Friday, January 30, 2009

The only thing I really don't like about living in Utah

I love my state, my home, my community...

My family is all close by and I get to see them often.

I LOVE having 4 seasons and appreciate each for the beauty that it brings to the world.

However, living in good ole' UT does have it's drawbacks, and believe it or not, the only true drawbacks for me have to do with where I want to spend my money. Recession? Sure, that's what everyone is saying but I occasionally have some sweet moola to burn and don't have the opportunity to burn it where I really want on stuff I really want.

For example?

I asked my very savvy always gorgeous put together cousin Jodi where I could find some good make-up to hide my ever darkening eye circles and that old bag lady look that I'm sporting these days. She gave me some great suggestions and I started doing some research. After a morning of surfing and comparing prices and products I settled on a few that would really help me out.

Guess what - there is a store in my state - 15 minutes from home that is supposed to sell the products I settled on. In fact, there are two - one at the mall and one a stand alone. I was so excited. After bath time for the boy, and getting real clothes on both of us and make-up where applicable, we went to the stand alone - I wandered around aimlessly carrying my monkey who decided his legs were broken. Couldn't find what I wanted and finally asked for help. Was told that this particular store location doesn't carry that brand - and just because they sell it online doesn't mean they carry it in store!


I was mad.

I had an actual $100 bill burning a hole in my pocket and I couldn't use it.

I got home and checked the department store's website because it has a "location finder." Same deal - they sell the stuff I wanted online, but not in store.

UG and EGAD!

Why is some stuff so hard? All I want is a fancy concealer and stuff to try and hide the I haven't slept in a year look. Is that too much to ask?

Story of my life - it seems that all the things I need, want, or think I need or want cannot be purchased in my home state. I have to buy the stuff when I travel or online, which most of the time is fine. But come-on, I don't want to have to wait a million years FOR EVERYTHING.

Oh well, I ordered what I wanted online and maybe it will come in the next week or so. I'm sure I'll be even more desperate by then.

I thought though, that I'd share with you my wish list. A few stores I WISH had a storefront in UT. I mean, we got an IKEA, is it too much to ask for a few more? really, I only need 4 stores and 2 food places. It's got to be doable. These places would make a killing here.

Lands End (Not at Sears, but a real Lands End store. I know they don't' exist anywhere, but I want one.)
Crate and Barrel

The Container Store
Au Bonne Pain

I also wish we had our Johnny Rockets back. Do you remember that place - it was at trolley square like, 14 years ago. Oh so good.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

do the hustle...

A short tale of two hustles

First, an update: I did not give my husband enough credit in this post. I did not have to provide matching funds for his black hole. He did it all on his own.

Craigslist and an Xbox
The boy that I am married to has been itching for an xbox. For months and months he's been insisting that he can make room in his very busy life to play video games. I'm not sure when he'll do it except either at 4:00 am or instead of going to church, but he's wanted one real bad.

We agreed to a deal - if he could "hustle" up $250 for the device, then I'd allow our bank account to match the rest. During the month of January he has kept to his word, selling various and sundry items on craigslist and ebay. I think he sold enough of our crap to make himself well over $300 - far beyone the original two-fifty mark. Good for him.

Yesterday he put the money in the bank and purchased his black hole. Did you know that will let you purchase online with two different credit cards? Just incase you don't have enough of your credit limit left over on one or the other. Scary, right?

Anyway he bought it - now, will he use it? That's the million dollar question.

The Bink
I've decided that the Monkey doesn't need his bink and that as of last week, turning two years old, he really doesn't need it. It's driving me crazy because he talks with the thing in his mouth and I cannot understand a word of his slobbery gibberish. Easier said than done, though, getting rid of the thing. I'm not sure how to get rid of it - yes I know just take it away but his wrath is too deadly. Not in the mood or condition to be the bad guy. The nurse practitioner that we really like told me that with her kids - she tied their favorite bink to a chair in a really boring spot of the house and in order to use it - the kids had to stand at that chair, then realize how stupid it is and choose to give up the bink themselves. Good idea, right? Personal choice vs. mean mama. I like it.

Well, I'm not there yet, but have come up with my own hustle. This week, the bink is limited to the bed. If he wants the blasted thing in his mouth, he has to be in bed. He cannot get out of his bed with it in his mouth and if he starts asking for it, he has to get in bed to get it. And, we're not taking them with us anymore - no car rides, no stores, no church.

Results after two and a half days? Pretty good. I'm just not ready for screaming fits over the bink - and know that especially at night, he seems to really "need" it to help him sleep. So, were continuing with the "just in the crib/bedtime" route for the next week or so. Adults don't like cold turkey so why should kids be forced to do it?

Where is the hustle you ask? Well, I think that I have figured out the best bribe in the world - balloons. A mere dollar or two for some helium ballons and I think I can use those in exchange for a bink - if I need to. It's my last resort though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sweet Victory

After WEEKS of stress and sweat and maybe a few tears shed, I got this e-mail this morning.

I drove the boy to school, entered the forbidden parking lot, parked in a visitor slot, told the boy to go in the school and check the "list", I waited. I waited. I had this sick feeling in my stomach. I waited. It seemed like and eternity, at least 50 students walked by and entered the school. Then I saw him, he came out the far south door, no indication of anything, I was sick inside. Then, I saw a sign, right arm thrust upward with conviction, and the right thumb pointing up! He made it! He made the final cut! He is on the basketball team! Yes!

Have a great day!

We're one step closer, my brother and me, to our NCAA championship. We'll settle for a Jr. High Championship first though.


at the ball game

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A birthday blur from start to finish

Even with two cameras yesterday - there are almost no clear pictures of my boy's second birthday. Why? He didn't hold still from the second he woke up until the second he went to bed. A whirlwind of excitement...balloon loving excitement.

It was one of the best days we've ever had. We met our dad for lunch - the Monkey wanted a hot dog so to 5 guys it was. He at the whole thing, drank most of his root beer with lemon and even ate a few Cajun fries - even though it looked like he might break out in hives while doing it. Then it was off to the aquarium where he was in jelly fish loving heaven. We were there an hour - there isn't an hour's worth of stuff to look at, but that's how long we were there.

Jelly fish, nemo fish and sharks - the boy was in heaven. The mama whose afraid of marine life? Not so much, but I survived and manged to find some plastic jelly fish in the aquarium to appease the crazy boy.

He fell asleep on our way to get Uncle MeMe...a special birthday present in and of itself - he spent the afternoon with us and the napless, crazy two year old made MeMe so tired, he even fell asleep for a little while on the floor. Once Woss got home, MeMe and I made a break for it to get a special surprise - some "bai-yoons" for the birthday boy. Never in my life would I have imaged how in love he'd be with some helium balloons but he was. He held one almost all night long, held it while we maneuvered his jammies around the string, held it in one hand and his blanket in the other watching his 'bedtime movie' and couldn't rest until it was safely secured right next to his crib.

Everyone braved the super thick fog to trek to our house for the party - even my grandparents. It took them over an hour - and they got a little lost but they made it. My grandma was so relieved that they survived the journey - and that she'd put a new tank of oxygen in her little carrier before they left the house - with the drive and the weather - she needed all 4 hours that little tank was giving her.

The Monkey let everyone help him open presents - being very judicious with so many grandparents around. He LOVED every gift, and all the Thomas the Train stuff - he didn't say Thanks too many times but hopefully the excitement on his face was enough for everyone.

The hits of the night, besides the balloons, were blowing out candles (he blew his out three times...good thing we learned and have practiced that skill - no spitting at all), and of course, Auntie HaEEE. She brings out the crazy in him and last night, with their Kung Fu-Karate Kid-Godzilla moves we were all laughing so hard I'm surprised there weren't more tears.

I was so happy yesterday - this crazy boy of mine is so loved by his family. It was an amazing day of love and generosity and jellyfish and exuberant, bounding energy.

No wonder he woke up at 4:30 this morning...I think he was ready for another day all about him.

Friday, January 23, 2009

happy birthday to my 4 year old

For the past two weeks, I've been preparing him for this day. The big 2. We've been talking about parties and cakes, and presents and blowing out candles. We've been trying to learn to hold up two fingers.

Every time I ask my Monkey how old he is, he holds up both of his hands and says, "FOUR!" I guess if he wants to be four years old, that's his decision. For me? He's two.

mom and the birthday boy

We've come a long way in the last year. He's outgrown clothes, the high chair, and riding in shopping carts. He walks, talks, watches movies, and loves to dance. Yesterday we were listening to the radio and the Journey song, "Don't stop Believing" came on and oh boy, did my kid light up the dance floor. Even if the dance floor was in my bedroom between the bed and the dresser.

Kiss me, I'm Irish

I am amazed by him every day. He is so smart and knows hundreds of words. Every morning we have the same routine. I greet him with as boisterous of a "Good Morning Baby Boy" as i can muster and he returns the favor, with open arms and yells at me, "Come here!" so he can get his morning hug.


For the first time in his two years of life, I am at a loss for words. It's beyond me how to explain how much this little monkey has changed my life, how much I love being his mama, and what a joy he is to everyone he meets. Those eyes, eyelashes, belly laughs, and crazy ideas are just the best things to be a part of every day.

His boundless energy saps my will to live on many days, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Whether dancing, playing with trains, pinching my bum (it's a new thing...he'll out grow it, right?) or learning how to catch, this kids enthusiasm for life is contagious.

At two years old, this boy of mine weighs 30 lbs and is just over 37 inches tall. He is an eating machine and loves nearly everything place in front of him. He loves hot dogs and pizza, frozen blue berries and popcorn most of all. He probably watches too much tv, but who can deny such a boy his Mowgli, jellyfish, or flick and dot?

at the ball game

Today, he gets an afternoon of fun. We're taking him to lunch and the aquarium to see jelly fish. Then tonight it's a party with most of the people he loves the most.

As I look forward to year number three I can hardly wait for all the excitement. More talking and activities, travel adventures, swimming lessons, play dates, and watching him become a big brother will just melt my heart I'm sure.

My mom tells me all the time how lucky I am to be the mom to such a good boy.

She's right.

I am lucky.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I feel it's my civic duty and I couldn't resist.

Change is good. No doubt about it. We all need change.

Tuesday was a big deal in America - the only people that got shot were mall kids going to see the Biggie Smalls movie - and everything went down peacefully - except WOlf Man Sting at one of those stupid balls. Man, my stinger looked awful, and a little like RObin Williams.

That aside I get it - the apathetic, don't care girl that I am now, void of all my political fire that used to be housed in my heart gets it. Historic. Ground Breaking. Move mountains and all that stuff.

That being said, I don't want to get into a political discussion and all, that's not my thing. I'm neither conservative or liberal. I float in the middle and haven't voted for a major party candidate since the first election I voted in when I was 18 years old. I'm as happy as the rest of you to get rid of the Bush Baby. I Don't like confrontation, politics, and rhetoric in general. Spew all of that to your cubicle mate at work and put it on your blog. I just wanted to share something with all of you.

I like John Stewart. It's not regular viewing in my house, and I was after all a day late, but I caught part of Tuesday's Daily Show (last night in it's rebroadcast)and this made me laugh out loud. I don't know if it's because it's funny....or because it's true.

Leave it to Johnny boy though to tell it like it is, right?

Skip Jay Leno and his big chin and watch this from about the 1:20 mark.

Oh, I love change. Change is good. Everyone needs change.
Man - is my husband rubbing off on me or what?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Need a holiday treat today? MAKE THESE NOW!

I found this recipie (and the picture) at Bakerella on Friday and after making them yesterday, I am ordering you to go and make them today.

Right now.

Forget diets.

Forget healthy.

Forget being a diabetic.

Forget it all.

It's a holiday today so why not make a special treat?

make them with the ganache topping.

Sooooo goood.

Friday, January 16, 2009

He'll be two in a week - can you even beleive it?

My boy turns two a week from today. I LOVE it! And it makes me a little sad that he is such a grown up little monkey - banana eating and all crazy monkey-ness included.

I love him lots, and he loves me back - which is the best way to have the kind of relationship we've got going on.

In the last week or so he is a talking machine, offering a running narrative of his life and everything he does - including everything he does to me like, "hit mama" or "mama bum".

It's so fun that he's such a wild and crazy guy and even though he has much more fun with his auntie Ha-eee and uncle Me Me he can have fun with me, too.

at the ball game

Yesterday we were in the kitchen trying to figure out what to eat for don't want to know what we settled on (blueberries, potato chips and ranch dip with crystal light raspberry ice to wash it down - the lunch of champions) and while we were trying to figure it out - the boy asked to be picked up so he could see the ipod on a dock. He then motioned and started yelling, "Come On!" which was code for hissong.

What is the monkey's song? It's a bit non-traditional - "Idlewild blues" by Outkast. It's an awesome song, and we love it. Even though he was too distracted by his hammer and his dumb pacifier - he still managed to get his groove on a bit - and I managed to film it.

In other news...right now in our house, the monkey is obsessed with jelly fish. Go figure. Next week for his b-day we're taking him to lunch and to the aquarium, which happens to have three different kinds of jellyfish. He'll be so excited he might pee his pants. Oh wait, he already does that. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Essentials

For the last two years, I've pretty much cooked every meal in our house. We eat out too much (and have the waist lines to prove it) but when it comes to cooking dinner at home with rare exception - that's my job.

It was a great release for me when a little baby joined my family to hand over said screamer and be by myself in the kitchen. Like most families, our menu's are pretty standard, but there are a few things I cannot do without in the kitchen. These essentials sit on the counter right by my stove. Most of them get used pretty much every day - along with other spices, ingridients and all that other stuff that makes dinner at home tasty.

the essentials

So, what are my essentials? They are these:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Flavacol salt powder for popcorn
Malted Milk Powder
Olive Oil infused with Garlic
Sea Salt
Hires Cherry Syrup

Sounds awesome, right?

It is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh Blogger! Where art thou?

I told my family last Friday that I was going to stop blogging for two weeks. I didn't even make it a whole 5 days.


Sure looks like it.

Wonder what my deal is?

I'm not going to tell you.

Let's just say that through "events" I came to the realization (like hitting my head against a brick wall) that there are people who read my blog. People I know. People in my neighborhood. People that then use the information they read as fodder for conversations...not with me, but about me. Without me knowing. And then call me. To talk about what they were talking about. about me. Get it? Sort of like the lady on Bewitched. Mrs. Kravitz? Or the lady that my mom grew up by whom she called "ruley radar".

No biggie - that's what the blog is for right? Right. I put it out there and I need to relate and deal. I got it now.

I'm on the Internet blogging about my life and stuff. Big DUH! for me.

It just bothered me.

I'm over it now.

Funny how I'm okay with perfect strangers reading things I write, but when it's a bit closer to home, and it's people I know (but don't really know, ya know?) it sort of bugged me.

So, what do I do now, right?

Privatize? Um, no! That sort of defeats the purpose, right? Why use the Internet if I am going to use it privately? For me that's not an option.

Stop blogging? Um, no...again. Can't do it. It's an eating nutella by the spoonful or going to Chick-fil-a for lunch and eating all the french fries even though I was going to split them with my monkey.

The solution? This is the best I've come up with.
Start "unplugging" a bit from technology.
Deactivate facebook account.
Less frequent posting on this here blog.
Less posting about my "life" and the people in it and more posting about "nothing". It worked for Seinfeld so I guess it will work for me.

On a different note, don't you like my new template? I think it's very cool. and slick. and sophisticated.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

me thinks I doth share to much....

maybe it's time to rethink a bit how much information gets shared out here on the interwebs.



I'll be back later.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Blame it on the Rain? Or Hormones?

In the last few years, whenever I've complained about something out of my normal realm, Ross blames it on my hormones. It's his standard explanation for all the world has to offer. Hormones.

Regardless, that's probably the excuse, or reasoning for the 4 day headache I've got going on, the back ache, the neck pain, the sleepless nights, the mild nausea and the excessive exhaustion (how was that for a bit of alliteration?). Who wants to sleep from Midnight to 4 am anyway? Not me I guess.

Oh yeah - and the CONSTANT kicking from the inside out. It feels like a certain little "squirt" is doing the butterfly on my kidneys. I get kicked so hard it makes my legs twitch. Super fun and a bit embarrassing.

It's probably true that the little squirt is wreaking some havoc on my system and ability to concentrate. That being said, this time around I've noticed a few differences. I'm already hoping that boy #2 is a little bit more mellow than boy #1. I need a chill kid in my life because both of the boys/men that reside in my household currently are not "chill". Except when there is a football game/robin hood or peter pan on the tv. Then they are too chill but that's another story.

Want to know what I really want to do these days, in addition to sleep a lot. Vacuum and eat Cheetos and drink real cokes (stupid diabetes sort of puts a damper on the last two). I developed a strange hankerin' for cheetos with the Monkey and it's never subsided - only gotten a bit more dramatic in the last few weeks. In a normal world - I'd shy away from them as fast as possible but right now, I could live off of them. Oh and Little Caesar's pizza. I could eat that every day, too. Know what I don't want to eat? Cafe Rio ever again. We tried it the other night and I woke up yesterday morning sick. That place (unfortunately)is now DEAD TO ME!

I've also taken to letting my little boy drink a coke now and then. Yell at me, I don't care, but when he isn't feeling well and comes up to me so sweetly, hugs my legs and says, "Mama, garage, Coke (click") I cannot help but get him one. We split it. I shouldn't, but I do. Oh how a few swallows taste so good. A super doctored up DC is okay, too but it's just not the same. Do you realize that in the last almost three years I have only had a real coke like, um, 5 times and those have been in an emergency situation where I needed the sugar STAT!

We got a new Dyson vacuum over christmas. It's called the Armada and with the help of some Christmas money and gift cards, it cost us almost nothing so we went for it. I love it. I want to sleep next to this vacuum at night (not really, but do you sense my new found sense of devotion?). Now don't get me wrong - I despise cleaning. I generally don't do it except superficially and make Ross clean the bathrooms and toilets because it grosses me out. BUT, in the last few weeks, especially since we got this new purple dynamo last week, I am a vacuuming nut. Some place in my house gets vacuumed every day. Right now there is just something about NEEDING to see the lines in my carpet that is calming to me. It settles my nerves a bit. It soothes me. I'll do it in the morning and by mid afternoon, the boy has eliminated most of my lines, but I know that they are still there, underfoot, until the next morning when i start all over again.

I'm also obsessed with smells, much more than usual. Ham from the grocery store deli makes me gag and Ross had a different smell a few weeks ago that was so odd I ended up sniffing him and his clothes and yes he let me. I finally, as gross as it was, pinpointed the new smell - a different scent of deodorant and felt much better about things.

Now that was a fun read, wasn't it?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Our first game of the season

We obviously didn't make it to the Sugar Bowl on Friday night. It's okay. I've been to New Orleans. I don't need to go back. It was however, a splendid sight to see "MY TEAM" (as Ross always calls them) ring the bell of the crimson tide...even if their all white uniforms left a lot to be desired.

waiting for the game to start - and the fans to arrive

We did however, get to the Utah vs. Wyoming basketball game yesterday, 45 minutes early. I was certain that the tickets said that the game started at 1:30 so we arrived at 1:15. It started at 2:00. Duh! The game was not nearly as exciting or as importantas Friday nights bowl game, but it filled a huge void for me. The season of course started in November and we finally got to our first game. Oh how I love basketball. It's just one of the best things in the world.

Elliott had a great time - luckily my dad, willie, haley and james were all there to help entertain...but, even if they weren't I think it would have been fun. The Monkey ate almost an entire soft pretzel - one of those giant concession stand kind (and he licked off all the salt before he actually ate any of kind of kid) and drank most of my diet coke, most of willie's sprite, and hit up every other cup claimed by someone in the family, too.

the soft pretzel.

It was a good day. We've got tickets for a few more games this season - and I made Ross promise me that in another year or so, my early christmas present for the rest of my life will be season tickets for my runnin' utes. Oh, how exciting.

Friday, January 02, 2009

toddler friday: funny words

I was talking to my mom this morning about funny words my brother said when he was little. He called suspenders "spensers" and sea gulls, "gully gulls."

Lately, The Monkey has taken some vocabulary liberties of his own. Besides clicking after he completes a sentence, he does some other goofy stuff too.

He doesn't pronounce the "sh" sound with words. He will tell you to shoosh, but he won't pronounce it. Instead of shoe, its hosh. Instead of shark, its harshk. Shirt is hirt.

Nemo is "memo". Willie is "meme" and we all know that Ross is "woss.". Popscicle is "okkickle" and spoon is "brush".

There are more, but I can't remember them now.

And - I forgot my 23 month post last week. Did you notice? Bad mommy. Ill just wow you all with the 24 month/holy cow the monkey is 2 post in a couple of weeks.


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