Friday, February 27, 2009

A perfect 10 on the creepiness scale

I am obssessed with coupons. I buy the Sunday paper every week and scour through all the ads and special deals at least twice. As I was doing the actual clipping of the coupons yesterday however, I happened upon the pages of the coupon inserts that deal with full page ads for widely assorted ridiculous "things" you can buy- "things" such as imported Hawaiian flower starts, Betty Boop checks, leisure suits, the commemorative Barack Obama silver coin, the Nascar clock and matching lamp, portable fireplaces made by miniature mountain carpenters-you know, all that crazy weird stuff that you can't believe someone actually decided to make and sell? Well, yesterday I learned that one of the "things" I could buy, was Little Umi and she is, and I quote, "A collectible orangutan baby doll you have to see to believe, and the first-ever So Truly Real® baby monkey doll!" Yes, it is a porcelain orangutan, wearing baby clothes and it comes with a pacifier. NOT making this up. Seriously, who is buying this item? What's worse, is that you can make PAYMENTS to own her! She is $140 total, but for $28/month, she can be yours. Don't get me wrong, I love monkeys. I used to collect stuffed ones when I was younger, but this is just creepy. And if you have one of these, please don't tell me.

Besides, I am saving my money for one of these things, I am still deciding which one:

There is the chihuahua taco stand holder thing....

The hair protecter for when I eat my ramen noodles and they get a little unruly...

The plug in phone handset for my cell phone. I don't know, I am really kinda liking this one...

Awh, heck, we all know I am gonna get the Snuggie!

Oh, wait, that's not right. Here, this is MUCH better...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chalk one up for Organization!

I have really been trying to find a way to organize this giant cabinet thing in my kitchen. It has drawers at the top, gives me a huge counterspace(which is great) but the cupboards at the bottom are not very functional and consequently they usually look like this:


But, I did a little reading on the internet about organizing a kitchen and a few ways to add some order to a giant open space, and now I have this:

YAY! I can honestly say I enjoy cooking all that much more when I know I don't have to put on a hard hat and pull a permit just to grill some chicken. Luke and Cindy still love to play in there :( but at least when it gets cleaned up, everything has a home. Now, on to the junk drawer! a.k.a. the "depths of despair" (as Cindy would say). This is not gonna be pretty!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lamanite Cake

Today was my little brother Brian's birthday. He turned the very significant 21. But, since he is in Spain serving his mission, we are not able to celebrate together. Give me a big "Awwhhhhh!" But not to fear! Here in Sweeneyville we had cake and ice cream anyway :) And we decided to go all the way on this one- not just making your garden variety Duncan Hines with frosting- Oh no, my little friend, we made a sour cream fudge ripple cake with a Snickers bar ganache. (Mostly just so we could say the word ganache over and over...) I did a little research online as to the secret recipe for the chocolate sauce they use on the dessert ravioli at Macaroni Grill (which is pretty much the most amazing dessert ever) and it turns out that it is nothing more than a chocolate sauce made with half a melted Snickers bar! Who knew!? So we took the See's chocolate chips and the Snickers bar we had in the freezer and about 33,000 calories later we had "Lamanite" cake- a moniker we will now use henceforth in our house to denote anything sinful and wicked. Like this cake! (or Sharpies, daytime television, or the music of Jewel- among other things...)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You know that little voice?

The one in your head that says, "Mmmm, it's awfully quiet in here. I should go and see what the kids are up to." Yeah, lesson one of motherhood is OBEY THE VOICE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD AND HOLY, OBEY THE VOICE! I just disobeyed the voice and found Luke with a Sharpie 'decorating' not only the hallway wall, but Cindy's dollhouse, doll furniture (including each individual step of the staircase), her desk, and the TV screen itself. What I am still not understanding is that Cindy was watching the television AT THE TIME! (The second thing I don't understand is how Luke manages to repeatedly find so many Sharpies in this house, yet it would take an act of Congress for me to get my hands on one.) So let me simply utter a giantic "AAUUUUGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" and then I will quietly move on with my life...

At least last time it was only his own body...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

True Love

This basketball hoop set went on sale this week at Toys R Us, so I caved and got it for Luke. He is absolutely in love with it. In fact, I knew he probably wouldn't eat breakfast this morning if he saw it when he woke up, so I hid it before I got him out of bed. Too bad he saw the ball in the hallway and then proceeded to freak out until he found the hoop. So we skipped breakfast for a while :) This toy once again proves that Luke is 100% BOY. (Despite the photo album I am about to put on Facebook of Luke wearing 6 different pairs of Cindy's shoes. That doesn't really count...)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Experience #2- Volunteer at My Child's School

I have never had this experience yet simply because I needed to acutally have a kid in school to do it and now I finally do! So on Friday I got the opportunity to help all morning in Cindy's preschool class. It was their Valentine's party and I was there to help with all the different activities they had going on.

I first helped each child dress up in a mailman costume and deliver their Valentine's to each of their friends' "mailbox". They were all so cute and it was fun to help them recognize the letters in the names and match them up. Plus, they all had such cute Valentines! From the store bought to the homemade- no one brought the same thing, I was totally amazed. I then helped with snacktime, then got to play the "monster" under the slide at recess, then we helped with different centers where they made crafts, played Valentine Bingo, Candyland, Memory or got to read books- Cindy has no idea what an amazing preschool she goes to. It is absolutely the BEST. (And I am a little afraid she is going to be sorely disappointed with public school Kindergarten :(

And to top it all off at the end of the morning, they did a short Valentine's program of cute little songs they learned. I don't quite know what came over Cindy, but instead of her usual shy, preoccupied singing, she sang so loud and was so animated that towards the end it became comical to all the parents, myself included. It was a riot! Most of the time she is so shy, but that day she came alive. Who would have guessed? Certainly not me. So here is Cindy singing her worship song with all her gusto! Notice how she needs to hide behind her friends to take a bow at the end (?) Anyway, enjoy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our Funny Valentines

Exhibit A of (once again) why I LOVE the Internet! I guess I should have made one of these for my computer... Anyway, just Google "homemade Valentines" and Voila! We sent these to uncles and school teachers and Cindy did a great job! She drew all the faces on these herself :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Masters of Disguise

Is it just me or do you also find it totally ridiculous that in certain movies or television shows there are characters that are able to completely hide thier "secret identities" with only a single pair of glasses or a just a wig? I say this in light of the fact that I recently learned the plot of Hannah Montana (were you like me in thinking that there was none?) Well, turns out that she is a regular school girl by day, super rockstar by night and none of her friends are the wiser. AND she accomplishes all of this super secretness by putting on some makeup and a blonde wig. Really? I'm sorry, but deep down I have had a problem with plot lines such as this since Superman.

Don't get me wrong, I love Superman. In fact, the latest movie, Superman Returns, is honestly one of my favorite films. But I just can't really accept that he is able to completely disguise even his resemblence to Superman with just a goofy persona, Buddy Holly glasses and parting his hair on the other side of his head. I mean, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen ARE REPORTERS for crying out loud!! They, of all people, should be able to put two and two together. At least Batman and Spiderman have masks...

The TV showBosom Buddies is yet another offender in this catergory. You're telling me that these two guys are passing as women and no one knows? I know that now a days this scenario has a way better chance of being pulled off successfully (thanks to huge advances in the field of man-scaping), but considering this was the 80's and looking at just how horrible their outfits really were, there is not a chance this was any where near reality.

Now, having said all this, I do understand that television shows and movies are about susupending belief for the sake of entertainment. (And Bosom Buddies and Superman Returns are both highly entertaining!) It's just that sometimes we have to work a little harder at said susupension.

I hear there is a new superhero in town, anyway. I am not sure who she is, but they did get this one picture of her. She looks vaguely familiar, but I just can't put my finger on it right now. It will come to me eventually...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Experiment

I am sure you have all seen stories on talk shows or on the news about people who are so ultra-frugal that they spend $5/month on groceries and have an electric bill of about 12 cents. While I do my best to be thrifty and stay within my budget, I have never achieved results such as these. However, for the next month I am going to really try on that electric bill. I just figured out that our billing cycle either did just flip over or will flip over any day now so I have alerted Jacob that for the next 30 days we are in energy-saving mode. I am totally curious to see just how much our bill would go down if we would just be more aware. So the only things I am really doing different are making sure that lights are turned off when we are not in the room, trying to be a little better about not pre-heating the oven so long (when not necessary) or forgetting to turn it off, for that matter. I am going to try and lower our hot water heater temp a few degrees, make sure Cindy's light doesn't stay on all day, as it usually does. The same goes for the outside house lights. I did unplug a few things in the kitchen that don't get used all the time and I did turn off the powerstrip to the second computer in the TV room. Anyway, give me a month and I will tell you if any of it was worth it. And yes, I am writing this in the dark. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Top Ten for Your Viewing Pleasure

I know I have already done a post about the ridiculous names of prescription drugs out there- so consider this Part II of that post...

Top Ten Rejected Names for Prescription Drugs

10. Vomitrex (for nausea)
9. Baldycare (for hair loss)
8. Fatsodryn (for weight loss)
7. Bowelair (for backed up plumbing, shall we say)
6. Voodoodryl (for revenge)
5. Happystat (antidepressant)
4. Puffacor (to stop smoking)
3. Overactivia (for ADHD)
2. Skelator (for osteoperosis, repelling Marc Anthony, or killling He-man's arch enemy)
1. Supercillin (for everything!!)

Christina, I hope you enjoyed this one. See if you can't get Merck to pick up some of these, will ya?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm Coming out of the Storage Containment Chamber!

One of the things that I found out about Jacob very quickly when I met him was that he liked Star Trek. Not just the original series from the 60s, but also Star Trek: Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise as well. He always has, always will. I filed this information about him under "Y"- as in Y does this have anything to do with me? I thought, at best, I might have to watch a few movies with him, or maybe pretend to know what a Vulcan is. Ha! Little did I know that I would have to sit through MANY movies, multiple times, in many places. I would also have deep discussions about the possibilty of time travel and warp drive. I would end up knowing not only what a Vulcan is but the difference between a Talaxian, a Cardassian and a Vedian- and I would also realize that I think Jacob himself is probably part Borg. (It really does explain a lot...) Looking back I would say that I have pretty much been an innocent bystander in all this Trekkie-ness. I certainly didn't intend to like it, I just simply didn't resist it- and we all know what Resistance is anyway! Additonally, for the past 4 or 5 months we have been using our Netflix account to exclusively watch the entire 7 seasons of Star Trek: Voyager. At first I thought this was a little silly, but I now look forward to Wednesdays and weekends when our discs arrive. It is nice to watch a series in order and actually see the relationships and storyline from beginning to end. And who can argue with always having something safe and familiar to watch when all of TV land is sucking big time? Anyway, I was reading a story the other day about the Top Ten Real Life Invetions from Star Trek. (Found here if you don't believe me) You have to admit that all these things are totally amazing- from a real cloaking device, a tractor beam and phaser guns to hyperdrive and hypospray- it's all becoming real, people! (Talk about the Nerds getting revenge!) Truly, these ideas are not just science fiction anymore. BUT, with all the cool stuff that is coming to pass from the shows, the ONE that is hands-down the coolest thing from Star Trek is: The Holodeck. (And apparently even this is on its way) The holodeck is an on-deck grid where you can, through holographic programs and interfaces, be anywhere, experience anything, meet anyone, etc. You know all those episodes of Star Trek where they are back fighting the Nazis or solving a mystery as Sherlock Holmes or in some other completely preposterous situation? Yeah, that is made possible by the holodeck. And the best part is that anyone can write different 'programs' for the Holodeck. So I could write a program that simulates standing on the top of Mount Everest in 80 degree weather with my deceased Great Grandma. Yup, who needs time travel when you can simply spend a day on the Holodeck? So I guess what all this boils down to is that I am finally admitting it. This whole thing about liking Star Trek is not just Jacob. I actually think I kind of like it too. There, I said it out loud. And lucky for you, there are probably many more blog posts ahead with Star Trek subject matter. (Yesssss!) So I think it is safe to go ahead with paying the deposit on our matching Star Trek caskets. This model is called the Photon Torpedo and I think we would look smashing in these! Although, we won't be needing these for a while because we both intend to Live Long and Prosper.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Goodbye Garden

I finally went out to the garden to finish picking whatever is out there- mostly just snap peas, a few green peppers, and some green onions. We are going to hit sub-freezing temps here tonight and possibly on Friday morning too, so this is probably the end of the winter garden (because I am too lazy to cover anything). I did discover that Rosa loves the green peppers, so pretty much we just gave them to her, especially when Luke picked them a little too early. Cindy still eats the peas right off the vine! Takes after her veggie-loving dad. :)

And true to her Princess nature, here is Cindy helping me pick the peas- wearing, of course, her princess dress. But she did wear a sweatshirt becuause, after all, it was a little chilly.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Experience #1- Sew Something Without a Pattern

A few weeks back in church, my amazing friend, Karin, spoke of how she was able to sew a skirt without a pattern. She mentioned that it was her grandmother who had this talent and she wanted to emulate it. (Karin also happened to be wearing the skirt she had made without the pattern at the time and I was totally impressed.) So it is now my wish to emulate Karin on this one. This experience is the one I mentioned I had cheated on earlier in the blog, because I completed this one about 3 Saturday's ago (way before my actual birthday) when Jacob was helping someone move and I was waiting for him to come home. I thought that the one thing I might be able to sew without a pattern was an apron. And who better to appreciate this than Cindy?! So I took some material I had left over from a skirt I was/am still making and just began to sew, willy nilly, without a pattern. And I have to say that it turned out completely wearable! I even added a velcro neck strap AND two pockets! The added bonus is that Cindy does actually wear this and enjoy it. I was rather proud of myself, but I am not sure what other non-pattern items I dare construct past this point. Unless you need a placemat or two- I think I could hold my own on that one. So officially it is one experience down and 29 to go!

(Oh and after I took this picture, Cindy very oddly insisted that I take another picture of her in her outfit- go figure! So here it is...)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What a Weekend!

Wow, where do I begin? My 30th Birthday was such a huge event for me that now that it is over and passed, I am trying to process everything. I can tell you that it was fun and happy and in no way did I feel depressed or sad. Yay!(I think the moment I realized that I was gonna be okay was when I bought a new shirt in the Juniors department at the mall. I thought, 'If this is 30, I think I can handle it. :)

The festivities started Friday night. I have some dear, dear friends that put together a fun night for me- complete with pizza and (my favorite) chocolate fondue. It was so delicious. White chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, caramel, bananas, brownies, strawberries, pineapple, pretzels, pound cake, monkey fingers, spaghetti squash, etc. Totally kidding on the monkey and squash, just checking to see if you were still paying attention... It was an event truly worthy of being called a caloric disaster, but sooooo worth it :) We talked, we visited, we played a pretty darn competitive game or two of Catch Phrase and had a great evening together. AND, I even got two giant bags FULL of all the cereal I had talked about on this very blog. It was amazing! A truly appreciated gift that I will enjoy every single day. It even had CHOCOLATE Frosted Mini-Wheats in it, a flavor I had yet to try. (Love it, by the way...)

So on Saturday morning when it was time to get up and get going, it literally took me a solid 5 minutes of debating what cereal to have. I went back and forth, I rationalized, I weighed the options, and in the end I went with the Chocolate Frosted Mini-Wheats and the Peanut Butter Crunch. Yes, some of it I ate together. But having that moment of not being able to choose a cereal was a new sensation for me, because I don't think I have EVER had all my favorite Cereal to choose from at the same time! It was the coolest thing. I decided that if I had to crown one cereal "King", I would have to devise some sort of Cereal Bracket Challenge, where cereals would "face-off" with one another and then I could systematically pick the winner. (I am so weird sometimes...) But, I am getting off topic, so back to my Birthday! Saturday was my proclaimed day of disappearance! I told Jacob a few weeks back that for my birthday I wanted to just get to disappear all day- no questions asked. Just me, $100 an 8 hours to do what I wanted. (My personal $100 I had saved up over the months, fyi) So I left at about 9:30 and had total freedom! Okay, it wasn't a total secret what I was going to be doing (shopping mostly) but I just didn't want to feel like I was staying out too long or people were waiting on me to come home. In the end I got some new shoes, jeans, running clothes, etc. and liked being on my own schedule for once. However, I did discover that I am just not cut out to be an all-day shopper. I was tired of it by 5pm (which is when I came home). I don't have a ton of patience for it because clothes shopping is hard work! All the driving around and looking and the deciding-I am not like normal girls in this respect. But I am glad because we would be totally broke if I was :) After a quick clean-up at home, Jacob and I hit Macaroni Grill, another favorite of mine. I had an Internet coupon, $15 in Mac Grill gift cards I got for taking online surveys, AND the restaurant gave me free cake for my birthday, so we ate like kings for very little moo-lah (another favorite thing of mine!). Then we vegged like beached whales the rest of the evening. I am convinced that all good Birthdays end this way. But then the celebrating carried into today when we went to my parent's for dinner and had cake, ice cream and presents! They always give me just what I need, which are the presents I love the most- therefore, I got a bunch of little goodies for my sewing box, cookie cooling racks, a handheld sifter and some very cool universal lids. All stuff I had suggested as Christmas presents, but stuff my Mom sneakily remembered for my Birthday. Mom and Dad, you rock! And since Karl and DeAnne pretty much watched the kids all day yesterday while I disappeared and went to dinner, you guys officially rock too :) Not that anyone with a pulse didn't know that already about either of my sets of parents, but just in case I forget to mention it sometimes. And of course all my friends that helped with my party, gave a gift, wished me a happy day on Facebook, etc. You Rock too! Seriously, this whole experience would have been scary and lame without all of you to share it with. So stay tuned, because tomorrow I will share with all of you Experience #1 of my 30 Things I Have Never Done But Want to Try. Hint: It is not giving myself a mohawk.