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.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Face of the Earth

We are still on it. Just thought I should mention that.

It's been busy lately; this last week-plus has included a FULL day with Kim and the kids at Disney (courtesy of Kim's neighbor, who works there and signed us in!), Jason on business first in Chicago and then in Phoenix - in the same week! - a farewell girls' night for Kim, a full-day Saturday family project to attempt to transplant some sturdy tomato seedlings (proven semi-successful so far...we'll see!), three movies (thanks to M&D and Kim watching our kids on two seperate occasions) - Earth, Angels and Demons, and Star Trek, (we haven't seen this many movies within this amount of time in...YEARS!) a YM/YW activity at our place as part of Iron Chef, with special ingredient Corn Flakes, (our team won!) our final week of watching Bella, a crazy search for a three bedroom apartment in OC (and we've found a few possibilities...for only $1750.00 a month!), and finally, the packing-in-preparation-for-leaving of Kim's apartment.

In other words, there's been very little to really discuss on the blog, but no time for discussing.

And with that, now that everyone knows I'm still alive, I'm signing off to go get the kids ready to take them to hang out with Kim and Bella on their last day here. Have a great weekend, all...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Because I Can...

Click the link to check out a map I made with Google Maps of all the hits I've had around the world on my blog. Not that I think I'm all that - by any stretch - I'm just super-excited at all the places to which my little self has at some point connected. Find you!,5.976563&spn=132.265051,360&z=2

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Cleaning out my wallet today, I found an old fortune from a fortune cookie...and it's totally a backhanded compliment sort of thing, if you read it in the wrong (or right?) light:

You are a person of imaginative, yet honest, intentions.


Yeah, well, I guess that in some circumstances, that's pretty spot-on. I'd like to think I'm imaginative and have honest intentions, but I'm willing to admit to myself that sometimes my intentions are imaginative. Never really thought of it that way, though...'til now.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone, and Happy Birthday to my Lil' Sis, Kate! Love you, lady!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jason's 32nd Birthday

Yup, he's old. Waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy older than I, like, two YEARS. (I only get to do the "two year" thing for two and a half month each year, so I'm living it up.)

So Jay turned 32...a week ago. Lots been happenin' since then, but here's the skinny on his birthday unbash.

My folks kept Ty & Mia overnight Thursday and Friday, and Jay and I hopped in the car Thursday evening and headed out to Temecula, where we checked into the Embassy Suites thanks to some of Jason's Hilton points. Love that he's a diamond member...instant upgrade to one of their executive suites, and they did EVERYTHING they could to meet his requests, like being on a low floor (2nd) and being as far from the elevators as possible (other end of the hall). When I mentioned in making the reservations that it was his birthday and he was a diamond member, they went all out: in our room were two glasses from a local winery, a bottle of sparkling cider, a dozen chocolate-dipped strawberries, and some mints, all with a birthday card for him from Hilton! Plus, ES has a free made-to-order breakfast each morning, so we each had an omelet and picked a few other things from the spread. YUMMY. The night we checked in, however, we were famished, and decided to head to Old Town Temecula to find a restaurant. We wound up at Baily's, a place we'd originally considered for Jay's birthday dinner, and had a great time feasting in the quiet atmosphere where the food was good, the portion size was excellent, the prices weren't too bad, and even though Jason's food order got screwed up and sent to another table making him wait longer, they brought him a different entree "to snack on" while they made his, which they then brought out to him, PLUS they brought him a complimentary dessert AND they struck his entree from the bill! Baily's knows how to correct a gaffe!

The next morning we headed into Wine Country for our own tour, explored a pretty little area called Lake Skinner and its surrounding camping areas, stopped at Thornton Winery for some tasty vittles (since we don't drink, we were relegated to food...which is never a bad thing!) including some garlic-oil cold-poached shrimp, a housemade salumi flatbread pizza, and some herb-marinated goat cheese, among other yummies, and got to explore their facilities a bit. (We'd be to Ponte Winery for Ira and Kerry's wedding a year or so back, but we were really glad to get to explore the vineyards in daylight a little better. WAAAAAYYYY pretty.) I confess, I still don't "get" wine - and my mother would be ashamed, if it weren't for the fact that SHE'S now Mormon - but I DO get grape juice, and I totally get long lines of grapes growing on vines. Neat stuff, people! So then it was back to Old Town to check out some of the stores there. The Cheese Shop was a total disappointment, which makes me sad, but there was also the Temecula Olive Oil Company, and OH MY GOODNESS!!! We may not be "allowed" to participate in a wine tasting, but we CERTAINLY enjoyed the olive oil (and vinegar) tasting! I never imagined that blood orange olive oil with vanilla and fig balsamic vinegar could taste like salad dressing HEAVEN, but next time we have a bit of cash to part with, I'm hopping online to their site and buying both types! (We picked up some Roasted Garlic EVOO...ask Kim, it's goooooooooood!)

From there (this ACTUALLY being Jason's birthday) we headed to Fallbrook, 20 min or so south on the 15. We stayed at the Oak Creek Manor B&B, (look them up!) and had an awesome experience there...partially because the Manor was EXQUISITE, and partially because we were the only guests staying inside the mansion! (There was another couple there, too, but they were outside in the carriage house.) This place was crazy, people. Awesome, but crazy-awesome.

For instance, you enter a big gate, and drive around a circular driveway (circling a fountain!) to park in front of this Manor that looks like Monticello! Inside the entry there's a table with a tea set, and to the left, a hallway to the breakfast room. Straight ahead is a parlor with a wet bar, a chess set, a fireplace, etc, and farther beyond is the hallway that leads to two double doors: our suite. 12' ceilings, 2 large columns, a CA King-sized fourposter bed, a fireplace with chair and ottoman, a breakfasting table, and a marble bathroom with double sinks, a vanity area, uber-plush robes, a 2-headed shower, and a 2-person jetted tub! The room also has a ceiling fan, two more sets of double doors leading to a fountained patio and to an outdoor breakfasting table, a flat-screened TV up above the suite doors for in-bed viewing, and the entire room is wired - along with the rest of the house - for house-wide surround sound with XM radio piped in! We could listen to XM in the tub at a volume we chose using our TV to set it up! The bed was SUPER-plush, and it was quieter than, well, anywhere I've been in, I don't know, months and months. Looooooooved it!

That night we went to Pala Casino for dinner at the Oak Room, where, for the first time, I had Buffalo. Jason had his traditional prime rib, but because it was cut from the animals grass fed on Indian land, he said it was the tastiest, tenderest, best prime rib he'd ever had...and soups, sides, and desserts weren't bad, either. (That was sarcasm. YUM.) We'd budgeted $20 for entertainment, so we played slots for a while (which inevitably meant we sucked for a few minutes while we tried to figure out what the heck we were doing!) and eventually we were actually cents. Jason wanted to try his hand at blackjack, so I stood by and watched him play (trying to figure out what he was doing) for a while, and when we were down to $5.50 remaining, we cut our losses, shrugging at the $15 we'd "devoted" to 3 hours worth of entertainment, (less than a movie, and we got to interact a whole lot more!) and headed back to the Manor, where we had both a house/room key and a gate clicker, chocolates on our re-made and turned-down bed...and the house to ourselves. I got to wander around the house that night after a bath in my big fluffy robe and slippers, grabbing a couple glasses of lemon ice water from the wet bar without bumping into a single soul in the house. AWESOME.

The next morning I went out at took the photos you see herein, (seriously, I think the room we stayed in would have fit our entire apartment!) and then we went to breakfast, which was served in the dining room with the other two guests from the carriage house. We had fresh OJ, herbal tea, (they had coffee, of course,) praline-topped cinnamon rolls, parfaits, and the piece de la resistance, individual spinach-egg souffles in little heart-shaped crocks with bacon on the side. I also had half a cheese cream-schmeered bagel, but really, who's counting?

Then it was back home, madly throwing things around the apartment and getting ready to collect our kids to take them to a preschool "friend" of Tyler's birthday pool party, where the kids - and the adults! - had a great time in and out of the pool. We couldn't miss it, you see; Karlee, the birthday girl, is as in love with Tyler as a newly five year-old girl could be, and Tyler, like any boy, whether 4 or 24, is more or less oblivious but still enjoys the attention. Arianna and her husband Kevin were excellent hosts, and though we were invited to stay after for the family party, we declined so we could get the kids home, washed, and to bed and have a little more time for ourselves.

All in all it was a brilliant weekend, and I think/hope/believe Jason enjoyed his birthday...whether or not he enjoyed turning 32.

Happy 32nd birthday, Jason. I love you.

Skeptic No More

I think it was Julie who was telling me about the at-home dry cleaning kit "Dryel", and I remember thinking, "Yeah, but what about stains? What about pressing and those beautiful, crisp lines in my husband's slacks when they come back from the cleaners? What about underarm and other nasty odors?"

But my last trip to the cleaners (they are few and far between, mind you, but I DO have to go at least once a month for various clothing items) cost me about $15.00, so I decided to give Dryel a whirl. (You "whirl" it in the dryer. Ha.) I found a starter set at Target on clearance for about $7 and got up the courage a few days ago to try it, considering Jason and I got all dressed up on his birthday (slacks and shirt, blouse and skirt, that sort of thing) and went to dinner at the Pala Casino's Oak Room. Why would that make me want to dry clean at home? It wasn't that I wound up with buffalo meat on my blouse, was that, afterward, we spent 2 or 3 hours hanging out at the casino playing slots with a miniscule sum of money we set aside for entertainment, but I'll get to all that in another post. POINT IS, casinos are notoriously smoke-and-booze-filled, and though we OBVIOUSLY weren't smoking or drinking, the smell permeates EVERYTHING. Needless to say, our nice clothes required laundering, and I wasn't prepared to drop another $15 to clean them.

Enter my Dryel set. All four clothing items - plus another couple small items I had been meaning to take to the cleaners - were stain treated with the included stain treatment, tossed into the dryel bag with a dryel sheet, and were then tossed into the dryer for 30 minutes on medium heat. Ding! Clothes are done!
They smelled great, were stain-free, and after a little bit of ironing on Jay's shirt and slacks and my blouse, everything was right as rain and good as if it had just come back from the dry cleaners. That was great, but I still wasn't completely convinced. What about more serious stains, or stains all over? What about when I didn't feel like ironing?

Today I threw in another load...four items, to be exact, one of which was a pair of Jason's slacks, and one of which was a black dress replete with those little deodorant cat whiskers. I spent an extra few minutes with the stain treatment and VOILA! stain-free! The slacks? No, I didn't bother ironing them, but I took them out of the dryer bag and they were still very slightly damp, so I hung them up to dry and VOILA! they're wrinkle-free and ready to go...even if they aren't quite as crisp as they'd be if I'd ironed them, but they're khakis, people. Who really cares? (Yes, Jason...I know you do. I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you by ironing all your slacks next week, I promise. And you can even use this to hold me to it.)

So TEN items "dry cleaned" in less than a week for $7, AND I have the potential to clean up to six MORE items still sitting in the Dryel box. That, and from now on I only need to buy the refill sheets, which end up even cheaper. Say I only clean 5 items on average; that means I cleaned 15 items for $7 at less than $0.50 an item! AWESOME! And now it's convenient, I don't have to waste gas to-and-from, I don't have to go as long between cleanings, and I can even treat stains I didn't think I could treat before! (I still don't recommend Dryel for stuff like crayons, lipstick, blood, what-have-you, and think those are best left to professionals.)

I am officially a Dryel convert...a skeptic no more. If you do lots of dry cleaning and have access to your own dryer at home, check it out. I can safely say I endorse the product. Now I only wish I was getting PAID to endorse it. Anyway...Have a great day, all!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Don't Watch Much TV... knew there was going to be a "but", didn't you?

There are two shows I follow. I didn't actually follow them from the very beginning, but became a convert to both over time.

Now, there are shows I really LIKE, but not that I will devote any time to Extreme Home Makeover and Deal or No Deal, Hell's Kitchen and Iron Chef, and my favorite, Alton Brown's Good Eats (which, like Iron Chef, is over on the Food Network). Then there are shows that I LOVED...back when they were on, which, unfortunately, is no M*A*S*H and The Young Indiana Jones series.

But there are two shows that I dare not miss...per se. You see, we don't actually have television. No, it's not that we're not equipped for digital TV (even though I don't think we are), it's that we dumped Uverse a while back and never picked up any rabbit ears, so we've been living off our DVD collection (mostly kids' movies) and for...ages now. And honestly, I like it that way. If I want news, I jump on If I want weather, I go to Easy enough.

My two shows, however, make not having TV more difficult...or they did, until I realized I could access the last x number of episodes online at those TV stations' websites! TADA! I now watch my shows - AT MY CONVENIENCE! - online...with "limited commercial interuptions"! It's AWESOME. But back to the shows.

So like I said, there are 2. Years ago as newlyweds, we caught one or two of the last few episodes of the first season of 24, and as soon as the first season was available on DVD, we rented them successively from the local Blockbuster, reserving the next disc any time we could. We watched those puppies straight through, often 3 hours at a go (4 episodes per disc on 6 disks, each episode about 45 minutes when the commercials are edited). We were obsessed. So obsessed, in fact, that we actually MISSED THE BALL DROP on New Year's Eve, 2003 because it came down to pausing the VERY LAST EPISODE in the series ONLY 15 MINUTES FROM THE END for 3 minutes to watch the ball drop, or continue on through to the bitter, moving, emotional end. Like I said, what ball drop?

We watched 24 for the next couple of seasons while it was going, making sure to drop any-and-everything for our Monday night rendevous with Jack Bauer, (terrorists for family home evening, anyone?) and about halfway through the 4th season, Jason kinda gave up. I didn't. I'm a sucker for suspense, what can I say? He's watched little bits and pieces with me since then (this is season 7, by the way), but he usually shrugs his shoulders in disgust and walks away after about 5 minutes. Me? I stick with it to the bitter end. And this season, I think they're finally going to kill off Jack Bauer. And I may very well cry.

Hey, it's been a good, long run, and if they save him, I'll still tune in devotedly (the day after each episode airs, and via internet) next season. By the way, if you haven't seen 24, rent the first season. If you like nail-biting, nausea-building suspense, uber-intensity, and being emotionally strung up to the point that you occasionally stop breathing, MAN, that's your stuff. First season was still the best, primarily because it was willing to do things and go places that no other TV drama thus far had been willing to touch. ROCKED my WORLD. (Go rent it. Now. Ok, AFTER you finish this entry. Then go. Seriously. You won't regret it...unless you regret becoming addicted and investing too much time into watching TV. Rent it anyway.)

Then there's my OTHER show, and that one is ALL Cory's fault. Same story there. The rest of the world was halfway through season 2 of LOST when Cory let me borrow the first season, swearing that I'd love it and wouldn't be able to break away from the television, even to do the dishes. Oh, man, she was right. And by the time I finished the first season, she was handing me the second season on DVD that she had JUST bought. And I was hooked...line and sinker, too. So, thanks a lot, Cory. And I'm not sure whether I mean that sarcastically or sincerely. :)

Lost is another show Jay was interested in and then gave up on when it got really weird...and it did get really weird. In fact, I think it was the first episode of the second season where he started to scratch his head and make jokes about how the creators titled the show Lost NOT because these people were stranded on a crazy island in the middle of nowhere, but because it was the creators' intention to leave their audience thoroughly lost. Ha, ha. (Sometimes I still think he's right.)

I have followed this show since season three came up on the internet, episode by episode, and gasped and drawn conclusions and drawn diagrams to reach conclusions and played "clues to the next season of Lost" games on the internet, and even cried like a baby when Jin died. No, literally sobbed. Like a child. And still do, every time they replay Sun screaming desperately out the side of the helicopter. I'm tearing up right now. Seriously.

Tonight after the kids went down, I cried again. No, not because this season just ended with the season finale and I have to wait until the first part of 2010 to enjoy the final season and finally put all the pieces together, but because of Sawyer and Juliet. Far from Romeo, still they had a parting scene the likes of which made me weep. Amazing how wrapped up you can get in the characters, huh?

For those of you who follow Lost - which is probably NONE of you - OH MY GOSH. That ending?! The white light? Lost in black letters instead of white on black? People, I am SPEECHLESS, and as most of you know, that doesn't happen very often...if EVER. Speechless. All the woes and worries and oppressively pitiful emotions I've been feeling lately? This episode nuked them all. (wink, wink) I'm still wrapped up in Lost. I've been sitting around all evening trying to think of something else, so I had to come over here to the computer and vomit my brain-craziness into a blog entry. Geez Louise, people. Yikes. Seriously, Wow. Wowie-Zowie. Blobbity-blabbity-gobbledy-gook. SPEECHLESS.

So next Tuesday (or any day next week after Monday night) I'll be jumping onto to watch the second-to-last installment of Jack's horrible day, (from 6 - 7 AM,) and the following week (unless they give us a 2fer grand finale next Monday, in which case I will be FREE from internet television watching until 2010!), when Jack's day will finally end...heck, potentially his LIFE will end. If a blog entry shows up sometime between next Tuesday and a week from Tuesday that says something simple like "I'm SPEECHLESS," or "Please pardon my absence from blogging as I mourn the passing of Jack Bauer," you'll understand. And maybe even get addicted, if you bomb on over to your local video store and do as I command you.

Anyway, I really don't watch much TV, but every once in a while a show (or two) comes along that really grabs me, and I waste infinitely too much time on characters who do not exist for the sole purpose of losing myself in their reality in order to momentarily escape my own. And 24 and Lost both qualify. Why? Because fighting terrorists and making sense of a 400 pieces of a thousand piece puzzle without a photo of the overall picture are far more interesting than what I'm generally doing at 8:15 on a given weeknight: waiting for my husband to come home and trying to be quiet in our teeny little apartment so my two babes can sleep in the next room without me disturbing them. INFINITELY more interesting. Both Jack Bauer AND Jack Shepherd. But I'm guessing that's just a part of the common Mommy denominator. Cest la vie.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's a Miracle, People!

The Biohazard unit went into the Bob & Vicky's today...and found their cat, Bandit, ALIVE! (NOTE: The photo at left is NOT Bandit, but the best I could find that looks like him on google images.) He's been in there for the last WEEK with them without food or fresh water, and yet he LIVES! They fed him, pet him a bit, and now he needs a home...and FAST. He's about 14, shy, quiet, affectionate, and ready for a home that will protect and shelter him for the few years he has left. I have major cat allergies, and I don't know of anyone off the top of my head looking to bring in a cat, but I can't bear the thought of him being taken to animal control only to be put down when he's survived what he has this last week, so if YOU - Yes, YOU! - know of anyone who would love to add a cat to the family, somewhere there are two people who I know would be eternally grateful, and there's a sweet white-with-gray-patches cat all alone in the apartment across the way just awaiting his fate who would certainly be equally as grateful. (Oh, and you'll have my undying gratitude as well!) So please...ask around - AND HURRY! - and then let me know ASAP! The front office even has a cat carrier for you!

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Perhaps I should start every blog entry with a sarcastic title, hm?

Which, of course, leads you to assume that today's title is sarcastic, and it is NOT, therefore, a beautiful day in the neighborhood, contrary to Mr. Rogers' humble daily proclamation, and you would be entirely correct.

But this un-beautiful day has nothing to do with the weather, or this dumpy apartment, or any of those fun, instead, it has to do with our neighbors...

...who left the apartments last night for the last time, in body bags.

But I digress. Bob and Vicky, a retiree couple, live(d) across the way from us...literally, right across the courtyard; our front door is maybe 30 or 40 feet from theirs. Last night the police showed up at their apartment a little while after we'd got the kids to bed, maybe sometime around 9 or 9:30, called out by one of our other courtyard neighbors, I guess, due to a foul smell and the TV turned up REALLY loud. She was a shut-in with all sorts of health problems, and he was her spouse, caregiver, and (we still believe) the love of her life. The kids and I would run over there every now and then to drop off bread or cookies or...whatever, and when one of their two cats, Smokey (the other was Bandit) was ill, I took some pictures for them and framed the best, right there for Vicky when Smokey finally did move on. They were as kind and neighborly as neighbors could be, and I like to think that we were just as neighborly in return.

So we opened up the front sliding glass door last night to listen and find out if Bob and Vicky were okay while the police were here...and were even thinking that maybe they'd left to the hospital or something while we were down in Temecula for Jason's birthday this past weekend. (I will be posting something about that trip later...but this seemed more important.) I was really hoping that the smell was Bandit...he was an old cat, too, and I thought maybe he'd passed on while they were tending to Vicky's health.

Through the door, though, we saw and heard many more officers descending...and then flashes went off inside Bob and Vicky's place (LOTS of flashes)...and finally the proclamation. One of the officers was on his phone, almost directly outside our front door: "...Shot her in the head, and then shot himself in the head. Murder-suicide, pretty cut-and-dry." Unavoidably and in shock, I had a good cry, and shortly thereafter the police were at our place taking a statement. (The last time I'd seen them was earlier in the week...he'd taken her for short walks in the courtyard here in front of our apartment a couple days in a row, and then Tyler had yelled "HI, BOB!" from the dinner table like he often did when Bob was coming home from somewhere Wednesday evening, but we left Thursday evening and came home Saturday, so it must've happened sometime during that stint.) One of the policemen very considerately interuppted our conversation and went to close Bob and Vicky's front door for us, but it was another 3 or 4 hours before their bodies were removed. Jason said he'd heard something about a suicide note, but beyond that, that's all we know.

I guess Bob and Vicky aren't interesting enough to make the news, but as aggreived as I am that he (or they?) felt such desperation in their situation - enough to end their lives - I wanted to express our hope that they have found release, and make sure that they were known and remembered...and not just for their death, but for their love of one another, for their adoration of cats and of kids - which, if I remember correctly, they couldn't have - for their love of clocks (and their commemeration of every moment and event in their lives with a new clock...they didn't have a square inch of un-clocked space on their walls!), and their neighborliness. It's interesting, as we age, how our perspective changes; whereas a decade ago I might have been inclined to judge, at this point in my life I am only full of empathy and truly hope that Bob and Vicky are now comfortable, at ease, and together.

I sure hope the day "pretties-up" quick...and if my kids ever mention Bob or Vicky (and until they can both read and have interest in reading this blog, the latter being probably never), please work with us in letting them know that our neighbors have moved. Moved, moved ON...we don't necessarily feel like we're being dishonest. After all, I think perhaps the Lord was merciful to our little family in this; it's a miracle Jason got the time off so we could leave on Thursday, a blessing that my folks were willing to take the kids those days, and an equal blessing that Bella could stay with her aunt and Grandma on Friday. Otherwise, being a Stay-Home Mom (with all three kids in tow on a Friday, which is when we assume this all must have taken place), the kids and I'd have been the ones to hear gunshots (as it was, no one did, but this place is pretty empty on weekday DAYS), call the police, and perhaps even find them/come unglued around the kids/have had the kids watching the police go in and out. We're grateful that, if things had to work out the way they did, that they worked out the way they did, for our kids' sake. And again, we really hope Bob and Vicky are happy, comfortable, and have found relief and release. They were great people.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Son Reestablishes the Great Soda/Pop Debate and Pronounces a New Winner

I love how long that title is. It's like a Frasier episode.

So I was talking on the phone about the Great Soda/Pop Debate, pronouncing the winner "Soft Drink", and my son interuppted me.

"No,'s called BUBBLE JUICE."

Aaaah, yes. It is. He has a point. Because in our home, that's what we call it. Made more sense than anything else in trying to describe what they were about to ingest. We also call Soy Sauce "Salty Sauce" and Ramen Soup "Squiggly Soup", for obvious reasons.

So I stand corrected...not by Emily, not by Adrienne (who so kindly admitted I'm right in my own way, anyway!)...but by my son.

It is neither Soda nor Pop, Coke nor Soft is, instead, Bubble Juice.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Great SODA/POP Debate

So I'm commenting on a friend's blog, (Hi, Ginny!) thinking about laughing so hard that milk would come out of my nose (because it's ALWAYS milk, right?) and then I'm thinking, "But I don't really drink much milk...and, as discussed a few entries ago, when I do it's Soy Milk, and it just doesn't sound the same to say "soy milk came out of my nose."

Not that you want ANYTHING to come out of your nose...TANGENT WARNING!

***I've always been an easy vomit, particularly when I was sick as a kid. And I don't just get sick, I get SICK...and when I vomit, it inevitably comes not only up through my mouth, but out of my nose. One particular time, I'd eaten rotini. You know, that pasta that looks like a corkscrew. And then I threw up. And it came out of my nose. I comment specifically on the rotini because, although I've also thrown up spaghetti, which is incredibly disgusting coming out of your nose in one long string, the sheer GIRTH and TWISTINESS of rotini is by far a superior (okay, maybe not SUPERIOR...) experience. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER throw up rotini pasta through your nose! Especially when it is accompanied by orange juice and tomato sauce. It's like you bore a hole a mile wide in your nasal cavaties and then pour acid through it. Trust me, just don't do it. Not that you would.***

But since I don't drink milk, what could I comment would come out of my nose? Well, I wrote soda, but that sparked in my memory a debate I had back in college: Is that bubbly stuff in the can (or, if you're that classy, the bottle) SODA or POP?

If you're from Utah, it's likely you call it Pop. If you're from back east or the northwest, you'll probably call it Soda. If you're from the very northernmost eastern US, it's "coke," no matter what it is.

But as the debate continued, I wondered to myself, "What do I call it?" I leaned more toward soda, admittedly, because asking someone if they want a "pop" implies you might deck them. Try as I might, though, I couldn't really call it soda, because that just didn't sound right, even though those two (limited) options seemed reasonable.

What DO I call it? I realized a couple months later when I was home for Christmas what it is REALLY supposed to be called, and though you may argue, it is neither Soda NOR Pop, and it's most especially NOT "coke" unless you're ordering a coke. It is also NOT that insipid conglomeration of the two popular terms: "soda pop."

For you see, my friends, having a soda pop is SUPPOSED to be called...

Having a Soft Drink. Go to any fast food place in Southern California (which, everyone knows, sets the standard...and before you haraunge me for that, that was totally tongue-in-cheek, people!) and on the menu, where you find the soft drinks listed, they will inevitably be listed under "Soft Drinks."

Therefore, to end the great Soda Pop debate...I proclaim the winning expression to be Soft Drinks. And I seal that proclamation with a very loud, carbonated bubble-induced belch. So there. And the debate is over.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Angel Abigail, An Early Cinco de Mayo, and the Father-Son Campout

As I type this, Jason is sound asleep (it's 2:04 PM), Miagee is taking her nap, and Tyler is watching a quiet-time cartoon about the birth of the Savior. All is quiet on the Western front, and so I was able to get a really good chuckle when a 4 year-old voice disturbed the peace:

"That's Mary. She's Jesus's Mommy. And that's the Angel Abigail."

"That's GABRIEL, honey."

"Oh, yeah! Not Abigail. GABE-REE-ELE. Thanks, Mom." Followed a few minutes later by "If you want to walk to Bethlehem, it takes a looooooooooong time, and if you have a baby in your tummy then you have to ride a horse."

"Donkey, honey."

"Oh yeah. Because it takes sooooooooooo long to get to Jerusalem. I mean, Bethlehem."

Did I mention that my son is awesome? See, not only is he adorable and a tiny genius, he's adventuresome. In order so Jason could sleep, I took the kids for a couple hours to a Cinco de Mayo fiesta going on at La Palma and Harbor today...yes, I know it's the 2nd, but it's tough to have a well-attended fiesta on a Tuesday. Anyway, we parked, walked to the festival grounds, traversed the rides and fairway games attendants, (I confess, I spent $2 to lose a ball toss game because I'm just that weak...and not that I was weak in tossing balls,) blew $9 on Tyler climbing and sliding on a giant plaything with bridges and whatnot and the kids riding in a floating plastic kayak around a manmade river through pretend tunnels and teepees surrounded by cheesy Indian statues. In fact, I still have NO idea what a plaything and an American Indian-themed boat ride have to do with Mexican Independance, but whatever.

So he climbed that giant plaything on his own, circumvented obstacles, and ended up about 30 feet in the air at one point (albeit boxed in by railings, nets, and the like), and then boarded a plastic boat chasing goldfish around a waterway. (There were actually about half a dozen live goldfish in the water, which entertained the HECK out of Tyler.) Miagee climbed in with him and was fine for about the first minute and a half...and then she started to panic...and then she started to sob and reach for the sides, rocking the plastic boat rather an attendant held the boat for me while I fetched her. Tyler? Good to go. In fact, he'd rather have kept a crying Miagee on board...she was rocking the boat! WOOHOO!!!

For those of you not yet informed, I've started calling Mikayla Mr. Miagi in Karate Kid. It has to be spelled Miagee, though, because she was formerly Magoo, which has too O's. Why Miagee? I don't know. Why Magoo, or it's shorter version, 'Goo? Why Mia? Well, we know why Mia...that's what she calls herself. (Seriously. "Mikayla, what's your name?" "MIA!")

ANYWAY, Tyler ALSO had fun at the Father-Son Campout. Jason? He had a good time, too...but he DID comment that a) he's getting old, as evidenced by his inability to sleep "just anywhere" anymore, (and he's right...he's turning 32 in less than a week. SOOOOO old.) and that b) STAYING asleep while camping is not so easy, either. (Hence the nap. Well, no, that, and this week he had his second work-all-night-long-at-the-office stint in as many weeks, so he hasn't really caught up on rest yet, but certainly couldn't NOT take Tyler to the campout!) On the positive side of things, they had a blast together (and Tyler was impeccably behaved the entire time!), Tyler slept soundly (inside Nona and Papa's van...thanks for the loaner, guys!) (and for those of you thinking they were chicken for not sleeping outside in a tent, it was in the '50's last night and supposed to rain!), and it DID rain...just a Tyler and his Dad spent a few minutes last night watching Bishop and Conner scramble to put a tarp over their tent, and a few minutes this morning teasing Bishop about the NEED to scramble.

As an aside, both my father and my father-in-law are the world's biggest teases. I know for certain that my Dad got that from HIS Dad, my Papa, and I see that my Dad2 passed it on to Jason...who will inevitably (and, based on his encouraging Tyler to tease Bishop about their late-night tarp battle) inherit and pass on that tease gene.

Anyway, everything went well, my family is all back together and in one piece (and resting up for more togetherness), and no matter how crappy life gets (like waking up at 3:30 in the morning realizing your husband hasn't come home from work yet!) at least we're together. So you have a great weekend, people...we will too.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hot Mormons

So, we're in the news again, thanks to some guy putting together a(nother) RM calendar. Haven't heard? (I thought everyone had.) It seems he found a bunch of active, hot returned missionaries and put together a calendar of all of them...shirtless. In fact, there have been 2 or 3 of these calendars thus far, and he's currently working both on another and on a Hot Mormon Moms calendar.
By the way, he's been ex'ed, whether over the calendar or other infractions, no one seems to know for sure, and because of his excommunication, as is BYU's perogative as a private institution, his degree has been revoked.

So, without offering my opinion (which some of you can guess because you know me so well), I'm wondering what you think of these calendars. Amused? Horrified? Ambivalent? Irritated? Ready to audition? Please feel free to comment on this entry if you wish to explain yourself; otherwise, vote in the poll at left! I really want to know!