)

Pomegranate Pancakes
Add seeds from one pomegranate to
1 1/3 cup wheat berries
reduce total milk volume to 1 cup
may omit sugar, depending on sweetness of seeds

Apple Cider Syrup from One Perfect Bite
One Perfect Bite Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Whisk together dry ingredients, add wet stuff and bring to a boil. Stir while it's boiling until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir for an additional 2 minutes. 

Nov 27, 2011

Answers to Common Pregnancy Questions (It's not what you think)

  1. Wow! It looks like you're about done with being pregnant! Are you? No, you freaking moron. I LOVE having a watermelon that kicks displacing all my internal organs for months on end. I especially love the handstands on my bladder and the fact that my hips have spread far enough apart to making walking through a doorway squarely a near thing. It's AWESOME! Five weeks is seriously an eternity at this point. Thanks for bringing it up. Now I'm going to spend the rest of the day moping. Good job. 
  2. You know what causes that, right? Yes. Whipped cream and handcuffs. 
  3. What are you having? Well, I'm a human and so is my spouse, so I'm going to go with "human baby". Have you had experiences that would lead you to believe I should be expecting something different? Although a Time Lord would be cool...
  4. Is there anything I can do to help? Probably. But I'm going to say "No, I'm fine" because you haven't talked to me in almost a year/I barely know you/I think you're a moron/I have a hard time excepting help from others (pick one). However if you show up to take one or more of my other kids one day or drop by a healthy meal around 4 or 5pm, I might just dissolve into tears of gratitude. Delivering a cup of crushed ice would probably net similar results.
  5. How many kids do you have? Two. Wow. I heard three is really the breaking point for so many people. I mean, you only have two arms. What are you going to do? Giving my crankiest child to you has crossed my mind. 

Nov 17, 2011

Poop, Pits, Presents, Parents, and Parties

  1. Zsa Zsa calls Pinocchio "Dokey-Doke" which is just about as adorable as she gets, these days. Between the stained clothing, the food messes she makes on the carpet, and the poop accidents it's a pretty good thing she can come up with cuteness once in a while or she'd be cut from the family team. Plus, she's apparently the only one who loves me right now (see #4).
  2. My arm pits are undergoing scientific experimentation. You see, one of the side effects of being a freaking hormonal train wreck is, in my case, itchy pits. Today I shaved one and the other is on day four of shaggnastyness. One pit is sporting Degree and the other is slathered in Tom's of Maine. This is after four days of no pit juice stopper at all so, you know, you're welcome for that. I seriously hope my underarms and I can come to some kind of understanding BEFORE the baby gets here, because it we don't I may seriously scratch them clean off. I wake up digging around in there, which is clearly not good for the 'ol manicure. 
  3. The UPS guy came today. We call him the present man, because that's what I've been calling him since I was four. Today the box contained legs for our Sleep Number Bed. We've had this bed for just over three years. It didn't come with legs. Why a bed would come without legs is beyond me, but in any case, Sleep Number got an extra $98 out of us so I hope they're happy. I'm hoping the added elevation makes it easier to roll out of bed and into the bathroom. Time is of the essence, people. 
  4. For the last week, The Boy has been lamenting the fact that he is not yet grown up. Today he came up with this little gem, "I super wish I didn't have parents anymore. Then I could do everything for myself!" Oh. I can SO make that happen, little dude. Tomorrow when you want me to turn on a show, I'm not gonna do it because you are all grown up and can do it on your own. I'm also not fixing you any food, taking you anywhere or cleaning anything. Rent is due at the first of the month.  Put that in your grown up pipe and smoke it, you ungrateful little turd.  I'm kinda over the whole being taken for granted thing, anyway. You can pay me for the time and effort I put into your well being. Plus, and I may have mentioned this, HoRmoNaL TrAiN wReCk. 
  5. Number 4 is because SOMEONE let him watch Jimmy Neutron. Repeatedly. I know he's just parroting a show, but it seriously doesn't make it hurt any less. See above for details on why. Something about trains...
  6. We are on the downward slope toward Zsa Zsa's third birthday. I have no idea what we are doing for it, but people have been invited, so clearly we will be doing something even if that something is sitting around staring at each other. Perhaps we can sit around the training potty and chant "poop, Zsa Zsa! Poop!" This could potentially solve part of the problem in #1. I'm working madly on her present; a felt playhouse that fits over the card table I bought especially for this purpose. How we managed 7 years of married life without a card table, I'll never know. 

Nov 14, 2011

The Post Wherein I Insult People of Nominal Intelligence and Large Bank Accounts

I'm kinda grumpy. It could just be the hormones, but I sort of want to punch Santa in the face for being at the mall before Thanksgiving has even had a chance to get here.
It feels like the stores are telling me to HURRY UP AND BUY CRAP!!!! FORGET ABOUT BEING THANKFUL!!!

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday. Partly because it's an excuse to eat as much pumpkin pie as I can possibly fit in my tummy-guilt free, and partly because it's not about STUFF; it's about being grateful. Easter is my favorite holiday for nearly the same reasons, except you can sub Cadbury mini eggs for pie. I also like that I have an entire day devoted to feeling grateful for my Savior. How cool is that? (Also, if someone can explain how colored eggs and a bunny fits in with the Resurrection, I'm all ears.)
funny, funny pictures, funny photos, santa, christmas, TURKEY TO SANTA: Back off, fat boy

Anyway, back to wanting to punch Santa in the face.

Today I read about this thing called a Baby Planner or Baby Consultant. Yes, these are real people. They apparently help you buy the best gear for your little Smurf or Smurfette. I'll admit my first thought upon hearing about this was, what is F-ing WRONG with people? My second thought was, how can I take advantage of these morons?" 

Seriously, if you have THAT much money, and no common sense, don't I have a moral obligation to relieve you of your excess Benjamins? Someone should and it may as well be me, since I actually know how to use money, unlike the flakes who hire a Baby Consultant.

Here's a little piece of free advice that includes all the things you MUST have to care for your new baby: baby carrier, diapers, wipes, some clothes, and if you want to obey the law-a car seat. If you're feeling particularly daring, might I suggest you go get a BRAIN as well?
Holy Toledo. If you need any more help, I'd be happy to consult for you. I won't even insult you (to your face). My fee starts at $500 an hour. Trust me, I'm VERY worth it. I'm so full of opinions, I needed a blog to spout them all.

PS Bill, this one was for you.

Chemical Romance? Or Not

I have this four year old, and it's really easy for me to forget how GOOD he is, compared to other kids his age. I guess I needed a reminder that really, he's fantastically behaved most of the time.

Cue creepy music

That is, until yesterday.
Our normal Sunday evening consists of going to Grandma and Grandpa's house for dinner. While there, The Boy always finds time to go to the barn and sit on the quads. He loves the quads. He loves imagining himself driving the quads. Everyone is fine with this arrangement. At least, we were until yesterday.

About 7pm a younger cousin comes in crying and waving his arms about. Cousin smells strongly of chemicals. Older cousins come in carrying a container of metal cutting fluid called Tap Magic. The eye wash makes an appearance and cousin gets his eyes rinsed and then gets thrown in the shower for an extended scrubbing.
About this time, The Boy wanders in. Oh my. He smells like Tap Magic. He has a chemical burn coming up on his face and the back of his neck.
After washing and some extensive questioning during which we promise no one will get in trouble, we just need to know EXACTLY what happened, we learn the following~
The Boy and Cousin actually found TWO bottles of Tap. They thought it would be fun to squirt them all over the barn, themselves, and each other. In the process, they also got the quads and the motorcycles.
Hubs and I went to the barn to investigate the damage. Who knew two six ounce cans could go so far?

We had an intense and prolonged conversation about NOT PLAYING WITH CHEMICALS EVER.

Fast forward to this morning. We woke up to The Boy in the upper reaches of the laundry room cupboards, spraying chemicals and a mysterious white power all over the entire room, my hall and himself.

In a bit I'm running to the store for zip ties. From now on, a certain little boy is getting cuffed to his bed at night to preempt his mama getting any more grey hairs. And Grandpa has promised to lock the barn for the next few weeks before The Boy comes to visit.

I am NOT in love with this behavior.

Note: after a visit with the doctor today, it turns out he's got an ear infection. That kind of explains the rash of nasty behavior he's been having. Acting out when he doesn't feel well is kinda par for the course with this kid, as is not actually TELLING us what's WRONG and expecting us to read minds. 

Nov 8, 2011

A Whole New Level of Crazy

So I woke up last Wednesday knowing my mama's birthday was a couple days away. I also knew all my sisters were going home to surprise her and I'd be the only one stuck in a different state singing "Happy Birthday" via Skype. So I did what any completely neurotic person would do: I looked up flights home.

Guess what?

I found one. For $35 each, round trip. Yeah. The only catch was, the plane left from Vegas at 8am the next day.

Here's the part where I prove I'm a neurotic pregnant person: I drove to the airport (to avoid online booking fees) waited in line for two and a half hours with my squirrelly kids, and BOUGHT THE TICKETS

Then I raced home to pack my family. We left at 4pm that same day. I did mention I'm completely neurotic right now, didn't I? OK, then. We stayed the night with my sister's husband's uncle and aunt. No, we've never met them before. Yes, they live in a castle. We had our own wing for the 6 hours we were there.

We got up at 5am to catch our flight, managed it (just) and arrived in gloriously cool Idaho right before lunch. My sister picked me up and dropped me at the school where my mom works. Here's the video of her being totally surprised by my children. :D

I spent the ENTIRE weekend recovering from getting there. Seriously. I didn't even have the energy to make my mom a real birthday dinner two days later. We bought pizza.

Sunday my son comes into my room absolutely BEGGING to stay at Grandma's for "a real long long long time". I'd have said yes in a heartbeat but as it was, our car was sitting in the Vegas Airport Economy lot accruing fees at a staggering rate for some place called 'economy' and if we didn't go back and free it soon, we'd never be able to afford to. Honestly, parking cost more than one of the tickets. It was obscene.

The flight home was delayed, which just made the six hour drive home in the rain that much more enjoyable. Luckily I'd packed some Preparation H for the drive home (oh, the things nobody tells you about pregnancy...)

It's been cool and glorious since we've gotten home, but I haven't been able to rest because Recipe Club is at my house today. It turns out when you decide to travel, and then leave the same day, your housekeeping suffers. I've spent the last day and a half just putting things back together. I have no idea how (clean) kid underwear ended up in the fruit drawer of the fridge.
I'm super glad our plane didn't crash because then people (my in laws) would have seen my house like this, and they might actually think it was NORMAL for us. Gah! The embarrassment!

In other news, you shouldn't let your kids pack any part of their own luggage without at least checking it over first. I asked The Boy to get his Sunday shoes and put them in the bag. It wasn't until church on Sunday that we found he'd packed a non-matching pair. At least there was a left and right shoe...

I'd be a super crappy wife if I didn't mention that Husband was incredibly nice to let me haul my family across the country last minute. While he didn't enjoy the getting there, he did have a fun time surprising my mom. The weekend was kind of hectic for him, as he was moving all his software to different servers for work and had to stay up most of Saturday night with the rest of the Geeks from work to get it done. Luckily, he could do it from anywhere. Plus, it was cold enough in Idaho to warrant hot chocolate, and that always makes him happy.

Nov 1, 2011

Mad, in a Completely Irrational Way

So last night we visited some relatives, because isn't Halloween like, a relative holiday or something?
Seriously. It's Christmas-Light.
While there, I was accosted YET AGAIN by a relative who knows only that I'm not exactly going to have my baby in a hospital. Probably. Whatever. Like it's any of their business what I do with my va-jay-jay, or where I take it, right? Personal autonomy means NOTHING when you are pregnant with progeny, apparently.
(I'm thinking of getting a shirt that says, "Don't Mind Me, I'm Just the Incubator".)
So I shrug off the encounter which included the relative telling me that I was discussed with ANOTHER relative who's a pediatrician. And they both think I'm a raging lunatic. Never mind the fact that that relative hasn't ever MET me.


(At some point I'm going to have to explain why I have trust issues with doctors. When you've worked with them as closely as I have, and seen their personnel files/law suits/incident reports the rose colored glasses tend to come off.)

Granted, I probably didn't handle the entire conversation with any sort of grace or tact, but I super felt bombarded. If I'm going to have the kind of conversation that includes someone essentially calling me a moron, I'd at least like to come to it prepared with relevant statistics or a baseball bat.

Anyway, I tried to maintain my "bubble of peace" but I woke up steaming mad at 1am. Here's the thing, I was MOST upset with my husband. Isn't he supposed to protect me from this kind of crap? No matter that he wasn't even in the room when it occurred. (That's the irrational part of this.) I tried to go back to sleep, but ended up yelling at The Hubs via email instead. THEN I went back to sleep. (Don't worry, I apologized in the email AND in the AM for being completely neurotic.)

So in the end I wished that I had the kind of yap that could stay shut and keep my business to my self, but deep down I'm super insecure and need lots of people to tell me what a great idea all my plans are and how awesome everything sounds. Or at the very least, to have them just nod and smile. I'm really quite needy.

This kind of situation is exactly why we didn't tell anyone we were pregnant for like, ever. (That, and because I have this irrational fear that a blog stalker will find out where I live and steal my baby out of my belly. Pregnancy turns me into a crazy person.) But at this point it's getting a little hard to disguise the bowling ball the proceeds me everywhere I go.

So until the baby comes I'm seriously considering avoiding all family gatherings. It seems safer.
What would you do?

Oct 29, 2011

Halloween Part 1

We should first get out in the open the fact that I think Halloween is the most pointless "holiday" ever. 
I think it should be renamed "punish the moms day" because that's what it really is. 
That being said, some awesome things did happen tonight. 

At our ward party I volunteered for the cake walk, which was totally micromanaged. I just had to sit back and laugh. What type of person thinks a cakewalk needs that level of oversight? The worst that could possibly happen is the seven year olds mob the cake table and suddenly you're out of cake. And really, isn't that a GOOD thing because then nobody has to run the game, right? Anyway. 

The Trunk R Treat part made me giggle, too. I handed out glow sticks and pencils. (Just trying to do my part to support China.) 
Did you know kids these days don't even say "trick r treat!"? They just hold out their bags. And if you aren't fast enough, they shake them at you. Seriously? Who is raising these hooligans? 
I ignored the kids who did this until they either went away or spoke the magic words. 
After I ran out of glow sticks and just had pencils, kids were trying to take my $20 vanilla scented flameless candles and LED balloons. Um, no. Those are my trunk decorations. I'm kinda surprised nobody tried to walk off with the pumpkins. 

After our ward's totally lame party, we went to the ward party hosted by my in-laws. These people know how to throw a party. There was a bounce house, cotton candy, train rides, and a REAL haunted house. Plus, it was all outside (except for the haunted house, which was in the barn) and there wasn't any lame music too loud to talk over. Also, the people who go to my in-laws ward are WAY more friendly than the people in my own ward. 

While I was there I fell into conversation with a woman who was wearing her baby. Clearly, we had loads in common. At some point her husband comes up to us and randomly joins the conversation with this,
"and if you have a hysterectomy, you can't have the big orgasms any more. You can still have the small ones, but not the big ones". At which point MY husband walks up and wants to know why I just said, "oh wow". 
Some people can't tell the difference between first and second date material. That was CLEARLY second date territory. Alternately, I could have gone my whole life without hearing about female orgasms from a man I've never met. But it was totally the highlight of my evening, because I got to come home and tell you. You're welcome. 

PS I will get the kids' costume pictures, I promise. My "good" camera was out of batteries tonight and I didn't have time to get them replaced, what with running to the costume store 30 minutes before our party started. I super don't recommend that. The line for checkout was INSANE.

Oct 28, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I've invented something.

I don't think it will come as any great shock that this something contains food. After all, I'm assuming you read the title of the post.

This morning my son was trying to talk me into "Whole Cream of Wheat" yet again. I have a rule: Cream of Wheat is OK every other day, not every day. On non-cream of wheat days, breakfast is a battle.

I offered eggs. I offered smoothies. I offered cold cereal, oatmeal, even apple PIE oatmeal. All I got was a lot of pouting until I figured that if I could make apple pie oatmeal, I could probably also figure out pumpkin pie oatmeal.

He said yes. Thank the heavens.

Granted, this recipe makes enough food to feed my family for two mornings. I consider that an added bonus. Now I don't have to come up with a breakfast he won't sneer at the day-after-tomorrow. Score. 

5 cups water
1 cup whole milk
sprinkle of salt (maybe 1/2 tsp for this amount of oats?)
2 1/2 cups oats (I like old fashioned but mostly have quick right now)
3/4 to 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar (SOME members of my family don't know that breakfast doesn't have to result in a sugar coma...those people added yet more sugar to their bowls. Cretins. Or maybe I should call them pre-diabetics?)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves

Mix it all up and cook at boil on the stove for 2ish minutes. Take off the heat, throw the lid on for another few minutes to let the oats finish softening. Enjoy.

Clearly, this would be better with whipped cream on top, but then, what isn't?

Oct 24, 2011

Honesty and a Surprise (may be a Trigger for some)

I've been debating when, exactly, to tell blog land what is going on in my life. I've put it off because I'm not interested in other people's opinions about what I should or shouldn't do, and I haven't been interested in the drama that might ensue when I detail exactly how I plan to go about life over the next few weeks.

But what I really need right now is some honesty and I figure the best place to start is to be honest with myself. So here goes:

In about 66 days, I'm going to have a baby.


Now here's the thing; when I get pregnant, I also get super emotional. It's called antipartum depression, and it sucks. This pregnancy I chose to go un-medicated for a number of reasons I'm not getting into here. Bottom line, when I'm depressed I get needy (and kinda snarky), and being needy/snarky has a tendency to alienate pretty much everyone.
Hubs even wrote me a strongly worded email yesterday. That's kind of huge for him.
It's like 9 months of the world's worst PMS.  Shocked we're still married? Me too. Even more shocked Hubs let me get pregnant again? Ditto.

Have you noticed that when people ask how you are, and you actually tell them, they look at you funny? I never get tired of that. "How are you?" "Well, you know. Fat, tired, and generally ticked off at the world." dead silence
You should try it. It's the bright spot in my day. I do feel a little sorry for the cashier at the gas station, though. I'm pretty sure the correct response to that isn't in the employee handbook.

Anyway, lots of crap happening here, most of it related to gestating, but pretty much life currently feels like a giant cl*ster f*ck.

I've also been struggling with some MAJOR trust issues (more on this later) that are making life...interesting.

So to sum up; I'm hormonal, moody, stressed, my clothes don't fit, everybody hates me, I trust no one, and I'm having a baby.

I can't say I'd trade places with anyone, because I have some very dear friends who'd put up with all this crap just to have a baby. To be honest, this kid wasn't that easy to get earth-side. I am thankful for this new little life.

I am not thankful for the PTSD I have from my last birth that's haunting me in a MAJOR way on an hourly basis as this birth grows nearer. I'm not thankful for being so hormonal my family feels like they're walking on egg shells. I'm not thankful for the lack of a health care provider I can trust.
I just wish there were an easier way to get through this.

Luckily I'm married to the most patient man on earth and my kids are mostly cute most of the time. Otherwise, I probably would have run away by now. Unlike other life problems, it's rather difficult to run from an ever expanding belly.

So now you know why I've been a major witch lately and haven't been posting much. Feel free to unfollow me or whatever. :/
Alternately, you could send me some positive vibes. That'd be cool, too.

The point of this over-share was to relieve some pent up negative energy and give my poor husband a break. He thanks you. So do I.

Oct 23, 2011

Yesterday: The Day I Had a Brilliant Parenting Moment

My kids have been craving one-on-one mom time, so yesterday I made it happen.

First, The Boy and I drove to a pumpkin patch were he was allowed to choose any pumpkin he could carry. We ended up with a pie pumpkin, which is just fine with me, I like pie from scratch. In fact, I bought a hand-mill for that exact purpose a few years back. :D

Then we made a quick stop to pick up potty training incentives for Zsa.

Back home to pick up Dad and Zsa Zsa. Dad and The Boy went to the soccer game (did I mention Dad is helping coach the team? Yeah, I thought it was funny, too).

Then Zsa Zsa and Mommy went to the produce store where she promptly picked THREE pumpkins. But, altogether they were cheaper than at the patch, so I let her get them. She also helped pick our apples and generally charmed the rest of the clientele with her booming voice, hilarious commentary, and princess cape. (Two year olds are the bomb)

We met up with the guys at the park and watched the end of the game. After a quick lunch at home, The Boy decided he needed ANOTHER Mom Date, so we went to Costco. I let him wander without a time limit in the toys section, which was so fun.

At the end of our trip I had a BRILLIANT idea. Seriously. It's Saturday at Costco in Arizona during snowbird season. The store was packed. The checkout lines were long. The Boy had a practice to get to, AND he wanted ice cream. So while I waited in line to check out, I sent him and two dollars to wait in line at the food court. You remember he's four, right?

So he waited patiently, got to the window and ordered his OWN chocolate ice cream in a cup and paid all while I watched from the checkout stand. He was so proud. *I* was so proud. Also, we saved enough time that we made it to his practice without being late.

Beside getting his own ice cream I think he was most pleased with the change and receipt in his pocket, which is kinda funny. Nobody can say I'm not doing my best to raise a self-sufficient kid. Or one whose good at reasoning. When I asked for my change back, he said "Well Mom, it's in MY pocket, so that means it's MINE." All right then. Just this once you can keep it. But 10% is going in your mission jar.

Oct 19, 2011

Funny Girl

In the elevator (or alligator, if you're Zsa Zsa) my little girl turned toward the only other child in the car and said, "Guess what? I'm your BEST friend!" with such genuine enthusiasm and heart-felt truth behind it, I couldn't help but bust up laughing. The child's dad said, "good to know". I thought he was a good sport.

At dinner, she said, "my brudder's O-gurt has eighty-saurus on it! My plate has eighty-saurus, too!" It turns out, eighty-saurus means writing, which I did not know, and I'm guessing neither did you.

I love two-year-olds. They make the best comediennes, and for the most part, have no idea how funny they are. :)

PS The Boy did exactly zero cute things today. Four year olds are less cute than questiony. He definitely asked his 437 allowable questions today. And all before we even left the house. His current favorites start with, "mom have you ever?" For the record I've not ever eaten alligator, been to Mars or seen a space alien in REAL LIFE. Nor have I been to the bottom of the ocean or heard of people eating jelly fish while they are swimming. I have, however, eaten Swedish fish while swimming. But then, I'm just crazy like that.

Oct 15, 2011

The Boy's First Story

For school this week, The Boy wrote his first story. I thought I'd share. (Daddy was the transcriptionist.)

October 14, 2011

There was a little boy that was called *Jim, and there was a big tractor. And Jim had a little car. And he drove it to the big tractor. 
The big tractor was a crane and it picked his car up with him in it. And it turned and put him down, down, down, down, down, into the trash dump.
And he was trying to get out before he reached the fire. And he got out when a magnet picked him and his car up. And he told the magnet to drop him. Then the crane came again, and it was looking for him. It looked everywhere and it's gas ran out, and it couldn't move any more. The End. **Twelve Bucks.
*Of course The Boy named the main character after himself, so I've changed the name here.
**Do you know who Brian Regan is? 

Barring the fact that he borrowed quite liberally from Toy Story 3, it's pretty good for his first story ever, no? We will have to work on his over-usage of conjunctions, but maybe we will wait for a few months before explaining the parts of speech. :D

Oct 11, 2011


It's totally bragging, and I don't even care.

My four year old is just a few requirements shy of passing Kindergarten according to the Arizona State Standards. We worked on one of them today. He totally aced it in 5 minutes.

The rest I think he doesn't have the brain development for yet, so we'll try again in a few weeks.

Until then, I think we will play with math and writing stories. We might also blow some stuff up do a little science.

LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching my own child. :D

PS My little girl is pretty much the best at puzzles. She especially loves those geo blocks which you can manipulate into your own picture.

Holy Smokes. Home Schooling is awesome. =D
We are done with school by 9am and can play for the rest of the day. How cool is that? Seriously. And how neat is it that I can delay a skill he's not ready for, or add in ones that wouldn't be "allowed" if he were taught in a group? I'm not gonna lie, it takes a good part of my brain power coming up with ways to teach him, since I'm not a teacher by nature, but it's so much FUN I don't really mind.

I'm sure we will have more speed bumps in the near future but for now, it's fantastic!

Oct 7, 2011

The Boy and Zsa Zsa

I'm seriously considering renaming this blog, "Brilliant Things My Son Did".
He's getting to the clever stage and I'm constantly amazed.

For instance, the other night he didn't want to go to bed, so he formed a coherent argument instead of just whining like he'd normally do. "But Mom! Some people are NOCTURNAL." Upon recounting this conversation the next day to my friend within his hearing, she asked, "Well, The Boy, do you know what nocturnal means?"

Accompanied with a sigh and eye roll worthy of any teen he replied, "nocturnal is when you're awake at night and sleep during the day." We were both impressed. I was less impressed when I found out he learned the word from TV. I'm trying so hard to get rid of that thing, I hate when it has redeeming qualities.

Another argument he made this week was early in the morning. Like 5:30 in the morning. He came into the parental unit's room and said, "Since you're still really tired and sleeping, can I watch TV?" (I told you I hated that thing, right?)

Also this week we were working on math sentences, specifically the concept of "greater than".
He decided he wanted to write his own sentence to go along with our manipulative math lesson so he wrote this: "10>5?"
When asked about the question mark he said, "They go at the end of sentences!"
Thus began our lesson on punctuation. He was fascinated, I swear. =)

Zsa Zsa continues to be a bright spot in my day. She's so eager to agree to anything I propose, it's such a refreshing change from some other children I could name. I dread the day she figures out doing the dishes, or pretty much anything Mom suggests, isn't really all that fun. "Mom, I want to play a game wiss you." "OK! Let's play 'Clean the Oven'!" "YAY!"

I also love her little half lisp. I kind of hope she doesn't lose it for a while because it's so endearing.
"Mama, I want to snuggle wiss you" is my favorite thing to hear.

She's my naturally optimistic child, and I get a kick out of her sunny disposition. It makes me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. :)

Zsa Zsa is a perfect study in how modern toys aren't any better for us than the sticks our multiple great grandparents had. Her current favorite toy is a shoe lace. Yes, I'm totally serious. Sometimes she uses it with the lacing card horse it came with, and sometimes she uses it without, but it's in her hand nearly the entire day any time we're home. Battles ensue at bedtime when mama (wisely) insists strings do not make good bedtime toys. She is awfully stubborn, though. I can't think where she gets it...

Sep 28, 2011

Monday Madness

(I some how forgot to post this a couple weeks or so ago. Oops!)

Today was the first day of school at home. We got off to a rocky start. The case of organic nectarines I got on Saturday went moldy overnight and I found it right as we were supposed to start school.
I spent an hour cutting the rotten and moldy bits off and freezing the unripe parts that hadn't molded in the hopes they'd be OK for smoothies. I lost 1/2 my case to mold. Grrrrr. While I was doing that, my kids watched Sesame Street. I have nothing against PBS, but my kids aren't exactly attentive when they've just spent a solid hour in front of the boob tube.

I'd say the most successful bit was music time. We listened to the Typewriter Song by the American composer, Leroy Anderson. Tracing 'a' also went over well. Aardvarks? Not so much. I'm hoping the routine of school will help my oldest not be so bratty. I'm giving it a week before I start seriously considering the implementation of corporal punishment into our school day.

In other news, during drawing time, The Boy drew spikes all around his daddy figure. I asked what they were, was told spikes, and upon further clarification found out it was whiskers. Daddy happened to walk in the room toward the end of that conversation. I'm pretty sure he snorted part of the apple he was eating from laughing so hard.

Zsa just likes coloring, which I totally expected and am completely fine with. Her African Animal, the zebra, ended up rainbow colored. Again, totally fine with that.

Here's a little homeschool FYI, they make washable dry erase markers. The regular kind does NOT come out of clothes. The washable version costs aproximately the same amount as my morgage, but it's SO worth it. The last time I gave Zsa a Vis-a-Vis, she totally ruined a smocked dress I'd made her.

Fashion Stuff I Don't Get

I know that I'm old and for the most part leave the house wearing old tee shirts and no makeup and that I rarely do my hair.
But I can still tell what's hip, fashionable and what's SO last season.

Which is why I need somebody to PLEASE tell me what I'm missing with the following trends?

1. Chevron EVERYTHING: rugs, mugs, fabric, wall paint design. Seriously? A Chevron is a military insignia or a gas station, not a fashion statement.
chevron, chevron, chevron!
Chevron, Chevron everywhere!
2. Non edible items that look like sushi. Maybe I would understand this more if I liked something sushi-ish besides California rolls, but Dudes, man mastered fire and the 90 second Electrolux boil which means meat can (and should) now be COOKED!
Sushi Pillow: $19.99 #Pillow #Sushi
(this is a sushi pillow)


(This seemingly edible child is just wrong on so  many levels. 
Also, what does a banana have to do with sushi?)

I get it with bacon, though. Non edible plush bacon is just cute!
Giant plush bacon? I'll take two.
To sum up:
Sushi plush! So cute. $6.99-$22.99 #sushi
3. Crafts using paint chips. Seriously? 
paint chip crafts
Stolen paint chip crafts
And those are my fashion quandaries for September, 2011.
(images courtesy of Pinterest and

PS For the record, I'm very on board with steam punk. In fact, I've thought it was cool since at least 2008 so clearly, I'm trending WAY before the curve. ;)
looove steam punk :)
Steam punk is always best yes?

Random Funny One-Liners and Convos from Today

Zsa Zsa is playing with a 3-D Nativity puzzle. Her commentary goes like this, "beHOLD! beHOLD! beHOLD!" "Dee red guy goes next to de blue guy. Dee blue guy is next to de guy with de lamb..."

Talking with The Boy about our day I mentioned that we would be going out to the bank.
"But I don't LIKE the bank!"
"Really? Abby (our banker) always gives you candy".
"Oh yeah! I like that place!"

"Mom. I want a hanguber with chicken and salad in it."
"OK, you want a chicken sandwich."
"No! A hanguber with chicken and salad in a bun."
"A hamburger has brown meat, a chicken sandwich has chicken. Do you want a hamburger or chicken?"
"I want a hangabur with chicken!"
<mom orders Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich. Boy is happy.>

Sep 20, 2011

Frustrated and Driving Illegally

I am probably the most frustrated I've ever been in my entire life. More frustrated than when ISU told The Hubs that no, he couldn't really graduate because they'd added a couple requirements to his program without bothering to tell him, so he'd need to do yet another semester. More frustrated than when I came home too early from the hospital after The Boy was born and I couldn't sit up on my own or roll over or nurse or get my baby to stop crying or pee.

I have lots of reasons for being this frustrated, but the one I can share on Facebook is that my mail is delivered by Newman.

Remember him?


So I knew that our postman was complete idiot. That is why before our summer migration to Idaho, I drove to the post office, filled out the forward mail form and turned it in. I figured there was no way a guy with the same intelligence as a fence post could figure out what to do with that piece of paper. Oh, I was SO right.

While in Idaho, our bank called to say they got mail back. But by golly, I was getting my Martha Stewart magazine, so I figured the bank thing was just a fluke. It wasn't until we got home I found out my doctor tried to send us a bill. Twice. It got returned. Twice.
After getting that mess straightened out, I get a letter from the great state of Arizona saying they have no record of our car insurance, and if we don't get that cleared up, they'd suspend our license plates. That note came two days before the scheduled date for plate suspension. (NEWMAN!!!!!!!)

Of course the first person I call is my insurance agent. Guess what? They sent the renewal notice while we were gone. It never made it to Idaho.
They cancelled my insurance.
So I've been driving uninsured since mid JULY.
We drove the whole western United States, including the entire length of California COMPLETELY uninsured.
Oh, I'm livid.
Not only that, but it's been so long, our insurance company wants nothing to do with us. They won't backdate the policy. The only companies I can find that will insure us now want TWICE the premiums we were paying previously.
If it were legal to do so, I'd drive down to the post office and file a formal complaint. Alas, I can't go anywhere until this hot mess is straightened out.

I'm also a little ticked that what was supposed to be a year policy turned out to only be six months, despite what it says on the card in my glove box.

I'm gonna go eat some Nutella and Whipped Cream and fantasize about laying in wait for the postman with my imaginary shot gun.

Sep 15, 2011


It turns out The Boy can read.
Yeah, I am at LEAST as surprised as you are, considering nobody actively taught him.
Here's how I found out.

Today was our Let's Play Music class. We were going over the solfege notes in some of the cords. The Boy READ the notes in the cords. Another mom leaned over to me and said, "He can read?" My flabbergasted response was, "I guess". Yes, I'm witty and brilliant pretty much all of the time.

This evening I was on the laptop and The Boy came up behind me to see what I was doing.
"Mom, that word says off" he says while pointing to a banner ad. My goodness, yes. It does.

So that's the story of how I learned The Boy could read. Sorta wish I could take the credit for this. :)
I don't think he's ready for Cicero, but maybe we could check out some Dick and Jane books or something.

Sep 14, 2011

A Better (No Tears) Day

My kids were WAY better today. Holy smokes.

Everyone should have children, if for no other reason than the entertainment value. I'm not saying they're cheaper than RedBox, but they are infinitely more amusing.

Today I was trying to figure out a tricky (to me) sewing project from just a picture while talking to Hubs and lamenting over my poor skills and need for help. The Boy jumped in and said, "I know how to do that! Just cut HERE!" Oh, I nearly peed myself.

A few minutes later during dinner, Zsa Zsa wanted some water, but she hadn't asked nicely. We asked her to use the magic word. She burst out with her answer of, "FOUR!" as the magic word.

You can see how she thinks four is magic. When you are four, you get to go to friend's houses and music class on your OWN! You can open the fridge and get your own snacks. You are pretty much the boss when you are four.

It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops today, but I didn't seriously consider dropping my kids off at one of those "Safe Place" places, unlike yesterday. So I'm calling that a giant step in the right direction.
It also helped I didn't have anywhere I absolutely had to be or anything pressing that needed doing, so I just got to work on Halloween costumes and read a book. We even went to the park. Yay for restful days!

Sep 13, 2011


Today I kinda want to curl up in a little ball and cry. (Post Script: I did actually curl up and cry)
I'm 96% sure the devil is possessing my children.
The fighting and whining have reached epic proportions. I think I could handle it if the whining had actual words. Both my kids are perfectly capable of articulating, but they find the wordless whine to be more to their liking.
My sweet, wonderful friend took them for a couple hours so I could run some errands. When it was time to go pick them up, I cried.
I hate that.
I don't want to be the mom that cries at the thought of picking up her children.
So I've banned TV for the remainder of the week. Depending on how that goes, I may throw the stupid thing in the trash. TV is evil. I'm pretty sure that's how the devil got IN my kids.
Stink'n Sesame Street...Gateway to Hell covered in a candy coating, that's what you are!

Sep 11, 2011

Pre School, Gearing Up

Tomorrow is the first day of our schooled at home preschool.
Our letter is going to be 'A'. (It seemed appropriate.)

So at 7am today the children and I made "acorns" to take for dessert to family dinner.
Because we live in Arizona, my kids had no idea what an acorn was, which kinda proves the point that you're always learning. It wasn't even a school day and we got to have a conversation on where acorns come from and what their purpose is. Fun times!

The original instructions call for doughnut holes, but Fry's didn't have any so I got cream puffs instead. I know, giant improvement!
Anyway, you dip the end of the cream puff in nutella and then in chocolate sprinkles. The stem is 1/2 a pretzel stick. You could cut your sticks in thirds but I'm really lazy so I just shoved the 1/2 stick in further.

Because I'm so awesome, I also made waffles for breakfast and let the kids eat them with nutella on top. They were having a hard time not licking the acorns. Maybe we should have made breakfast first?

Sep 9, 2011

Seven Years? Really?

Hubs and I passed our seventh anniversary last weekend. We totally celebrated, by which I mean we went camping with his family. That would be 11 other adults and 27 kids. In the woods. We slept in a tent with our children, skipped showers and peed in a dilapidated outhouse.  What? Isn't that how EVERYONE celebrates their seventh anniversary? Hubs also bought himself an enormous board game. I got flowers. From Wal-Mart. The day after our anniversary.

But don't worry. Hubs is totally making up for it this weekend. We're going to eat at Fudruckers and play mini golf. Hey, there are trade offs for KNOWING your husband will never cheat on you.

Luckily, he's married to me. I've totally remedied this situation. I'm taking us to the batting cages.
Now I just have to figure out a gift that will signify how amazing a wife I've been for the last seven years. I'm debating between legs for our bed and a can opener.

PS In case you think this post is how I really feel there's a disclaimer at the bottom.

DISCLAIMER: I totally love The Hubs. He's perfect for me. He lets me make fun of his still-awkward dating. What could be better than that? And if I *REALLY* cared, I'd plan the date, right? 
Exactly. So this was a work of satire. 

Sep 8, 2011

My New (old) Job

was stressing me out. I didn't have time for a massage or time to get my nails done or ANYTHING! Seriously. It was bad.
I know that all new jobs have a learning curve, but usually there's someone there to give you a bit of guidance and maybe some policy and procedure manuals to pretend to read.
Not this job.
Because I'm kinda made it up as I went along.
I was hired as a personal wellness chef for a family facing some pretty hefty health challenges. Like, 8% survival rate type health challenges.
My job was to make food that would most benefit the family using Traditional Chinese Medicine principals AND the guidelines from the various doctors for members of the family. Things like, low sodium, low carb, no sugar (NO SUGAR! WHO DOES THAT!?!?!) and no dairy. Also, everything, including the fruit had to be cooked. Yeah. It's pretty much impossible.

BUT, I did it. AND I did it well.

The problem was, the food didn't taste like it came from McJacky'sChicken. Of COURSE it didn't! It was fresh! home cooked! and actual FOOD! I cooked the same stuff for my family and they ate it. I have toddlers for pete's sake. Talk about a picky group of eaters. (My kids, not the family. Although clearly the same label applies, you won't find ME saying it.)

Anyway, it didn't work out. But I learned a lot of stuff and got some material for the book I've been meaning to write for years but probably never will, because isn't that what everyone is doing?
I thought so.

Clearly, I didn't have enough to do if I thought taking on a job wherein I cooked two fresh meals five days a week was a good idea. I don't even do that for MY family. There's a reason I double every recipe. I do love to cook, though. And it was fun to prepare meals in such a gorgeous kitchen. Fun for the two weeks it lasted.

Sep 7, 2011


I've spent the day running between WalHomeStaplEt and my computer. You see, I've finally decided for sure what I'm going to do when it comes to educating my children. For the rest of this year, at least and probably next year.

The Boy is 20 months older than Zsa Zsa. Plus, he's a boy. The way I figure it, I can teach them both the same thing at the same time if I hold him back a bit and push her a little. We did a little test run today, and I think I can modify all our activities just enough that both kids will be challenged adequately. This year, we are doing a preschool. I know it's a little early for Zsa, she's not quite three. BUT she's also super stubborn and wants to do everything The Boy wants to do, so...I thought I'd let her. What ever she picks up and accomplishes, yay. If all she does is color this year, we'll both be happy.

Can I just say that homeschooling is totally and completely 100% overwhelming? Just thinking about it makes me want to vomit. Luckily, I have some super stellar cousins and a couple bloggy friends that have been a tremendous support. The best advice I've gotten is, "just give them time and materials. The learning will happen." Oh. You mean I don't have to buy an entire program and stick to it? Cool!

Hopefully this will workout like breastfeeding; it was super hard, but I knew I wanted to do it, so I stuck with it and then suddenly it wasn't so hard and I couldn't figure out why everybody didn't do it because in the end, it seemed SO much easier than bottles. I mean really, who wants to sterilize their pencil boxes and crayons?

Sep 2, 2011

Random Facts, Unrelated Items and Other Miscellany

Tip Of The Day: Did you know if you live in Arizona and your water heater is in the garage, you can turn it down to low, or even vacation, for like, the ENTIRE summer and still have hot water? If you do this, please send 1/2 your savings to my PayPal account. Seriously folks, that's at LEAST four months, and probably closer to five of free hot water. Plus, who wants to take a hot shower in Arizona in August? Ferills.

I quit my job. <happy dance> I quit before I even had a chance to tell you about it. That's saying something. Today is my last day. <more happy dancing> (I swear, I'll totally blog it...eventually)

I suck at volleyball, except when I don't

Camping is SO not the cheapest vacation. Whoever said that CLEARLY didn't have access to and a Costco. Every time we go, I spend at least $200 at Wal Mart.

I hate Wal Mart

Forty years ago, my mother in law paid cash (no insurance) for her baby. The total bill for a 5 day hospital stay AND the delivery was ~$400. NOW who doesn't think insurance has skewed the proper price of health care?

Albertson's sells a store brand of the shampoo T-Gel. It's twice the size and half the cost of T-Gel. Husband will be so happy.

Aug 27, 2011

Vacation: Lake Tahoe Coming Home

Did you know it's 13.5 hours of driving time between Lake Tahoe and our house? This doesn't count the gas and meal breaks. Because we were coming home on Sunday, we stopped for church, as well.

Did you also know there are pretty places in Nevada? I'm seriously not joking. I drive through Nevada frequently, and I've never seen a place like this. Just over the mountain from Tahoe is this little place called Carson Valley and it is GORGEOUS. We almost didn't leave. Especially after we found out the ward we attended had been fasting and praying for new families to move in.
Oh my goodness. The valley is mostly ranch land. GREEN IN AUGUST ranch land. The town we were in was clean and small (with a Thai place) and the people were super duper nice. The only thing wrong with this place is that it's in Nevada, so there were also a couple small casinos. I hate gambling. It's just taxes for people bad at math. Sadly, people who are bad at math are pretty much the last people who should be gambling. It's 8 hours from my mama, and 12ish from The Hubs parents. Those are both totally doable one day driving distances. I may be thinking moving thoughts.

Also on the way home, we stopped for dinner in California somewhere at a Denny's. Zsa Zsa is two, right? So imagine our surprise when she stabbed dinner with her fork in one hand and started using the knife in the other to cut between the tines. Clearly, she's going to be a brain surgeon. Also, she now has no excuse for eating rice with her hands the night before.

We got home about 1:30am Monday morning. Our whole family was glad Hubs had taken Monday off from work, as well.

Oh, and our first week back, Phoenix has been setting record highs. Who came back to early? <raises hand>

Vacation: Lake Tahoe Day Four

Saturday the kids and I kept it low key. We rode the trolley to the Rainbow Trail, which is where I hiked approximately forty thousand miles while holding a toddler who wouldn't let me carry her on my back. We went to the stream profile room, which was SO cool, we took Daddy back with us later that afternoon when he got home from his meetings. (But after we had some so-so Thai food in a restaurant rated the best Thai in Tahoe. SO glad we didn't go to that other Thai place.)

The Profile room is an underground room right next to a creek (if you're from Idaho, creek is pronounced crick, trust me). One wall of the room is glass AND it also makes up a part of the stream so you can see the fish that are swimming in the creek and the craw-fish and all the other cool stream-stuff. My kids ADORED this place. It was pretty cool, but to be honest, the best bit was being able to sit in the dark while my kids quit whining for slightly longer than 4.2 nanoseconds. By Saturday, we were ALL pretty much done with this trip.

It turns out a small person inherited her mother's proclivity for travelling poorly. Sorry, honey. Really I am. For both of us.

On our way back to the condo, we stopped to get ice cream. The kids both REALLY wanted rainbow sherbet, so that's what we got them. Zsa Zsa took a couple licks of hers and then stole my pistachio ice cream. And she wouldn't give it back. So I stole Hubs hot fudge. But I gave his back, because I'm awesome like that. Rainbow sherbet is kind of nasty. I guess I can't blame her, but from now on, she's going to get whatever I'm having. This stealing of mommy's food has gotten to be quite a habit the last few weeks.

Things I Learned This Week

  • You're supposed to vacuum as many times in the week as you have people living in the house. Did y'all know this? WHY didn't someone tell me I'm only vacuuming HALF as much as I should be? I thought I was being all proactive getting out the Bissell twice a week. Pish. 
  • My son can spell his name...and send texts and emails from my phone. This means people I haven't talked to in oh, forever, are getting text messages from me that say only The Boy's name.  

  • Just because you CAN make a tutu without a pattern doesn't mean you SHOULD. Unless you want to do it over three or so times. Seriously, use a pattern. :D I will say it was super a lot more easy to do with my new sewing machine, courtesy of my mama. 
  • Cooking three dinners in one night, day after day can get a little old, and your personal family may starve. 
  • Job's Tears (croix beans) are good for colon cancer.
  • If you let your kids read Dr Seuss, they are bound to Box with Socks. At least they weren't boxing foxes. 

Aug 19, 2011

Vacation: Lake Tahoe Day Three

Today I sorta forgot what day is was. Not just the date, the day of the week. Yup. More than anything my life resembles the movie Ground Hog Day.

Hubs didn't come home last night. He stayed with a friend in Reno so he could get his after party on with a bunch of other (published) authors. Guess what they did? Played card games. Not like Uno or Whist , we're talking geek card games. I can't even give you an example, because I'm not that geeky. If I were invited to an after party, it wouldn't be the kind with card games. Just say'n. (Mama's still got game.)

Anyhoo, I spent four hours last night holding an overly tired, screaming Zsa. By the time I finally rolled into bed, it was today. And the kids got up at 5. That would be am, in case you need clarification.

Luckily my super awesome cousin, Marge, lives a couple hours away AND likes Tahoe so she came up today with her two super cute cutie pie boys and we played on the beach all afternoon. She literally saved my sanity. Plus, she brought me a nectarine. I was in serious need of a pit fruit. Serious, serious need.

Can I just say, Marge and I were pretty good friends growing up, because we were the same age and all our cousins were lots older (or in the case of my sisters, lots younger) but since we've hit adulthood, we never manage to be in the same part of the country at the same time, so it was really great to get to visit and relax with her. She's pretty much da bomb.

The kids had a great time, got burned in random places and generally filled every bodily crevasse with sand.

Supposedly Hubs will be coming home tonight, though he said he'd be here around 5 and I just got a text saying he found a class at 5 he wants to attend, so who knows. All I know for sure is, he's not authorized to purchase any more clothing. He bought a new shirt today so nobody would see him in the same thing two days in a row. I'm pretty sure that's the first time in his entire life he's been concerned about that. Ferills.
At least if he doesn't buy any more clothes, he has to come back at some point, right?