The Common Mommy Denominator

I'm a Mom. I need adult conversation. I need to talk about the banalities and the excitements of life, and be understood by the masses. Most of all, I need feedback. Let's chat. You about yours, me about mine, us about ours. Let's find and discuss the Common Mommy Denominator.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


So we're in the house. Can't wait to post on it, can't wait to share pictures, can't wait to...well, finish getting set up, but whatever. Also can't wait to have a housewarming party so all y'all can come see this puppy...but it's going to have to wait. There are more important things.

So here it is, and I'll say it once here so I don't have to say it again.

My sister is 30 weeks pregnant with their first baby, a girl who will be named Annabel. A month or so ago they discovered the baby had dwarfism, and a week or two ago now found out it is a rare and fatal form.

Last week she had an amnio and is currently awaiting the results so that they can schedule her to be induced. She has a serious excess of amniotic fluid (which Annabel has not used, hence the non-development of her lungs and other internal organs) and it is dangerous for her to attempt to take Annabel full term, which she likely will not make anyway. She will be induced either this week or next and deliver little Miss Bananabel, who will not live more than a few moments outside the womb, if she even emerges alive. She has some deformations and is not compatible with life, and we're all worried about what might happen to mom...though we know what will happen to baby, and we're obviously heartbroken.

Tomorrow, by the way, is my sister's birthday. She should receive the results of the amnio tomorrow and be able to schedule the induction for the first available opportunity.

So I am not planning a housewarming party, and I am not dancing through the large and spacious building we now call home; instead I am preparing my children for sad grandparents and no new cousin and a devastated auntie and uncle. And I'm sad, surprise, surprise, because we're having to look into funerary arrangements for the special soul entrusted to our family for the few precious moments we'll have her.

Annabel has had quite an effect on us, and she isn't even here yet, but she will be, all too soon, and then she'll be gone. And we will love her as though she remained among us, think of her often, and hold her in our hearts to and beyond the end of time.

If you have any extra prayers lying around, please devote them to Kate & Victor and their precious Annabel Katherine Flores, and if you're not the praying type, please keep your fingers crossed. All of them.

Much obliged. More soon. Let's hope it'll be happy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Marine in the Grocery Store

With Memorial Day creeping slowly toward us, I wanted to share an experience I had at the grocery store yesterday.

I took my daughter to the store to do our usual shopping, and as we ambled down the first aisle an elderly gentleman – spry and active as someone 50 years his junior – commented on my daughter’s “adorable blonde head”. I noticed the Veteran’s pin on his hat right away and lately have been enjoying reading Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation – a nonfiction book about those who lived through and fought in WWII – so rather than just thank him for his compliment and moved on, I asked him about his service record. I’d like to tell you what he shared with me in the five or so minutes we stood there chatting.

This gentleman turned 16 in 1944. He immediately signed up for active duty in the military – he became a Marine – and lied about his age to do so. He was found out just before he was supposed to ship out to the South Pacific and was kept in the states, to his great dismay. Boot camp had made him a man, he said, and he was ready to prove himself to God and country...but as he turned 17, the war was ending, and he had a decision to make. He wanted to serve. “Stick around, Corporal” said the Marines. “You’ll be shipping out sooner than you think.”

A few years later he went to Korea. He says it was there that he was REALLY made a man; he’d been wrong the first time. He was fascinated by the people and culture, fought with everything in him, and said he nearly froze to death every night every winter. When his service was complete, he had a decision to make. He still wanted to serve...but he wanted to serve somewhere a little warmer. “Stick around, Sergeant,” said the Marines. “You’ll be shipping out sooner than you think...and it’ll be warm there.”

And he did. And then he served in Vietnam. Still he was fascinated by the people and culture, fought with everything in him – and bolstered the morale of many a man who learned he had fought in, survived, and returned from Korea only to lead them now – and said he practically baked in his skin and took a shower in his clothes just walking outside every day he served there. When his service was complete, he had a decision to make, and he served until 1973 when finally he retired.

Twenty years later the US became involved in Desert Storm, and he called up the Marines, offering his services and citing former military service. They asked where he had served, and when they found it he was just a little older than their average active-duty corpsman, they politely declined his help. He was disappointed. “I could have at least sat behind a desk in Afghanistan or Saudi and done paperwork,” he reflected sadly. “They can always use someone with a little experience...but I suppose it is your generation’s turn to protect this great nation of ours.”

Indeed, sir. You have served honorably and valiantly in the defense of these United States to ensure my freedom, and God bless you for it. It is our turn. We must overcome our entitlement attitudes and see this country for what it is...for what it was intended to actively contribute to it and to make it even better if it is within our power to do so.

That gentleman made me proud to be an American, proud of our servicemen and women, proud to be a conservative who values our country’s Constitution and wishes to take personal responsibility for my life instead of letting my government grow so big that it makes my decisions for me. Memorial Day will take on new, extra, and a profound meaning for me this year, thanks to this aged Marine and those who fought – some who died – as he served. God bless him, God bless them all, God bless our country, and God bless us as we face the challenge of protecting this, our beloved country, from foes both foreign and domestic.

Much love,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So, I'd spend a few pages explaining our home-buying situation, but suffice it to say that we are finally in escrow on a beautiful home in Lake Elsinore and are hoping to close by the end of the month of April. Long story short, the one we wanted that we waited 4 months didn't (SHORT SALE) work out, but right about the time we started looking again, up popped this house with a floorplan we'd already walked through and just had really crappy pictures up for MLS (which works in our favor). It was (IS...this is our soon-to-be-home!) a short sale, but was already in escrow...the buyers just couldn't close the loan in time. Enter our fabulous realtor (and bishop, which is awesome!) who steps in to say "We can do it!" and BAM!, bank says sure, but we have to close by May 10th. Our loan guy says "Great!" and we say "April 30th?" to which he says "I'm on it!" we are, Lord willing 23 days before we move into our (almost dream!) home, unless we get delayed by up to 10 days, in which case we'll be there in a month!

Maybe that WAS a long story. At least it wasn't multi-paragraph, right?

So now you want the details...the specs. Here we go: built in '06, 3 homes from the end of a cul-de-sac on a quiet little hill in a first-division home in a beautiful tract in Elsinore JUST off the 74 (Jason's commute route) and about an hour from Nona/Papa and Tee/Boo. 2643 sq ft, 4 bed, 2 1/2 bath with a very large upstairs bonus room, 3 car garage w/ epoxy flooring, on an almost 8000 sq ft lot. The backyard is unlandscaped (which is fine, because we want to put in a patio/bbq/firepit/garden/a bunch of fake grass for a tax credit!) and the home has an already-installed alarm system (which will end up being about $10/mo), a pretty front porch, an island kitchen with granite countertops and walk-in pantry, a huge 5 burner gass range and double ovens, a fireplace in the family room, a giant under-stair storage closet, custom wood blinds throughout (and tons of natural light!), double doors on the master bedroom, a seperate tub and shower in the master with double silkstone sinks and a water closet, plus a walk-in master closet. Like Katrina said, we didn't compromise on features we wanted, and like Audrey said, I took a good look at the house to see how easy or difficult it would be to maintain. Thank you both. :)

So...that's really all there is to say about the house. I'm guessing you'd just rather see pictures.

Keep in mind I don't like their paint - actually, the paint is fine, it's just that I hate the accent walls - and the carpet, while unspotted and pretty, needs a deep-clean...but all around, we love it and we'll change it if and when we have the time...and the money, which is really the issue. :) We WILL, however, "earn" the $8k first time homebuyer tax credit, so maybe we can pour a concrete patio and get a really "cool" (yup, I'm lame) fridge after all.

Thanks for all your prayers, thoughts, advice, and encouragement, friends! We appreciate you pulling for us, and we're glad to say it has (or is about to) all paid off...and will pay off for you, too, next time you want to come visit SoCal and need a free hotel!

PS...T&M thank you too...because they will very soon have their very own rooms, window seats and all!!!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Because I Needed a Smile...

My mom sent me this...check it out. AWE-----SOME.

Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement - not even her parent's nasty divorce. Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear, and would be the best-dressed mother-of-the-bride ever!

A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother! Jennifer asked her father's new young wife to exchange it, but she refused. ''Absolutely not! I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I'm wearing it,'' she replied.

Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, ''Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day.''

A few days later, they went shopping, and did find another gorgeous dress for her mother. When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, ''Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it..."

Her mother just smiled and replied, ''Of course I do, dear.....I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.''

LOOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! What do they say? Don't get mad...get ahead. :) Enjoy!


That's right, people...the 4th toe (next to the pinky toe) on my left foot is...BROKEN.

That's what I get for skipping out on church right after the sacrament, right?

So we got home from church Sunday (it was just me and the kids because Jason was sick) and I made the kids lunch, and as I was crossing the room from the table toward the couch...

I kicked one of the legs of a dining room chair.

I swear, I think I heard the break.

Anyway, WHAM!, and I was down on the floor rolling around and grabbing at my poor lame socked foot as though I was going to die.

You see, I actually have an incredibly high pain tolerance...but a toe? Now THAT'S pain.

So my sweet, sick husband asks me to get up and come see him at the couch so he can take a look, and somewhere between a gasp and a sob I yell, "I can't!"

He comes to me.

He pulls off my sock and tries not to vomit thanks to my unshaven legs...and then looks at my poor toe, bent in entirely the wrong direction and provoking a scream from me when he tries to bend it. So he asks ME to try to bend it. I fight back the scream, but the toe is swelling - badly - and the answer is clear: it's broken.

So my folks come over to hang with the munchkins and it's off to urgent care with my already-sick husband for the next 3 hours (between wait time, wait-in-the-patient-room time, x-ray time, and here-are-your-crutches-so-you-can-go-now time), where my toe is buddy-wrapped to it's - for lack of a better term - buddy, and I'm sent out on a brand new pair of crutches (which have since, I KID YOU NOT, bruised both the palms of my hands and my underarms). "Be sure you make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon," the doctor tells me as I'm leaving. "That way he can decide if it needs to be set, rebroken and set, or operated on!"

My husband reminds me it's a hairline fracture on the way out the door, God bless him.

So I have an appt for this Thursday to assess the damage with an orthopedist, a big ugly bruise starting at my toe and spreading like a disease, a pair of crutches I'm trying not to use, my mom's automatic-shift car in case I really need to go somewhere, Cory as an excuse for my broken toe since I don't want to take responsibility for my own klutziness (it was, after all, her old dining room chair that did this to me, to thanks a lot, Cory!) (Just kidding, ya!), and a fabulous friend in Chelsea Stewart (who, ironically, I now visit teach, though she's the one serving me!) who is willing to retrieve my son from kindergarten after school every day this week so I don't have to crutch it on my bruised underarms. God bless her, too.
Also, I have a doctor's not "for work" - Jason accepted it with a smile and an eye roll - that I'm going to try to use this Saturday for Disneyland. Heck, if I have to be hobbled and on crutches 'til the 10th or longer, I might as well take the opportunity to rent a wheelchair and get on rides lickety-split. It's legit, after all. Just take a look at that toe...and that's AFTER two days of being taped to its middle-toe friend and me tossing and turning - CAREFULLY - for two sleepless nights with my foot throbbing.

That orthopedist better deliver some percoset, people, because ibuprofen, tylenol, and naproxin just aren't cutting it. (Not together, by the way...) Who knew how PAINFUL one stupid little toe could be? And it's not supposed to heal for 6 weeks? So much for getting back to the gym...for afternoons with the kids at Disney...for days at the park with friends watching our kids play...wait, I don't have friends with kids to watch play in the park. Don't worry about that one, then. Anyway, my plans for the week are shot. Hope you're doing better than my toe.

More soon. I hope. And I also hope it'll be good, I'm going to be right as rain by Saturday but I can still use the work note for an accessibility pass. Riiiiiiiiight. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent, and...enjoy the pictures?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Top 10...Because Everybody Else is Doing it, and I'm That Kind of Girl

Yes, it's true, this is a Mormon Mommy Blog, and according to SSB, that means it's all about Moi. Additionally, no one cares about Moi because Moi is a Mormon Mommy, so feel free to skip it if you like.

Following are the Top 10 Movies that have impacted my life. Enjoy. And if you feel so inclined, blog about yours. I'm interested. :)

1. The Shawshank Redemption: This may very well be one of the greatest films of all time. Not only is it based on a Stephen King story, it has feasibly the most beautiful scene in recorded history: a prison yard full of criminals transformed - even if for only a moment - by the heavenly sound of opera on a loudspeaker. It never fails to lift me, to remind me of the power and resiliency of the human spirit, and to prove that we are all capable of dramatic change...both for the good and the bad.

2. What Dreams May Come: Robin Williams is quite possibly the most versatile actor in Hollywood EVER, and this film is breathtaking. It afforded me the opportunity to reexamine my faith and beliefs, not to mention offered an entirely new way of looking at love. Don't ask me to explain...just watch the movie.
3. (Disney's) Peter Pan: The first Halloween I got to choose my own costume, I picked Peter Pan. I was three. Some days I still believe I can fly.

4. Moll Flanders: We are all one being. And I am Moll. Darn that sense of self! (And we can't forget to mention Morgan Freeman's "Sent ya'd ya like it?" Or Aisling Corcoran's "Well, I's a need to pee in my schedule!" or "How do you know? You're not a dog!" Aaaah.)

5. A Little Princess (1996): Talk about a little optimism changing an outlook! This movie always reminds me of the value of human life, the benefits of imagination, and is one of the single most beautifully-expressed, cinematographically-perfect films ever. I actually wrote a college paper on it. Wow.

6. The Matrix: I started my student teaching at Taylorsville High. When I left halfway through, post-Shakespeare competition, I was given a card (and a beebee gun) signed by all my Shakespeare students with the Matrix quote "You are the One." Of course, the film was a breakthrough for its time and the soundtrack is one to lose yourself in, but all told, they could have stopped at # 1 and it still would've been phenomenal.

7. It's a Wonderful Life: I never watch this movie that I don't cry. From time to time we all lose sight of the value of a soul, and this brings it back to me...every time. I also never watch this movie that something new doesn't jump out and bite me in the butt. "Please, Mr. Gower, please don't hurt my sore ear again!" (I'm near-tears even typing that.)

8. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves: This movie defined - and saved - my teenage existence. Just about every doodled-on paper I own from 13 - 17 has a crossbow, sword, or other Robin Hood-related item on it. It was how I lost myself, and the beginning of losing myself in art. Not that Costner's performance was art, but...when you're 13 and staring at Christian Slater, Costner's accent doesn't matter much.

9. Dangerous Beauty: Veronica and I have the same world view. I can't write poetry, of course, and I only wish I had her wit, but I relate to her in so many ways it's frightening. In great part because she was a courtesan, and I'm a Mormon Mommy. Maybe I should be frightened.

10. Wait Until Dark: Never have I ever wanted to act more than when I watched Audrey Hepburn - one of the most stunning skinny women ever to have lived - stagger blindly through a darkened room to escape Alan Arkin. I screamed. I was so scared I practically threw up. She was brilliant. If it hadn't been for her idiot husband in the final scene, I'd declare it the best suspense thriller ever made. But Audrey was brilliant. I can't decide whether I'd rather look like her or Angelina Jolie. Thankfully (?), I'll never have to choose...because I don't look like either. And thanks, Audrey, for making me aspire to something I knew I would never achieve, because that was what made me ultimately "settle" for teaching, and what ultimately allowed me to "settle" for being a wife and stay-home mom, which (most days) turns out to be my life-long dream.

Good stuff.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Went to Northgate Market today after we dropped Ty at school...and on a whim, I bought a fresh husked coconut.

The idea of drinking out of a coconut with a straw was intriguing, so I thought, "Why not?"

I brought it home, drove a screwdriver through two of the three top holes, and a bit of coconut water spewed out each hole when I got all the way through it.

I then proceeded to drain the coconut (because I realized I had no straws) and tried to hack it into pieces to eat the meat.

I learned a few things about coconuts today:

A) Coconut water is great when you're stranded on a desert island with no fresh water. When you're in Anaheim, however, and you have a Brita to rid your tap water of that metallic sewer taste, coconut water is "eh."

B) Coconuts contain a HECKUVA lot of coconut water!!! Note to self: next time I want to drain a coconut, use a large glass!

C) Coconuts are a huge pain in the butt to hack into when you don't have a machete. A butcher's knife will work - slowly, and if the coconut is resting on the kitchen floor - but you have to hack like crazy, so watch out for your fingers and your linoleum.

D) The white meat-stuff in the middle of a fresh coconut is mildly slimy and doesn't take much like coconut. Let it dry out before you try to eat it. Seriously.

So...I have educated myself on coconuts today and had a 20 minute kitchen adventure, all for only $1.49! I can't say I'd recommend the experience, but heck...if you're curious, at least its a new experience!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Need to Vent

So skip this if you're not up for it.

Lots of things have been pissing me off lately, and I'm not even still on the hcg diet, so that's saying something. (EVERYTHING was pissing me off then!) And oddly enough, that's part of what has been pissing me off.

After hcg I've been trying to go back to a "normal" diet...which means introducing fats, sugar, and refined flour into my diet. I want to die. I'm in pain, cramped, sluggish, re-fattening, and getting headaches. My body HATES the "traditional" Western diet. We were NOT made to eat #2 feed corn...which happens to be in just about EVERYTHING we consume. I could go into this for the next 3 days because I've read, seen, heard, and now know enough I could write my own book about it, but the bottom line is that we get fat and our bodies give out thanks primarily to inedible #2 (not yummy sweet!) corn. And I'm bitter at our government for it. VERY bitter. But until we have a home, I don't see much of a way around it.

So then there's bitterness # 2: short sales. They take FOREVER. Why? Because of the sheer volume of short sales and foreclosures out there. I realize the economy sucks, and if you're on the verge of foreclosure and its been delayed months and months because the bank just hasn't gotten around to you yet, I'm sure you're feeling blessed. We, however, are feeling cursed. We just want to get our kids into a home. That's all. Have some more room, be in a better, safer area, be able to make new friends at church and in our neighborhood, and maybe grow a garden to feed ourselves quality plants on the cheap(er). Offer on our dream home? Middle of December. Haven't heard anything...middle of February. And we're the only offer, people. Seriously. I blame The Greedy. And I'm bitter.

I'm not just bitter at The Greedy, though...I'm bitter at gays and college students. The whole "support same-sex marriage" bit is all over facebook again, and it makes me cringe. And I also cringe at the people who post and favor and "fan" pro-gay-marriage stuff and then get pissed off if you have the audacity to disagree. Hey, they want to publicly support? Why can't I publicly defend REAL marriage?

Because the bottom line is that gays don't want gay "marriage" - they have civil unions, which legally MUST be line-for-line the same thing - they want those of us against their unnatural behavior to have to validate their choice in sex partners by CALLING them married.

So gays piss me off because they refuse to respect my faith, and college students (not all of you, surely, not to worry) piss me off because they refuse to respect my experience. Lately it seems like so many of the college kids I know - or some of their friends - have been acting as though they are God's intellectual gift to us all. "I took a class about that, so I know more than you." Or "that's the old way of professor has taught me the new way, so here you go!"

People, that's like being the world's best parent...before you have kids. I don't give a good flying fart about what you THINK you know, or what your professor pretends to know. Don't you go being disrespectful of me and my experience just because I mispell something on my blog or use the wrong word on were up all night on a drinking binge, but I've been up all night for the last week with a sick child. Kiss off, college kid.

And finally, kiss off, "Seriously So Blessed." I've heard a lot about you lately, you and your celebrated irony, so I finally read some of your work. And you're a hag.

Not because I think you're real, but because you garner attention and laughter by mocking your average Mormon Mommy Blog. Yes, there are loads of Mormon Mommy Blogs to be had. That's because the only people who have time to chronicle the hiccups in the banality of their lives, plus have a desire to seek out comraderie and a connection with other adults, are the people who stay home with their kids, and in this day and age, that more often that not means a Mormon stay-home Mom. We deserve support and understanding, not your miserable, cruel mockery. And even if it wasn't intended that way, that's how the media understands, and is what has garnered you your fame. And you're proud of that fame and have done nothing to correct their understanding, so I'm fairly certain you intend to make a mockery of us stay-home moms slogging through day by day. That means you're one ugly TAMN, lady (or ladies?).

So my hide has been chapped. And now that I've vented thoroughly (thank you), I'm going to go rub some Desitin on my tushy and clean up some more of my three year-old's vomit. Cheers and good day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Th-Th-Th-That's All, Folks!

It's official. I'm done.

For now.

With what, you ask?

Well, let me tell you:


Yes, you read that manuscript is finished. All 27 chapters plus a pro-and-an-epi-logue. 626 kilobytes of typing, or 210 typewritten pages, which translates to a 420 page novel!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh. Feelin' good right now.

Of course, now it must be revised. Edited. Torn to shreds and rebuilt to be a thousand times better than it is now.

And for the moment, I have my blinders on, so I need readers to wade through it and tell me where I'm going wrong...or going right, as the case may be.

A caveat: I am NOT cradling this thing to my chest and proclaiming it my baby. Well, okay, I did the moment I was finished...but five minutes later I was over it. It's ready to shred.

So...if you're interested...let me know. I have a book for you to read. It's not hardbound, or even softbound, but it is a digital file capable of being emailed to those eager (translation: skeptical but willing for my sake) readers willing to sacrifice their time, effort, and sanity on my book.

Hey, at least it's more or less grammatically correct. And I don't think I ever use the word "sparkly," so that's a plus. Oh, and I planned the entire thing start to it has a plot. And characters. Some of whom are well-developed.

Still deciding whether it's a young adult or an adult fiction novel, but I'm pretty sure it falls into the "paranormal romance" category. No, it's not Twilight. There are no vampires, it's not a Romeo and Juliet tale, and,'ll just have to read it.

Provided, of course, you have the time and sanity.


ANYWAY...........................I DEEEED EEEET! WOOHOOOOOOO!!!!! (And now the real work begins. Woohoo now being followed by a big sigh.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Ubiquitous Update

Quick rundown, in case you were wondering:

Working on Chapter 23 of the book as I type this. Okay, not as I type this, or I'd be typing in my book file, which file, however, IS open and minimized on my desktop. In other words, as soon as I'm done here, I'll be working on Chapter 23. Considering that - thanks to Adrienne and Cory and Katrina and Ana - I have now finished 8 chapters in 6 days, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself...especially since I honestly had not touched the book since Thanksgiving.

9 chapters (including the one I'm working on) plus an epilogue to go. Life is good. Now let's see if I can do it!

On the home front...and I do mean home...we have an offer on a home that has been or will be submitted to the bank...the only offer that will be submitted to the bank. Apparently it has been on the market for the last couple of months, and the other offer they received for the home was lower than ours...which works out very well for us. It has ALSO worked out well for us that the photos posted on the internet to advertise the home in the first place were absolute CRAP...the home is SOOOOO much more beautiful than any of those photos showed, and I don't understand why they selected those photos in the first place...but I don't care, either. It has worked in our favor. That rocks.

So now, since the home is a short sale (ie. distress sale...the people living in it want to sell it and are working with the bank to sell the home for less than they themselves paid for it so they can walk away without destroying their own credit), we're pretty much just waiting on the bank to get back to us with a "that's way too low an offer, go house hunt somewhere else!" or a "let's start escrow now." With our luck, it'll be a "hunt somewhere else!", but we're trying to be optimistic because we really do love the home: it's in a REALLY nice neighborhood in Lake Elsinore, is 3200 sq ft with a 3 car garage and an island kitchen, and has 4 bedrooms, a den, a formal living and dining area, a casual living and dining area, and a whole lot of extra, well, extras, that I can't remember off the top of my head. In other words, we REALLY want it...which is why I'm worried that we're NOT going to get it.

Cest la vie.

Kids are good, Jason's good, (working long hours still, but at least he enjoys his job now!) and we're looking forward to a quickly-approaching visit from the Keith&Wendy family grouping. Other than that, we have a few playdates scheduled, I'm writing my fingers bloody, and I can't think of one single thing more to say! Thanks for checking in, and I'll try to have something intelligent to post as an update soon!


Not that it makes any difference in the great scheme of things, but I have a new favorite thing:


Those puppies are awesome!

I love chip clips anyway, of course, because we often have multiple bags of a variety of chips of some sort in the house (don't judge me), and we're slow to go through them (SEE?!) so they often get stale before we reach the bottom of the bag...but the chip clips will delay that inevitable ickiness, making them invaluable...

...when you can find them in your tiny little overcrowded poor excuse for a kitchen, that is.

Enter the magnetic chip clip. Need a chip clip stat? Look no farther than your own refrigerator! THERE IT IS!!!

However thought to put a magnet on the back of a chip clip deserves a Mommy Award, because, Dude...You Rock.


Not that it makes any difference in the great scheme of things, but I have a new favorite thing:


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Whatda Het?!

Magoo approached me just a moment ago, said, "I love you, Mom," and proceeded to turn my head to face her...and then immediately placed an unpopped corn kernel IN MY EAR.

I looked at her and said, "What the heck?"

She parroted, "Whatda het?"

I reached into my ear and pulled out the corn kernel, asking her to put it in the trash, and she marched to the garbage, threw it in, and summarily announced "I'm mad at you, Mom!"

I just smiled.

When it didn't have the desired effect, she asked, "Do you mont do know my?" (Translation: Do you want to know why?")

I said, "Sure, tell me why."

And she stared at me, her nostrils flared, obviously grumpy, and stated at the top of her lungs: "I don't know!"

Must be hard being 3.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Boning & Stuffing a Chicken

That's right, I'm a Martha Stewart...without the prison term, self-righteous, high-handed moralizing, or crappy attitude!

Yes, I, too, can remove all the bones from and roll with stuffing a considerably-sized chicken!

Care to watch?

Well, ya can't. My hands were coated in chicken, and Jason wasn't home yet...but he DID get home in time to take a few rolling-and-baking photos for me, so at least you'll get to see those!

Fully boned, laid flat, and ready for a line of stuffing down the middle!

Speaking of that line of stuffing...okay, it was more like a giant log of stuffing...

Rolling it up breast-meat first (because light meat burns more easily, and this way, with the dark meat wrapped over it, it's self-basting!) so I can make Jason butcher tie it for me. (He's really good at butcher-tying, oddly enough!)
Told you he was good at butcher-tying! Yeah, yeah, it looks awful a headless, legless, deformed baby pig. But JUST...YOU..WAIT.

Even a headless, legless, deformed baby pig looks better rubbed with a thick layer of butter and surrounded by leftover stuffing!

People, this chicken baked @ 350 in 90 minutes (and probably less, but I wanted to be sure), the stuffing was built-in and fully cooked, and the stuffing surrounding it took the cake; crispy, butter-soaked, and hedonistic to the max. No, really, check it the photo above it to the stuffing in this shot. OH...MY...GOODHEAVENS.

The masterpiece. Wow. (No, not the cheese-bacon-sour cream mashed potatoes. Not the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, either. Geez.) That, my friends, is a one inch-thick cross-section slice of white-and-dark-meat boned chicken roll-up with stuffing in the middle. And once you've had it that way, you'll never, ever, ever go back. (Unless, of course, you screw up the chicken when you bone it, and then you'll just be mad at me. But it's a trial-and-error process...don't forget that. My first boned chicken wasn't so pretty either.)

If you want help boning a chicken, let me know...or do a google search for deboning a chicken. (Is it boning or deboning? Boning would be getting the bones out, and deboning would be getting the bones out, too, wouldn't? Why waste the extra syllable on de-boning?) Anyway...YUUUUMMM. Jason's new favorite way to eat roast, he gets white AND dark meat in every bite!

Bon Appetit!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Caught in the Act!


I threw in a movie the other night so I could get some stuff done around the house (I use the term loosely) before bed, and BAM!, I caught my kids thusly:

When they noticed me noticing them, they just turned toward me and smiled.

That smile says, "We did it! Now she'll be all warm and fuzzy toward us for the rest of the night!" And it worked. Until she elbowed him in the ribs about 3 minutes later.

But I got the pictures! I have the proof! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...(my maniacal laughter fades in the background...)

Yeah, They Can Sit on His Lap and...EEEEEEEKKKK!!!

Took the kids to see Santa at Disney this year...

I don't know who this guy is, but for some reason he absolutely terrifies me. I think Magoo had misgivings, too. Anyway...

Here's our family-with-Santa picture for 2009.
Anyone else see where I'm coming from?!

T-Day & Goo-Day

Thanksgiving this year was spent in AZ with the AZ fam...the Bradshaw side. You know, there's something about getting together with extended family that you only see two or three times a doesn't have to be "memorable", it's just nice to be TOGETHER. That's how this Thanksgiving was. Other than the bounce house we rented for Mom and Dad's backyard (which proved popular amongst the younger set, surprise, surprise), there wasn't really anything about it that stands out as a truly memorable was just plain FUN! And relaxing. Boy, does that make a difference.

We stayed and M&D's and everyone came to their place for Turkey Day, so we didn't really have to run around visiting...everyone came to us. Notably, though, Bonna and Dave were with us (Wendy's Mom and stepDad), and Kim, Bella, and Kathy joined us, too, which was super-fun. I even got to run out with KBK to take some photos, and boy, were they STUNNING. I took close to 100 shots, and a good 60 or 70 of them came out PERFECTLY. No retouching required, and the 30 or 40 that weren't PERFECT were courtesy of blinking or blowing hair, etc etc. (Check out the one I'm posting. That was the very last one of the day, when kids start to wind down, but Bella was a TROOPER!) Anyway, it was great, Jewels and RooRoo stayed over on T-day Night, kids bounced in the bounce house some more, was just plain great. (Plus, we got to hit up Pete's Fish and Chips right before we left for home...Mom and Dad met us there after their temple shift ended; GREAT food, GREAT company, VERY successful trip.) (I'm using the word "Great" a lot, I realize that, but I'm not in writer mode right now, so...there.)

That said, I'm feeling a little crappy about not getting Thank You cards to our extended family for all the gifts they showered on Goo for her pre-3rd birthday. (They held a combined birthday celebration for Haley and Mia, hence the bounce house...) Bonna and Dave, Keith and Wendy, Grandma and Grandpa, and Trina & Fam...THANK YOU. (It's been hectic. No excuse, I'm just not keeping up like I was, and I'm sorry.)

So Mia's birthday was that following Monday, and boy, that little girl scored. :) She has officially entered the "I'm a princess" phase, and so long as we don't let her ACT like a princess, it's really quite cute. I spent some money building up her dress-up stash after Halloween (75% ALL Halloween costumes at Target!!!) and there's this pink princess dress...well, anyway, Nona and Papa got her a set of 5 pairs of Disney Princess shoes and a crown to match and she doesn't want to wear ANY other shoes. Pair the pink pair with her PinkPwincess dress and her new PinkTwown and she's dressed to go public. (Why not? She'll only be able to get away with it for another couple years, right?) (Besides, one of the reasons I was so excited to have a girl was because I looked forward to dressing her up...and now she actually wants to!)

My baby is 3. My son is in kindergarten. Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is four days away...and all I can do right now is shrug. I wish I had something fabulous, brilliant, and genius to say or to report, but...enjoy the photos. (That's the best I can do.) Oh, and...merry almost Christmas!!!


Let's try this again.

I wrote a post the other day about Jay's new job and our house hunt, but apparently it set off a bunch of bells and whistles where he now works, and he was asked to have me remove my blog post. I never got to...Jason just hopped on and deleted it. It took me 90 minutes. Now it's gone. I'm a little sad, but I'm now going to spend...oh, about 10 minutes repeating myself in brief.

Brief. Yeah, right. We're talking about ME here.

I'll try.

Anyway, Jason now works for...a south Orange County. AND HE LOVES IT.

They treat him beautifully, he already knows everyone he works with thanks to some prior connections, and he's absolutely thrilled...particularly since he is no longer an accountant at a public firm. That means NORMAL hours (no more 23 1/2 hour days, Lord willing), competitive pay, and a couple bosses instead of 15 of them. It also means he has his own desk and work space, sees the same people every day, and so long as the company isn't filing with the SEC, knows when he'll be heading to work and when he'll be getting home.


Which means we're here for a while. (Possibly forever.) So we want to get settled. Which means buying a home. And the best bang for your buck is east of OC, meaning Corona, Riverside, or via the 74, a pretty straight shot from the new job, Lake Elsinore. We've chosen Elsinore, where we're hoping to find a home over 2500 sq ft for under 250k. There, that's not unreasonable. (Whoda thunk there would be a place an hour from OC where you could buy a home for that price?!)

Yes, yes, yes, the Ortega Hwy is treacherous. Yes, yes, yes, the people in Lake Elsinore are not your average Los Angeleans (Thank HEAVENS!). Yes, yes, yes, parts of the 15 are a pit. But outside of Mello Roos, we're in love, and SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL to Maureen and Bishop Christensen for their tireless efforts and boundless patience as our realtors.

If you're looking for a home in Southern California, boy, have I got a pair of realtors for you! They're educating us on the process, helping us weather the disappointments, and are eternally optimistic for our eventual settling...and we love them! THANKS, CHRISTENSENS!

So...yeah. That's all. Jason's been looking to leave the firm for a while, and when this came along, he was interested not only to get out of the firm but because the position is a really excellent position at a really excellent company. And I'm thrilled for him. From interview to hiring it took about a month, and Jason's patience paid off. In spades. Did I mention he loves it (at this nameless-but-fabulous company) there?

No honeymoon for a while, but a home is forthcoming, and we'll update you as we progress! Thanks to EVERYONE for your support!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Devastated by the Dr. Phil Show

About 18 months ago - EIGHTEEN MONTHS! - I wrote in to Doctor Phil to ask about post-pregnancy weight loss. (It might even have been longer than that!) As (most) any woman who has given birth to a child knows, "bouncing back" is kind of a joke. Then again, I hadn't started taking alli or going regularly (or at all) to the gym yet, so...yeah.

Anyway, I wrote it, never heard a thing, fixed myself, and that was that.

Until a few weeks ago, when I got a call from the Dr. Phil Show asking me about my weight loss goals, and if I used (specifically) Hoodia in my pursuits. I DO have a bottle (from which, over 18 months, I've taken make 4 pills) so I said yes, I'd used it, but preferred alli. Brian - the producer to whom I was speaking - told me that they were focusing on Hoodia, and I didn't "need to mention" alli. Was I still concerned about my weight, he wanted to know. Well, yes, I suppose; I never got down to my target weight, but technically I'm well-within my BMI these days, so... That was beside the point. I was still concerned, I was "taking" Hoodia, and would I be interested in asking Dr. Phil about the safety of Hoodia on the show?

Uh, go on TV? Sure, why not!

So he took down a brief criminal and psychiatric history for me, and then explained that another producer would be contacting me shortly. Okay, sure. 10 minutes later a woman calls, asking for my email address so that she can send me directions for "my video"...and a script to match. Yes, you read that right: a SCRIPT. The video instructions gave me very specific directions for the sort of shots they'd need - one with Hoodia in hand, one going into my medicine cabinet for the pills, one standing on the scale looking unhappy, one holding up clothing in from of my closet and looking dissatisfied with the options...etc, etc. And they wanted them before midnight. On a Thursday. When Jason was working late.

Jay filmed them, I uploaded them to their site on photobucket, and then I was emailed a release form, which I signed and faxed back. They confirmed they liked my videos, and that they'd received the fax.

I didn't hear from them again for 5 days.
When Brian called back, he said they were still considering the shoot, but did I have anyone in my immediate family "also concerned" about my "taking drugs" to help me lose weight? "Well, yeah, my husband, I guess."

"Good, can I talk to him?"

"He's at work," I said. Duh.

"Okay, well, when he goes on lunch or get home, ask him to give me a call at this number..."


Enough was enough, and Jason thought so, too. My image of Dr. Phil as the ultimate fix-it head shrinker had already tanked, thanks to deadlines, scripts, and just plain lies, and there was no way I was going on tv to lie to the nation about my obsession with weight loss and willingness to suck down appetite suppresants to drop a few pounds. That was that, and that, folks, is my story.

I really thought the Dr. Phil Show was legit. I'm devastated.

Back to relying on Dr. Laura to save the world, I guess. But I'm okay with that. She ROCKS.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stuff 'n' Nonsense

Dr. Phil, job, house, Thanksgiving, Goo's birthday. Just want to get straight what it is I'll be writing about next. For some strange reason, I feel some urgency about recording it all. Maybe it's because the world will end 3 years from now. (Adrienne?) Or maybe it's because I'm feeling sleep-deprived and the torticolus has flared up in my neck. (What am I, 80?) Anyway, this is a reminder for me about all the things I'm supposed to type about. (Like I said...80. I need written reminders.)
'Til then, enjoy our family Christmas Card photo! (My sister took it. Nice, huh? Unfortunately, I think it was the only one where we were all actually looking AT the camera, but nice nonetheless!) Merry 10-Days-'Til-Christmas!