Friday, August 29, 2008

Shape up or ship out

I've come up with two new rules for myself today. I have some bad habits I need to nip in the bud. So, I commit to you blog readers that....
1) I am only going to spend one hour on the internet per day (half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening)


2) I will not taste the sweet nectar of Dr. Pepper (or any other pop substance...sweet sweet Cherry Coke) unless I have had a full 8 glasses of water to drink for the day already. I am crying right now just thinking about it. This particular rule won't take effect until Tuesday September 2nd, because what's the use of a road trip if you can't wear sunglasses and guzzle cherry coke all the while. I have my standards you know.

More rules to come.

The best part of waking up......

is olives in your coffee cup. What? Okay, just to save y'all the trouble. The olives, at the wal-mart by my house at least, are located next to the coffee. I don't know why I didn't know that. I don't know why it took 45 minutes of walking up and down every single isle (except the coffee isle, because....duh it's just coffee) three times and nearly going insane for me to figure out to look in the coffee isle. I thought for a moment there might be a worldwide olive crisis. I mean I checked by the olive oil, I checked by the mayo, pickles, canned meats, I checked everywhere. They are by the coffee. You'll thank me later.

Why do I need olives you ask? Mormons don't drink coffee so why on earth would I need olives? Because I read this article about packing a healthy school lunch, and Gwen starts preschool in a week and three days!! Wahoo. And mostly because we are horrified that she will become the school mockery because she eats her PBandJ sandwiches in such a gross way and the girl at our elementary school who got made fun of the most got made fun of because she ate her food in a gross way (dumping your milk on your dino nuggets, come on). So we are trying to pack things that will not bring humiliation upon our daughter. Olives.

Great, I just remembered the kids who put olives on all of their fingers and pretend to be aliens (me....still). Awesome.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hairy situation

So Ralphie, being the good friend that she is, suggested that it was about time that I let a professional cut my hair. She thinks, for some odd reason, that if a person cuts their own hair that it will not be even .....or something. I tried to reason with her and tell her that I get lots of compliments on my hair when I cut it myself. As I was telling her this the idea that people are being falsely complimentary did cross my mind, but people don't tell you they like your hair when they really don' they? Anyway. It's not like she came volunteering unsolicited advice. She came over one day when I was in the depths of dispair and whining about how whenever I look in the mirror I cry because the only word that comes to mind is "atrocious". So anyway, the unanimous solution has been that I need professional help.

So tonight at eight o' clock I am getting my professional help. My OBGYN has given the okay to dye my hair and Blaine has backed it up with his financial support. So the world is my oyester. As many of you may know I lack a sense of style. So please, help. What color, what cut? Send pictures and ideas. I am in distress. I am paying the good money so I would like to come away looking nice. All of you who have been holding back on comments or reading from google reader, this is a desperate plea.....what should I do?

Personally I think the ideal would be long locks. But I guess there is not much the hair person can help me with there, but I suppose I could just get a trim. And I also think my hair looks better darker than lighter. What do you think about bangs (excuse me, I guess bangs are now called "fringe" ).

I can't wait for your input.

Living on the Edge

You know what's cool? When you plan your vacation, book your hotel (through priceline where it cannot be unbooked), and then a hurricane makes a b-line for your vacation destination scheduled to arrive on the same day you are. Awesome.

No, in all seriousness, it's scary that a hurricane is coming and I hope the people who wind up being in its path are all prepared and safe. At this point it could wind up anywhere from the Florida panhandle to the Mexico/Texas border. And luckily it is just a hotel so we don't have to go if it looks like the hurricane is coming to Corpus Christi. Instead we can just sit home and flush $20 bills down the toilet : ).

Have any fun Labor Day plans? Surely it could not compete with outrunning a hurricane!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bumper Crop

Earlier this year Blaine and I set off to Home Depot with confidence and determination. We were going to grow a garden. $50 later we had three tomato plants, one pumpkin plant, three big pots, soil and those little tomato cage things. This was going to be awesome. Blaine watered them faithfully every day. We made sure they were in the best sunlight. I did everything I could. Here it is the end of the season and I thought I would post pictures of our bountiful harvest. One. Single. Tomato. It may look big in the picture but do not be deceived. It was about the size of a marble. I ate it one night, I cut it in four pieces and tried to savor each one. So this, my friends, is the $50 tomato. I have pictures of me eating it but they are rather atrocious, so I thought I would spare you. We'll try again next year, but I don't know, my confidence is kind of lacking and I really could have purchased a lot of tomatoes for $50. You know, ones that I could actually slice up and put on a hamburger or something. So all of you who have squash and tomatoes coming out your ears you can bring me some, I won't be offended : )
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our ward was split last week, the new boundary goes right down the road that separates my house from Ralphie's. It's very sad. I am sure, however, that our friendship will survive. But to all of my friends who were considering moving to Austin and knew for a surety that they wanted to be in this ward, now they face a tough ward or Ralphie's ward. In honor of that tough decision I thought I would make things a little easier on you...

10 Reasons I am a Better Friend than Ralphie...

1- You won't be embarrassed to post pictures of your children or hang up pictures of your children in your home that you took with your own camera.

exhibit A (Ralphie's photo of Gwen)

please see exhibit B (my photo)

2- I won't fatten you up with calorie laden, delicious desserts as an evil ploy to make you join the gym with me. (she is tricky folks, she'll even invite you over for dinner and then serve buttermilk butterscotch pancakes.)

3- You'll get to be the one who looks good in pictures

well, most of the time you will. Sometimes we will look about the same (but you'll still be skinnier, especially if I keep reproducing at my current rate).

4-I won't introduce you to delicious new restaurants where you can get the best (and most fattening) bowl of soup for only $1.99, which will cause you to crave it nightly, and daily, and always and further my recruiting efforts to get you to the gym. Likewise I will also not take you out to really extravagant places and addict you to them as well. Under my friendship we will go to chick-fil-a and split a kids meal, and you will pay. And I will probably mooch an ice cream cone off of you. Thus leading us to go out rarely if ever, saving you lots of money and calories, making me a good friend.

5- I have never, nor will I ever have a crush on Nicholas Cage.

6- Your children will likely not become addicted to my children and if they do it's okay because my daughter will not be going to kindergarten until TWO years from now.

7- I'll give you a leapfrog book for every holiday that comes around!

Okay okay, I don't have any reasons at all that I am a better person than Ralphie (except, I am probably on to something with the Nicholas Cage comment!). She's a great friend and if I were you I would choose her ward. Especially because I think she might be the new RS President, she seems in angst about something :). Anyway, here's to Ralph....a great friend, and an even better primary chorister. It was good while it lasted.... ;) And always it. lock it. Put it in your pocket.

Did you not hear the gun go off?

In honor of Beijing!

Friday, August 22, 2008


So, say you had $0.99 plus tax left to your name, and you were starving. Where would you go and what would you get? Would it be a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger? Fruit and Yogurt Parfait? KFC Snacker?
My personal favorite is a taco bell tostada. I had them all the time as a kid then they disappeared off the face of the earth. One day while pregnant with Bentley I asked the taco bell lady why they don't have tostadas. She told me that they did, they just weren't listed on the menu. Hello? That was about a good 10 years of my life that I was tostadaless for no reason. Anyway, that's a personal favorite. Or Wendy's fries (with BBQ sauce, obviously).
Just curious.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Do you ever call your husband at work to tell him something totally awesome and his response is a monotone, "oh that's great!" (I debated using an exclamation point or a period, but it's not like he is saying it sarcastically so I opted for the exclamation point). Then you realize that he is being shy because he is sitting in his cubicle at work and has a thing about anyone knowing that he answers personal calls during office hours. Then you try to not be sad but you can't help but wish he would jump up and down and shout "THAT IS SO AWESOME" just like you did for twenty minutes before you called him?

Oh, it's just me who does that? Huh.

Because our disposal just stopped working about a week ago and....well, have you ever lived without a disposal? I'm sure people must have in the olden days, but back then you were used to it. If you have had the luxury of using a disposal and then it goes kaput you do dumb things like dump leftover mac and cheese, etc down the sink and then curse the heavens because you have to fish it all out with your bare hands. Anyway, add that to having a weak stomach already and...yeah.

We were all stressed because we don't know how to fix disposals, we don't want to buy a new one and even if we did we probably wouldn't know how to put it in. Bleh.

Anyway, so someone mentioned there was some reset button on the disposal, tried that....nothing. Then last night at a girl party of all places we were discussing how one could fix a disposal and I was told to get a monkey wrench (allen wrench, some sort of little wrench) and monkey around with it and see if that helped and it totally worked! How in the world was I supposed to know that? I almost went out and bought a new disposal and all I needed was a simple tool. What other household dilemmas have been stressing me out unnecessarily? Maybe there is a some random solution to those too! Seriously, tell me these common knowledge little fix-it things because I have no idea!

So, please, jump up and down on your sofa in my behalf because I fixed the disposal. For free. And I know Blaine is excited but he can't express that right now and I need someone to be excited :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pop Goes My Heart!

So maybe you have to have lived through the eighties or maybe you just have to have a mega crush on Hugh Grant, but I thought this music video from Music and Lyrics was hilarious (as was the rest of the show), but I was talking to Blaine's sister the other day and she thought it was super weird. What did you think of the movie? I admit if you just watch the music video it is probably pretty weird :)


I think it is kind of ridiculous that I use my name for my blog address. So I am going to change it on September 1st to a new address. I am racking my brain trying to come up with a creative name though and nothing is coming. My best ideas are something along the lines of

and that's just lame. Of course all the logical names like are all taken by people who wrote one blog entry in 2004 and probably don't remember that their blog exists. Kind of frustrating.

So I need your suggestions for a unique, cool, nondescript blog address. Thanks in advance!

Some days are better than others....

And today, my friends, is one of those days! After much stress and headache, after millions of calls and waiting lists FINALLY Gwen got into a preschool. So what if it is like the third preschool on my list, she got in to one! And since I adhere to advice found in fortune cookies (mine today said "if you want to succeed you must act today" or something) I am not going to hold out for one of the other preschools, I am going to go with this one dangit. Who cares that no one else that I know has ever sent their kids there. It'll be fine. Desperate times....

And in other shocking dad called out of the blue yesterday and told us that in January 2010 he is taking our whole family (as in my siblings, not my children, thank goodness) on a cruise! Hello! Awesome! Better yet it leaves out of Galveston so Blaine and I only have to pay the taxes (and for someone to watch the children.....takers?). Which is so awesome because, if I haven't griped about it already, Blaine and I were planning a cruise for January 2009 (the same exact cruise actually) when we found out about our exciting little bundle of joy coming Feb 2009. Isn't that so exciting? I have never, not even once, been on a vacation with all of my siblings (my oldest brother is about 18 years older than me). So......AWESOME!

Anyway, it's been a great 18 hours. Plus there's no tax on clothing today in Texas. Awesome.

Weekend "What would you do if....?"

Okay, so Bart always does a weekend "Which would you rather?" but today I have "What would you do if..."

So, what would you do if you left your sprinkler out on your lawn for a while. Admittedly it was a pretty long while. Gwen ran through the sprinklers a week, or two, or perhaps three ago and I put away the hose, but I left the sprinkler head on the lawn. Not sure why, just did. Anyway, it sat there forever. I didn't really have a reason to move it, it's just little and pretty green, so it blended right in. I had a million reasons not to move it. Mainly all of those are little tiny fire ants waiting anxiously to bit my bare feet. Anyway, so two days ago I noticed the sprinkler was gone. Fine, $3 no big deal, it's my own fault. Then this morning I go out and my next door neighbor (who we are totally friends with and are the nicest people in the world) have my sprinkler going on their lawn.

Sure, I got it from wal-mart, they may have the same one, BUT I have seen their sprinkler before and it's a little rainbow thing and mine is more of a twirly thing. Should I go sneak it back? What do I do if I need it....go as to borrow "theirs"?

Kind of a pickle isn't it?

Thursday, August 14, 2008


A while ago in the throws of the puppy crisis (ie the last year and a half of our lives!) when Boots would follow us around the house (even upstairs where he was forbidden to go). When they would bark at all of our visitors and nip on the heels of passers-by, etc. I was so frustrated, particularly at Boots. Somehow Swiper got the message to stay downstairs, to stay off of the couch and to leave us alone once in a while. He was kinder to strangers, etc. One day I was particularly frustrated when Blaine shared an epiphany with me. He had realized that Boots wasn't a bad dog, rather he was a loyal dog. What did he do when he went upstairs? He didn't destroy things, he just followed us around. He jumped on the couch simply to give us a good face lickin' and he barked at strangers because he saw them as a threat to us. He loves us. He can't get enough of us and he suffers from extreme loyalty to us. Almost to a fault. Once I started looking at Boots in this light I have grown more accepting of his behavior and to love him more. Swiper is obedient, Boots is loyal to the point that I know he would risk life and limb to protect us. It's very sweet.

So keeping this in mind...

Blaine came home from Utah a week earlier than I did. He had asked what he could do to make me really happy upon my arrival home. I told him that if the house were clean that would be awesome and also if he could finish organizing the garage. I was so happy to walk into a beautifully clean house. He marched me around upstairs and down to display all of his hard work. I was so pleased. Then, with a twinkle in his eye and a quirky smile, he invited me to come see my main surprise, in the garage. My heart started racing, could the garage finally be organized? After a year and a half of half hearted effort, would there finally be room to park one, or even both, of the cars??!?

He swung the door open wide and imagine my surprise to find the garage in ruins. More in ruins than when I had left. More in ruins than it has ever been. He pointed me in the other direction and proudly said, "ta da!". There along the side of the garage was a wooden table. And a saw. And lots of wood.

He went on to explain that he had gone out into the garage to organize it and then realized that we needed some shelving with which to organize. Therefore he went to Home Depot and the guy there had explained that Blaine could easily make his own shelving and increase our property value and all he would need is a hundred dollars worth of wood and a saw. I hate the Home Depot guy. They promise that "you can do it, we can help", but he was nowhere in site helping Blaine. He plants all of these ideas in young husbands minds and plays on their fantasies of power tools and manliness. He doesn't think of the wife at home, who really needs her husband to maintain all ten of his digits. And who really was hoping for a clean garage.

Now two weeks have passed and there are five more tabley-shelve things. The garage is still in ruins and there are nails and sawdust all over everything.

But you know what? Blaine made me shelves. And though the legs are a little.....unstraight (precarious?), and we probably could have bought shelving for less money, he put in a lot of work and made me a wonderful surprise!

Not only that but he wrote me the most beautiful song.

He wakes up every morning to give Bentley his bottle, and puts Gwen in bed at night.

He thanks me for dinner.

He loves me and doesn't ever mention the piles of laundry, or piles of dishes, or piles of stuff that litter our house

He doesn't complain when we are all still in our pajamas when he comes home from work

Really, he's the best and most thoughtful husband ever. And I think he's a lot like Boots. But now that I understand that the tables in the garage were not a display of manly power, but more a display of utter devotion and love, it makes me love him even more.

Thanks for everything you do Blaine! I love you so much!

P.S. In other exciting news, Bentley got his first tooth yesterday!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket!

The Perseid meteor shower is back! It's the best night of the year for stargazing; of course after 90 days with no rain in Texas it may rain tonight....perrrrrfect. Anyway, grab your lawnchair and go stargazing! We have some great Perseid meteor shower stories.

*There was the time that we drove up in the mountains and the only place to park was in someones driveway, which we figured was fine since it was like 2:00AM (and it was a really long driveway), we rolled down our windows and sat on the door, then when I was trying to crawl back into the car my big fat behind landed right on the horn. We hussled out of there before Jedediah could come out with his shotgun!

*There was the time that we went to a park up in Provo Canyon and spread out our blanket and got all comfortable just in time for the sprinklers to come on.

The list goes on.

Lock the cashbox

One time, a long long time ago, when I was much less wise and mature than I am now (during my Utah trip last month); I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who happened to have majored in English. During the conversation I used the phrase " In one fowl swoop". Then I paused. Then I asked "wait, is it fowl or foul, I've never known that". I mean it seemed obvious that it would be fowl, because fowls swoop, it's what they do. They're up there flying around and occassionally "swooping" down to pick up things (usually more than one thing at a time therefore the phrase " So I blah blahed and blah blahed all in one fowl swoop"). Makes sense. Then she replied "actually it is fell". "Fell?" "Yeah, one fell swoop". Well that makes as much sense as wearing a sweater in Texas during August, in my opinion. I don't even know what fell means. Neither does any one else I would venture.

Anyway, I know there are plenty of other things I say wrong, or spell wrong (you should have seen Blaine's face when I told him that "colonel" was pronounced "kernel", ouch). There was once even a debate held as to whether the Beach Boys song said "If every body had an ocean" or "If everybody and a notion". I won't say which side I was on for that. So, have you found out something you have said wrong or thought wrong or pronounced wrong, etc.?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Vote for Pedro, er....Gwen

My good friend Meleah entered a photo contest and the photo she used was one she took of Gwen. I don't think that people can vote on the photos until she makes it to the finals (which she will, obviously), but at that time you should go vote for her.

Here's the site

She's #257


Happy 08/08/08 the word on the street is that is offering an 80% off sale today, so that rocks! Don't forget to go there through your ebates account (what you haven't signed up? Remember to say sent you) for 15% cash back. That means you can get a $25 gift certificate for like....$1.50 or something. Go crazy and thank me later.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why I wear sunscreen. Always.

I only read the blogs of two people who I do not know in the flesh. Correction, now just of one person (lucky me I got to meet Shauna Jones in person while in Utah!). Who is it? Kayla. I stumbled upon her blog once and read about the plight of her pregnancy and felt I could relate and then future posts would reveal that she is a seriously funny person and I enjoy reading her blog tremendously. I used to blog hop all the time; I would find myself reading blogs of friends of friends of friends' sisters, etc. What the heck is the point of that? Sure it was interesting and I stumbled on some funny posts, but mostly I was just wasting time. So, I made the rule, I can't read your blog unless I know you (except you Kayla), not even for you Pioneer Woman, or Whoorl, or Flinsippy or all these other great blogs I hear about. Because really, how interesting would my blog be if I spent my life reading everyone elses, I needed to get out and actually start doing things so I could blog about them :)

Anyway, back in my blog hopping days I clicked on a blog from a friends website. I happened to click on the particular day that this sweet girls husband had passed away, from skin cancer. You can die from skin cancer. Did you know that? I had just figured everyone would have skin cancer eventually, both my parents have it and it involves nothing more than going to get it burned off every couple of years or something. Not for this guy. Not for his wife and newborn daughter. For them skin cancer was a horrible battle that ended in tragedy. From the day he was re diagnosed with cancer he lived 100 days. That's not enough. That's not enough time for Blaine and I. Not enough time for Gwen and I and not enough time for Bentley and I. I continued reading the post and made a commitment to always wear sunscreen. Hello, you can prevent skin cancer! I know, the odds of it happening to me are slim, but still, so are the odds that a seat belt will be necessary when I drive down the street, but I put it on. Every time. I lock my doors. Every night. I sit next to the bathtub when my kids are in there. Every time, for every second. Because really? You never know and if something happens to my kids or someone in my family that I could have prevented....I just couldn't live with it. You know? So I am doing my best and that involves wearing sunscreen. Every time. You should too, tans are overrated, plus I still am tan and I wear SPF 50 Every time! It kills me when people wear no sunscreen at all or SPF 2. It's your life, you know?

Anyway, sunglasses are a different story. I knew cool people wore them, but I'm not really that cool. So I never wore them. Then I got these disgusting yellow gooberisms on my eyeballs. I asked the eye doctor and she said it was sun damage because I didn't wear sunglasses. So I bought sunglasses, and I live in fear that people think I am trying to be cool because I wear them. That fear was brought to daylight when the second day of wearing them "B" of "bandralphie" told me that I looked too cool to have two kids. Hardy har har I HAVE YELLOW GOOBERS ON MY EYEBALL. Anyway, so you should wear sunglasses too. Just not the big bug eye ones :) Just kidding, I know you all have them. I don't because, once again, I'm not that cool.
You know what though? Life has been better since I started wearing sunglasses. If you go swimming in Texas without sunglasses after about three minutes you want to rip your eyeballs out of your sockets and throw them in a bucket of ice, so it's nice to not have to deal with that.

Anyway, sorry for the occasional soapbox, but Baz Luhrmann put it best "wear sunscreen"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I've made some pretty bad investment choices in my day. I don't know how many of you recall the Leapfrog incident, but that is just one of many of my mistakes. Most recently I pulled out money from our Employee Stock Purchase plan to cover some medical bills (I have to pay my OBGYN in full before my second trimester ends, isn't that lame?) and two days later our stocks jumped up about 20% a share, so I missed out on several hundred dollars there. Whoops. So it's probably best if you don't take investment advice from me.

It must be said, however, that I have made some excellent investments as well. Not really financially per se, but more like investments in purchases. My favorites being my bed and my sheets. It sounds crazy, but it has been well over two years since we bought our new mattress and sheets but they are still near the top of the list of things I am thankful for in my prayers every single day! In fact I would argue that our mattress and sheets are the best money we have ever spent.

It's not like our old mattress was so bad. It started out great but after about two years it kind of looked more like a hammock than a mattress, so for fun one Saturday we went and tried out some new mattresses at the store. It was a little overwhelming, too many choices plus we couldn't afford any of them. I got home and started looking online and found a king size mattress on for about $1000. That was way less than any of the queen mattresses we had seen that day. This particular mattress had excellent reviews and shipping was free, so we went ahead with the purchase. Ho-ly smokes. We have the most comfortable bed in the world, way better than even the finest hotel (yes, I know because I have stayed in many a fine hotel). It's like we have a little slice of heaven in our house.

So we obviously needed new sheets. Let me tell you this, if you are sleeping on less than like a million thread count sheets I feel sorry for you (alright, I think ours are 1200TC). Life is a billion times better with nice sheets. In fact just the other day I was telling Blaine how I hope when I die he can figure out a way to make my coffin innards out of our mattress and sheets (great idea isn't it?); talk about resting in peace! Our sheets were only about $60 too.

I'm just saying....I know that $1,060 is a lot of moola, but every single day I am grateful that I spent it. Looking back I can see how we took a real gamble ordering a mattress online, but trust your fellow internetites; they have excellent opinions and their reviews are faithful and true. I LOVE reviews. Before I buy anything I go check out what people have said on amazon and target, etc. And it has nearly never failed me.

I guess the reason for this post is now that I have the waking span of a tree sloth I have spent a lot of time in my bed lately, and man, it is one. nice. bed.

The one thing that could be better? Pillows. Still have yet to find the perfect pillows. Well one time I did at the Hyatt Regency in Anaheim. Anyone know of any really nice pillows?

Sorry for the random post, just thought I would give you guys an idea of how to spend that tax rebate check that's burning a hole in your pocket (if you still have your tax rebate money you are my hero).

What is the best purchase you have ever made? Not the best deal, but the thing that you have loved the most for the longest??

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Dang Ralphie and her dang chicken. I never really needed or wanted to go to Costco before but then Ralphie introduced me to the worlds best boneless skinless chicken breasts, and now all of the sudden I find myself pleading with friends to take me to Costco with them. Of course there is the gallon size package of parmesan cheese and five quart bucket of minced garlic, and diapers, but mostly I like to go for the chicken. However, I do not want to pay a $50 membership fee, yikes. I think my friends are sick of my mooching though. So, how do you feel about Costco? Sams Club? What are your favorite buys there or do you shun the warehouse store thing. Just curious!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Just a tip.....

You shouldn't tell pregnant people that they are starting to show. Unless maybe it's their first baby. Because really, if they are starting to show, they already know it and if they are not yet starting to show it kind of makes them sad when you say that they are. Especially when really it is probably the last baby's remains that are showing, not the new ones. So, there is your tip for the day ;)

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Happy second trimester to me.


You know you are pregnant when everything makes you cry. Seriously folks, I have a heart of stone normally. Blaine can be crying like a baby in a movie and I can sit there untouched. However, all of the sudden I find myself getting emotional all the time. One that really caught me off guard was when I watched this video; mostly because I do not endorse owning a pet lion, but somehow it was touching. Plus if you haven't seen this video it is like, all the craze. They talk about it on the radio, etc. etc. So this is me just keeping you up with the times. Grab a Kleenex.