Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye, 2009. Hello, hello 2010.

I can totally admit to the fact that I tend to live in the past. I can AGONIZE over choices that I could have (maybe SHOULD HAVE) made at various points in my life. ... I still get VERY peeved when I see all the changes that have occurred in my hometown. I know, I know. The world does NOT revolve around me and my inflated sense of nostalgia ... I'm trying to come to terms with this fact.

I also cannot believe that it's been a year since I was flitting around town, scrambling to find edible glitter and the correct food colorings for Bruise and Bucket's birthday cake and cupcakes for their third birthday.

I also can't believe that it's only been a matter of months since the recession started. THAT, my dears, feels like it's gone on FOREVER. The bad kind of forever (as opposed to my feeling like Michael and I have been married for forever. That forever makes me happy. And almost wipes out how I agonize over what COULD have happened if I HAD kissed K in that play during the Ren Faire when we were sophomores. Could I have had a date for Prom my Junior year ... and then P and I wouldn't have had our friendship go all weird there for a while. But then he (P, not K) and Rox wouldn't have gotten engaged ... and he wouldn't have cheated on her ... Yeah, I don't know. Would things have been better? Or just different. And I probably wouldn't have liked myself all that much, since I WAS dating F right then. Not that he had a problem with my stage-kissing boys. Which was good, since I was in theatre ... But he and I really didn't suit. We didn't (and still don't) have all that much in common. (Truly, we have even less in common now. And I still think about the fact that I owe him a form punch in the nose for taking advantage of a friend of mine ... But that's neither here nor there, now is it?)

We should take down the Christmas tree soon. I need to get a picture of it. I feel bad that we really didn't get presents for the kids this year. Stupid recession hitting us hard. But, hey, they really didn't notice that at all. They got their yearly ornament (or, in this year's case, a set of ornaments each) and they received more than plenty from their family who loves them very, very much. (Costumes, dolls, Transformers, pajamas, lightsabers, cars, Lincoln logs ... good stuff. Yes, my babies are SPOILED.)

We bought their birthday presents today. Nothing really huge. I'll post what they got on their birthday.

Michael's getting a new calling. Glad that it's not me. I freaking LOVE my calling. I'll be so absolutely depressed and dejected when I have to give it up. So, yeah, we'll have a few changes happening around here ... even in our family schedule. Nothing really, really huge ... just different.

Bruise and Bucket start Primary this Sunday. What's nice is that one of their Nursery leaders is now their teacher. And I get the other in YW with me. I love them both ... and I'm so excited to have one with the YW. She totally makes me laugh so hard. (Seriously, you have not LIVED if you haven't played Scattergories with her. HILARIOUS!!)

In my YW Presidency meeting yesterday, it was brought to my attention that I had accidentally moved my birthday to be the same day as our president's. She and I have a couple days in between our birthdays. I played it off, citing that (1) I'm quite fallible and (2) that I wanted to be her TWINSIE!!! We had a good laugh about that. ^_^

I should use the pasta maker that I got for Christmas. It'll be a good thing. Get me off the computer more. And fresh, homemade noodles will be yummy and healthy and (most importantly) CHEAP.

I've been reading (Dexter in the Dark, Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, Shakespeare's Landlord ...) and proofreading paper for a friend of mine. (LOVE the "Track Changes" in MS Word. Makes it easy to proof papers online.)

Michael and I went to the temple. And saw Sherlock Holmes (GOOD. Liked it a lot. I'm ready to own in on DVD.) Boxing day, we went with Michael's family and the kids to see "The Princess and the Frog." First time taking Bruise and Bucket to the movie theater. They did really well. Phew! Maybe we can make more of a habit of this. ... When we have money to do so. ^_^

BUMMER THING: My daughter, who takes after her mother in the area of childhood tact ... well ... My mom emailed me last night, letting me know that Bucket was talking about my mom's rear. And using the words "really, really big." Which had really hurt my mom's feelings.
If Bucket hadn't been asleep, I think I would have dragged her out of bed and raked her over the coals, vented my spleen, read her the riot act, and really have let her have it. Since she was asleep, we waited until we were all up and awake and had a DISCUSSION. And touched on this DISCUSSION repeatedly. We DISCUSSED using KIND WORDS and what is and is not appropriate to discuss.
(I can say that she takes after me because, as a child, I kinda offended/hurt my Pop-pop by getting after him and his smoking habit. ... I'm sorry that I hurt his feelings. But, deep inside, I really was right. Because he died of lung cancer. ... I really would give near anything to have been wrong. Sucks, huh?)
But, hopefully, Bucket will stop "trying to be funny/silly" and treat my mom with more respect. (And my mom felt like maybe SHE was being too sensitive. No. My daughter just needs to learn tact and how to filter. STAT. She's not allowed to hurt my mommy's feelings. That's that. Or else I'll be SORELY TEMPTED to handle it how my mom handled it back in the day when _I_ questioned why her posterior was the size it was. ... She slapped me across the face. I learned REAL FAST not to ask THAT question again. ... I don't want to do that, though. It's kind of my last resort. Let's pray that I don't have to resort to it.)

That's mostly the whole catch-up ...

I should, like, I don't know, write down goals or crap for this year. (Hope for more goals and less crap. ^_^
  • Really, for real, make a steady habit of personal prayer and scripture study.
    This shouldn't be such a struggle. But, for me it is.
  • Make a steady habit of exercise. Because _I_ am tired of being out of shape.
    And, really, how am I supposed to be a good example to my kids if I'm not making exercise a priority? ... Yeah, that's what I thought. Thanks.
  • Back up all my stuff to the external HD once a month.
  • Review the guidebooks and stuff for YW (Our YW Pres recommended this)
  • Attend the temple at least 1x/month.
  • Maybe start doing FLYlady again ... it'd be nice to have a consistently cleaner house.
  • Plan meals out at the beginning of every week (or, even better, every MONTH) -- so that I will have an idea of when to start dinner and what to shop for and all that.
  • Get my computer up and running again. *sigh*
  • Maybe do that 365 picture thing ... Just maybe.
  • Be prepared for NaNoWriMo this year. ... Since I lost all my previous work, do you think that I should restart the plot that I had going this year? Since I'll have some time and all, I could easily revamp and make an outline and, I don't know, have NAMES PICKED OUT FOR CHARACTERS and stuff?
  • Finish Bruce and Bucket's baby books. BECAUSE THEY'RE GOING TO BE FOUR. THEREFORE IT'S DEFINITELY TIME FOR ME TO GET THAT STUFF DONE.
  • Finish the two books I have from Thomas Nelson publishing and review them. So I can get another free book to review, and so on and so on and so on, worlds without end, Amen. (Was that sacrilegious? Or blasphemy? I'm not TRYING to be so, just so you know.)
  • Get my girly-bits examined and a general check-up. Since that'd be a good thing to do. Not enjoyable, per se. But good, preventative medicine.
  • Make a little marker for Gingi-cat's grave.
  • Update my address book in Gmail ... get everyone's physical addresses added into that, so that, should anything happen, heaven forbid, I will still have people's addresses.
  • I want to get my visiting teaching done every month. Not just for the numbers ... but because I feel better when I know that I've done what has been assigned to me. I hate feeling like I've dropped the ball.
Well, I think that's enough for now. *sigh* We'll see how well I do. And, hey, since I've shared these goals with you, you get to help keep me accountable.
If I fail, don't rub my nose in it, TOO much. Just enough to keep me humble. Not so much that I'll be calling every doctor I know, trying to get a prescription for Valium or anything.

Happy New Year's, everyone! Let's hope and pray for a year of health, love, and some material wealth. ^_^

Or, at least, that things will be getting better and better ... as opposed to the contrary.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In which I talk about a dissapointment ...

So, yesterday, I was so thrilled that FINALLY my hold on TrueBlood came in at the library.
I've really enjoyed that series by Charlaine Harris (and the other books of hers that I've read. I really like her style. It's fun!)

So, Michael and I pop in the first disc. I think we watched maybe a half-hour before we're all, "Um, no."

I was taken aback by all the cussing. Harris' books aren't like that. Sure, there's SOME. But nothing like what the screenwriters put. And I do NOT need to see a couple of people totally going at it nekkid to know that Sookie's brother is a total player.

I know that they always say, "Show it, don't tell it." But, my dears, that's for LITERATURE. I don't have to know EXPLICITLY what sexual acts a character does to know that s/he gets around. You could have a narrator or another character or two mention it. Which Harris does.

Yeah. Total disappointment.

As I muttered after I switched it off, "At least I have ice cream." Because Michael's awesome and brought me home a pint of Ben and Jerry's Brownie Cheesecake. (He almost grabbed me the AmeriCone Dream, since it's made to support Stephen Colbert's charities.)

So, yeah, the night wasn't a total waste. But, grrrr. It really ticks me off that HBO did that to the Sookie Stackhouse books. The books are quite a bit tamer in language and ... stuff. For the most part. I mean, yes. There's some steamy stuff. But people aren't throwing around the f-bomb willy-nilly like in the show.
(I understood it in Dexter, since I watched the pilot after LOVING the first book. THAT, now, was faithful to the book. There IS language in there. And Jeff Lindsay, the author, does explain why certain characters use the language that they do. So I'm okay with that. ... Still, it's why I don't watch the series.)

[RANDOM FACT ABOUT ME: While I really don't like hearing vulgarities or profanity in shows, I don't care so much if I'm reading it. ... I seem to auto-edit. Unless it's really vital to the content/meaning of the statement. I don't know why. But it's what I do. I'll notice if there's language in written media ... but, overall, I don't mind it so much as I do when I HEAR it.]

Michael, bless his dear heart, was really taken aback by TrueBlood since he misunderstood which book series it was about. He was under the impression that it was based on L.J. Smith's Vampire Diaries series (which is a YA vampire series published when I was a girl. I remember reading Smith's books as I walked home from school in Jr. High. Or during classes [when my work was done, of course] in high school. Her books are one of my guilty pleasures. And, truly, I love her books. Whereas, I tolerate Twilight.) ... No wonder he was shocked.
(You have to give him points, though, for knowing that there is a show based on those books. It's on the WB CWTV. And called "The Vampire Diaries." ... I've heard that it's good. But that it doesn't stick to the plot lines in the books. I'm willing to give it a shot.

So, in my opinion, TrueBlood = EPIC FAIL.
If I can't even make it through a pilot without having to turn it off ... well, you've lost any chance of me watching the show.

It ticks me off something fierce, too. Because I was really ready to LOVE it. If it didn't have gratuitous sexxxins and tons of cussing. (I can handle a few sh**, maybe one f-bomb every couple episodes, ... I can totally handle "crap," "hell," and "damn" ... If you're gonna cuss a bunch, though ... Either don't do it or be cool like Firefly and do it with different words (C'mon, we TOTALLY know what they're saying when they use terms like "gorram" or "rutting.") or insults in Mandarin (I totally used "gosa" ["crap"] in the shower this morning).

So ... yeah. I think that you get my point. That I was not impressed with TrueBlood.
And I really, really wanted to be!

(Just like how I wanted to LOVE Mad Men ... and, truly, the costuming and props are DIVINE ... but, DUDE, EVERYTHING's about sex. sexsexsexsexsex ... Meh. We didn't even complete the whole season before losing interest. And it even had YoSafBridge in it!!!!!!!! And I love her!!! ... If you don't know who YoSafBridge is, you have not watched all of Firefly. Go forth, do so. Love it. Those are your commands.)

Now, I'm giving HBO one more chance. I'm going to check out season one of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Because I love, love, love, love, love that series.
(Seriously, this is a book series without swearing and sex scenes. I feel uplifted and happy when I read any of the books. This book series is a total GEM, I tell you,. It's really different from anything that I've read before. And I love it. Have I mentioned that????)
So, HBO, if you've screwed this one up, you are dead to me.
(Signed, Allanna -- who wishes that all movies would be PG-13 or lower. 'Cause I don't need to be seeing people in their altogether or hearing the f-bomb, well, EVER. Thanks, smooches, bye!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In which I step in a wet spot on the carpet ...

So, I woke up as Michael was getting ready (a time which I refer to as "the butt crack of dawn," which has a kind of poetry to it. ... Not really. The poetical-ness-essence. I DO refer to the crazy-early part of the day as what I said above.) and I couldn't fall back asleep.

So I went online and looked at ornaments to see if there are any that I really, really want to get for Bruise and Bucket. Since I try to make sure that we buy them an ornament every year. Relating to something that they like. Hallmark has NO Transformers ornaments. LAAAAAAAAME. Bucket likes enough things that I can find her an ornament just about anywhere. And Hallmark's a little out of the budget right now. So I may just scrounge at Target.

But, since I'm up before the kids are, Michael talked me into getting a shower before I have another chance to replay the fiasco that was yesterday afternoon. *rolls eyes* If the kids had just LISTENED and taken that nap, everything would have been fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

But, yeah. I get my shower. The kids come in while I'm taking it and belting out Disney songs. I get dried off and dressed. We watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special (in which I almost fall asleep, since I've been awake since around 5 AM. TOLD YOU it's the butt-crack of dawn) ... which takes up to about 8 AM.

The kids get to eat burnt cookies for breakfast, since I really don't care. I go and start making the big bed and Bucket's bed in the kids' room (washed the sheets on the guest bed ... and Bucket had an accident a couple nights ago, which necessitated washing HER sheets again. *sigh*). And, as I went to put the fitted sheet on the big bed, I stepped in a spot of wet carpet.

I ask the kiddos what this is ... Is it pee? Is it water? And, of course, I get two different answers. Both blaming it on the other sibling. Joy. So, I turn off the show they're watching, make them lie in bed for a timeout, make the beds, and have a TALK about LYING.

Bucket eventually caves -- the wet is pee. From her. From last night. Because she was mad at Mommy and Daddy. Because we didn't read to them from The Silver Chair (which, coincidentally, was part of the punishment for the folderol that was yesterday afternoon).

Yup, this is my life, ladies and gentlemen. This is my life.

I have errands to run. Do I really feel like going out and getting gas, going into town to get my library book and a few presents, heading to Target to get ornaments, or even staying home and baking with little liars in tow?

Hells to the NO, my loves. Hells to the NO.

What I really would love, love, LOVE to do is just grab a bottomless mug of Irish Creme-flavored steamed milk, wrap myself up in a cocoon of my down comforter, and read and do crossword puzzles.
While my children leave for a prolonged trip on a space shuttle.

Although, truly, in real life, after about two hours without them, I'd start to miss them and regret sending them into deep space without a cell phone or long underwear.
So, I suppose that I really shouldn't partake in this fantasy.

Though a steamer made with Irish Creme-flavored syrup does sound utterly divine. Perhaps I can make that my reward after I clean the house and get my errands done.

I don't like being this mean, unhappy parent. It's not something I enjoy.

Why can't my children just LISTEN to me for a change? It wouldn't be half as irritating if I didn't love them and KNOW that they are really decent kids.
*sigh*

Yup, listen to me, everyone. Then call the WAAAAAAAAAAH-mbulance. Yes, I know that I'm being whiny. I'm totally aware of this. It doesn't make me any happier than it makes you.

Today would be a perfect day for a zombie uprising. Too bad that I'm too much of a wimp to use the shotgun well. (Hey, it HURTS. Especially when you don't hold it positioned properly and the kickback gets you right in the boob. OWWWWwwwWWWWwwwww. ... Not that I speak from experience or anything ... *shifty eyes*)

Okay. I better get to baking and doing the dishes and putting on a clean, dry pair of socks (to replace the pair I had to throw in the laundry. Ew.) and getting the kids ready to brave the wild outdoors. And make dinner. And get ready for the holiday. And get my Visiting Teaching done. And read my scriptures and say COPIOUS, MYRIAD PRAYERS that I'll get through this, that life will be all happy-fun-times-with-rainbows-and-unicorns ... and that I won't be tempted to throttle my dear. Little. Darling. Children.

(Ha. When I was typing "darling," I accidentally typed "darnling." Freudian slip on the keyboard, you think?)

Maybe I should be all crazy and go buy the soundtrack to Glee and sing along. It might help.

Monday, December 21, 2009

In which I say "gorram" a lot. And then I lick the spoon.

Don't get me wrong. I love the holidays.
Like, I tear up when I sing songs about the Baby Jesus. I LUV da Baby Jesus something fierce.

So, today, after the folderol that occurred this afternoon, I manage to start cooking. I made the batter for chocolate crinkles. I made the centers of the peanut butter balls (Buckeyes) with the recipe that I STOLE from my dear Dorie. I'm making the brownies from Black Apple... I have a few things going on (and, all the mean time, I'm yelling at the kids' door for them to just take a dang nap!!!!!).

I am NOT Martha Stewart. Not in the least.
  • Martha does not do her cooking in an untidy kitchen.
  • She doesn't do it wearing sweats.
  • She has her hair properly coiffed. Not uncombed like a savage heathen.
    (No offense to any heathens among you. I'm using hyperbole. Please don't be offended by the use of cliches. You know that I love you.)
  • Martha has a proper double boiler for when she's dipping the PB balls. She doesn't just place a random glass pie/casserole dish on top of a saucepan and hope that it works.
  • Martha also doesn't say "dammit" or "gorram" every gorram time she burns her arm with the steam coming up from the makeshift double boiler.
    (Which in my case is rather often. The cussin' and the burning of my arm. It's a Christmas miracle that I have any skin left on that arm.)
  • She also isn't a complete flub at putting parchment paper into glass baking dishes for the brownies (At least the recipe is easily doubled and only really dirties one dish in the preparation. And they're soooooooo good).
Yes, it's a good thing that my children are mostly in their room so they don't hear me say gorram about eleventeen gorram times.

And then, as I'm getting the brownies in the oven and licking the spoon (BECAUSE I CAN!), I try to think if I've eaten anything today besides the tidbits of cooking, (Oh, yeah, I had a very good sandwich earlier) (But the fact that I have to HAVE this conversation with myself is what brings me to the inevitability of my future where I will contract Type II Diabetes. )

And I then I lick that spoon some more. Because if I'm gonna suffer Diabetes, I might as well enjoy my life (and all the sugar, sugar, sugar, simple carbs, sugar, simple carbs, sugar) as best as I can.

Before it's all ripped away from me ... leaving me alone and senseless. Like Bertha Rochester, but not so violent, I hope. More forlorn, I think.

Pitiful, huh, that my future will be that of some crazy woman in a Gothic novel.

If I wasn't so spent what with the spider that was in the sink this morning as I was doing the dishes (BUT IT WAS THERE!!! AND IT COULD HAVE BEEN A BROWN RECLUSE AND THEN, IF IT BIT ME OR THE KIDS, WE'D HAVE ULCERS OR SOMETHING ICKY ON OUR SKIN!!!!!!), the aforementioned folderol, and the fact that my children APPARENTLY HATE ME BECAUSE LISTENING AND OBEYING IS JUST TOO MUCH TO ASK OF THEM!!!!!!!! ARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

I can't wait for Michael to be home so he can pet my hair and call me his pretty little tulip and I can pretend that I'm dainty and sweet and lovely. And then he can bake all the cookies, so I don't have to look at any baked goods for a good hour or so.

I'm tired of yelling. I'm tired of my kids not napping. *sigh* I'm tired of spiders being in my house. EVER. If I wanted them in my house, I'd go out and buy engraved invitations for them. Have I done that???? NooooOOOOoooooo. Why don't those dang arachnids get the point? *sigh*

Though, I do feel a little self-righteous that spellcheck didn't know the word folderol (I did have to check the spelling. I was wicked-close. So there!)

Then I remember how many times I've said "gorram" ... thus cementing my place in Hell.
(I joke. Repentance is still possible. Thanks be!!! ... And that's one reason we celebrate this season.)

But, yes. I think I'm ready for a nap. Or some brownies. .... Or eggnog. Yum. I think I need some posthaste!

Sometimes my life is ... insane.

SOOOOOOO ... My mom-in-law's friend was going to drop a package by our house for us to take down to Michael's folks.

I FINALLY get around to getting a shower. The kids are not quite napping, so I am singing and not listening for the door.

Next thing I know, as I'm putting a robe on over my bathtowel is that someone's in the hall.

Turns out that MIL's friend is worried since my daughter (who doesn't want to take a nap) is crying in the window (next to her bubbly and happy brother) and calls my MIL, who lets her know how to get into the house since I'm not answering the door (being in the shower and all, of course).

Michael calls and is like "FINALLY, you've answered the phone. Mom's worried! Grandpa and Grandma are going to check on you."

So, I respond full of maturosity and poise (read: with cursings and threats to our strong-willed daughter) and assure him that I'm okay as I throw on any quick clothes that I can, since I've finished entertaining my mom-in-law's friend in two towels and a robe.

I call my MIL, to assure her that I'm okay and to give her the backstory. Then I proceed to give my girl-spawn a FIRM talking to, involving raised voices and ending in the too-calm, icy, hiss that you dread ever hearing from a parent.

My children are hunkered in their beds waiting for the other show to drop.
My tears of anger have not spilled over.
I'm wearing sweats and haven't combed my hair.
I may never take a shower again.
I may invest in an extra-large pet carrier for my children. And keep it in a deep dark basement.
(note to self: buy a basement. Preferably one that is deep and dark. And somewhat soundproof. ... Those baby monitor that we got when the kids were born will come in handy.)

As I told my MIL, "There go my chances for getting karaoke installed in the bathroom."

The kids, after my copious amounts of yelling/talking/hissing, are pretty quiet.

Yes, my life is awesome.
And if this scenario appears in any movies, I'm totally suing for that. This is MY life. If I'm dealing with this amount of crazy, I'd better be compensated for it. I'm just sayin'. It's not like I'm going to say, "No, you can't use it." But if you do, I'm not going to say no to receiving tens of thousands of dollars when you sell your manuscript. ... And that fee is per instance of my life. Just so you know.
(Swiper, no swiping!!)

Now, I would stick my head in the oven. But we have electric, so it'd just ruin my hair.
I think I'm going to take some drugs (read: a couple of Tylenol) ... since I have a wild headache.

(Seriously, people without children, kids are the BEST birth control. ... I do mostly love my hellacious devil-spawn *gritted teeth* little angels ... but sometimes I could envision myself gleefully dancing over their prone forms. A sailor's hornpipe, per se.)

(This is why the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, made kids so funny and cute and sweet. So that, on the occasions when they fail to be ANY of the above, we don't kill them. Like hamsters do.)

(This is also why God created the intertubes. And Tylenol. And chocolate. And books. ... As rewards for not killing our children. :P ... I really do love them. I just wish that I could have children AND what small semblances I had left of my sanity. At the same time. ... but you can't have everything. Where would you PUT it?)

*headdesk*
*headdesk*
*headdesk*

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ten days later ...

I'm doing better on being in the holiday spirit. I read The Little Book of Christmas Spirit by John Hilton III (it was a free download over at DeseretBook.com). Today, I read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to the kiddos.

The blue truck (the work truck) was running oddly on Wednesday, so Michael took the van. Mom and I went into town with the kids, ate at McDonalds (with the INDOOR PlayPlace), and while I did my volunteer stint, shelving holds, Mom took the kids to ANOTHER indoor play area (and the kids had a BLAST - Even though a CERTAIN CHILD had a poo incident. ... NOT the same child that had a pee incident after the Christmas parade. They take turns, so it seems).

What else have we done? We went to Storybook Land (lots of little displays of Christmas scenes and vignettes from stories and nursery rhymes ... and SANTA!). Mom and I renewed her Costco membership (and bought lots and lots of good food!) ...

Mom and I wrote replies to the kiddos' letters to Santa. Bruise and Bucket liked that Santa wrote them back. ^_^

I colored my hair today. It was getting ... weird-looking. To me, anyways. So, instead of being the light marmalade shade that it was getting to be, I colored it to a chestnut hue. And I like it better. I do keep thinking of trying to get it a real medium-type brown. I've never really been a brunette ... We'll see.

Read some books. I just finished Souless (Gail Carriger). THAT was a fun little read. Supernatural/Regency era/steampunk/romance/mystery. (Jenny and Cynthia, I think you'll both really like it. Aubri, if you have time, you'd probably enjoy it, too. ^_^) ... There are a few steamy scenes. I wouldn't be letting my almost-four-year-olds read it. But I really enjoyed it. There are some laugh-out-loud bits in there, too.

I've been wasting spending a lot of time on Facebook. Dang addictive games. I think I'm going to have to quit some. Even though I really like them.

Haven't gotten an OS loaded onto my computer yet. If I can't get it done this weekend, I'm not going to get to it until after Christmas. And then I might borrow Jenny's husband. Since Jenny DID offer the use of Joseph's mad skillz. ^_^

My mom bought me new jeans last week. I am still TOTALLY STOKED. My old jeans ... well, half of them have HUGE, GAPING HOLES in the right knee. And I felt kinda shlubby wearing them. My new jeans look so nice. And I don't have that nasty ... issue ... where the zipper and seam ... are really tight ... and it looks tacky... and it's embarrassing and kinda gross. (camel toe. ew.)

So, yeah, that's most of what all is going on here. Reading and facebooking and wearing new jeans and sporting a new hair color.

I should paint my toes. Like, RIGHT NOW.

Oh ... most of my nails have broken. Occupational hazard when shelving carts of books. Oh well.

Also, we're almost through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We should be starting The Silver Chair on Sunday night.

Oh ... in other news, this week, Bucket got through all the word cards in her "Magic Word Box." I was impressed. She'll be reading this time next year. Crazy, huh?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Getting into the Groove

Things are mostly going well. (I mean, we have a house, we're pretty healthy ... my computer's still not up and running ... But still.)

Friday was a little busy. We got up, went out to get a Christmas tree (and I made sure to put up a note for the UPS guy to leave the package (my new hard drive)) and a wreath. We stopped back by the house in order to drop off the tree (since we couldn't close the van all the way with it sticking out like it was. ^_^) and I ran around to the front of the house to hang up the wreath ... and intercepted the UPS man with my package. He seemed pleasantly surprised that I wished him a "Merry Christmas."

Then we took the kids over to the dollar store so they could pick out a gift for each of their cousins ... to help them remember that Christmas is about GIVING, not getting. (Also Michael had the kids send me an email telling me what they wanted to get for me. Bucket would like to give me a princess. Bruise wants to get me a light saber. ^_^). Bruise had a little trouble figuring out that he was getting something for his cousin that SHE would like. And Michael didn't want ME to choose what she should receive. So we made a compromise: I would give Bruise an option, "Would ___ like THIS or THAT?" And he'd choose. And we did this a few times. And I think that, yes, she WILL like what Bruise picked out.

Then we went home and put up the tree. And had the kids attempt to take a nap. Some of our attempts are more successful than others, get my drift? :P

That evening, we took the kids to the Creche and then to the lights set up at the local Pepsi plant. Bruise was rather a pill (putting it mildly) at the Creche, but after grocery shopping, he cheered up.

When we got home, the kids refused to get ready for bed until we had decorated the tree. So we did that with "help" from the kidlets. (And some "help" later from Diana-cat ... who thinks that the God's eye I made about eight years ago is put on the tree especially for her to knock down and chew on. *glowers*)

Saturday, we tried to load XP on my hard drive (and FAILED. Repeatedly. Oh well. I'm sure that I have some wonderful techie friend who'll come save this damsel in distress. Sometime. ^_^) and picked up the house and eventually bundled up the kids to go downtown to the holiday parade (and the lighting of the community Christmas tree).

It was cold ... but not absolutely freezing. And, as we were about to get back in the car (skipping the free holiday concert, since the kids were tired and cranky), a certain little child had an accident and peed through his/her clothes. At least this said child wasn't IN his/her carseat when it occurred.

Sunday was ... pretty normal. Our Bishop has strongly counseled us to start (if we haven't already BEEN ... *shifty eyes*) praying EVERY DAY for those who we Visit- or Home teach. (Along with the people whom we serve in our callings -- for me, that means praying over the Young Women by name every day. And, I'll admit that I've been horribly lax about it. Because, face it, I can be lazy. But I'm doing MUCH better). And, as part of our Visiting Teaching, we have been assigned sisters (who don't have/do not want Visiting Teachers) to pray for.

The two sisters that my companion and I have been assigned ... I don't know them at all. But I do hope, like I've prayed, that they'll feel the Lord's influence in their lives and know that He loves them.

I still don't totally, totally feel completely in the holiday groove ... but I'm getting better. I'm almost finished with reading Shepherds, Why This Jubilee? by Jeffery R. Holland and that has helped. I've dug out all the Christmas-y Children's books to read with Bruise and Bucket. I'll read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Barbara Robinson) and The Forgotten Carols (Michael McLean) this week. Those always help. Even if they make me cry. But it's a good cry. And it's usually just what I need.

Leaving church yesterday, Bucket had quite the bloody nose. Like, it was on her jacket sleeve, cheeks, and FOREHEAD before I realized what had happened. She looked like a car-accident victim there for a sec. We ran the kids out of the church to the car as fast as we could, as I cupped my hand under Bucket's nose to prevent any blood spots on the carpet. THEN, after I got her wiped off a little and some Kleenex in her nose, she had to go BACK INSIDE to go potty. *sigh*

I finally watched Romancing the Stone last night. It wasn't bad. But, golly-gee, there's quite the amount of language in there!! And, for parts of it, the kids had gotten up from their nap and were watching it while cuddling with Michael and me. So I'm all, "So kids, are those NICE words or MEAN and NAUGHTY words? Do you want to use nice words or mean words?" No, I'm not mentally unwell at ALLLLLLLLLL. NOOOOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOO. Where'd you ever get THAT idea?

Today, I HAVE to do the dishes and laundry. And clean up the tornado-aftermath that is our living room.

Also, I think that Charlaine Harris is one of my new favorite authors. I'm almost fully caught up with the Sookie Stackhouse series (the ones that are the basis for TrueBlood ) and I read Grave Sight (the first of another of her series) this weekend. I really like them. Yes, they do have sex in them ... but they're much better than Twilight (to me, at least). If Twilight's like bubble-gum, Harris' works are more like .... dark chocolate hot cocoa. Or something.

Okay. Now to go be productive (on those Facebook games ... :P)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Not feeling it ... yet (Feedback PLEASE)

Now, I'm going to confess something: We are living in a material world ... and I am a material girl.

I shouldn't be. I know that there are many, MANY things in this world that are better than what money can buy. ... But, sometimes, I just feel a little bad that I don't have a trust fund/money tree/ something.

Right now, I've done NO Christmas shopping. Because we haven't had the money to do so.

And I HATE not giving gifts. I love to give gifts. Giving gifts at Christmas makes me happy. If I were in a financial situation to do so, I'd spoil my family.

And, at this moment, since I can't do that, I feel a little down ... and not very Christmas-sy at all.
Which is really stupid. I mean, did Jesus come to earth to give everyone a gift card? I think not. He didn't come to give material legacies. And, therefore, I shouldn't feel like a loser because i don't know what to get for my grandfolks, parents, and nieces and nephew ... let alone for Michael (Though, really ... for him? I have a very easy, inexpensive option. Hurr hurr. <-- Michael, you didn't read that. And if you did, just act surprised if that's all I get you.)

I'm having a little trouble finding a quick, easy solution to this dilemma of feeling a bit Scrooge-like and off this Christmas season. (Every other year, I've HOPPED to on the day after Thanksgiving to crank up the Christmas tunes, since Michael is STAUNCHLY against Christmas music before Thanksgiving's over. Every other year, you can find me gearing up for decorating and getting a tree put up and gifts bought [and wrapped sometime before Christmas morning] ... But this year? I know that it's only three days into December ... but I'm ... just not feeling it so much. And it kills me. I know that, yeah, most of my music is on that other hard drive ... but i might have a good chunk backed up on the external. So, perhaps tomorrow, after I install the new hard drive and get it running, I'll be able to crank up the Christmas tunes. And, if I can't get them playing THAT way, I do have Pandora or last.FM, which would work. ...)

So ... I am asking, what are you doing/what do you do to feel the Christmas spirit?
What are some favorite Christmas songs? (I, personally, prefer the less secular ones. I know, I'm a snob. I put up with Rudolph, Frost, and the Chipmunks for the kids' sake. Snoopy, at least, has that whole "Peace on Earth" message. But, if I'm listening to Christmas music, I want to hear about Baby Jesus ... or, at least, about that warm feeling inside. And if you try and tell me to listen to "Christmas Shoes, " I will give you the TEACHER LOOK that I've perfected by student-teaching and being a mother.

THIS is that look, as done by Tommy Lee Jones:

I don't want to give that look. Please don't make me give that look.

(FYI: Other "Christmas" songs that will incur that look are "Last Christmas" by Wham! and ... oh, I don't remember, since I've spend the last 330-or-so days trying to rid it from my brain. And, for the present moment, it's seemed to have worked. Thanks be. Let's not mention those songs. Let's do pretend that they've never existed.)

But, please, please, PLEASE -- Give me some good ideas of things that I can do to get out of this funk (this funk that I can only hope to attribute to that evil ***** Mother Nature. [Dear Mother Nature, I hate you. Stop making me a crazy, heinous witch every month. Stop making me be all bloated and overly-sensitive. Also, if it's going to be this FRAKKIN' COLD, let it snow. just enough to make a snowman. Thank you. Sincerely, me.])

Here are the things that I HAVE done:
  • drank chocolate-mint Rooibos tea (YUM. Dianne, you have awesome friends. Since they are how I ever learned that such a wonderful creation exists.)
  • Set up the Nativity scenes that I have -- my Playmobil one, my Calico Kittens one, and the kids Little People one.
  • let the kids watch "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
  • Put up TWO Advent calendars (so what it we used one last year ... it's about the NATIVITY. So it should totally be used again!)
  • I sat and sang some songs with the kids. But they weren't very amenable to that. Impatient little hellions. (Good thing I mostly love them, right?)
  • I've talked to the kids about WHY we celebrate Christmas.
  • I'm gearing up for St. Nicholas' Day ... Dec 6. Put out your shoes!
  • We're going to go to the Community Nativity Festival this weekend. (If you're in the area, you should totally go. Seriously.)
  • In our town, there'll be a parade, lighting of the community Christmas tree, and a concert on Saturday.
I mean, I have some good things to do to help me get into gear. I even plan on making some cookies for our neighbors. Even the ones that we haven't really met. Who is going to be sad to receive cookies? It should be a good thing, right? I hope.

But, really, if you have some secret formula for feeling all warm, fuzzy, and full of Christmasosity, pass that knowledge on my way. I'd appreciate it.

Counting ...

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