Jul 31, 2007

Woah. Book Review.

It's very quiet this evening. Shelly left late this afternoon so for the first time in two weeks, I'm catching up on the long list of blogs I like to read. (Some of you write way too much, btw!) Doug is snoozing peacefully in his chair with Harry Potter open in his lap and ESPN muted on the T.V. I'd almost forgotten what teenager-less life is like! Definitely less exciting but much quieter! (We miss you already Shelly!)

Sam is still wide awake due to an ill-gotten nap this afternoon and is staying busy by pulling out baby wipes and playing with Maxwell's toys. (He saunters out every 20 minutes or so to confess his misdeeds and be swiftly ushered back to bed by half-asleep dad in chair.)

For my part, I've had 5 or so ideas for blog posts I want to write swirling around in my head for the past few days and just can't figure out which one to start with.

I still haven't blogged our Palmyra trip, or the picture of our taped-shut (by Max with Scotch tape) fridge, but I think I'll delay those a little longer and go right for the drama:
I may or may not have offended half of my ward this last Sunday.

Doug and I were asked to speak. The topic was "Avoiding deception in the last days". When I learned the topic, nothing really leaped to mind. I had no immediate ideas or thoughts about what I could say.

After about a week of intermittent pondering, I had an idea. I could talk about the book I just finished! It was all I could come up with so I just went with it. I stood up and publicly blasted, by name, a book that is on the NY Times bestsellers list and may or may not be loved by half the congregation. And I'm about to do it again, just in case there was someone who ditched church who's favorite book this is, and can therefore join the ranks of "me haters."

SPOILER ALERT! If you want to read The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards, you should keep reading, let me spoil the ending for you, and save yourself some time. Furthermore, if you absolutely loved this book and recommended it to all your friends, please tell me why, exactly, so I can feel a little better about the lost hours of my life.

Here goes:
My first hint as to the merit of this book came right on the cover. An endorsement from Sue Monk Kidd. (Who, as you may remember, after writing "The Bloody Mermaid Chair", has earned a swift virtual kick in the pants and eternal raspberry from myself.) ANYWAY,

The Memory Keepers Daughter starts with a very interesting premise. A (bone) doctor drives his in-labour wife to the hospital where he is forced to perform the delivery of not just one, but TWO babies. A perfect little boy and a Downs-syndrome girl. He looks at his baby daughter and sees nothing but pain and suffering for his family in the future. He gives the baby girl, Phoebe, to a nurse (who's in love with him) and tells her to take Phoebe to an institution.

Now, strip away the interesting premise and good writing and here's what you're left with about 170 pages in:
*A Doctor/Husband who gives away his baby, lies to everyone by saying the baby died, and consequently lives the rest of his life emotionally constipated because he refuses to tell the truth or do the right thing. Oh yeah, and then dies suddenly--and unsatisfactorily--before resolving anything.
*A wife who gets depressed after the "death" of her daughter but then stays mad at her husband until she figures, "what the heck, may as well fall into bed with this stranger I met at the beach last night and may as well keep hating and resenting my husband and sleeping around because...well...I'm unhappy and my life hasn't been perfect. Oh yeah, and I need a full-time job and career because I get no fulfillment as a wife or mother and need to find myself." (I may have paraphrased that a bit.) (She was definitely my very least favorite.)
*A spoiled son who thinks his dad hates him and consequently starts sleeping with the high school hussy and using drugs and hating the world.
*A nurse who, although is trying to do the right thing for Phoebe, kidnaps her and claims to be her mother, refuses to let Doctor/Dad see daughter, and doesn't contact the family to fess up until the twins are in their 20's and D.D. is already dead.

At the end of the book, I was just left feeling empty. Where was the valor? Where was the character who showed real moral courage inspired by something other than guilt and fear? Who was there to cheer for? Nobody! Except maybe Phoebe who is without guile. But then, it sorta felt like she was totally secondary to the plot despite being the crux of it. (Am I using crux right?)

And thus we see how this relates to my speaking assignment. Thesis Statement: You can avoid deception in the last days by not reading so much of this tripe that you actually start to think reprehensible actions like those of the main characters in this book are normal, acceptable, or even remotely justifiable! (It's always good to start with a thesis statement.)

Okay. I think I finally have this rant out of my system. I'm going to bed early tonight! (After I read a few more blogs...)

Jul 30, 2007


Seriously. A ten pound LOG of beef.
I mean, I know I'm partially to blame. I bought the grotesque thing. But COME ON Sam's Club! Give me a break! A slightly smaller size wouldn't hurt!
Am I the only one who finds this gross?

Jul 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Bam!!!

Our little Bammy-Boy turned THREE on Tuesday. For the first time in the history of our kids, we didn't have a "friend party". It was just the family and Shelly. (Who is practically family, definitely our friend, but not a three-year-old.) I have to say, it was a lot less stressful and it didn't matter that I stayed in my p.j.'s for the whole entire day. From now on, our kids will only get a friend party every other year or so.

Now, for a little bit about Sweet Sammers

Dad: "What's your favorite animal?"
Sam: "Zebwa!"

Mom: "Sam, what's your favorite food?"
Max: "Is it Wice Kwispies?"

Max: "What's your favorite toy?"
Sam: "Yightening McQueen!"

Shelly: "Sam, what's your favorite color?"
Sam: "Dat one!" (points at Lightening McQueen)

About the cake: Sam wanted a Bob cake and I wanted to make a lake out of blue Jell-o. (Who doesn't like blue Jell-o?) So we compromised and WAH-LAH!!! We have Bob sitting in front of a pile of dirt in front of a lake! He loved it so we both won.

Jul 22, 2007

Life in Review

Alright, I was writing this post really late at night and didn't use spell check. (You've got to give me credit for getting Kleptomaniac right on the first try...!) (Of course, spell check wouldn't have caught the birthday error...) So anyway, here's the corrected version:

So Shelly is in town and we're having a blast. She is one of our favorite Young Women from San Francisco and we love having her here.

While she's here, we're teaching her valuable life lessons like how to braise chicken and make homemade ice cream. She's trying to teach us how to be more Asian. For example: did you know chopsticks can be used to remove waffles from the waffle maker? (I had no idea!) AND, (and I believe I've mentioned this before) Soy Sauce does NOT need to be refrigerate no matter what it says on the bottle!

Not only does she know all sorts of clever uses for chopsticks, but she also makes the boys very happy. She's been helping me out a lot and helping to keep them entertained. What a gal! Oh, AND she let Doug and I go on a date the other night. SWEET!!! (I almost said "SCORE!" but it wasn't that kind of date.)

She's made us all Face Book accounts (so we can be cool) and she and Doug sit around in the evenings customizing their accounts, watching funny videos on YouTube and being generally geeky.

We love Shelly.

Now for the Max update. When Doug finally made it home at a reasonable hour, (it took a few days) we sat Max down together to have a talk about the car incident. We told him he'd have to give it back and use his own money to buy one more to give to the school as well. He took it like a man and there were hugs all around.

I know it may seem as if I over-reacted, and I did, but I was mostly just shocked that he hid if from me for so long. BUT, after careful reflection and contemplation, I've decided he's NOT destined to be a sociopathic Kleptomaniac so I'm over it. He just better not do it again. He IS after all, an extremely sweet kid and a GREAT older brother.

As for the rest of the fam, Sammers is still an adorable bi-polar punk but we're hoping the "bi-polar" part will evaporate on his third birthday on Tuesday. (Just make his birthday checks payable to me.) He loves to play Cars, trains, and swords. He can go from ecstatic to devastated and back again in 2.5 seconds. Obviously, a very talented kid.

Gabriel, of course, is still an angel. An angel who spit-up three quarts of fluid all over me and every pillow on my bed the other morning...but an angel nonetheless. To redeem himself, he slept for 10 hours that night...in a row....without waking once. (All praise goes to "Babywise" so knock it all you want, but don't forget the 10 hours part.)
He's basically a perfect baby. (I can brag all I want. I've done my time with uncooperative tyrants.)

As for myself, I'm on a strict daily ice-cream diet. To keep my milk supply up, of course. It seems to be working just fine. Strangly though, it hasn't help with my weight loss. hmmm.

And Doug? He's still a hottie.
'Nuff said!


Jul 19, 2007

Honorary Blogger: Shelly

Alright. Shelly here!

I'm visiting Ms. Emy and the boys here in Rhode Island. She is nursing Baby-beautiful at the moment, and the while original plan was for me to blog Emy things for her because she doesn't post enough, she has asked me to introduce myself instead. And she's going to write her shtuff bout' me later. Also, in the interest of having more enteries come up when I search my name on her blog, I'm going to force Emily to make her entry seperate from mine. =)

[And I know Adriane, who must be reading this, is already working on more entries about me for the same reason!]

So, my name is Shelly. I like any color that isn't an ugly shade. I love Dougy&Em's boys. I hate pickles. But enough about me.

Weather: hasn't been kind. I arrived early this Wednesday, and it has been mug-gy from the moment I stepped off the plane.

Interrupting giraffe: Sammy just said the cutest thing -"flyyyyingg saaauuucerr!!"- while playing with his CARS ~ I stand amazed.

---leaving for an adventure with Maxer---

I'm back. We went to the beach. I tried to get the name of beach, but it didn't go well. It was pretty intense. Like Indiana Jones at the age of 5 style.

S: What's the name of the beach?
E: I don't know that it has a name.
S: Okay, I was going to say, I'm very disappointed that you don't know the name - because in California, you know that names of all the beaches you go to.
E: Well... I'm not so sure it's a public beach for like, people to-
S: Don't make excuses for this state.

S: But it's so... Can you feel this?
::stares blankly at me for a moment to signal that she thinks I'm cookoo::
E: No, it's in your mouth.)

Anyways, we had a big adventure, and climbed lots of rocks - I wasn't too thrilled about that, but hey, what can you do? When a beautiful little boy that you love asks you to do something, it's a hard to say no!

Back to the point. Emily has pimped out my room with everything I could possibly want. And her waffles are awesome. I've eaten so many, that I'm very large now. Okay, pretty much ready for nap time now.

Until next time,

Jul 16, 2007


When I yell "MAYDAY" in the house it means come running because I'm having a child-related emergency usually involving one (or all) of the three p's: pee, poop, or puke. The emergency we're having right now is quite different and can't be helped with baby wipes and hand sanitizer. Therefore, I'm calling upon everyone within the sound of my voice to come to my aid.

Unfortunately, Gabe's not talking so I need your help.

Yesterday, on our way home from a weekend trip to Upstate New York, Max told me not to look in the side storage compartment next to his seat in the back of the minivan. (Following so far? He told me--unprompted--not to do something I had no intention of doing.) So of course, I immediately tried to reach back and see what he was hiding. He freaked out and started crying hysterically. Doug told me not to press the matter and we'd check it later. We got home late last night and after getting the kids inside, I went back to the car to satisfy my curiosity. (And to unload a bunch more crap.)

Hidden underneath a travel box of tissue and a travel pillow I found a small car. Specifically, "Nitroade" from the movie "Cars". This was a toy I'd never seen before. I assumed he'd lifted it from the friends we'd just spent the weekend with.

Fast forward to this morning. After talking to Doug about it, we decided I'd talk to him, but defer punishment until Daddy and I could talk to him together this evening.

So, I brought him into my room and had him sit next to me on the bed. I told him I'd found the car and asked where he got it. (Fully expecting to hear it was Kody's.)

Max: "I got it at preschool."

Me: "Preschool?"

Max: "Yeah. I got it at Wise Owl on the first day of school. Not the day we got to meet the teacher, the first day we had school."

Me: (long pause while I digest the fact that he's been hiding this for almost a year.)

Me: "Why did you take it?"

Max: "'Cause Sammy had a MILLION Cars and I didn't have ANY!" (Silly us...we'd been buying him the PIRATE toys he wanted.)

Me: "Did you take any more?"

Max: No. I thought about taking more, but then I thought one would be enough.

Me: Did you feel bad that you stole something?

Max: No, because Sam has a MILLION! (In the mean time, he has acquired a few of his own.)

So, we talked a little bit more and I told him we'd talk with Daddy about it later. I was completely shocked. Mostly by his lack of guilt and remorse! (Yes, I know he's five but I'm still feeling guilty about stealing Jenny's gumballs when I was that age, so the least he can do is feel a little shame!)

Doug and I just don't know quite how to handle this. Max is almost six so we both think this has the potential to make a big impression on him...and we want it to be the right one.

Here are some of the things we've been discussing:

Taking away his "Cars" cars,

Making him buy more Cars using his own money and giving them away (to the preschool? a homeless shelter?),

Taking away other, more loved toys for an indeterminate amount of time,

Grounding him from TV, (but of course that punishes me too!)

etc., etc.

Of course, he'll HAVE to return the car to his preschool and apologize to his teachers, but unfortunately, that'll have to wait until school starts again next month. What we want is to impress upon him that honesty is important without having to be incredibly mean in the process. He is only five after all.

So that's our conundrum. After being home for about 5 minutes tonight, Doug got called in to the hospital for an emergency. So the punishment has yet to be determined. (It's almost 11 and he's still not home.)

That's why I need YOUR HELP! And fast. I don't want the little punk to think he's gotten off scott free.

So that's my Mayday. If you can figure out away to solve it using wipes and hand sanitizer, all the better.

Jul 12, 2007


Over a month ago Naomi tagged me to do a Meme. Now Diane has tagged me too. I'd better get on it, eh? Try not to fall asleep. (You might bang your head on the keyboard.)

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Living in Carlsbad with Faezer and preparing to move in with Ang and Lesley. I'd just finished sleeping through my freshman year at UVSC and needed a little break. You know...to sleep some more.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
I was in New York City with Doug and boys while he did his orientation. I'm sure I was sweating and wishing I didn't have to wear a bra. Kinda like right now.

Five snacks you enjoy:
(I'm going to assume this means the unhealthy kind.)

1) Ice cream (multi-weekly)
2) Chug chocolate milk (I enjoy this almost every time I grocery shop.)
3) Wendy's Frosty (fort-nightly)
4) Chili Cheese Fritos (road trips)
5) Plain M&M's (rarely)

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
Woah. Where to start...a good chunk of my life has been devoted to this important pursuit.

1) "Somebody" by Depeche Mode (but really...who doesn't?)
2) "Head Over Feet" by Alanis (plus all the other songs on Jagged Little Pill)
3) "Oh L'amour" by Erasure (plus all the other songs on Pop)
4) "Mysterious Ways" by U2 (plus all the other...well, you get the idea.)
This decade?
5) "These Words" by Natasha Beddingfield

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) Hire someone to snip all the yucky stuff off the chicken breasts before I cook them.
2-5) Buy some stuff.

Five Bad Habits:
1) Some might say I'm "cluttery" or "messy" but I say "artistic"!
2) I sleep as long as possible whenever possible.
3) I'm a sugar addict.
4) Evidently I squeeze the middle of the toothpaste tube.
5) Using multiple colors in my blog posts.

Five Things you Like doing:
1) Reading
2) Sleeping
3) Throwing pots (not at all the same as smoking pot.)
4) Sleeping
5) Traveling

Five things you would never wear again:
2) tank tops (unless it's over a swimsuit, duh.)
3) Thrift store polyester shirts with someone elses name stiched on.
4) the 58 bikini's I used to own
5) pegged pants (As if anyone needs their butt and feet to look bigger.)

Five favorite toys:
1) iPod
2) cell phone
3) laptop
4) creme brulee torch
5) ice cream maker

Now for Diane's Meme:

4 places I've worked:
1. KFC (age 15-16) The grease has just recently been completely purged from my skin cells.
2. UVSC Testing Center
3. Adams Design Group in Carlsbad
4. UVSC H.R.

4 Movies I can watch over and over:
1. Better Off Dead
2. Sneakers
3. Say Anything (Ahh, John...*sigh*)
4. Room With a View

4 Places I have been on vacation:
1. England and Scotland
2. France
3. Hawaii
4. Mexico

4 TV shows I enjoy:
1. Arrested Development
2. The Office
3. Veronica Mars (Curse you to HECK for cancelling this show, CW!!!)

4 Places I have lived:
1. Salt Lake City, Mapleton, Riverton, and Provo, UT
2. Carlsbad, CA
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Warwick, RI

4 Places I'd rather be right now:
1. Vinaka Cafe, Carlsbad
2. Cheesecake Factory, San Francisco
3. Iceberg Drive Inn, Utah
4. Serendipity, New York
(or sleeping in any of the above locations.)

I tag: All of you. Yes, that's right. Every single person reading this boring post. I defy you to out bore me! Now go blog!!!

That was exhausting...I need a nap!

Jul 5, 2007


Do you know what I love? German pancakes. Why do I love them? I'll tell you.

They're breakfast food (I love breakfast)

They're quick and easy to make

They're full of protein, (in case you're hypoglycemic and get cranky easily)

They look really cool, (I mean really cool)

and they got a thumbs up for authenticity from a REAL GERMAN.

That's right ladies and gentlemen, my GERMAN roommate said she made similar GERMAN pancakes using the same recipe when she was growing up in GERMANY. (Did you catch the German-ness in there?)

"You had a REAL GERMAN ROOMMATE???" you ask in dismay.

"Why yes. A 76-year-old German roommate." I coolly reply and launch right into my story:

It all started in a little house on 9th East in Provo. I was trying desperately to break up with a boy I had been dating but was finding it very hard. He only lived a block away and kept coming over.

It was imperative that I leave the neighborhood as soon as possible. It took some convincing, but I finally talked my roommates, P.B. and Anna-Banana, into coming with me. Since a new semester was fast approaching, vacancies were scare. Especially three in the same apartment. And then I got lucky.

The Old Mill had an apartment with 4 private rooms all available. In it's hay-day, (the 70's?) The Old Mill was probably the hippest place to live in Utah Valley. It had long since past it's prime when we found it, but still had a few features to recommend it.

For one, each apartment offers four private rooms, and each room has it's own private toilet and vanity area. There are also two indoor pools in the complex complete with Jacuzzis. Oh, and of course, lots of single guys!

Anyway, the three of us took three of the available rooms and hoped the fourth would remain empty. After all, who would want to move in alone with three extremely tight friends?

Unfortunately, someone did. It was with great sadness that a month or so after we had settled in, our manager--a girl our age--left a message saying the last room was filled. It had been rented by a man living in Orem for his 75 year old mother.

The conversation went something like this:

Her: "Um, I, like, have some bad news. Your new roommate is 75."

Me: "Wait...what?"

Her: "Yeah, like, her son called me and I, like, thought it was for his daughter but he wanted it for his mother."


Her: "Uh...no. I assumed the guy wanted it for his daughter...turns out it was for his mom."

Me: "They can't do this! This is STUDENT HOUSING! You HAVE to be a STUDENT!!!"

Her: "She is a student. She's taking a Book of Mormon class at BYU."

Me: (stunned silence)

Now for the collective reaction of Michelle, Anna and I:

The Five Stages of Grief:

Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
Anger (why is this happening to me?)
Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...you don't give me a 75 year old roommate)
Depression (I don't care anymore)
Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)

Only we probably skipped stage five.

So here we were, faced with the unthinkable. We imagined parties cancelled, boys booted, and every other horror that could be inflicted by a stringent old German woman. They say the best offense is a good defense... (I think someone says that...no clue why) so we prepared for her arrival by making inappropriate signs and hanging them all over. (To scare her off I suppose?) I remember one in particular that Anna made. It said "Eh! to big breasts!"

(rebellious, huh?)

Then the day of her arrival...well, arrived. The three of us sat in the living room waiting sulkily. There was a knock at the door and I got up to open it.

When I opened the door I saw a tiny, shriveled little woman with dyed blond hair and thick Coke bottle glasses staring up at me. I couldn't help it. I was in complete shock. I started smiling as I said "You must be Ursula!" and I gave her a big hug. She was the cutest little German woman I'd ever seen. She replied looking up at me, "Oh! Sank you! I vas so vorried!!!"

As it turns out, Ursula was the ideal roommate. She went to the temple everyday and attended religion classes at BYU. She said she'd had enough cooking in her life, so she ate out for all her meals. When she was home, she stayed in her room studying. When we apologized for being too loud she'd say "Oh! I didn't hee-ah! I vas doing my studies vith my headphones!"

It even turned out to be a boon to our social lives! Guys thought it was fascinating and wanted to come over to see for themselves! (One particular boy didn't believe us so he marched down the hall and opened her door...despite our protests. He saw Ursula sitting on her bed with huge headphones on, slammed the door and ran back down the hall in complete shock. What a dummie.)

So, that is how it came to be that one night Michelle, and I were sitting down at the table for a dinner of German Pancakes when Ursula came in. We begged her to join us for dinner (she always turned down our invitations to socialize) and I told her what I had made. She tried a tiny slice, asked the ingredients, and said, "Yes. Theese iz just like I had vhen I vas a girl!"

And there you have it. Why I LOVE German pancakes.

Jul 2, 2007

Fun with Friends

Boy Fest 07 concluded on Saturday with the departure of our friends. We'll call them the Bouncers to protect their identity. (You know, bounce...like spring.)

Between our two families we had one five-year-old boy, one four-year-old boy, one almost three-year-old boy, one almost two year old boy, and one baby boy. So obviously we had a very calm and peaceful visit with no fighting or rowdiness. Regardless, it was great to have them and much fun was had by all.