Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Back home.

Just a quick update--

Sorting through a huge pile of laundry. Unpacking, trying to find something to feed the kids for dinner, sorting the mail, and the e-mail.

Had a great time. Relaxing and hanging out. Took a lot of pics! I will bew editing for days. I am self-taught in Photoshop, learning as I go. I love having new photos to play with!

I will leave you with a photo of the weird sign we saw on our way through the mountains to Jackson Hole.

I am wondering if somewhere, the Highway Department has a catalog of road signs.

"Hey Dirk, we need a sign for the sharp curve on I-86, you know the one---where it is so cock-eyed tight, that your truck durn near tips over right onto that historic rock formation."

" Well, lookie here---they *do* have a sign for that, right on page 278."

"Order 'er up."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

We're outta here!

Every year we take off for Memorial Day weekend with some friends of ours to stay at my family's cabin on the banks of the snake river in Idaho.

Something about the land makes it the most peaceful place on earth. The photo was taken last year, before I was digital--so the scan isn't the best--but see how green, and beautiful?!

There is something to be said about no phones, no internet connection, limited television reception and a sometimes working clock. It is a time to re-connect. To read books, to play card games, to talk and laugh and eat (and eat) and nap and squeeze some scrapping in, but only if you really want to--

The way I look at it, there are two kinds of vacations. The kind where you try to pack as many things into your limited time frame as you can--you go, go, go the whole day, and into the night--to see it all, to absorb it all-- you come home exhausted, but exhilarated.

And then there is the cabin.
A true vacation. Relaxing. No agenda. So relaxing that on the last day, you are *almost* ready to go home and tackle a big project just because you have been sitting around doing nothing for so long.

I am so looking forward to it.

See you all in a week! I will be the one with the serene, contented smile, and the slightly larger butt.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Just another day here.

The girls took a bath yesterday afternoon, got dressed, and ran out to play.

I went into the bathroom soon after and happened upon a pile of blonde hair.

With my heart in my throat, I assessed the situation, and traced it back to a pile of poor, helpless Barbies. The subjects of what appears to be a massacre. Knowingly converted from glamorous beauties to lesbian butch's by a toddler wielding some scissors.

Apparently one of the Barbies suffered a mastectomy as well. Both breasts. Or, maybe Mikayla was just trying to make her look more realistic, more like her a-cup mommy...heh.

At least she didn't try it on her own hair. Or her own chest.

I put the scissors up high, above the medicine cabinet, on top of the light track. (This last tidbit added for my convenience when I try to look for them later.)

Friday, May 19, 2006


I found this gem today while thumbing through one of those value packs full of mostly useless coupons. I don't know why I feel compelled to look through all of them. I don't know why I don't immediately throw the whole thing into the trash unopened. I think I have used one coupon in like eight years.

I just want to know who this coupon is intended for? Am I missing some inside latino joke? And no, it is not re-touched by me. It is all weird and stretchy in real life.

It made me laugh! I guess it made sorting the junk mail worth it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Work. Done. Whew!!

It doesn't look like much, but this is what 260 layouts look like. The left hand stack had nothing bulky, and the right, each layout has three loopy brads strung with ribbon. Almost doubles the size.

You are looking at the results of an all night, and half of the next day sweat shop. I figure it was about 52 (wo)man hours of scrapping.

I can't imagine how long it would have taken if I had taken the project on myself. I enlisted the help of my mom and sisters. And my dad even gave in and "crapped." It was a fun night, it has been way too long since I got together with my family, just us--and talked and laughed.

I am so freaking grateful. And I know you guys are reading my blog, so thank you. A million times over.

Monday, May 15, 2006

See you this weekend!

If i am not around for a few days, it is because I am starting my own sweatshop.

I designed some pages for Karen Foster Design to put in all the AC Moore stores. The layouts they choose out of the ones I sent will be put on display boards that hang over the Karen Foster merchandise. They have to be "live" boards, meaning real layouts, and not just color copies. They chose a layout of my daughter potty training (tastefully, for the record) she will loooooove knowing that one went public when she is older. And the other is a layout of my kids making cupcakes. The photo is hideous (above). Ugh. I tried to fix it, my daughter had just gotten out of the tub, and her hair is all stringy and ugly...tell me I am just being paranoid... It is not the only picture on the layout, the others are fine.

I ordered the photo prints online today. Costco just called me to see if the order was real. 704 prints! HA! Take THAT one hour photo!

So, I am enlisting the help of my sisters, and this week we will be mass-producing 250 12x12 layouts. I will take a picture when we are done. Mama Mia, that's a lot of scrapping! I am sure we will put on a few chick flicks and eat ourselves into a chocolate coma while we are at it.

Good times.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day.

I have never really liked Mother's Day.

When I was younger I thought it was totally stupid. Another reason for my Mom to be snippy and bug me to "please clean your room, that is all I really want for Mother's Day." Oh brother...

And why don't they have a "Kid's Day" I used to always ask...and my Mom would always answer with a long sigh...."EVERY day is Kid's Day." Oh brother...[insert eye-roll]

Now that I am a mother myself, the holiday hasn't gotten much better. For one, it is always on Sunday, which means I still have to get up, get all the kids ready, go to church, come home, cook lunch, clean up lunch, visit my Mom, and my mother-in-law [bearing gifts and handmade cards that I picked out and prepared in advance with no help from my husband--thank you very much] come home, cook dinner, clean dinner up, search for lost homework books and backpacks, get kids ready for bed, clean house--and somewhere in there find some spare time to do *ahem* "things" with Sam, cause after all...it is a holiday, and every holiday should be "celebrated." Oh brother...

This year, I went into the day with absolutely no expectations, and it has seemed to help things. I am not expecting anything, so if my husband is extra nice, or my kids don't fight as much, it will be an added bonus. And it helped that when the alarm went off this morning, I turned it off, turned over, and sluffed church.

I am taking the whole day off. It is my gift to myself.

Its funny, how as you get older you truly learn to appreciate your Mom. Even the men eventually get it. Sam is always saying what a good lady his Mom is. She deserves that compliment. We all do. We work like dogs, with one official day of appreciation.

So whenever I see big 300 pound football player on TV look into the panning camera and say "Hi Mom!" I think to myself "damn straight!" That lady deserves to be recognized!

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 12, 2006

I knew it would happen sooner or later.

Blog failure.

I haven't posted for many days.

Things have been good busy around here. Plus, I have nothing exciting to write about. So here is a Top Five exciting things:

5- Our dishwasher sucked, it has been leaving crap on the dishes for months. Finally, last week Brendan got food poisoning, so I was thinking it was probably time to get something that would at least kill germs around here. So I say to Sam, we need a new dishwasher. And he says, "okay, there is one in the back at work, I will bring it home." (??!) Apparently his sister remodeled the kitchen, and got a new dishwasher cause her old one didn't match, (appliances match?) it works fine, and has just been sitting there. After a few spare parts, spit, and duct-tape--it is installed and working. Knock on wood... Saved us some $$. Free is always good.

4- Been busy with some design team assignment work, I love working! Beats housework any day of the week.

3- I had a couple of "outings" this week. Went on a field trip to the zoo with the twins. I am so, so grateful that I am not a bus driver. There is not enough money in the world... I also went to lunch with friends this week. Me--doing lunch, in my best stay-at-home mom uniform. It felt so chic.

2- Been getting good sleep at night. No one has been waking up with weird dreams or pee-pants. Amazing what a good nights' sleep does for you.

1- I am going to crop with some friends on Saturday night. I am so excited to be out and laugh with some girls. Life is nothing more than having something to look forward to, no matter how small it may seem.

So, that's it. I told you nothing was going on. I meant it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Top photo is Mikayla at three [2006], bottom photo is me at three [1975].

When people say: "Wow, your daughter sure looks like you." I never know what the polite response is. Do you smile and say "thank you," meaning... she sure is a lucky girl, cause I have always loved the way I look?!

Or do you say "yeah, she does--poor girl, good thing plastic surgery has gotten better...implying that your daughter has homely potential?! I mean, really--does anyone like how they look?

Besides Angelina Jolie.

[sigh....] I never know what to say.

But she sure does look like me.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

National Scrapbook Day!

It is still funny to me that there is a National Scrapbook Day. It was yesterday. Not so funny how Sam bowls in the Bowling Nationals tournament always on the same weekend. I hardly ever get to celebrate NSD, unless I am dragging the kids along. Come to think of it, Bowling Nationals is kinda funny too. It's bowling, for pete's sake....

Anyway, I spent NSD teaching a class at Paper Creations in Salt Lake City. This was my first time at the store. Kathy, the owner is such a cool lady! She pre-cut all the class kits for me, which was a total lifesaver, and the class went so smooth..like buttah. Very nice ladies in the class too, everyone got the whole mini-album done! That never happens--it was the pre-cutting I am sure.

Since Sam was gone, and having fun himself, I told myself I could spend some money at the store. I haven't actually purchased any new scrapbooking supplies for months. I have just been using my stash, and stuff from my manufacturers. I thought it was time for me to buy something fun and inspiring.

When I walked into the store, I was completely overwhelmed! You know how sometimes it feels like when you walk into a place like this, somehow the ceiling fans suck your brains out, and you forget why you are there in the first place. Too many things to look at. Too many pretty distractions. System overload. Sometimes that happens to me at Target. I always have to have a list, or inevitably I come home with five things I didn't need, but not the bread that I went for.

So it happened at Paper Creations. I stood there, just inside the door, my mouth agape, with that deer in headlights look. Finally someone was kind enough to direct me to the classroom. I taught, and then I packed up and left. I bought nothing.

I want to go back. With a list. A very long list.

Awesome store. Thanks Kathy and staff and students--

Happy National Scrapbook Day!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious obsession with moving to Mexico.

Sam and I spent a week in Mexico, gosh I think it has been...eeek..FIVE YEARS???!

Wow. I haven't even scrapped it yet.

While we were in Mexico, we hopped around, hitting smaller non-touristy towns. Sam speaks fluent Spanish and knows enough slang that he fits right in with the locals and we get great tips on places to hit. We found the most delicious spot, clean white sand beaches, palm trees, nice hotel, great taco bar, cheap...anyway, I dream of going back. And NO, I am not telling you where it is....if I spilled that to all the coughcoughfortycough people who read this blog, it will turn into another over-populated Acapulco.

I learned a life lesson while there. If you have been to Mexico, you know that they charge a nominal fee for everything. I mean everything! To use the bathroom. To receive toilet paper for use in the bathroom. For directions. For using beach chairs on the beaches. One day, I had enough. I was tired of paying for stupid things! I had a little bit of a breakdown.

We stopped out of desperation to use a bathroom that was so way worse than any gas station or Walmart in the states. Oh, so much worse. At the door, after you paid your pesos, they handed you a bucket. I was like...???! And then I waited in line to use the single toilet, in a dirty adobe cubicle with a sagging wooden door. The decor was hovering flies. And needless to say, there was an odor. Think port-a-potty.

I paid for my three squares of 20 grit toilet paper and watched. Well, apparently after you did your thing, you had to add a bucket of water from the sink to flush the toilet. Manual water pressure.

That is about the time I lost it. I thought I can't believe I am being subjected to this, and I CAN'T BELIEVE I AM PAYING FOR IT!!!!!!!

Sam had to remind me that we were guests in the country, and to please keep it down. I went on for a fair amount of time (proudly mixing Spanish and English) I might add, and then I was done. I got it all out of my system, and enjoyed the rest of the trip.

We have all had our "mexico moments" haven't we? A little tirade, a little rant...and people just need to leave you alone, cause in a few minutes you will be over it. It's healthy.

So...Happy Cinco de Mayo! May you not have to pay for toilet paper this whole day!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

With gratitude...

For those of you who have left me comments, or e-mailed or called, just to let me know that my blog made you laugh, or that I am not really as bad of a mom as I think I am...I just want to say thank you. I appreciate it all.

I have the blog set up so I receive an e-mail when someone comments, and I have responded to some of you, and it bounces back to me. I am not computer-literate enough to fix that, so please know that I do appreciate it.

I figure most days, even as intellectually and socially stimulating as it is to be a stay-at-home mom, we all need a laugh. Sometimes it is laugh at your life or cry, and crying makes my mascara run, oh wait, I don't wear it anymore...anyway, thanks for laughing with me, and listening to me generally vent.

We are good therapy for each other.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

nothing to read here, move along

I had the worst night ever. Lately they have all been kinda sucky. I get no sleep. I thought this was supposed to end when we got through the newborn stage?!? The kids get up now for such stupid reasons. Here are some recent gems:

"The doggies are ruffing at me."
"There are monsters in my eyes" [?]
"Sounds [said high-pitched and drawn out] are waking me up."

"I accidentally read scary stories today in reading time, and now I can't sleep" [these are the SAME scary stories, he was full-on bragging about reading earlier, Goosebumps, I think..?]

"I can't sleep." [this occurs every hour on the hour from his bed-time of 9, until about 2am. HELLO! Stop getting out of bed, coming into my room to tell me about it and maybe you will sleep?! I swear I am going to start giving him some of grandma's Ambien]

"I am thirsty." [this said passing four sources of water, not including toilets, to come tell me]

She doesn't "say" anything, she just wets the bed.

But last night takes the cake. I finally drift off to an exhausted dead-out sleep, and I wake up to the smell of Sam's fart. I can not even tell you how mad I was. And I can not begin to tell you how nauseatingly horrid the smell was. I kicked him. And all that resulted in was him shifting in the covers and releasing even more of the toxic fumes.

So I had to lay there with my eyes watering, and wait it out. It was too cold to get out of bed. I laid there hating him, and feeling sorry for myself cause all I want is sleep, and I never get sleep.

But I wrote a haiku while I was lying there hating my life:

I just want some sleep
but my nose is a traitor
I need a new job