Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Way to go

Monday, January 28, 2008


Sorry if in my attempt to add goodreads on the side of my blog I sent you ten e-mails asking you to be my goodreads friend. It was an accident not desperation, I promise.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Spending fast

There has been a lot of talk lately about how much people spend on groceries a week and I have been shocked to find out that I spend quite a bit more than most of my peers. I don't think I splurge at the grocery store; take today for example-- the guys at the food both thing (at HEB they have people cook food for you at these little stands in the middle of the store, awesome) had this cracked pepper viniagarette salad dressing. That is not something that I would normally buy, ever. I buy ranch for $0.99. This particular salad dressing was SO good. I was convinced that I could eat lots of raw vegetables if only I had this salad dressing. I debated over it through my whole THREE HOUR shopping trip (how I miss the days of just running to the store and being back in thirty minutes). I decided I was going to go get the dressing, a little splurge. I got to the counter the chef guy looked victorious as I reached out for the bottle and then....SNAP my logic kicked back in. I whipped my hand back so fast it almost hurt. What was I thinking SIX DOLLARS for salad dressing puhleaaase. No way.

So I was proud of myself. I usually always buy the store brand of everything. I don't buy fancy cuts of meats or anything. Anyway I about suffered heart failure when I got to the checkout. I won't say the number but it was more than double what Ralphie spent on groceries this week (I asked).

I think part of the problem might be that for the last two weeks I was doing a "spend fast" where I tried to not spend any money. At all. I even tried to conserve gas and electricity, etc. I read some article in Men's Health (yes, I read Men's Health) about doing that once a month and it sounded healthy so I did it. Well, I tried to do it, then every single person in my family got sick and had to go to the doctor and get medication. That is kind of like the ox in the meyer (sp?)right ? So that doesn't count. I did pretty good in other categories. Not perfect though, but there is always next month. So I am hoping that my shopping trip was kind of a compensation or rebound from the spendfast. Kind of like the reason I gained so much weight during this last pregnancy was because I lost so much doing weight watchers the year before (riiight.).

Anyway, take my poll or leave a comment on your thoughts about grocery shopping. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Staking my claim

I've got to reclaim my bedroom. No, I don't even need that, but I have GOT to reclaim my bed. This is getting ridiculous.

First off I want to make it clear that I do not endorse co-sleeping with your infant. Not only do I not support it but I am rather opposed to it. It is a major safety hazard and should not be done. That being said, if Bentley and I do not co-sleep Bentley and I do not sleep. And I think I heard somewhere that if you don't sleep for ten days straight you go insane or something. Well, I am on day number nine baby, so I have GOT to reclaim my bed.

I told Blaine yesterday, this is it! No more! He can cry all night long for all I care, I am sleeping and I am sleeping by myself! So we put Ben to bed at 9:00PM, seizing the opportunity I climbed in bed too. I am not sure when but eventually Blaine came to bed. A while later Ben woke up screaming. I waited. Screaming. Waited. Louder screaming. More waiting. Finally Blaine got up and gave him his pacifier. "It's okay" I thought, just a pacifier I am still not feeding him and he is still in his bed, so this is good. Only ten more hours to go....

Ten minutes later, screaming. Pacifier. Silence.

Fifteen minutes later, screaming. Wait....this is girl screaming, Gwen screaming, Gwen? Why is Gwen screaming???

I sent Blaine to retrieve Gwen, and this is the highlight of the story when Blaine went in her room I heard her cry "I need my mommy"! This may be annoying to some parents, but as of late I have yearned for Gwen to want anything to do with me. So I snuck a little smile as Blaine hauled her in to bed for me to comfort (she had an earache which she claimed she got because I gave her a bath...?)

Gwen quiets down and.....Ben starts screaming. So as to let Gwen sleep I relented and pulled Ben up in to bed to feed. I looked at the clock, surely it had to be almost morning....12:30AM.

I only made it three hours without getting Ben out of bed, and worst of all he woke up screaming at least three times in those three hours. And somehow Gwen was in our bed too. What happened to my reclamation?

So there we slept (or should I say there they slept, I can't sleep unless on my stomach which is hard to do with your arms wrapped around your children). Sardines in my bed. All of us. I was tempted to go and get Swiper and Boots just for the poeticness of it all.

But since hugs are rare this days I will take the loss of not reclaiming my bed because Gwen wanted me to comfort her, and that was something to smile about.

But tonight I am reclaiming my bed! If the Wilkinson's can do it with five babies, surely I can do it with one!


You know how when you are planning on going out to dinner you start craving what it is you are going to have? Like say you plan with your husband to go to firebowl for their spicy coconut soup, your driving around getting hungrier and the soup starts sounding better and better, but then you can't find the restaurant so you find another place like PokeJo's and try to talk yourself to going there. You like PokeJos well enough (especially their french fries and ribs), but your mind was wrapped around the spicy coconut soup. If you had set out with the plan to go to PokeJos that would have been fine, but really really want the soup. You will not be happy until you have the soup. At least that is how I am anyways.

So saturday was a particularly trying day for our family. That's another blogpost for later....but it was a long and stressful day. At the end of the day (the very end, like 10PM) we were at walmart (with our two young children who ideally are supposed to be in bed by 8). Blaine was off getting something he needed and I was walking around with glazed eyes putting random groceries in the cart. He came back and was ready to go but asked if I needed anything else.

"Oh yeah, I was just going to go and get a wii" I said. Blaine laughed, "really, a wii?"

See Blaine helped work on making the chip inside the wii two years ago when we were doing an internship with IBM in Minnesota. In fact, he was the second person to play the wii in the whole wide world. But we couldn't afford one when they came out, not a priority, and though we joke about getting one on every major holiday we never really do.

"Okay, I'll go check" he said. He came back moments later and said they didn't have any and that the last time they did have some they were sold out in three hours.

"It's okay" I said, "we'll just go try Circuit City".

They didn't have them at Circuit City, or Best Buy or Game Stop. Nor online at walmart, amazon or a bazillion other websites.

All the sudden that night it became my goal in life to acquire a wii. It all started as a joke really, but then it turned into a manhunt.

I called all the stores every day to see if they had some in. Put a widget on my igoogle homepage to alert me if any online retailers got them in stock.

Then today an unexpected tip arrived. I was checking the craigslist postings and someone posted that their friend's brothers girlfriends uncle or something worked at Fry's and had a time stamped cell phone picture of a shipment of 30 wiis arriving this very morning.

And I was off.....strapping my hungry, pneumonia ridden children into their carseats in their pajamas. I threw a baggie of Lucky Charms to Gwen. I paid the tolls and drove like a mad woman across town to get my hands on this thing that I really didn't even know if I wanted. It was insane, but I felt a rush (not too much unlike the rush I felt when I found that "killer" deal on the Leapfrog books....). I was fighting the masses.

We ran into the electronics store looking like crazed sleep deprived fools. We flew down the isles and found the (cue angels singing) wiis. Wow. There they were.

Wii did it.

Wii found the wiis

Unfortunately my little tipster was incorrect. He said that I could just buy the wii, but turns out I had to buy a bundle with an additional game, some accessories, etc. Which took my splurge purchase and made it into an insanely expensive, this really doesn't seem too worth it, purchase. But I bought the wii (and the remote charging station, extra sensor bar, wii play game and wii play remote pack). We drove home victoriously.

I have another tip for where I can get my hands on just a regular console tomorrow. If that is the case I will buy that too, and return the other one. Or better yet, sell it on ebay for a huge profit, and hopefully no jail time.

The end.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The verdict...

Wow, for a while there my poll was showing 50/50 results but now it is definitely Swiper that you guys want to get rid of. That's what I was thinking too, after all he was the one on the floor with the photo album in his mouth. That night right after I posted on the blog I went on craigslist and searched for "schnauzer" turns out there was an elderly couple living on the ritzy side of town (for the Utahns it would be like the East side OF the East Side) who had just lost their beloved schnauzer and were in the market to adopt one.

I e-mailed the lady explaining our situation. She said she would be more than happy to take "swipey" (as she referred to him) off of our hands. She said she would pay a rehoming fee of $350. THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS! Sure, that is how much we paid for him, but that was when he was a cute little tiny fluffy puppy, not a memory distroying, water pipe breaking, stinky, dog. I didn't expect more than maybe an offer of fifty dollars or something.

This was tempting. We could buy a wii, or plane tickets for Gwen and I to Utah, or a million other things. Not only that but Swiper would be living the high life! Nice house, nice yard, nice older couple to walk him every day. No more home haircuts, the woman assured me that she would meet his grooming needs every six weeks. It really was sounding like a win-win situation.

I went down and sat on the floor, Swiper immediately pranced over and sat in my lap and kissed my face. He looked up at me with those big puppy dog eyes. He didn't care that I had yelled at him the night before, didn't care that I had just tried to sell him, he just loves me, no matter what!

The lady can keep her $350, he's Swiper Bassett and he's going to stay that way. Thick or thin, he is part of the family now.

They drive me crazy, but so does Bentley, and we're keeping him too.

And to those parents who are relieved at the strife it is causing me to have a dog (er...two dogs) I say, every kid should have a dog. I stand by it. I am not lying. And if you love your kids at all you will get them a dog while they are young so they don't try to compensate when they are older and get two dogs a week after they buy a house, even though they are pregnant.

Shameless plug

So my ultra talented friend Marisa has started a really fun blog about backyard farming. It's been fun to read the entries and I am looking forward to growing some "trash can potatoes" anyway, check it out!

And while you are marveling at how talented she is you should keep in mind that she took all of the photos on her site, and is an excellent photographer, if you live in Utah you should definitely have her take some pictures of your kids (or your wedding!). I know I would!

A girls best friend!

So, I was reading my Readers Digest today and stumbled upon information about a class action suit that is going on for anyone who purchased a diamond or diamond jewelry pretty much in the last 12 years. Anyway, that is pretty much everyone I know who is recently married, so I thought I would pass along the info....

If you get lots of money from this, you can just cut me a check for half. That will be fine. Seriously though check it out because the example they gave was for a $2000 ring, you would get back over $600-- so really don't send me half, I would feel guilty, a third would be fine. I will use it for something important like buying a Wii or sending Gwen to preschool. Makes me wish we would have sprung for the bigger diamond !

P.S. I hope I am doing the right thing by telling y'all because supposedly the more people who file, the less $$ everyone gets. That just shows how much I love ya.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Due to the overwhelming negativity of my last several posts, I have deleted them and today I am going to spend a lot of time focusing on the positive and I hope to post a happy (or at least neutral) blog post tomorrow....see you then!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I knead help!

Do you ever feel like if you would have been born in the olden days you would have died because you didn't know how to do simple things like, say, make bread? You know the stuff of life. I feel that way because I can't even make bread with an oven and a bosch. How would I have made it with a rock and a fire?

Christmas 2006 Blaine's parents were so generous and bought us an almighty Bosch. I felt totally undeserving since I had never really made bread. I was excited to learn though so I set to work the next week making whole wheat bread. Totally FAILURE! I can't remember exactly how this particular loaf failed, but it was so traumatic that I didn't ever want to make bread again. For my in-laws sake I will note that I do love the Bosch, but I only use it to make cookies and the blender for blending stuff. For Christmas this year I decided to make orange rolls, I used the bosch for that and they turned out all right. With this renewed confidence I decided I was going to start making my own bread (I start to sound more and more like a granola every day....still totally 100% sure about always getting an epidural though, don't worry).

What a mess! First off I accidentally put in regular old white sugar when I was supposed to use brown. I was discouraged but I thought "sugar is sugar" and kept plugging away at the recipe. I let it rise about twice as long as it said but it didn't even get close to doubling in size. I tasted a little bit of the dough and it tasted like a salt cube. I decided to bake it anyways, maybe something magical would happen in the oven. Well, something magical did happen, it rose--- it rose so much that it started cooking on the heating element of my oven. So now I had a burnt salt lick.

I was so confident in my bread making skills that I didn't even buy bread last week at the store. Now what will my PBJ addict eat for lunch this week. Luckily the bread makes an excellent football, and if we ever get horses I can save tons of money on salt licks.

You have to understand, besides the whole sugar thing I followed the recipe to a T. This was a recipe reviewed by 200 people on, it had FIVE stars! I still messed it up.

My bread making ego has been shattered, but I really want to have bread making be my thing. I am working up the courage to try again.. anyone (ahem...Alison C.) have any EASY FOOL-PROOF, even a zombie with no brain could not mess this up, bread recipes? I really need a good recipe because if I fail three times in a row...I may not be able to get back on the saddle again.

Orange rolls anyone?

P.S. I promise a happy positive uplifting post soon :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How to Torture a Toddler: Part I

I recently have mastered the art of making Gwen's life a living nightmare. No matter what I do she is in a constant state of despair. Take today for example; I decided that Gwen needed something fun, just for her, so I signed her up for a little toddler gym class at the local gym. It was just one hour a week for eight weeks or so. Today was the first day. Screams were echoing on our street as I had to tackle her to get her dressed to go. "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO A CLASS!" scream-wail-scream. Finally I drag her, kicking and screaming to the toddler class. We get in there and she turns in to shy mode. Who knew that my daughter was painfully shy. She would stand in the back and hang her head and try to participate, but wasn't as rambunxious as the other kids. Her teacher even pulled me aside and told me that I may want to work on her "ball throwing" with her at home. Duly noted. Gwen is not a good ball thrower, but she can read. Okay. So anyway, I thought Gwen would be dying to go home from this torturous experience. No no, I had to drag her kicking and screaming out of the gym because she wanted to stay in her class. Nevermind that all of the other children went home. She wanted to stay. I am a horrible, horrible mother.

How can I win with this kind of mindset? Drag her in only to drag her out an hour later.

I remember last summer thinking of how weird it was that I would spend an hour getting everyone ready to go swimming only to drag Gwen, unwilling, to the pool.

So if you are looking for ways to torture your toddler; try being an involved parent, sign them up for classes, take them swimming or to the park, read to them. On the other hand if you want your kid to love you pop in a DVD of Dora, push the repeat button and get something you need to do done.

Harumph !

Can I just say that I really hope this is just a phase she is going through?? Where is my sweet little obedient compliant girl?? I miss her!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Best $17 ever

A couple of weeks ago our rice cooker bit the dust. It was a sad day at our house. Not only because our rice cooking would become more labor intensive but also because this particular rice cooker was symbolic in our marriage. The rice cooker almost caused our engagement to be broken off. I wanted to register for it, Blaine thought it was a useless gadget. Fine, it's okay to disagree, I still wanted to register for it. He wouldn't have it. Boy was I ever mad. In the end he wound up surrendering and as a peace offering bought the rice cooker as a birthday gift. Which in turn launched the whole scenario from Father of the Bride when her fiance gets her a blender. So, as you can tell, we had a lot of history with this particular rice cooker; and over the years it has come to symbolize our ability, as a couple, to compromise and work things out. Now flash forward five years to the very anniversary of me getting the rice cooker on my birthday...

Blaine got me three stepping stools for my birthday this year. "Ask and ye shall receive", that's his motto. I wanted a little step so Gwen could wash her hands by herself, and I wound up with three stepping stools of varying heights and sturdidity (I made that word up, sorry). So with the money I got from returning the said stools, I decided to replace the recently departed rice cooker (may it rest in peace).

Buying appliances with my birthday money (or with any money for that matter) is not my favorite thing, so I found the cheapest rice cooker available and was on my way. Well let me just say....LOVE the rice cooker, mostly because not only is it a rice cooker, but it is also a vegetable steamer, awesome.

As it so happened I had recently checked out these two books from the library:

The books instruct you to steam veggies, puree them and freeze them for later use by sneaking them in to your meals. I was so excited. We need to eat more vegetables. I went and bought tons of fresh veggies and spent an entire day washing, peeling, steaming, pureeing, baggie-ing, labeling, freezing---rinsing--- and repeating. It was very chaotic tending to the children while pureeing vegetables. At one point Bentley was screaming, so I turned to look at him and meanwhile dropped my spoon into the blender which was pureeing cauliflower, bad idea. The spoon-turned-weapon shot up out of the blender, nearly sliced off my head and splattered pureed cauliflower all over my cupboards and floor. I am still finding it everywhere.

"It's okay" I thought as I cleaned it all up. This is a labor of love. I LOVE my family and I will do all of this to make them healthy.

So after a whole day of this torture in attempt to prolong the life of my loved ones, what is the first thing Blaine says when he walks in the door?

"Wow, what did you do all this for? Gwen and I eat our vegetables anyway, you don't need to hide them."

It was true. It is true, but dang it, I was deceptively delicious, if only for a little while.


So, in preparation for the ward talent show coming up in a couple of months I got a membership to the local gym. Ralphie and I are trying to put together a little number like this
luckily I have already chosen my outfit . It's going to be great.

Actually though, an added bonus is that we are getting a good workout three times a week. Admittedly it has only been a week, and I already missed one time, BUT hey twice is better than never right?