Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

St George picture overload

This is the first installment in my posting of the St George pictures. We travelled down there last weekend for a cycling festival. But Blogger is being stupid and won't let me load anymore pictures :( So, I guess this is a teaser. It may be hard to believe that there are more pictures to come. What can I say? I love my camera!
The kids decorated a poster for their dads so they could cheer them on at the finish line.
G was very worried that the wind was blowing down the balloon arch at the finish line. She and her cousins spent an hour trying to make the balloons stand up against gale-force winds. It was a losing battle, but so fun to watch the kids try and solve a problem.

I told Bryn to smile. What a goof!
Daddy gets a congratulatory hug from Bryn. He finished his ride through the canyon in just over 4 hours. He survived 1000s of feet of elevation gain (and loss) and winds measured at 60 miles per hour.
Goofing off in the grass.
G and Daddy waiting for Uncle Matt to come in.
Uncle Matt finished about 3 hours later. He did the century ride (100 miles). This picture shows him trying to cross the finish line, but it was so windy that the balloons wouldn't stand up. I also like the cheesy grandma papparazzi trying to take his picture. hahaha
Real men wear spandex.
As you can probably tell, we had a blast. But I'm ready for another vacation. A real vacation where we actually have time to relax and stuff. And mommy gets to shop. I didn't hit one store the whole weekend.

Monday, April 28, 2008

This post has been brought to you by the word crotch

Things that I will be posting about soon:

Our amazingly fun trip to St George
The latest chapter in the daycare saga
The Salt Lake City marathon
Gracelin’s birthday this week

What I am going to be posting about today:

The word “crotch”

Ok – I’m only (sort of) kidding about that one. I just got a laugh out of some of the comments posted about my last blog regarding my use of the word “crotch”. Apparently one of my readers (who shall remain nameless) just loves that word, but her husband hates it. And it got me thinking about my own husband and his hatred of a few words: blouse, panties, and moist. I’m constantly trying to come up with sentences using those 3 words just to annoy him. Now I’m thinking that, just for kicks, I should start throwing the word crotch into the mix. I wonder if he hates that word too? The combinations of things I could say using all 4 words are mind-boggling. . .

I love to say big, fancy words that most people have no idea what they mean. Would you believe I correctly used the word curmudgeon in the proper context just last week without missing a beat? I also love to say things that shock people just a little bit. Nothing offensive or rude, but something that makes people stop and give me a second look. Like the word penis for example. I love to say penis.

I also have a few words that I hate:

Zit – ewww – I cringe even typing that word. I’ve had blemishes and pimples, but never zits. UGH. What a horrible word.

Rag (depending on the context) – my husband calls every washing utensil a “rag”, which drives me batty. Please don’t call my wash cloth (something I will be using on my face and other “intimate areas”) a rag. Rags are dirty.

Fart – maybe this one has derived from my mother, who also hates this word, and insisted we call them “rudy-toot-toots” as a child (I am so not kidding). I’m fine with toot, quiff, break wind, barking spider, pass gass, and even cut the cheese. But please don’t fart in my presence.

I’m sure there are other words that make me cringe – someone as anal-retentive as me must have other things that drive me crazy. But my sleep-deprived mind is lacking the ability to think right now. So, what about you? What words do you love/hate?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

10 reasons why I should be in a bad mood . . .

. . . but suprisingly I'm not:

1. Its snowing outside, and I'm in flipflops.

2. For the past couple of months I've had a naggy feeling about my kids daycare that something just isn't right. But I've ignored it. Today I found out that my daycare is operating on a conditional permit because of health department and other violations, and I've decided it's my kids' last day there. I'm headed out to check out daycares that have openings starting Monday.

3. Tomorrow is the final weigh-in for the Biggest Loser 3. And (suprisingly enough) I'm not the biggest loser (but I feel like a big loser).

4. I've got 14.5 loads of clean laundry on my bed waiting to be put away when I get home. And my house is a cluttery mess.

5. My daughter's birthday is next week, and I haven't begun to plan her party.

6. Work is kicking my butt

7. I'm operating on 5 hours of sleep

8. I've been puked on 3 times in the past week

9. I have a headache

10. I just spilled a can of diet soda all over my keyboard and into my crotch.

But for some reason there's a smile on my face. I'm sitting here with a (fresh) diet soda in my hand, and tomorrow morning we leave for some fun-in-the-sun in St George at the Cactus Hugger Festival.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not an Idol post

I was planning to come on today to post about American Idol last night. Is it just me, or was last night really boring? I didn’t love anyone’s performance, and I’m sad to say that I think Brooke is going home. Even my boy David C didn’t “wow” me like usual, and it seemed like his cranium was way more massive than normal. Did you see him standing next to Ryan? He looked like an orange on a toothpick (name that reference for bonus points).

So, instead of posting about a boring week of AI, I find myself thinking about other things - namely my oldest child. I know that I don’t post about her much. It isn’t that I don’t love her, because I do. She’s an amazing child. Sometimes I forget she’s only 3 (almost 4) years old, because she seems so much wiser than her years. I guess that is why I don’t post about her much. Well-behaved children don’t make interesting blogging fodder.

But yesterday she did something naughty. When I picked her up at daycare, I noticed she was wearing a fairly nice watch. It was a silver butterfly watch with a pink band – very cute. I asked her where she got the watch, and I even asked her teacher, but no one seemed to know. I didn’t get a straight answer until we were in the car. It was then that G told me her teacher gave her the watch for being good. I was still suspicious, but I left it there. It wasn’t until dinner that I learned the truth – because her 2 year-old sister ratted her out. Just as I had suspected, G had stolen the watch from another child at daycare.

I actually didn’t get mad at her (which amazed me, since I tend to over-react). I calmly told her that I was very disappointed and that as a punishment she would be going to bed with no stories. She would have to return the watch the next day, and to say that she is sorry.

She was very sad and remorseful, and I think she understood that she did something wrong. It still didn’t keep her from trying to manipulate me into reading her a story. She kept coming into Bryn’s room while I was reading to her. Each time I would put the book down and ask her to leave. G was so sad. Finally her sister was in bed, so I went into G’s room. Instead of story time, I turned off the light. She was so sad – she LOVES story time. She kept making comments to me like:

Mommy – do you want me to be sad, or do you want me to be happy? If you want me to be happy, then I need my story. It’s not fair that I can’t have my story.

I simply responded to her that the poor little girl with the missing watch is probably at home right now crying, and is it not fair that you made her sad. I also tried to explain to her that she is being punished, and that usually makes people sad. I told her that I do love her, and want her to be happy, but she also needs to learn not to take other’s property.

Sometimes being a parent is so difficult. I want to teach her what is right, and I worry that she just isn’t getting it. I’m sure it’s only going to get worse too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Its not easy being green

I attended a planning conference last month that focused on sustainable development, so its been on my mind lately. I've always felt like I tried to be environmentally conscious (whatever that means), but since then, I've been making a concerted effort to reduce my carbon footprint. So, in honor of Earth Day today (happy earth day everyone - does that mean I get to eat organic cake or something??) I've decided to jot down my thoughts on being "green". Please forgive me if this seems too politically driven, etc. I try to steer clear of political, religious, racial, etc type of topics, so I am sorry if this comes across as "preachy". But I do think that there are lot of practices that everyone could live that would make a significant impact (interestingly, most of them are more healthy for us as well). Anyway, here are my convoluted thoughts:

1. I read about hypermiling on the Doctor Mama's website a few months ago. In a nutshell, its a way you can drive and get better gas mileage (check the link if you're interested). Since I commute long distances in a horrible gas-guzzling SUV (that I feel I need because of winter driving conditions), I decided to give hypermiling a try. My car has a really handy computer that actually keeps track of my gas mileage for me, so its pretty simple. Prior to my experiment I was averaging 19.7 mpg, which isn't bad for an SUV. But not good either. Now I average 22.4 mpg - almost 3 miles per gallon improvement - which doesn't sound like much until you figure my car has a 20 gallon tank. So that is 60 extra miles that I drive per tank. I think that is significant. (on a side note, Ben drove my car all weekend and only averaged 19.0 mpg - lead foot!) I really wish I could commute to work on my bike. I used to quite often before I had kids and lived closer to work, and I'd like to again someday. At least a couple of times per week.

2. Has anyone noticed those handy reusable bags at the grocery store and ever wondered if they really make a difference? I suppose that maybe they make a small dent, but overall I think there are bigger issues at the grocery store. Have you ever noticed how much "stuff" comes with the food you buy? Extra packaging and crap that just gets thrown in the trash? Well I have, and it really bothers me. Often it seems that the weight of the packaging exceeds the weight of the actual product. Its the main reason that I refuse to buy toilet paper at Costco. And have you ever thought about what it took to produce that food and to bring it to the store? I actually do pay attention to the packaging my food comes in, and I will refuse to buy something because of ridiculous packaging. I also try to shop local when I can. I get most of my dairy and produce from a local dairy delivery that is organic and local-owned/locally grown. Besides being way tastier and healthier for my family, I'd like to think I'm helping.

3. While I'm on the topic of food, has anyone else heard that beef is the SUV of meat? Well, its true. I don't remember the exact statistic about how many pounds of grain it takes to produce one pound of beef (I think its 10 to 1) - but regardless, its absurd. I don't even really like meat that much anyway and rarely cook it. So, I've decided that I'm only going to eat it twice a week. My family doesn't miss it much. Other than chicken nuggets and Cafe Rio pork, my kids won't eat meat anyway.

4. I recycle. I'm not sure it really does much in the grand scheme of things, but it makes me feel better about myself.

5. All my bills are paperless (I pay online)

6. I turn off the TV and the lights when no one is in the room. I don't leave my computer on at home all of the time. I turn the water off when I brush my teeth. Just little things.

I don't know that I'm an enviro-nazi or anything, but I love the earth. I love nature. And I like having fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink. Even if what I do doesn't make that big of a difference, at least I feel better about myself.

So, what about everyone else? What are you doing to make less of an impact on the earth? Or do you even care (its ok if you don't, but I'd still love to hear about it)?

Monday, April 21, 2008

I will return shortly to my regular blogging

Thanks Carrie for checking on me. I guess I've been notibly absent from the blog-o-sphere this week. Life has been crazy again (still) for me both at work and at home. I've barely had time to blog stalk, let alone blog myself. My sister and her husband have sold their house, and they're moving into my basement to live while their new house is completed - a basement that isn't quite finished. We've been frantically trying to finish a room for them to sleep in, all while trying to move as much of their stuff as we can since we're going to St George for the weekend for the Cactus Hugger Festival. And of course we've been busy with life in the mean-time. Here's a bit of what else we've accomplished this week:

Daddy: He had his first soft ball game of the season this week. His team lost 11-12 - and he had 11 RBIs. For his 3 at-bats, he had 2 grand-slams and a 3-run homer. They didn't lose because of him.

Mommy: On Saturday, I ran in the 1/2 marathon that I have been training for. It was a great route, and I had so much fun. I plan a race report eventually. My goal was to finish in 2:30, and my official time was 2:34 - if I hadn't stopped to pee I probably would have made it.

Grace: Poor girl has been sick. She's been spiking fevers of 103, but the doctor says its just a virus. But in between her fever spikes, she's felt great and has discovered that she loves painting. We let her grab a brush and help paint the wall of the new bedroom. She was in heaven.

Bryn: She has figured out to tell me when she has to go potty. On Saturday, she said that she had to go, so I took her into the potty and set her down. I left the room to help G in her room, and while we were gone, Bryn stood up and pooped all over the bathroom floor. Then she walked to come and find me, and accidentally stepped in it. We had a poo trail all the way down the hall (thank goodness for wood floors!). I'm so proud of her for figuring it out.

Today is Monday, and we're home sick because G's still got her fever. I'm thinking she may need to go to her regular ped to see what is up. I'm hoping things slow down soon, and I'll return shortly with my regular blogging.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The little ladybug

Brynlee loves ladybugs - really, she's obsessed. A few weeks ago, I bought her some crock-style mary jane shoes with ladybugs all over them. When I saw them at the store, I knew she had to have them. She loves those shoes, and calls them her "haileebugs".

So, I was excited on Saturday, when we were walking through a parking lot and spied a ladybug crawling on the curb. I told her to come over and look, and sure enough, she was fascinated by the tiny creature.

I put my hand down so that the ladybug could crawl on my fingers, and Bryn loved that even more. It excited her to see the bug crawling on mommy's hands.

"Me hold it," she asked, and held out her hand. I let the ladybug crawl onto the back of her hand, thinking she'd be in heaven.

Instead, she freaked out - simultaneously shaking and swatting at her hand while shrieking frantically. And that poor, poor ladybug. Once a beautiful little creature - it was reduced to a hollow shell and some yellow gunk that Bryn wiped on her jeans.

Later, Bryn recounted the story to Grandma:

I made her (the ladybug) sad. I made her cry. I made her die. (as she mimicked the slapping/shaking/shrieking routine)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Big hair days



For my Flashback Friday post this week, I thought I'd post some pics of my big hair days. Forgive the quality, as they're scanned from old scrapbooks. This first pic is of me when I was 14 years old - it was my freshman in highschool pic circa 1989 (yes, I'm old) I grew up in Kentucky where the height of a girls' hair was a status symbol. There are so many things wrong with this first picture besides the hair (which looks hideous - I think I went through a bottle of hair spray a week). That sweater and turtle neck - got to go! And I wasn't smiling because I had braces. UGH. Freshman year was so akward.



I don't remember what year this was taken, although I know it must be between 1992-1993, because I'm in the back yard of of the house that we lived in during that time period. I think this might be one of the worst perms I've ever had. And those glasses . . . those glasses. What was i thinking?

I'm pretty sure this pic is from 1993, so I would have been 18 years old. I'm thinking I must have been getting my wardrobe inspiration from Madonna's Vogue era. Oh my gosh - I sure hope people weren't mocking me behind my back!





Tuesday, April 08, 2008

MIA

I haven’t blogged in a week. I haven’t read other’s blogs in that time either – and I miss it. But I’ve been busy and my kids have been sick. Brynlee is still sick today, but well enough that she’s at daycare and I’m at work – trying to get caught up on work, but blogging instead.

On Friday night, Brynlee was up crying most of the night. Consequently, I was up too. Although I felt horrible that morning, I still decided to try and run the ½ marathon that my brother and I had planned to run as training for the “real” ½ we’ve been training for on the 19th. I’d been training well, and haven’t cheated on one training run so far. I’ve felt really strong. In fact, the previous weekend I’d run 10 miles non-stop at around an 11:30 pace. Not blazing fast, but descent for me. So I really wasn’t too worried about this race. I didn’t plan to actually “race” it, but to run at a nice, comfortable training pace.

It was a smallish race – only about 400 runners, and for the first time ever, I lined up at the front of the pack. Of course I got passed by about ½ the runners almost immediately, but I maintained my middle-of-the-pack place for the first 3 miles. After about 3 miles, the course turned and headed out towards the lake, where the wind was blowing strongly in my face. It was bitter cold, and zapped my energy completely. People started passing me right and left. I was feeling really sick and lethargic. Running became almost impossible and I struggled to maintain a power walk. Pretty soon, I couldn’t even see anyone else behind me. I was sure that I was in very last place. The nausea got worse and worse, to the point where I couldn’t even drink. I’m sure the lack of fuel and fluids only made my condition worse. At every checkpoint, I would have an internal dialogue with myself about whether or not I should continue – but I pressed on. My legs felt like lead and even moving my arms became difficult.

Mile 9 found me back on a main road, and at an intersection, I finally decided to quit. I’ve never quit anything before, and I felt like such a failure, but I was feeling so horrible. So, instead of continuing on the route, I cut back onto a road that would short-cut me back to the finish line. I had made it about a mile when a police office pulled over next to me and asked if I was ok (I must have looked awful – or was it the step-step-retch-step-step that gave me away?). I admitted that I wasn’t ok, and he offered a ride which I graciously accepted. So, I hopped into the back of the squad car.

The officer was amazingly nice to me, and although I was so embarrassed he made it seem not so bad. He even offered to drop me off a block away so I could still run across the finish line. I laughed at him, but then realized I had to turn my chip in anyway. So I did cross the finish line. I felt like such a fraud as they called my name.

I finished about 5 minutes before my brother, and when he ran in and saw me he was very surprised. He ended up with a PR of almost 8 minutes, and he has bronchitis. I felt like even more of a loser. I did spend the rest of the day puking and/or lying in bed. I’m certain I must have had the flu my girls had earlier in the week. But what a horrible day for me.

Brynlee is still sick today, but at least I’m feeling better (other than just being really tired). I’m scared too about what next Saturday’s race is going to bring. I’ve been training so hard and I really want to run well.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

When a picture says a thousand words










*Happy April Fool's Day. No one thought this was me did they? I think I'd die if this were true ;0)

Can someone please explain to me . . .



. . . how my kids can survive days of playing near rocks and cliffs, and come home with narry a scratch? And then the next day, Brynlee dislocates her elbow playing in her bedroom? Poor girl ended up in Instacare with a case of nursemaid's elbow only a few hours after we got home. After 3 hours and lots of x-rays, the doctor popped it back into place and she's been fine since. But it doesn't stop me from feeling like the worst mom ever.

. . . how on vacation we all got about 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, but then we come home and my kids trade off night wakings. Last night I was up with one of them 5 times in the 6 measly hours I'd given myself to sleep?

. . . how I've backed out of my driveway 1000s of times, but today is the day that I forget about Ben's car and narrowly miss crashing into it? I was pretty shaken up, and admit to uttering profanities under my breath (quietly enough so the girls didn't hear)

. . . how I feel like I'm constantly working/always busy, yet it never seems like I get anything accomplished?

. . . how I run 20-25 miles per week, plus weight-training and now mountain biking. How I eat super healthy and rarely splurge on anything unhealthy, yet I'm 20 pounds overweight and have a jiggly belly?

. . . how my family still loves me when I'm such an obvious mess?