Thursday, July 31, 2008

MIA

I am on vacay. writing this on my cell. crazy technology! just don't expect caps or pics. i might blow my brains out trying to do that. so anyway that's why i'm not reading your blogs or entertaining you with any clever and hilarious posts. you are brokenhearted, huh? well, don't cry. i'll be back soon. kisses.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Please Signs Yes Go Laugh!

FYI, I just got my first teenage blog stalker. I know you're all jealous. He's a 17 year old boy, which means my blog must be pretty freaking cool. ( Check my comments on my Sign Language post). Anyway, to honor this momentus occasion, I'm going to do a whole post on the link that Salamandstron sent me.

The Chinese, as you know, are well-known for their astounding attention to detail and extremely high quality. Also, they are known for their love of collaboration with the West. So it's kind of surprising that they got a few of their signs translated wrong:



Anyone want to take a guess what this one is telling you to do? It actually means to say "On a stormy day, please don't climb the religious artifacts to get a better view of the scenery." You know, because tourists are always getting struck by lightning and the Chinese government is getting tired of cleaning up burnt Americans.



Hey, at least they HAVE scenic areaturnover lines in China. Ours our so mundane.





Ah! NOW we know why China is so behind the times on conservation.





Why don't we have these trash recepticles over here? I never know what to do with my left over jack-o-lanturns and fish bones after Halloween.





Although the words have been lost in translation, I think the message is clear: Absolutely NO slutty poses sitting on the fence.





I knew the communist government over there was restrictive. But no bikes, no dogs, AND no dragonflies at the park? Come on, China!





What I got out of this one is that this tea involves needles, tastes like a soaking bear (but more mellow) and that it makes you drool. Doesn't sound too good. But I do like my face raised now and then, so I'd probably still try it.




And finally, only the Chinese know how to put a poetic spin on taking a leak:



Thanks to http://www.petergreenberg.com/2007/09/10/signs-in-china-a-guide-to-understanding-common-engrish-expressions/ for the signs.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sign Language

I did a post a while back about funny signs with bad grammar. And in the process I found a lot of other signs that were funny. Here are a few of my favorites...

Make up your mind...

This one doesn't instill a lot of confidence...

This may not stop vandals, but it should atleast confuse them for a few minutes...

Looks like this town is solid on their math skills at least...

Shouldn't be too hard to obey this sign...

Thank GOODNESS they put up this sign!

Hey, at least they're being honest...

Um...hmmmm....not even sure what to say about this one. Hooray?

Damned if you do, damned if you don't...

No men in swimsuits or one-legged women in mini skirts allowed...

Thanks to thisisbroken.com and funnysigns.com for these images.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mommy, Mommy, Look What I Made!



I didn't do a garden this year. I suck too much. The last two years have been disasters for the most part with a couple of successes growing up in between. That's why I like berries. They're very hardy and self-sufficient. Especially raspberries. You don't have to do anything but plant them to make them grow, and you have to be extremely talented to ruin them or kill them--I'm not at that level of plantocide yet. So today I went out and picked my first crop of purple raspberries and my second crop of red raspberries. (And Beck picked a nice big handful of the white, unripe ones. Thanks, Honey.) I think I'll make Rote Gr├╝tze tonight, which is German for "super yummy berry sauce you serve warm over vanilla ice cream."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Take Two Asprin And Call Me In the Morning.


You know that most frustrating of all doctors visits where you feel awful and the doctor says "It's just a virus. There's nothing I can do about it?" Well, don't be a victim of this kind of lazy medical practice any longer. Let Dr. Arianne fix you up. If you have the following symptoms:



WICKED BAD SORE THROAT


HEADACHE


NOT-RIGHT TUMMY


POSSIBLY, BUT NOT NECESSARILY, BODY ACHES


Go directly to your family doctor and requst, beg, or demand antibioitics. There is a bug going around here in Utah lately that has, as its feature componant, the worst sore throat you think you've ever had in your life. And instead of turning into a cold or getting gradually better, it just gets worse. And worse. And you would rather drool than swollow your own saliva. It happened to my husband first. He toughed it out for 7 days, actually took off two days of work (which is like taking a month long vacation for a workaholic) and finally gave in and went to the doctor when he couldn't take it anymore. The doctor tested him for strep. It came back negative. But he gave him antibioitics (Azithromyacin) and told him to hold off for 2 or 3 days to see if the "virus" got better. It got worse. So 3 days later he took the antibioics. And within hours he was feeling way better. Within a day, he was back to normal. So I ask you, does that sound like a virus? Then I heard the exact same story, including the negative strep test and subseequent antibioitics that worked, from my SIL. Two days later, I fell victim to this awful malady myself. And this time I did not pass GO, I did not collect $200, I went directly to my GP and asked for antibiotics, which he was smart enough to give me because you do not want to mess with a lady with a killer sore throat who is hauling around 2 little kids to the visit. It's now day 3 of the antibiotics and I'm almost completely cured.

>

SO....the moral of this story is, doctors suck, I rule. If you have a sore throat, get yourself some meds!

How Do You Like Your Chocolate?


Devri, this quesstion is for YOU! You are the winner of my pay it forward giveaway!!! That means you win chocolate! So my next question is: MILK, WHITE, DARK, or ALL OF THE ABOVE?


And don't forget to pay it forward with a giveaway of your own. It's just as fun as winning, I promise!


Thanks to everyone else who participated. I'll do another giveaway again soon, I'm sure.
.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In Our Lovely Deseret


I thought it was high time I learned something about my pioneer ancestry. After all, I've lived in Utah for 14 years now. But I'm not from here. I'm from Michigan. And it wasn't until a year or two ago that I even found out I HAD pioneer ancestry. My mom laughed right out loud when I asked her if we had any pioneers in our family. Not only did I have pioneer ancestors, she told me, they settled the small town I live in now! Oops. That was my clue that it was time for me to do a little geneology. So two years went by and it's Pioneer Day 2008. I sat down today to read the incredibly detailed family/church history album my Uncle James wrote a few years back. Man, I can't believe the things I have read today. Some funny, some pleasantly suprising, some shocking, some downright ridiculous. It was only 160 years ago that my pioneer ancestors crossed the plains to Utah, but you'd think it was the Dark Ages by some of the things that happened to them. Here are a few of the fun and interesting things that caught my attention:

1) My great great great? grandmother Ann was a cradle robber. She got dissed by her fiance, headed west without him, and ended up marrying his younger brother, 8 years her junior. Sounds very soap opera-esque!

2) That husband, Willliam, was in the Mormon Battalion. I think that makes him kind of famous in Mormon history. I'm not really sure because I have no idea exactly what the Mormon Battalion is. I've heard of it, but I haven't read that far into my family history album yet. I'm skimming. Cut me some slack.

3) Ann traveled West in the company of future prophet and church president, John Taylor. I think that also qualifies me as having famous ancestors, right?

4) Ann and William were Manx. That means that their cats didn't have tails. Also that they came from the Isle of Man.

5) William's father, John, lived just up the block from Brigham Young and James Taylor in Nauvoo. They must have had awesome block parties. Although maybe a bit preachy.

6) This is one of the ones that kills me. It's 70 years after America was established as a nation with a very intelligent, well-writen, civilized constitution. But in the 1840's there were random militias roaming the countryside deciding what to make everyone do or not do. In this instance, one of them showed up in Nauvoo and told everyone Mormon to leave and kicked out anyone who sympathized with Mormons as well. Can you imagine?? Hello, this is AMERICA. We are a DEMOCRACY. You can't just show up and tell everyone else what to do because you have more guns than they do. Ok, unless you live in East Compton and wear red, yo. But otherwise, we have LAWS and RULES, people. So of course the Mormons appealed to the governor. But he was down with the gangstas too, evidently, because he pretty much gave them the thumbs up. Nice. Great job, America.

7) When Ann arrived in Salt Lake with one of the first big groups of Pioneers in October of 1847, there was no food. I really had to think about that one. NO FOOD. And no way to get food. No stores, no farms, no internet, no neighbors to borrow from. There was just NO FOOD. I can't imagine the faith those people must have had to arrive in a completely barren land, in the fall with no chance of planting, no one to help them, most of the country hating their guts, and only the food left in their wagons after 4 months of traveling to sustain them until help could come. Now that is FAITH. In light of that, it seems I might be able to go out and get some more food storage this week and quit complaining about how hard it is on me to store all this stuff I might never eat.

8) One of Ann's travel mates, Isabella Horne, wrote in her journal that when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley and began building their two room house inside the fort set up by the earlier group, they installed two windows they had brought with them from Back East. Again it struck me how crazy it must have been to live in a time and place where, if you wanted to be able to see outside your house, you had to carry windows with you for thousands of miles across bumpy ground in a hand-made wagon and hope they didn't break before you got there. Wild.

9) There were 5 laws set up on the books at this time in SLC. One of the five was a law against standing around doing nothing. The punishment? Lashings. Good thing that one has been taken off the books! Ouchie.

10) A tribe of nearby Indians made friends with the Mormons after John Taylor healed their chief's son. In return, the Indians shared some flavorful ground meal with the Mormon settlers. John's wife learned to make bread and cakes with it. Eventually, John Taylor went to find out where the Indians got the meal from. Turns out it was ground up roasted crickets. YUM! I'm guessing he didn't share the source of the meal with his wife.

11) William was at Sutter's Mill in California in 1848-49 when gold was discovered. He was able to collect enough gold to set himself up fairly well when he made it back to Utah. Maybe that's where my sister's fondness for gold comes from. It's genetic.

12) Wlliam and Ann eventually had kids, though their taste in names steadily declined. They started strong with Mary, William Edward, and Eliza. But then they hit the downward spiral with Joseph Lamoni and finally Enos Moroni. Yikes.

13) So, I also found out that my other pioneer line, the Nicholes, are listed in English record books as being Gypsies on both sides of their family. So that's where I get my fondess for travel. It's genetic too. See this geneology stuff is totally paying off!

13) Ok, so it looks like I have another cradle robber in my family. Harriet Nicholes married James Nicholes (a year after they had their first chid, cough cough) ages 25 and 19 respectively. What's the dealio? Looks like I'm not following family tradition too well. My husband is OLDER than me.

14) The town I live in (not to be named for the fact that there could be crazies out there reading this) used to be named Lake Town. Who knew?

15) Oh my gosh! Pligs! On both sides. Just found out. Whoa.

Well, that's about it. Learned some cool new stuff today. What about you? Any fun pioneer stories to share?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm a dummy

So I was just moderating comments from the last day, and I accidentally hit "reject" to six or seven comments. I believe they belonged to Mia, Karyn, Jennie, Jen, Misty, and Rachel. Maybe more. So if you posted a comment on my Wall-E post, my Batman post, or my 3 degrees of seperation post, I'm sorry! Will you recomment? I swear I won't delete you this time.

Oh, and for those of you wondering about the chocolate giveaway, I'll post the winner tomorrow. I haven't gotten a chance to put all the names in a hat yet. Thanks!

And Wall I'm at it...


The last time we took Daphne to see a movie in the theater, she was 6 weeks old. We took her with us to see War of the Worlds. Holy Crap, could we have picked a movie with more loud sounds and more screaming and more explosions??? Not likely. I had to hold my hands over her ears the entire time. But she slept through it all. Amazing. Well, we decided it was time for another try at the movies, three years later. So we took her to see Wall-E. Slightly more age appropriate. We loved it! I'm not sure if she did, but I know we did. Daphne paced up and down the row (thankfully empty except for us), climbing up on the chairs, falling through the crack at the back of the seat, eating enough popcorn to feed a horse, asking us all kinds of questions we didn't know the answers to, sneaking big sips of caffeine-full Coke, repeatedly touching the comb-over of the man in front of us....but I didn't even really notice her because I found the movie so enthralling. It was just adorable! It had so little dialogue that it was amazing how much could be accomplished with just a few sighs and squeaks and movements of the robots' digital eyes and rusty "eyebrows." You just fall in love with Waaaaaall-E and Eeeeeee-va.

So my point is, if you have kids, take them to see it. Now. Don't wait. If you don't have kids, steal some and take them to see it. If you can't steal any, just go see it, OKAY?

Holy Good Movie, Batman!


Easily the best 2 hours 37 minutes I've spent in the movie theater in a long long time. Usually super hero movies aren't that good. Usuaully they're all about special effects and are scarce on plot and character development. Call me old-fashioned, but I do like the plot to make sense, and I kind of want to form some connection to the people I'm watching. Well, this movie had it all: ACTION, check. PLOT, check. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, check. MORAL DILEMMAS, check. Interesting dialogue, CHECK. It wasn't a superhero-in-a-can movie. It actually kept you guessing and kept you thinking. Two of my favorite things in a movie. And Christian Bale's not bad to look at either. Bonus!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blog Dinner at Cafe Rio or Everybody Loves Mindi

Those in town who sort of know each other through the tangled web of blogging met up last night for a stuff-your-face and blah-blah-blogging dinner at Cafe Rio. You've never seen women talk this much. It was like an Enrichment activity on speed.

As you can see from the pictures, Mindi was SO popular. Notice the enraptured faces as she speaks. The crowd's adoration cannot be contained...and there is Queen Mindi, head high. Regal! Looking down over her people with such compassion. Sharing her presence with us. Magnanimous!


The sympathy, the joy, the sheer ecstacy of watching the real live Mindi talk is evident on everyone's face.


I will remember this day for the rest of my life and probably sleep with her picture under my pillow.

Here's the whole group (thanks for the pic, Holly!:



If you would prefer to watch a video of how it went, watch this (but subtract the man)....

Monday, July 21, 2008

3 Degrees of Seperation

You know that game you can play, 6 Degrees of Seperation, or 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon? I like to play a similar game where you tell of close encounters you had with famous people, or encounters someone you know had with famous people. I call it the Claim to Fame Game. Well, my neice Sacoya had a pretty cool one this week. I'll recount the story as it was told to me by my mother in law, who got it from Sara, who was there at the time. So it's only 3 degrees of seperation.
So Sacoya, who is 11 years old, was taking a trip to stay with some cousins in New York. ALL BY HERSELF. Her mom, Sara, escorted her through the airport and to her gate, however. At the security check point, there was some kind of a hullabaloo because a couple of celebrities tried to cut in front of everyone in line. But the people at security didn't know who they were and decided they clearly weren't famous enough to get that kind of star treatment. So they sent them back in line to stand right in front of Sacoya and Sara. Sacoya, being an 11-year old girl, nearly had heart failure (I hear), couldn't even speak, but managed to at least smile for the photo her mom took. Test your level of coolness and see if you belong in the star-struck-Sacoya category or the Behind-The-Times-Security camp...





I wish I could have been there to see her face when she saw the Davids in front of her. I bet she will remember that as the best thing that ever happened to her for a long long time!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mr Sulu, Engage.



Mindi did a post recently on her most embarrassing mom moment. It inspired me to think about one of my own. So, here goes.

Even when it is very hard, we still love our moms. It's something that is born in us--to love our moms no matter what. And my mom is no exception. I love her though she has provided 99.9% of the most embarrassing moments of my life. If you think you can relate, you should know that I'm not talking about your average mom. The average mom wears regular clothes and says regular things and does regular activities. She might embarrass you now and then. But she doesn't excel at it. She just falls into it by accident. My mom, however, is truly proficient at embarrassment. She is an a expert. She has years of training and practice under her belt. Add to that a very active imagination, plus pretty much no fear of anything, and you have the makings for some brilliant embarrassing-mom moments. Here is one of my favorites:

Star Trek, the Movie. You know this story is going to be good when it involves Star Trek. It also involves a serious "trekkie" or Star Trek aficionado. (Although serious Star Trek aficionados refer to themselves as "trekkers" not "trekkies." But now I'm starting to look nerdy myself, so I'm just going to stop there.) Mom always loved the old generation of Star Trek. But it never really inspired her like Star Trek: The Next Generation. This new show really spoke to Mom's inner alien. So much so that she taped and watched the show religiously, read any and all books related to the series, and even sewed herself a Next Generation crew uniform, complete with working communicator pin (which she used judiciously to beam to her home planet on occasion. I'm pretty sure that's where she went during her strictly guarded nap-time).

Ok, so the year was about 1999 or maybe 2000. You can IMDB it and correct me if you really care that much. The last Star Trek: Next Generation movie was out, and our family was all together for Thanksgiving, I believe. We knew it was unavoidable that we'd have to go see it. But we all pleaded with my mom to PLEASE not wear her uniform to the show. This is like asking a child not to open his presents on Christmas morning. We should have known better. But she agreed, and we all set off for the movie, my mom swaddled in an ankle length wool coat, buttoned to her chin.

We got to the movie in plenty of time to get good seats. Ok, let's be honest. Only about 10 seats were taken for the entire show, 7 of them were us. Anyway, we all got our treats and sat down to wait for the previews to start. But where was Mom? Oh, there she was, down at the front of the theater, shedding her long wool coat. And underneath, TADA! The infamous red and black uniform, communicator pin and all. And Mom? What was she doing? Prancing around, strutting her stuff up front like a runway model, hips swaying on the catwalk. And to complete the ensemble, she was flashing the Vulcan sign for all to see. The other three people in the theater chuckled and pointed, delighted to see a follower of this magnitude in their very own theater (but secretly wishing it had been a Klingon crew member instead--better costume). Us? We were all slowly lowering ourselves in our stadium seats, hoping to avoid eye contact with Mom, least she be encouraged and do something worse, like recite Romulan poetry.

Never fear, lacking much attention, she did eventually put her coat back on and resumed her seat next to us. Just then the lights lowered to begin the show, and our red cheeks were hidden. And aside from a few hoots and hollers from the seat to my right when Captain Piccard made his first appearance, the rest of the show managed to go by without further shame.

Ah, Mom. How you do love an opportunity to show your devotion to the unknown galaxies and strange new lifeforms yet to be discovered. And because you're my mom, and it's programmed in me to love you no matter what (as strongly as it's programmed in Vulcans to avoid emotion), I only have one thing to say to you: Live long and prosper.

Friday, July 18, 2008

He Said She Said


Actually, just She said in this case, the "She" being Daphne. Here are some classics from this week:

D: Mommy, Watch this! (dancing)
Me: What are you doing?
D: Shaking my boobie! (I think she meant booty, but even that would have been surprsing)


(Us reading a book about animals..)
Me: Daphne, what's that animal?
D: A big whale, Mommy. Just like you!

(Daphne likes to ask what sound things make. Here is recent conversation.)
Me: Daphne, don't do that or you will get in trouble.
D: Mommy, what does trouble say?
Me : Trouble says "Time out!"
D: What does time out say?
Me: Time out says "stop or you'll get a spanking."
D: What does spanking say?
Me: Spanking says "owie!"
D: What does owie say?
Me, getting exasperated: Nothing. It just cries and cries.
Evidently that satisfied her because she stopped asking, and stopped whatever she was doing.

In these moments, I love 3 year olds.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

winner winner chicken dinner!

I have just received the coveted prize of


My acceptance speech:
You like me! You really really like me! I am truly honored to receive this award and even to be nominated in the company of such great bloggers. I'd like to thank the academy, my mentor and blog designer, Tiburon, my friends and fans for reading my blog, and I'd like to thank heaven for naptime so that I can have two minutes to myself (OK, two hours) to write my blog and keep up on other blogs. Thank you!

Now to the nitty gritty...

This award has rules:
1. Please put the logo on your blog. (check)
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you. (check)
3. You must nominate 7 fellow bloggers for this award. (see below)
4. Add links to the recipients. (duh)
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award. (I have to go to all that trouble after already giving them an award??? Fine.)

In the #3 rule, above, I'm pretty sure they mean I should AWARD seven bloggers. Because if I only nominated them, who will vote for them to get the award? That would be a whole different type of blog post. So I will go right ahead and award the Brilliant Weblog award to:

Jennie - Beehive and Birds' Nest. Granted, she is my sister, but she's also hilarious and witty and straightforward. I always read her blogs first.

Tiburon - Shark Bait. Since the rules don't state that you can't award someone who has already been awarded...right back at you, babe. Your blog is what inspired me to get started.

Tiffany - The Would-Be Writer's Guild. This is probably the first blog I started reading of someone I didn't know from Adam. I'm not even sure who I linked to it through because of the tangled web of blog love out there. But it is probaly the funniest, cleverestest blog I've read to date.

Becky, yep - What it is...XOXO. I can count on Becky for a good laugh on her blog and a good comment on mine, something I always appreciate.

Andre - Hoyt Family Adventures. Although I like to keep my own blog as frivelous and irrelevant as possible (while still using lots of big words, as you can see), I do like to occasionally delve into deeper waters. And no one can wax philosphical AND interesting at the same time like Andre. It keeps my brain alive.

No one knows sarcasm like Cara at Cara Dee's Boring Adventures. And I like a little sarcasm in my diet. It has been a starvation diet lately, Cara, so get posting.

MiaKatia - Flashing Yellow Lights. Brilliant. Witty. Well-written. Cracks me up. Love it.

And the final award goes to(I know, it's 8, so what.)....drumroll please.....

Although a newbie at blogging, my brother Ben at The Davis Family can show off loquaciousness like no one else I know. (Must run in the family.) I like to do it AND to read it, what can I say? This post shows off his skillz at their very best.

Everyone else linked on my front blog page gets an honorable mention. I wouldn't keep reading your blog if it wasn't awesome! So thanks for entertaining me and keeping me updated on your life. You are the best!

My Life Is Over


Ok, that's an exaggeration. My whole life isn't over, just my summer. At least according to Kohl's it is. Because it's July 17th and I just saw my first back-to-school commercial! I HATE back to school commercials. They have always been a source of serious anxiety and dread for me. Because once the first back-to-school commercial starts, it means they'll be on TV and the radio all the time. Perky voices gleefully announcing the end of all warmth and happiness and fun. Sadistic, I say. And there will be signs up in every store I go to, reminding me constantly that there will be no more sending my kids outside playing outside, no more dinner on the patio, no more walking outside without heavy coats and gloves and unflattering hats. Even after I graduated from college, back to school commercials filled me with a sense of impending doom. Because then I became a teacher, and the thought of my summer being over was even more terrifying. Papers to grade, entitled kids to argue with, grouchy parents to avoid. And even now that I am not in school and don't teach, and my summer lasts a few weeks longer than those poor teachers and kids, I still can't help but feel like my world is collapsing around me faster than I can pick it up when the back to school commercials start. Thanks for ruining my life, Kohl's.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

World's Best Salsa


After reading this post, I was inspired to reveal my absolutely fantabulous recipe for the best salsa in the world. I know my Chevy's-loving sister would disagree. But my recipe isn't really a classic salsa. It's so much more than salsa, so they don't really belong the the same category. But I can tell you this: If you make this salsa, you WILL be the most sought-after guest at every party for the next two years. People will DIE for you to come, if only so you'll bring your salsa. And even if you know it's for your salsa and not your personality, at least you got invited, right? So here goes. Actually, I have a comment first. I don't really like salsa that much. It's OK. Doesn't really thrill me. Probably because I don't like tomatoes that much and I don't like onions. So my salsa is the perfect cure for that because it is easy on the tomatoes and only has green onions. Ok, now here goes for real:

Arianne's Vegetable Salsa

1 can white shoepeg corn, drained (it's a little can in the canned corn aisle)
1 can black-eyed peas, drained (black-eyed peas smell like dirt, have you noticed? I'm not selling you on the black-eyed peas, am I?)
1 packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix, made as directed (needs vinegar and oil)
3 TBS chopped green onion
3 roma tomatoes, chopped fine
3 large or 5 small ripe avocados, peeled and chopped. Buy whichever are most ripe or on sale.

Add all vegetables together and pour the Italian dressing over the top. Mix well. Cover & chill until serving. SERVE WITH "SCOOPS" TORTILLA CHIPS. You're going to want to pile as much salsa onto each chip as possible.

Oh, and write the recipe down on little index cards before you go to your party. Because I have never made this salsa that I didn't have half a dozen people ask me for the recipe.

p.s. To avoid entrapment, legal issues, grand theft charges, or plagearism...one of those....I have to mention that I got this recipe from my sister in law Nicki, but I'm just going to pretend it's mine so I'll be more famous. You don't mind, do you, Nicki?

Thankful Thursday


I haven't ever done an official Thankful Thursday post before. But I had two things I was so thankful for today (and it's only Wednesday) that I had to put it down on paper. Ok, not paper. What's that stuff called on the inside of your laptop monitor that squishes and makes a little rainbow ripple shape when you press on it with your finger? Ya, that. I wanted to put it down on that.

1) I'm thankful for guardian angels or fate or chance. Call it whatever. But a few days ago I was hanging with the kiddles in the yard. Hubbie came home and we were all hanging out together. Hubbie went inside to change (which he notified me of, but I was so engrossed in showing my daughter the raspberries that were starting to ripen along my back fence that I didn't hear him). A minute or two later, I heard a car honking, honking, honking, honking incessently out in the street. My first thought was, has someone's car alarm gone off? So I got up to go see if it was mine, and then my second thought hit me: where is Beck? Beck, I found, was standing in the middle of the street with a car right in front of him. Stopped, fortunately. It had seen him. And the driver was honking hoping someone would realize they were an irresponsible idiot and had let their toddler wander into the street. Point taken, honker man. (I make light of the situation because I almost pass out when I think of how this situation could have ended if it weren't for said guardian angels, fate, or chance intervening.) Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

2) The second one I'm thankful for is my husband because he, excuse the term, kicks ass. Seriously. I had no idea when I married him that he was as great as he is. I suspected he was pretty cool. I knew he had a nice butt. I could see potential for some good things in him. But I am amazed and humbled all the time lately by how indcredibly smart he is--possibly even smarter than me, and that's not something I'll admit to his face-- how hard-working and dedicated he is, how patient he is, what a good father he is, how good at 70's and 80's music trivia he is, how funny he is, how stable he is, how ingenious he is (that is the one I really had no clue about and I'm so glad about), how willing to improve he is, and how fun to be with he is. He also makes superior fajitas. We've been really blessed as a family lately and I just had to stop and wax cheesy for a minute about how lucky I am to have him in my life. I may not have known what I was doing when I chose to marry him, but God did. And I'm so glad!

3) Oh, one more thing for my Thankful Thursday. I saw a sign today on a construction site down the street from me that said, "Coming Soon: Paradise Bakery." If any of you have ever doubted that there is a God, let me just tell you: this is proof.


Thanks for letting me rip off your Thankful Thursday jpg, Mindi. I love you, even though you didn't choose my blog as one of your 7 favorites. And yes, I will be mentioning that a lot. Better schedule more therapy.


And thank you Tiburon for inventing Thankful Thursday. The blogging world will never be the same.

Utah Baby Names

Those of you who know me know that I have definite opinions about names. And I TOTALLY DO NOT WANT TO INSULT ANYONE THAT I KNOW AND LOVE, so please don't take offense if you have a name that might fit into the category below. But I just HAD to post this funny bit of satire that I got from Seriously...So Blessed about Mormon/Utah baby names:



Q: Which Prophet/Mormon/Pioneer ancestor will you name your baby after?
A: Ugh...none! Not to be rude, but what the BOAR-RING and OVERdone! We need something as unique as we are sooo I had the best idea EVER and compiled this list, we're gonna choose a syllable from each row, maybe even out of mason jars and then VOILA! Mixnmatch!

1: Ash/Jay/La/Ky/Hay
2: kay/la/l/br/d
3: lin/ee/ly/en/yn


My vote is either for LaKaylin or Jaybree. What about you?



Pay It Foward

A few weeks ago I was the lucky winner of a pay it forward contest at my friend McKell's blog. I won this:Some Worther's hard caramels, YUM. Some air freshener titled "Fresh Lemon" but which smells more like lemon mirengue pie, YUM. And a HAND-KNITTED...um...I'm not sure. Is it a wash-cloth, McKell? Or a hot pad? Anyway, it's beautiful and too amazingly hand-made to be used for anything! It really is just for display on my wall of beautiful unknown hand-made knitted things. Yes, I have such a wall. Don't you?

Anyway, as the name implies, the idea of the random gift giving is to pay it forward! So I think the dust has settled on my last giveaway and it's time for me to pay it forward. I haven't decided exactly what will be in the prize yet, but I'll give you a hint as to the general direction of the prize...







Now, in order to make this a combination prize giveaway + ego boost, I want as many people as possible to comment on my blog. That way I can pretend they are people who actually READ my blog, not just ones who want free stuff. I also want to bring out any lurkers (as if there are any. But I can dream, can't I?) So I will give you 1 entry for leaving a comment on my blog, and a whopping TWO ENTRIES MORE for putting a shout on on your blog about my giveaway (make sure you leave another comment letting me know that you did a shout-out). I will draw the lucky winner in one week, which would make the date...let me calculate the square root of 18 million, times 45.7, divided by pi, to the tenth power = next Wednesday, July 23.

BUT REMEMBER: This is a Pay It Forward giveaway. So be prepared to pass the give-away-ed-ness on.

Ready, Set, Go!



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Everythng Baby


I bought a Dwipe from Suzanne at Just Another Hang Up recently. It's a little pouch for your diapers and wipes. It's super cute. But more than that, it symbolizes something wonderful-- a new step in my life: FREEDOM FROM EVERYTHING BABY! Because up until now, I've had to carry around a big diaper bag everywhere I went to cover both my older baby (who is now 3) and my younger baby (who is now 19 months): Bottles, binkies, formula, burp cloths, Hooter Hider, extra clothes, blankets, toys, teething rings, Cherrios, pajamas....How did I even fit all that stuff in ONE diaper bag? But recently I realized my diaper bag has been getting more and more empty. I don't even take it with me when I get out of the car. Sometimes I even forget to take it out of the house and into the car. All I really need now is a small, easily portable container for a few diapers, some wipes, and a spare pair of panties (a Dwipe!). And that, my friends, is a sign that I am about to begin the lovely task of replacing everything baby in my house with everything ME again. The top drawer of my dresser can now have all the burp cloths and wash cloths and nursing pads removed and replaced by....hmmmm....sky's the limit! I could put underwear in there. Or socks. Or important papers. Or buy 5 new sets of pajamas to put in there. Or books. Anything I want and it doesn't have to be for babies. I can also completely empty out the shelf in my cupboard containing baby bottles. Hooray! The high chair has already been banished to the basement, the exersaucer sold, and two buckets of baby toys will be packed up into a box and sent to the basement. Think of all the room this is going to free up!

Don't get your hopes up (or don't get too disapointed, depending on if you're my mother or not) because this change is only temporary. There will be other kid(s). But not for a year or two at least. So from now until then, I'm making it official. I'm not going to stash, haul, or put up with every nook and cranny of my life being stuffed with everything baby! Wahoooo! Any suggestions on what to put in my top dresser drawer?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Update


Make sure your read this post first.

Well, nap #1 went so-so. She did get in her crib w/o a fuss. But 10 minutes later, she jumped overboard, and headed to the potty. I heard her footsteps upstairs and found her just finishing up. So I put her back in bed and told her to sleep. She wasn't happy about it, but only put up a small fuss. And then she did fall asleep. About an hour later, I heard another bang and went up to find her using the potty again (#2). So she was using the bathroom at least. I put her back to bed again and figured she probably wouldn't sleep. Sure enough, 10 minutes later I heard her get up and yell to me that she needed socks (an irritating habit of hers lately is to want socks and a sweater despite 90 degree temps). I gave her a swat on the bum and told her not to get up. So she went back to bed and didn't get up until I went to get her.

So the crib thing seems to be a bust. It's really not keeping her in bed much better than the toddler bed. So I guess we'll just have to stick to our guns and keep teaching her when it's OK to get out of bed and when it isn't. Which means more sleepless nights and missed naps in the meantime, I suspect. SIGH....But I guess every child has to have this learning curve once they go into a big bed, right? RIGHT? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

I Dodged a Bullet! Crap.


This morning I was laying in bed at 7:45, mentally planning my post in my head. It went something like this:

For those of you who don't know, we've had some drama around my house lately. It all started with potty training 3 months ago. Actually, the potty training part was a breeze. Daphne did it in about a week and pretty much never looked back. But about a month ago, she wet the bed 4 times in a 24 hour period--at 5am, at 8am, during her nap, and the next morning at 7am. And I'm pretty sure she was awake, just unable to get out of her crib to go potty. So I decided it was time to put her in a toddler bed so she could get up to go potty. So I took off the front rail of her crib and attached the toddler rail. The first week went great. She stayed in her bed, kept her normal sleeping hours, took her naps, and stopped wetting the bed. Yeah! But then all hell broke lose. Daphne suddenly realized just what freedom this arrangement gave her. And she started getting up at all hours of the night, opening and closing doors upstairs, waking up the baby, running around, shouting from the top of the stairs, making strange requests of us like "read me a book" or "I want some cheese" or "I want to pet a T-rex". She also started skipping 4 out of 5 naps. And waking up between 6-7am instead of 8:30-9:00am. Then yesterday night, after a knock-down drag-out fight at 2am about whether or not she needed to poopy, involving kicking, biting, growling and screaming (all from me), I had had enough. Something had to change. Big Daddy and I discussed all options at length. They included: locking her door (she can open it) locking it from the outside, putting her crib front back on, putting a gate in front of her door, putting a gate across the hallway so she could only have access to her room and the bathroom, and selling her on the black market. But almost all options meant denying her access to the bathroom, which was the whole reason I put her in a bed in the first place. So I decided to call my therapist sister and asked for her advice. She has six kids, so I figured she'd know what to do. And her suggestion was to put her in a pull up and put her back in the crib. Clearly she wasn't ready for this much freedom. It was creating absolute havoc around our house. I had to agree. We'd all been missing sleep, especially her (up to 4 hours less a day including nap time!). We were all frustrated and tired. So last night I put the crib back together. I was worried that she'd freak out, but to my surprise, she only did a double take when she went to get in, and that was all. She went to bed w/o a fuss, slept through the entire night, and except for waking at 7:45 to go potty, it was a total success. I even put her back in her bed with some books after she went potty so I could doze until the baby woke up. Success! Thanks, Jennie!

That's about where my mental blog post trailed off as I fell asleep. Flash forward to 8:05am. Daphne came waltzing into my bedroom with "Mommy, read me Clifford!" Now it was my turn for a double take. How the heck? Big Daddy came walking in after her, momentarily relieving my panic. Until he looked at me wide-eyed and said, "I didn't get her out of bed." What?? So, it looks like my well-laid plan didn't go off quite without a hitch. Although she never ever got out of her crib before we moved her out of it, evidently now she can. And will. So I will take the next 24 hours and observe. Will she stay in her crib during her nap today? Will she actually sleep? And will she stay in her bed tonight now that she has jumped ship once? Does it prove enough of a challenge that the sleepy-middle-of-the-night Daphne won't try to climb out? Or will we be forced to move on to the crib tent? Or--I might just skip all that wondering and move back to option B: The black market.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Little Gems

I have run the gambit (what does that mean anyway?) of products for my children to eat off of. First it was paper plates, but we went through those too fast. Then my husband got some plastic tray thingies, kind of like the ones you ate school lunch off of with the compartments for different parts of the meal, but they were way cuter. Transparent and with a smiley face and eyes for the compartments. But there were only two, so I had to wash them after every meal or wait for the next round of the dishwasher. Then my husband was at Ikea a few weeks ago and found these little gems...

They're perfect! They're just the right size for a kid-sized meal, they can go in the microwave and dishwasher, they stack and store easily, and they're small enough to shove in all kinds of small cracks between the regular dishes in the dishwasher. And at $1.99/6pack, you can't beat the price! Just thought I'd pass it on for any moms looking to add a touch of class and beauty to their table.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dream Wife

62

As a 1930s wife, I am
Superior

Take the test!



Although I did not check the box "Reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress" and I did check the box "Serves too much from tin cans or the delicatessen store," I still managed to rate as a superior 1930's housewife! I always knew I'd fit in back then. Please make sure you casually comment on this superior status when you're in the presence of my husband. Examples might be "Boy, your wife sure wears neatly pressed aprons!" or "Gee whiz, aren't you glad your wife doesn't put her stockings to soak in the wash basin?" Or "Don't you love the way your wife often comments on your strength and masculinity?" It'll help my husband realize what a catch I am. Thanks.

And thank you, Cara, for the test.

Friday, July 11, 2008

SEW cool!

First I have to explain that two weeks ago we bought our kids the BEST summer outdoor toy ever. It's the Little Tykes Sand & Sea Play Table. It's two sections of table, one filled with sand, one filled with water in a moat. There are little shovels and strainers, and a water wheel that makes little boats move around the moat. Good stuff. There's even an umbrella overhead.

We bought this because my kids always wanted to be outside but there was really nothing for them to do. Well, this was the best money we ever spent. They play with it four HOURS. I don't mean 5 minutes or even 20. I mean, literally, hours on end. I have to practically tear them away to go potty, eat, sleep, and breathe. And because I put it on my deck, right outside my kitchen door, I can watch them while I get on the internet get really constructive things done around the kitchen. There is a downside to this fabulous toy, though. It's messy. It only takes about 2 minutes before the kids get sandy, and another 2 before they're wet. So I've been changing their clothes as many as 4 times a day. (And sweeping the floor numerous times a day as well. Because as much as I like the feeling that I'm in Cancun every time I walk across the kitchen, I don't like the feeling that I'm sleeping in a sandbox at night when all that sand magically ends up in my bed.) I knew it was time to think of a new plan when I was on my second load of kids' laundry in two days, every outfit they own having been doused in gritty water.

Enter my mom. One of my mom's most impressive skills is her ability to sew. As far as I know, she can sew anything. She sewed a lot of our clothes growing up. She sews curtains, bedspreads, furniture upholstery. She sewed my sister's wedding dress, my baby's Christening gown, my dad's 3-piece suits in the 70's. And I'm pretty sure she sewed her own diapers as a child. So when I told her I wanted to make some waterproof aprons for my kids to play at their sand table in, she waved her hand and looked skyward as if to say "Oh, that would be a cake walk."

Next stop, the fabric store. Our only fabric store in town is pretty small, dark, and cramped, kind of like a seedy bar but with bolts of cloth where the mugs of beer should be. Stil, they managed to have about 8 different patterns of plastic coated (i.e. table cloth) material. The John Deer tractor fabric was tempting, as was the Relief Society luncheon plastic-coated lace. But in the end I chose the blue checkered Winnie the Pooh pattern. Not my favorite. I'm generally opposed to my children wearing cartoon characters. But my husband would not have appreciated my kids wearing plastic lace.

So here's how they turned out. Oh, and I should add that I actually did 90% of the sewing MYSELF. I figured it was time I learned. Yeah, I did sew my own jams in 1987. But I'd forgotten all that sewing brilliance since I began stooping to store-bought clothes.




Now if I can just figure out how to keep all the sand from ending up in the water side of the table, and arrange for a daily delivery of sand to replace all the sand that gets dumped on my deck, my happiness will be complete.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cotton Pickin' Pillowcases!


I need your help, you guys. Here is the backstory:

So a few years ago, Big Daddy and I decided to redecorate our bedroom. By that I mean, change out the bedding and window coverings. So we bought a pale gold (maize, not metallic gold) comforter and pale yellow sheets, gold microfiber suede curtains, and dark red accent items (shams, curtain swag, etc). I bought 2 sheet sets. One was 300 thread count cotton, one was 220 thread count cotton. Then, I was at Target one day shortly thereafter, and I found some adorable sheets that were just the right shade of pale yellow and they had an embroidered border on the top sheet and pillow cases that was dark red leaves. I LOVED that pattern, and it brought in the dark red accents. But they were only 180 thread count cotton. So I passed on them. But twice more I went to Target and drooled over them. So I finally gave in and bought them.

Well, as it turns out, those 180 thread count cotton sheets have ended up being the softest, smoothest, coldest sheets of them all. You know what I mean by cold, right? When you lay your head down on cold sheets, it almost repels your body heat. There is no friction or fuzz. It's just crisp coolness. Back to my story.... How could this be? The 220 thread count set we bought are horrible. Very rough. The 300 thread count ones are OK. They're reasonable. But when we put the 180 thread count set in the wash and put on the other ones, neither of us can sleep on those pillow cases. They're just not cold and crisp and smooth enough. Only the 180 thread count ones will do.

Well, flash forward 3 years. My pillowcase got a small tear along the seam where the edge pattern meets the main pillow case. I tried to sew it up, but it tore again. And after another round through the wash, it became a huge t-shaped tear, half the length of the pillowcase and along the whole seam at the top. So it's not fixable. The cotton is just too fragile now. But none of my other pillowcases are soft enough. I've tried buying higher and higher thread count pillowcases (400 and 600), but none of them are as slick and smooth as my tattered one, not even after several washings. So what gives? There must be something other than thread count that makes cotton linens soft. Does anyone out there know? Has anyone worked at Linens 'N' Things and been made privilege to this secret information? Because it is secret. I've spent several hours on the internet trying to find an answer to this question, and all I can come up with is that some weaves are softer, some thread lengths are softer, etc., but no details. Nothing to guide me to making a fantastic pillow case replacement purchase.

HELP!

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