Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I just have too much fun

... Or I'm just far too boring of a person.

Hard to tell.

So, what brought up this train of thought?

L droLet A_McElman_070716_2504 N n A L is for ... e E

Yes, you can spell your name with Flickr. And I found it to be rather very much fun. since, if you don't like the set of letters you get, just click on the ones you don't like in the top row and *POOF!* you get new fonts or however you want to refer to them ... pictures of letters? Um, yeah? Something like that?

So, yeah. That's what I did today. When I wasn't folding laundry, nursing, working on my website for being a cubmaster, or checking myriad blogs.
Remind me to give Michael a haircut tonight. When we're not watching movies or visiting with his brother's family.
Also remind me to finish the nine library books I have piled on/by the bed and to cook dinner.

k thx!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I had to post this because I'm an Ed major ... and I have teacher friends and family.

This was just too good not to post ... but there is some PG-rated language and one, um, rude hand gesture.

But this guy, Taylor Mali, is pretty amazing.


(Note: I nabbed this from Elizabeth Bird's Video Sunday blog feature at School Library Journal. Just thought I'd give her the credit she deserves.)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This would have made me snurk soda out my nose...

... if I had been drinking soda. Since I wasn't, I mostly just snickered into my fist and repeated, "This is the BEST movie EVER."

(Nabbed from Eric D Snider's hilarious blog. Yeah, I've mentioned that I'm such a fan girl for him. :P

Oh, and I've been sucked into this website/game thing, thanks to my friend Sheri. My avatar is really cute, though. But the severs seem to hate me ... stupid game servers. My username is LlannaLee (yeah, I know. Total shock. You'd never have ever guessed THAT one, huh? :P), so if you want to join or whatever, you can find me. If I'm online.

And, yeah. Traveling tomorrow. Back for a meeting. HERE. AT MY HOUSE. SUNDAY MORNING.
Wish me luck. ^_^ And that I'm not entertaining maybe 10 people in my pjs ... and that the floor is vacuumed. :D

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

He's growing up ...

So, we've been noticing that Bruise has been looking a little shaggy.

See Exhibit A, taken at the beginning of the month:

Seriously, check out the hair over his ears. It's long. (It goes to his earlobe.) Sometimes, it acts like it has a mind of its own and positively LEVITATES behind or over his ears. It won't stay down ... it just looks ... weird.
And I don't want my dear, little son to look WEIRD. He's my son! And he's gonna look HANDSOME! NOT WEIRD!
Because I love him and I think he looks handsome no matter what. Even when he's been throwing a tantrum and his face is covered in ... well, y'all get the idea.

So, we finally caved and gave him a haircut, since he was REALLY needing one. I was just going to use scissors and give him a trim around the ears, mostly ... since his baby-fine fluff was always hovering outwards ... However, Michael suggested the clippers, so we went that route. There was conversation involving "Which blade, I mean GUARD, should I put on it?" "Oh, a number three." "... Um, which one is a number three? The biggest one?" (The guards are labeled with measurements -- e.g., 3/8", 1/4", 3/4" -- NOT numbers, so my question is TOTALLY relevant and not stupid, okay?)
And I outfitted the clippers with the 3/8" guard and Michael did most of the cutting. I finished up, since Michael kept commenting on how fine Bruise's hair is. (So, finally, I asked, "Do you want me to finish it?" And he was all, "Okay, if you want to." So I did.) Bruise was bribed with animal crackers and Bucket was JEALOUS that she didn't get to sit in the high chair and have HER hair cut.

I did go back and do a little scissor-trim ... I cut his bangs a little close. Oops. But he seemed pretty happy when he got to look in the mirror on the bathroom door as I told him how handsome he looked.

What do you think?

Here's the front: Look no more fluffies behind/over his ears!

A nice profile shot ... with Bucket getting her time in the high chair (even though she's still upset that we didn't cut HER hair too. Poor girl.)


And here's all that we took off. It's sitting on a letter sized envelope, in case you needed reference.

I am going to miss the teeny little flippy-curls that Bruise had ... but the fluffy over the ears had to go.
And, to mask the close-cut bangs, I can always pull out some pomade and spike it a little.
He'll look all hardcore ... or, at least, um, metrosexual. Maybe.
But still handsome. Oh so handsome.

He looks a lot older without the Eddie Munster pointy-bang and no fluff. I feel like I should be more distraught ... but I'm really okay with it. It's just one of those things that have to happen.
(For Bucket's benefit, I did look for any split ends that I could trim for her ... I found nothin'. So her locks are still unsheared. So sad for her.)
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Back to normal(er)

Well, since I wrote and vented, things are starting to move along.

If you really care that much about my scout pack, we have a website
. It's not the best thing ever or anything ... but I'm hoping that it will get better. And, hey, if y'all have any suggestions of things that I should add, you can let me know.

And I created a forum for my cub scout leaders. So far I have three people signed up. Woot for me! ... Even though I have to wonder what a geek I am that I had to create a forum. But I rather enjoy being a little bit of a geek. And, hey, if this can help me NOT have to be in meetings as often, so much the better!

Now I've gotten most of the laundry (FOUR LOADS) folded. Most of Michael's and my stuff's been put away ... I need to put away the kids' stuff. But the living room's picked up. I need to do dishes. I want to read a couple books before we take off to visit Michael's folks.

I don't know what to cook for dinner.
I like how, right now, THAT is my biggest concern.

I also like that I haven't yelled at the kids much at all today. Have I yelled at them at all? ... I can't remember. I like that. I like that a whole hell of a lot.

I also liked this post I came across via PopURLs. And, yes, I realize that I am not only an felinophile but an extreme geek for digging this.

And I liked hearing that the tax kicker checks will be in the mail in December. I like me some monies. I very much likes me some monies.

I'm not sure how I feel about how much time I spend on Gaia... But i have a relatively cute avatar ... so I guess that's okay. Maybe.

So, yeah. Things are looking a lot better. I'm not worried that I might need antidepressants or anything (Quit looking at me like that. I never said I wasn't a bit of a hypochondriac!).

So, yeah. Things are okay.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Venting ... lots of it ...

So, like I may have mentioned, my calling at church is Cubmaster. And I'm still floundering. And, even thought I've been trained (I did the Fast Start online and I've gone to Round Tables and all), I really don't feel like I have any idea really what I'm doing.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist, yes. The cubmaster we had in my old ward ... I'm not going to him because I don't feel he was the best one (I got really irritated with him a few times. And tried not to show it).

I hate going to meetings ... especially meetings that are planned when Michael is not around to help with the kiddos ... and I don't really care to have these meetings encroach on what little time I DO get with my husband. Yes, I am just that pissy.

I paid the bills today. Joy.
I got a shower.
I haven't worked out much. Not on Friday. Did a 2K walk with Michael and the kids for a church activity Saturday. Did nothing Sunday ...
I haven't been sleeping well.
I broke down talking to the bishopric member and spent the last hour of church in the car, alternately crying and calming down and reading then crying more then calming down so I wouldn't look too upset when I picked up Bruise and Bucket from Nursery.

Yesterday I saw a ginormous spider in our bedroom as I was getting dressed. I killed it. I deserve a frickin' medal, yes I do!

I haven't cried yet today ... but I still feel like it. I really don't like Scouting much (I used to have no opinion of it. Now I feel that it's fitting, considering how clueless I feel after all the training I've had, that the first initials of the Boy Scouts of America are "BS.")

Yes, I am just this snarky. I'm tired of not knowing what to do and not having anyone around to either show me or learn with me.
I'm tired of not sleeping well.
I'm tired of yelling at my children.
I'm tired of being tired and whiney and pitiful and ... okay, I'm crying again.

I feel obligated to be in this calling because they called me. I'm supposed to learn something. they're scrambling to fill all these callings. I think that Brother M is aware that I'm not the happiest (since I just about started sobbing in front of him yesterday in the church hallway. Gah.) ... Yes. I'm just not ... happy ... right now.

I should be happy. I have rather wonderful children (who at this point, may have taken off their diapers in their cribs ... but they're chatting to each other after a long nap which let me try and get some of this Scouting crap done), I have a wonderful husband (who puts up with me as my mental health number has gone through the roof this month), I have books (wonderful, miraculous books. Books that will take me away and let me escape), I have the internet ... I have my cats. I have my family.

Is it bad that I really don't like having a calling? I haven't enjoyed the callings I've had for the last six months. I liked working with L (the Webelos leader in our last ward). Before that, before we moved, Michael and I taught in Primary which was okay ... but I really wanted to be able to attend Relief Society. I don't really like teaching in Relief Society ... but I think I'd like it better than this. (No meetings, really. Just one responsibility one Sunday a month ... It sounds really tempting. But that's not the calling I was extended. And I'm trying not to be bitter about it. Trying.)

Gah. Well, I'll let you know if my head explodes anytime soon. Or if a miracle occurs and I suddenly feel comfortable and confident in this calling.

I'd count on the former happening first. I've scheduled it for the last Friday of the month. We'll see how right I am.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

As I was reading my (looooong) list of daily blogs, I came across this cute little meme. So I'm sharing. Feel all special, okay??

Eight Things About My Marriage
1. Where did you meet your husband?
Short answer: Through church.

Slightly longer answer: Through my church friends. Michael was well-known in the U-wards ... mostly since he was a long-timer (he attended for a little before his mission, then came back and attended again). We knew of each other ... but until a group-date-that-wasn't-really (long story. I'll tell it soon. I really will), I never really thought of him as future-husband material.

2. What was the first thing you said to him?
Um ... I think it was, "Terra was right. You really DO have long eyelashes!"
This was before that group date ... And I said it kinda out of the blue. And then I felt guilty for making him blush. And, yet, after all that ... he still proposed. Go fig.

3. Where was your first date? Kiss?
Our first date was to the dollar theater (which has since been bulldozed into a parking lot) and then to Taco Bell. Where I impressed him by ordering Nachos (He was used to girls that didn't eat, I guess. Whereas, I was hungry ... and did eat. But not the whole thing, since we were too busy talking).
Our first kiss was at of one of our friend's carport, as he was helping me get all my stuff to go back to my dorm. (I smile like a goon when I think of it.)

4. Did you have a long or a short courtship?
I think it was just right. At times it felt long (when we were waiting for our wedding date to come about), but from first date to wedding date was 11 months. We dated for six months, he proposed the day after our six-month dating anniversary ... we got married 5 months after that.

5. Where did you get engaged?
Next to the stove in my mom's kitchen. I was covered in grime and general nastiness from my part-time job at the local plywood mill. And Michael wouldn't let me go get a shower. And then there was a ring. And then I was all like *inner monologue* "A ring. It's a diamond ring. Yeah, diamonds are my birthstone, but people don't just go offerin' diamond rings .... Oh-h-h-h ..." And I said *out loud* "Really??"

6. Where did you get married?
The Portland temple. and It was great. It would have only been better if my mom had been able to come up the night before, if I wasn't hacking up a lung (or concentrating REALLY HARD on not coughing up said lung), and if I had eaten breakfast (so I didn't almost pass out a couple times during pictures. *nervous laugh*).

7. How did the reception go?
Reception? Try receptionS. We had two. One in the college town we were both living in (and continued to live in until December) and one in my hometown. They were both really nice. Our families planned them for us (so Michael and I could concentrate on our college classes and making googly eyes at each other). If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have smooshed the cake in his face, no matter how much Jonnie-Bean goaded me on. And then, at the second reception, I wouldn't have had cake in my eye (Retribution sucks).

8. How was the honeymoon? Very nice. It could never have been too long ... we went to the Oregon Coast. Bandon. And we had time to go to a petting zoo, walk on the beach, relax in our hotel room (with hot tub. That's the way to go), window shop, try all the samples in Cranberry Sweets ... And then we drove home and opened lots of presents and gave Ginger-cat lots and lots of pettings, since she might have been lonely ... or maybe she noticed that I wasn't there so she could sleep on my head or something.

Yeah, I'll be filling in some of the gaps soon. Don't worry. I'll try not to keep y'all hanging for long. ^_^

Monday, August 13, 2007

Our weekend

As I promised, I am blogging about our weekend: the trip down, the visiting of mi familia, and the trip back.

I debated getting up at the butt-crack of dawn and (wisely) decided against it. I'm much more patient when I have slept a good 12 hours. Ha ha ha, I joke. I probably got a good seven hours. And that would have to do. Since I went to bed all snarly that the Scouting meeting I was at lasted faaaaaar too long and I really have no friggin' clue what I'm doing as cubmaster ... but that is neither here nor there.

SO, I slept in a little, we got the car packed, I got myself showered, dressed, and made-up; we finished packing the car around getting the children up and nursed, we drove to Michael's work, hung out and visited, the kiddos did laps around the office, until Michael needed to go on site to see how well his stormwater design was working (answer: pretty darn well for a first project. There's one drain that needs a little tweaking, but still! Not too shabby!)and the kidlets and I stayed in the car where I read and tried by my sheer force of optimism that they would TAKE. A. NAP. FOR. THE. LOVE. OF. BOB.
Which they didn't deign to try. So I changed diapers (which, I must say, is a feat of some daring ... having squirmy toddlers being changed on one's stretched out legs in the front seat of a van. But I'm all daring and a risk-taker [read: lazy] like that).
And then Michael came back and we drove back to his office and the kiddos and I stayed out in the van while he worked. And they wouldn't sleep while they could see me. So I climbed through the middle seat (and caught my knee on Bucket's carseat, giving me a gnarly-looking bruise on the side of my knee) to the backseat where I made myself comfortable amid the piles of pillows and read until I fell asleep ... and when I came to (because my back was calling me rather terrible names), remarkably my children had actually. fallen. asleep!
And I really had to pee. So I woke them up just before Michael got off of work (which, it being a Friday, was noon) and carried them into the office since I was too lazy to put their shoes back on. And then Michael had a meeting, so the kiddos and I hung out in his cubicle ... they played with his office supplies while I refused to let them draw over Michael's draftings ... and I played a couple hands of Free Cell on his computer.
Yes, I DO make it look this easy. NOT.

But what was very nice was the office manager remarked that I had lost weight. And that it was NOT the four pounds that my scale says. Yeah, you see why I like this lady. ^_^

Then we drove down to my Nana's and ate lunch and visited for a couple hours. The kiddos got cranky, so we drove down to my mom's to change for the wedding (one of my friends I met in high school got married to one of the sons of my preschool teacher. No, I didn't bring them together ... I didn't even know the groom. Just his mom.), and we ate dinner. We had hoped that the munchkin brigade might take a nap ... no such luck.

The wedding was nice. Michael didn't get to really see any of it, since he was chasing after the kidlets. But my high-school world history teacher was the minister/officiator for the wedding. And he's really great. It was wonderful to see him and his wife (who was my sixth-grade reading teacher) and my choir teacher and the mom of one of my friends from junior high ... It would have been nicer only if the kidlets weren't all hyper and if we had been able to stay longer. Oh well.

Saturday, we got up, nursed the munchkins, ate breakfast, got ready and drove down to my uncle's (where my dad and his girlfriend are staying while their house is being worked on). It was a nice drive, even though it's a little surreal driving past my first boyfriend's parent's house. And it strikes me how much time I spent there when I was sixteen. Crazy.

We had a very nice visit and I have a ginormous list of things to look up online for my uncle (who can't do it himself -- [1] no computer/internet and [2]he's got type-two Usher's syndrome. Hard to go online when you can't see). So I think I've got plenty to keep me busy. ^_^

Then we drove back to my mom's, put the kiddos to nap (where they woke up and pretty much trashed the guest room. *insert big, martyr-esque sigh here* and we got the van packed up and took off to a family picnic to see Mom's side of the family. Good food, good fun ... and then we had to drive back home.

The kiddos were worn-out enough that they actually did sleep most of the way home. We saw another of my high-school friends pumping gas when we filled up the van. I haven't seen her online lately since her computer broke. Poor girl! We drove and drove and about 15 miles before our exit, Bucket woke up .... SCREAMING. And woke up Bruise ... and they were SO, SO, SO upset that I ended up unbuckling myself and, crouching in the space between the front and middle rows of seats, nursing them one-by-one. We were ALMOST home and they really, really, REALLY wanted out. So it was the best I could do.

And we got home, put the kids in a bath, called my mom to let her know we made it safely home, turned on the computer, checked email, and went to bed.

Phew! And then we woke up to go to church (where I substituted in Nursery after wanting to devour my children, a la hamster, during Sacrament meeting ... which was FULL of timeouts. Ugh!) and came home and put the kiddos to nap. And then got the kiddos up and had dinner with the previously-blogged broccoli incident, and put the kiddos to bed. And then we read Firefly quotes until our eyes nearly fell from their sockets. And then we went to bed. And now I need to stop typing so I can work out, clean house, make phone calls, get a shower, read library books (I'm very, very much enjoying Skulduggery Pleasant. It's very hilarious!), and fix something for dinner.

Wish me luck. ^_^

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Something funny/cute/cheeky

Michael and I made dinner.

He cooked up some noodles with cheese sauce. I cooked some chicken and frozen broccoli. We dished up some of everything for the kidlets.

Bruise and Bucket proceeded to wolf down the chicken and the pasta. The broccoli went uneaten. So I speared some on my fork and attempted to entice the children to eat theirs. Bucket took a bite ... spit it out. Bruise took the teeniest of bites.

So I said, "Well, if you're not going to eat it, Mommy WILL," as I took a piece of Bruise's broccoli.

So he picked up two handfuls of what was left on his plate and offered it to me.

Smart boy. He's TOO smart sometimes.

And Bucket followed suit.

And they watched me eat each and every piece of delicious broccoli with freshly-cracked black pepper, sprinkled with sea salt.

And Michael and I tried not to smile over our children's cleverness.
Since we don't want to encourage them to be TOO smart. Cheeky little devils.

Then, as Bucket was goofing off, standing on her booster seat at the table, she slipped and beaned her head on the dining room table. Oops. That's going to be a bad bruise. *sigh*

I don't think I'm going to have to worry that my children are TOO clever, after all. :P Thank goodness. I wouldn't want anyone to fear the competition. Ha ha ha.

Don't worry about Bucket, she's fine now. A little cuddle, some infant Tylenol ... and a forced administration of an ice pack ... She's fine now.

Yet another celebrity crush ...

As I've said before, my "celebrity crushes" are more along the lines of "Oh-this-person-is-SO-coot/neat/amazing!!!!!1!!-and-I-really-really-like-them!!!"

But, yeah, I've found another one:

Oh, if only his movies weren't rated-R, then I'd watch them soooooo much!
(Truth be told, the first time I saw the previews for "The Science of Sleep," I said to Michael, "Oh, I want to see that!" Then I saw that it was rated "R" ... and I think I said "damn." Because that made me very, very, VERY unhappy.)

OH, something else that made me unhappy -- The videos on YouTube for So You Think You Can Dance? are not online anymore. Stupid music rights. Now I cannot watch Hok. Or any of Sabra's past performances. And that makes me sad, too. Really sad.
And then I think that I'm a little pitiful for being sad about a SHOW. Even worse, a REALITY TV show.

I'm now ashamed. I need to soak my head or something. Maybe read something deep. Like Proust or something. (Isn't Proust the one that wrote about the tea-soaked Madeline cookie? I'm too lazy to look it up. Ugh.)

This makes me SAD...

President Faust passed away. (The title of this post is a link, if you want to read about it. Your choice.)

For you non-LDS-ers out there, President Faust isn't our prophet. That'd be President Hinckley. But he serves ... I mean served ... with President Hinckley.

Still, I kind of always expected that I'd always be hearing him at General Conference (the twice-annual broadcast that our church does. Lots of people give talks ... and although I used to think it was really kind of boring, I do enjoy it more and more now. Well, when I can actually listen, since the munchkin brigade aren't exactly the most conducive to reverence. At present, anyways). I kinda assumed that President Hinckley would pass on before any of the other apostles. (Even though we've had a few apostles pass away during the last few years. I still miss Neal A. Maxwell).

So, when we got home from visiting family last night (which is [and will be] another post in and of itself), I was checking my email before heading to bed. And ... there it was. A whole email message sent through one of the LDS lists that I'm subscribed to ... saying that James E. Faust passed away. And I'm all, "What the chicken?!?"
Yeah, to say nothing else, it was rather unexpected.

I mean, we all knew that he was getting older. He delivered his talk at April's General Conference sitting down ... which, I'll admit had me rather worried. But I still didn't expect it quite so soon. *sigh*

So, yeah. I'm a bit bummed out. And it just feels so surreal. Like when you wake up from a bad, bad dream that feels so REAL ... and you have to sit there, panting in bed, trying to work out if it really happened ... and, when it's a dream, you come across some small detail that definitely IS NOT true in real life ... but there's not that detail here. In fact, there's proof that it has. And that makes me sad.
I hope that President Faust's family is doing okay. I mean, yes, we have the gospel and we know that death is not the end of a person or of a relationship or of love. And that is, indeed, quite a comfort. But, sometimes, it's still really sad that we don't have that person still here with us ... only a phone call or an email or a visit away. And that hurts.

Thank goodness we have the opportunity to have an eternal perspective on this. We WILL see our dear ones, friends and family, again. And I'm so glad for that. It would be a cruel God to order us to create families, and the deep affections therein, just to rip them away at our deaths. I'm very glad to know that we do have a loving Heavenly Father. Because he does love us. Each one of us. Very much. Better than anyone else ... well, except maybe Jesus. Because he did make the greatest sacrifice, which enables us to live again, to repent, to have our families last past death ... And that is good. Very good. And an extreme comfort to know.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The logic abounds in our house. Truly. (Okay, not-so-truly at all.)

Me: Honey! Daniel Biss is running for Illinois State Representative!

Michael: [looking up from me intterupting (again) him reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix] Um. That's nice.

Me: If we had money, we could donate for his campaign!

Michael: I don't even know what his platform is.

Me: What does it matter?!? He's the RESIDENT MATHEMATICIAN for Nerdfighters!! What else IS there???


I read a good book the other day. Be warned, there's profanity. But it's a GREAT book.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. It's about a girl in a town in Germany during the Holocaust and it's really, really good and I really, really liked it. And I'm so glad that I was reading In My Pants and caught that John Green recommended it. Because it is good.

Also, today ... when they weren't screaming or messing with my computer or unfolding the clothes that I. HAD. JUST. FOLDED., Bruise and Bucket were cute. Like when Bruise was walking in the kitchen, sucking on a pacifier ... and his feet wedged into a pair of stacking rings (the yellow and green ones, to be precise). There he was, clopping around, happy as a clam.
Bucket demanded books and more books today. Right now she's on a kick of the touch-and-feel-type books.

I still really have no idea what I'm doing as cubmaster. I've emailed the bishopric counselor over me to ask some questions. I also left a message with the Primary president ... we'll see when I hear back from anyone. Still, I have been able to schedule a couple visiting teaching appointments. And I know when the round table meeting is (so I can go to that, as is my duty as a cubmaster.)

I made crockpot chili yesterday. It took forever to cook, since I used dried beans that I had soaked, instead of the canned beans. It tastes good, though. I made myself a couple of chili cheese burritos this afternoon. They were pretty good.

Well, I'm going to close up. Mostly since I haven't said anything particularly brilliant ... and it's not looking like that's going to change anytime soon. Sorry!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Can't hurt to try ...

So, as I'm going through my daily dose of blogs (and it's a rather large dose. Yes, I am an addict.), I come across a contest.

See this:
Over at Ashwin’s blog, you will find one crazy blog owner!! You can win $2500!! To enter just copy this text and paste it in your blog!! But hurry, this competition will not last long! So get posting!

Well ... truly, 2500 dollars would not be unwelcome.
And if nothing else, Ashwin'll be getting some linky-love going on.

And if I don't win? Well, I suppose that I could erase this post. We'll figure that out August 20th, I suppose.

Also, if you're jonesing for a chance to win a 37" flat-panel LCD HDTV, go to 5 minutes for mom and enter that contest.

'Cause you know what? Free is definitely my favorite price. And I do like me some monies. Like that song by the Flying Lizards. ^_^

Counting ...

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