Thursday, January 29, 2009

Art by S

S drew a lovely picture for me yesterday. It is the "Barking Spider Family". As you can see, there is a mommy, a daddy, and several babies.

Barking spiders have been a frequent topic of discussion. Unfortunately. Daddy's influence.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Colonial Days

By some weird twist of fate, I was put in charge of the 5th grade colonial fair. It was only K's, class, so only 27 kids. But, I was a nervous wreck. Mrs. F sent a note home, asking for volunteers. I emailed her, and she asked me to come to a parent meeting for it. One other parent showed up. Being a bossy, know-it-all loudmouth as I usually am, I found myself leaving the meeting in charge of putting the whole thing together. That'll learn me! I emailed all of the parents, and ended up having a good 7 or 8 parents total, which was wonderful. We even had a couple dads, which I think really made the stick pull activity even funner.

I put together four activities: Quill and ink writing, stick pull game, cat's cradle, and candle making.

I made the ink myself- I crushed up (well, by *I*, I mean I made my two eldest children) walnut shells, and boiled them in a little water for a couple hours. Then I got some nice feathers from a craft store ($1.59 per 6 pack), and trimmed the bottoms to make "quills". The kids then tried to write in old style manuscript.

To play this game, two kids sit with their legs bent, facing each other, soles of feet touching their opponent. They are each grabbing a common stick (I usually use a broom). When the signal begins, they each pull. The first person to have their seat leave the ground loses. This was by far the most popular activity.

This was the old fashioned yarn game. The girls liked this better than the boys.

I bought the biggest, cheapest candle I could find. I also bought plastic crock pot liners so that I wouldn't have to clean wax from my crockpot. After I dropped the kids off at school, I put the candle in the pot, set it on low, and didn't worry about it. At school, the kids each got a piece of twine with a loop tied in the top. They dipped the twine in the wax, and then into a vase of cool water. After the water, they'd smooth out the bumps. Or they were SUPPOSED to smooth out the bumps. At the end of the activity, the candles looked more "artistic" than functional, but it was fun.

But, the crowning point of the day was when a classmate of K's accused K of being a liar when K claimed I was her mother, and not her sister. Decrepit old hag? I guess not! Ha!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

21 Boxes

21 boxes of girl scout cookies. That's it until K meets her girl scout cookie sales goal! Her troop goal is for each girl to sell 325, and we're just over 300 now. There's still a couple people we need to visit because they always order, and we haven't put in our family order yet. I am so happy she made her goal.

I have to admit I was a little worried this year. We have worked so hard, and sales were just sluggish. I chalked it up to the state of the economy.

Although we are really close, I still think we'll go spend at least one or two more days going door to door. For one, I don't entirely trust my math in counting up the orders. Secondly, to do the super wonderful, extra fantastic activity K's troop has planned, they have to have a certain number of cookies sold. If a couple girls fall short, the money simply won't be there. I figure if she goes over on her goal a little bit, it may help someone who came up short.

Friday, January 23, 2009

That was close

After really sitting back and thinking about it, I realized I really, really, really didn't want a minivan. I was trying to be reasonable and practical, and making myself miserable in the process.

Sure, I'm being a total drama queen about it. I openly admit minivans are the most practical option for our family. They are wonderful vehicles, and the friends of mine who own them sing their praises.

I just can't do it though. I can't.

While my feelings on the matter are silly and irrational, they are real. I may be stupid for feeling miserable driving a car I hate (though it suits my lifestyle well), but I would feel that way.

So, we will not be getting a minivan. J is on a gag order to not mock me any more for my feelings about it. I think the mini nervous breakdown I had today spooked him enough to be a little afraid of the emotion a minivan invokes in me.

In other news, I do love my husband dearly. He is a wonderful man. But he must love the taste of his foot, because he does seem to be sticking his foot in his mouth.

Last night, he was showing our Acura to a prospective buyer. He found out she had attended the same high school as me. He told her that he was sure she was much younger than I was, so we probably didn't know each other. She told him that she'd graduated in 1992, which is TWO WHOLE YEARS older than me. Seriously!!!!!! He thought I was "much older" than someone older than me?!!!!!! And worse, he decided to report that particular conversation back to me. I could've gone on in blissful ignorance that my husband thought I was an ancient, decrepit hag if he hadn't thought to tell me. He claims he thought she was younger because her oldest child was around 3. Hmpf. He's not even good at covering for himself.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Minivan


Crap crap crap.

My husband and children have been after me for YEARS to give up my SUV for a minivan. I have made one excuse or another for a long time. I have it in my head that minivans are the ultimate in uncool. I have loved being an SUV mom. It doesn't help that my "cool" friends who used to drive minivans are now driving SUVs. I do have a couple girlfriends who I consider to be cool who drive one, but the majority drive SUVs.

I know that it's stupid to think that my car represents me. And I *AM* a mother to four children. Seriously. It's extremely irrational. I recognize this. Considering I am normally a rational person, I think I'm allowed one area to be irrational. Unfortunately, I think rationality is winning over. I finally told my husband that if we could sell the MDX for what we owe, we could buy a minivan IF: It was in a cool color, it came with cool features (like dvd player, etc), it was newer, had leather, and seated 8. Now, I will admit this was a dirty trick. The Sienna, the minivan I prefer, does NOT come with leather in the 8 passenger configuration. I remembered this because my friend Kirsten and I looked for MONTHS for one, with no luck.

I felt secure in this.

Then. Today, we had TWO people offer us full asking price on the MDX. AND, I found a Sienna in an almost cool color (I wanted black or some other dark color, and this one is in a silvery blue), and it seats 8 with leather. They must've retrofitted the car with it.

I am soon to be a frumpy, chubby, thirtysomething minivan mom of four.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Funny Flashback

When we were expecting K, we had our ultrasound done 11 years ago next month. They gave us a vhs tape of the ultrasound.

Lucky for us, we were DYING to know the gender of our baby. If we had wanted to be surprised, well, we wouldn't have been after watching the tape.

Last night, I got remembering the whole thing and laughing about it. I used the "video" function on my digital camera and taped the first 25 seconds of our ultrasound. The tape starts with the tech orienting herself with where the baby is positioned. There is sound on the video, which is really where the funny part is.

We didn't hear her muttering to herself because she said it so quietly, and her face was right by the microphone. But you sure hear it on the tape!

So. Watch, listen and laugh with me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Girl Scout Cookie Time!!!!

Yes folks, it's that time of year again. The time that I dread, but the highlight of the girl scout year for K.


Yeah, I know, it's good to be supportive in my children's activities. Trust me, I've spent many an hour going door to door with her. I don't understand why she likes it so much, but she sure does. This year, her leaders have planned a super fantastic activity for the girls if they all make goal. Her personal troop gets $.40 of each box of cookies sold. She personally gets another $.20. The rest is given either to her scout council or to the actual production of cookies. Her goal this year is to sell 325 boxes. Last year, we worked really, really hard, and sold 320 boxes. I hope we can make goal, given the current state of the economy.

If you would like to order, you may email or call me. I'm happy to mail cookies at cost. We've already sold over a case at cost to our out of state friends.

Here's my beautiful girl all ready to go sell cookies. Isn't she growing up fast?!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A catty thought that occured to me.

K is at an age where she is starting to get very private with her thoughts and feelings. I mourn this, as I understand it's normal and healthy. However, she does still talk to me a lot, and has been keeping me up to date on the day to day goings on of her class.

I had a nasty thought occur to me though. In this age of trendeigh names, odds are really great that I am going to *HATE* the name of at least one of my future children in law. -sigh- Seriously, I don't know what possesses some people to actually NAME their child some of the things they do.

For some great examples of the idiotic names going around here, go to THIS website.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Over the weekend, M slept over at my parents' house. With my permission, they watched "Jaws". They were going to go in the hot tub in the dark afterwards, but ran out of time, and did the hot tubbing the next morning.

M has always seemed so fearless that I thought Jaws wouldn't faze him. I thought wrong. It seriously, seriously freaked him out. He had a terrible time going to sleep that night, and my mom allowed him to read, to get his mind off of th
e movie. He ended up staying up most of the night reading. The next day, he talked about the movie a lot. He had almost as much trouble sleeping the following night, but because I'm not the nice grandma, I made him lay in his bed with only the lava lamp for light.

In a typical future engineer fashion, he has worked through his fear and terror by recreating a scene from the movie with his legos:

Now, he's told me he wants to watch Jaws 2. I don't think he's ready for Jaws 2.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Update and even a fancy poll!

Yes, I do seem to have no life. LOL

So, after getting the "friend's" response that she did not remember me, I removed her as a friend. Called a mutual friend and that friend confirmed it was weird she claimed friend didn't remember me.

This morning, I get online, and "friend" has sent a friend invite. No note beyond the "so sorry, don't remember you; perhaps you have the wrong person" note.

So, here's the super fancy poll (if I get the coding right):

Monday, January 12, 2009


Over the weekend, I discovered an old friend on facebook. I had considered her to be a fairly good friend in high school, and have quite a few memories of fun stuff we did. We had several sleepovers together, and laughed a lot. I was really excited to see her again, so I immediately added her as a friend.

The next day, I get a message from her, saying she didn't remember me, and could I refresh her memory? Ouch.

So, I wrote her a quick mail talking about some of the fun stuff we'd done.

Today, I got a response. She still didn't remember me. double ouch. Seriously?! Talk about feeling stupid, foolish, and just plain awkward.

Whoa, way too much information

A few months ago, the family and I went to Costco for an evening of samples and groceries in mass quantities. While there, I decided to have a sample of tortilla chips. Much as I'd like to, I can't undo that decision.

The girl doing the demos was pretty obviously of the "special needs" set. Really nice girl, and very chatty, so I started visiting with her. Within moments, she starts telling me about how most of her colon is missing, and the bowel trouble she has as a result. Wow. Normally, I love lots of intimate details, but she managed to push beyond even my limits. Trust me when I say it takes some doing for that to happen. She managed to do it though.

I bleached my mind as much as possible, and have managed to forget almost all of the details.

Today, I was at the gym, and got talking with a couple ladies who come in on the handicapped bus. They are special needs, but work so hard, and I really admire them for their effort. Well, the one starts telling me about how most of her colon is missing. I look closer, and realize it's tortilla chip girl from Costco. She starts to tell me in excruciating detail why she can't eat more fruits, vegetables, and fiber as has been suggested to her. I cut her off and asked if she worked at Costco. Sure enough, it was her.

Sweet girl, but man oh man! Please, please please don't give strangers such explicit details of your life!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Z funny

This morning, Z woke up. I brought him into bed with us, and we were cuddling with him a little. Since his two year check is coming up in 3 months, I'm starting to help him "study" (ha ha!) so that I can say he knows certain body parts, can name certain people, etc. I really am not at all concerned about it, I am sure he's as brilliant as my other kids, but it's fun to teach and quiz them.

So this morning, I ask Z where his head is. He repeats back "Head?" and starts looking around, as if to locate it. He hurriedly slides off the bed, and runs from the room. J and I exchange a look and start laughing about how Z had lost his head.

Z comes back in a couple minutes with a ball cap on. He points to it proudly and says, "Hat. Head."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Last night's drea,m

I had a very interesting (to me) dream. Yeah, I know dreams are boring, but hey, it's my blahhhhhg, so I can write what I want.

I dreamed my cousin Michael died. He was my very favorite cousin growing up, and I idolized him. From a very early age, I had decided if I ever had a son, I would name him Michael, after my beloved cousin. As often happens, we grew apart as we grew up. At this point, I only see him once a year or so. We saw each other at Christmas, and it was great to see him again.

Anyway, so last night, I dreamed he died. I went to the funeral, and it was the best funeral I'd ever been to. Instead of a casket at the front of the room, it was actually HIM sitting there. He was perfectly fine, and he was able to actually personally say good-bye to everyone. He wasn't able to tell anyone what death was like, or what he had seen/experienced since dying. He was only able to assure us he was perfectly fine, and that he'd see us again after we died. It was awesometo have real closure and be able to truly have a goodbye conversation.

Death can be such a hard thing. So many times, when someone dies, we weren't able to say the things we wanted to. If the death was unexpected, it's even worse when it comes to things unsaid. I think people would be able to joyfully remember loved ones and not be as full of grief if we were able to have a funeral like my dream funeral for my cousin. To know unequivocally that they really are ok, to be able to say goodbye, and have them hear and respond would be absolutely priceless. Unfortunately, we still have to take it on faith that our loved ones survive death and that we'll see them again.

The dream reminded me of just how crazy I was about my cousin. It's a little sad that we aren't very close any more. We just are in such different places in life that it would be tough to get too close again. I'm sure that my husband and I would be incredibly boring for Mike and his girlfriend to see socially. Oh well.

Love ya, Mikey!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

This story is why...

This story illustrates why I remain chubby. And why I don't clean out my vents. You just never know what could happen!!

A 55-year-old Ogden woman is recovering at Ogden Regional Medical Center after being stuck upside down inside a vent for more than 30 hours.

Ogden Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Wood said Margaret Wright had been stuck for more than a day when she was found Monday evening at her home near 200 West and Patterson Street.

A relative became concerned after not hearing from her in 24 hours.

Her neighbor, Eloy Martinez, was with her family and police when they entered the home. He said he could hear Margaret faintly yelling for help. When they got closer to the sound, they saw her feet sticking out of the vent near the floor, alongside the wall.

He said, "She was moving them, that's all we could see. Just the feet moving, so I told them, ‘Heck, she's all right. She's moving them.' And she was saying, ‘Get me out of here.'"

Martinez said Wright was cleaning the vent and reached inside with a vacuum hose when she slipped inside.

Police said because she is only 5 feet 7 inches tall and a 110 pounds, she fell down in the vent nearly 3-and-a-half feet.

Woman was stuck in a vent similar to this one.

Ogden City police Lt. Scott Sanberg said, "The fire department came in and took the cold air return apart at the furnace level and worked their way back until they could finally extract her."

Police said when she was pulled from the vent, her legs were purple and she was dehydrated. She also had several cuts and abrasions from the metal screws inside the vent.

Martinez said his neighbor is a tough woman. He said, "I'm just a young 75, but I don't think I'd last one hour."

Lt. Sanberg said this was the first time he had ever received a call like this, but he said in the older homes, the vents were large. And with them being so close to the floor, he said it would be easy to fall in them if they were uncovered and someone was not careful.

He said Margaret is lucky to have friends and family that could check on her.

Snow Day

Actually, this is day TWO of snow days.

Yesterday, I had an appointment on the east side of the valley, right up by the mountains. I wasn't looking forward to it because it had been snowing fairly heavily for a long time. The roads were wretched.

Here's a picture I took while driving (Yes, I was being very, very careful).

That was actually on highway I-84. Terrible, huh? The other lane was just completely ice covered, so nobody was bothering to drive on it.

Utah snow is supposed to be different from the snow in other places because it's a lot "drier" than other snow. I had no idea this was the case until I started talking to people who live in other areas. They couldn't get over how powdery our snow was. I thought that's just the way it was.

I did notice that the snow we got in Japan was slushier, but didn't really think much about it.

During the last big snowstorm, M tried to build a snowman, but got really angry because the snow wouldn't stick together. It was like trying to roll dry sand into a ball.

If nothing else, I saw absolute proof we have extremely dry snow. I saw a guy clearing his walks of snow by using his.... wait for it.... LEAF BLOWER!!!! And it was working! I wouldn't think to make this up. I swear it's true.