Thursday, May 28, 2009

Going Pro

A couple of days ago I did some thinking and decided that I would like to become a career woman. Ideally Blaine would quit his job and be a stay at home Dad and I would be the one bringing home the bacon. Unconventional I know, but really it taps both of our talents*. He is a talented Dad, I am a talented** career woman. Plus I already do most of the driving so it's not like people don't think we're weird anyways.

The only problem is that with my Sociology degree I can't really get the kind of jobs that make the kind of money that our lifestyle necessitates, seeing how we like to eat and stuff. So this whole scheme requires that I go back to school. From what I can figure the only way I can make enough money to feed all of the little mouths around here is if I go to nursing school***.

I did some rough calculations and it will only take us 16 years to save the $16,000 I will need to complete a second bachelors degree in nursing. Which kind of stinks because then the kids will be all raised by the time I get to start my career womanhood and Blaine will get to be a stay-at-home dad when there is no one to stay at home with, totally not fair.

So that combined with my aversion to bodily fluids has got me considering other methods of making money. We all know the photography thing isn't going to work. At least not until I get my hands on an expensive camera, and poets don't get famous until they're dead, so that's no good either. Plus most of the time I enjoy being a stay at home mom, so I've got to think of something else.

The way I see it I have no choice but to blog professionally.

I hear people like Pioneer Woman and even TAMN pull in thousands of dollars a month, all by simply blogging. So, this blog needs to transform into a money making machine. Quickly****, if that's at all possible.

Now, I think PW gets about 11 billion hits a day, and right now I get about 65. So I have a bit of work to do. After many hours spent studying my google analytics and sitemeter accounts and reading literature on the subject, I have devised a four step plan to make this blog skyrocket to stardom...

Step 1: Either bare a child or post about silverware on a daily basis. The number of people visiting the blog at least doubles on those days. The day after I had Ivy I got 160 hits! My second highest hit day? Yesterday, when I posted about silverware being loaded into a dishwasher properly. This leaves me no choice but to continue procreating at a rabbitual pace to keep my page hits high. It won't be easy, but once the children are born I get to be a career woman and lock myself in the office***** and Blaine will be doing the raising of the offspring, so it's a sacrifice I am willing to make.

Step 2: Must start proofreading. I absolutely loathe proofreading. I loathe all things that remind me of school and work, so this one will be a toughie. But as I reread past entries it is glaringly obvious that I got improper grammar; punctuation; and poor speling. Blaine says it's endearing. I don't know though.

Step 3: Must inundate readers with ads. Sorry about this, but Janssen is pulling in about $4.00/year with her google ads. Multiple streams of income, that's what it's all about.

Step 4: Must befriend famous bloggers. I've got to get on the radar of the likes of P-dub, Nie-Nie, etc. So please leave witty comments on their blogs while signed in as me on blogger. Thanks.

Oh and it would totally help if you could focus a good portion of your own blog posts around me and how awesome my blog is and stuff like that, links included. Sure appreciate it.

I guess I should also consider the connections I already have too. I am pretty tight with a famous columnist. Jody Genessy of the Deseret News...TOTALLY my cousin. Maybe he can somehow help make me famous. Though I would maybe have to start blogging about sports more often...meh, okay. And that is officially my only connection. Dang.

And if I am to be famous like PW I am going to have to start considering Swiper one of my official "offspring" and take his picture and start finding him endearing and all that. Not to mention start taking pictures of the food I make. So I guess the professional photography thing kind of goes hand in hand with being a professional blogger, fannnnntastic. And I would probably have to host my own site which already kills the profit I plan to make from google ads.

Kind of makes the professional blogging thing not really an option either, sigh. Goodbye sand and water table. I guess I will just have to stick to dumpster diving, cereal gambling and garage sale rummaging******.





*Seriously, Blaine is the best Dad EVER, and I am seriously such a fast typer. But really... Blaine's talents are totally wasted on him being an engineer. He's good at that too, but he would be an excellent teacher, or stay at home Dad.

**Based solely on my typing speed.

***Not nursing nursing school, I've already got that down, plus that only feeds one mouth.... Get it "nursing" school....mouths to feed...nursing babies...bwahahaha. Okay, no more blogging at 1 AM.

**** There is a really cool sand and water table on sale at www.samsclub.com and I need to earn enough to buy it before it goes off sale ($52- shipped!)

*****Assuming I make enough to buy a house that has an office


******Remember that Kelty backpack carrier? You know, the one I paid twenty dollars for? Selling it to someone on craigslist for $80. Kaching!

fifty years from now...

That's it. If Blaine won't take up ballroom dancing with me I may just have to take piano lessons so we can be this cute when we are old.




Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dead ringer

For those of you who criticize me for never answering my home phone, let me explain.

The ringer is not on.

I turned it on today for ten minutes as I was expecting a call and in that time I got THREE solicitations. THREE in ten minutes. I simply cannot have a phone ringing that often in my house with my three napping children.

Yes, I am on the do not call list.

Help.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A house divided

There are two kinds of people in this world

1- Those who place their silverware in the dishwasher the safe and logical way, with the pointy parts down. These people realize that children could run and trip and impail themselves on pointing up forks and knives in the dishwasher, they also value the efficiency of quickly grabbing a bunch of handles rather than the eat-off of part (does that part have a name?).

and

2- Those who like to make absolutely no sense and put the silverware handle down in the dishwasher. These people like to dirty their newly cleaned silverware by grabbing it to unload it and touching the part that you eat off of and contaminating it before it's even gotten into the drawer.

Which camp are you in? Don't worry, I won't judge. I happened to marry someone in the opposite camp as myself, and it happens to be one of the first things we ever "disagreed" about (on about our second day of marriage).

Being the peacemaker I am I finally relented (on like day three of marriage) and now put all the silverware handle down except the knives, so as to spare our children impalement risk. But I just want you all to know that I don't agree with it, not one lick.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Letter

Dear Everyone We Know:

We are going to drive from Texas to New York. I know, we're insane, it happens when you have three kids. So uh, according to google analytics some of you blog readers live in those states located between Texas and New York. So, I was wondering if we could stay at your house. Think how fun that would be! We're kind of like a traveling circus! We'll bring our own air mattress and food. You'll hardly know we're there. For reals. We could even just pitch a tent in your yard. Then when you go on a road trip somewhere and need to stay with us you can. Because Texas is so conveniently located that I know you would probably pass through here going wherever you are going (blatant sarcasm intended).

Love,

Kristi

Ice Ice Baby

It was all going well at the pool today until Bentley dumped a bottle of ice cold water all over sleeping Ivy.

The longer Ivy is with us the more amazing I think it is that youngest children can survive in such a hostile environment. Seriously, I know people (particularly people who are the oldest children in their family) who think that youngest children are spoiled, I beg to differ.

I don't think anyone has ever dumped a bottle of ice water on Gwen. All of Gwen's toys had batteries. No one else, particularly no dogs, ever sucked on Gwen's pacifier. Gwen was snuggly tucked in bed for every nap. When Gwen was Bentley's age she went to toddler classes at the community center...Ben just eats rocks and runs around half naked (on good days, usually it is stark naked). Gwen's hair was properly combed, usually with bows and some fancy 'do. Poor poor Ben, and poorer little Ivy.

First children are spoiled. That's all there is to it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Something's fishy....


Blaine grew up on a cul-de-sac full of friendly people with lots of children. One of the first times I went to the cul-de-sac was when my friends older brother was dropping everyone off there, I heard him refer to the cul-de-sac as the "Celestial Circle". Like a little secret place where life was simple and people were good and no one had to be afraid. It was a reprieve just a quarter mile away from my own house, where there were drive by shootings and homeboys running amok.

Sometimes I regret the house we bought. Especially since house prices have tumbled in the two years since we have lived here and if we would have only waited two years we could have gotten eight thousand free dollars and a much better interest rate on our house. Sometimes I wish that we had an island in the kitchen. When I am pregnant (which has been about 90% of the time we've lived here) I wish that we would have opted for a one story. When there is a storm I wish we would have gotten a house with a bigger under the stairs closet. When I mow the lawn I wish we had a flatter lot or a smaller yard. But I will tell you what, I have never, ever, not even for one second, regretted our location.

On our last day of house hunting we saw five houses, all the exact same price. Three of them were in this neighborhood and two were out in a different city. Some houses were bigger, a better deal. But when we drove up the street to the house that we almost bought (instead of this one) there was no one outside, on a Saturday morning no one was out washing their cars, no kids playing, dead. When we drove up to this one tons of people were outside, mowing their lawns, kids playing catch, etc. More specifically all of the people in our circle were sitting outside talking to each other while their kids played. I was sold.

Who needs a kitchen island? Vaulted ceilings? Not me! I have landed myself in my very own Celestial Circle, and that is something that money can't by. I trust my neighbors with my life (literally, some of them are Paramedics), I trust them with my kids, I just absolutely love them. Tons of kids, lovely adults, Christmas parties, fun. I am confident that we could not have chosen a better place to raise our family!

That being said one of our neighbors is moving. Actually they moved this morning. And my heart is breaking. There are still plenty of other awesome neighbors, but oh how I will miss Annie! I'll miss her boys running outside in their BVDs, I'll miss the smell of their bbq dinner wafting through the air, I'll miss helping her chase down her dog...and her helping me chase down mine! I've always been the one to move, the one to make promises of coming back and visiting often. I am also the one to know that those promises are often forgotten.

Man, it's hard to be the one being left behind!

This wasn't meant to be a sentimental post about our neighborhood. It was meant to be a funny post about how Annie came over yesterday to return our fish. We got a fish at the beginning of December last year. Then we left for vacation at the end of December and had Annie pet sit.

Guess who forgot they owned a fish? Annie pet sat for six months. SIX MONTHS. Now that is an awesome neighbor.

That being said, anybody want a beta fish? Anyone? It comes with food and a bowl, I have more living organisms to care for in this house than I can handle : )

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fungus

Just in case the whole photography business doesn't pan out like I am hoping it will, I thought I would try my hand at poetry. In Junior High I had to do a report on the poet William Carlos Williams (creative name, no?). And I thought his poem about peaches was, well...um, nothing too special, but it made him famous, so I thought it was interesting.

Here is his poem.


This Is Just To Say

by William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

So in an effort to kill two birds with one stone, I thought I would seek validation from Blaine while also honing my poem writing skills. See, sometimes I do something crazy...like scrub the mutant fungus out of the shower. And it takes all day, and the rest of the house is a mess. Then I get all mad at Blaine when he doesn't notice immediately that I scrubbed the shower. So I figured to be fair to him I would leave him a note taped to the shower. He gives me the validation I need, I practice my poetry, and I don't get mad at him for not noticing. It's what Michael Scott would call a win-win-win.

My note to Blaine...

This is Just to Say

I have scrubbed
the fungus
that was in
the shower

and which
you were probably saving
for a science experiment

forgive me
it was multiplying
and staging a hostile takeover of the master bath
so disgusting
and so unsanitary

Your friend in fending off diseases bourne of soap scum,
Kristi

Win-win-win.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A dime a dozen.

Everybody is a professional photographer these days, aren't they? I personally know about twenty very awesome photographers. A little known secret about professional photography is that all you really need to be good at it is an expensive camera.

Fork out some cash and you are an insta-pro. Having been one of Granger Highschool's three yearbook photographers, I know a lot about photography. I was a professional back in the days BEFORE photoshop and before digital photogprahy was all the rage. Back when you had to take a decent picture the first time. You only had 35 shots per roll of film and it cost an arm and a leg to get that roll developed. That's raw talent right there. Good photography without being able to see your pictures before printing them and also before the advent of photoshop for the masses.

I mean with advances in technology and what-not, any joe-schmoe can pick up a Nikon D90, snap a picture and have it look ready to print on the cover of Vogue. So surely with my extensive background I ought to be more than qualified to take a professional quality picture if I had the right equipment.

Ralphie is always yammering on about lighting and focal points and *yawn* so on and so forth. She thinks you actually have to try or know a thing or two about taking pictures. I don't dare tell her that it's not that hard because she has spent so darn much time reading about it all. In this day and age all that matters is the equipment.

To prove my point I tried my hand at it. I got a hold of Ralphie's camera during our Mother's Day excursion and took a shot of her and Janssen. I wasn't trying to be artistic, I even broke the cardinal rule of Ralphie's photography and had them say "cheese" (I do that because it drives her nuts). I was just trying to take a nice "here's-Ralphie-and-Janssen-saying-cheese" shot.

And here it is...






I think it turned out quite nicely. Now I just need to spend the money to get one of those fancy contraptions of my own so that I can take photos of this calibur ALL the time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

GSDOTW

Garage Sale Deal of the Week

My inclination about twenty minutes ago was to report to you that the garage sales weren't that hot today, but since then I have priced the items I got on craigslist list and...

I got this baby monitor

B├ęb├ęSounds Angelcare Movement Sensor w. Sound Monitor w. Two Parents' Units

which retails new for $100 and for $50 on ebay (used) . It is still in the packaging, and I paid $10!

And I got a backpack carrier for Bentley! It retails for $160 ($100 on amazon) and I paid $20, it looks brand new!

Kelty KIDS Journey Child Carrier (Cobalt / Silver)

Plus a pair of cute shoes for a buck and pants that are not maternity (that's big) for fifty cents.

And Gretchen got a stroller. Not bad!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Potty talk

Speaking of poopy diapers.... www.diapers.com is having a sale right now. And since I was in the market for diapers I checked into it, with the sale and the $10 coupon code I am going to give you, and the free shipping...it's a pretty good deal!

Plus you can get 1% cashback from ebates.

According to babycheapskate a good price for a size 4 diaper is $0.20. The www.diapers.com sale has Luv's for $0.19/diaper. Plus if you use the code "krisbass" or my e-mail as a referral code you will get $10 off your order. If you order two packages of luv's your total will come to $65, you'll get $10 off so it will be $55 and you will get free two day shipping and also your price per diaper would be about $0.16. Or you could do as I did and get 1 pack of diapers and 1 double pack of swim diapers ($15). Since apparently you have two children who are not potty trained that double pack will come in handy. Scratch that, three children who are not potty trained. I totally just forgot that I had three kids. Weird. One of them is too little for swimming.

My math might all be wrong on the price per diaper. Maybe I am getting a horrible deal. I don't know and am kind of past feeling. I want diapers. I am quarantined in my house because of Bentley and it seemed reasonable.

Goodnight.

In which I fashion a loin cloth for Bentley out of kitchen towels and duct tape.

Bentley has a poop diaper.

I have size 1 diapers (5-10lbs)

Bentley weighs 38 lbs

Nuff said.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Luck be a lady!

Sweet Mercy!

Ten more boxes

Three more cash cards!

Total spent on cereal = $26.00

Total won = $50 (5 - $5 and 1-$25)

Okay really though, I am running out of pantry space but I can't stop! I'm on fire!

I would donate it to charity and keep going but you actually have to open the boxes to get the cards. . . can you donate open boxes?

Oh and in case anyone else is interested in cereal gambling...so far EVERY box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch has had a gift card (3 total), and it's weird in the CTC they are in the cereal bag. So I may be taking Cinnamon Toast Crunch to the potluck dinner tomorrow night.

And I should mention that I conned my friend Allison into buying ten boxes and she didn't get a single card. I feel kind of guilty!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Investment

There are ten open boxes of cereal sitting on my kitchen table.

All the boxes are open and some of the bags, and now the boxes are all skeewhompas (no idea how to spell that one!) since the bags have been removed and shoved back in.

And it is a shame that my camera is broken because I would love nothing more than to take a picture of me sitting on my table in my stinky gym clothes with my ten open boxes of cereal.

Why?

Because I just got the worlds best deal EVER on cereal.

I had to make a late night run to the grocery store tonight to get a treat for Gwen's preschool tomorrow. They were having an okay sale on cereal so I got some (five boxes for $7.50) and put them in my cart. I meandered around on over to the produce section where I saw a giant display of the cereal that was on sale. After considering for a moment I decided to get an additional five boxes. But then I noticed something...

On these boxes it said that I could win CASH. Woo hoo, big deal, no one ever really wins, right? But then I noticed it said 1 in 10 boxes had a cash card in it ranging from $5-$25. Hey, I was buying ten boxes, statistics say that I would get at least five bucks, right?

You may not know this about me, but I am such a gambler. Seriously. Not like a poker playing gambler (though I am sure I could get into that if I let myself!), but I love intermittent rewards! It's why I like to do priceline. I could get an awesome hotel, I could get a meh hotel.

So I looked like an idiot picking out my cereal, trying to guess the right boxes that could have MONEY in them. I'm sure I looked like a freak.

So I got my ten boxes (and incidentally a coupon printed out for $2 off of 5 boxes of cereal! HELLO good deal!), and immediately ran home to open them all up, because as I mentioned, I love to gamble.

I got 3 cash cards! THREE! Two five dollar ones and one TWENTY FIVE dollar one. So let's see...my cereal cost me $15 and I won $35. So I made $20 by buying ten boxes of cereal.

Beat that coupon mom.

Actually she probably could...I better watch what I say!

It was so awesome! And apparently I will be using that $35 to purchase a new camera because mine is broken. Grrrr....

Syncrhonicity

Once upon a time I made a recipe that called for tomatillo salsa. I used the 1/4 c of the salsa and put the rest of the ginormous jar into my fridge. There it sat for many months. Tuesday on a whim I cleaned out my fridge. Contrary to popular belief, I don't clean out my fridge ever often. I thew out the salsa. It had been sitting there taking up space for months it was near the expiration and I was doing a big grocery shopping trip that night. Not only did I throw the salsa out, but I took the bag out to the curb and the garbage man took it away moments later.

Earlier in the day I had planned my weekly menu and made my grocery shopping list. One of the recipes was for Southwestern Egg Rolls, they lood delicious. I went grocery shopping at night and got all of the things I needed (and it only cost triple of what Janssen spends per week at the store!)

Today I went back to www.allrecipes.com to read how to make the Southwestern Egg Rolls. Every single reviewer said that you simply must make "Amy's Cilantro Cream Sauce" to dip them in. Every reviewer. I read the recipe, it sounded delicious and I had everything I needed to make it.

Except tomatillo salsa ("salsa verde").

Cruel irony. I can't go back to the store since Bentley is on his deathbed, and if 500 people tell me I HAVE to have the sauce I can't very well eat it without it, can I? And even if I do go to the store I will be stuck with yet another big ol' bottle of tomatillo salsa.

Anyone in Austin have it on hand for me to borrow? Anyone?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Too Much Fondue Tuesday

So I haven't been keeping up with my weight/exercise reporting, GET OFF MY BACK ABOUT IT.

Actually, no one gave me any grief about it at all, so uh...you missed your cue. If I miss a day give me grief, send me hate mail, call me fat. This is a team effort people!

Alright, but just kidding about calling me fat, that's just rude.

So... I went faithfully three times but that stubborn scale is still stuck between 133 and 134.

Just so you know though, when I weigh at home it says 129 (sometimes, more often 131 but still a lot less than the gym).

So I'm in a weight loss rut, any suggestions? Perhaps laying off of the Mothers Day fondue? Fine. I'll try.

And just so you know, I have a new gym mantra courtesy of Stacy.

"You've gotta squeeze your buns or else no-one else will!"

And on that note...

Bye.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shower

So....a few things about planning an awesome Mother's Day surprise for your wife. Like, say you planned an awesome surprise and she would unexpectedly be going to dinner at a nice restaurant with friends, these are just a few little considerations to, well, consider.

1- If you've noticed that she has worn the same outfit (gym clothes, no less) for two days in a row, early in the day you might mention that she might consider taking a shower. Maybe comb her hair. And if she's feeling extra ambitious maybe she ought to put on some deodorant. She may seem offended at first and perhaps she won't speak to you for a while, call you a jerk behind your back or whatever, but when she shows up to said restaurant and notices that all of her friends are wearing cute skirts and have brushed their teeth, she will forgive you.

2-You would also be wise to inform her to feed the baby before you send her on her way or else you may be in for a looooong night. And she won't even feel bad, at least not really bad.

3- If your wife is sporting a triple chin you might suggest, ever so kindly, that she might like to wear a scarf or something because undoubtedly Ralphie will take pictures of the triple chin and post them on the internet for all to see. What a gal.

Read about the awesome Mother's Day surprise of 09 here

Thanks Blaine for the fun surprise! I loved it! Especially the rose, and the fondue. Mmmmm, fondue.....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dignity, always dignity (part II)

The thing about going to garage sales is that you have to maintain your dignity. You're buying people's old stuff. Stuff that is not good enough for them anymore. They are better than you, that's pretty much what you are telling them when you go to their garage sale. So usually it is easy to cower your head, to acknowledge that you want their old, used, useless-to-them stuff. Not me though. I walk with my head held high, I look the seller in the eyes, I shake their hands. I've got pride.

But sometimes as I am leaving their house I step off the curb and into the street, and occasionally the road is a bit further down than I remember so I trip and flail my arms and fall on my face while tossing my new found treasures through the air, and I am left to hobble away with bloody knees, a twisted ankle and a $3 baby bjorn that was (moments before) in like new condition.

Dignity, always dignity.

Friday, May 8, 2009

PMS

I was blogstalking an old friend and reading about his happy life and how blissfully in love he and his wife are and how everything is peaches and cream and rainbows and butterflies. It kind of made me sick, and it also made me scoff. Surely people aren't that happy all the time, right? That's just the stuff of movies. In real life hard things happen. In real life you have to haul your naked child out of the mall. In real life people get muddy, ruin their doors with steak knives, and get pregnant when it should be physically and statistically impossible to do so. Or is that just me?

I don't know about you, but I relate better to people who are imperfect. I find hope in their struggles, and feel triumphant when they do. I laugh and cry with them. And so I kind of focus on the "imperfect" in my blog. So in honor of keeping with the imperfect...

I thought I would dissect a recent argument that Blaine and I had. Because unlike the aforementioned friend and his spouse, Blaine and I do fight, a lot. Not like duke-it-out fight (well, not usually anyways), but we get annoyed at eachother and mad at eachother and frustrated with eachother, just like every other normal, healthy, realistic couple.

On Sunday we had some friends over for dinner. True to form I was getting all stressed about an hour before they got here. Blaine had been up taking a Sunday afternoon nap, which was totally understandable and justified as he had gotten up early to go to ward council and he had been fasting, etc. After he had been sleeping a while I called up to him a couple of times to see if he would occupy Gwen so I could finish making the cake and clean up a bit. She had been "helping" me make the dessert for a while by then, and as fun as it was to work with her- it was getting to be crunch time. He never answered my calls, so I grudgingly wrestled Gwen down for a nap. Then I went and shook Blaine awake and asked him to come help me get ready.

He moseyed down the stairs, took a big whiff and said, "Wow! It smells really good. I can't believe you were able to whip up that cake so fast!"

I heard : "Wow, that cake took you no time at all to make. You probably had a nice nap and came down and whipped that cake right up, it was no trouble for you at all. "

So I scoffed and said "Well, I didn't 'whip it up really fast' it was really hard to make!"

and he said, "what was so hard about it?"

but I heard: "what was so hard about it? You probably just used a cake mix and beat in an egg or something. You are such a whiner, making a cake isn't that hard."

So I said, "What was so hard? [shaking him by the collar] WHAT WAS SO HARD? How about the fact that I am tired too. And I want to take a nap and Gwen was down here 'helping' the whole time and now people are coming and the house is a mess and the cake is burnt and you think it was easy to make but it was really hard and no one is going to like it because after all of that hard work I burned it because I was upstairs putting Gwen to bed while you were SLEEPING. Not to mention I didn't use a cake mix, I painstakingly followed the recipe and it took two hours, plus our brown sugar was all lumpy and hard and someone is probably going to break a freaking tooth if they get a lump of it in their cake and and now no one is even going to know that I worked so hard because it is probably going to taste sick and I wasted the whole afternoon. THAT'S WHAT WAS SO HARD".

To which he responded, "well if it helps at all, Ivy was crying so I wasn't sleeping the whole time or anything"

And I heard: "I was working just as hard as you, whiner"

To which I responded: "Oh you mean kind of like how she cries every night and I always get up with her? Like that? And yes you were sleeping! Either that or ignoring me because I called for your help a hundred million times!"

And a tense silence filled the house. Until he apologized. Like he always does. He's really good at apologizing first, and I am really good at holding out my apology for a really long time. It's a pretty big flaw of mine.

The weird thing about this particular argument though was that for some reason I was able to step back and see that what I was hearing was not what he was saying. I realized that when he said "mmm that cake smells good, I can't believe you were able to whip it up so fast" he really meant "Wow sweetie, thanks for taking the time to make that cake. You're a great cook and you can make good desserts in a matter of hours, thanks for doing that". Yet I chose to take the one word out of his compliment ["fast"] and blow it out of proportion and take it as an insult.

Then when he was being empathetic and trying to understand why the cake was hard to make, I took that as an insult too. Like a "why are you complaining" rather than an " I can tell you are worked up about it, let's talk about why you are so frustrated".

Ah, Blaine is such a patient person. He's very quick to forgive and nice to not point out how irrational I get sometimes; actually I take that back, sometimes he does point it out but I think he has learned he's better off to just pretend like I am being logical : ) . I love him for that. I guess sometimes I just feel like fighting and egging him on. He's a trooper and I am glad to know that he still loves me despite our little disagreements and my fight picking.

And the burnt cake? It was delicious and totally worth the two hours of "hard work". It wasn't really that hard, but a lot harder than taking a nap, that's for sure. And I just really felt like I needed Blaine to know that right then.





'

Thursday, May 7, 2009

FREEdom

How I ate for free today.

Woke up and went to chick-fil-a for a free breakfast item (each day this week!)

Then for lunch headed over to KFC for my free two piece meal. Took my shot gun, heard it is crazy in there.

And for dinner I plan on heading to Carinos for my free three course meal.

Nothing better than free food!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Loyalty

Are you loyal to brands? Because I am absolutely not. I feel a bit guilty about it really. I mean the whole point of companies giving you a good deal on something is that they hope you'll get addicted to their stuff and then come back for more, right? I mean, isn't that the whole idea of Priceline? Randomly get assigned a hotel, love the hotel, never want to stay anywhere else?

Not I!

Give me the cheapest! Give me free! Give give give and I will forget about you the next day. It's really sad sometimes, but I can't overcome the cheapness.

Today I was sitting out on the lawn enjoying the nice spring day (94dgs, yowza) and watching Bentley play on his cozy coupe. I was debating about whether or not I should chase Swiper down. I had given him a chance to be the dog of my dreams. You know, the kind of dog who lazes about in the shade whilst the children play. A dog that just kind of sits in the background, seen but not heard, loyal and true and an overall joy to be around. So I let him out and he stayed by us for all of a millisecond before running off down the street. I started chasing after him but then decided that my loyalties lay with protecting my actual children from fire ants and babynappers. So I let him run free. Free as a jay bird. He didn't even have his collar on since I had given him a haircut the day before. At first I was a little concerned about him not having the collar, but then I realized how liberating it was. If he really wanted out, really really badly, then fine. No big loss. Well, no big loss except for financially and property value-ly. Big losses there. BUT who am I to keep an animal who doesn't want to be kept? So I let him run free.

Anyway, that was not part of the story. A strange man in a truck came and parked at my neighbors house. At first I thought he was probably a kidnapper or burglar, because I am paranoid about that kind of thing. He went up to the neighbors door and then just kind of walked around the house for a while, then back to the truck. Very strange. And...I can't help but mention that the main reason we keep Swiper around, besides to eat the food that Bentley throws on the floor and to pee on our carpet and chew up our stuff, is to scare away bad guys, so where was he now? Now, the one time we needed him he was off gallavanting through the 'hood. Awesome.

Eventually my neighbors came home and it turns out that mystery man was a handyman, fix-it guy. And he was fixing their sprinklers.

We've lived in our house for two years (wow, I think it has been EXACTLY two years, yep, two years tomorrow!). And the sprinklers have been broken for exactly two years. I keep meaning to call but then I keep thinking Blaine will get around to fixing them, or I will or Bentley will or someone will.

Anyway, I asked the guy to come and tell me how much it would be to fix my sprinklers. We have two main problems 1) half of our sprinkler heads are broken 2) the timer box doesn't work.
And while I sat there and talked to him he totally fixed the timer box. He told me all I owed him was a coke.

What a guy!

And because he was nice like that I am not even going to call and compare prices. I am going to have him come fix the sprinkler heads.

He got the no-conscience bargain hunter to give him business, and such a thing is not lightly done. Kudos to you sprinkler repairman. Kudos to you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chameleon

Todd took some pictures of our family when they came over on Sunday. I put this one up as the desktop background on our computer.



Blaine walked by and was like, "Whoa....your hair isn't red" and I said, "um, yes it is". Then he asked me if I dyed it, and I said no. The last time I dyed it I dyed it jet black (whoopsie) and that was months ago. I used to think of myself as brunette but then one time I heard Janssen refer to me as having red hair, so I ran with that and now take the liberty of thinking of myself as kind of a chestnut redish-brownish haired person. But I am just curious...what would you say my hair color is...like say I committed a crime and you were giving the police my description... "short, little pudgy, mother-of-pearl teeth, [fill in blank] hair"? *

Also, since moving to Texas aka "the giant humidifier" I have come to think of myself as a curly haired person who sometimes wears her hair straight (or at least as straight as I can get it). Which is kind of new. I always had curly hair but I always straightened it (or tried to) and hardly ever wore it curly. Just now, like, as in the past three months, would I call myself a red, curly haired individual.

On a related note...I think if there were one piece of technology that would have drastically changed my teenage life it would have been a straightening iron. Don't you think?



But then I would be married to Richard Slack the highschool hearthrob and not Blaine, so thank heavens for my frizzy hair, right? I've heard it is no fun being married to macho football players anyways. Blaine loved me even when I looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet, and that's the kind of love that lasts.





*If you say gray we are no longer friends.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Betrothal

Our friends Todd and Katie are perfect. Katie is beautiful. Seriously, if I could look like anyone I would look like her. And her beauty isn't only skin deep. It runs all the way through, there is not a nicer person in the world than Katie. Not only that but she is talented; plays the guitar, sings, and actually has perfect pitch. Not kidding.

The reason Katie and I became friends is that we were sitting next to each other one Sunday in church (at our BYU married ward) while our husbands were up blessing the sacrament. I was singing SO off key during the sacrament hymn and I looked at Katie, with whom I was sharing a hymn book, and out of embarrassment I started to giggle. Then she did too. Then I started laughing really hard, as did she....it pretty much turned in to full on guffawing by the end of the song. A perfect pitch person sitting next to a tone deaf person, the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We looked up at our husbands who saw the hullaballoo and that made us laugh more. We started to calm down in time for the prayer, but then I heard her snicker in the prayer and that was it. Laughing in the sacrament prayer, it felt so wrong, but it sealed the deal on our friendship!

(PS did you guys know that Ralphie is a really good singer too? What is it with me being friends with really good singers, sheesh).

And Todd is about the most hilarious person ever. Not only that but he can make a person feel really good about themselves. Really really good. Like say you have a blog that you enjoy writing in...if he comes to your house for dinner he might spend the better part of an hour telling you how awesome your blog is and how you should write a book. Then after dinner he'll make you feel really good about the over baked lemon cake that you made. See, everyone needs a friend like that.

Anyway, I've loved Todd and Katie since I first met them. So when we found out they were expecting a little baby boy two weeks before we were expecting our little baby girl, we decided that a betrothal was in order.

So we set it up.

and it ended in tears.

Because it is really important to us that Todd and Katie are a part of our lives forever we tried to set up the betrothal one more time.

But alas....Ivy is so emotional!

But don't worry, in six months we'll try again. Love takes work people.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

DEAL ALERT

Hi, remember how I paid $3 for gently used Robeez at a garage sale on Saturday?

Guess what?

If you sign up at emomrewards you get a brand spankin' new pair of Robeez for FREE.

Sorry Utah friends you get a different reward for signing up (like tummy honey something or other, but hey...free stuff!), but in Austin you get free Robeez!

Aren't you glad you read my blog? Long lost money, free Robeez, happiness and rainbows : )

Thanks Katie for the tip!

Spare tire Sunday

Well, you didn't get an update this week. I actually had gone to the gym my three times that week. But I didn't go on Monday and then, coincidentally enough, I didn't go at all last week. So...who knows what my weight is and I ate nothing but junk the whole time my parents were here (it was SO FUN!). But I just wanted to let you know that yes, I will go to the gym tomorrow and I will work twice as hard. : )

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tricks of the trade

Ah. There is no better time than Saturday mornings at 10AM when I get home and unload all of my garage sale spoils. I told myself I wouldn't go today. After all, last week I went on a garage sale-ing extravaganza and I thought I had had my fill for the next little while. This morning at 6:30AM though my eyes popped open and I started getting ancy. A huge neighborhood just down the road was having their annual garage sale and I couldn't possibly keep sleeping while others were out bargain hunting! I promised myself I would be EXTRA picky and headed out.

Best deal of the day?




These little numbers for fifty cents. Just the right size and way cuter than I could have picked out for myself at the store. Plus I bet they retailed at least $15 but seeing as how they are American Eagle I bet it was more. I had a pair kind of similar that I splurged and bought for $18 last year, swiper ate off both the bows, then chewed on the heel which makes me trip and fall all over the place. These are cuter and about 1/50th the cost!


And then I found some practically new Robeez for Ivy, sure they won't fit for a while, but HELLO! Retail $30? Craigslist $12? Me? 3$ and they are all still white and cute and....yeah.






And just last week I nearly paid $30 for a Cozy Coupe like this.



These thigs sell like hotcakes on craigslist for anywhere from $20-$30, I mean really like hot cakes. I would email as soon as one would be listed and they were always gone before I could get them. They retail for $79. Craigslist $30. Me? $10

So can you see how it is addicting? I try not to fill my house with Junk, but easy come easy go. Now if Bentley isn't playing with the Cozy Coupe? No loss, I can hock it on craigslist for more than I paid! Those Robeez are going for about $10 used on ebay.

I always wondered why I didn't like shopping and recently I've figured out it is because stuff is so expensive and even if you fork over the money to buy it it likely won't fit right or will get stained quickly....so really? What's the point?

By garage saleing for three hours on a Saturday morning I get my shopping fix, I pay no more than a dollar for things usually and if they get stained? Who cares! If Swiper chews up my new shoes I will be really sad, but at least I won't lament over how much they cost, fifty cents is cheaper than a doggy chew toy!

I've learned some garage saleing tips and I know you are all oh so interested... so listen up.

* Hit the neighborhood sales. It's not really worth the time and energy to go to an individual garage sale - they probably don't have your kids size anyway or it will be the wrong gender...yadda yadda. Neighborhood sales are the best.

* Prices are negotiable. Buy a few things and ask if they'll take less for it. Got $10 worth of stuff? I bet they'll take $8 probably $7.

*The early bird and the really really late bird get the worm, but especially the early bird. At least in our part of town tons of guys going around in pick up trucks make the garage sale rounds really early. They don't waste time. They walk up to the saler, ask prices for big items and haul them away. Likely before you've even thought about getting up and out of bed. So, get there at 7 and it's not really worth your time after about 930. At around 11 you can start getting good deals from people since they've realized their stuff is over priced and they are likely just taking it to Goodwill in twenty minutes anyway, but it's likely been really picked over.

*One thing I learned last week is to just walk up and ask about the big items you are interested before you start picking through clothes (like bikes, ride-ons, etc.) because odds are someone will snatch it while you are going ga ga over their cute kids clothes. Can we tell I am bitter? While I was getting some cute clothes some guy came and asked a lady the price for a radio flier trike in perfect condition. Two dollars. TWO. That jerk. I would have paid FIVE.

* If they have things individually priced get out of there. If people take the time to price each piece of clothing or book or whatever than it is likely the prices are too high and they are too sentimental about it ( I was SO guilty of this at my garage sale). Look for a giant sign that says "all clothes fifty cents" or whatever.

* My rule is that I hardly ever will pay over a dollar for a piece of kids clothing. Maybe if I really really really like it. And a dollar is pushing it, usually I draw the line at fifty cents.

But these are all just my own rules. I go every weekend, so if I bought every cute thing I saw for two dollars I would be chock full of stuff. So I had to set some boundaries : ).

What has been your best garage sale find?



Friday, May 1, 2009

Fitting

Let the punishment fit the crime, that's what I always say. And that is also what they say in the Love & Logic parenting book.

Gwen was completely and fully potty trained for a good year, and now all of the sudden (well for the last several months) Gwen has been peeing in her panties. ALL the time. It's been a really frustrating thing. I've tried a number of punishments, rewards, etc. and nothing works. I even had her wear diapers again which was a complete and utter failure.

So today she is doing laundry. Well, today I am trying to have her do laundry. She is about halfway down the stairs with her basket. Already she bumped her foot which apparently has made it so she will "never be able to walk again". And at first she wouldn't even try to help (because she doesn't want to do laundry until she is a mommy), so I had her sit on a stool until she felt like doing the laundry. She told me she wouldn't do it until she grew up so I told her she would have to sit on her stool until she grew up and wouldn't that be awful to have to get married while sitting on a little stool in your room? Her bigger fear was having to sit there during the whole night.

Anyway, it may take me all day to get her to do it, but it seems like a fair thing. If she goes through three pairs of panties and three pairs of pants in one day then she ought to be the one to do the laundry. Not all of the laundry, just hers. I'm not that rude.

It is kind of nice seeing what a hard time she is having, makes me feel a bit like superwoman when I do five loads of laundry in a single day.

And lest you think I am a horrible mother, I have offered to help her (she helps me do laundry all of the time) but man, it is killing me to see her reaction she really really REALLY doesn't want to do it. Which is funny because helping me do laundry is one of her favorite things.

Kids. Sheesh.

Any other ideas for helping her with this little problem if the laundry idea doesn't pan out?