Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our Own Blue Man

Dallin is our troublemaker. He doesn't mean to cause trouble. He's just a very curious boy. And boy oh boy does he keep us on our toes.

Today Dallin got into the pantry and found the food coloring. That isn't necessarily a new thing, but today he actually opened the food coloring. Yellow and blue make green. In Dallin's case, a little bit of yellow and a whole lot of blue make a dark teal. Which he drank. And covered his hands in. I took him into the bathroom and immediately started the bathwater. I set Dallin on the toilet to take off his clothes. He turned, looked in the mirror, and started to laugh at himself. He pointed to his mouth and said "Mouth!!" I got him to stick out his tongue. He liked that, too. Ches got the camera and we got a few pictures, then threw him into the tub. The water immediately turned a very pretty blue color.

Food coloring doesn't just wash off. You can get some of with soap, water, and a bit of scrubbing, but with all the stuff Dallin had on his face and hands, it's just going to take some time. Until then, I will teach him to say "Mmmmm, Smurfs!" anytime someone comments on his new look.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tell It Like It Is

From Kris we get to "Tell it like it is" today. The point is to answer each question with a short answer... the first thing that comes to mind, I guess. You just tell it like it is!! Here goes:

Tell it like it is...parenting edition

1) On Discipline
Please do, so I don't have to do it for you when you come with your kids to my house.

2) On Potty Training
Don't stress about it. Don't let yourself get talked into doing it sooner than your kid is ready because everyone else "knows" what is best!

3) On Circumcision
It was my husband's decision. Doesn't matter to me. But I found out it is ridiculously expensive!!

4) On Buying XBoxes/PS/Gaming stuff
I don't play video games. But Ches does, so whatever.

5) On Bottlefeeding
I breastfeed exclusively at first, but you do what you have to do. We're about to start formula, I think, with the baby.

6) On TV watching
My kids watch too much. So do I.

7) On Elective C-sections
Stupid decision!! I've had three c-sections now (none were elective. One emergency, one required as a repeat, and the last was a pre-emptive move so we wouldn't have another emergency), and wish I could have a baby the "real" way. Again, do what you gotta do, though.

8) On Division of Labor for Parents
Have open communication on expectations, and both parents better stinkin' do their jobs (says the lazy, bad housewife!)

9) On How Many Kids
We have 3, hope for 1 more, and that is it for me. Some people are good with a ton of kids, some are only good with a very few.

10)On "Natural" Childbirth
Why would you purposefully put yourself in that kind of pain when you don't have to be?? I may have had c-sections, but I went into labor with all three, and let me tell you, I was asking for the epidural when I walked into the hospital!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Counting Down

Hey folks... do you know what is coming up? No, not Christmas! I mean, yes, Christmas is coming up, but that isn't until Monday. Do you know what comes before that?? On Sunday??


Now, I know it's cutting it close if you haven't sent out gifts yet, so I will accept late entries. And if you have forgotten... chocolate is always a good gift. The darker the better. Or in liquid form. As in hot. Alright, so it's really a powder, but you get my meaning. Hot chocolate is great. One can never have too much dark chocolate or hot chocolate.

Oh, and in case you were wondering (and somehow didn't know)... I'll be 30. So I think the chocolate is needed. Besides, I've started working out (man, my abs hurt from Pilates!) and I need rewards. heh.

**note** You don't actually have to send me anything. This post is all in jest, in case you couldn't tell. I just had to make that clear. I'm not actually the kind of person who begs for presents. But I do like the attention you can get on your birthday. You know me... Little Miss Seeks Attention In All Forms!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Shut In

The younglings and Mr. Universe have been sick. Luckily, I have not. I don't know how much more I can take of this, though! All day long I am dealing with runny noses and scary sounding coughs. Dallin is just plain miserable. Parker sounds like he can't breathe half the time. Aiden is actually doing well, now anyways. Ches has had a sore throat for what seems like forever, and he's just miserable most of the time, too.

At night, the kids wake up coughing and crying. Actually, more like screaming. I get up with them and calm them down, and put them back to sleep. They never wake up at the same time. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good part is that they aren't waking each other up, and I'm able to take care of whoever it is that wakes up without distraction. The bad part is that as soon as I get one kid back to sleep, another one wakes up.

I'm so tired of runny noses. I'm so tired of being puked on by kids who are coughing and crying so much all that's left for them to do is gag. I'm tired of kids being on a weird sleep schedule.

I'm just tired!!

When will it end?? They aren't sick enough to stay in bed and get better, but they are sick enough to have short tempers and be really needy and clingy.

At least I haven't caught anything. Yet. When I am sick, who will take care of me? No one. I'll still have to run the household (even if I already do a bad job of it!) and take care of the kids. Oh, well. Isn't this the life of a mother?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

We've Got Ghosts!

A few weeks ago we went to the LDS Temple to see all the beautiful Christmas lights and to hear the outdoor concert of the evening (that night was a "flute choir", although I personally don't consider four flutists with no alto or bass flute a flute choir, but maybe that's just me. Oh, and they were sitting and playing. Since when do flute choirs sit and play? Sorry for the ramble.). Here is a good shot of the temple. Ches was trying to take a picture of Dallin, but then Aiden jumped on Ches' arm, and we got this crappy shot instead.

However, do you see that wierd white ball looking thingy? (Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can actually see what I'm talking about. Trust me.) It's a ghost!! Anytime on TV there are ghost hunters, on of the things they use as "evidence" is taking pictures and when there is an "orb" (and this is a really good orb here), they say it is a ghost. However, we were at the Temple, and since it is such a sacred place, I'm going to say it's an angel. Ha.

I don't know if I really believe that you can take pictures of ghosts or spirits. I do believe in ghosts, though. Anyway, I just thought the picture turned out kind of interesting. What do you think?? (Oh, and it is obvious that it's not a Christmas light because there aren't any right there and it's not a relflection of any, either. At least I don't think so.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

World Class High Jumping

Last night was our ward Christmas party and talent show. Ches played a trumpet duet of several Christmas tunes (and they sounded awesome... even with Ches being so sick he looked like he was going to pass out!). There were several piano players, other instrumentalists, and a few singers. One family sang "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer", and another family did a little choreography to some music to lead up to all of them doing backflips. It was a great time.

And then there was Aiden. Aiden insisted I sign him up for the talent show, so I did. When it was his turn, he went on stage and I went to the mic to introduce him:

"When we were still living in Reno, Aiden's primary class had apparantly been learning about talents. When we got home from church that Sunday, we asked Aiden what his talents were, and he said, 'I'm really good at jumping.' Once he heard about tonight's talent show, he wanted to participate. We asked him what he wanted to do, and here he is. This is Aiden jumping really, really high!"

Aiden then crouched down, then jumped up. The audience went nuts! They clapped and cheered so loudly for him. Aiden had the biggest grin on his face and gave me a thumbs up, so of course I had to return it. Returning to our seat, lots of people stuck out their hands to Aiden for a high five. After the talent show, several people came to him and said, "You are such a good jumper, Aiden!"and then turned to Ches or me to tell us just how cute he is.

I'm very proud of my son for being able to get up in front of a very large group of people to share his talents. And yes, I think he is an awesome jumper, too!

Monday, December 11, 2006

To The Motherland

I have made a decision. We're moving to England. I just want to, okay? I found several good reasons for doing it:

*England has so much more history than the US does. I mean, "old" here is anything more than 100 years old. In Europe, that's still very new. There old is like, 500 years or more.
*The general architecture is different there, and I find it so appealing.
*Very low taxes.
*Very low unemployment rate.
*Lower crime rate.
*Free health care (although I know it's not really free. It's more like socialized medicine or something).
*Tons of culture. Especially if we leave in or near London (which is what I want).
*Travel to other parts of Europe is less expensive and very accessable.
*More tolerance for people of other races and cultures.

And the most important reason we're moving to England...
Because I want to.

Now, if I can only convince Ches...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Ornaments

Growing up, we had a certain Christmas tradition that I'm sure a lot of people have. However, it is one I always enjoyed, and when Ches and I married, I wanted us to keep this one up in our little family. Every year, we each get a new ornament for the Christmas tree. It can be something representative of the past year, something that has a special meaning to us, or just something we really like. Our tree doesn't have any sort of theme to it because of this mish-mash collection of ornaments, but it sure is fun to look at all the different things hanging on there. We have a glass ball from the Ohio State University, a "One Fish Two Fish" ornament (complete with a red fish and a blue fish!), Spiderman, Batman, Hermione Granger, a Santa driving an old car, a snowman holding an American Flag and wearing an Uncle Sam-like outfit, and so many more.

This year, the entire family has matching ornaments. They are different shapes, but all are made from beech wood. We got these ornaments from APO Industries, and you can find that link here. This company is a mom and daughter who wanted something that would make great gifts for parents or grandparents and would last. I think these ornaments really will. You get the ornaments in just their "natural" state: a nice, light wood, not painted. You have the option of painting them yourself, or leaving them as they are. I had a hard time deciding because I thought the ornaments look pretty good unpainted. Very simple and beautiful that way. I decided to make it a family project, however, so we painted them.

We received the "Jack" collection of ornaments: a tree, a bell, a star, and a rocking horse. We also received a special 2006 ornament of a dog sitting in front of a fireplace mantle. We left this one unpainted because I like it just the way it is.

The boys each picked which ornament they wanted, I handed them paint brushes, and set them free. When they were done, I added a couple of little "embellishments", and wrote their names and the year. Aiden got a hold of the paint marker (while I was busy washing paint off Dallin's stomach) and wrote his own name. Ches is still in the process of painting his.

Let me tell you why I like these ornaments so much. It made for a fun project for the kids. We just used craft paint, so I know it was safe and would wash off our skin easily (hey, I have boys. You think the paint is going to stay where it's supposed to??). They are so pretty. Did I mention the simplicity of them? You can get away from all the too-shiny stuff and have a beautiful tree with these ornaments. Not going to happen in our house of the Mis-matched Christmas Tree, but it was a nice idea. Anyway, back to the ornaments. They also smell so good! As soon as I took them out of the package, it smelled like fresh air, outdoors, the woods, and Christmas, all rolled into one.

I also think, because of their size and light weight, that the ornaments would make cool gift tags. Just paint on the name of the recipient. Add a nice little ribbon, and just tie it on to a gift basket or bag or whatever. Like I said, you don't have to paint them. Perhaps you like the gold or silver foil? Go for it! I was thinking that if I had some cool, shimmery paint I would try that. I'm definitely getting another collection next year, and maybe I'll buy some special paints for it.

The ornaments came in the mail really quickly, so you still have time to order them for this year! You can hang them on your own tree, or make them for Grandma and Grandpa who live far away. Seriously, check it out. I think you'll all like it a lot. I did.

**note** I have pictures, but Blogger is making things difficult again. Check out my Flickr account and they are there. I'll keep trying to post them here, though.

Friday, December 01, 2006

What I'm Doing Right Now

I should be in bed, asleep. But I'm not. Instead, I'm sitting here, wasting time at the computer as I wait for the dryer to finish drying the blankets. I will then switch the load of darks from the washer into the dryer, and put a load of whites into the washer.

I'm sitting here at the computer, eating from a bag of chocolate chips, and listening to the song "Blue Moon" that is on the movie "Gross Anatomy" on the TV in my bedroom, across the hall from where I am sitting. Mr. Universe put the movie on, the turned on the sleep timer on the TV. Sure enough, he's totally out, but the movie is still going.

It's 10:58 pm, and I'm sitting here at the computer with a slight headache, wondering why Aiden is still awake. At least he's in bed now. Dallin went to bed hours and hours ago. He would. He woke up at 6 am. I didn't get up until 7. Thank goodness for a Wiggles DVD. Dallin took a nap in the morning, from 9:30 until noon. Usually he naps about 2 pm., so going to sleep before 7 pm wasn't a big shocker. I fell asleep on the couch this evening, cuddling with Parker, about 5 pm, and didn't wake up until after 8. Wow, that nap felt good! But now it's 11:01 pm and I'm not really all that tired. So it'll take me forever to go to sleep, I'll have a hard time waking up again in the morning, I'll be super tired all day and probably take a long nap and a wierd time, and will not be able to go to sleep tomorrow night until really stinkin' late. It's a vicious cycle.

At least I know that I'm not completely wasting my time because I have to get this laundry done. I need clean underwear for tomorrow, so this load of whites has to get in the dryer tonight. I would have done it sooner, but Mr. Universe was being an awesome husband by doing some laundry himself. He didn't realize, however, that I needed a load of whites done. Oh well.

And that is what I'm doing right now. Bet you're excited to have read this ery interesting post, huh?

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year... For Credit Card Companies!!

Have you seen the commercials for Sam's Club lately? It shows all these different people with huge, goofy smiles on their faces and huge, often goofy purchases they have recently made. I can't remember what song is playing in the background as the go from one shot to the next. However, the commercial shows a shot of a woman standing on top of a man's back as he lays face down on a massage table. Then there is the shot of the sorority girl in a cheerleader's uniform with a large, pointing-arrow marquee that states, "Don't Mess With Muffy." The last shot shows a couple standing in front of their house with one of those insanely huge, blow-up snowglobes in the front yard. Then comes the big statement:

"Sam's Club now accepts Mastercard."

Mr. Universe and I have had memberships to Sam's Club for just over 4 years now. We really like buying certain things in bulk (hot chocolate!!), and you can get some good deals on other things, too. Previously, Sam's only accepted cash, check, or debit card. Or if you qualified for and got the Sam's Club credit card, you could use that.

It doesn't bother me that they now accept Mastercard. That's great. Whatever. I don't care about that. What I care about is the commercial that essentially says "Hey, we take credit cards now, so why don't you come in here and buy a whole bunch of crazy expensive stuff. You can put it on your credit card, so you can afford it! Sure, you'll just rack up a bunch of debt, but who cares? You'll be happy once you get that giant plasma screen TV, fake fireplace, pool table, and 25 pounds of chocolate chips."

We have a major problem in this county with debt. Most people live beyond their means. My generation does not know how to "make do" with what they've got until they can save up and buy it straight out. When I first got married, I knew a girl that worked at a bank. She was saying one day that her boss said you wouldn't believe how many 25 year olds are coming in to declare bankruptcy. They are coming in after they have bought a nice house, filled with new furniture and a giant TV, and they are driving these huge, expensive SUVs. They don't know how to budget or how to save.

I know that bankruptcy laws have changed, so it is actually harder to declare bankruptcy, and that's great. Too many people bought and bought, then when they couldn't find a way out, they took the "easy" way. I mean, heck. It's only on your credit report a few years, right? And we still get to keep the house, honey! Wo-hoo!

Yes, I'm happy that you can't be so irresponsible anymore. Or at least you can't get out of being irresponsible quite so easily. However, back to the Sam's Club commercial.

I am not a perfect person. Mr. Universe and I have big hopes for our family, but first we need to get out of debt. We have made some stupid decisions (who hasn't??), and we have moved a few too many times. We're kind of stuck right now, but we have a plan and we're working on it.

I am concerned about this commercial only because it encourages the irresponsible use of a credit card! It's ridiculous. The whole "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" bit just doesn't cut it. Sam's should be encouraging their customers with financing adn rewards for paying off big purchases early. That would be more likely to make me shop for the big items. I would still end up paying more for the product throught the interest in financing, but at least I won't have it sitting on my ridiculously high-interest-rate credit card and only paying minimum payments. Then I would only get it paid off after what? 40 years? And I will have paid for the item probably twice by then, but I haven't used or seen that item in at least 30 years.

Please, Sam's Club, let us encourage people to be financially smart, not irresponsible!!