Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What spice are you?

Once again, Cara, we appear to be blog twins, "blins." I wonder what other spices there are since you and I are the same.

You Are Cayenne Pepper

You are very over the top and a bit overwhelming.

You have a fiery personality, and you can give anyone a good jolt.

You can easily take things up a couple notches, no matter what crowd you're running with.

Ok, I took the test again and changed a couple of my answers (there were two I was on the line about) and I came up with this result:

You Are Ginger

Like ginger, you are a total shape shifter.

You can be sweet, spicy, mellow, or overpowering.

You are both soothing and unique. You are popular... yet you are often overlooked.

I actually think that the ginger suits me more. What do you guys think? Well, considering that there are only four questions, I'm not sure how accurate this test can really be.

Same Old Butt

Some of you know that I've been doing a diet competition among some friends and friends of friends for the last 4 months. We all put $25 in the pot and did weekly weigh ins to see who could lose the highest % of weight. I had high hopes when I started. Not necessarily of winning--I knew the chance was small against 24 other determined women. But I had high hopes of changing my body and getting in better shape. I did managed to do that to some extent. But not as much as I had hoped. Here is what my goal was. Yeah.....I don't look like that. In fact, the picture from behind in my after pictures (from my before and after pictures) is still shockingly disgusting. Remind me not to wear a bathing suit any time soon. But I did manage to lose 11 lbs and build a lot of muscle. I did weights quite a bit the last couple of months so I have some tone now that I didn't have before. But despite that, I'm still pretty disapointed. My body just didn't cooperate the way I wanted it to. I was pretty disciplined on my eating, and I exercise very regularly 3-5x a week). I should have lost a lot more weight than I did. But I hit a plateau early on that I just couldn't break for a long time. Then I lost some weight finally, and then later I lost some of my self discipline on eating, so I yo-yo'ed back and forth between the same 3 lbs for about 7 or 8 weeks. It sucked. In the end, I came in 7th place out of 25, not too shabby. And I did drop my body fat by a few %. And I"m sure I"m a lot more healthy now that I do some cardio exercise regularly. But I just should have lost more than I did, and that is disappointing.

So now my plan of action is that I have a weight which, if I hit or go over it, I will go back on a diet. As long as I stay below it, I can loosen up a bit on the eating restrictions. I'd like to hope that I can keep at or below that weight for the rest of my life. Or at least for a long time.

I also have to give my husband props for coming in 2nd place in his man competition. He lost 25 lbs! He looks amazing. And he has really changed his life a lot in the way he eats. I'm sure he is a much healthier person now.

So, I'm going to be brave and post it on my blog. Here are my before and after pictures. This is the before picture from my first Biggest Loser, about 1 year ago, to now...

(And no, I'm not showing you the behind picture. Too disgusting. You'll have to wait until I get lipo and a Brazilian butt lift!) The most notable difference is the sad loss of the nursing boobs. I hate giving those up. But I guess it's worth it to drop 18 lbs. Just 8 more to go to hit my dream weight, 3 to hit my ideal weight, and right where I am, I have a 2 lb cushion before I have to go back on my diet again. What does that mean? It means I'm having Carls Jr. for lunch. Hand dipped Oreo shake, here I come!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cry Me a River

I have a love-hate relationship with onions. Mostly hate. The thing is, I love the initial taste of a lot of food that contains onions like salsa, fajitas, stroganoff, onion rings, and many salads. But after I'm done eating, my mouth always tastes so disgusting from the onions! And they make my stomach hurt and give me the runs (sorry TMI). And whenever I cook with onions, the whole house reeks for at least a day. I almost can't cope with how pungant they are when you cook with them. And they make my hands stink. And right now--1 hour after eating maybe 5 bites of salsa--I want to throw up from the aftertaste of onions. (I know, I should just go brush my teeth. But I'm trying to blog here!) But despite knowing I hate the taste and smell of them, I can't seem to resist eating them if they're in something I know I like. And you'd think I would have more control of the situation when it's me that's doing the cooking. But I can't seem to leave them out of my recipes either. I feel like I'm somehow cheating or that the recipe will not turn out right if I don't use the onions. I do try to reduce the amount by at least 9/10ths. But even that is often not enough to keep the insidious taste and odor from getting to me. Why can't I just leave well enough alone? Why am I drawn to this odious--odorous?--vegetable when I clearly hate everything about it??? I'm like a moth to a flame. Oh, Onion, why caint I quit chou?

Modbe Party

Ok, so if you aren't familiar with Modbe Clothing, they are a home party company that sells really cute, basic, modest clothing. I just saw a catalogue for their bathing suits and OH MY GOSH, so cute! I'm not one to get excited about a bathing suit because, let's face it, it's the least flattering piece of clothing a woman ever wears in public. But these are seriously adorable, and flattering, and made for WOMEN'S BODIES. They are two piece. But unlike the tankini where the top ends right at the fattest part of your (or at least my) body, leaving your belly fat hanging in the wind, these have long tops that go down over your hips. The bottoms have rolled waists so you can wear them high to cinch you in, or roll them down to ride lower on the hips (but still well underneath the top). They come in a bunch of really flattering top designs with dozens of color and pattern choices. Mix and match. There are also really adorable swim skirts that match all the colors. So I'm going to have a Modbe party. I would just do a catalogue party, but you want to try these on. They are absolutely beautiful. Below are a few examples of their styles, but there are tons more. So if you're in the market for a new swim suit (they have other really cute clothes and jeans too), please consider buying a Modbe at my party. And if you'd like to attend my party to see what they look like up close and try one on, please leave a comment to that effect. I dont' know the date yet--probably in a couple of weeks. Feel free to also mention when you can't come. Thanks!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Good Friends are Hard to Find

It's true, good friends are hard to find. And even harder to find in pairs--where both you and your husband like both him and her. But every once in a while they come along and they are KEEPERS.

Such a couple are Kati and Joe Buck. It's kind of funny how we became friends with them. It started when we moved into our current ward and spent the next two years completely friendless and unnoticed. Then eventually we became good friends with my visiting teacher and her husband, Tonia and Doug. They were another rare couple where we both liked both of them. But sadly, a year or two later, Tonia and Doug moved to Boise. Once they left, we started to get to know the default Atwoods-- Doug's younger brother, Joe Buck, and his new wife Kati who were living at the Doug and Joe Buck's parents' house. Although it may have been by default at first, we quickly realized how fun, smart, and awesome they were. Then THEY had to go and move out of the ward. But at least they only moved to Pleasant Gdrove, not 10 minutes away. And we've managed to stay in touch and keep up the frienship.

So, now you're up to date on who they are. Let me tell you why Kati and Joe are such great friends. The other day they invited us over for dinner because Kati was going to make us homemade Chicken Tikka Masala, a dish we all love to eat when we go to the Bombay House together. We were so excited. But that morning, my kids came down with a wicked virus. They had fevers, were running snot a mile a minute, and were seriously grouchy. As the day wore on and dinner approached, I worried about bringing them with us and infecting everyone else's kids (another couple, Chaz and Erin, and their daughter were going to be there too--we miraculously found TWO couples in our ward that we liked both of...but of course, they moved. Losers. At least it's only to Orem. Do we smell or something? As soon as we make friends, they move. Anyway...) About 3pm I decided to get a babysitter rather than take the kids. And I started making the roti to bring along for the Indian food. But the kids were not in the mood to let me make flat bread. And the flat bread was not in the mood to be made. It was sticking to the rolling pin, the counter, and the wax paper. It was not staying soft when I cooked it. And eventually I got so mad a threw a ball of it at the kitchen wall. I had to stop and figure out what was making me so upset. Was is the bread alone? Or was it the snotty, crying child hanging off my left leg? Or the other snotty, whining child throwing all my kitchen utensils on the floor at my feet? Or was it that my husband hadn't left work yet and we were supposed to be at dinner in 10 minutes? No, I realized, it was the throbbing head and achy muscles I was starting to notice. Crap. Was I getting sick too? Yes. I was. That meant dinner was out. But I was in charge of his stupid uncooperative roti. So what to do?

(this is roti)

THIS IS WHERE THIS WHOLE LONG STORY COMES TO THE POINT FINALLY....Kati and Joe, being the saints that they are, took the news that we were cancelling on them at the very last minute very well. So well, in fact, that they sent Joe Buck over to our house with a bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala and a bowl of rice and picked up the roti all so we wouldn't have to drive it over. And so I wouldn't have to worry about making dinner on top of everything else. Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever heard? In thanks for us ruining their dinner party, they brought dinner to us. I love those guys. Good friends are so rare in this world. Good people, kind people, generous people who go out of their way to help others are so incredibly rare that I couldn't help but devote an entire post to thanking Kati and Joe.

Oh, and Kati? the Chicken Tikka Masala was delicious. (And I hope you didn't taste the dirt in that one piece of roti).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Classical Emotions

I like classical music. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Some people out there (incluing my husband) would rather eat raw chicken than listen to classical music. I'm sure a few of you are in that category. But I grew up with it. My parents didn't listen to anything but classical. As a kid, I would put on the Swan Lake or Nutcracker records (yes, RECORDS) and dance around the house. Then in school I played the cello, and out of school I played the piano. So I just got used to classical music. And I grew to love it. I even like opera (not all of them, and not the singy-talky parts--those make me want to blow my brains out. Just the main songs). In fact--little known tidbit about me--if I could be the best in the world at any one talent, it would be singing opera. But back to my point, I love classical music. But I don't listen to it often, mainly because my husband detests it. So recently I realized with sadness that my kids, small though they may be, have had virtually no exposure to classical music. It's really important to me that my kids be brought up with a classical education--art, music, and literature. So I decided to start making it a part of their upbringing. I bought (well, I use that word losely--my husband got it somehow from the internet) Fantasia. And then I changed the #5 preset in my car from B98.7 to a classical station. Since I can't listen to my own music in the car very often anyway (because the kids always want a movie), I figured I might be able to just play classical music and see if they would accept that as an alternative. So the other day I was driving along and I turned on the classical station. There was a very suspenseful orchestral piece on. Well, a minute or two into it, the music began to get very intense. And Daphne (age nearly 3) exclaimed from the backseat, "Mommy! What's going to happen??!" At first I didn't realize that she was referring to the music, and I thought maybe she noticed me driving over the yellow line a little bit. But then she began to narrate what her imagination pictured was going on during this music. I can't remember exactly, but it involved a witch and a unicorn. It really touched me that she was already beginning to understand the tone of the music. A few minutes later, the piece changed to a piano solo by a different composer. It was very bangy (don't you love that technical term? All those years of playing piano has really paid off). And I said, "Daphne, do you hear the piano?" She listened for a minute and said, "Yes, Mommy. It's a mad piano." just melted my heart. Maybe my kids will learn to grow up to love and understand classical music after all. Even if their dad's idea of classical music is something by the Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Insert Blog Here

Is there such a thing as a place holder blog entry? Cause, like, I have all these things to say but I have no time to say them! I feel bad after all the sensationalism of Mindiness, Blesbians, and Omgirl worship that my blog has crickets chirping when you click on it now. But I am freaking swamped. However, here are the items I will probably blog about eventually, in case you haven't already deleted my blog from your "must check" list...

1) My soap boutique debut
2) An awesome friend (aren't you all in suspense to find out if it is you?)
3) Hooter Hiders
4) Time Shares
5) Sushi
6) Biggest Loser 3 Finale (ours, not the TV one)

Maybe some other stuff. But if I don't throw away this diaper that is sitting next to me, I'll barf. And then I have to wash the laundry because Miss Pee-Pee is out of Dora panties. Beck threw most of his eggs on the floor this morning while I was trying to do weigh-ins and pictures, and they're now calcifying into stalacmites on the floor. And I have two parties to do this weekend (my home business. Not soap, one of the other 10), so if I don't prep for those now while the kids are sleeping, I'm screwed. So just hang tight. And here is some eye-candy to tide you over until I have time again...which will be July from the looks of it.

My gosh that man is beautiful. I resisted the Clooney bandwagon for about 10 years. But I finally gave in after Oh Brother Where Art Thou and Intolerable Cruelty. I cheated myself out of 10 years of Clooney worship because I have to do my own thing. Don't you hate it when you shoot yourself in your own foot?

Ok, I can smell smoke. I better get off this blog.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

No Longer A Virgin

It's crazy to think that only a couple of months ago I was a blogging virgin. Not only did I not have a blog or write blog entries, but I rarely even visited blogs. Occasionally some friend or other would call me and say "Did you read my blog today?" And I would think, "No, I didn't read your blog today. What do you think I do, sit around all day reading people's blogs? No, I have a life." Well, then I started blogging and now I sit around all day reading people's blogs. I have no life.

But my blog loss of virginity is about to go up a notch (that metaphor doesn't really work, does it?). I'm about to announce my first blog stalking out in the open. It's Mindi. I can't remember my first Mindi post I read. Something Tib pointed to, but I can't remember what. Anyway, I have such a good time reading Mindi's posts because she is funny as hell and her posts are nice, succinct little packages of humor, irritation, pop trivia, or life events, that I've decided to come out in the open and admit that I read the blogs of a person I don't even know.

This probably doesn't seem like a big deal to you more seasoned bloggers. But you're forgetting my #1 self-identity characteristic: I HATE jumping on bandwagons. I hate to do something just because it is popular and everyone else is doing. Especially if it's not something that really appeals to ME. That's why I resisted blogging for so long (and why I still don't scrapbook or read the Twilight books, although I gave the scrapbooking a whirl). But as it turns out, blogging rocks. I love it. It actually IS me. But I held out on the peripheral parts of blogging like subscribing to Goodle reader and blurking to try to preserve some self-respect for a while. Ah, screw it. That self-respect stuff is over-rated. I'm a blogger. I'm a blurker. And now I'm a blalker (blog stalker?).

My whole point to this post was actually so I could post a link to a video on Mindi's blog. But I figured if I was going to give credit, I was going to have to fess up to stalking her blog first. So... the fessing is done, here is the link:

Thanks for entertaining me, Mindi!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Verify THIS!

Am I the only one who is retarded at typing those word verification jumbles they make you do before you can post a comment on some people's blogs? I swear, sometimes they are so distorted I can't even tell what they say. (Is that an n and a j? Or a u and a g with a dot over it? Or a z and some letter I've never seen before?) Or the font is so squiggley that the letters seem to morph into one giant letter. Or sometimes they're just made up of so many letters on the keyboard that I never use that I can't get my fingers to type them right. And then the comment form comes back and says, "Um, you are an idiot. That's not what the letters said at all." (That is a loose translation). And then it gives me a really simple verification word with like 5 letters in a really big, blocky font, as if to say, "Here. Is this better for you, you Moron?" Yeah, I guess it is.

Do The Fonga!

I've been mulling over this post for a while now. I wanted to strain my memory back to my earliest days of listening to music to try to get the best examples.


We've all done it--heard a song, sung along to it at the top of our lungs in the car a million times, and then one day we are riding with someone else in the car when we sing our song (not as loudly this time, of course), and they say to us, "THAT's not the right words!" Our cheeks flush as we realize we've been singing the wrong lyrics for years. Sometimes our missed lyrics are understandable and not that far off from the real thing. Like when I thought the lyrics to Janet Jackson's Nasty said "Prophecy is my middle name, my last name is Control." The lyrics actually say her middle name is Privacy. But Privacy and Prophecy aren't that different. And neither one makes any sense, really. So no biggie. But sometimes your mistakes are more glaring, more ridiculous, and in my case, more made-up. That's when people really start to laugh at you. A few classic examples that come up at every family gathering include:

Alanis Morisette's You Oughta Know where she says "Would she go down on you in a theater?" For some reason when I first heard that song (and I have to at least partially blame my super crappy am/fm car radio) I thought she was saying, "Would she go down on you in a thither?" What is a thither, you may ask? I figured it was a really short period of time. Like, "I'd go down on him in a heartbeat." See, "Would she go down on you in a thither" makes sense now, huh? Oh sure, you can laugh. But really, I'm just more creative than you. My mind made up its own word rather than fill in the blank with something boring and predictable like "theater."

And another one that set my sister laughing so hard she almost peed her pants was Do the Fonga by Gloria Estefan (Do the Conga, supposedly). The Fonga, I thought, was a spicy latin dance I had never heard of or maybe one that was made up, like the Lambada. Far be it for me to assume I know more about Latin dances than Gloria Estefan! And I swear if you listen to it it sounds like she is saying Fonga!

I just barely found out that "I bless the rains down in Africa" (Africa, by Toto) isn't "I miss the waves down in Africa." Don't you think my way makes more sense? They have great surfing in South Africa!

The next two aren't mine. I have to credit my childhood next door neighbor, Kelly Matelski, for these two. Breathe did a song called Hands to Heaven in the 80's where the line says "Tonight you calm my breathlessness" and Kelly thought it said "Tonight you call my brass nuts glass." That has GOT to be the most creative mishearing of all time. And another favorite, Jack Wagner's All I Need has a line that says, "I guess it's true we've all been hurt before." Which she thought said "I guess it's true with all them Hershey bars." Must have been lunch time.

So what are your misheard lyrics? I know there is a whole website devoted to misheard lyrics (, but I want to hear YOURS. Come on, fess up! If you're not too chicken to share, consider yourself invited to play along.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Leader of the Pack

Tank is my next door neighbors' dog. He's a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd or a similar type of sheep herding breed. He's young, barely out of puppyhood. And he is, like all sheep herding dogs, VERY smart and VERY energetic. And for the last 7 months since my neighbors moved in, he's been chained up in the back yard. It's not entirely their fault. They are renting and the landlord won't allow pets inside. And although he agreed to build them a fence when they moved in last fall, he didn't. So they had to keep him chained up. He just completed their fence and now Tank is "free to roam the backyard." But people, dogs are NOT meant to be chained up! And that includes roaming the back yard. Since I watched my first episode of The Dog Whisperer last year, I've come to believe deep in my heart with so much conviction that I'm practically neurotic about it, that dogs need to go for walks. It's in their nature to migrate with the pack. And unless they go for pack walks (with you as the pack leader), they will not be happy. Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) says that a backyard is just a bigger kennel. It doesn't make up for lack of exercise, and it doesn't establish a pack leader. Only walking your dog on a short leash--his head up, looking forward like a wolf pack on the move--gives your dog a sense of happiness and purpose, establishes the social order of his pack (your family), and releases his pent up energy.

Tank is a good dog. A sweet-natured dog. But he has WAY too much pent up energy. He's never been for a walk that I can tell since he moved in. He barks like Kujo at anyone who passes (even though he's not actually agressive). He has worn a path in the grass from one side of the yard to the other as he has run the length of his chain back and forth. He jumps on people he knows instead of sniffing or wagging his tail like a good dog. All of these are signs of pent up energy and lack of a pack leader. I wish like anything that I could take Tank for walks. He could be such a happy dog if he could get out some of that pent-up energy!

Well, my point to all of this is: If you have a dog, please, please, PLEASE take your dog for a walk. Every day. Be a responsible dog owner. Don't assume that being in the backyard by himself is enough exercise for your dog. Even little dogs, so-called "indoor" dogs or "lap dogs" need to walk with the pack leader. You know those yappy, snippy little dogs? The ones likely to bite your hand off if you go near them? Pent up energy. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, just watch one episode of The Dog Whisperer. When Cesar cures the most viscious, destructive, hyper, naughty, posessive, obsessive, and yappy dogs in several hours just by establishing a pack leader and taking the dogs for walks, you'll be convinced. And you will give your dog the best gift you could ever give him: letting him be the dog he was meant to be, not just a 4-legged additional child in your family.

What Makes Me Happy

You know me, I'm always game for anything that asks me trivia about myself and then requires my friends to share trivia about themselves. It's so fun to get to know more about them. Sometimes you find out surprising and interesting things you didn't know (even about yourself!) So I will play along with Tib's post.

20 Things That Make Me Happy
1. Doing surveys
2. An ice cold Coke
3. Finishing books or movies with satisfying endings
4. When Daphne spontaneously shows me affection
5. Folding laundry into nice, orderly piles
6. A purring cat
7. Trees
8. A new purse with lots of pockets and compartments
9. Driving really fast
10. Pastries
11. Crisp cotton sheets and pillow cases on a comfy bed
12. Holding hands with Big Daddy
13. Sleeping, especially a good deep nap
14. Talking to my sister
15. Watching something I planted grow
16. Being warm
17. Seeing the inside of houses
18. A clean kitchen
19. Deep conversations with friends
20. Unexpected presents, notes, or compliments from my husband

What makes you happy?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wii Will Rock You

On Monday night Kelly and I went to our friends', the Mortimers, house to watch a Jazz game. Ya, right. Me? Watch a Jazz game? Personally I'd rather shoot myself in the eye than watch basketball, particularly on TV. Kelly might not pull out the gun if basketball was on, but he's never watched a game since I've known him. So you can imagine my relief when someone broke out "Rock Band," a super fun game for XBox. It had four instrument choices: drums, guitar, bass guitar, and microphone (lead singer). Each person chose an instrument and we rocked out to such bands as The Clash, David Bowie, Soundgarten, Weezer and Bon Jovi. OK, not my favorite genre, but I did OK on most of the 80's ones. Kelly, of course, was loving the band selections. I think they reminded him of his glory days in Jr.High. They reminded me of his mullet in Jr. High, eek. Anyway, it was super fun. It took some serious getting used to to figure out how to work all the instruments. I liked the drum best. Guitar and bass guitar were fun. Singing was hard. I didn't know very many of the songs well enough to sing to them. (It bases your score on whether your voice is going up or down appropriately and if you're holding the notes for the right amount of time). I definitely need more practice. It would be awesome if I could upload my own music to it.

The only downside to this game is that it is not yet available for the Wii yet. But it will be out on June 22 for according to all reports. Yeah!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don't Pee-pee on Dora!

Well, potty training is not going as well as I had hoped. I'm looking for some potty-training advice.

Daphne has gotten pretty good at going to the potty in the toilet--as long as I remind her. I started taking her every 20 minutes. That went fine. So I stretched it to every hour. That went fine. Now I can go a couple of hours and she doesn't have an accident. But if I push it, or try to test if she's going to go on her own, she'll come running to me: "Mommy! Pee-pees!" But it's always too late. She doesn't tell me until AFTER she has wet her pants. Everything else is good--she likes the potty, enjoys going, is very proud of her excrement, gives high fives, loves her panties, and rarely puts up a fuss about going to the bathroom. She even had a perfectly dry diaper 2 nights in a row. But I just can't get her to go pee-pee in the toilet of her own accord. Only if I prompt her. Otherwise, it's an accident. I've tried telling her, "Don't pee pee on Dora" (who is on her panties), but that doesn't work. I try giving her treats when she goes in the toilet to reinforce the good behavior. I don't get mad when she makes mistakes, just keep telling her to pee pee in the toilet. I even rehearse with her what she should say and do if she feels the pee pees coming. But she never alerts me until it's too late.

Any advice? Is there some way to help make the connection? Or do I just have to wait it out and some day magically she will just know she has to go before it's too late?

Service Without a Smile

Can I just bitch for a second? What is it with these days and customer service? Or a lack thereof? Why is it you can't get anyone who is serving you in a store to actually talk to you, say "How are you today?" "How can I help you?" or even "Thank you?" They are fine to talk to EACH OTHER while they should be giving you customer service, but not to actually talk to you, the customer. Has it gotten worse lately, or am I just getting old and crotchety enough to notice?

I'll give you an example. I was exchanging something at Wal-Mart today and this was how it went down:
Me: Hi, I need to exchange this lipstick.
Lady: _______________________
A few second later, Me: Here is the reciept.
Lady: ________________________
30 seconds later, Me: They stopped making my favorite color so I'm trying to find a replacement shade.
Lady: Oh, I see you're drinking a small Mt.Dew today!
(No, she was not talking to me. She was talking to another employee who was sitting on a bench in the customer service area, taking her lunch break.)
Lady (to me this time): Is there anything wrong with it?
Me: No, just not the right color.
Lady: _________________________
30-45 seconds later, Lady: The difference is 36 cents.
I start looking for some change as the lady carries on a converation with other employee over my shoulder.
I hold out the money.
She takes it.
She holds out my bag.
I take it.
I wait for any comment from this lady.
I look right at her waiting for a "here you go" or "thank you, come again."

I ALMOST said, "Jolene, no offense but you seriously need to work on your customer service skills. Try talking to your CUSTOMER instead of the other employee." But I didn't. There was a line of about 8 people behind me and I'm sure they wouldn't have appreciated me dilly-dallying. But I was so ticked. Not a single word of friendly banter. And she wasn't 17 either. She was in her late 40's--she should have known better. I know what you're thinking, it was Wal-mart, what do I expect from the dregs of society. But that was only typical of the service you get just about anywhere these days. Employees can't be bothered to actually smile, say please or thank you, or actually make small-talk with their customers. But they have NO problem chit chatting with each other while they "help" you. They can talk to the person behind or in front of them in the next check stand like you're not even there, but heaven help them if they have to stop long enough to say "here you go" when they hand you your reciept. I even had a guy at Costco a few weeks ago complaining, right there in front of me, to another employee about how crazy the last customer had been. He went on and on about how the guy wanted to check out without his membership card and how that was so not the way Costco works, etc. I'm sorry, but that is SO tacky to talk badly about a customer IN FRONT OF the next customer. TAKE IT TO THE BREAK ROOM, PEOPLE! Again, I just about found the manager to say, You need to teach your employees how to talk to their current customers, not each other. And especially if they have something bad to say, they need to deal with it privately, not in front of all the other customers. But again, I didn't. Should I have? Do we need to collectively stand up to these terrible employees? Or is it just me? Is anyone else bugged by the disintigration of customer service lately?

Kiss Off

A few years ago I discovered the most fantastic lipstick. It's called CoverGirl Outlast. (Max Factor also makes it, called Lipfinity.) For years I had been trying to find a more long-lasting lipstick solution. None of them stayed on like you hoped they would, even the so-called long-lasting ones. They came off nearly as fast as standard lipsticks. I was so disgusted with lipsticks that I just about quit wearing them. So it was with skepticism that I tried the Outlast after a glowing endorcement by Brandi of all people. But much to my surprise, CoverGirl Outlast actually worked! It stayed on all day long. I have been a huge fan ever since. It does take a little getting used to the first few times you use Outlast; It's two parts--the lip color and the gloss. When you first put the color on with the little stick applicator, it feels like paint drying on your lips. Your lips get tight and dry, and you start thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?" But then you put on the gloss, and it becomes soft, supple, and moist again. And it doesn't come off when you kiss, eat, drink, or touch it. It's amazing! (The only thing I have found that lessens its staying power at all is eating greasy food.) You can get it in just about any color**. Some are slightly sparkley, some not. And they just redesigned it so that the gloss is strawberry flavored. Covergirl also has a line called Smoothwear, which is the same thing but is supposed to be more moisturizing? I can't for the life of me tell the difference. It's just more colors to choose from as far as I'm concerned. Only it doesn't come with the strawberry lipgloss, just plain.

One more thing you MUST know about this lipstick: Since it doesn't come off on your clothes or husband, it doesn't come off with soap and water either. You have to buy the CG lipstick remover. But it's definitely worth the $3 remover to have all day long lipstick that looks perfect for at least 8 hours, sometimes up to 15 hours depending on the color.

I know not all of you wear lipstick. A lot of women sort of go with the au naturale look these days, I think. But I will always be a fan. My lips are nearly invisible without lipstickso this is the one make-up item I NEVER leave home without. Even if I'm just going to the gym. I look WORLDS better with lipstick. And because I suspect that at least one person who will read this post has stopped wearing lipstick because they hate having to reapply it, because they hate how it comes off on their man, their clothes, their napkin, etc., and because they just can't trust how their lipstick will look in a couple of hours. Well, I am letting you all know...IT'S TIME TO GO BACK TO LIPSTICK!!! Your days of looking like a super-model (or at least your lips) have returned! You're welcome.

**The color chart on the CG website is NOT accurate. Check the store display for the most accurate color. Also, the color on the box isn't accurate. Either look at the lipstick itself, of the color swatch below the lipstick on the shelf.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Big Day

It was a big day for us at the Thompson house yesterday. First, we started potty training Daphne in earnest. She got her first pair of big girl panties (Elmo, Dora, and Little Mermaid ones. Although I'm generally strongly against clothing, bedding, etc. with commercial characters on it, I'm fine with bribing Daphne a little bit by buying her "exciting" panties). She had already been going potty in the "Daphne potty" for about a week or so. She was very good at it, enjoyed it, and hadn't pooped in her diaper at all since we started, so I figured she was ready to try panties. So far so good. She has had two accidents (pee pee) in her panties since yesterday, and to be fair, both times were when I neglected to take her to the toilet often enough. But she noticed immediately and yelled, "Mommy! Peepees!" So I think she'll make the connection soon. We're very proud of her.

(I like this picture best because not only does it show off her new panties, she's also doing The Robot pretty well.)

Secondly, Beck took his first steps. He has been extremely lazy and unmotivated about walking. He CAN walk (at least I think so judging by how well he balances and moves when I only hold one of his hands). But he has no interest. You can coax him forward with all kinds of treats, his binky, a drink, etc., but he will not walk. He'll walk just fine while you hold one or two hands, but the second you let go, he acts as though his feet were stuck in cement. But yesterday Kelly and I practiced with him quite a bit and managed to eek 3 measly steps out of him. Hey, we'll take it. I still think he's weeks from actually walking, but it's a start.

So the kids are growing up. It's amazing. It blows my mind that I have this little girl who talks to me all the time, tells me her thoughts, (lately her favorite expression is "I'm so mad!"), and plays independently. And my little baby boy is starting to talk, know his body parts, imitate more animal sounds, read books, and is less and less a baby (although he is suddenly VERY attached to his binky). Now if I could just get these kids to sleep in until 10am, I'd say life was perfect!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Who Made Up This Name???

5 Things Meme

First, the rules

1. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
2. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment letting them know they've been tagged and to ask them to play along and to read your blog.

What I was doing ten years ago...

1 I can't even remember that long ago. 1998... Obviously I was footloose and fancy free because I had no kids. Does that count as something I was doing?
2 Working on my second degree, which ended up becoming a minor because I got sick of school
3 Waiting tables at Magleby's, where I met (but barely knew then) my husband
4 Dating a total loser. "The Mandible" as Kelly called him.
5 Driving a 2 door, stick shift, Nissan Sentra with power nothing and the passenger side door would only unlock from the inside.

Five things on my to-do list today...

1 I don't really like lists. But I have somewhere in the back of my mind to fold the laundry
2 Plan a real meal instead of calling Kelly at 5:30 and telling him he better pick up dinner on the way home. Wait, it's 4:15. Might be too late. (I'm secretly glad)
3 Pick up the trash can out by the street, one of my least favorite jobs
4 Avoid eating anything fattening--I have weigh in tomorrow
5 Call my sister to wish her happy birthday

Five snacks I enjoy...

1 This may sound weird, but I'm not a huge snacker. Don't like candy. Don't like chips and salty snacks. I pretty much just like baked goods, usually at the end of a meal. so I'll change this list to my favorite baked goods: brownies
2 tortes (like the kind you get at European bakeries with at least 3 or 4 varieties of layers
3 creme brulee
4 Molten chocolate cake
5 This one isn't a baked good. I thought of an actual snack I like: cheese. Plates full of different kinds of exotic cheeses. Mmmmm.... And exotic olives.

Five things I would do if I was a billionaire...

1 Have a live-in nanny. I still want to raise my kids myself, but I want a nanny on stand-by in case I need a break or want to run an errand sans kids.
2 Travel the world IN STYLE. I've seen a lot of the world, but always on a serious budget. I'd like to do it right--nice hotels, amazing restaurants, first class tickets, never carrying my own bags.
3 Lessons. I've always always felt that if I had a lot of money, I'd want to take all kinds of lessons. Of course, I'd need the nanny in order to find the time. But then I'd take harp, cello, piano, ballet, ballroom, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, Arabic, and more Spanish and French, baking, cooking, gardening, yoga, pilates, oil painting, swimming, and car mechanics lessons.
4 I'd hire a professional to do a really amazing landscaping job on my backyard. (Said backyard would be behind a super amazing house on a big lot, by the way. That all counts as one entry)
5 I'd have fun giving money away to people who need it. I hate how you hear of someone in need and you think, "If I had the money, I'd totally help them ______." so I'd try to hear about those people in need and mysteriously make their problems disappear.

Five of my bad habits....

1 I pick. I pick my skin. I hate to feel any rough spots--on my face, my cuticles, my nails, my scalp. I'm always smoothing and picking. If I have any OCD in me, that's where it has snuck out.
2 Correcting people's grammar and spelling. Ironically, I'm not a good speller myself. And especially online, I'm not overly particular about fixing my typing errors. But I'm super anal about correct grammar and spelling and it drives me nuts when people are ignorant about basic grammar and punctuation.
3 Getting on the internet before I do anything I'm supposed to be doing
4 Driving fast and being impatient with people who drive like idiots
5 Talking when I should be listening.

Five places I have lived....

1 Southfield, Mi (lived there for 17 years)
2 San Diego, CA
3 Suva, Fiji
4 Ulm, Germany
5 Ettimedai, India

Five jobs I've had....

1 My only interesting job was as a counselor in a home for troubled girls. Fun stories to tell about that.
2 My first job was at Nuts Over Yogurt, a frozen yogurt parlor. I ate a LOT of samples and burnt my fingers making waffle cones.
3 The Gap. My only job at a big corporation. But I got a 50% discount. Totally worth it.
4 Cheesecake seller. The best job I ever had was working for Kathy's Cheesecakes at the mall my senior year. No one ever bought cheesecakes. I just sat there and ate cheesecake samples, listened to the radio, drank my 64 ounce Mountain Dew, and chatted with friends who came to the mall. No supervisor. Just me and the cheesecake.
5 Middle and high school English teacher. Six years of correcting papers should explain why I'm so anal about grammar and punctuation, right?

Tag! Your it!! (How many of you caught that grammar error? Just seeing if you've paid any attention.)

1 Jennie - Beehive and Birdsnest. My sister who, even though we never got along growing up, and even though we are still have as much in common as night and day, is one of my absolute BFFs.
2 Tiburon - Shark Bait. If you've read my blog, you know she's the bomb.
3 Chelsea - A Growing Season. because she is one of the best about doing these sorts of things. I know she'll do a good job!
4. Kim - Farnies. I'm going out on a limb here with you, Kim. You're not usually one to return my personal surveys. But I think you'll have fun, so try it!
5. Kati - Joe Buck and Kati. As faithful a blog checker as there is. And cool, so I know her answers will be fun to read.


(And in case you are wondering like I was...A meme (pronounced /miːm or mɛm/) consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods and terms such as race, culture, and ethnicity. Memes propagate themselves and can move through a "culture" in a manner similar to the behavior of a virus. Thanks Wikipedia.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Celebrity Look-Alikes Are...

Or with this picture I got...

Either Portia deRossi or Liv Tyler are fine with me!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Goddess Tiburon

(Look closely at the face.)

Notice anything different about my blog? Ya, it got another makeover. The last look was super cute. But I realized it wasn't really ME. So I talked my genius friend Tiburon into letting her creative juices flow all over my blog again. (That sounds like something dirty, doesn't it?) And this is the result....SO FANTASTIC, huh? And very me. She also put up with me making her revise the header about 20 times. Isn't she wonderful? (In your comments, be sure to tell her how wonderful she is in case I ever decide to change my blog again. Don't pass out, Tib. I'll wait a while first.) Thanks for the new blog, Girl. You're the best.

Restroom Rant

Who the heck gave men permission and materials to build women's restrooms??? They have no clue what they are doing! I can't even tell you how many pulbic restrooms I've been in where it was like a 6 year old designed them and a 5 year old put them together. Here are a few of my gripes:

1) The most obvious is doors that won't stay shut or locked. First you have to build the pieces so they are parallel to each other. If you put the sides up at an angle that leans in towards each other, the door won't close. Hmmm. Tough one, I know. And it doesn't seem like it would be that hard to design a bathroom door lock that would hold the door closed and also last longer than a month. But it seems like 50%+ of bathroom doors are either missing a lock, have a lock that doesn't work, or worst, has a lock that works but doesn't line up with the other half of the lock! Who put that one together? Daffy Duck?

2) I hate it when there is nowhere to hang or set your purse. We are WOMEN. Women=purses. So there has to be a hook, shelf, or something for your purse. Otherwise you have to pee with it on your lap because you are sure as heck not setting your purse down on that filthy floor.

3) I hate it when you open the door to the stall, and the toilet paper dispenser is right there inside the door. So as you try to squeeze your way in between the toilet and the wall so you can get the door shut behind you, you bash your thigh against the toilet paper dispenser. RETARDED. Freaking put the dispenser on the opposite side of the stall where it is out of the way!

4) I also hate it when the dispenser is put in a stupid spot. The most common stupid spot is when it is approximately 6 inches off the ground. So then when you unwind the roll to get the toilet paper off, it trails all over that disgustingly dirty floor. You could try to hold the end of it with one hand as you unwound it with the other hand, but you can't because your free hand is being used trying to keep the purse on your lap from falling in the toilet. Other stupid spots include behind you where you have to be a contortionist to reach it and not fall off the toilet, and too far in front of you to reach without being Elastigirl.

5) It bugs me when someone has put a sign up that says "Please deposit your sanitary napkins in the recepticle." Who has ever in their whole life called them "sanitary napkins?" Just say "pads" since that's what they are.

6) Now lets move on to the sink area. My biggest pet peeve here is when there is no paper towel dispenser. Hand dryers are loud, slow, and ineffective. And it would be extra nice if the paper towel dispenser would dispense more than a 3 inch strip at a time.

7) I don't understand how so many people can be so messy at the sink. Ever tried to set your purse down next to the sink? Not possible. There is a huge lake next to each sink. Are people sponge bathing in these sinks? What's up with that amount of water next to each one?

8) It makes me roll my eyes when the sink's water is turned on by an automatic hand sensor, but then you have to put your dirty hands on the dirty soap dispenser to get the soap out. That makes sense.

9) Lastly, it irritates me when the papertowels are only on the ends of the sink row where only the people washing their hands in those two end spots can get to the paper towels. The rest of us have to stand there behind them with dripping hands, patiently waiting for them to finish while not trying to seem like we're rushing them.

You wouldn't think, after people have been using public bathrooms since public everthing has existed, that it would be so hard to create a bathroom that makes sense. But evidently, all the men in the bathroom building profession have never actually used one before, nor do they know any women who have ever used one. They're a bunch of single guys, sitting around, who suddenly say to themselves one day, "I'm good with Lincoln Logs; I think I'll go build a bathroom!"

What are your restroom pet peeves?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Three Word Answers

Got tagged on Tib's blog and I've got time to kill...

What I am doing: Multi-tasking TV computer
What I’m proud of today: Taking a shower
What I’m thinking about: Drinking a Coke
Who is home: Me, Kelly, Kids
Plans tonight: Lots of sleep
My weekend was: brief wellness respite
What’s for dinner: Kentucky Fried Chicken
Feelings about love: Makes everything better
Feelings about life: An Amazing ride
What I need: Time to recooperate
What I want: To get better
What I have: In flew Enza
My pet peeve: apostraphizing plural nouns
My guilty pleasure: Brittney Spears Music
What you don’t know about me: I fear oceans
What I can hear: Daphne still awake
What I can smell: Nothing-- stuffy nose
My style: Eclectic, unique, youthful
My hairdo: wavy or straight
My outfit: Currently wearing jammies
My mood: Drug induced mellowness
The weather today: freaking snowy cold
Thoughts on parenting: Today affects tomorrow
Thoughts on marriage: better than dating!
Thoughts on politics: don't know enough
Thoughts on celebrity gossip: Couldn't care less
Thoughts on beauty: It's very subjective
Thoughts on sleep: Not morning person
Thoughts on writing: I love it
My favorite appliance: Dishwasher, microwave, washer
My favorite car: old VW Passat
My favorite splurge: getting legs lasered
My favorite beauty secret: Chi hair straightener
My favorite treat: warm baked goods
My favorite everyday pleasure: My online friends
Ten years ago: STILL in college
Five years ago: Preparing for Europe
One year ago: Loving new baby
One year from now: Maybe considering baby
Five years from now: Done having babies
Ten years from now: older than crap
I’m famous for: Traveling the world
I’ll never be famous for: My math skills
Who I am: Optimistic, loving, fun
Who I hope to be: stronger, richer, patient-er
What I’m thankful for: medicine, showers, pillows

April Showers?

This is what I woke up to today...

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

What ever happened to April showers? "April blizzards" wasn't as catchy?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Sick In the Morning...

My mom used to say this to us as kids when we thought we wanted to stay home sick from school:

Sick in the morning,
Sick all day.
Too sick for work is
Too sick for play.

In other words, if we stayed home from school, we had to stay in bed all day. No getting up and doing other stuff. Food only in bed. No interaction with other human beings. Just laying around in bed all day.

Sounds perfect right now. Can someone please enforce this rule on me?

I have the flu. Not the pukey kind; the achy, miserable, it-feels-like-I-slept-on-a-bed-of-sharp-rocks-last-night kind. The kind where the back of my eyes hurt, my teeth hurt, my skin all over feels like hot irons are being applied to it, and it feels like I've been punched in both kidneys. Hard. UGH. And to make matters worse--or at least uglier--I have some sort of an infection in my left eye that has made my under-eye all puffy on that on side. Like Yzma on The Emperor's New Groove.

So to cheer myself up, I'm going to check all your blogs for wedding dress pictures. They are there, right? You wouldn't want to let a girl on her deathbed down.

3 Days Too Late

Today is April 4th right? Oh well.

Did anyone see this article on Snoop Dog has joined the Church!

Snoop's Conversion Story

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Here Comes the Bride

Well, I'm not really one for starting chain letters, or the blog equivalents (tagging or getting everyone to do the same blog theme as you). But I wanted to do one today. It's because I was at my friend Cara's house the other day and noticed her wedding picture on the mantle as we were eating lunch. I meant to go over and take a closer look after lunch, but of course my kids distracted me. so it was only later in the day that I realized that I never got to get a close up look. And as I was thinking about it, I realized that I totally love wedding dresses. I'm sure most girls do--it's the one time in your life you can spend a ridiculous amount of money on your clothing, dress up like a princess in the most gorgeous gown ever, and prance around looking beautiful while everyone admires you. I consider it a crime against humanity that most women only get to do this one time in their lives (unless they get invited to red carpet events in Hollywood regularly). I will probably have to own or work in a wedding dress store later in life to continue living out my wedding dress fantasy through my customers. But in the meantime, I want to start a blog chain asking all of you to post pictures of you in your wedding dress. I would love to see what your wedding dresses looked like. Why did you choose that dress? That veil? That bouquet? Was your hair worn like you usually wear it or done special for the occasion? Did you like how you looked? Was it fun to dress up or did it put you out of your comfort zone? Tell me all about you and your wedding ensemble!

Here is mine:

I bought it on ebay, believe it or not. I had been searching for a Maggie Sotero gown that I could afford. I found a couple of styles that I really liked of hers, but they were all out of my budget. I mostly liked her dresses because of the corset style. The old-fashioned romantic in me really dug the tied corset top. Plus it was flattering on me. So after looking online for any Maggie Sotero dresses I could afford, without any luck, I found a bridal shop on ebay going out of business that sold Maggie Sotero look-alikes. I got my gown for $325, brand new. And it arrived in plenty of time and exactly as described. I guess I lucked out because the FBI contacted me a few months later when they were doing a fraud investigation against that bridal company (who apparently didn't send all the dresses that were purchased). Anyway, my dress fit perfectly. It was off-white Duchess satin ("candle light" was the exact color.) It had the corset top, the draping in the front that reminded me of the 1890's saloon dresses, and it was covered in crystals and pearls on the bodice. A rope of crystals and pearls lined the neckline and arm holes. It had a "chapel length" train with little bits of crystals and pearls embroidered down the sides and on the bottom. And since we got married civally, I was able to do a sleeveless dress. It seems weird to me now, but totally normal to me then. I LOVED my dress.

My shoes, however, were evil instruments of torture. Way too high and with no padding to speak of. I bought them 2 hours before the ceremony, as well as my jewelry. (I didn't do very well at preparing ahead of time. I guess that's what happens when you get married late and all of your bridesmaid friends are married and moved away.) Anyway, I only wore my shoes to walk up and down the aisle and ditched them the rest of the night.

My veil was made by my mom. I wanted something medium length with a plain edge and a front layer to wear down the aisle. I couldnt' believe how expensive veils were at the bridal shops, so my mom sewed mine. I bought my headpiece at the fabric store (they sell great headpieces there) and it matched the crystals and pearls on my dress perfectly. Unfortunately, I forgot to wear the front section of the veil down as I walked down the aisle. What a shame! If I'd done a rehearsal like I meant to, I would have practiced and not forgotten that. bridesmaids to set me straight.

My hair? I did the stupidest move a bride can do--I tried something new and different on my wedding day without trying it out ahead of time. STUPID. It's a classic nervous-bride blunder, the kind that your bridesmaids usually protect you from. But I didn't have any. So I put my hair up and curled it and then curled these little hangy pieces around my face. My mom pressured me into the hangy pieces. And I caved. But I hated them then and still hate them when I look at my wedding pictures. They're just not me. Stupid move. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The only other thing to note about my dress--or at least my picture of it--is that I forgot to get bridal pictures done. Another problem with not having any bridesmaids to tell you what's what. I guess it was the theme from my wedding: "All the stupid mistakes you can make that will ruin your wedding if you don't have bridesmaids to tell you what to do." At least my own daughter(s) will be spared these mistakes because of my own hard lessons learned. Anyway, once I realized that I had no picture of me in my dress, I decided to wait until June (my wedding was in February) when the weather was nice and did my bridals outdoors by a stream. So much better than the frigid winter shots I would have had to do! But kind of fakes. I also removed the top part of the veil since I didn't like the way it looked and had never used it anyway. And I did my hair the way I usually wore it. All in all, it was a MUCH improved picture--what I should have looked like on my wedding day.

My bouquet was red, yellow and pink. Gerbera daisies, roses, and some other stuff I can't remember. They were tightly pressed together to form a sort of ball, stems cut short. Nothing hanging off. The colors were bolder than I had planned when I met with the florist, but it probably suits my personality better that way.

So what's your wedding dress story?

Ultimate Cubicle Prank

In honor of April Fools Day (yesterday, I know), and despite the fact that it got bumped off the news because of the breaking news story, I'm going to post a link to my friend Cara's husband Brandon's awesome cubicle prank...