Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ode To Dairy

I really like Havarti Cheese;
Havarti Dill is better.
I probably won't marry Havarti Cheese,
But I think I'll write it a love letter.

The End

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Truth About Anti-Depressants

It's not an easy thing for anyone to admit, that they need a little medical help to feel normal. It's something we mostly try to keep under wraps. It's not talked about, though so many suffer from the same problem. So I wanted to write a post to get this topic out in the open.

Everyone gets the blues now and then, right? The problem really occurs when your blues start to change you. When they start to affect everyone around you. When they start making your house a place no one wants to be in. When people start loving you less and avoiding you because of how your behavior affects them. When you might even be driving everyone crazy enough that they secretly want to just lock you away...

Then it's time to step up and get help. Even if that help is in the form of a little pill. If it can fix things, if it can make you return to your happy, playful, non-anxious self, then it's worth it right? At least that's what the doctor said. That's why I went ahead and filled a prescription today.

For Prozac.


Yes, it's true. My cat has anxiety and depression. Am I living in Beverly Hills or something?! Who ever heard of a cat needing Prozac? AND VALIUM? But that is what Flossie's vet thinks will cure her of her desire to piddle all over the house ever since we moved. Oookay. Well, I'm game. Stuffing a pill into a little chicken-flavored pocket twice a day is better than hunting down cat pee with a black light and enzyme cleaner every night. It has to be. Right???

See, she's looking more mellow (and continent) already.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Uppsen Downes

Did anyone local see that thing on the news last week about that police officer who was shot in the leg of duty, uh, line of duty? Officer Downes? Yeah, I'm not even joking about his first name. Uppsen.

Anyway, it brought to mind what is on my mind 99% of the time right now: The Uppsen Downes of pregnancy.

Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into a pregnancy whining blog.


I guess if it does, I'll have to go out and find a whole new readership of people who love to hear a woman whine about being pregnant. AKA other pregnant women.

In the meantime, maybe you can handle one whiny post. Maybe you can drum up old, buried memories from that place in your brain you try to keep tightly locked, that place you hope never to think about again after you have a baby. Or maybe you can pull from your vivid imagination if you've never been pregnant. Or you can use your incredible powers of empathy and just say "Awwww, poor baby" a lot. Whatever. Just hear me out.

First off, let me say that I'm only 7 weeks pregnant. My baby is currently the size of a piece of puffed rice. Sugar Smack-sized, for those of you non-health nuts. It doesn't seem like anything in your body that is Sugar Smack-sized should be able to affect you much, let alone wreak havoc on you. Except maybe a bullet. A Sugar Smack-sized bullet might. But not a tiny Sugar Smack-sized clump of cells with little arm paddles and bulging alien eyes and a tail. Yet there it is...my body has been wreaked havoc upon by a strange cereal sized creature in the following ways:

1. I can't breathe. This is by far the worst, most annoying most debilitating symptom of pregnancy for me. Almost immediately, my nasal tissues swell shut and very little air gets through, especially at night. Especially during allergy season. I also can't take any decongestants. So all I can do is wear a Breathe Right Strip at night and hope for the best. (The best usually means fitful sleep, tossing and turning, snoring, mouth breathing, and driving your husband insane, in between getting up to pee for the 10th time).

2. Which leads me to number two. Well, number one, technically. Peeing. Again, how does a Sugar Smack-sized baby cause me to have to pee so much? Seriously?!? I am a pretty talented sleeper. Most nights, I lie down and within minutes I'm fast asleep and I don't wake up all night unless someone or something purposely wakes me up. So I am NOT used to this constant Uppsen Downes all night thing. Night before last, from the time I went to bed at 11:30 until I finally fell asleep for reals at 4am, I got up to pee nine times. NIINE TIIMES. ("Nine times?" "NINE TIMES." "I don't remember him being sick nine times." Name that movie.)

3. Speaking of being sick, nausea is the joyous number three on my list. Waking up queasy is just not that fun. Remaining queasy throughout the day is not that funner. Feeling queasy every time I eat is not that fun. Feeling queasy if I don't eat is not that funner. I do have to say that my nausea compared to the other two kids is not nearly as bad. Sometimes I actually feel decent. It comes and goes. It has its...wait for it... Uppsen Downes.

4. I'm not sure what to call this one. Fatigue? Exhaustion? Listlessness? I-don't-give-a-crap-iness? Whatever it's called, it makes it hard to make it through the day. I'm sleepy, but more than that I just don't have the stamina to care about anything (hence my total disappearance from blogging despite my vow to get back into the swing of things). My house is messy. My kids are watching a lot of TV. The office remains unpacked. I don't even have the energy to turn on the computer and read in bed. I just sit and stare, mostly. And try to keep my stomach from moving.

Well, that's the big complaint list. That wasn't so bad, was it? And I have one really good positive to being pregnant:

1. EATING! Whether it's because I have to eat nearly non-stop to keep from feeling sick, or because I'm constantly STARVING TO DEATH, or maybe just because I know I can, I am eating lots of yummy things I normally wouldn't. Like chips. I NEVER eat chips. I usually don't even like chips. But even if I got the rare craving, I wouldn't eat chips because they are so unjustifiably bad for your physique. But I bought three different bags of chips this week just so I would have something to nibble on. Salty seems to help. Treats also seem to help. Surprisingly, my body hasn't wanted sugar much since I got pregnant. But sometimes, when my stomach is on the upswing, I nice Chocolate Dipped Italian Shortbread Cookie from Kneaders hits the spot. And Coke, of course, always hits the spot. FULL-SUGAR COKE. Heaven.

So there you have it. The run-down on how my little Sugar Smack is affecting my life, for better and for worse. I'm sure I'll be back here again. To complain but also to gush. That's the fun part of pregnancy...it's not all bad. Some of it is good. It's full of all kinds of, you guessed it, Uppsen Downes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Expecting The Unexpected

When Daphne started school, I wasn't expecting to cry. I did.

When Beck started school, I was expecting to cry. I didn't.

When I moved away from my old house, I was expecting to feel heartbroken. I'm not.

When we got our trampoline, I was expecting it to be a pain. It isn't.

When we got a house with no upstairs, I was expecting the house to feel strange. It doesn't.

I was expecting to hate having an open backyard that we share with the neighbors. I don't.

I was expecting having more space to be awesome. But not this awesome!

I expected our garage would be so full of stuff we wouldn't be able to park in it for months. It isn't. (One of us is parking in it already).

I expected having air conditioning to be nice and cool. I didn't expect the basement to feel like Antarctica.

I expected there to be more kids in our new neighborhood than the last one. There aren't.

I expected the general population at church to be much younger. It isn't.

I didn't expect the neighbors and ward to be friendly and nice. They are!

I expected having to drive the kids 10 minutes to school and back would drive me nuts. It doesn't.

I didn't expect there to be horses, cows and goats living across the street. There are.

I expected the hot tub we inherited at this house to go unused. It isn't.

There are lots of things about my life lately that have been other than I expected. But I was NEVER expecting this...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Memory

Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? Do you remember what you were doing? Do you remember how you felt when you heard the news? If you got up early enough, you might have heard that a plane exploded in New York City. And later that they thought it might have purposely flown into the World Trade Center. You might have actually heard or watched the second plane. You might have wondered when they announced the third plane, hitting the Pentagon, if it was the end of the world.

I did.

I was getting ready for work when I turned on the news to get the weather report. The second plane had just hit the World Trade Center and no one knew what was going on. Then, as I watched, they announced the plane that hit the Pentagon and we all knew this was no accident. This was a deliberate attack on our country! In my whole life, I had never heard of anyone attacking America. People who were alive for Pearl Harbor are the last people who can remember a direct attack on this country. It shocked me. I just stared at the TV wondering who could do this, and who/what place would be next.

I had planned on taking Trax (the light rail train) to work that day instead of driving. But suddenly I was worried that public transportation was a bad idea. Would trains get taken over by terrorists? Would they explode or derail? Was Salt Lake even a target? We just didn't know. I didn't think it was likely, but one hour before I didn't think the possibility of a plane blowing up the Pentagon was likely either.

I drove to work. Things were strange. Instead of teaching my regularly planned lessons, my students and I listened to live-streaming news on my laptop. We talked about what was going on. Some kids cried. We all got on our cell phones and called our loved ones to make sure they were OK.

It was a strange, surreal, awful day. And I can remember it exactly even now. I can remember where I was, how I felt, what went through my head...everything slowed down and was imprinted forever on my brain. I couldn't turn off the radio or the TV all day and for several days after. We all hoped and prayed that more people would be found alive in the World Trade Center wreckage. We waited. In vain.

I still think of that day a lot. I watch shows about 9/11 every time they come on, trying to make sense of it, trying to understand what it must have been like for the people in the buildings, for the people on the planes, for the families of the loved ones who died. But it still, 9 years later, seems totally unreal that this could have happened. HOW does something like that happen? To US?

Anyway, I just wanted to put my thoughts down on paper. I can't remember a day in my life--except maybe the day my father died--that has affected me so deeply. It still haunts me.

Do you remember what you were doing that day? Please share your thoughts.

Galflog, Shrugly, Mactrop

Those are the types of words you'll now have to type into my word verification in order to comment. I'm so sorry. Blame it on the stupid spammers that showed up in droves since I took word verification off last week. Luckily they were all trying to comment on old posts, which I had set to require my approval. So none got through. But I'm tired of rejecting 5-8 comments a day about erectile disfunction medications. So, back to word verification.

It was fun while it lasted.

Friday, September 10, 2010

119 Minutes

The mayhem starts around 10:30 every day...

Start fixing lunch (yes, at 10:30AM)

Get the kids to the table to eat lunch no later than 10:45

Cajole, threaten, beg, prompt, scream a little, and eventually bribe the kids to eat faster, faster, FASTER until 11:25 when you give up and just accept that it will always take them 40 minutes to eat five bites of food and they will never finish a whole meal as long as they live.

11:26 Quickly change Daphne's clothes to her uniform.

11:28 Madly dash through the house looking for Daphne's school shoes while shouting to Beck to find his.

11:29 Madly dash through the house looking for Daphne's school bag. (Still yelling to Beck to get his shoes on)

11:30 Madly dash through the house looking for Daphne's folder which isn't in her school bag. (Still yelling to Beck to get his shoes on)

11:31 Freak out that Beck still doesn't have his shoes on. Sit both kids down and put their shoes on for them since they are physically incapable of doing it when it's past time to go to school.

11:33 Drag kids out to the car to head to school

11:33:35 Realize that Daphne's hair hasn't been brushed and run back in the house to find the brush and some hair bands.

11:34 Realize that Beck has spaghettios all over his face and run back in the house to get a wash rag.

11:35 Finally start backing out of the driveway

11:35:15 Hear Daphne freak out because there is no snack in her school bag. Pull back in the driveway and run back in the house to find a snack.

11:36 Finally make it out of our driveway and on the way to school.

11:42 Drop Daphne off at school.

11:43-12:25 Try to kill about 45 minutes until Beck's school starts. (This might consist of shopping for things I don't need, wandering around the library for much longer than necessary after Beck picks out the first two books he lays eyes on, or using my free kids meal card to get a kids meal for my lunch since I was so busy bossing kids around that I forgot to eat at home.)

12:26 Drop Beck off at school



This was the first week that this happened, both kids in school and me with 119 minutes to myself. What should I do with this time? What would YOU do with this time???

Read that book that's been sitting on your nightstand unopened for three weeks?


Work on fixing your mosaic table that a bunch of pieces of glass fell off of?

Plant some flowers?

Go to lunch with a girlfriend?


Organize your recipes for your new recipe box?

Watch all those House Hunters you have had taped for months?

Go shopping SANS kids?

Yack on the phone with your friends without being interrupted?

As it turns out, I was so caught off guard by having time to myself all of the sudden that I spent the first 15 minutes of my free time yesterday watching our pet caterpillar eat dandelion leaves . Oy vey. Then I mopped the kitchen floor and vacuumed the entire upstairs. I really need to work on finding more interesting uses for my free time.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Love Is In the Air

Or at least allergens. I am beginning to wonder how many times a day a person can blow their nose before the skin literally begins to rub off. My eyes are itchy and watery, my nose is leaking like a tap. I have nearly an entire box of tissues balled up in my trash can. I've been taking allergy medication as often as possible but it doesn't seem to help. What is in the air that is killing me so much?

This is actually the second or third time this spring/summer that I've had a major allergy attack. When I lived in Detroit, I suffered from terrible allergies. Evidently I was allergic to pretty much everything growing there. But once I moved to Utah 18 years ago, it all stopped and I have been mostly allergy free. Then came this year. For some reason I have had several allergy attacks that have lasted for days. Is it just me? Am I regressing? Becoming desensitized (or is it sensitized?) to the local plant life? Or is this just a whopper of a year for allergens?


You can thank me later, Kleenex, for personally keeping you in business.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Usually I highlight thing that are unique, fun, time-saving, or otherwise really awesome for my Favorite Things posts. But today my favorite thing is going to be somewhat ordinary. Yet, I have to say, it is completely awesome too...

Yes, it's a fly swatter. It's something you take for granted until you really need it and then it just happens to be the best invention EVER.

When we lived at our old house, we didn't have many flies. We had one invasion of little brown ants in the spring. A little ant trap action and that was taken care of. And then this last summer we had an awful earwig infestation. EW. Earwigs might possibly be the grossest bug ever. Or at least they are up there with spiders and centipedes. And they were EVERYWHERE. They were eating my flower blossoms before they even bloomed. They were all over my garden. They were in and under and around every toy and tool and rock and crevice. They even made it into the house a couple of times!!! BARF!!! I have to say, that was one thing I was super glad to leave behind about my wonderful yard there.

And then we moved here. No earwigs! However, living nearby several farms and horse properties (you gotta love when they build neighborhoods into the middle of former farmland), there are flies galore. I wish I had some sort of special robot vision where I could hone in on all the flies buzzing around the house. I'm sure what my robot vision would show me is that every door and window of our house has a couple hundred flies hovering around it at all times. And that they are just waiting for the second that we open a door or window so they can come in and check out my kitchen scraps. I can hardly remember an hour since we moved in that there haven't been flies in the house. We have two fly swatters going at all times, it seems, as well as a fly strip hanging above the island. I get them under control for a little while, but then as soon as I open a door or window, a dozen more show up. It's maddening!

But the good news is, I've majorly honed my fly swatting skills. I almost never miss with the fly swatter. And yesterday I used my son's plastic wiffle ball bat to hit one on the ceiling. KABAM! Gotcha, sucka! First try. I'm telling you, they need to have an event at the State Fair for this or something. I can get a fly with a dish rag, a flip flop, a teddy bear (don't tell Beck), a check book, and a bath robe. But my favorite tool, the one with the most satisfaction and gut-squishing involved, is the fly swatter. God bless whoever invented that thing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

School Daze

Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I present to you




Seriously, how did I get to this point???? My babies are all grown up. Sniff...

But I have to tell you the absolute most adorable thing Beck said to me when I told him it was his first day of school today. He pumped his fist in the air and shouted, "I'm going to LEARN!!!"

That's my boy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Evolution Of Hating Posting Mechanisms

I remember very clearly when I first started blogging being irritated by word verification. Not so much because it was an extra step before being able to post my oh-so-important comment as much as because I seem to lack the DNA that allows you to read those warped letters. I always got them wrong, making it a five or 10 step process to post a comment instead of one step.

Eventually, due to Chinese commentors who insisted on leaving me a bunch of garbled nonsense characters in my comments, I had to put word verification onto my own comment section. (So sorry. Maybe I'll give it another go without?) I felt like it wasn't fair to hate others for their word verification while having it myself. So I got over it.

Things went fine until about six months ago. Then embedded comments became an option (and probably is the default option because more people had it than didn't have it all of the sudden). Can I just tell you how much I hate embedded comments??? A LOT. Not as much as, like, people driving slowly in the carpool lane, or store clerks who talk to each other while they check me out or anything. Just enough that when I have to go through the comment process on a blog with embedded comments, and it reloads the page so I can add the word verification AFTER I already hit "enter" and then I have to type it and hit enter again, I am miffed.

"Miffed" probably isn't really a high enough level of irritation to write a 4 paragraph blog post about. But I'm trying to get back to regular blogging, so here it is. So if you have embedded comments, why? And why not change! I will love you so much more and you will save me, and probably countless millions, any more miffedness.

Thank you in advance. And I promise work on my word verification situation, the Chinese be damned!