Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane


See the red dot, right above the "M" in Maryland? That is where the girls and I will be spending the next few days visiting my grandparents. I'll be away from the computer, so I'll be back to blogger some time next week. Assuming I survive . . . I'm really stressed about travelling with the girls, and having no help from Daddy (he's staying here). Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rodeo

Last weekend, we took the girls to the Fort Herriman Days rodeo. They had so much fun, and loved being cowgirls.


There was also muttin' bustin' - and G rode a sheep. She was the only girl participant.

Check her out - I only wish my camera had a better zoom. Although she cried afterwards, and claimed she'll never do it again, she had a lot of fun and has told everyone she meets about it.
video

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Frightening fours

I am proud to say that we survived the “terrible twos” without incident – we were warned about it, and frankly, it wasn’t that bad.  G made it through that milestone with ease.  I really wasn’t sure what people were talking about – G was a wonderful toddler.  Oft times I thought it should be called the "terrific twos," as she was such a delight.  Three came and went as well without any notable behavior issues.  My head swelled – I was sure I was the perfect mother to the best behaved child ever. 

 

But then something happened:  she turned four.  And all hell broke loose.

 

Almost over night, my sweet, perfect angel has become a defiant, moody, jealous, back-talking little girl that barely resembles the sweetie I once knew.  I miss my little girl – and I want her back.

 

Some days I feel like she’s always in trouble.  I don’t like yelling, but lately, I yell.  A lot.  Really loud.  And I don’t like myself for it, but I don’t know what else to do.  I’ve tried reasoning with her, restricting privileges, offering positive reinforcement, and even sending her to the “dreaded naughty bench”.  Nothing fazes her – the naughty behavior continues as she proclaims that I’m the worst mommy ever.  And I certainly cannot love her.

 

I can handle when she says mean things to me, but it breaks my heart when she is mean to others.  Lately, she has been horrible to her little sister – a sister who idolizes her, and offers hugs and kisses even as G is treating her badly.  Last night, G asked for a bedtime story about a little girl named Bryn who fell into the ocean and died.  Does she really want her sister to die?  I almost cried.

 

I do love her, and I want her to feel loved.  But I also need to teach her to behave and to be kind.  Obviously I’m doing something wrong, because we’re having serious issues and I don’t know what to do.  April is a long time to wait for the "fabulous fives".

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cross training

On Saturday morning, I went for my run in my parents' neighborhood. They live on the opposite side of the valley from where I live, right at the "mouth" of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Running there gave me the opportunity to tackle some hills, and even some trails. After a difficult uphill run, I started back down the canyon. A car passed me, which wasn't abnormal, except that on the top were strapped 2 mountain bikes and 2 snowboards. Apparently the occupants of the car were headed to the mountains, uncertain about the activity they would be undertaking. That is one of the things I love about living in Utah - the limitless opportunities for outdoor recreation. At any givine moment, there are about 6 different world-class recreational opportunities within a few minutes drive from my house. Right now, there is still 100 inches of snow mid-mountain at Snowbird. In fact, they were still open on Father's Day for skiing and snow boarding. But while I love skiing, that isn't the activity that was luring me this weekend - I wanted to be on my bike.

So, Ben, my brother, and I strapped our bikes to the car and headed for the Pipeline Trail, argubaly the most popular mountain biking trail in the valley. Its a wonderful single-track ride along the edge of the hill. There are lots of places where the trail runs under the tree canopy, and other areas with amazing views, where the trail runs along the edge of the mountain.

My only complaint of the day is that the trail was too short.



It was the perfect afternoon.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Splash(y) pad(die)

My girls love the splash pad (or splashy paddie as Bryn says). As far as I know, splash pads are "all the rage" these days, but are a fairly new concept. For those of you who have never had the privilege of visiting one, let me try to explain: its a water park for little kids. There are lots of fountains and spray features for the kids to run through (like sprinklers on steroids), but no standing water for the kids to drown in. And the floor material is nice and squishy, so if they fall they don't get hurt. The entire area is fenced, so its difficult for the kids to run too far. Its the best place, and my kids LOVE it.

Monday night, for our "family night", we took the girls to the splash pad. It was pretty cold and windy, but they still had a blast. And after they got cold, they got to play at the playground. Its the perfect place. We came home nice and tired, and everyone slept like babies (except for mommy, who still had to run before she could sleep).

Anyway - here's some pictures of our fun time. If anyone thinks they'd like to visit the splash pad with us, I'm home every Friday and I'd love to have a play date! I should probably also mention, that the girls thought it would be fun to wear each other's swimming suit. So if it looks like Bryn is a bit "saggy/baggy" and G's been squeezed like sausage into hers, it was all their doing.








And here is a little bonus: a video of my monkey children on the playground at the splash pad. Aren't they so cute.

video

Monday, June 09, 2008

Flip flops: friend or foe



Hands down, flip flops are my favorite footwear. I have roughly 15 pairs - one in every color for every occasion. I can hardly wait for the (nearly) warm weather every spring so I can don my favorite footwear - I've even been known to wear flip flops in the snow. I just don't know what I'd do without them.

Lately though, it seems like we're being bombarded with articles warning us of the evils of this footwear. Just this weekend, Yahoo had a news article about flip flops (or thongs as the reporter kept referring to them), and how horrible they are for your feet. One particular article included the following quotes:
Lori Geller broke her ankle wearing flip-flops. "The ground was wet, so my foot slipped off and turned."

Geller is certainly not alone.

"I was at the supermarket, and I slipped in my flip-flops on cottage cheese and really hurt myself," said Tiffany Andreade of an embarrassing fall.
Ok - I'm sorry, but I seriously doubt the flip flops had anything to do with their injuries. If you're clumsy enough to slip on cottage cheese at the grocery store, then you've got issues far beyond your choice in footwear.
The article goes on to state:

These women and others may be heading feet first into a world of short- and long-term foot problems. Positano (some foot expert guy) sees about five to 10 flip-flop related injuries a week -- injuries he believes are a direct result of women wearing flip-flops in place of normal walking shoes.
I'd like to offer my theory: that perhaps because more women are wearing flip flops, there are a greater incidence of people getting injured wearing flip flops. Its common sense, and doesn't take a highfilutin podiatrist to figure it out.
I'm sure they cause car accidents too - "I'm sorry officer, I couldn't stop because my flip flop got in the way." And they probably cause obesity too - "I simply cannot work out in my flip flops." Maybe even global warming, because more heat is escaping from our feet.
They can also be toxic.
Sheesh people. Until I hear a valid arguement, I'm keeping my flip flops.
**I've given up trying to fix the spacing on this post. Not sure what is wrong . . .

Getting ready routine

As humans, we are creatures of habit.  If you really stop to think about it, how much do you deviate from your morning routine?  I know I do the same thing every single day after day after day.  I'd go crazy if something happened out of order.  And the less that I have to accomplish just serves to make things go more smoothly.
 
In a post yesterday, one of my fellow bloggers mentioned that she spends 45 minutes in the morning doing her hair, which probably isn't out of the ordinary.  I kept thinking about that all morning while I was getting ready today:  45 minutes!  There is no freakin' way I could do that.  I'm pretty sure most women spend significant time getting ready in the morning.  But not me - I just don't have the time/energy/patience and (quite frankly) I just don't care enough.  It isn't that I don't care about how I look, but I don't put a lot of thought and/or effort into getting ready in the morning.  If I have something special that I really want to look good for, I may put in some extra time, but typically I'm ready in 10-15 minutes.  Tops.  Granted I do shower at night (I have to since I don't even own a hair dryer), but I can get from bed to breakfast in 15 minutes.  Less if I go for the pony tail.  It usually takes me less time to get ready than it does my husband.
 
I've never been a "girly-girl".  I don't wear much make-up, and I've always had a pretty low-maintenance hairstyle.  Sometimes I think that I should spend a little more time, but then I realize that its just not me.  About 4 years ago, I got my hair cut into a short style that took lots of work.  I hated that, I couldn't wait until it grew out enough so that it didn't require me to actually fix it.
 
My typical morning routine is: 
 
pee
wash face
apply moisturizer, eyeliner and mascara (and maybe a bit of powder if my skin looks uneven)
brush teeth
comb and straighten hair (or skip the straightener and go straight for the pony tail)
apply deodorant
put on clothes (which were typically laid out the night before)
Eat breakfast
 
I have to eat breakfast in the morning.  I wake up starving, and pretty much have to eat within the first 30 minutes of waking up, or there's trouble.  If I'm running late, and have to choose between make-up/hair and food, the food wins out every time.  I'd rather be ugly than starving.
 
So, what about you?  How much time do you spend getting ready in the morning?
 

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Its raining, its pouring

Its been raining for the past 2 days - and its a wonderful thing. Given the fact that we live in a desert (or semi-arid steppe if I'm remembering my physical geography correctly), I'm pretty much always happy with precipitation. The problem is though, that when we actually get a lot of rain, the water doesn't always know where to go.

I layed in bed last night, listening to the rain, and hoping that all my down spouts were facing the right way (away from the foundation). So when I woke up this morining, I went out to inspect. The down spouts were all facing the appropriate way, but I did find a lovely pond in an area that was previously just grass.

Here's the view from my lovely broken kitchen window.

And from my back patio:
Maybe rain isn't always such a good thing. I hope the water is staying put and out of my basement.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

One cat - free to a good home

I have asthma. I've had it my entire life, and have learned to live with it. But lately, its been much worse. So, about a month ago, my regular doctor sent me to a specialist to get my breathing under control. This new Dr's first item of busisness was to figure out what was causing my asthma to be so bad, and she sent me for a battery of tests. The results were in today, and she had me back at her office to go over the results. She was amazed to find that I was allergic to every single thing she tested me for - in fact, she told me I was among the worst she'd ever tested. And the thing I am the most allergic to: cats. In fact, anything over 17.51 kU/L is considered a very high allergic reaction, and I tested 66.0 for cat dander. Off the charts.

It goes without saying that my poor kitty needs to find a new home. I've always known I was a little allergic to her, but I never realized it was this bad. Ben rescued her from the humane society when we were newlyweds, so she's been with us for almost 7 years. She's a great cat, and I'll be sad to see her go. But of course my health is more important.

So - if anyone is interested - here's a free cat to a good home.

And just as an item of interest, the thing I was second most allergic to was dog dander. Guess there was a reason I needed to get rid of Burton.

Lost love

I’ve been kicking around the idea of this post for a few days – and after reading Julia’s post about her first love, I’ve decided to post about mine. I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately because the other night I had a dream about him. It was a really good dream with a very happy ending (if you catch what I’m alluding to). The next morning I googled him, and I found that he lives just a few miles from me. I also found that he’s on a cycling team, and actually competed in the same race my brother rode 2 weekends ago. I found his picture too with his cycling team – and he was in spandex. He still looked really good too - I love a man in spandex. (My brother says that I’m a cyber stalker – but don’t most women google old boyfriends? I know he’s not the first I’ve looked up.)

I was pretty boy crazy through my teen years and early 20s. I had my first kiss at the ripe old age of 14, on the stage at church after a youth activity. The boy was named Joe, and I really liked him. We talked on the phone for hours. But he wasn’t my first love. Good thing too, because he is in jail now for murder, and all of his teeth have rotted out of his head because of a meth addiction.

Freshman year of college, I dated a guy on the gymnastics team named Brandon. He was cute and fun, and was even the first guy to see me naked (TMI?), but he was more of a fling. We spent so much time making out, that I never got to know his personality.

I was even (sort of) engaged at 19. That boy was named Sam, and he was by far the hottest guy I’d ever known. We had the date set – May 25 – on which we were going to elope to Vegas. Luckily, a few months before that, I realized that he was psycho (maybe it was the fact that he was actually committed to a mental hospital?) But even he wasn’t my first love.

I met Darin in August 1995, at the beginning of my junior year of college. I was cleaning out my car following a road trip, and he walked by. We struck up a conversation, and pretty much instantly became friends. We lived in the same apartment complex, just a building apart. I fell for him pretty hard and fast, which was easy to do because he was amazing. He was smart, kind, and athletic – and he had these blue eyes that I’ll never forget. I remember too, the day we were sitting on the couch in my apartment, supposedly studying, when he said “I love you”. I loved him too – I had for a long time before that, but it took me a week longer to be able to say those words back. I was scared for some reason. I think I tried too hard to make things perfect, and instead messed things up. He broke up with me in January right after Christmas break, and I was pretty much devastated. I was pretty sure he was “the one” before that, and I took it hard.

I think that he maybe had someone else he was interested in, because I saw him around a few times with another girl. He was married by the next summer, and coincidentally ended up being neighbors with my brother and his (then) wife. Good thing for me, I had another boy come along pretty quickly after who was also amazing and fun, so I wasn’t sad for too long. But I will never forget Darin.

I even wrote him the cheesiest of all cheesy poems that I actually still remember:

With you I’ve shared my smiles, my tears
Entrusted you my greatest fears.
But you my friend may never know
Exactly why I need you so.
You’ve touched me deep, into my soul
Without your love I’d ne’er be whole.
And if I tried my whole life through,
I’ve never quite give back to you.
The strength that you have given me
To be myself – to finally see
The love I’ve got to share, to serve –
To give to you what you deserve.

Ewww. Good thing I grew out of that. I actually gave that to him too – I still envision him dying laughing the moment I left the room.

I’m pretty sure I married the right person. Without Ben, I wouldn’t have Grace and Bryn – and they are pretty much the 2 best things I’ve ever done. Without question, I know that I was meant to be their mommy. But sometimes I still wonder “what if?” I sometimes hope that I run into him again, so that I can apologize for being so horrible. I wonder if he even remembers me?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Guess who

Guess who *almost* ran 100 miles in May?  96 actually.
 
I'll give you a hint:  you're reading her blog.
 
I'm actually pretty bummed about it too.  I'd cut my saturday run by 4 miles to be home in time for Ben.  Its all his fault I didn't make an even 100.  Maybe in June!
 
**I'm emailing this from work because my internet has been down.  I can't stalk blogger, and I'm suffering pretty serious withdrawls.