Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pregnancy Top 5

Let's be honest. There is really not much that is fun or desirable about being pregnant. Looking and feeling like a bloated, deformed, grouchy(er) version of yourself is not always the greatest. Acid reflux, aching muscles, sleeplessness ... not a few of my favorite things. (Quite frankly, I'm not overly fond of whiskers on kittens or girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, but that is a post for another day.) However, there are some distinct advantages to packing around a freakishly active tiny being 24 hours a day.

1. Stretchy Pants. Let me just begin by saying that the older I get, the lazier I get. The fact that I haven't had to undo a single pair of pants in like 6 months ... pretty cool. It makes the 47 trips to the bathroom per day just a little bit less awful. No snaps, no zippers, no buttons. It's all about the fabulous strechy panel.

2. All You Care to Eat ... And Then Some. Yes, I know that it is highly irresponsible to gorge yourself while you are pregnant. Gone are the days when doctors and well meaning friends and loved ones encouraged the expecting mother to eat her weight in food. However, I say that if I am going to be a cow anyway, I am going to enjoy it by eating pretty much whatever I want. Halloween candy, pie, fudge, eclairs ... YUM. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, the turkey has learned to shudder at my very presence. Dead and roasted or not. Sure, sure, some will say that it is going to make it that much harder to lose the weight. Whatever. I'm old, it's going to be hard to lose the weight anyway. Bring it on, Turkey. Yeah, and invite your friend Mashed Potatoes to the party, too. Bring it.

3. Time to Stop and Smell the Roses. I am absolutely loving the extra moment I have at least twice a day to just take a breath and think about that things that matter most to me. Sure, that time is when I have to stop and catch my breath between putting each shoe on. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy it.

4. Handicapped Parking. Can I say that I just LOVE that when you are pregnant you are able to use hadicapped parking spaces? The convenience of being able to park close to the entrance to any giving building is immeasurable. Not to mention how nice it is in inclement weather. I have a hard enough time walking anywhere as it is. I don't know what I would do without the use of handicapped parking. What a blessing!
Wait. What's that you say? Pregnant women AREN'T supposed to use the handicapped parking spaces?? What?!? How rude. OK, scratch that. Just forget I said anything.

5. Baby on Board ... And Totally in the Way. I apologize, honey, I simply can't do the dishes. Can't quite reach the sink. So sorry. Guess you'll have to wash them again. I feel really bad about it, though. REALLY bad.

There it is folks. The pregnancy Top 5. I'm sure a ton of other wonderful perks of being pregnant will come to me later ... just don't have time right now. Have to go so I can find some Tums and crawl around to relieve pressure from my hips or I'm sure I could think of a million more.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Twisted Turnip

Did I say I was going to start posting weekly? Well, what I actually meant was monthly. Yeah, that's it, MONTHLY. I can't believe it's really been a month since I posted last. And if you count it in pregnancy years, it's been like 6 months and 50 pounds. Ridunkulous.

Well, the baby has been progressing through various stages of fruit and vegetable. I can't remember what the latest one was, but I know that within the last week or two, it was the size of a turnip. That's right folks, I said a turnip. Now if you are like me and are not Peter Rabbit or one of his perfect little, no-trouble causing siblings with a name that rhymes with -opsy, you really have no idea what a turnip is. All I know is that this one has a seriously twisted sense of humor. Supposedly, the fetal development has not yet extended to the practical joke playing portion of the brain, and many would argue that babies cannot yet be intentionally mean, but I beg to differ. In fact, if memory serves me right, I'm pretty sure that all of my children had the same sick sense of in-utero humor. And if you know them now, you'll agree that it's not that hard to believe that they were causing me trouble in even the earliest stages of development.

Let me back up a little by saying that I have insanely, intensely miserable heartburn throughout all of my pregnancies. From beginning to end. It gets to the point where I am receiving most, if not all, of my nutritional value from various flavors of Tums. Not the baby's fault, though, right? I mean, kind of, but not any more than the stretch marks and weight gain and overwhelming exhaustion are. No, how I know that my baby has a particularly mean and twisted sense of humor is because of the cravings. Those I totally blame on the baby. Baby decides it wants a Hostess chocolate pudding pie, and what are you gonna do? You've gotta eat it regardless of the fact that there are a whopping 520 calories in each one. (But that's a story for a different day.) The point is that cravings are totally the baby's fault. And my babies think it would be hilariously funny to make me crave foods that they know cause me the worst acid reflux ever. Spicy chicken sandwiches, carne asada burritos, deep fried zucchini, deep fried corn dogs, deep fried just about anything, you get the picture. If it causes me misery, the baby has to have it.

Mean, mean baby. And if that weren't bad enough, when I am in the throes of the most acid caused anguish ever, I swear I can hear it just chortling away down there. Very funny. This baby had better just watch its back. I've got half a mind to take it right back to Mr. McGregor's garden where it came from.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Power of Suggestion

I never realized it before, but apparently commercials are made for pregnant women. Ok, not all commercials. I mean, obviously, we can't take any medicine, or have much fun at theme parks, and maybe we're not in the market for a snazzy new convertible. I am talking specifically about commercials for food. I don't remember this in past pregnancies; maybe because I have had more time to watch television this time around, but pretty much every food I see advertised on TV, I think I have to have it. No, I don't just think so, I am CONVINCED that I need it. And it's not even just limited to commercials. If someone is eating something on any show I'm watching, I have to have that, too.

Right now, for instance, there is someone eating popcorn on a sitcom, and the last commercial break featured an ad for the new Thin Mint Blizzard from Dairy Queen. If microwave popcorn and a Thin Mint ice cream treat doesn't sound like the best dinner ever, I'll be darned. All plans of salisbury steaks and mashed potatoes are out the window. It's all about DQ and Orville Redenbacher now. Oh wait ... change of plans, looks like it might be a pepperoni pizza, Pepsi, and some divine looking chocolate dunking sticks from Pizza Hut. Chocolate dunking sticks are an appetizer not a dessert, right? So, technically, I can still swing by the Dairy Queen for a Thin Mint Blizzard, can't I? Uh oh, hold up, it looks like it might be the $5 roast chicken combo from Arby's now complete with an icy cold Pepsi and some curly fries. Yikes. I can't keep up.

It all started with a day a couple months ago when I was in bed for a few days. I had been laying on the couch dozing, reading, and watching TV, and I was desperate for some Honey Nut Cheerios. I don't know why. I even called a couple friends to see if they had some because I didn't have any at home and I NEEDED Honey Nut Cheerios for some reason. LaVerl finally found a box out in the garage behind some other food storage. Best bowl of cereal I ever ate. I didn't even realize until later that night that there had been like 15 of those Honey Nut Cheerios low cholesterol commercials throughout the day.

It's only gotten worse since then. Even in my sickest moments, there is still something irresistible about the food I see on TV. I don't know what has come over me. I've never been so vulnerable to suggestion. It's a little ridiculous, actually.

Well, I'd better turn off the TV and get back to my dumb salisbury steaks. Don't think I'm not getting that Blizzard later, though, Hey, the baby wants what the baby wants. Who am I to stand in the way?

The Alien Inside

So most, but maybe not all of you, know that I am pregnant. I have had a pretty scary first trimester and thought for a while that I might lose the baby, so I haven't spread the news as readily as might be expected. That being said, things seem to be going well for the time being. I have been diagnosed with complete placenta previa (placenta covering the opening of the cervix - if you can handle all those gross words.) Best case scenario, it will resolve on its own. Worst case scenario, I will need bed rest towards the end and a C-section. This news is far from the worst, and I am hopeful that everything will be just fine - whatever happens. My estimated due date is 2/1/2010 so I've got a long way to go yet!

Enough with the seriousness already. I know that I have been out of the blogging world for some time now, and I figured this was as good of a way as any to re-announce my entrance into the WOB (world of blog.) I am also hoping that this will be a good enough motivation for me to post AT LEAST weekly. That's my goal anyway. We'll see how it goes.

I went to the doctor this morning and everything seems to be going just fine. Translation: the baby's heart is beating, the fundus is measuring fine (not to be confused with the fungus, which is something that I would need to go to a different type of doctor for altogether,) and I have gained infinitely more weight than I would like. I am now about 15 weeks, which according to my weekly pregnancy e-mails means that the baby is the size of an apple. I'm not sure why, but every week it seems to be the size of a different food. Maybe people like to think of their growing uterus as holding a whole, wiggly, undigested food? A pecan, an olive, a lemon, an apple. I am eagerly anticipating the later e-mails: "Your baby is currently the size of a gallon of milk." "This week your baby is approximately the size and volume of a meatloaf." I can't wait to see what kind of food my baby is growing to be. By the time I give birth, I am really hoping for a bucket of chicken.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mo' Better Blogging ... NOT!

Holy cow ladies! So much for more time to blog .. good heck! Even now, at 10:30 at night, I am having to yell and scream and throw things at my children to get them to leave me alone for 5 MINUTES JUST SO I CAN BLOG!!! I've spent the last half hour just trying to catch up on everyone else's blog posts and now I just want to write a single blog post. Just one blog post. Is that too much to ask for?? Apparently, yes. Yes it is.

I haven't been on the computer in two weeks to do anything expect balance our dwindling checking account and pay our ever-surmounting bills. (Not fun.) Why, you ask? Why is it that I can't find 15 minutes a day to get on the computer? WELL, for starters, I have a husband who has developed a new love affair with Facebook and NBA.com (go figure.) Add to that the fact that I have three darling daughters who want nothing more than to play on Barbie.com, Disney.com, PBSkids.com, anythingbutletmeusethecomputer.com, and Microsoft Paint 24 hours a freaking day. Zariah even started typing the book Go, Dogs, Go into a Word document. I think it's a conspiracy. Even now, as I type, Zariah is watching me type and asking me what c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r spells and what a plural noun is (she is also working on a Mad Lib in addition to spying on me.) Fan keeps coming in with movie choices of what we should watch tonight because apparently my kids NEVER GO TO BED. And Audrina is telling me it is my "job" to put her pajamas on her.

Anyway, with that complaining aside, I apologize for my lack of blogging. Just in case you care.

I am going to take a second (literally, because I think that is all the time I can find) to tell you a few things I have learned in the last couple of weeks:

* 4 hours of yard work is equivalent to 86 hours of office work. (at least)

* My house will never be clean ... ever.

* Naps do not help a mother feel any less tired.

* The effort and frequency of vaccuuming somehow has no relationship whatsoever to the cleanliness of the carpet.

* I suffer from a horrible disease known as LTFA, Low Tolerance for Audrina. (About 10 hours seems to be my limit, preferably 8 of those while she is sleeping.) It is so far incurable, but as we speak the government is issuing millions of dollars in grants to find a remedy.

* Sanity is overrated. Totally.

On the other hand, I did accomplish a few things that I am quite proud of:

* Saving more at the grocery store than I spent ... sans coupons.

* Going through 50,546 (give or take) bins of girls clothes to find summer clothes for the younger two girls and organize the rest. (Don't even ASK me how long that took.)

* Pulling all the weeds in the back and front yards.

* Taking inventory of the deep freeze.

* Causing my husband to both hate and respect my supervisorial prowess. I'm kinda like the Darth Vader of taskmasters. He may try to find a part-time job just to make his life a little easier.

* Baking 4 loaves of bread. Not horrible. Not great. Not sure I'll be doing it again anytime soon.

* Making my own fruit roll-ups out of fresh, dehydrated fruit. JUST KIDDING! I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Had you going there for a second, didn't I?

More to come. As soon as I can tranquilize my children ... I mean, get them to leave me alone for 10 minutes. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Unemployment Top 5 Lists

As some of you already know, I was laid off from my job yesterday. I had a fear that this might be coming, but I have been dutifully going to work every day hoping that it wouldn't. I don't really know how to describe how I feel right now. Strangely enough, it feels a little bit like being broken up with. (Not that I have ANY idea what that would feel like.) On the flip side, it is a wonderful blessing to be able to be at home where I have desperately wanted to be for so long. It's a strange feeling, that's for sure. Apparently, a big part of my identity was tied up in my work. I was really good at it, too. Altogether I feel a little hollow. And a little relieved. And a little sad. And a little stressed. Yep, that about covers it.

At any rate, it happened, and I have faith that everything will work out somehow. I am not silly enough not to realize the great blessings I still have in my life.

With that being said, I thought it would be fun to post my top 5 things I will miss about my job and the top 5 reasons I will enjoy my unemployment.


5. DRESSING UP. I mean, really, what a phenomenal waste of all my cute work clothes.

4. TWO WORDS: BISCUITS & GRAVY. So there's this catering truck that comes to Smead every morning at 9:15. Best biscuits and gravy ever. That's all I'm going to say.

3. FILE FOLDER EMERGENCIES. Bet you didn't know there was any such thing, did you? You'd be surprised. It always amuses me and helps me gain a little perspective when customers totally flip out about folders. You would think these things were made of oxygen.

2. VOICEMAILS FROM AUDRINA. Although I will get to spend more time with the midget herself, I will miss her tiny little sweet voice on my voicemail. "Mommy, can I have something to eat?" "Mommy, what are you doing?" "Will you tell daddy to let me use the computer?" Every. Day. Sometimes as often as 8 times a day. No kidding.

1. FAST INTERNET CONNECTION. Seriously. It took me three times as long to pay my dumb bills this morning. Sad.

(Yes, I purposely left things out like: co-workers, paychecks, making the mortgage payment, etc. It's not that kind of list. I mean, are you trying to bring me down? Geez!)


5. MY NEW WORK UNIFORM: SWEATS & FLIP FLOPS. Forget casual Friday. I'm talking about casual EVERY day. Yes, I enjoy dressing up, but I ALSO enjoy being comfortable. I will have a good few weeks of enjoying slumming around a little. All day. Every day.

4. TWO WORDS: SLEEPING IN. Need I say more?

3. MO BETTA BLOGGING. Well, I don't know about better. But definitely more. I mean, come on. I'll be made out of free time.

2. LESS LAUNDRY. (see reason#5)

1. FORTUNE & FAME. Let's face it people. Now that I don't have bosses and co-workers and needy customers (in addition to a husband and church responsibilities and needy kids) to take up all my energy, I can dedicate myself to becoming a rock star. Or an author. Or a famous philosopher. Or a guest anchor on Good Things Utah. Anything is possible.

Well, there it is. My Top 5 Lists. It will be a bit of a struggle for us, but I'm always up for a challenge, or at least the Lord seems to think so. Consider the lilies, right? I don't know if that means I'm going to end up living in a field, but I will not be spinning or toiling. And I hear that I'll be arrayed fabulously. What else could a girl ask for?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quilt Shirt, A Note to Follow Sew.

Well, I am quite sure that you are all on the edges of your various proverbial seats to find out what has happened since the day I sewed something that was actually nothing. I'll tell you what happened. I sewed something that was something. Kind of.

My friend Karyn was so thrilled to read about my adventures in sewing (and duly impressed with the nothing I made, I might add.) She has so far been unable to get me interested in scrapbooking or stamping or crocheting or making my own baby wipes, much to her chagrin. She knows that my attention is prone to wane quite easily, especially when I am not good at something. Which is far too often for my liking. So after the sewing incident (also known as The Three-Sided Stitched Nothing) she decided to show me how simple sewing can be. We grabbed a bunch of fabric strips and she started piecing them together. I think we were making some sort of quilting square ... or maybe an entire quilt, I'm not entirely sure. So she patiently sat next to me and handed me pieced together strips and said, "Sew here." "Now, sew here." And offered up mostly false words of encouragement as I was going. "Good job." "That looks great!" "You're doing good." That kind of stuff. 'Cause Karyn's known me a long time, and she knows that compliments, even contrived ones, totally work on me.

Well, I sewed together a bunch of strips into a sort of rectanglish, squarish type thing. She said that it would make a great pillow. But I didn't have any stuffing. And have I mentioned that in addition to not being very skilled, I am also not very patient? It looked like it would make a really cute skirt to me, but it was too small to go around even Audrina's tiny waist. Well, I was on a roll, people. I had sewed something, and I was not just about to let it sit and be nothing but a pretty placemat. So I tried to wrap it around Audrina's body instead. No luck. But really close!! So I got the idea to tie it in the back and put straps on it and make it a sort of shirt. Of course I had to consult Karyn to see if I could actually pull that off. She agreed that it might work, but I think she secretly thought it would still look better as a pillow.

Finally, after lots of Karyn's help and Audrina yelling, "WHEN CAN I WEAR MY SHIRT??" it was completed. The end result of my labor of love. I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Here it is ...
AND, the back ...

Yes, I am not so dim that I do not get the irony of making a very immodest (if worn alone) shirt when my original dream was to design a modest fashion line. I also do not think it will make it into the House of Chanel of haute couture. Nor would it pass a close inspection by anyone who knows anything whatsoever about sewing. WHATEVER. Drina loves it. Really. I might make a matching one for her baby doll next. (Just kidding, Karyn. Don't get any ideas.)

My husband was slightly less than impressed. I was so excited that I had actually made something that someone could wear, and I thought maybe he would share in that excitement. Not so much. The next day Audrina was excited to wear her new shirt, and I was expecting a call from him when he got her dressed that morning. Nothing. I finally talked to him later on the phone and gushed, "Did you SEE the shirt I MADE??" His response, "Yeah. Um, it looks kind of like an apron." Whatever. He obviously doesn't know what a real apron looks like.

BTW, if you want to see what a real apron looks like and even enter to win it, check out my friend Lara's post here. She actually knows how to sew. I hope you're not too disappointed, but don't be looking for any quilt-shirt giveaways anytime soon. I'm pretty sure that this was a one time thing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Words

Ok, so I am sure that most of you have noticed that you sometimes have to enter a "word verification" to post a comment on another person's blog. Ticketmaster.com and a few other websites use this supposed "word verification," too. The problem with this practice is that just because a bunch of letters are stuck together, it does not make something a word. Like "rederec." Um, not a word. My question is, did they run out of real words to use due to the sheer volume of comments being posted on the blogosphere, or did they start making stuff up from the very beginning just for kicks?

I am sure that the answer to that question is probably very dull and involves something to do with random, computer generated sequences of letters. But I prefer to think that it is someone's full time job to come up with these "word verification" words. Maybe more than one person. Maybe somewhere in South Dakota or Nebraska there is an entire satellite office filled with employees who sit in front of computers all day just making stuff up. The walls are decorated with the alphabet in varying fonts and colors. They probably give awards for the "Best Word Thinker-Upper" of the month. Maybe the prize is a dictionary. Just to be funny. Maybe it's a really competitive field and only the best and brightest employees are chosen for this think-tank. And their true identities are protected to keep NASA from recruiting them. I'm not sure, but that's what I like to think.

At any rate, I am not sure that these WVS (Word Verification Specialists) rely on any outside information when they are choosing who wins the BWTU awards. But just in case they are, I thought I would post my top 5 favorite words and what they might possibly mean if they were, in fact, real words.

5. UNTRATUD: the opposite of tratud; or not to be tratud. Upon speaking to her, I noticed that she was completely untratud. No wonder she teases her hair up so high.

4. MOUNDO: an exceedingly large quantity or amount. I cannot believe the moundo piles of laundry that I have to do every week. Or My children have been moundo uncooperative this morning.

3. GONFUZ: the wonderful feeling of smoothness that follows a long awaited shaving. I was pleased to find my husband gonfuz after weeks of him having a beard.

2. SESTSYLL: the lesser-known sister of Dr. Jeckyll who functioned as his assistant. It was really Sestsyll who made the accidental discovery of the magic potion that transformed Dr. Jeckyll into Mr. Hyde. What she was actually trying to do was to make a potion that would cause Dr. Jeckyll to help more around the house. Despite the tragic results, it should be noted that she had some success. Although Mr. Hyde commited various atrocities, he was known to always leave behind an impeccably clean house. Although there are few that know the truth, Sestsyll is really to blame for the potion that created the infamous Mr. Hyde.

1. IDGEFLUP: a momentary lapse in memory or in good judgement, also commonly known by the crasser expression "brain fart." I could not remember her name for the life of me, even though we had been introduced several times. It was a total and complete idgeflup.

There it is, ladies and gentlemen, my five faves. Words that received an honorable mention in my list are sisiti, zosine, and jecavann (a caravan led by a Jedi?)

P.S. If by any chance you know the truth about how these word verification words are created, don't tell me. It'll ruin the magic.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


So, I really needed General Conference this past weekend. Like REALLY needed it. Like laying on my bed in the dark with my shoes on last Friday night thinking, " I cannot possibly go on for one more day." I needed inspiration, I needed hope, I needed strength, and I needed the will to continue in spite of the fact that life is, well, life ... you all know how that is.

So I watched conference this weekend and waited for my miracle. I watched, I prayed, I paid special attention so that I could hear that message that was meant just for me. I was uplifted and I was inspired, but I ended the weekend thinking that I had not really found that one certain message that I needed in my life. I felt that I was a parched stone on a dry river bed caught in a Spring shower. I was blessed to feel the much needed moisture that came from each and every word that was spoken. But once it ended, the sun came back out and each drop evaporated as quickly as it had fallen. There were many messages that were meant to give hope. Follow the prophet. Fear not. Adveristy comes to all. We are not alone. Each one was greatly needed and appreciated, but I still felt somehow empty and very much alone.

However, as the week has progressed, and I have had time to ponder and to seek and to pray, I have started to feel very differently. I feel that the same sun which came and seemingly dried up the much needed moisture that I received has also melted the snow on some far away mountain top. I am still that stone, only now instead of feeling withered and alone, I have felt first the trickle and then the absolute torrent of water washing over me as it floods the once dry river bed that I am laying in. I don't know when it hit me exactly, but different parts of the messages that were shared have been brought to my mind throughout the week until I feel absolutely saturated with peace and solace.

I know that everyone receives their own inspiration and takes away their own perspective of the different talks and messages that are shared, but for me, the defining moment came in Elder Dallin H. Oaks' talk about unselfish service. I admit, I was only paying cursory attention as he spoke of how we should be willing to sacrifice and offer service to those around us. It's the same message we have been hearing forever. When we lose ourselves in the service of others, we find ourselves ... blah, blah blah (no sacrilege intended.) We know we are supposed to serve, we know that we are supposed to be filling the needs of others, and feeding the sheep as it were. However, when he read the exerpt from his friend's letter, something must have subliminally sunk in for me. He talked about how people sometimes don't want to attend church because they don't always feel they are being fellowshipped or uplifted or they feel they have been offended by others. His friend said that he no longer attends church expecting to be uplifted, but to uplift others instead.

Now, for me church attendance is not a problem. I know exactly why I attend church. I do not always feel fellowshipped or uplifted. On the contrary, I am often relieved just to make it out alive with all 3 kids still intact. Over the years, I've been offended, I've been thrown up on, I've spilled countless containers of crayons and Cheerios alike. Whatever. I don't have a problem going to church. BUT, the past few days, I have really been thinking about applying the concept to my life, not just to my church attendance. The overwhelming thoughts I have had this week have centered on one integral theme. It's not about me. None of it.

I don't think of myself as an innately selfish person; I try to look continually for opportunities to help and to give. Lately, though, many of my thoughts have been focused on myself. I am too tired. I can't depend on anyone. I don't have enough support. I need a bigger house. I am tired of working. I am tired of my calling. I am tired of laundry. I need peace. I need comfort. I need chocolate (I just threw that one in to see if you were paying attention.) :) Anyway, you get the point. Over the last week, though, different thoughts and messages from conference have been brought to my remembrance and I think I've figured it out. The Secret to Life. It's not just to serve or just to help those around is. It is to be so focused on others that we do it to the complete exclusion of ourselves. Complete. Exclusion.

We are to follow the example of the Savior, not just because He was good and perfect and kind, but because He took no thought for Himself. None. This life was not meant as a test just to see if we would be faithful and obedient and grow through our trials. It is a test to see if we will help others be faithful and true through their trials. I feel like I have been working on the wrong homework assignment all along. Apparently, in my haste to get through, I did not read through the instructions thoroughly and completely. That sounds about like me.

For the last two days, my new mantra has been, "It's not about me." It's not. About me. At all. I want to change my focus completely so that everything I do is for someone else. A clean house so that the Spirit can dwell there for my family. A good job in Young Women because that's what these girls need and deserve. A strong testimony so I can share it with others. You get the picture. I hope it will change my life.

Just don't look for me to be transfigured or translated anytime soon. I am absolutely positive that it will take an entire long lifetime for me to get it figured out.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Talented Mrs. Tracy

Hey, hey guess what?? You're never going to guess, so I'll tell you. I sewed something. I'm totally serious. And, NO, smarty pants, it wasn't a button. I sew buttons all the time. Ok, I sew buttons once every year or so, but that's not the point. I can see that I am getting ahead of myself already.

Last night at the gym, I was watching some free cable. It was some Supermodel reality show, on some ... I don't know, some obscure channel. Anyway, it was way lame, but goofy-treadmill-guy in front of me had the remote, so I didn't have a lot of choice in the matter. The radio station that was supposed to pick up the sound wasn't working, and I was using Fan's MP3 player. Which meant, I was reading the captions on the lame Supermodel reality show while listening to a mix of David Archewhateverhisnamehis, Taylor Swift, and HSM1,2,and/or 3. Anyway, not the point (again.) The point is ... it got me thinking about fashion. High fashion, couture fashion, designer fashion. I came home and was absently cleaning out a drawer in the kitchen while eating ice cream (What? Didn't you hear me say I went to the GYM??) and stumbled across some old pictures of Fan. She's so cute and model-like and she always has been, even 5 or 6 years ago when the pictures were taken. At any rate, I went to bed with visions of designing some line of fabulous, modest high-fashion clothing and having Fan be my #1 model and spokesperson. (I blame the late night cable and ice cream - bad combo.)

Well, today I had the whole thing kind of in the back of my mind and I was remembering that Fan and I still haven't played with her new cool purple sewing machine that she got for Christmas. So I texted her (cause I'm cool like that) and said, "Let's play with your sewing machine after work/school today." She ended up going to a friend's house after school, but I still had the hankering to goof around. I busted out the sewing machine and the instructions and started threading it. For a really long time. Zariah got tired of watching me and gave up on the whole "sewing with mom" thing when she realized that her retarded mom didn't even know how to thread a sewing machine. Even with written instructions. I blame the bobbin.

At any rate, I did it. It took, I'm embarassed to admit how long, but I did it. Then, to try it out, I sewed something. That's right. I. Sewed. Something. I knew you wouldn't believe me, so I took some pictures.

See, that? That's the cool purplish/pinkish Bratz real functioning sewing machine. And perched right on it is the thing I sewed. See, here's a closeup ...

Admittedly, it is not high fashion. It is not even low fashion. It probably would not qualify as fashion of any type, not by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of fact, it is absolutely nothing at all. Just a random scrap of fabric. BUT, if you look closely you will see that it is sewn on 3 whole sides. That means I turned corners and everything. AND as far as I know, I didn't even break the sewing machine. It's a long way off from designing a fashion line, I know. But I still sewed something.

Be impressed. Be very impressed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What a Drag it is Getting Old ...

I have arrived at a most shocking self-discovery. I say shocking, because it was a very humbling and surprising thing for me to discover about myself. But for those of you who know me, and especially my family, this revelation will probably be less of a breakthrough and more a source of amusement.

I was talking to a wonderful friend of mine about a year or so ago. She is a bit older than I am, and she mentioned in our conversation that I reminded her of herself when she was a mom with kids living at home. She actually used the word "high-strung." I was taken aback a little bit, and secretly amused that someone could think that I, of all people could be thought of as high-strung. I remember thinking, "Wow. She really doesn't know me very well at all. I am a totally laid back, spontaneous, roll-with-the-punches kind of gal." Well, it has taken some serious introspection, a few near-meltdowns, one border-line nervous breakdown collapsed on the floor in front of the pantry, and a lot of observing other moms who really are mellow and low-strung. (I don't think that's really a word, but you get the point) for me to finally realize that I am a high-strung person.

Yikes, it actually hurts me to put it in writing. It's true, though. I am not very patient, I am a total control freak, I am a perfectionist, I am basically everything neurotic and insane. The most amusing thing of it is that everyone else has probably known all along! And no one bothered to tell me! Well, come to think of it, I am remembering a conversation in the car with my kids a few months ago that went a little something like this:

Zariah: "Mommy is always grumpy."

Audrina: "Yeah, Mommy!"

Me: "What?! I am not! That's ridiculous." 

Fan: "She's not always grumpy, Zariah."

Me: "See! Fan knows! Listen to her."

Fan: "She's only grumpy when she comes home from work. And on Sundays. And if we're getting ready to go somewhere."

Um, thanks Fan, way to get my back. Maybe I have always been so obviously high-strung that everyone just assumed that of course I knew. How could I not know? All along I have been thinking how lucky my kids and husband are to have an ultra-cool, chillaxed, hip mom and wife like me. In reality, it has been I who is lucky to have people around me that understand and love me anyway when I flip out over messy rooms and make threatening phone calls when someone eats the last 5 bites of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and have a cosmic melt down on the Hoover Dam overlook en route to Arizona. Apparently, in my desperation to appear laid-back and serene, I convinced myself that I was indeed a calm, mellow person. I am not. I never have been. I possibly never will be. I am the crazy kind of person that the Rolling Stones were channeling when they wrote Mother's Little Helper. Minus the little yellow pill.

Ouch. It is painful, this self-realization.

Monday, March 23, 2009

If The Shoe Fits ...

So, yesterday, in a mad rush to get ready for church, (aka: Every Sunday) I had been telling Zariah to please get her shoes on repeatedly all morning long (translation: The 45 minutes we'd been awake.) I told her right after she got dressed, I told her before I did her hair, after I did her hair, before she ate cereal, after she ate cereal, ... you get the picture. She wasn't hearing me. Well, she was probably hearing me, but she sure as heck wasn't obeying me. Not really unusual for Zariah.

We were finally heading out the door. Well ... I was yelling at everybody to head out the door. "COME ON! Are you guys kiddding me?? This is ridiculous! We need to be there 5 MINUTES AGO! What is wrong with you people? Can't we just be on time to church just once? ONCE??!? PLEASE!!!" (I know my lines pretty well because we have a dress rehearsal every single Sunday.) In the midst of the mad dash, Zariah walks up to me calmly as can be and lifts her floor-length dress up so that I can see her shoes. She has one of two different kinds of shoe on each foot. "Which shoe, Mom?" she asks me.

Now you might think that this would be last straw, the end of the line, the point at which the swollen blood vessel in my forehead ACTUALLY explodes. Surprisingly enough, it was one of the best moments in my life to date. Let me tell you why.

Zariah and I are nothing alike. We are yin and yang, night and day, He-Man and Skeletor. I have been wondering since the day she came out of my body, how it was that this child was mine. She is left brained, I am right brained. She doesn't like soup (my favorite.) She loves peanut butter (yuck!) I am constantly exaggerating, and she is constantly and meticulously correcting me. If I say, "I've told you 25 times to clean your room." She disputes, "No, actually, you've only told me 7 times." If I say, "Wait in the car for just a minute." I return to, "Actually, Mommy, you were gone for 4 and a half minutes. You lied." You get the picture.

Zariah has never asked my opinion of anything. Do you know why? It's because she doesn't care what I think. No, I'm dead serious. Even when she was 2 and 3 years old I could not buy clothes for her without her being with me. She simply would not wear them. Ever. Fantasia, on the other hand, would gladly still let me pick out an outfit for her to wear to school on any given morning. Fan is always asks me if something looks good, or what shoes she should wear with her outfit. Zariah ... never.

Fan and I are always doing the shoe thing. (I consider myself to be quite the shoe connoisseur and she is my knowledgeable and learned apprentice.) You know the shoe thing I am talking about ... the hobbling through the house with two different shoes on to get someone else's opinion on which one looks best. That shoe thing. Zariah usually throws on any old shoe, whichever ones happen to be her raggedy faves of the week, and will not change them even if I beg, plead, and offer bribes.

Are you starting to understand the meaning of our very first "shoe" interaction?? It may be the start of a glorious new relationship! It could open the doorway into her actually letting me help her choose her clothes! Her hairstyles! It could mean ... so many wonderful things!! Of course, it could also mean nothing at all. That doesn't mean that I won't treasure those 3 little magical words that moms everywhere love to hear from their daughters, "Which shoe, Mom?"

I positively glowed as we walked together into sacrament meeting. 5 minutes late. Again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why Is My Poop Green? (or, TMI: The Information SuperHighway Gone Wrong)

WARNING: This post contains the word "poop" several times, and while it is not necessarily about poop, it is not for those of you who may be faint of heart or of a delicate nature.

Ok, so my sister called me the other day and mentioned that she had been googling on-line to find out why her computer was running so slow. Well, as most of you know, Google has an auto-fill feature on their search bar that will attempt to predict and fill in (via drop box) the question or terms that you might be searching for. Well, my sister was going to type in the question "why is my computer so slow" in an attempt to get some tips on cleaning up her hard drive and the very FIRST thing that showed up in the Google drop box was .... You guessed it, "why is my poop green." I'm dead serious. Try it if you don't believe me.

I am not yet sure why it is the first thing to come up. It is not the question with the most hits, nor is it alphabetically first in the "why is my ..." list. It is, however, probably the funniest; so I think someone who works for Google just has a great sense of humor (and maybe a mom like mine who wouldn't ever let her kids say the word "poop" while growing up.) Well, believe it or not, that's not the part that disturbs me. The truly horrifying thing is that the question, "why is my poop green," has 368,000 results. That's right, folks. THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY EIGHT THOUSAND results. Gross. I haven't even decided what's grosser, the people asking the question? Or ... the people answering the question? What's grosser than gross? I'll tell you what's grosser than gross. Green poop, that's what.

Now, I have heard of a time not so long ago, in a galaxy not far away at all when it was considered crass and offensive and generally against all rules of proper etiquette to discuss topics such as passing gas, underclothing, and bowel movements in public. Even with your spouse or other members of your family. (This was not so much the protocol in my family, but that's a different story altogether.) My question is: How is it that we have moved as a society from not being able to look at a woman's bare ankle to discussing green poop with potentially 368,000 strangers? I understand that the internet offers people near-limitless anonymity. But, really people? You have access to any information that you want right at your fingertips, and you want to ask questions about the hue of your poo?? I don't get it. Do you not have a doctor? Do you not watch CSI and see that they can break into your hard drive and find any information you have ever accessed on-line even if it has been deleted and your computer has been irreparably damaged in a fire? Is that really how you want to be remembered if you are the victim of a grisly murder? As the person who was researching green poop? Sad, very sad.

Too much information, people. Too. Much. Information.

Zariah's Latest E-Mail

Just wanted to share today's e-mail from Z. It's kind of the same as the first one I got from her, except apparently she has since learned how to spell "going" but forgotten how to spell "to." Maybe she has reached a maximum capacity for correctly spelled words in her brain. Who knows? Oh well, maybe she can't spell, but check out the cool background. I'm not even sure how to do that. 

P.S. This e-mail was not sent exclusively to me, but rather to her entire address list. She stayed home sick today, but apparently is not feeling quite so bad anymore.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cool. Osm. Wicid.

Back in my day, when you were 7 years old and wanted to write a note to your mom, you found paper, and a pencil, and if you wanted to make it colorful - crayons, stickers, and markers as well. Well, kids today apparently have too much to do in their busy lives to bother with the archaic methods of communication such as letter writing, what with piano lessons, Guitar Hero, Barbie.com, etc. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. It's e-mail. That's right, e-mail.

About 2 weeks ago, Zariah asked me to please help her set up "that thing on the computer where you can send messages to people." I helped her set up her very own e-mail account that night on Yahoo. And I have to tell you, I don't think anyone in the history of the world checks their e-mail as frequently as Zariah did those first few days. No kidding.

Case in point: After a quick weekend trip to California about a week after she got her e-mail account, she woke up in the car at about 11:00 pm and started begging me to let her check her e-mail when we got home. We were still about an hour away from home and all I wanted to do when we got there was take my shoes off (optional) and go to bed (mandatory.) She begged, pleaded, implored, beseeched, cried, (insert synonym here) until I finally had to threaten to shut down her e-mail account if she asked me one more time. It kept her quiet, but she was anything but happy about it. It didn't matter that I tried to explain several times that anyone who would have sent her an e-mail was in the car with her or had just spent the weekend in California with her. She would not be appeased. As far as she was concerned I was ruining her life, possibly forever. (Yes, apparently another benefit to today's fast moving society is that you can start ruining your children's life at the ripe old age of 7, you don't have to wait until they are teenagers.) I think she may have finally forgiven me, but she is only slightly less anxious now about checking her e-mail than she was when she first got her account.

On a positive note, I get to come into work to the funniest, cutest, most colorful e-mail messages ever received. I don't think she has repeated the same font color or background color yet. I don't know who taught her how to do that, but she sure knows how. It is such a joy to be sifting through 23 business related e-mails and stumble upon a bright pink "GOOD MORNING MOMMY!" message from Zariah. The first day she got the account, my first message (in vivid light purple) was "Win are you gowing to send me an e-mail." Yes, I am more than a little amused that a girl who has trouble spelling "when" and "going" can apparently spell "e-mail" without a problem. However, it always brings a smile to my face to see an e-mail in my inbox from Zariah.

It's also a great medium for me to send messages to her like: I love you, and How was school, and Don't forget to practice the piano today. When she was out of school a couple of weeks ago, we were e-mailing back and forth and I asked her if she was excited to go to California, she replied back "Yes;" I asked her if she wanted to get started packing her suitcase, her reply was "NO!!" Simple, succinct, to the point. No beating around the bush for this girl. My all time favorite e-mail, so far, came this morning. It said (in lime green on a dark green background), "Hay What Up. Cool Osm Wicid." If you can't have a good day after an e-mail like that first thing in the morning, there's no hope for you.

So, if you get a minute and you really want to make someone's day, send a quick e-mail to zariahtracy@yahoo.com. There won't be a happier 7 year old in all the world. Truly. It would be Cool, Osm, AND Wicid.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why I Belong to a Gym

So, I have a membership at a local gym here in town. It's close, it's inexpensive, it's month-to-month (no lifelong contract), it's open 24 hours, and it has free satellite. I pretty much love it.

All the same, I have been trying to think of ways to cut costs this year, and I was considering letting my gym membership go. We already don't have cable (hence the big PLUS of free satellite at the gym. HGTV, What Not to Wear, infinite syndication of old House episodes, you get my point.) So I thought the gym memberships might be something we could sacrifice. I changed my mind.

I usually go to the gym at night after the kids go to bed. The morning would be better, but it would require, well, getting up early. It's a nice thought, but it will never happen. Anyway, last Friday night it was getting to be about that time when I usually head for the gym. The kids were still up, though, I had a load in the laundry, and it was cold and yucky outside. I have plenty of fitness videos and DVDs so I decided to just pop one of those in instead of going to the gym. The girls, instead of heading to their bedrooms, decided to stay up and watch mommy exercise.

I won't go into details, but I will give you just a sampling of their comments:

"Zariah. (giggle, giggle) Look at Mommy's butt. Look. Mommy's funny."

"Mom. What is that thing hanging out of her shirt?" "A microphone?" "Huh, well that's a BAD place for a microphone, I think. It looks like a worm crawling out of her boobs."

"Um, so Mom, when was this video made?" "It must have been before they had exercise bras."

And so on. They also stole my exercise mat and made it into a doll bed, tried to do the exercises along with me, and laughed at me the entire time. On the plus side, they got me ice water and turned on the ceiling fan for me even though they were cold.

I don't think I'll be doing my belly dancing workout DVD anytime soon. Suffice it to say, I think I'm keeping my gym membership for now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Diving In ...

I can't think of a better way to begin a blog then by admitting a huge personality defect. So here goes. I hate not being good at things. No, really. I know that no one particularly ENJOYS not being good at things, but I am actually a quitter. It's true. A big fat quitter. If I start something that I don't feel like I'm any good at, usually, I'll just quit. No perservering, no learning curve, just plain old quitting. That's how much I hate it when I suck at things. It's why I don't scrapbook, it's why I don't play the flute, it's why I rarely bake and never ever make my own pie crust. That being said, I will quickly segue into how I don't know how to blog. I don't know how to comment on someone else's blog. I don't know how to set-up a blog page so that it is not entirely lame. So .... it is quite possible that blogging is just not for me. I am going to give it the old college try, though. I am not good at keeping a journal, but maybe by blogging I can capture some fun, memorable, or trivial - but amusing parts of my life and the life of my family. So here goes, I'm diving in. Wish me luck!