Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Literacy and a funny thing

I should (keyword: SHOULD) be making sure that I'm all totally prepared for the Pack Meeting for Cub Scouts tomorrow.
Have I done that?


I should also be finishing up laundry. Which I haven't done.
Or finishing up dishes (which I've done a little! I need to unload/reload the dishwasher and I should [keyword: SHOULD] be caught up.

Now, as a confirmed bibliophile, I should share this with you:
In less than two weeks Congress will be voting on legislation that will:

1. Get much needed funding to school libraries.
2. Requires that every school in every school district of every state employs at least one state certified, highly qualified school library media specialist.
3. Provides monies for training and professional development for school library media specialists.

What does this mean?
1. It means more monies for schools to buy books and educational materials.
2. It means that young people will have access to more and better books because informed, knowledgeable librarians will be making book selections for their schools and will have more input and influence on trade and educational publishing for young people because they will have more purchasing power. (Many schools' libraries are run by parent volunteers and/or a teacher or other educational professional who may or may not have the skills and knowledge of a certified school librarian.)
3. It means that young people will have a knowledgeable librarian to teach them how to be informed consumers of information and critical thinkers.
4. It means that those wonderful people who are running school libraries who are not trained as professional librarians, will have access to professional develop monies to help them to get the professional training they need to help our kids.

1. FAX or email or call your congressional representatives in support of this legislation: the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act. You can find out who your Congressional and Senate representatives are at: http://www.capwiz.com/ala/directory/congdir.tt

2. Copy and paste this email and send it to everyone you know, especially: friends, family members, neighbors, colleagues, editors, publishers, authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, parents---everyone and everyone you know. Add your own short personal note and ask them to please contact their congressional representatives today by fax or email to support the SKILLs legislation. Encourage them to write a very few short words in support of this legislation. If you use a formula message it will not be taken as seriously as a more personalized fax or email. REMEMBER- YOUR VOICE AND YOUR VOTE DO COUNT---THESE POLITICIAN/LEGISLATORS KEEP ACTUAL TALLIES OF FAX , PHONE, AND EMAIL MESSAGES FROM CONSTITUENTS!


I mean, really ... if we don't work on getting kids reading, what are we really going to be looking at in a few years?

(Yeah, yeah, I know you've all seen it before. But still, it totally makes my point, no?)

So, yeah.
And, if you're wanting to get political ... you can also get on board with GrassFire.org or MomsRising.org.
I mean ... I don't consider myself the most politically activist-ic person ... but this lets me feel like I might have some effect and might let my voice be heard. which makes me feel a little proactive.

NOW, off of my soapbox and my "shoulds" ... I have to tell you the funny thing Bucket did last night.

Here's the scene: Michael and I are getting the kids off to bed after dinner and some high-quality whining. Bucket is SCREAMING. We change diapers while she fusses and whines and moans and screams. Bruise climbs into his crib (Hey. If the boy can climb OUT, he sure as H can get himself IN the crib. And he does.), I put Bucket in her crib. We tell them to fold their arms for the prayer. As Michael starts with the "Dear Heavenly Father ...", Bucket grabs her blanket and BLOWS HER NOSE IN IT.

Now, yeah, it's kinda disgusting. But I had to work SO DANG HARD to keep from snickering through the rest of the prayer. Bucket? After that, she was calm and all grins.
Once we get to the prayer at night, she's good. We pray, have goodnight kisses and tuck the kidlets in their cribs, we say our "good night"s and "we love you"s ... the munchkin brigade tell us "bye-bye," and Michael and I either watch a show or movie or eat ice cream or read or stuff like that.

I so wish that I had gotten Bucket's nose-blowing on camera, though. It wasn't very dainty. And I could have totally wet myself because of it.

Yeah, my kidlets crack me up. Good thing, too. Or else, with the pre-verbal-stage whining, I might have devoured them by now. :P

So, in other news, I have my pack meeting tomorrow, and a meeting with the bishop ... maybe visiting teaching in the morning ... Thursday I go down to Nana's, visit and drop the kidlets off there, go to Kevin's memorial service (on what would have been his 28th birthday), pick up the kidlets, drive to my mom's and spend the night. Then we'll come back up Friday morning. Hopefully in time for Michael to come home.
Yeah, he's not able to come with us. But he'll be able to get caught up at work. And probably watch more episodes of Bubble Gum Crisis on TV Links.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. I will feel better then. I'll have another month to get ready for the pack meeting.
I SO don't know what I'm doing. I know I need to get the boys excited and all ... but I don't know what to do, really. Wish me luck! *terrified grin/grimace*

Thursday, September 20, 2007

'Nother Meme

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car),
Miss Priss Odyssey

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie),
Bubble Gum Oatmeal (Now that combination sounds gross ... and that's yet another reason that I'd be the most pitiful gangster ever.)

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal),
Blue Platypus

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born),
Lee Portland ... Sounds like I'd be one of those characters that dies right away.

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first),

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink),
Green Water ... Um, doesn't Captain Planet kick my bum in an episode?

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers),
Robert Bruce ... I'll be driving the haggis-mobile.

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy),
Happy Skittles ... Um ... let's just say that it's a good thing that's not my profession. I'd need even larger bazooms and bleached hair ... and an annoying, vapid giggle.

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ),
Jean Howard

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter),
Sommers Sydney. Could we switch that around?

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower).
Christmas Rose (Also another flower's name)

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Peaches T-shirtie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree),
Marshmallow Mateys Cedar (I'm the biggest sell-out as far as hippies go, then. No self-respecting hippy would EVER eat a processed cereal like that. No matter what a good deal it is.)

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”),
The Reading Rainbow Tour (What can I say? I adore LaVar. And I really, really miss the old theme song. They've jazzed it up a lot.)

MEME TIME! - The Middle Name Meme

The Middle Name Meme:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players - You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. At the end of your post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.

L - Like, have I ever mentioned that when I was little I got mad at my mom for not naming me Daisy? Yeah, I liked Daisy Duck much better than Minnie Mouse. Daisy had this hint of attitude and elan that I never have quite gotten the hang of. She's like the Dorothy Parker of the Disney Universe.

E - Eerily enough, one time a classmate turned to me and exclaimed, "Allanna Lee!" And I turned right around ... since (1)how did he know my middle name?!? and (2) that's what my mom says when I'm in trouble.
It was a totally lucky guess on his part. Or else he lied and he was really stalking me. If so, he was good at it, since I'm not aware of ever being stalked.

E - Everyone seems to think that I'm all outgoing. Sometimes I wonder who they have me mixed up with. I suppose I just put up a really good front, since I'm actually totally self-conscious a good deal of the time. But I also like to put people at ease (more than I care about making a complete eejit out of myself), so you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

As far as people to tag ... Um ...
1. Bri ... when you have the time
2. Melissa ... when you're not tending to your new, sweet baby girl
3. Kari ... when you're not teaching the unwashed masses (C'mon, you've smelled some of those teenagers. Are you going to argue? :P)

What brings you here?

So I finally figured out how to check my google analytics ... see how popular (or not) I am.

There's an option to see what keywords people look for that end up bringing them to my blog. Cool. Let's see what they're looking for ...

1. llannalee - Well, that's easy. It's ME! I mean, really. So far, it's a very unique username. Good for my mom, spelunking my name (i.e., adding that second 'L'). It makes me extra special.

2. boobage - Well, I am a bit of a lactivist. And I am ... more than moderately endowed. Ooooo-kay. I can kinda see why people found my blog this way.

3. tight boys - What. The. H. I only have one boy. And one husband. And they're both generous.
And I have this sneaky, nagging feeling that that term is a p()rn-type search. *shudders* I feel unclean just contemplating what MIGHT be going through someone's mind.
Okay, I'm NOT THINKING ABOUT IT. I'm thinking of happy things: baby giggles, fluffy white kittens, the sacred cow loves you .... (Those last two are what I chanted to my Ty-bro so he wouldn't puke [on or toward me] on a ride at the county fair about ten years back.)

4. wink em game - Ha! I recognize that! I don't know it whoever did the search was trying to read this post, but that's where they'd end up!

5. llannalee.blogspot.com - Huh. I have no idea why THAT would bring you here.
Except maybe for the simple fact that it's, oh, my address here in the blogosphere.

6. iPod stenches - I don't notice any coming from my iPod. But I do have some stenches around here -- like, um, did I mention that my cats started using a bath mat for a litter pan? A bath mat located in our CARPETED bathroom?!?
But that has NOTHING to do with my iPod. Unless I throw it at them. Which I wouldn't. Because I loves it. It's my presssssssssshiousssssssssss. *furtive glances*

7. my girlfriend had to pee in the car on the first date - Um ... how special for you? I think that this might be a better option. And, I wonder, did it create a special bond? Are you two still together? Inquiring minds want to know.

8. winking guy - See story for number four. It'd be that same post.

As far as referrals, Melissa and Kari send most people my way (and, have I mentioned how pretty and delightful they are? And what fantabulous mothers they are? Not that I'm sucking up. It's totally true.)
However, I'm tickled that people have come here through mental_floss and Mormon Mommy Wars. I feel so ... I don't know. Tickled describes it well. ^_^ Maybe special covers it too.

Well, however you got here, I hope that you're enjoying stuff. And if you don't enjoy it ... well, I just blog because I like it. And I'm sorry that we don't see eye-to-eye on what is worthwhile content. (Not that I always feel that all my content is worthwhile, per se.)

I blog so that my head doesn't implode. And because I'm kinda anti-social and don't get out a lot. And I do want to keep a record that I DO have thought processes in my head. It's not all just diapers and "deets." (If you're all, "Deet?!?", then just read the previous post. You'll get it. It's a Bruise-and-Bucket-ism.)

As you were.
Another update about Kevin's investigation: NewsReview.info

And something cute and happy and nice to balance this blog out --
Bruise came over and grabbed out the Boppy (yes, they're 20 months and still nursing. What??). I asked him if he wanted water or "deet" (their word for nursing ... since I would ask them, "Do you want to eat?" ... which digressed to "Wanta-eet?" ... and now we just call it "Deets.").

Bucket, in front of the TV, watching Sesame Street, RACES over with her declaration of "I WAN DEET!!"

Nice job!

I'm still doing better at not yelling so much. Wish me luck keeping it up. And I'm working with Bruise ... when he grunts/whimpers at me, I try to translate it into words. So, maybe, he'll start to use his words more often.

Another cute thing ... when the kidlets are eating something they find especially good, they'll do that "Mmmmmmmmm"-sound. I especially like it when they do it when I've cooked something. From scratch.

Or else, when Bruise is ... upset, Bucket will come to me and say, "Bruu kwai." (So, if I didn't know, what with him screaming in front of me ... :P) And I'll tell her, "Yes, Bruise IS crying. Do you think he's sad/mad/upset/frustrated?"

However, yesterday, Bruise did something that we've TRIED to prevent from happening.
I had taken a tray of chicken nuggets out of the oven and put them on the stove.
Yeah, Bruise reached up to try to get some. He cried and got hugs and some cool water on both hands (he reached only with his right) and a dropper of Tylenol. He's fine.

But things like this are why Michael and I will be grey and wrinkled LONG before our time.

STILL, we try OVER and OVER to teach the kidlets NOT TO TOUCH THE STOVE/OVEN. It's HOT. It will HURT.

But, hey, give me credit. I didn't say, "I told you so." I tried to say, "Oh. That hurt and surprised you. Yeah, the oven is HOT. It's not safe to touch it. I'm sorry that it hurt you."

See, I told you I'm doing better. Let's hope that I continue this. Since the other good habit I was working on (working out) has been waylaid. (Being sick for a week ... not conducive to keeping up good exercise habits.)

Oh, and the cats have been using the bathmat in our (carpeted) master bath for their potty breaks. Stupid-heads. I'm SO ready to rip up that carpet. Seriously, putting carpet in a bathroom ... NOT over a sealed floor? NOT such a good idea. If I had some sealant, I'd rip up the carpet and seal that floor TODAY.
And set the cats up with catheters. Grrrrr.

I think that's all I have to say for today (so far, anyways).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I can't think of anything creative.

There's an update on the Kevin investigation: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20873117/
--In short, a sixteen year-old has been arrested, charged with Kevin's murder.
Is this the guy that Kevin was giving a ride home? The kid's 16. How in holy hell does a sixteen year-old get it in his head to KILL somebody?? Let alone someone doing something NICE for him?

Gah. The world is one effed-up place. It just pisses me off.

And I have to try and raise my children in it.

Don't get me wrong. The world can be a LOVELY place. I know that. But, right now, with crap like this happening? *sigh* I just ... I don't want to lose my faith in people. But, with stuff like this, it's tempting.

Still, there are GOOD things in the world: Free Hugs, this recent story about taking a stand, things like this. They melt my poor, cold heart a little and make me feel like the world might not be a truly lost and depraved place after all.

I mean, I know that we have to have opposition. But ... sometimes you can't see the light for all the dark.
And then, somehow, there's something to change your perspective.

(But Ultimate Warranty, that car warranty company? They still SUCK. Even the service guy at Honda totally agrees with me. So, do me a favor. Spread the word. If anyone's thinking of using them, tell them NOT to. Let them go with a company that will do a good job and take care of them. From what the service guy said, National and GE are GOOD companies in his experience. NOT Ultimate.)

In other news, Michael and I watched Beauty and the Gee last night. I'm looking forward to it. Except that I won't be able to watch it Tuesday nights, since that's when House and Bones will be on as of next week. *deep martyr sigh* So I hope that the CW's website will have full episodes on there. (It's how I watched that show they had about the next Pussycat Doll. I'm still bummed that Chelsea or Melissa didn't get it.)

Also, Bruise and Bucket did well today. I took them to their cousins' house so Auntie A could watch them. Besides eating for about one-quarter of the time they were there (I'm thinking they're having another growth spurt.), Bruise had one tantrum. And since I left quickly (I was running late) and Bucket couldn't see me through the wooden door, she was fine with my leaving. AND A loved how I did Bucket's hair. ^_^ That made me feel good.

If I remember correctly, Grandpa I's funeral is today. I'm sorry that Michael couldn't go.

And Robert Jordan died yesterday. He was the favorite author of one of my crushes from high school. Neil Gaiman was a friend of his (Jordan, not my friend ... but that would have been an even cooler reason to pine for that guy. :P).

It seems like everyone is dying.
The only good thing is that it makes me gentler with Bruise and Bucket, since it's hit me how short and precious life can be. If I can remember this, maybe they won't remember me yelling at them ALL. DAY. LONG.

I wish I didn't yell so much.
Like ever. They deserve kind words all the time. Even when I'm frustrated that so-and-so has taken off his/her diaper and PEED all over his/her sheets for the umpteetnth time TODAY. Or when someone isn't listening and getting into things that s/he shouldn't be messing with (catbox/toilet paper/ant killer, anyone?).

At least, during the last few days, I've been trying to work on raising my voice less and giving more hugs.
But, on the other hand, the kiddos have been watching a lot more PBS. However, I think I'm doing a good job raising them ... They know that when the opening credits for Barney and Friends start, it's time to turn off the television. And they can turn it off and NOT get reprimanded.
In fact, they're PRAISED and ADORED in this instance.

And I can handle DragonTales. I love Sesame Street and Bob the Builder. I only wish that Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was on in the mornings and not when they're napping.
Dang it, I wish that Mr. Rogers' was on all freakin' DAY. And maybe all night, too.

Well, I guess that I could handle Fred Rogers all day ... and Bob Ross could be on at night. You could call it the "Uplift and Mellow Out" channel. They could throw in some episodes of The Cosby Show in there too. With plenty of Bill Cosby's Jell-O commercials. Gosh, I MISS those Jell-O Pudding Pop commericals. SO bad.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Update on Kevin

Mer called just now.

She's on her way home for the funeral.

So they did find Kevin, but not in any way that we hoped for.

Keep her and her family in your prayers, okay?

UPDATE:News Story (via KMTR).
-- In short, there will be an autopsy, since his death is suspected foul play.

Give your children extra hugs. Say an extra prayer.

News-Review Story
KPIC Story

I can't even imagine what my poor friend and her family are going through right now.

She can't get over the fact that her brother, doing a nice thing, giving a stranger a ride home, could end up this way.

It doesn't seem right. Because it's NOT right.

These things shouldn't happen.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Updates ...

First, My friend's brother is still missing.

Here's the news story with one picture: http://www.kpic.com/news/local/9821816.html

And here's one picture (the youngest guy) and another picture(the guy. Easy to tell on this one).

But they've found Kevin's truck out near Tiller (read: the boonies ... and the next main town from the party he left), but they haven't found him. There's a helicopter search and rescue and three search parties looking for him.

Mer's family is ... well, her mom's exhausted and her dad's not eating or sleeping until Kevin's found. Pray that he's safe, okay?

And, on the other hand of updates, the van's running well and the videos that i posted of the kidlets should work now. And my uncle's out of the hospital. We still can't get to Grandpa I's funeral ... but we knew that.

So, thanks for your prayers. And keep them up. Mer's family needs all the prayers that they can get at this point. Thanks.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Good day

Today was a slightly busy day ... we had more than enough planned. But with tomorrow being stake conference (Churchspeak for "a big meeting that happens twice a year. All the wards [congregations] within a stake [group of congregations] meet together. In larger stakes, there are staggered meeting times.), it should be a mellow day.

IF the kidlets take a good morning nap. Since our session (meeting time) is scheduled for the same time as their afternoon nap.

However, today Michael got the transmission flushed. And the van's running even more smoothly. Which is a very, very good thing. (Note to self: Stop talking in sentence fragments. It's not genteel.) Then we went to a University-ward reunion. And the kiddos had a BLAST playing on the play structure. There were THREE(!!!!!!) slides!!!! And there were swings! And Bruise was able to sit on the big kid swing and NOT fall off and start screaming. (However he did have a great time picking and tearing apart dandelions ... and grabbing handfuls of bark mulch.)
Bucket had a great time -- there were other children. She was able to run around, swing, slide down the slide about a bazillion times, and scream her little lungs out.

After they got tired out, we were able to rejoin the group and chat and eat. The food was great. (Jocelyn, did you grow those cucumbers yourself? They were wonderous!)
And it was SO nice to catch up with people. Bishop Bird has really been working out. He looks great. And he's always so fun to talk with. Ditto for his wife.
It was good to catch up with Amanda B ... since it's been a long time since we carpooled to college with each other.

And Nate's nametag? He wrote "I'm Just Here for the Food." I think that sums up why I miss having him and Kari live closer. I know that I'm missing TONS of stories about what hilarious thing he's done recently.

It was great to meet up with Amy and her little Marshall. AND she has a daughter now?!? Cute little girl (Hailey, right?). (Other cute little girls: Eleanor and Holly.)

In other news, I was flipping through the latest copy of Parents magazine. And there's a list of DaddyBloggers. I know a few of the blog names ... since I've been reading blogs for a while. And bloggers who are parents ... we end up gravitating towards the same circles. And then I gasp, "Honey!! Lookkit!! I know him!! I've read his blog for YEARS!!!"
Yes, folks. There on page 122 was Matthew's blog. One that I started reading ... a long time ago. I think I started reading it when I was pregnant with my munchkins. Because I wanted to find all the information I could about twins. And here was a fabulous father who blogs about his fraternal twins. (Truly, by reading his blog, I get a glimpse of what is approaching since Swee'Pea and TheMonk are seven months older than Bruise and Bucket.)

So, I emailed him to congratulate him. And he totally emailed me back! AND asked how my kids (who I didn't mention at all) were doing. He actually knew who I was! I mean, yeah, I had commented on his blog a few times. (For those who don't know, I'm great about reading blogs. Commenting? Eh, not so great. But I'm working harder on commenting on my friends' blogs. Reading through other's comments? I'm still not so great).
But, back to the story I was relating, yes, he totally made me feel all special. Michael can tell you. In fact, I think Michael said, "You're almost as excited as when Eric D. Snider replied to you."

And, yeah, it's true. (It's also true that I'm rather a fangirl for Eric. Yeah. But Michael knows that he has no competition. Eric and I could never be. He's allergic to cats. :P)

I'm still coughing ... but that's about all *I* have to complain about.

Well --- Except for:
1- My uncle had a heart attack. It's not his first. My mom's getting scared that she, the oldest child, is going to outlive her siblings. (My other uncle on that side died just before I found out I was pregnant.)
2- There's no way that Michael, let alone the kids and I, can afford to fly down to Mississippi for Grandpa's funeral. Too bad we don't have a spare $1500+ laying around. (Maybe it's in my OTHER pants. *glower*)
3- My friend's bother is MISSING. For a WEEK. He hasn't been to work, paid his bills, fed his cat. No one can find him or his truck. He was last seen leaving a party in Southern Oregon (Douglas County) with a man that no one knows. So, if you could keep him (his name's Kevin. The Lord'll know who you're talking about) in your prayers, Mer, her family, and I would appreciate it.
As soon as I get any photos of him, I'll post them. I'm just hoping that maybe he's having a great time in Vegas and just lost track of time (for a WEEK?!?) to remember to call his family. Maybe?

So, yeah. Pray for Kevin and his family, Michael's grandpa's family, and my Uncle Ken. I'd really appreciate it, okay?

OH! One more good thing: My stepbrother was in a rodeo-thing for drivers/operators of heavy equipment (like forklifts and Caterpillars and stuff) and he placed third in the state ... which is very cool.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Things that make me happy: Mi Familia Video Extravaganza!!!!

Here are some videos that I've taken of the kidlets.

In the first one, they are clever ... and then lose interest in my quickly.
And you can witness that I've raised me a couple of bookworms. ^_^

However, I LOVE that Bruise's last wave. He's hilarious.

In the second one, I ask a lot of questions and (occasionally) get some answers.
And Bucket and I discuss some books.
And she refuses do show me where her butt is.

In our third installment, Bucket plays all sweet and innocent. And Bruise hogs him some limelight.

Fourth video, Bruise dances.

Fifth (and final!) video, Bruise juggles. And you hear how I sounded without a voice.
Yes, I sounded that bad. (It hurts my throat just to listen to myself.)

Some things that suck:

1. Michael's Southern grandfather passed away today.
He and Grandma I were going to come to CA for Thanksgiving. We were looking forward to having the munchkins meet them.

And that makes me sad. Since Bucket and Bruise didn't get to meet MY Pop-pop ... and now they aren't able to meet Grandpa I ... it really sucks.

2. the van still isn't fixed yet. It's coming up on two weeks now. NOT the dealer's/repair-people's fault. No, it warranty people are just being dillholes. Pray for them to either (1) get over themselves and do what we've paid them to do or (2) be eaten, slowly by carnivorous, sentient lichen ... and that whoever takes over for them is speedy about getting stuff done. And done right. And done right well.

3. The kiddos like taking off their diapers. Bruise climbed out of HIS crib, into HIS SISTER'S, and took his boy-part out of his diaper and SOAKED her bed. What the H?? At 6 in the morning. What the H??

So, yeah.
I'll be posting again in a sec. Happy, fun things.

Say "Cheese!" ... It's PICTURE TIME!

Hello, my darlings! Yes, I'm back ... I didn't slice off a finger or disembowel myself when I was chopping up an onion or the celery or carrots in the soup. And it was good soup. Michael ever said so!

For being so patient and lovely, I've decided that it's more than time to post pictures. So ... YAAAAY!!! *insert waving arms a la Kermit D. Frog*

Of course, I shall narrate the pictures. Because I'm all about gilding the lily when it comes to my children's pictures. :P

Bath time:

Do you think that Bucket's at all excited for bathtime?

Nah, me neither.


Hugging makes the world a better place. Even bathtime ... and, believe you me, from what the kidlets do and say? Bathtime is nigh impossible to improve.

But don't you agree that if everyone gave and got more hugs that the world would be a better place? And even more earth-shattering and wondrous would be if some of those hugs were with a panda! Seriously. Ask Neil Gaiman. He'll totally back me up on this one.


"Yo, yo, mah peeps. Whaddup?"
Seriously ... I think my little boy is about the cutest in the universe sometimes.
Okay, like 98% of the time. (When he's whining and screaming and trantruming ... well, then I might buy that there are sweeter, cuter little boys. Maybe.)


And we couldn't leave BUCKET out! No, no. No one puts Bucket in a corner!
Besides Mutti (my mom)'s glasses are the BEST for adorable baby pictures.

I mean, really, don't you agree?
Posted by Picasa

Besides that, I'm still getting better. I'm coughing ... but my nose isn't all stuffy and I've gotten my voice (almost completely) back.
The van's still in the shop because the warranty company's trying to pull a bit of a fast one on us ("Sure, we agreed to pay for the repair! We got you a used transmission. But we don't want to pay for the diagnostic or the flush!" ... Um, yeah. But those are PART OF THE REPAIRS. Seriously people. Just suck it up and let me get my van back. And you better pray that that transmission, with its one-year warranty, works until this warranty runs out. Grrr.

That and I woke up to Bruise screaming ... he had climbed from his crib into Bucket's ... and then SOAKED himself and her sheet. Honestly ... and oh, it was 6:30 in the morning. When they sleep normally until at least 7 or 7:30 ... 8 or 8:30 if I'm lucky.


But, really ... besides those two blips (the van and the plague) ... and money being tight (but, really, who ISN'T it tight for? --- And if you can answer, "Me," in all honesty ... um ... pass some my way, okay? Then we'll pay off the van, which will allow us to pay off Michael's loan, and then we can work towards paying off the house. And life will be happy and carefree and I can buy books -- lots of books -- and have college accounts for the kidlets and a nice, solid savings account, and a retirement account. And I won't worry at all ever again ... Until I start freaking out about something else. :P)

So, yeah. Things are okay.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Poe ... was a genius!

I mean, we already know that Edgar Allen Poe is the master of the horror and detective novel ... but he has the BEST answer for "Why is space dark?"

Edgar Allen Poe (of all people) in his 1848 essay Eureka:

“Were the succession of stars endless, then the background of the sky would present us a uniform luminosity, like that displayed by the Galaxy –since there could be absolutely no point, in all that background, at which would not exist a star. The only mode, therefore, in which, under such a state of affairs, we could comprehend the voids which our telescopes find in innumerable directions, would be by supposing the distance of the invisible background so immense that no ray from it has yet been able to reach us at all.”
(from the mental_floss blog)

And, as an added bonus, let's throw in some Vincent Price (another of those actors that I adore!) and some Tim Burton ... since it's a trifecta of terror!!


Just thinking ...

The good thing about one site I try to check daily, is that I end up remembering dates ... like today.

I do believe what George Santayana said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
I feel this way about the Holocaust and, do a slightly lesser degree, to the situation we are in now. For me, September 11, 2001, was such a surreal day. I walked to the school down the street, where I volunteered (to get into the Ed Program at my college). When I got to Leigh's classroom, she was crying. "Did you hear what happened?!?" she asked.
All I could think was that one of our first-graders had been hurt or killed.
"They crashed a plane into the World Trade Center!"

I'm not very well-traveled. To me, New York is similar to Shangri-La. I have heard stories about it ... seen pictures/paintings ... But it could be like Disneyland or the Magical Land of Oz in how "real" it is. Oh, theoretically, I KNOW that it exists. But ... well .. yeah.

Don't get me wrong. What happened IS and WAS a complete tragedy. It should never be repeated. BUT, when it happened, it felt so much like my dreams do that I could hardly believe that it really was for real.

So, yeah. When I think about that day ... I just remember how surreal everything felt. I knew that the world had changed. That things wouldn't be the same as they had been just hours before. That we, as a nation, wouldn't feel so smug and complacent. That we would start to FEAR and HATE another country/race/people.

And I also think about how NICE it was when we, as a nation, actually were proactive. How we displayed our patriotism and our determination through flags on just about every surface (however we could). It was like a Fourth of July parade in September, October, December wherever you looked.

And I still am sad that we've stopped. That we've got people not supporting our troops. (Don't get me wrong. I have no idea, really, whether this war is really for the best. So, while I don't necessarily support the WAR, I firmly believe that we need to support our brothers and sisters who are doing the fighting for us, for our country. They deserve at least that much. ... Of course, I have friends who are in the Air Force, so maybe I'm a little biased.)

That's probably as political as I'll get (at least regarding that topic. My firm stance is really about babies -- abortion ::strongly against. I mean, hello! You don't want to have kids? Don't have sex. Or use at least two forms of birth control. It's not that hard! Or adoption is a good option. I think that open-ended adoption is great! Let your child know his/her biological past. Especially good for cases in which a transplant is needed!:: and the right to NIP [nurse in public] ::strongly for. Babies have just as much right to eat in public as the most vocal "I'm offended by the IDEA that there's a nipple under your clothes!!" -type person.::)

So, yeah, there you go. My little tirades and a bit of reflection.

Is it bad that ... as much as I'm getting some good feedback regarding how I'm doing at my calling at church ... I really don't enjoy it? I actually, kinda, DREAD it? I mean, I KNOW that it's important. And I know that I'm going to grow and learn tons while I'm in it ... but it's quite a bit of work. And I still, even though I've been trained, don't feel like I know ANYTHING.
But, well... I'm determined to TRY in this calling. What's the worst things that could happen?
ANSWER: A horde of angry ward members comes to our house in the middle of the night, armed with torches and pitchforks, upset about what a lousy cubmaster I am and frustrated that their boys aren't getting their badges.
SOLUTION: If they feel that I'm not doing a good-enough job, they are more than welcome to take over. Since I really DON'T know what in the H I'm doing. And I'm more than willing to turn it over, if they'd like.
No, really. Try me!

I've been having odd dreams. Which, for me, is kind of normal.
But in this last dream, I was at a different ward's building. And I felt really, really welcome. I miss the old ward ... before the reorganization. Maybe I'd just feel more "in" if the callings were all filled. And if I didn't have to have a calling. Ha ha ha.

Maybe the van will be fixed today? Or maybe tomorrow. It'd be nice to get it back. Even if I'm still kinda snuffy and have that smoker's hack that I get when I'm all sicky-pants.

But, good news, I finished Thursday Next: The First Among Sequels (Book 5) by Jasper Fforde. That made me happy. Since I can't renew it. And it's due Friday. Now to finish a book by Marcus Zusak and some others that are due soon.

Oh, and "Blades of Glory?" I think it's pretty hilarious. But that might just be me. And Michael ... even though he had no real expectations for it. But he was glad that I put it on the Queue.

My bog plans for today, if you care? I'm making soup. And I'm going to eat that soup. And save some for Michael and the kidlets' dinner. And that means that I'll be cutting and onion. And that's going to be dangerous. Since when I'm around cut onions, my eyes blur up (I'm sensitive) ... and cutting an onion when my eyes are blurred?
Well, if you don't hear from me for a few weeks, I think you'll have an idea what's gone on. (But, since I haven't lopped off a finger yet, I think things may be okay. Maybe.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Some things that suck ...

1. I'm still sick.

2. The van's still in the shop ... and the warranty is only covering a used transmission. *grumble*

3. One of my friend's motorcyle was in a hit-and-run (his motorcycle was HIT while it was PARKED. And the dumb bunny didn't have the guts to leave a note. SUCK!!)

4. Another friend rolled his car. He's fine. Lola, his car ... she's a goner. But she was noble in protecting him. He's really bummed, though. Can't blame him.

5. Madeleine L'Engle died. I am seriously saddened by this. I've enjoyed whatI've read of her works: the fiction (A Wrinkle in Time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, A Wind in the Door ...) and I really have enjoyed a religious non-fiction book she wrote. She was a fine lady.
It makes me sad when people I admire die.

6. My voice is pretty much gone. The one funny thing about that is that it makes me sound like my cousin, Sarah, when I've made her laugh to the point of tears. Her voice takes on a certain breathless quality. And I have that right now. At least, when I'm not croaking.

7. Since Bucket and I are still hacking (and I'm a snot-factory), we're not going to church today. So this means that I haven't been in Relief Society or Sunday School for about a month and a half. (Two weeks volunteering in Nursery, one week when I was crying in the van over feeling overwhelmed in my calling [partly because I was PMS-ing], two more weeks in Nursery, and this week where I'm trying not to yell at the kiddos and trying not to overdose myself with a cocktail of various OTC and homeopathic cold remedies ... and hacking up some of the nastiest mucus in the entire hemisphere. And, for the last couple of days, everything smell and taste has been experienced through a veil of snot. I cannot wait to get over this bug.)

8. I'm tired of being too tired to read my library books. I have a few that are going to be due soon ... and I haven't read them. And that annoys the crap out of me.

9. Bruise won't stay in his crib. He climbs out, pulls out all the toys, plays with the nightlight until the bulb filament is broken, and ... well, just drives my mental health number higher than it should be. (Seriously, though. I put the kiddos to bed around 10:45. Only NOW have they decided that it might be better to listen to Mommy and stay in their cribs and fall asleep. Yeah, it's been like 45 minutes that I have to go BACK in their room and be all, "NO! You will stay IN. YOUR. CRIB!!! SLEEP! I don't like being mean-mommy. So you need to listen the first time I ask you to do something, please. Now, respect my authority!!!" And then I have to hope, hope, HOPE that they listen. Or that they get too tired to disobey anymore.

--- Oh, and my sixteen-year-old cat, Ginger? She woke me this morning my sleeping on my head. So that I'd get up and let her get out to eat. Good thing I love her that much. And that she's light ... and blocked the sun a bit. ^_^

Friday, September 07, 2007

Must have been a slow news day ...

I saw this first featured on CuteOverload, Michael saw it in the newspaper ...
And now on YOUTUBE!!

Strangely enough, the male newscaster at the end? We've gone to church with him. Michael (cooking at the stove) recognized his voice ... I started pointing and saying, "I know him!!"

Yeah, we know that guy. Maybe we should give Jared a hard time about reporting on swimming cats. :P

Bonus story #1

Yeah, here's the first story from "Michael and Allanna History 101: Before they were Michael and Allanna"

The infamous Wink-Em Game:

For FHE (Family Home Evening -- It's really hard to explain. If you don't know what it is, comment. I'll write it up later. I'm tired now.), the University First ward combined their groups into a big game of Wink-Em, which is a pioneer-era game.

The main point of WInk-Em, is that you have a circle of chairs ... like in musical chairs ... but the chairs face the inside of the circle. Girls sit in the chairs. Guys stand behind the chair of their (girl) partner, looking down at her, their hands clasped behind their backs. One guy stands behind an empty chair. The girls watch him.

The guy behind the empty chair winks at a girl. Her goal is to get out of her chair and reach the partnerless guy before her partner can stop her (by putting his hands on her shoulders, preventing her from leaving her chair). Her partner's goal is to stop her, like I mentioned in the preceding parenthetical phrase. If the girl evades her partner and makes it to the empty chair, the winking guy becomes her new partner and her old partner goes back to the now-empty chair to wink. If she doesn't make it, the partnerless guy has to try winking at someone else.

OKAY. I hope that makes sense.
This is happening back when A and I were seeing each other. People decided to switch things up by having the BOYS be sitting in the chairs and the girls behind them.
Of course, A and I are partnering.

Well, he's kinda popular. He's a fun guy. And someone winks at him. So I miss his shoulders and grab on to the bottom of his coat.
(Aside: I don't like sports because I'm kinda competitive. I hate losing. and I'm not very good at sports ... so I avoid them so I won't lose.)

There I am, hanging on the back of his coat. I'm dragged to where I'm on the back of the metal fold-up chair, caught on my hips, and then I'm chair-surfing though the circle. The chair falls and I'm dragged along for a foot or two. As A is about to sit down, he notices that I'm there, panting, on the ground, my white-knuckled fingers still holding his jacket.

"Oh, you're still there?"

I nod.

I won that round.

And then we repeated for a while. Finally, they switched to the more traditional girls-in-the-chairs ... I keep A as my partner.

Eventually, the game is called. I'm rather beat up and trying SO. HARD. not to cry.
All I really want at this point is a bottle of aspirin and a dark corner in which to lick my many, many wounds.

A couple guys came up to me and told me that I should play lineman in football. I try to retain my composure and thank them.

After my bruises bloom, I have goose eggs on each calf and, seriously, purple Nike swooshes on my hips. I enjoy pulling part of my jeans' waistline down past my high-rise panties to show my friends at school. As I'm showing Jenny and Chauna my battle scars, a guy across the room shouts, "How'd you do THAT?!?"
And then I'm embarassed that he's seen part of my panties. Oh, I'm a slut!

A few months later, I go to an Institute class (Not Brother Kirby's) and I run into a couple from that college town. They remember me. Because of that game of Wink-Em.
I die a little.

What brings this around to Michael, you may ask? I'll tell you.

After we were engaged (or was it after we were married?), we were talking about that game. He was there. This was before I knew him at all.

He remembers that game. And being impressed that I was that ... DETERMINED.
He thought it was cool.

Thanks be. Or else I'd have had to die a little bit more.

How we got engaged ...

So, I finally fulfilled my promise to write about how Michael and I got together.

I figure I can regale y'all with how we got engaged. It's kinda funny ... in the way that just being ME is kinda funny. Or how wearing your sexiest high heels and then slipping in a pile of flounders is funny.

Wow, that was a really random simile.
Not that I've slipped in a pile of flounders. But I have fallen down half a flight of stairs at church. At least, only one person saw me. So I didn't have to DIE. OF. SHAME.


Back story, we had been dating for a while (six months). Unbeknownst to me, Michael had saved up money by not eating for about a month (well, he didn't buy food. I'm sure that he did eat. Whenever we were together, I don't remember him passing up food.) and had taken our friend, T (that friend of mine who brought us together, how I adore her!!!), to help him shop for a ring.

Of course, not thinking anything of it, I had mentioned that if I got a ring, I wanted this shape and maybe this size. And that I preferred gold. And he totally remembered all this stuff!

So, there were were, we had had our sixth month dating anniversary. We were down south, visiting my folks. I had to go to my part-time weekend job at the plywood mill and clean the presses (NOT the spreaders. That was a one time occurance. Since I'm a little short and busty for my size, I had spreader glue caked from mid-breast to my knees. Ick!!).
I was not thrilled about going to work. I would have much rather spent time with Michael and my family. BUT, I had to be responsible and off to work I went. While there, I had time to think as I worked. And I asked/prayed if there were any reason that Michael and I shouldn't continue to date? If there would be any reason that I shouldn't marry him? (If I shouldn't/wasn't going to marry him ... would there be any reason to continue this? Should I get out of this relationship and not waste any more of our time? ... Yeah, I may be a hopeless romantic, but I try and be a realist at times.)

And I couldn't find a single reason why I shouldn't marry him. Not a single one.

I had no idea that he was really thinking of marrying me... I just wanted to be prepared. Especially if I was going to get another of those "You're cute, BUT..." lines. *grumbles*

SO, then I drive back home, and Mom (who Michael has told, not asked, ha ha ha, that he's proposing to me) helps me get my nasty, nasty boots off. My stepdad is going off about quizzing me on what's more expensive than gold ... He often confuses me ... and I'm playing along. "Um, platinum?" "No..." "Uranium?" "No ...." "Plutonium?"
And I'm just shaking my head wondering why this stepdad of mine is so weird.

And Michael corners me in the kitchen before I can jump into the shower. I'm in my gnarly work shirt and jeans. I have sawdust all over me ... I smell of bark mulch, hydrolic fluid and the glue used in plywood. I can hardly stand myself. I know that when I get into the shower, I'll have black snot and the water running out of my hair will be a terrible color. I stink.

But Michael stands about a handspan away from me. I tell him not to be so close because I'm gross. And he responds, "I like being close to you." And I tell him, "But you shouldn't be. Because you're going to smell like the mill. And then the car will smell like the mill as we drive back tonight." (Since that was the plan. Return to our college town and get a good night's sleep before church. Or, at least, a decent night's sleep.)

Instead of letting me go take a shower, he pulls out a little blue leather box with a golden clasp.

My inner monologue: Oh. It's a box.
Michael opens the box.
My inner monologue: There's a ring. ... A diamond ring. ... My birthstone's a diamond. Hey, wait. People don't just go around giving out diamond ringssss .... Ohhhh..!
Me: Really??!? (I think my mouth's hanging open at this point.)
Michael: Yes.
I kiss him.
Michael: Is that a yes?
And I respond with something a little nicer than what I first thought to say ... which was, "Duh!"

And then I got to put on my pretty sparkly ... and get that shower I SO, SO, SO desperately wanted. Then Michael and I got to plan when we would get married. We settled for the Friday before Spring Break, so we could have time to settle into married life and have a honeymoon before school started back in session. My mom was hoping we'd wait for summer. She really wasn't ready to give me up. But she was pretty graceful about it.

Like I said, life is good.

How I Met My Husband ...

The story of Michael and me is ... well, not the most simple one out there. So expect lots of asides (if you've read my bloggings before, you'll totally know that this is not anything out of the norm. ^_^).

The short version of how I met Michael can be summed up, through my friend T.
But life isn't ever quite that simple to effectively sum up ANYTHING in just one word, phrase, or sentence. So ... here goes:

I'll start with my friend T. She and I have been friends since my Mom and I moved back from Seattle (the summer after 5th grade). Now, during our senior year of high school (at different high schools. We attended the same ward/congregation, though), her folks moved up north. She stayed with a friend of the family until summertime. I followed in the fall ... my college dorm wasn't terribly far (maybe a 45-minute drive) from her folks' new place.

I wasn't terribly fond of the singles ward at my college. It wasn't as friendly as my home ward ... and, to be blunt, there weren't many boys. And the promising-looking ones (face it, I am shallow like that) were either taken or wouldn't ever give me a second glance.

So, with T's gently prodding, I started attending church in the next town down. These wards (there were two at the time) had a totally different flavor. I didn't feel so apart, it felt less like a meat market (There were BOYS. LOTS OF BOYS. I like boys.) ... It just felt so much more ... RIGHT to be there. So, I was "technically" inactive in the ward I SHOULD have been attending (since, in our church, you attend according to where you live), even though I went to church every single week.

At one activity, there was a dinner-date auction. The girls got to bid on dinners that the boys made ... but you didn't know who made the dinner. T had her heart set on a pair of lunchboxes (a dinner-date for two girls and two boys), and thanks to our dear friend Brooke (who's hilarious and darling and I adore her!) we won the bidding. And that's the start of how I started dating A.
MIND YOU, we were not boyfriend/girlfriend. But it was nice to have someone who liked me, even though he told me that "You're cute, but we're not going to work out." And we cuddled, which was nice. I like feeling wanted.
BUT, after a few months ... let's see, he and I saw each other from the day after Thanksgiving 1999 until the next February, I think? And we were still friends and I hung out at his apartment (he had wonderful roommates, who I still correspond with now) ... so a lot of people didn't know that we weren't seeing each other like that anymore.

BUT, T, BJ, and I had planned a triple-date to the beach. Just for fun and to get out. Now, I had invited A's younger brother, M ... but he had to cancel (since his mom didn't want him to go. And neither M nor A called me. I had to get the info from one of A's roommates. *sigh* BJ's date cancelled. T had invited Michael ... so it became a "polygamy date," as we jokingly refer to dates where one gender outnumbers the other.

WAIT! I've gotten ahead of myself. I did mention that most people in the University wards (where T and A and I and most of our friends attended church) didn't know that A and I weren't seeing each other anymore. Well, while Michael was there, before we were taking off for the beach, I was on the phone with either A or one of his roommates, getting the news that M wasn't going to make it. I wasn't heartbroken ... but I did fume a little (okay, if you know me, you know that I'm a tad bit dramatic), and I said, "I'm SO glad that I'm not dating him anymore!" Besides that, Michael thought that A and I were still dating.

AND BEFORE THAT ... T's cousin had a party. A "Mormon kegger" as we like to jokingly refer to it. We had a keg, oh yes. Of ROOT BEER. And, at that point, A and I were sorta mostly dating. I remember meeting Michael ... as in, someone pointed him out as they were introducing the room. I recall thinking, "He's cute. But I'm dating A. Oh well." (NOTE: this party is important for another story in Michael and my history. One that I wasn't aware of until we got married. Which made me more certain that ever that he is, indeed, about the perfectest match I could have.)

Shortly after the "kegger," T had told my that she liked Michael (and she was more than fine when he and I started dating. I asked. Her crushes were often short-lived. Which proved lucky, indeed, for me in this case.) because he had long, curly eyelashes. So, before I knew him (except for knowing who he was), after Sacrament meeting [it's kinda like Communion, but we have members of the ward giving talks instead of just our ecclesiastical leader ...], I went up to him, looked at his eyelashes and said, "T's right! You do have pretty eyelashes!" And he blushed. And I felt AWFUL, since I blushed easily, too. (Some of my high school friends would see who could make my ears turn purple from blushing first. Like a sad, sad contest.)

NOW, looping back through the stories, back to the polygamy date. So, when you have three girls and one boy, what do you think happens?
Yes, we all flirted with Michael. It was a fun day at the coast. Michael was more familiar with the area, having lived here longer, so he got to be the navigator. T drove, and BJ called shotgun. So I got to sit next to Michael. And I "let" him read my magazines with me. I'd turn to a page in Seventeen and ask him what he thought of the clothes. And he actually played along. Which was cool. And I started to crush on him.
So, I had to ask my failsafe question. The question that MUST be answered before I can let my heart go ... "Do you like cats?"
(And then I worried. What if he were allergic? I already knew that my Ginger was a good judge of character. [Long Story] And my first boyfriend had once asked if i were to choose between him and Ginger, who would it be? Answer: Ginger. I've known her longer. [And I was SOOO right.] Or what if Michael HATED cats? Or thought they were fun to shoot at??? What if he were a sociopathic cat-hater???)

And he answered, "I can tolerate them. My family has a cat."
And I breathed a sigh of relief. If he can tolerate cats, then this crush was okay to enjoy.

And then we played at the coast and Michael gave BJ the Heimlich maneuver (known in certain circles as the "Heimlich remover") when a tense moment occured in a game of "Fluffy Bunnies" (HINT: Don't laugh with 7+ marshmallows in your mouth. Okay?), and we got back at the end of the day.

As we were unloading T's van, I had grabbed the last of the stuff in the car. My arms were loaded. And Michael came out and asked if there was anything that he could take. So I, being a little vain about how much I can carry -- I'm tough!!, flippantly replied, "How about my heart?"
And he countered, "I thought I already had that."

And there, dear readers, I fell for that man. Yes, it was cheesy. But I like me some cheese.

That was the day before my 19th birthday. He asked me out for a date four days later. Six months and a day after our first date, we were engaged. And five months after that, we got married.

Life is good.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Something to make me smile ...

This is one of my favorite movie dialogue bits. I love it to pieces and find it very romantical:

Ivy Walker: When we are married, will you dance with me? I find dancing very agreeable. Why can you not say what is in your head?

Lucius Hunt: Why can you not stop saying what is in yours? Why must you lead, when I want to lead? If I want to dance I will ask you to dance. If I want to speak I will open my mouth and speak. Everyone is forever plaguing me to speak further. Why? What good is it to tell you you are in my every thought from the time I wake? What good can come from my saying that I sometimes cannot think clearly or do my work properly? What gain can rise of my telling you the only time I feel fear as others do is when I think of you in harm? That is why I am on this porch, Ivy Walker. I fear for your safety before all others. And yes, I will dance with you on our wedding night.

Yes, I love The Village for having great writing. And one of my favorite declarations of movie-love.
My sad, spiky heart softens and I am nearly moved to tears.
I am a hopeless romantic.
(Not so hopeless since I found my Michael ... but before that? HOPELESS.)

So, any favorite movie declarations of love? I'm all ears.

In other news ...

I know I'm late in posting this. My bad.

BUT --- Yesterday, Bruise was all grunting and grabbing his diaper. So I asked him if he needed a clean diaper.

B: Diaper??
Me: Do you want a diaper change?
B: Diaper??!? *runs off down the hall to the bathroom door and starts pounding on it*
Me: You wanna use the potty?
B: *pounds until I open the door* Diaper!!

Then we get his clothes off ... his diaper is full of poo ... and he proudly sits on the potty ... and we wait a few minutes. Bucket comes in to see what's going on. SHE wants to sit on the potty, too. Well, tough.

Bruise gets up, I wipe off his poo-encrusted buttocks (He's gonna LOVE this post when he's older. Oh, yes).

I take a glance over ... Well, I'll be! He's gone potty in the potty!!
So I congratulate him, we exchange some high-fives ... and life is good.

Well, until he starts dragging out the videos again. :P

But still, I suppose that this means that I'm going to have to be on top of things, potty-wise. *sigh*

God give me strength.

Testing, testing ...

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Well, what do you think?

Okay, funny thing to add -- Bruise just finished nursing, and, following my lead ... *snickers* ... he smacked his lips and went "Ahh-hh!" You know, "ahh-hh," like people do in soda commercials?!?!?

That has just about made up for most of today ... the kids and I are sick. A cold, really. And Bucket's ALL SNUFFED UP, Bruise has got the runny nose ... and Mommy?? Well, I'm snuffed up and have a sore throat which threatens to slump into laryngitis at any moment.
(It's days like this that I realize how much [and it's a LOT] I yell at my children. ... And if I ask nicely, they don't really listen, so it's really ... um ... FRUSTRATING. Because I don't want to be "the mom that yelled," but I'm at a little bit of a loss to figure out how to discipline these ankle-biters without devouring them ... like hamsters do. Ew.)
Oh. And she threw up on me this morning. Yeah.

Good thing I was planning on doing laundry anyways.

But, yes, with a house full of sickies, well, the kiddos are whiney (Bucket won't let me leave the room without breaking into Ear. Splitting. Shrieks. Of. DOOM!!! and crying, the incessant crying!

And Bruise? Well, overall, he's not terrible ... but he keeps switching. On. And. Off. The. Television. Which drives me CRAZY. Or then he'll pull out videos and DVDs, which he KNOWS are VERBOTEN. *dramatic headshake*

I will live. I will handle this. I will take deep, calming, cleansing breaths. I will recite scriptures in my head (and since I'm not a historian, I'm rather limited. Oh well. Maybe, amid the ... like, THREE*... that I know, I'll make up some good ones.), and take my little darlings (no matter how much my teeth are clenching as I say it, it still counts to say "my darlings," right?) and hug them and cuddle them.
Because they do deserve it. They're good kids. Good kids who occasionally drive. Me. INSANE.
But i do love them. And they deserve to have a mommy that's not raising her voice all. The. Frakkin'. TIME.

So, um, don't mind me. Just listen to Bucket coughing and ... EXERCISING her lungs, keep an eye on Bruise ... and I'll just relax here in my steaming tub o' guilt-a-plenty.

Brightens my day

So, my fantabulous and dear friend, Kari ...
Well, let me start over, even thought I have covered the IMPORTANT PARTS (That I have a friend, Kari, and that she is fantabulous).

SO --- Kari has this blog. It's great. Lots of pictures and family stories. It really lets me keep tabs on her since we've moved from the University wards.

NOW, she does a little feature on Sundays. One of her relatives (a great-aunt, right?) wrote a booklet/essay on "How to Be a Lady." It's quaint and delightful. How to dress, how to act ... all that good stuff is being covered.
(And, as I suspected, I have left lots of room for improvement. *nods*)

ANOTHER feature (wait for it, here's where the story REALLY takes off) is what she calls (and what I wish *I* had been brilliant enough to come up with ... but I know that she'll let me BORROW her wonderiffic idea, because she's all amazing like that) "Fabulous Friends Wednesday."

And, so, guess what?

IT'S ME this week.
And I feel all special for it.

So, go, go, go ... read about how great she thinks I am! Here's the link!

Oh, don't I have her fooled!!
Okay, okay, there's that self-depreciating humor that I've specialized in acting up again. (All right, now THAT comment I just made makes it sound like some kind of ailment that old people get. Like brusitis or mange or something. NOt that old folks get mange! ... At least none that I've met. ... Maybe they do, though. I sure hope they don't keep licking it. Since trying to get into a position to lick mange might break an old person's hip or something .... AAAAAND I've come off-topic again.)

(Speaking of, and this is kinda out of nowhere ... BUT if I had a clothing line, I think I'd call it "Off Topic." And everyone'd be all, "Don't you mean 'Hot Topic?'" And I'd be all, "No." But, honestly, isn't a brilliant idea. I should market it.)

BUT, getting back to my ORIGINAL point (which, I will do, eventually), Kari is a wonderful friend. You should read her blog. It has VIDEOS of her daughter. Which is a wonderful thing.

And, hey, if you're her friend, she'll probably write something really nice about you. And, even better, it'll be all sincere. Since she's cool like that. And she'll take the time to work out her (very eloquent ... since she IS an English teacher) thoughts.

So, in short, worship this girl. She deserves it. (Seriously. I could [and SHOULD] write blogs about how great she is.
And I was excited to read this week's installment even before I knew it was about me.

So, yes, go to her blog. Read it. Love her.
As it is written, so shall it be! (<-- Yeah, not MY original words, but I sure wish they were. 'Cause that would be a kick-butt Llanna-ism. For sure.)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Something funny and wonderful

Maybe only Browncoats will get it, but THIS made me laugh out loud. And quite heartily, too.

And, really ... it IS an excellent movie idea.

(If you don't know what a Browncoat is ... Well, you're missing out. Watch Firefly and Serenity. If you love them very, very much ... Well, I'd consider you a bit of a browncoat. ^_^ And I'd adore you even more than I currently do at present.)

Just to brag ...

So, while my mom was up, I had to buy diapers.
With the sale and the use of a couple coupons, instead of paying $28 for 94 diapers, I got 120 diapers for $14.

Yeah, I'm da bomb.

Now, so you know I'm not all that into myself as being all that and a bag of chips, when one of my (thin) sisters-in-law saw me Saturday and remarked, "You're so skinny!!", all I really could think was, "Okay, is that in comparison to when I was all pregnanted? Or was I really, really fat recently? Since I really haven't lost THAT much weight."
And I promptly plunged myself into yet another new Hell.

But to make things better, I was looking at a couple of pictures that my mother-in-law took ... and da-yum!! (Yes, I do curse. I know it's bad. But I do it anyways, sometimes.) But, really! My legs (my calves, anyways, since that's what you can see) are looking HOTT!! (Yes, it NEEDS that second 't' in there. 'Cause those gams are lookin' good.)

And to balance that out, I still wish that I lost all that weight in my booty. And the back of my thighs. Especially in the butthigh area.

But, on the other hand, (there are other fingers. [Couldn't resist!!]) my arms are looking better.

So, yes. I'm still same ol' me. Trying to be optimistic ... and failing to be anything but my harshest critic. (Well, I think I might have had one harsher critic. But she doesn't count because she doesn't matter. Yes, I'm just that unChristlike. But, hey, at least I'm not beating myself up and questioning if I really do have, at best, the public speaking skills of a semi-mute second-grader. Anymore.)

So, um, yeah. That's most of what's happening.
When we're not trying to see if anyone's open to fix the van on a holiday.
(Answer: No, they're not. Tough beans. Michael will stay home for at least part of the day tomorrow and we'll find someplace when people are at work again.)

So, yes. That's how life is.
At least I got the best deal EVER on diapers. Woot for me!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Just stuff

As the kidlets grow, they just get more and more fun. Usually. If it weren't for the tantrums that start coming, I think that I'd love them nearly as much as they deserve all the time. (Sometimes, I just don't do quite as good of a job as others.)

They love to dance. Bucket can shake her groove thing with the best of them. And she's REALLY good now at "If you're happy and you know it." I didn't realize how good she was at it.

Bruise loves to dance, too. His dancing style is ... so different than Bucket's. HE does this almost Sumo-squat and then bounces and swings his arms around. It makes me laugh every time.

They're starting to talk more. Bruise, who's been less vocal so far, proves that he's really with it, even if he doesn't say all that much right now. Still, he's really pretty smart. Which is good.
I mean, I'll love both my kiddos even if they aren't gifted or anything.But I'm glad that they do seem to be pretty clever ... *preens* if I do say so myself.

In other news, I noticed Friday that the van (our primary vehicle ... Michael drives the small truck that I brought into the marriage) wasn't shifting well. Then later in the day it did fine.
Yesterday (Saturday), as we went to drive into the next town, the van pretty much crapped out a few miles from our house. Yeah. It won't shift into the lower gears ... and the gears it does shift into? Well, park and neutral work pretty well. Pushing the gas? It makes noise as if it's trying to please... but there's nothing really happening.

As my dad would say, "Great! Just Great!!!" So, yeah. (Melissa, it's probably a good thing we didn't plan to meet you and the family at the fair, huh?)
And I am really grateful that I did have Michael there, instead of it being just the kiddos and me.
But still, it sucks that it's happened at all. Especially when we still are paying it off.


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