Monday, June 30, 2008

I think I used to know that girl

My mom is out of town so I was lucky enough to cook Sunday dinner for the fam. last night. It was good. I love to be able to do that for my family and am happy that they came over and Haley brought dessert - even if the icing slid off of my cake and no one elses.

Haley wanted to borrow some DVD's that were in my boxes of old school stuff that didn't get flooded in the basement. Finding the DVD's meant finding an old photo album that I'd actually been thinking about just the other day. The photo album is photos I took pretty much in 2001 and most of them in black and white. I might have thought I was Ansel Adams at the time but in looking at the pictures last night - I wasn't anywhere close.

The album primarily contains pictures from the road trip Haley and I took in the summer of 2001. We wanted to go to a concert, were at the time on a Barenaked Ladies Binge, and they just happened to be playing in Holmdel, NJ so we decided to pack our bags, hit the road and go on a grand adventure. And oh what a grand adventure it was. It was an "On the Road" ala Jack Kerouac style but also sort of like Jackie Kennedy and her sister Lee going to Paris, but we went to New York (and New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and a bunch of other states...even Delaware but that was on accident.)

I knew that this picture was in my album, and that's what I had been thinking about the last little while.

I used to be this girl

It might be a little vain, but this may be my most favorite picture of myself ever! Thanks Haley for taking it of me on the top of the Empire State Building. The picture has got me reminiscing all night and most of the day today about that time in my life...which right now feels so far away that it maybe never happened, it could have just been a dream.

I don't just love that picture because of the fact that I'm nearly 50 lbs lighter than I am now, or that my hair is blowing so dramatically in the wind, or that I'm standing on top of the world, but I love what it stands for. I feel like that image defined me - who I was then. That girl was bold, brilliant, brave, and full of adventure (or at least as much adventure that I've ever been prone to enjoy). That girl was smart, funny, talented, fun to be with, talk to, and be stuck in a car with across an entire country for thousands of miles of adventure.

The problem is, somehow...I've lost that girl. I'm not her anymore. I think I want to be, but the means to finding her again seem to be beyond my grasp. Yes, life changes. We grow up, become "adults" and accept more responsibility than we ever dreamed of. The thing is, that picture was taken about seven years ago exactly, and seven years doesn't seem like that much time to have lost her - that girl with the spirit and life. It's like when Peter Pan lost his shadow and he tried to get it back on with soap and he had to have Wendy help him sew it on because silly Peter, you can't put your shadow back on with soap.

How do I get that girl back? Who can help me "sew" her back on?

I have a great life that I truly love. My monkey means the world to me! My husband, when we can actually figure out how to get along, does, too. It's really sort of a dreamy situation - stay at home working mom with a husband who earns a good wage and I still get to try and be creative and fulfilled and raise a happy and aware and kind little boy. So, what's the problem, right?

I don't know! Any of you out there on the Internets that ever read my blog have any ideas on how to find the you that you once were who is now lost and gone, hopefully not forever?

I'm open to suggestions.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Choose your Adventure, here are your options: A, when it rains, it pours; B, bad mommy; or C, Quarantine

A: When it rains it pours
This week has sucked. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. No more cruising blissfully, rather, remotely aware of the potential for turmoil, disaster, frustration, and a mild case of heart-ache. Flooded basements, fragile relationships, sick baby.

B. Bad Mommy
My little monkey has been "off" for several days. Not his chipper, banana eating self, but not too ornery either. My mother warned me on Sunday that she didn't think he felt well. I ignored her. He's had a touch of a fever off and on all week, I've ignored that. Too busy being grumpy, picking fights, vacuuming water and "flinging poo" to realize that the boy needed some intervention. He had a terrible night as did his parents. He had a slow motion morning. He woke up from a nap with such a high fever that he was completely fire truck red. As all bad mommy's do, I panicked, called my mommy, threw the kid in a tepid bath tub, forced multiple nearly frozen drinks down his throat and got him in to the first available doctors appointment.

He's sick.

C. Quarantine
My sweet monkey has an ear infection. Crap. He also has a mouth full of sores ala Hand, Foot and Mouth. Double Crap. We're in isolation for the next 7-10 other small kiddies around us - probably got it from the grocery store cart on Tuesday night.

We have children's Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl in rotation an on standby. We have ear drops and antibiotics at the helm. We also have one pathetic, sad, forlorn, tired, and a tad bit guilty mommy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


A couple of years ago, when we were finishing our landscaping. A literal butt-load of dirt was ordered. It got delivered to the street in front of our house. The next day we got a notice that if the dirt wasn't moved, we'd be fined $1800 by the city. Upon that notice, Ross left me alone with the dirt to go to a church meeting.

I cried, said some bad words, and called in the reserves. My family, my neighbor, and some good friends came to my aide and we moved all the dirt.

Last summer, a hose was left on all day long. It flooded our entire basement. I called in the reserves, and then came to our rescue.

This morning - the same person who left the hose on last summer did it again. It was left on all night long. I had a flood in my basement this morning. It wasn't as bad as the flood last year, but there were still a few spots that were so deep my feet were completely covered in water.

The monkey and I were left all on our own to clean up the mess. So, after some crying, sobbing, panicking and muttering unmentionables under my breath, I did the only thing I know how to do - I called in the reserves and they came running - with wet vac's and pool pumps. Five hours later after a lot of vacuuming, pumping, sweating, heavy lifting, and slushing around in nasty, stinky, dirty water, we've got most of it out of the basement. It's still seeping in, but the worst of it has been dealt with.

Thank you reserves - you know who you are and I am forever in your debt.

The hose? It is now in the garbage never to be seen again.

The culprit? Perhaps some concrete goulashes are in order.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

True love...even if it will be short lived

The set-up. I used to get my hair cut by the same lady that did my dad's hair. She wasn't very nice or friendly, but it was the only person that I figured could cut my hair. Yes, in Utah I realize that's a funny thing because if there's one thing we've got enough of in this state it's hair stylists. This one time I dyed my hair red and when she tried to make me blond again, huge chunks of my hair fell out.

I digress.

Once I got married I quit her - well, and she retired. Anyway, I started going to Romela, the wonderful, political, fun, Iranian-American who has been cutting the hairs of many a family member for 20 + years. I look so forward to going and getting my hair cut every 8 weeks that I can hardly stand it sometimes. She calls me Honey, doesn't mind it when I bring Elliott and I just love it.

Years ago, Romela introduced me to my true love - a special hairspray that loves me back. It blends with my hair perfectly, isn't sticky or wet, or clumpy and one bottle lasts me literally months. I fell in love with first spray at the salon and went right out to the fancy "salon product" store to get me some. I've used it for years.

Alas, after the Monkey was born in January 2007, I went to purchase a new bottle of my fancy (and expensive but oh so worth it) hairspray at the "salon store" and *gasp* was told by the clerk that it was discontinued! I nearly broke down and cried. Never in my search for hair products had I found something so special, so wonderful,!

I've spent the last 17 months desperately searching for a product that could equal my beloved and discontinued spray and have found nothing. Just last week, while suffering from crunchy, mildly frizzy, humid, wet-look California hair, on the shuttle bus I was complaining (yes, something I do regularly) to Ross about my hair and how I wish I had my magic spray.

Lucky for me, Elliott and I needed to go to "the red bulls eye" last week for some supplies. And lucky for me we just happened to be wandering through the "products" section and lucky for me, I spotted it hidden on a shelf.

my favorite hairspray

I was so excited that I nearly screamed. There were four of my beautiful bottles of hairspray on the shelf - deeply discounted. Not wanting to appear foolish or desperate, I only purchased two of the bottles. After a lot of thought through the evening, I went back the next day and bought the other two...someone must have been looking out for gods, I thank you!!!!

I've had good hair days ever since.

Monday, June 23, 2008

17 months

Even though I think that my monkey is entering the "terrible two's" a bit early, and he's been whining for days non-stop, we've had a good month and I still like him.

New Foods:
hot dogs
cold pasta salads
he at a radish and will pop cherry tomatoes like grapes
Italian ice with soft serve

New Words:
helicopter (in his version of sign language)
pee-pee (he tells me after he's gone - too bad he doesn't tell me before he goes)

New Activities:
Peeing on the edge of the bathtub before getting in almost every single morning
dancing to "once there was a snowman"
baseball games - and he enjoyed it
throwing temper tantrums
sleeping on the floor
trying to do a headstand
laying on the landing
singing to himself
watering the flowers
watching and talking to his reflection in the stove door
sitting in a booster seat
making messes
throwing everything that can be thrown and some things that shouldn't
waving bye-bye to everyone
eating a whole banana and holding it himself without any help
brushing teeth several times a day with a big toothbrush, not a baby one
sneaking up behind me, giving me hugs and then coming around to my face and giving me sweet kisses're a really groovy dancer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Baby Friday - No body knows the trouble I've seen

asleep on the floor

The monkey's clock is all messed up. He doesn't quite know when to be awake and when to be asleep.

We got home from our trip late Tuesday night and he slept from 11:30 pm - 10:00 am and then had a three hour nap.

Yesterday he had a nap and was asleep by 9:15 last night. He woke up frantically screaming at 2 am. I got up to relieve Ross at 2:30. The kid has this thing lately where he doesn't want to be held, or consoled, or touched when he is frantic (made the temper tantrum on the airplane last week all the more exciting).

So, I remembered that a couple of weeks ago in a similar situation I made a nest on the floor of his bedding. We did that last night and he was out cold in a matter of minutes - in fact I've only got the time to write this post because he's still asleep.

We think he dislikes the crib. I cannot say that I blame him, but he's still a baby who we don't want wandering the halls at night, falling down the stairs and breaking a limb - or his neck.

Ross thinks we need to buy him a bed this weekend. I think he needs to stay in the crib as long as possible.

It looks like Elliott just wants to sleep on the floor.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Confusion and Delay

At Disneyland, I wanted to get Elliott some mouse ears with his name on them. I knew he would never wear the ears, as he has an aversion to head gear (probably because of three months of helmet wearing, what do you think?), but it was a special souvenir I wanted to get.

When the time came, I picked out his ears, made sure they fit, and wrote his name down on a piece of paper to make sure it was spelled correctly. E-L-L-I-O-T-T.

The had was finished, handed to me, and I put it in my bag and walked over to show the group.

Mom: It only has one T
Me: Oh no, what should I do?
Ross: Take it back and make them fix it!

I took the hat back, explained the problem to the very nice girl who made the mistake, and she willingly fixed the hat. Fixing the hat however, required she take a new hat off the shelf and redo the name.

She handed me the new hat when it was finished. It only had one L. Eliott. Um, that's wrong.

I felt bad for her, but explained that my son's name has 2 L's and 2 T's.

She did a third hat.

That one was right.

My boy apparently has a very tricky name.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The trip round up post you probably really don't want to read but you can at least look at the picutres

We're home and trying to get back to life. That's the way it always is though - you need a vacation from your vacation. I don't need that, I just need another washer and dryer.

the only family portrait on the trip

First, I have the best little boy in the whole world. He was an absolute angel on the trip and he slept on the plane coming home yesterday (thank you all for your prayers and crossed fingers.). Yesterday was one of those time killer days where you have no plans until your evening flight so you might as well go to the beach, get a little bit lost, almost get in a car accident with your dad's rental car, "argue" about whether or not to go to the Aquarium of the Pacific, go to the aquarium and try and make Annie look at sharks and scare the crap out of her days.

Elliott LOVED the ocean and we struggled to get him to leave the beach.

At one point Willie suggested we just let the little land fish go and see what would happen. He'd probably have drowned, but would have gone down laughing at the water.
fishes mama, fishes
Elliott absolutely loved the fish and it was worth the money to take him to see all of the little nemo's and dory's.

We had so much fun on this trip. I was super nervous about taking the monkey to such a crowded and busy place but he loved his adventure and was so good. I borrowed a leash from my friend Lisa, but we didn't even use it once - Elliott didn't wander or stray, he just had fun. My kid likes gift shops, fast food, and rides that spin him in circles. He loved driving his car and his toy phone. What a genious move on the part of Disney to sell toy cell phones for the wee ones. We bought Elliott one of each kind - and this morning at home when he discovered the extra two, he went absolutely nuts!!

Our first day at the park was "RaVe DaY" and there were these nutty, stoned kids all over the place with their goofy bracelets. Of course, mom found a group of them to talk to, and learn about their ilicit drug use.
rave day at disneyland

However, out of three days of pure people watching, this guy was our most favorite.
the best dressed guy in disneyland
He was wearing white tube socks and dress shoes with that winner of an outfit.

It really was such a great trip. Elliott had so many people to take care of him. When he wanted to be goofy and have fun, he went to Haley, James, and Willie. When he wanted food he went to Grandma and Grandpa and Ross. When he fell, cried, or was just too tired for words, he came to me, the mama.

Thanks mom and dad for the adventure.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The adventure comes to a close

Yesterday was our third day at Disneyland and like every other time we've ever come to the park - it was the most crowded, middle school kid infested place on earth. The joy of coming in the summer - Monday's at the park are usually too crowded. I think that Willie was a bit discouraged by the crowds, and the fact that when we arrived at 8:30 the fast pass lines were already in the late afternoon. So what's a group of 5 adults and a baby to do? Go to California adventure and sweat it out!

We did and had a great day. By late afternoon we were all in dire need of a break so we took one, and then went to dinner at Ross' favorite pizza dive - the Haus of Pizza. A German name for an Italian food run by Asian men. Tasty treat - in spite of the kooks surrounding the place.

Then, back to Downtown Disney for some shopping and a quick entrance into the park. The last ride of the trip was just for Ross and me - the Grizzly Rapids. We got soaked and I got some sort of water fungus in my eye but all is well.

Right now, we're all pretty much too tired to function, but we're taking Elliott to the ocean. The kid will love it.

He also loved the light parade on Sunday night - at least for the first few minutes and only if grandma was holding him.

We have to fly home this evening - pray for us!

Monday, June 16, 2008

It really is one of the happier places on earth

cheesy in ca adventure, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

We're still having fun. Elliott has been such a good boy, I've been truly amazed. He's loved all the rides we've taken him on (except King Arthur's Carousel) and he is such a good eater.

Last night we took him on his first trip to in and out. He ate his entire hamburger, most of my fries, and 1/3 of the choclate shake we all split. He also charmed the pants off two older grandma ladies. Such a flirt.

Out third day in dizzy land is rapidly drawing to a close and we are all wiped out. We got so hot and sweaty and tired this afternoon that we all headed back for a short siesta at the hotel.

Oh - the vacation lifestlye. It definitely grows on you. And, traveling with an army of babysitters isn't so bad, either!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Griswald’s have a much better day inspite of ourselves

Day one at Dizzeyland went well. Super crowded, perfect weather, and everyone managed to get on a ride or two.

Elliott had a great day. Two naps, good food, lots of family to take care of him. He was in happy boy heaven.

We took Elliott on the Jungle Cruise, he drove his own car, the muppet movie and turtle talk. (this morning we'll actually take him on some kid rides) He doesn't have a clue about any disney characters but Grandma bought him his own toy cell phone and that made it all worth it.

Lots of strange folks yesterday, but I'll wait and give you the summation post on those folks once we get home and I've got a better internet connection.

Until then - we'll try it again today.

Oh - Happy Father's day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It was pretty much the worst flight ever!

DSCN1833, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

We're finally in California after, if I may be so bold, a hell of an afternoon.

All was going well. We arrived at the airport 20 minutes ahead of schedule. We should have known.

Ross forgot his retainer. He frantically called his dad and had him go to our house and retrieve the retainer to fed ex it to us so Ross can sleep with it tomorrow night.

I forgot all of our hotel and itinerary documentation. I didn't even realize my mom had given it to me.

Our flight was delayed an hour which messed up everything. We had to eat airport Chinese food.

Elliott FREAKED OUT on the plane. He screamed for 1 hour and 2 minutes. And when I say scream, I mean absolutely frantically gagging, hyperventilating screaming. We didn't know what to do. We took off his shirt, his shoes, his socks. As we started our desent, he fell asleep. It was the most awful experience of my life. He screamed so loud that the woman, also a mom, who was sitting behind us, found us at the baggage claim to ask if we were okay.

We forgot driving directions to our hotel. We got lost in California, which is something I never recommend.

We were late to the baseball game.

We had to eat at del taco.

Ross forgot his glasses.

At least our plane didn't crash.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Baby Friday - leavin' on a jet plane

so excited, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

In the last 2 weeks, Elliott, all on his own, has figured out airplanes. When we are outside and one passes overhead he stops, points to the sky, and says "arpane". All this happens while he has the most excited cheesy grin on his face.

We Griswalds are headed to the Magic Kingdom today. The last time we traveled with my parents, our family truckster died. Let's all hope that doesn't happen to the arpane.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Where is the Captain?

On my street, in an above garage studio apartment lives an older gentleman we lovingly refer to as Captain Jack. The Captain generally makes his presence known regularly coming outside, puttering around his stuff, dusting his van and being very easy to talk to.

We haven't seen Captain Jack since before Memorial day. That was three weeks ago.

I'm getting concerned.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Adventures in Babysitting

Today was a first. I needed a sitter and didn't have any immediate family readily available. So, Meranda Kay and Parkie Warkie came to my rescue. They came to my house at the crack of dawn and entertained my monkey all morning while I was at the dentist and my office.

with one of his new favorite babysitters

Elliott had a great time. He didn't bother to tell me goodbye - or even look in my general direction AND he sobbed when they left.

They did a great job and I'm happy to have them be my babysitters anytime. In fact, they were so good that once Elliott relaxed after they left he totally crashed out. I was going to feed him lunch but we didn't make it.

He was so tired, he slept for 3 hours! What are you guys doing the rest of the summer?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

frumpy, dumpy, and lumpy

I saw bits of a makeover show the other day and the woman being made over was referred to as the title of this post by the host. That resonated with me. I am 2 out of 3 these days (I am not dumpy - even though my mom told me that my sister thinks I'm pathetic. Haley, say it isn't so?) I made my sister go shopping with me on Friday so she could be my nanny. Thanks nanny. I really want a nice dress - I can't find one. I even went to Lane Bryant (which, have you ever noticed the initials are LB - huh. How about that?)

Being a domestic servant - I mean mom - can get a bit tiresome and yes, lumpy. Lots of lumpy, but pretty much none of them those lovely lady lumps Fergie talks about. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about something else entirely and maybe after I've written it, all of us will know what that something else is.

I am not going to see the New Kids on the Block. They are coming to the SLC in November of this year on their reunion tour. My sister sent me the concert announcement yesterday. I forwarded it to a friend. I THOUGHT about it ALL DAY yesterday and a bit this morning. I made my decision. No way, Jose! I am too old to want to flash back to what life was like the weekend before I started 7th grade, with braces, right after I turned 12 years old. I'm past it.

The potential concert demographic is a bit scary too. Who is going to go and watch them? How many women in their early to mid 30's would I be surrounded by? Crying and screaming hysterically because they know that Donnie was meant to be with them - and their 4.5 kids. Yeah, the picture isn't pretty. And, Ross probably wouldn't want me as his "favorite girl" anymore anyway.

Part of me will always be "hangin' tough", but not the part of me that is unwilling to fork over $70 (yeah, that's as much as I paid for Sting the last time he came to town) for a reunion concert that is sure to disappoint. I saw the vid. of their today show performance and it was a bit yucky. They are just too old to be "loving me forever". Don't they have wives and kids by now? Shouldn't they?

So yeah, I'm taking the high road, "step by step" because even though I'm frumpy, dumpy, and lumpy, I've still got "the right stuff". Ha!

and, my kid is pretty cute - check him out!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Dinner last night

I know a lot of people who don't fix real dinners and families that don't eat real dinners these days. I fix real dinners almost every night. By real I guess I mean from scratch - like, take all these ingredients and turn them into something - as opposed to going out to eat, microwaving something, etc.

Last night was an experimental real dinner and it turned out pretty good. No pictures, because I just don't know how to take pictures of food that make it look appetizing, but here's the run down.

Shredded Sweet Pork
Cilantro-Lime rice
Lime-Cilantro vinaigrette
chips and salsa

I slow cooked the pork all day long and it was great! The vinaigrette took a mere 2 minutes to put together and we ended up with a relatively authentic knock-off of a local restaurant's mexican salad.

It didn't take me all day to prepare, and the results were tasty.

Here are the recipes, in case you are interested:
Sweet Pork (found it on another blog - no credits, sorry)
1 crock pot
1 pork roast
1 cup salsa
1 cup brown sugar
cook the pork in the crock pot on low for about 8 hours. With an hour or so left, shred it. You might need to add a bit more salsa, sugar, or a touch of water if it got a bit to dry. Keep on warm until ready to serve.

Lime-cilantro vinaigrette (from
1 cup packed cilantro
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lime juice
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
pinch of minced garlic (my "pinch" was 3 small cloves)

throw everything in the blender and enjoy. It would probably taste good chilled, but we used it room temp.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Preston in Argentina

Preston in Argentina
Originally uploaded by bookemdano1978
My cousin Peter the Great just got home from his mission two weeks ago tomorrow. My other cousin, Preston the Great (maintaining a theme here) sent this video in his weekly e-mail.

Preston is in Rio Gallegos, Argentina. If you want to look it up on a map, go for it - it's pretty much at the bottom of the world. It's so far south that he's freezing (it's winter there right now) and they are going to go and visit a glacier that is one of the 7 wonders of the world.

He's been on his mission about a year and he's doing a great job. He is such a good boy. I was his teacher once, in high school. He was my student and TA - the year of napoleon dynamite. That year, he grew his hair out long, got a perm, wore moon boots to school and was always eating a dang Kay-sa-dee-a (yeah, I spelled it wrong).

Thanks for the movie Preston.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Worse than a trip to the DMV...

So yesterday I was selected to take a random drug test.

Hooray for peeing in a cup (my third test in 3.5 months).

Once I was notified that I had been selected, I called over to the place (only a few blocks away) to see how busy they were. They said 20 minutes. I rushed over and walked into a waiting room full of people (liars!).

The waiting room was like the Mos Eisley Cantina scene in the original Star Wars.
I saw, 2, count them, 2 matching t-shirt sweatpant combinations as well as a very large truck driver in mesh shorts, a denim shirt, and hiking boots.
Mesh shorts do not have pockets, so where to store your large trucker wallet and cell phone?
You store them in between your white atheltic socks and your fleshy calves. Mmm, smells like a combination of foot cheese, diesel fuel, and Carl's Jr chili cheese fries (disgusting).
I won't even get into the guys are too cool to stay in the waiting room, so they go outside for a smoke and then get mad when they get skipped (because they did not hear their name called). Nor will I address the strategic placement of chairs without arms throughout the waiting room for persons of larger carriage.
Wish me luck that my number does not get called again.

Monday, June 02, 2008

a pain in the neck...and head....

I have had a moderate (continue to function) to severe (ice pack, dark room, verge of puking) headache everyday since the afternoon of Tuesday, May 20.

I don't think this is normal.

Any suggestions?


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