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, December 30, 2008

Check this out... The woman on this blog is doing a give away of David Bowman's art...he does some of the most beautiful pictures of the Savior with kids that I've seen. Just leave a comment on her blog to enter, and good luck!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Update on the LA Times...

Got a call this morning from a Steve Hymon...really nice reporter from the LA Times asking if, instead of including my letter in print, he could post it online in their LA Now section; it seems he's in the transportation division of the paper, and the editorial department passed on my letter to him.

We chatted for a few minutes, expressed our dismay at the ludicrous nature of the aforementioned incident, and he said he'd be using his reporter privileges to seek out the contact information for the offending driver and ask if he had any comment. Awesome, huh?

Anyway, wanted to give you all the update, and the link to my (edited for "privacy" actually have the license plate number here on my blog!) letter on Enjoy! Ooooh, and comment, too...even better there than here! (And I'll never say THAT again!)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Did You Get a Christmas Card From Us?

You know, seriously, I got back like 6 cards this year of the 50-some we sent out, and you'd think that that meant that some of these people died, right? Oh, no! All of them were people close to my age that I've known for years and years...and YOU might be one of them! Yes, you!

Did a card never come? Were you left wondering if the Bradshaws cared enough to send a Christmas greeting? It could be because your card is hanging out on my desk waiting for you to send me your new address, but I can't find your contact info to ask you for it. Whatever the reason (his heart or his shoes, he stood there on Christmas Eve hating the Whos), it's highly possible - probable, even, if you're enough of a friend to read my blog - that I have one for you and wound up with it again!

IF YOU DID NOT GET A CARD, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!! (And maybe send me your home address via email while you're at it...or just ask me to delete your comment instead of posting it for all to see. That works, too.) I need to keep my address book CURRENT, people!

If you DID get a card, yay!, and thanks for being someone we want to send one to!

Much love and Merry (again, belated) Christmas to all!

Letter to the LA Times OpEd...

To the driver of license plate 5WSK863:

I saw you the other day on the 10 East, sir. I was behind you for close to five minutes wondering why on earth you weren’t keeping up with traffic, why your brake lights kept coming on, and why you didn’t flinch when half a dozen people cut you off. It was when you swerved just a bit to the left, and then just a bit to the right that I became worried enough to pass, but the true horror of the situation didn’t set in until I began making my way around you.

You see, you were reading the Wall Street Journal. You may not remember the day, but I’m sure you remember the act, as it looked practiced enough.

I had been wondering if you were on your phone or texting on a Blackberry or some such, but then the Wall Street Journal flapped across your windshield – no wonder you kept such distance betwixt yourself and the cars in front (and pulling in front) of you – and suddenly I was more afraid of you than of the possibility of another car-to-car shooting on an LA freeway.

You were engrossed, sir, and as I made my way along the express putting distance between us, I caught sight of you a few more times in my rearview mirror, still reading your paper.

When did our populace become so self-absorbed as to believe that the Journal is more important than the safety of others (regardless of your own investing habits, Mr. 5WSK863) and so ridiculously overconfident to think we can safely navigate hundreds of pounds of steel while reading the paper/talking on the phone/texting our friends? You, sir, are a prime example of our American foolhardiness, with your utter disregard for your fellow man.

Please, put down the paper...for the sake of every commuter on the 10 East.

Much obliged,

(I'll let you know if by some miracle it is published.)

YAY for Christmas!!!!!! (...being over!)

Christmas was wonderful, thanks for asking...and the kids had a fabulous time, of course, and were THU-RILLED to see a half-eaten cookie, mostly-drunk milk, and leftover crumbs on a plate courtesy of Santa...and we were thrilled to see them get all excited and tear through gifts and jump up and down and yell, "WOW!" That was the best.

We went with basic, educational, and active-encouraging toys this year...blocks and puzzles and plastic food and juggling balls and jump ropes and books and games and paints and playdough and things. Mia got a trike from Santa, and Tyler got mini styrofoam RC airplanes (meant for 8 +, but he's one very competant kid), and both have been VERY busy with their new things since.

I confess, though, I now understand why my mom always seemed so overwhelmed by Christmas and decorating and shopping and whatnot as a kid...and so relieved once everything was put away, though she never was eager to do it. As a kid, it's all so exciting, and the music is enchanting, and the decor is the stuff of dreams (even when it is limited), and the gifts are tantalizing, and the mood is always through the roof. As an adult, the music grates on you long about 2 1/2 weeks in, the decor is a responsibility, the gifts are a credit card disaster and a parking lot accident waiting to happen, and the mood is entirely up to you. Yikes. Yet another about parenthood they don't tell you about.

But all is well, the decorations are packed away, I'm already missing the music, the remaining junk food has found its was to the garbage, and I'm ready to take up my oil paint set and start painting...once Jason finds a minute to build me an easel. :) Oh, and he's wearing one of his new French cuff shirts today with one of his new sets of cufflinks. And looks REALLY hot.

So like I said, all is well. And Merry Belated Christmas.
Oh, and, yes...our couch and our carpet are that dirty, (the couch will be a playroom jumper some day, and the carpet needed replacing when we moved in but we told them not to bother because we'd only destroy new carpet anyway,) Jason DOES look that young, and Mikayla DID sit on her trike to open every present thereafter. Aaaaaah, Christmas...

Since I'm Not Getting Ready for Church Yet...

I should be getting ready for church right now, of, scratch that, I should be LEAVING for church right now...but I don't know if it's the whole cooped-up-during-Winter-with-the-heater-on-so-that-your-throat-dries-out-and-nose-stuffs-up thing or what...point is, it's now 8:46 AM and Tyler is still asleep. Maybe he doesn't feel well, maybe he was up half the night because he was cold, maybe he was lying awake in bed until 2 in the morning or he's catching up on long-missed sleep, I don't know. All I know is I went in there to wake the kids at 8:28 this morning (because, let's face it, they're usually up by 10 after 7) and though Goo leaped up to greet the morning, Tyler was lying on his bed and his giant bear body pillow sideways across the bed, curled into a tiny ball with only his pajamas for warmth in a 65 degree home. I summarily recovered him, bid him good morning, watch his eyes flutter briefly, and then he snuggled into his blanket and was again out like a light.

Some people would argue that I must tear him from the warmth of his bed to keep his daily schedule normal, and then throw on his slacks and reindeer sweater and drag him to an overly-air-conditioned church, but I am not some people. My kid is dead tired, finally warm, and apparently quite content, as evidenced by the snore he let out when I photographed his sideways-sleeping form. His sister, on the other hand, is happily ensconsed in a giant blanket with her puppy and watching Diego. (Ask her, and it's Dee-AAY-Doe.)
Luckily, we have Sacrament last, so I'm pretty sure we'll at least make it to THAT meeting.

And next week our church schedule changes to 11 - 2, which is just about the worst possible time to be assigned to church when you have mini-munchkins. Seriously. My kids eat lunch around 12:15 every day, go down for naps between 1 and 1:30, and will be absolutely stinking MISERABLE every Sunday from now on. The least I can do is give my poor (sleepy? sick? frozen?) son a break today. And if for some reason we don't make it to any of our meetings, well, such is life, and Jason will have to represent us. Sometimes the good of the one outweighs the good of the many, no matter what Spock said.

Never thought I'd agree with Captain Kirk. Huh. Stranger things have happened.
*****NOTE: It is now later this evening, but I wanted to report that not only did Tyler not get up for a while more, it was 9:45 AM before he got out of bed!!!!! He hobbled over to me, asked for a glass of water (kid-sized, of course), and then drank 3 1/2 of them...followed by 1 1/2 pieces of French toast, 3 yogurt tubes, half a cup of grapes, half a cup of veggie chips, a huge serving of Mac N Cheese (Cheese Pasta around here) not much later for lunch, followed by a cookie, two servings of rice, some teriyaki salmon and two servings of teriyaki veggies, some chocolate, and 3 more glasses of water at dinner! Not sure what's going on...a growth spurt, perhaps? Either way, we missed church because I was making MORE French toast, opening ANOTHER yogurt tube, and doling out grapes and veggie chips. Cest la vie! At least he's healthy!*****

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

While I'm On Cute Things Mia Says...

This was one a good one. See, Mikayla asks for water the following way:

"Mommy, battow-be."

She has recently learned a new favorite phrase: "Mia do eet!" (When you ask her to say "Mikayla" she says "Mia," so that has become a new nickname. It makes me think of Mia Farrow, oddly enough, but I digress.) This was followed shortly thereafter by "I did it," emphasis on the "I." (The phrase came into vogue, by the way, when Mikayla was hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree. After each ornament she hung up - or pressed against the tree and allowed to drop to the floor - came an "I did it!" yelled at the top of those little lungs.

So here's the good one, because thus far these are all just rather cute.

The other day we were taking Tyler to school and the kids had brought some water-filled sippys in the car...and once Mia was all buckled and ready to go, she said (the sippy sitting in her lap), "Mommy, battow-be."

I turned around and said, with mock teasing, "Mia, you HAVE water! It's in your lap!"

She looked down, perplexed, spotted the sippy, and yelled:


Okay, so it wasn't quite in the right order, but she has the general idea...and I confess, I like her sentence structure better.

DS Updated

For those of you who were wondering.


I always knew my daughter liked to run around a diaper...or undressed...but Kim was over the other day and we were doing Christmas crafts, so I whipped off her shirt (didn't want paint on it), threw her into her highchair, and let her go nuts.

When she was finished (and consequently wandering around in a diaper right after a diaper change), I asked Kim if she'd ever heard Mikayla get excited about being nearly-nude, and she said no. All I had to do was draw Goo's attention to her semi-nudity, and the result?

(At the top of her lungs...) "MOMMY, I NAY'DEAD!" (At which point, mind you, she threw both arms over her head like she'd just scored a touchdown.)

Nay'Dead. Yes, folks, I don't know what it is about the opportunity to run around clothing-free, but my little girl is never happier than when she's Nay'Dead. Must take after her mom. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Craftiness...

So, I can't tell you about ALL of the Christmas crafts we did this season because some of those crafty things will be going out as gifts very shortly, but we WILL tell you about most of them...and I have to do this BEFORE Christmas, of course, because in a few days no one will want to hear about them!

We made ornaments this year...specifically snowflakes (from pipe cleaners and beads) and reindeer (from clothespins, a dowel, paint, googly eyes and pompoms). I'm gonna try to upload some photos, but with blogger lately, you never know. The snowflakes came from FamilyFun, and they look fabulous and sparkly, and are time-consuming and tedious, but quite easy. (For teeny hands, though, threading beads on pipe cleaners can be a little rough.) The reindeer idea came from some clothespin reindeer we had in our home growing up, and 50 clothespins I found at a thrift store for under $2. Jason cut a dowel into 1 1/2" lengths for me, and the kids had a blast hand-coating the dowel bits and the clothespins in brown acrylic paint. When they were dry, the kids watched Mommy glue on eyeballs, noses, tails and hooves, and had fun laying them out on the table just right to dry.

We made Christmas turtlenecks with Bella one day, when the kids used red, green, and gold fabric puff paint to decorate them, and they, too, came out ADORABLE. Though Miss Bella has hers at home and I couldn't photograph it for this blog entry, each one is uniquely that child: Goo's is covered in a crazy smathering of color, Tyler has his name and a couple handprints on his (with the R on one sleeve because he ran out of room), and Bella girl has lumps of color along with two matching candycanes. They're so cute it's surreal.
We did a paper countdown chain with construction paper, of course, and Tyler and I made snowflakes for the windows, and we made yarn cardholders, decorated a wreath, and I've been knitting scarves like crazy...oh, and just took the kids to the fabric store so I could MAKE some of the same, super-pricey ones that are available from GAP and the like. All you need is some heavy, washed-and-softened felt or some neat lightweight t-shirt fabric. AWESOME.

Oh, and there are the cookies and things, of course...most especially sugar cookies bedecked with sprinkles of all sorts and Jason's famous dark-chocolate topped peanut butter cookies...which happen to be Santa's favorites, so we'd better get on making another batch!

And speaking of baking, Nona and Papa are at the door to make a gingerbread house with the kids, so I'm off! Merry Christmas!!!

Kate Graduated!

It's official...we now have a pastry chef in the family! Kate graduated from cooking school last Friday after studying this last year to become a pastry chef, and we got to enjoy a viewing-and-tasting Open House experience on the 10th at her school...where we saw first-hand some of the crazy wedding cakes these people put out! I'm tellin' ya, there was a cake that looked like a stack of blue pillows with a golden genie lamp on top, a Mexican Day of the Dead wedding cake (I still don't get it), a cake that looked like a vase full of lillies, a Winter wedding cake covered in snow flurries, snowballs, and snow flakes, and - of course the best - Kate's & Partner's, a funky reverse wedding cake...3 square tiers in BLACK with WHITE polka dots! But the best part was the was a lemon wedding cake with a raspberry mousse in the middle!

And that's really saying something, because I tasted a bunch of those cakes (they all served little slices or cupcakes alongside of the same cake they used in the creation for the sake of tasting), and some of them were "okay," but some were NASTY with a capital N-A-S-T-Y!

Anyway, we're all relieved for her that it's over, and thankful that she is still happily ensconced in her job at Rosita's (?) Bakery as the head pastry chef whipping up new and tasty delights for their customers! Congrats, Kate!!! IT'S OVER, and you're a CHEF!!!

More Catch-Up...

Because it's been, oh, more than 2 weeks since I posted anything, I thought I'd check in now. (Holiday seasons are the worst for blogging, as evidenced by the fact that most of my friends and family have added maybe one or two entries to their own blogs since sometime shortly before Thanksgiving.)

So, Jason is done with BH now, and thank heavens for that! This time around wasn't QUITE as bad, admittedly, thanks to my folks' willingness to stay over with the kids while I went up for a night the second week, and thanks to Jason's willingness to take on his whole crazy family in his hotel room during the 3rd week. My private trip up was nice and relaxing, and we went to The Stinking Rose on La Cienega (Ed Debevic's is closed, for those of you who were wondering why we didn't go there, and Spago is still way beyond our price range, for those wondering why such a foodie hasn't been THERE) and is was good times...more garlic in each entree (and appetizer and DRINK and DESSERT) in that restaurant than you can imagine! Seriously. We started with some garlic rolls topped by roasted garlic with garlic oil for dipping and fresh chopped garlic-and-parsley for spreading on top. Oh yeah, baby. He had lamb and I had rabbit (which is basically tough, greasy chicken...don't bother!) and both dishes were marinated in garlic with garlic-added sauces to accompany them, both coming with garlic mashed potatoes. Jason ordered a whole roasted garlic bulb, too, and we ate the cloves with a cute little fork by themselves. Oh, and we had gingerale, which actually burned my tongue...because, Jason realized, there was garlic in our drinks. I'm not kidding. At all. We opted to skip garlic ice cream for dessert and instead had a room service chocolate mousse thing back at the can imagine our motivation for doing that. I kid you not, though, when I got home in the morning, the first thing my mom said (not knowing where we'd eaten) was "Boy, did you have garlic? You stink!" And I did. For a couple days. In fact, I was reliving that meal for a few days, smell-wise, in every sense.

Last week I took the kids up there for a night with Daddy, and they were SOOOOOO excited! In the lobby of the Hilton they have a display of a gingerbread city complete with HO train zooming through, and the kids went nuts, of course...and were made equally nutty by the giant Christmas trees and massive wrapped "presents" in the lobby. Oh, and the fish tank by the elevators. That was the proverbial icing. As I was attempting to check in and retrieve a key, Tyler spotted and zoomed to the fish tank, followed closely by Mikayla whose shriek of "FEESH! FEESH!!! FEEEEEESSSHHHH!!!!!!!!" echoed loudly off the marble floors and walls. I was relieved to note that the Hilton staff appeared delighted instead of irritated, and the bellman promised to keep an eye on the kids (who were directly behind me about 50 feet) while I got my room key. They loved the room, the balcony, jumping and rolling around and somersaulting on the bed, watching the TEN DOLLAR movie I ordered (Wall-E...SOOOOO CUTE!) and just generally exploring the room. We took them to Cheesecake Factory for dinner (and they did REMARKABLY well!), drove by the LA Temple to check out the lights, went back to the hotel and got them showered (YES, SHOWERED!) and ready for bed...when a party started in one of the ballrooms downstairs from us. UGH. I called down to the front desk and they told us the THUMP-THUMP-THUMPING of the music would continue until around 11, so Jason asked for a room change...and got one when the bellman showed up 10 minutes later with our new room key and to take our bags for us. (Nice to have Jason as a diamond member with Hilton!) They stuck us in a junior suite on the 6th floor which REALLY worked to our had a couch with a pull-out queen-sized bed, just enough room for the kids, their stuffed animals, and the king-sized pillows we needed to line the bed edges so they wouldn't tumble off! They were out in MINUTES. The next morning we went down to the hotel restaurant for Jason's complimentary breakfast (he had an extra one for me and there was no charge for the munchkins), ate our fill, and he headed to work while we headed home to receive Bella. Non-stop action for the kids that day!

Last Friday was Jason's family work party at PwC, and so we took the kids to his office for a "Let's go see where Daddy works" afternoon and to see the special guest...SANTA! In fact, it was one of those things you have to RSVP for because Santa provides an age-and-sex-specific gift for EACH child. They had a big munchie spread, face painting and ornament-decorating, but the big draw was Santa. And can I just say, watching kids with Santa is THE BEST! Some are delighted, some are suspicious, and some - like Jason's coworker's daughter - suffer from abject TERROR at the idea of being seated on that fat, white-haired-and-bearded old man's lap. Poor girl was horrified having to be anywhere near him the whole time, and when they lifted her to sit her on Santa's lap (she's 3) she nearly had a stroke. People had to cover their ears for the screaming. Literally. Whoa. Now there's a kid who doesn't want to see Santa. (I have to admit, though, it was pretty dang cute, and I hope they got a really good photo!) I'm pleased to report that Tyler and Mikayla did GREAT, (Mikayla was mildly hesitant at first, but Tyler was a great comfort, relaxed as he was) and Tyler was DELIGHTED by his Transformer while Mikayla is STILL thrilled with her magnetic puzzle-like fishing game. Life is good.

Oh, and speaking of screaming kids, I can hear my kids attempting to out-scream each other in their room. Excuse me.

Another entry later!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanks, Cami!

I've been tagged. Let's see how it goes...

A = ADVOCATE FOR: Farmer's market shopping...or at least anti-Walmart shopping.
B = BEST FEATURE: Brown eyes.
C = COULDN'T DO WITHOUT: the Munchkins and my Hubby.
D = DREAMS AND DESIRES: A "green" home, and the chance to get back in to theater somehow, someday.
E = ESSENTIAL ITEM: Deodorant.
F= FAVORITE PAST TIME: Cooking...sans fat-creation, reading or movie-watching.
G = GOOD AT: A little bit of a lot of things, but nothing in particular. (Enjoying food doesn't count.)
H = HAVE NEVER TRIED: Beluga caviar...yet.
I = IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS: I'd buy and furnish a home, take a honeymoon, invest in retirement...and keep going.
J = JUNKIE FOR: chocolate-covered preztels.
K = KINDRED SPIRIT: You know who you are.
L = LITTLE KNOWN FACT: I have assymetrical 2nd toes!
M = MEMORABLE MOMENT: The first time I saw Jason.
N = NEVER AGAIN WILL I: buy expensive clothes from anywhere but a thrift store.
Q = QUOTE: "C'est la vie!"
R = REASON TO SMILE: Watching Tyler run and Mikayla bounce after him.
S = SORRY ABOUT: a slew of things...I'm a longtime guilt fiend.
T = TAG SOME FRIENDS: Cory, Jewels, and Kim.
U = UNINTERESTED IN: Cleaning house when I could be playing with the kiddos.
V = VERY SCARED OF: spiders!
W = WORST HABIT: Not thinking before I speak...or not knowing when to stop talking. So, basically I just generally suck at conversation.
Y = YESTERYEAR DECADE OF CHOICE: The 70's...I was a helpless babe enjoying being spoonfed, sleeping 15 hours a day, and I was only in the 70's for a couple years, so I don't remember the clothes or styles.
Z = ZODIAC SIGN: Crab. (Surprise!)

Monday, December 1, 2008


So, who'da thunk no one would be up for a cultural experience to the Korean Bathhouse? Huh. Couldn't've seen that one coming.

Anyway, it's been a while since I blogged...and it appears to have been a while since, well, ALL of you have done any blogging. 'Tis the season, I guess.

So, a catch up. That's what's called for. And here goes nothin':

I had a(nother) filling, Jason had a routine cleaning, Cory had a birthday (and Happy Birthday, Lady!)and so is now TONS older than I am, Eric had a birthday (and Happy Birthday, Sir!), Haley had a birthday (and Happy Birthday, Little Lady!) and is now...oh my gosh, she CAN'T be...SEVEN?!?!, Tyler is wearing his glasses (and everyone raves about how adorable he looks in them, which is far, far better than the teasing I was so afraid he'd receive), I still have fabulous vision, Mikayla has just started crossing her eyes to focus every once-in-a-while (sigh...apparently it's the people with the lightest blue eyes that wind up with the most vision problems, so thanks a lot, Keith...or is that Mom2?...either way, it's genetic, double-sigh), Roman cut Jason's hair and then Jason cut Tyler's hair, I saw Twilight with my old friend Ginny (who just had a baby like 4 months ago and looks FABULOUS, but that's no surprise since she looked fabulous before!) who was here with her extended family for Disneyland (former next door neighbor in Provo) and though it made me like Edward a little more, the special effects were the lamest I've EVER seen, Mikayla had croup (but Tyler's outgrown it) and gave me the adult version - laryngitis - which I'm still dealing with and currently sound like a smoker, Mom and Dad stepped in and gave Jay and I a couple nights off (with Jason's Hilton points for an overnight at the Doubletree in Dana Point and then our mini-splurge on a steeply-discounted stay at the Casa Laguna B&B in Laguna Beach...oh my GOSH, if you EVER want a romantic stay at a SoCal B&B...that's the one!!!), we had a quiet Thanksgiving with just us 4, a rotisserie chicken, canned gravy and cranberry sauce, mashed and yams and Pillsbury crescent rolls and roasted veggies and my homemade Dutch apple pie (which was delightful spending time in the kitchen with Jay and the kids and then peaceful relaxing afterward), had Jessica Garthe take some family photos of us and my folks and Kate & Victor (which I'm super-stoked to use in our Christmas cards!) and it was a fabulous experience (thanks again, Jess!!!), bought some more awesome Goodwill clothes on the cheap (including a stellar BCBG blouse WITH THE TAGS STILL ON!!!), ate at Mad Greek for the first time (yes, I know I've lived here most of my life!), put up and decorated the tree for Christmas, and to top it all off, celebrated Mikayla's 2nd birthday yesterday with my folks. And I sooooooo cannot believe that she's 2!

Whew! That was a mouthful!



Anyway, I'll likely elaborate on a few of the above-mentioned items shortly, but in the meantime, suffice it to say that it's nice to have been really busy (and restfully unbusy) for a change...and nice to have my husband at home.

Which he isn't, now. He's actually in Beverly Hills. Again. For the next 3 weeks. And working through Christmas Eve Day. But the stockings are hung (on the wall) with care, the children are nestled all snug in their beds, and my new filling is singing (or is that screaming?) at me, so I'd best stop drinking this cold water, grab myself some knitting needles (I forgot that part...I've been knitting scarves up a STORM, so if anyone wants a handknitted scarf, leave a comment!) and settle in for an early bedtime tonight. After all, with Jason away, what else is there to do beside read, knit, and sleep? Oh, and blog. Which is what I'm doing now. And am now giving up until tomorrow.

So goodnight.