Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Politically Incorrect Thanksgiving

Included in my list of things I'm grateful for who look adorable in politically incorrect Indian headdresses.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pajama Personalities

We don't give our kids large amounts of freedom when it comes to choosing clothes. I mean, I can hold up a couple of shirts and let the boys choose between them, but that's about as far as it gets on days we're leaving the house. After all, we have an image to uphold.

So when it comes to pajamas, the crazies can take any liberty they desire. We don't really buy pj's that often...thanks to a cousin just older than Parker...but we have all kinds of choices.

Parker is VERY particular about what he wears. Tops and bottoms MUST coordinate. And ideally, they should match someone else in the house. If Dad is wearing a blue sweatshirt to bed, so is Parker. He goes to great lengths to make sure his jammies match with someone. (Except in the summer when he sleeps in no jammies at all...but frankly, neither does Spencer so I suppose they still sort of match...that's neither here nor there.) Parker's a trip. It makes me laugh just about every time.

Parker's reaction upon finding out that if you jiggle your belly after drinking a mug of hot cocoa it makes a swishing noise. That kid is a hot cocoa fiend.

Then Reid comes along... Reid is particular too. He knows what he wants. There are days he has to incorporate all his favorite characters. He is not the least bit concerned with matching in any form. The night that inspired this post, he had on striped pants under Thomas the Tank Engine shorts with a flannel button-down Spiderman top. He's a riot. He's also particular about no clothes ever touching his stump. I don't get it, but then again, I don't have a stump. Pj's are always pushed up or rolled up to stay above his knee. When his prosthetic leg is on, it's no problem. But when it's off, a fit is thrown if his pants come unrolled.

Reid is appropriately holding "If I Ran The Circus" by Dr. Seuss.

I don't get these kids. You'd think after having one, you'd know what to expect the second time around. So not the case. Gray is too young to pick is own pj's. I'll anxiously await his pajama personality.

"Myself I sleep in the all together." (A line from my favorite...Thoroughly Modern Millie.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Biggest Loser

I don't think anyone can quite understand the journey to serious weight loss unless they've experienced it themselves. It takes absurd amounts of hard work and self-discipline and there's really nothing fun about it. I have unfortunately found myself on this road more than once in my life. (Once in college and again this past year.) This less than joyful journey began one year ago this very week.

I have had to lose some weight after each pregnancy, but the first two times around, it came off without a problem relatively quick. So when I was gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy, I wasn't too concerned. I did the same thing with Parker and I had lost it all in seven months without much effort on my part. Six weeks after Gray was born and I had the OK to start exercising again, I got on the scales and had only lost ten pounds...and eight and a half of that was Grayden. Yikes!

I have never made greater efforts to lose weight than I have this past year. And it's never been this hard to lose it. I suppose I can attribute that to getting older and having three kids. I cannot explain to you what that does to a girls mental state. I hate that something as trivial as weight could make me feel so down. I hit some pretty low patches.

Even more trivial than my weight...I hated that I had nothing to wear. I refused to buy an entire plus size wardrobe. I didn't want to get too cute and comfortable in a size I was not comfortable being. Besides a couple necessary purchases, I wore maternity clothes much, much much longer than I cared to. An embarrassing amount of time.

And then something happened the past few months. I stopped doing it for the weight and started doing it for the health of it. It changed my whole outlook, my entire mental state. And subsequently, my weight loss picked up.

So now that I've hit the one year mark on this difficult journey, I'm ready to report. I've lost 47 pounds this year. 47 POUNDS! That averages out to just under a pound a week. (Though it was more like...lose a bunch...not lose any...lose a bunch...not lose any.) Watching the scale was so frustrating. Losing weight is such a slow process, it hardly felt like I was getting anywhere. But over one years time, that is significant. Forty-seven pounds is the size of a 6 year old child. Parker weighs 43 pounds and I can hardly carry him these days. The thought that I had his weight plus some attached to my body it unreal.

I feel like I need a before and after picture.

Me one year ago...too big for even a size 16 (I tried to avoid pictures at this time in my life so my options were limited):

Me today...size 6 top, size 8 jeans (again a bad picture...self timer):

I still have a little bit to lose to hit my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm still quite lumpy around the middle. But I did reach my goal weight. I'm at a weight that while I'd rather be smaller, I can be very comfortable at. A weight I can now stop obsessing over.

The worst part? We've lived in three different places so no one has been around to see the loss from start to finish. It's frustrating to have lost nearly 50 pounds and no one notices. I'm all about the praise. So bring it on.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Going Dutch

There is something about being poor that reminds you that there is fun to be had outside of shopping malls, restaurants and movie theaters. Our current favorite adventure involves our dutch oven and a ten minute drive to the lake. Why have we been neglecting our dutch oven for so many years? Not only does it produce delicious meals, but we've had more family fun on these recent outings than we have on any shopping trip and dinner. Hopefully we won't forget to do this again when we're rolling in the dough.

Our Friday night outing got cut a little short due to extreme wind at the lake. We decided lighting anything on fire was a bad idea. We played for a while and took the cookout back home. We enjoyed our dutch oven dinner in the comfort of our kitchen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Later that same day...

What is it about this time of year? This very week last year I entertained you all at my expense with Mess Week 2007 (part I, part II). Minus the stomach flu (knock on wood) this week is shaping out to be about the same.

I recently share the Lysol story. Later that morning... I found this:

An empty toy shelf. How curious.

And where's Reid? In my room looking out a second story window.

What's he looking at?

Ah...that's were your now broken toys are.

Look what was lined up to go out the window next.

I see a future science project for Reid...which brands of toys hold strong after being dumped out a second story window? Surprisingly, the Tonka truck was the only thing that didn't make the fall...and it was on the fritz anyway. Kids toys are seriously built to withstand anything.

The crazies have seriously been on a rampage this week. The toilets specifically have been an issue because ALL THREE CRAZIES like to stuff them with things that don't belong.

The latest? A good portion of our Sam's Club sized dog food bag has been unloaded into the washing machine. Our laundry room/ pantry/ mud room is where we house the dog food as well as our food, shoes and washer. Every shelf and every shoe was also filled with dog food. As was Gray's mouth when he found what the older two had done.

AyAyAy. What have I gotten myself into? I suppose it's not hard to believe that these cute faces could cause so much trouble. They can't help but look a little mischievous.

And for anyone wondering...Parker did get a hair cut. I cut about three inches off. It was a little sad. I hardly recognized him for a couple days. I liked his shaggy did he. But it's so thick, it was getting unmanageable. It's nice to be able to fix his hair again. Though he is very particular about how he wears it.



Doesn't he look like a completely different kid?

And a few more pictures just for good measure. Gray is really looking older these days. Maybe that's because he's FINALLY WALKING. Sheesh. It's about time. And he still doesn't use walking for his main mode of transportation. But he can walk across a room.

We bought this shirt for Parker a long time ago and yesterday was cold enough for long sleeves. (WooHoo. Too bad today is back up to 78. Though truthfully, this weather is ideal, I'm ready for fall.) Spencer has a shirt that matches almost exactly and Parker wanted to match. He his a little fashioniste. We go through quite a process deciding what to wear every morning. I thought he looked particularly cute yesterday. Four going on 25.

As if this email wasn't long enough... I'm switching gears a bit. We moved to this house that's nearly three times the size of our house in Ohio. We don't have enough stuff to fill it and our current decorating allowance is $0. But the white, empty walls are driving me mad. I've attempted to put something on the walls a few times and never been happy with the outcome. I scoured my house yesterday and this is what I came up with for the wall above my piano. I think it's kind of a fun look. It's definitely not ideal, but I'm pleased with my resourcefulness.

And just a close up on one of the pictures. This is a postcard I've saved since high school. I've always thought it was funny, but I've never done anything with it. Who knew I'd end up hanging it in my living room.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Goat Barn

Today's flashback includes no pictures and it's a cryin' shame. This is a story unlike anything most of you have ever experienced.

I don't know how many of you know, but for a while, Spencer was studying veterinary medicine. So our first year of marriage, he worked at an animal reproduction lab at Utah State. (A job that brought forth MANY funny and unusual stories. If Spence ever wants to share them...he's welcome to be a guest writer.) As part of his undergraduate duties, he was required to feed the goats every other week...weekends included. Theses large, ugly goats were housed in a shackled, smelly goat barn.

One Sunday night we had been at some sort of church meeting and were on our way home... Spencer in a suit and me in my skirt and heals... when Spencer remembered he hadn't yet fed the goats. It was already dark out and the goat barn had no lighting. So the plan was to drive the car right in front of it, shine the headlights inside and keep the doors open.

Spencer came out a moment later a little hesitant to ask me a favor. These nasty goats were used to eating in the afternoon and were hungry. They had gotten out of their stalls to look for some food. So Spencer in his suit was climbing these stalls and tugging the goats to get them back where they were supposed to be. All I had to do was stand at the door to make sure the goats didn't leave the barn. Spencer was sure the goats would be afraid of me and not try to leave. HA!

While Spencer was busy with one goat and I was up to my ankles in hay and muck, another goat came charging towards me. I freaked. As if all goats weren't nasty, these were the nastiest goats ever. And she wasn't afraid of me as Spencer predicted. So my gut reaction was to shut the barn doors. I left Spencer locked in there in the pitch blackness until I could be sure that if I re-opened those doors, a goat wouldn't come running my direction.

Needless to say, we all made it home safe. No goats were lost or harmed.

I am SO not an animal lover.

That's The Power of Lysol

In the wee waking hours of the morning, Spencer and I awoke to the lemon scent of Lysol. I really didn't think about it, but Spencer got up right away. The oldest two crazies had locked themselves in the downstairs bathroom. One had Lysol, the other a can of aerosol hairspray and they were taking turns spraying each other well as the rest of the bathroom. By the time Spencer got downstairs, they had emptied a half bottle of Lysol and an entire can of hairspray. AND spackled the toilet seat and door with Garnier Surf Hair Texture Paste.

They of course didn't know it was dangerous, but they DID know it was naughty. It doesn't appear that any permanent damage was done.

AHHHH! Those mischievous little monkeys!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Something to Blog About

Kim tagged me like a month ago and I'm barely getting to this. Here it goes...

Five things I was doing ten years ago...
1. getting kicked out of seminary...repeatedly
2. ditching seminary...repeatedly
3. babysitting a lot
4. spending all my free time with my favorite high school friends
5. flirting

Five things on my to do list today...
1. exercise
2. take the crazies to the library
3. fold the laundry
4. breathe
5. watch 30 Rock

Five snacks I enjoy...
1. french fries
2. sweedish fish
3. carmel
4. sugar snap peas...straight from the garden
5. trail mix

Five things I would do if I were a millionaire...
1. get a PhD
2. pay off all payment, student loans, you name it...that's a given right?
3. often as I like
4. hire a house keeper
5. travel

Five places I have lived
1. Phoenix, Arizona
2. Corona, California
3. Logan, Utah
4. Columbus, Ohio
5. Mars...or it might as well be...Texas is just that foreign

Five jobs I have had
1. Video Store Clerk (I got to answer the phone: "Hello, Go Video"...I had a friend who called regularly just to laugh when I answered.)
2. Home Health Aid / Translator / Personal Assistant...I don't quite know how to define this job, but it was by far my most interesting. I'll write about it sometime.
3. EFY Counselor
4. Stylish Fabrics...fabric and sewing machine sales
5. Safe and Drug Free School Coordinator...again, a job to write about.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just Thought I'd Ask

Does anyone else use the transition form Daylight Savings Time as an excuse to put your crazies (who can't tell time) to bed an hour earlier?

Let's hear it for Daylight Savings Time!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Costumes Revealed

I know you've all been waiting for a big unveiling of my kids costumes. I hope you're not sorely disappointed. This was not my best year for costumes. I couldn't talk my boys into what I wanted them to be. And really, I want them to be happy with their costumes. Dressing up is supposed to be fun. If I make them be something they don't want to be, they won't enjoy it as much as I want them to. So there was no costume theme this year. Sad, I know.

I mentioned before that Parker couldn't be anything that wasn't spooky. He was a lurking, smirking Vampire. I wasn't too excited about his costume at first. All I made was a cape...though it was a killer vampire cape with spooky silver buttons and a chain around the neck. But by the time it was all on with hair and face paint and the works, this turned out to be my favorite costume. Parker is hardly recognizable...he looks a little like Eddie Munster.

Park couldn't take a picture without posing.

At Parker's school, each kid takes turns bringing this "Care Bear" home for the weekend. When they bring it back on Monday, the kids report back to the class about Care Bear's adventures. This was Park's weekend for Care Bear and we even found him a costume to wear trick-or-treating.
Reid insisted on being a Mahna, Mahna Monster (one of Jim Henson's Muppet's). In fact, he was the one I had the hardest time trying to convince to be what I wanted him to. He was very set on this costume. Truthfully, I LOVED this idea. It thoroughly suits Reid's personality. I thought this would be my favorite costume. I was highly disappointed. I guess I just wasn't willing to spend enough money to perfect this one.

Though this one was still the people's choice. Everyone thought Reid looked fantastic, but no one knew who he was. He does look pretty cute. Spencer pointed out that he looks more like a prehistoric rock star.

I debated about Gray's costume for a long time. I very seriously contemplated re-wearing the infamous Elvis costume. But when it came down to it, I'm just not the re-wearing type of girl. (Not for my kiddos, at least.) So I had all the fabric picked out to dress him like the little golfer I've been wanting for the past two Halloweens. But at the last minute I switched to a ghost per Spencer's suggestion. Grayden's favorite word is "BOO." Any given hour you can catch him saying it at least five times. I thought a little baby crawling around in a ghost costume giggling BOO every few minutes would be hilarious.

I wish I would have gone for the golfer. At first he looked a little like a white supremacist. So I altered it and he looked like a girl. And after a few more alterations and the addition of a bow tie, no one knew what he was supposed to be. I attempted to paint his face white and wanted to add black circles around the eyes...Charlie Brown style...but he wouldn't have it. Another costume disappointment.

Spencer dressed him this night and forgot the white shirt underneath. Oh was too hot anyway.

I re-wore to the ward trunk or treat.
Spencer went as Indiana Jones. I think he's caught a little costume fever.
On Halloween I didn't want to make the effort for Lucille ball, again. I am amazed at my mad costume skills. In just a few minutes time I had come up with a cow girl costume, a pirate costume, and a witch costume using mainly clothes from my closet and a couple accessories from the costume box. I was most impressed with the pirate costume...I don't dress like a pirate on a daily basis. I was amazed that I had clothes that could look so pirate-ish. Spencer's vote was for the cow girl (I'm guessing because it consisted of tight jeans tucked into tall boots). It included the most comfortable shoe choice so I obliged. But Parker freaked out. He NEEDED me to be the witch. And since he runs our household, I marched back upstairs and quickly transformed myself into a witch. And sadly enough, this is the best picture.

Next year I'm NOT going as a witch.

The best part? The costumes averaged out to $5 a piece (some a little less, some a little more). Let's hear it for homemade costumes! (Not to mention they're original and don't look so cheap.)