Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh. My. (Insert panicky-freakout word of choice here).

So I believe I have mentioned of late that I live at the North Pole--or somewhere very close by. Today church was cancelled due to terrible weather conditions and the hazards of traveling. The high for today on my at home thermometer was negative 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Yich. It was usually colder. The high for tomorrow is about 11 below with a wind chill of negative 40--I don't think I'm going visiting teaching like I had previously planned. Anywho, the point is it has been an awful, yucky, nastified day (weather wise).

I wanted to break up the frigid hours with our regular "quiet time" we have every afternoon after lunch. Lou Lou was tucked in her bed and Charming sleeping on the couch downstairs while Buttercup played quietly near by. I myself laid down in my own room to try and get some serious shut-eye. Lou Lou had other plans and so after awhile I sent her downstairs to "play quietly" with her sister. I would never have done this if Charming hadn't been there sleeping in the same room.

After some time went by (long enough for me to feel rested), I heard some commotion downstairs and then a big whap followed by a heartrending wail. I laid in bed thinking, "What in the world is going on to cause such chaos in my absence?" Charming soon came tromping up the stairs and related the following horror:

Buttercup and Lou Lou had somehow pulled a chair up to the counter in the kitchen, gotten into the cupboards and stolen an open bag of chocolate chips (my drug of choice), grabbed an apple and and orange on the way down, and then for good measure swiped a butter knife--all of which they tenderly placed in a basket. Buttercup then put on her shoes (no coat), and took her coatless, shoeless sister down onto the landing by the front door, where she then opened the (almost always dead-bolted) front door. It was as she was struggling with the semi-frozen shut screen door that Charming found her there, where Buttercup frantically explained that she and Lou Lou were going outside to "visit a friend" (hence the picnic basket).

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! What if they had made it outside? What if Charming and I had both continued to sleep through it all? I know for a fact that Buttercup cannot open the door from the outside. My babies could have literally frozen to death within a few minutes just outside my front door. It gives me chills even beginning to contemplate what that would have meant.

Poor Buttercup was tear-streaked and very "woe is me" when I got to her. I think Charming's reaction frightened her a little. But I wanted to make sure this never happened again, and so I explained to her that she could have died. I don't know if that was the right thing to do or not--the poor child is only three and a half years old. When I said the word die she had another breakdown and seemed quite shocked and scared, but at least now she knows the danger and I'm pretty sure (I hope) she won't attempt to trek through the North Pole again.

The drama was followed by a pile of loves and kisses and I believe all is well once more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My lazy version of the annual Christmas card.

So I haven't yet reached that place in my life where I'm so organized and cutsie that I send out a yearly Christmas card--not even one with just the family picture and a "Happy Holidays!" tacked on. I do enjoy the cards and letters my mother gets from old friends and extended family, often with creative updates on each family member. So today I started thinking about what my family Christmas card might say as of this very morning. And so I begin my haphazard off-the-top-of-my-head Broughton family update.

Charming: Very neat and tidy. He not only can't study without his "office" being clean, but he threatens a coronary every time he sees that the neighbor kids have walked through "our nice fresh snow" and left tracks right through the center of the yard! An amazing fix-it-guy, he took apart our entire electric wheat grinder, carefully dusted the caked on flour from it's bowels, fixed whatever had stopped it from turning on, and put it all back together like it was new--all within about a 20 minute period. Does the dishes every night. Continually promises to read Twilight but won't give a deadline. Brings Megs roses just because he loves her.

Megs: Needs something to read. Just finished The Hunger Games at the recommendation of Stephenie Meyer and is still seriously confused by her love/hate relationship with it. Why did the author have to drop that bomb in the last chapter? Why did nobody mention that it was the first book in a trilogy, the next book of which will not be out for a year? Started a local book club just to find more books to read--their still aren't enough. Lives in complete terror of, and still fluttering with excitement thinking of the moment when she discovers she's pregnant.

Buttercup: Drama, drama, drama. Is three too soon for a girl to get her period? Because Buttercup is very PMSy. Weeps in gushes like her heart will break when told that she cannot watch The Berenstein Bear's Christmas Tree for a fourth time this morning. Sobs if her little sister looks at her like she might be thinking mean thoughts. Constantly planning her wedding to "Cornelius" from Thumbelina, from her dress all the way down to what will be served at the reception (Princess gummy snacks anyone?). Has recently been scarred for life when her mother told her she could no longer ask "But WHY?" every thirty seconds about every detail on our blessed green earth.

Lou Lou: Has built a summer home in her time-out corner. Might as well be comfortable when you spend half your life there... Completely knocked over the sacred Broughton family Christmas tree this morning, squishing it's fake branches into odd shapes and leaving half the ornaments on the floor. Thinks she's a "kitty-cat" and meows when being rescued from her crib after naptime. Can speak very clearly, but often uses a high-pitched "eeeeeeeeee" to ask for pretzels and the like. Prefers a dolphin to a teddybear at bedtime.

This was just a glimpse--not an overview of our lives and personalities. I love them all so much. And apparently, despite it all, they love me too!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Let yourself go...

My Aunt Betsy is a hilarious woman who has a bubbly personality that makes you feel comfortable and want to laugh all at once. Over the years I have gathered several silly songs from her, some I'm sure she has made up on the spot and many she has pulled from the "funny file" in her brain. I remember once being on a killer hike with her and we were both complaining that we needed to go potty (at least that's what my good manners call it). She burst out: "I'll be gladder when my bladder is flatter!" Much giggling followed.

There is one song in particular from Aunt Betsy that has stuck with me over the years. It is sung to the tune of Let It Snow, and it seems appropriate today:

Oh the hair on my legs is frightful,
But the warmth is so delightful!
And since I've no place to go,
Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!

It's cold here at the North Pole (that's where I live isn't it? Just lacking elves and reindeer...) and the snow is slowly piling up. I am not in the mood to shave my legs just so I can give myself a razor rash the goose bumps inspired. Nor do I think it necessary to flaunt my legs in 5 degree weather....Charming will understand.

So here's to the fuzzy warmth I intend to retain until next Spring... sometime in May. Will you join me women of the North? Or women anywhere who are cold for that matter? Take a stand and let your legs go.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I beg your pardon...

The other day I was minding my own business when Buttercup announced boldly, "Mama, I don't like your bottom!" I was a little crushed by such a hurtful pronouncement. After all--isn't it important to us all that our children are proud of their mother's assets? (Please know that I'm kidding.) I just responded, "Yeah, me neither", and left it at that.

I naively thought the criticisms were over when later that day Charming came to me looking a little forlorn. "Buttercup told me she doesn't 'like my lips'!"

Harsh.

I let him know I liked his lips plenty, and he in turn assured me that my "bottom" was just fine. (That was not supposed to come out sounding as dirty as it did. There are no innuendos on this blog. But the naughtier side of me likes the wording--too funny!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ill advised "scriptural" quotations

Yesterday morning I was laying around the house being girlsick. Buttercup seemed concerned at my lethargy and asked me if I was "ill". Not wanting to go into the reasons for menstruation (the child won't stop asking "why"--it'll drive a good soul mad), I answered that yes I was, just a little bit. She responded, "Well I am ill too. I think I have a throat coming on." I liked that.

On another (still very silly) note, Charming and I were lately discussing dumb movie quotes. Our two favorites were these:

"Moses, your hair!"

--"Zephora" in The Ten Commandments, when Moses comes down from Mount Sinai. Is that all she can comment on at this defining moment? Then again, who knew that a spiritual experience would cause you to suddenly resemble Santa Claus...

"I am going to love you more than any man has ever loved any woman!"

--"Nephi" in The Book of Mormon Movie. What can I say? It was a really dumb movie. The story focused less on actual scriptural doctrine and story line, and more on stupid embellishments, like this weird line Nephi pronounces to his bride just before he carries her into their bridal tent. Makes you want to clear your throat awkwardly and squirm a little.

I'm sure the real characters in these stories are up in heaven going "I would never have..... I can't believe they put that into a movie!" I feel for them, I really do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ranting and breastfeeding and coming full circle.

I was reading a blog the other day about breastfeeding. The blogger simply stated that she absolutely did not like breastfeeding, but was still committed to it as long as it was working out with her and her child. I started to read through the comments section and believe me when I say that if I would have read every comment it would have taken me and hour and a half. Good gracious people can get opinionated fast! These comments were no-so-much geared towards "well bless you for nursing your children, even though it's not fun"--but more along the lines of "WHAT?!? You don't ENJOY sacrificing your body for the good of your child? WHAT KIND OF MOTHER ARE YOU!" and "SHAME ON THE LAST PERSON WHO POSTED because I disagree with not only everything they said but also everything they think and feel and do and I think they're ugly even though this is the internet and I can't see their picture." The idea of the original post soon was completely lost in the murky waters of breastfeeding vs. formula wars. You'd think that the author of the blog had simply said "Breastfeeding! GO!" and sent the commenters loose.

I have seen more and more of this on facebook and sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I just simply cancelled my account. Lately the craziness has stemmed from posts (and sometimes just status updates) that you'd think had shouted "Prop 8! GO!" And then everybody jumps down everyone else's throats. The same arguments are spouted again and again, and there's always 2 or 3 people that dominate the conversation that have to put down every last word someone opposing them has said. I can't stand the fight, especially when I've heard all the arguments a thousand times. I admit I sometimes give in and state my opinion or my stance--but that's about as far as I like to go. I hate confrontation, and I really do believe that everyone should be treated with respect. What IS it about the internet that turns usually polite people into rude, in-your-face monsters? It must be the seeming anonymity, and the feeling that there is enough distance between you and a virtual person who perhaps doesn't seem real.

Anywho, those are my thoughts for today. And now I would like to publicly state that I have breastfed both of my children. It was painful at first, but I was glad I did it in the end--despite the floppiness that has replaced the perkiness I used to enjoy. Sometimes nursing was fun, and I loved the bonding. Sometimes it was a nightmare because it was 2:30 am and I really needed to go to the potty but I was NURSING so obviously I couldn't. (But that part was also fun because I caught up on a ton of my reading in the wee hours.) And then sometimes it was just aggravating because Buttercup would run away and then come back for more. When that happens you know it's time to stop nursing (at least for me). And so I did. And I didn't feel guilty about giving my child a bottle of formula for a couple of months. But I did feel proud of myself for giving my children the extra nutrition that will be so beneficial to them throughout their lives.

What I'd really like to discuss is nursing in public--but not at length. Okay maybe I'll wait for my next post. And PLEASE, tell me your opinions. I'm sure all five of my readers are very polite and well-articulated folks. I will turn on the comments without fear.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

And there was much rejoicing.

I am a chocoholic. I sometimes think I literally have an addiction--plus the stuff makes me so happy it's like I'm on a high, but after it's all over the low is just--well, very low. Anywho, the point is that I love it, love it, love it! I am always looking for bigger and better things to do with chocolate, and lately I found happiness printed on a magazine page that I promptly tore out and framed on my wall (or something like that). The discovery is called Ghiradelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies, and they are sent straight from heaven who loves me--or from the devil who wants to destroy me--whichever way they are delicious.

And so now I will bless you with my new-found happiness and wish you happy baking (if you are wise enough to follow this blog and trust my chocolate-tasting skills). FYI: This recipe cannot be just made on a whim--the directions are a little different and it will require an hour or two before they are ready to be served. And yes, you must use Ghiradelli brand chocolate chips--quality chocolate!

Ghiradelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies
Yield--2 dozen cookies

1 bag (11.5 oz.) Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 bag (12 oz.) Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup (4 oz.) chopped walnuts


In double boiler over hot water, melt the bittersweet chocolate chips and butter. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick; stir in chocolate mixture. In small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts.

Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into two logs, each 2 inches in diameter and about 8 inches long. As dough will be very soft, use plastic wrap to hold dough in log shape. Wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least one hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap dough; with sharp knife, cut into 3/4 inch slices. Place slices 1 1/2 inches apart on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until shiny crust forms on top but is still soft.

Cool on baking sheet. Enjoy the moment of timeless pleasure. (Not even kidding, that last part was in the recipe.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Drama Queen

Buttercup is a little drama queen. Today while in timeout (a somewhat common occurance) she wailed out loud to herself in pitiful tones in between sobs, "Oh, what shall I do?!" I couldn't help but giggle a little bit. Like mother like daughter...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Despite it all

Today is not looking so good for me. I know I'm a blogging slacker and it makes me feel sad. My body hates me and I'm feeling a bit hormotional. The girlies want attention and seem to think I'm a human jungle gym--they've both been put in timeout more than once today and it's not even 11:00 yet. Also, I'm not happy with the election results from last night and so as an internet surfer I am a bit annoyed at all the online parties taking place (yes, you found me out--I am a republican and I'm not in the mood for that much change, if you get my meaning). I also happen to be in charge of a YW thingy tonight, at which I am expected to give a talk I have thought a lot about and am not prepared for:) The weather outside matches my mood--dark and drizzly. On top of it all, I have recommitted myself to my WW diet and so I can't do the usual wallowing in food (my drug of choice) to up my spirits.

Hmm, I just gave in and ran to the kitchen and broke my diet with some of Buttercup's leftover Halloween candy. Now I feel guilty, but mostly I just want more.

Anywho, some days are better than other days. And I know this day could be worse--but it isn't, and I'm very blessed. Despite being poor students living off of loans, Charming and I are very comfortable and our children are healthy (mostly) and happy. We have two cars that are still running and lots of food storage. (I have to tell you, we just canned 8 more quarts of applesauce yesterday, on top of the other 20 quarts of applesauce and 6 quarts of apple pie filling we did a couple weeks ago. So proud.) We have attentive parents full of love and advice, who call US because it's too expensive for us to call them (we don't have cell phones--they're too expensive:)).

Mostly though, I'm grateful for Charming. I don't think I could have possibly have found a better man to be married to me. The guy works hard all day in school, and then comes home ready to put on his husband and father face and does it with a smile. Instead of criticizing my endless faults, or getting frustrated when I am having down time, he encourages me and lifts me with a joke, or a hug, or just silently taking over whatever it is I've got going on. Occasionally I'll put off making dinner for as long as I can and trudge into the kitchen, only to find that Charming is more than halfway done with the prep himself (he is so smart--he just sees the recipe I left out and gets on it!). On Saturday he shooed me out the door TWICE to go out with friends--as if he hasn't been waiting all week for the chance to play on the weekend. But he stuck himself with babysittng duty and seemed as though he couldn't have imagined a better way to spend the day. I love this man. And apparently he loves me too, he tells me so at least three times a day! And I never tire of hearing it:)

So I guess I will smile today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's not fair!

So this morning Buttercup came running up to me with a sense of urgency, screaming "It's not fair! It's not fair!" These words have become increasingly common as of late in our home, and so (once again) I took the moment to tell her that "we don't say 'it's not fair'", and furthermore usually "It is fair". She then looked at me solemnly and stated "Yucky food is not fair!" Then she ran off.

I couldn't agree with the child more. Except that I really do try hard not to serve Buttercup "yucky food". This can be quite a challenge seeing as how she is three years old. Okay, guilty conscience coming on... I did make pumpkin soup last night and I made her eat it. Charming seemed to like it (but he is very polite), and I thought it was okay. Lou Lou just played in her soup and I figured that was passable. Buttercup on the other hand gave her soup the stinky eye until she was threatened with "no treats after dinner". (I am pretty good at being firm in the food department. The children don't have to eat the food--it's their choice. But they also don't get to choose what's on the menu and there are no "treats" if they don't have a specified number of bites.) She finally got up her nerve and quickly sipped the orange liquid into her mouth--which she promptly gagged on and puked back into her bowl. Needless to say I didn't make her eat any more (the rest of us were obviously done as well). I gave her some candy and we moved on with the evening. It now occurs to me that Buttercup is holding all these incidences close to her heart and someday she will throw them back at me during the wrath of her teenage years (heaven forbid). Lucky me!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

YAY!

So my computer is officially all better. We just gave it a band-aid (a.k.a new hard drive) and all is well. Except for all that important stuff I lost such as well-thought-out journal entries and family pics. Luckily there is hope that some of that can be retrieved in the next little while. I'll keep my fingers crossed--because honestly, I'm not gonna write down Buttercup's birth story again (let alone Lou Lou's--that was a complete nightmare and who wants to relive that!).

So anywho, now I have no good reasons not to be blogging frequently--expect perhaps the two little ones that are my progeny.

Here is my non-deep-but-still-heartfelt-thought-of-the-day: I just love October and the approaching of Halloween and thereafter Thanksgiving with all of it's thanks and giving and pie soon followed by the delights of Christmas which pretty much gives me all my happiness and reason for existing! Take a deep breath and just breathe it in. Even more wonderful now is that Buttercup has finally reached the age of greater comprehension and understanding--meaning that I can reexplore the holidays again through the eyes of my daughter. Nothing could be more magical or exciting. Perhaps it will even be better than the first time around.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Memo

1-After some time of pondering on the idea, I have finally decided that for security purposes, I am changing my family member's names to protect their identities. Wow, that sounds super Alias. Just call me Sydney--naw j/k--I'll still be Megs. But just so that you're not super confused in future posts, my husband is "Charming", my three-year-old is "Buttercup", and the toddler is "Lou Lou". I really didn't want to make this blog private, so this ought to spice it up a bit!

2-I know it's been awhile since I've posted. Crazy enough, I have plenty of things I would love to express to the world wide web, but unfortunately my computer crashed last week. Obviously that can throw a wrench into my blogging efforts and other online pasttimes. Charming has a laptop, but it is usually with him throughout the day; and often when he comes home it is not a convenient time for blogging etc. Please bless this doesn't last too much longer...

3-Buttercup asked me yesterday why George of the Jungle wears leopard panties. Anyone have an answer for that? Please help.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Adventures at WalMart and their deeper meaning.

So continuing on with this whole "to have or not to have" question--I went to the store today (okay so it was Monday and I've been too lazy to blog since then) and had some interesting thoughts. Wal-Mart does not seem to have a very good system for the three-child family. Their kid-friendly carts are not so friendly, they merely seat children (as opposed to the carts with the police car in the front with--count--two buckles). And so I put the little one in the front and the not-so-little-one into the actual cart. She really didn't seem to mind. But seriously--what would I do if I had a third? I couldn't go shopping anymore. There's no way I'm going to ask my three-year-old to just walk and hang on to the cart. I remember doing that as a child and I can assure you it didn't work very well.

Anywho, there is a a story to go with all this wondering and weighing. To keep it short--the older child opened a package of crayons and ripped the paper off the yellow one. The smaller child grabbed a package of hotdogs and bit right through the plastic and then cried when I took it away. And when I thought all was well and we were finally out in the parking lot, the box of 24 tomato sauce cans fell off the bottom of the cart and went rolling all over the pavement in every direction. Never fear--a very nice creepy looking guy with a goatee and a Wal-Mart apron came to my rescue and put it all in my car for me.

My point? Despite what you may think, it is not that it was all too overwhelming and hence a third child is not for me. In fact, when I got in the car and drove away, I was anything but flustered; quite the opposite--I was calm and happy and asking my cute kids what they wanted for lunch when we got home. These seemingly annoying and awful scenes didn't fluster me a bit (well, maybe just a bit at the exact moment I realized they were happening). I don't even think my stress trigger kicked in before I was already doing what was necessary to handle each situation.

Now I'm not over-analyzing, but I think this is a good sign for a potential mother of three (or seven--depending on how cruel my body is to me, and if Jaction will change her mind about the whole "my womb is your womb" thing.) I'll keep you posted. Or maybe not--it's really none of your business, now that I think about it. Just kidding--not in the sense that it's none of your business, but in the reality being that I've posted all my musings on the world wide web for your perusal (much to my husband's chagrin). Okay, I'll stop now.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

To have or not to have? That is the question.

No, I'm not talking about cookies or pizza--although that is also a daily battle. I'm talking about the age old question of the Mormon mother: Is it time to have another baby?

Even as I type this question my 20 month-old is screaming to sit on my lap. And so it brings to mind even more (seemingly) important questions, such as, do I even have any more room on my lap? I have already become a human jungle gym--put to good use every day--hair, legs and arms are constantly being pulled at. And for that matter, do I have enough arms for three kids? I think not. As of my last count five seconds ago, I only have two of those, and so I don't see how that's going to work. Oh, and what if the final total after my next pregnancy isn't three? I just might be fertile enough to conceive triplets or beyond--seriously, I wouldn't be too shocked (just devastated). Okay, so a multiple birth has maybe a low probability, but there are so many other things to consider. Such as my mental/emotional health. It seems to be doing just fine at the moment, but tends to teeter during pregnancy and postpartum. Ugh.

You could always bring mathematics into the matter (not usually too good of an idea, I get confused easily when it comes to numbers). I have a 3 1/2 year-old, and a 20 month-old, so with their spacing it would seem that I am actually a little behind. Truth be told I did that deliberately--it's probably not necessary to have all your kids spaced the exact same amount of time. But I've been thinking lately that it might be best to just shoot them all out quickly--you know, within the next five years or so--and be done with the job. Then I can raise the (cute) little stinkers, and send them all on their merry way while I travel the world in my early 50's! That doesn't sound too calculated does it? But then I'm afraid I could totally mess up that plan by reaching my pre-determined "quota" of children at an early age, and then become alarmingly baby hungry once again. There would be nothing to stop me from making a rash decision (and trust me, I'm making those constantly), such as the excuse that I'm too old to continue birthing children. You can't say that when you're a chipper 32 years old. And so you see, I don't trust myself, and that puts me in a pickle.

I also get sick when I'm pregnant. Alarming sick. I don't want to dwell on it or I may not have any more babies at all.

But you know it just seems like its about that time. The time when your baby's not looking or acting so much like a baby anymore. And my initial repulsive thought of being up all night with a colicky infant is being replaced by visions of an adorable baby (my babies always are), cooing and laughing and cuddling. And the pure joy of bringing life into the world is so irreplaceable. I love being a mother more than anything else I could imagine. I love my children--with the kind of love you'd be willing to die for. So to create that kind of love once again could only be a beautiful, wonderful thing.

Hmm, I always joke that Jaction would make a wonderful surrogate. That would fix the whole sick thing along with all the mental/emotional problems. What are good friends for? (I probably just lost one of mine:P)

What do you think? Mothers and non-mothers alike, join together and give me your feedback. I need ideas, I need gumption, I need a firm mind.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pick a random thought out of my head and let's see what we can come up with.

Last week was a little bit on the rocky side with all of the mind-numbing and no thoughts and such. Luckily this weekend I found some time to center myself and get a grip back on my life. I am feeling much better and am more aware of the world around me. I see more humor in everyday things, my children are more adorable and amusing, and I feel motivated and efficient and happy. (Oh, and my husband is hott, but this is nothing out of the ordinary.) Odd--this is exactly the time of the month when I should be feeling the exact opposite of these things. Truth be told, I almost have too many thoughts running through my head--all very entertaining and amusing and deep--but they won't sit still long enough for me to grab ahold and blog about them.


Hm, except for "Ovaltine", that thought won't go away. I picked up some Ovaltine at the store a couple weeks ago for a Chilean Independence party (totally another story--you'll probably never hear about it), and now I'm hooked. It's chocolately malted deliciousness with the promise of nutrition. And you are encouraged to heat it up and drink it just like hot chocolate. Also, everytime I say the word "Ovaltine", I hear it in my mind just how Frau Blucher pronounces it in her Transylvanian accent in "Young Frankenstein". Here's the how the conversation goes:

Frau Blucher: "Would the doctor care for a brandy before retiring?"

Dr. Frankenstein: "No. Thank you."

FB: "Some varm milk... . perhaps?"

DF: "No... . thank you very much. No thanks."

FB: "Ovaltine?"

DF: "NOTHING! Thank you! I'm a little - tired!"

FB: "Then I vill say... . goodnight."

DF: "Goodnight."

I'm already laughing hysterically. But for your viewing pleasure, you can see it yourself here. Ah, now I am in the mind to go out and rent (or maybe even *gasp* buy) the entire movie--to get myself in the mood for Halloween. That is my kind of scary show. Something you can giggle all the way through, use it for good quotes later, and nothing to be taken too seriously. (I don't do well with horror.)

Huh, now there you go. I hadn't planned on blogging about anything except that my "nothingness phase" was gone. And now you have been blessed with Ovaltine happiness. Use it wisely--or just go get some.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No thoughts. Nothing.

I have reached that place again. I have no thoughts. Nothing entertaining, nothing fun, nothing deep. I find myself starring off into space wondering what to do with myself. I don't even feel like reading--odd. I need something to boost myself, to get the wheels in my mind turning. I can't let myself get lost any deeper in this fog.

Good thing there are a few girly parties planned for this weekend. And also inspiration straight from heaven for women around the world...

That is all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Clothing from the GAP is totally appropriate for senior citizens... within reason

So last night Charming was reading the Ensign right before we went to bed. We really were very tired, so he was attempting the casual-flip-through version of reading--which usually results (at least in my case) in only looking through the articles with a lot of pictures. An article entitled A Time of Harvest, was almost entirely made up of different artist's depictions of the harvest and people doing harvesty things. I was reading my own book, but my interest was peaked when I heard Alex go "Awe... look Meg, it's us!"

I was a little confused. Here's why: It was a painting of a cute old couple sitting at their table praying over their food. Now I have nothing against blessing the food--we do it everyday, and yes, I would venture to say that often Charming and I are cute. But we are not "old". I looked up for an explanation and the conversation continued something like this:

"No it's not... we're not that old."

"But we will be old someday!"

"Obviously I know this, but I would never wear that outfit."

"Well, you wouldn't wear that now, but you will when you're old."

"No, I absolutely refuse to wear silky shirts with large butterflies or bunnies or perfume bottles or whatever printed on them, no matter what my age."

"When you're older you'll change your mind."

"Why should I change my mind? Like my sense of style is just going to disintegrate as I age?!"

"Well I was just saying..."

"I'm not gonna turn sixty, chop off all my hair and get a perm!"

He gave up after that. But seriously, I can't see myself wearing crocheted vests and turtlenecks just because they seem to fit more with my age group. There must be a way to age gracefully, without losing who you are. Obviously it is not appropriate to continue dressing like a teenager; your style should evolve over the decades to suite your age--but I don't feel that the underlying theme should change at all.

I don't know, I can see myself wearing a lot of Eddie Bauer as I reach middle age and... old, age. Really, we have no idea how the elderly will look and behave in fifty years, because those people are now in their twenties, and how they are now experiencing life will affect who they will become as senior citizens. I'm sure our grandparent's grandparent's dressed and possibly acted much differently than they do now. Hmm, maybe grandma buns will be the new hairdo of the rising generation of the future elderly.

I know, super random post. What will you wear when you are "elderly"?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just because I'm a mother doesn't mean I can't rock out to Justin Timberlake.

Tonight in an attempt to entertain the children (and distract them from trying to eat Charming's late evening dinner themselves), I told the girlies we'd have a "dancing party". I flipped through my cd album, thinking to find some generic kiddie music (you know, the kind with Barney type drums, trumpets, and whistles in the background while some nasal voice sings about all the colors of the rainbow etc.), when my eyes paused on a cd I have long ago stopped listening to. Almost immediately my heart rate accelerated as memories flashed through my mind of the distant past and I contemplated the possibilities of the immediate future. I dropped the cd in and pushed play.

And I totally rocked out to N'sync.

I'm not talking about doing the twist or skipping through Ring Around the Rosie with my children. I'm talking about some serious booty-shaking, body-waving, come hither moves that have been sleeping dormant for years. Well tonight my "moves" sat right up out of bed, stretched and yawned, and headed out the door to get a PhD in..... nevermind.

I have never been ashamed to admit that I was an avid N'sync fan back in the day. My zeal for the group and all things teeny-bopper stretched as far as I was physically and legally aloud to go considering my financial situation, teenage status, and moral upbringing. (Just the sheer hottness of Taylor Hanson (from, you know--Hanson), prompted me to break up with a boyfriend because he just didn't "do it for me" the same way Taylor did....) It's hard to believe, but I probably listened to the same eight cd's during a five year period, and nothing else. I wanted nothing more and I was blissfully happy.

I believe deep down in every girl's soul there is a part of her that wants to break free and dance to The Backstreet Boys, or N'sync, or New Kids on the Block, or Donny Osmond--or whatever. Every generation has their celebrity boy toys. Nowadays girls freak out when Zac Efron busts out a note (who wouldn't with that constant, intense stare?), and my mom will break out "the swim", or worse--"the pony" when she hears the Osmonds. For years she has embarrassed me with her unabashed dance moves in her attempt to remember her youth and feel a little crazy and free again. My sisters and I would always cry with dismay to "Oh my gosh stop Mom, what are you DOING?!?!".

It was like a slap in the face tonight when I experienced the exact same thing. I thought I was young enough to still pass as cool when I danced--but to my children I am their mother, despite the fact that I am only twenty-five, and apparently they would like me to retain that title with dignity. Buttercup didn't like it. She said, "No Mama, don't do THAT!" (I think even Alex was a bit chagrined--I noticed how he tried to slyly close all the blinds so that the neighbors wouldn't see...) It was in that moment that I remembered my own mother dancing her heart out, kicking her feet around the room at odd angles to "The Pony", and I felt a stronger kinship with her that ever before. Yes, I still shudder a little when I picture her dancing away in the kitchen (sorry, Mom), but I know now where she's coming from, that she was young once--and still is in a lot of ways.

So bring on the music!!! HRH and Jaction, I know you'd be up for a good dance fest. Call all the girls and we'll move out all the furniture (like we did in college) and invite everyone in the building to stomp it out to Michael Jackson. If that can't be arranged, I'd settle for just my four sisters, in the kitchen and bottling tomatoes as we rock out to High School Musical or whatever. Just make sure it's a hott guy singing. (Or in Michael Jackson's case, a former hott guy.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

And I read on...

I love the feeling of cracking open a new book. I don't necessarily mean a shiny book, fresh from the store, one that hasn't ever been touched before (other than the shelfer's fingers). The kind of experience I am referring to is the opening of a book I have never before read, but I can feel the excitement shiver through my fingers as I begin reading the first lines.

The grand moment surfaces when what first began as curious glancing suddenly becomes voracious pouring as my eyes slide back and forth across the pages. I plunge myself headfirst into a world outside of my own, ready to think and feel and see the thoughts of a newly introduced character--ready to discover the story that lies at my waiting fingertips, itching to turn the pages.

I usually don't surface for hours. I come out of the world of fiction long enough for the necessities--most of them involving children--but mostly my head is in the story, and I have not deserted it for long. If a book of a few hundred pages or less takes more than two, maybe three, days to finish, it is definitely not a book worth reading because it has not made me desperate enough to want to know the ending. This is saying something.

If I could picture any perfect moment for my life--visualize what my heart truly desires from my existence--I would see myself in a pretty little room curled up on a large overstuffed chair (white and pale blue), looking lovely and blissful and serene, reading a book by an open window (probably shaded by a big tree with tweeting birds).

I believe this would be my heaven, my reason now for living my life the best way I know how. I do dishes and laundry and play with my children and make meals and keep up my house and love my life--all culminating in the breathless moment when I can fling myself into a chair and read. It is a luxury many in my place have denied themselves, saying it is too frivolous and time-consuming a pursuit. I agree. And yet I happily read on.....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Naughty naughty

This morning I was doing my best to wake up my girls cheerily by singing songs. I sang the second verse of In the Leafy Tree-Tops:

"In the pretty garden the flowers are nodding..."

Buttercup looked at me with a crinkled nose and furrowed eyebrows. "The flowers are naughty?" I had to laugh. The thought of naughty flowers in the garden and how Buttercup must picture them was pretty hilarious!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Only two things...

I woke up this morning with the determination to awe and inspire the online world with a new post on something deep or witty or at the very least entertaining. Unfortunately for me there are only two subjects in my head that I can think coherently about at the moment:

1--My children won't stop screaming at each other. Despite the plethora of toys located within the immediate vicinity, they seem to always want what the other one has. Lou Lou has an ear-piercing screech that occurs approximately every 1.8 minutes that could wake the dead. Buttercup especially likes the word "NO!", and occasionally will hit her sister. I am trying to remain calm for the good of the overall atmosphere in the home, but "losing it" seems imminent.

2--I'm so sad about Midnight Sun. Please don't mock me, I really might cry. Ever since I heard about Stephenie Meyer's misfortune to have her Midnight Sun manuscript posted all over the internet, I have felt quite blue. I have already admitted how big a fan of the Twilight series I am, and I know that it's silly to let something like this affect me--but yet it does. I seriously debated about reading the legal draft Stephenie Meyer posted on her site--it felt wrong to read it this way, but then again Meyer had stated that she was "putting the book on hold indefinitely". I finally decided to read the manuscript in case this was all that was ever written of Midnight Sun. I finished it yesterday--delighted with the added dimension to the story I love (almost as if I was reading Twilight again for the first time)--and devasted that this was all that there was. I've considered going back and reading the original series again just to appease my refound hunger, but the truth is that after seeing things through Edward's eyes, Bella's point of view just isn't good enough. So what to do now? I know how the story ends..... I'm thinking I'd better stop here before I get too far into my feelings and am teased/mocked etc. again.

Please give me something else to ponder on before I go mad.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Please tell me my writing skills have improved

I was one of those kids who always wrote notes during class to my friends and then dropped them in their lockers in between classes. I can't remember all the nonsense they contained, but I look back at the correspondence fondly.

Today I recieved an email from longtime friend, HRH, who proceeded to type out for me the exact words and spelling of a note I wrote to her in the 9th grade! I figure it was 9th grade because of the subtle Titanic referrences--and I still know who the code name "Mr. Onion", belongs to. And no, I'm not going to tell you who Mr. Onion was.

Enjoy:

HRH, (named changed to protect the innocent)

I decided to write you a note since I am bored. i am now in Advisary and just came from german. It was boring.

Mike Jackson told me that I was basically the whole soprano section today in concert choir. That means that I was wa to loud. Mr. Onion was there! He was going back and forth - I guess he was trying to figure out his schedule. He was looking fine today. Those eyes are so fine. With him around I could give up Leo any day.

I have the song (underlined) in my head. Near... Far... Where ever you are. I'll be missing you around 6th perios. But then I might not because Mr. Onion will be there. i think I'll miss you anyway thought!! :)

Heart/ megan

Monday, July 28, 2008

For Jayni

My 22 year-old sister Jayni is not only my most dedicated reader (she admits she comes straight to this blog automatically when she signs on her computer at work everyday), but probably also my most loyal fan. Having the opportunity to spend extra time with her lately has been fabulous, and I dread going home mostly because I will have to leave her behind.

Jayni and I always have such a blast together--whether we're laughing or just silently doing separate things side by side, we are happy and comfortable and at home there. I don't believe there is a person on this earth who understands who I am and just plain "get's" me, as well as Jayni does. There have been several moments when we have reacted to situations with the exact same facial expression, words, and intonation--and then looked at each other wide-eyed and laughed our heads off. We quote the same movies, sing the same songs, have the same inside jokes, and understand each other's mannerisms and sense of humor better than anyone.

I love her more than I can say. Although she is my little sister, I look up to her more than she could possibly ever know. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone as beautiful, sweet, perservering, courageous, fun, thoughtful and kind as Jayni. I wish I could possess her patience and bravery--but for now, I am satisfied that she is willing to share herself with me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Beehive State

I usually visit a plethora of blogs throughout my week for my own amusement. As I've been busy playing with family in Utah lately, I haven't found time to update my blog--but somehow I have kept up with everyone else's, (as well as all things Twilight). One of my favorite online spots is the domain of The Normal Mormon Husband. If you haven't heard of him, you are missing out on a good chuckle and a knowing nod. A few days ago I read a post of his regarding Utah--why some love it and some hate it. He then asked his readers to respond in kind about their own particular feelings about the Beehive state.

I myself have very strong feelings about Utah--I'm not sure I will be able to adequately express my views in this post, but I'll try my darndest. Having been away from my home state for most of the last year, and then being back in Utah again for the last several weeks, has really got me thinking about Utah's pluses and minuses. So here's my (somewhat) orderly list:

Minuses
  • The traffic here is terrible. I used to hate it when people talked about "Utah drivers", and just assumed it was a way of being whinny about the local traffic. Now I see that Utah drivers are not fun play pals. They are always jealous of you and will do anything to show you that they are better, faster, braver, and smarter. They want to be first in line, and even though they cut in front of you, they sure won't let you in. Either that or they are just really old people who should probably have their license revoked.
  • Everything--malls, grocery stores, gas stations, movie theaters etc.--is far away. It takes a long time to get anywhere, especially when you would prefer to live in Alpine--all tucked away in a little mountain cove.
  • It is getting more and more expensive to live in Utah. Everybody (at least everybody who's a Mormon), wants to live here. The most beautiful places are getting crowded and filled up with either really big and ugly brown stucco homes, or rows and rows of really ugly brown stucco condos/matchstick box houses. If I do someday move back to my hometown, I'll probably have to shell out about a million bucks just to get a decent house.
  • I'm not really sure if this is a minus, but here goes. There are so many LDS people here that it is almost too easy to blend in and become underused and underappreciated. My recent experience outside of Utah has opened my eyes to the importance of individuals in the church. In Utah I feel easily replaced--there's always somebody else in line to jump in if you falter. Whereas in "the mission field" there really is no one to replace you; if you slack off and don't do your job, everybody else is too busy with their two to three other callings to take care of it for you. So even though it is decidedly more easy to live in Utah, it has been much more rewarding for me personally to live outside of it.

Pluses

  • It is so beautiful in Utah. There is nowhere like the Rocky Mountains. I have missed the mountains more than I ever dreamed possible. I love being able to wake up in the morning, go out the door, and hike right up a mountain. It feels as though the glories of nature, and even God, are at your fingers tips. The entire state is packed full of national parks, wildlife, and all different kinds of scenery. There are lakes all around for fishing or playing in, mountains powdered with snow for sledding or skiing on, and down south there are gorgeous red rocks and sand dunes.
  • Utah has four seasons. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn are all distinct time periods with different temperatures and pleasures. Each season is beautiful in it's turn, and never too harsh or unbearable. I am the type of person who needs to have a constant, flowing change in the seasons, and it's handed to me on a silver platter in Utah.
  • BYU. What can I say? I'm an alumnus and my husband enjoys the football games.
  • There are probably about eight temples within a half hour drive of where I live. Not only is it nice to have an array of choice, but it's also nice just to be able to go on a regular basis. Yes, in the land of Bismarck there is a temple, but it isn't open everyday at almost all hours; also, most people in the mission field don't have this advantage.
  • Mormons! For some people this is an obvious minus, but I don't see it that way. I have heard complaints that people become complacent when there are too many LDS folk around them, saying that their children don't have to work as hard for their light to shine and stand up for what they believe in. Others are just weirded out by so many Mormons in one place. My take on that is--if we don't want everyone to be a Mormon then what are we doing missionary work for? And what in the world do you think the celestial kingdom is gonna be like? (Please don't take me wrong here. I am SO not saying that the celestial kingdom is going to represent Utah Valley. Or that there aren't good people who aren't LDS. I'm just defending my land and the people in it.) Sure, there are some complacent folks in Utah that live gospel standards, but they also exist elsewhere. In the mission field, usually these people are reffered to as "inactive", because they don't have as many people helping them to get to church. I love the everyday interraction with my LDS neighbors. Yes, I also enjoy my other neighbors, but you have to admit that you do know your neighbors much better when you're all in the same ward.
  • I love fry sauce.
  • I am hestitant to mention this point, but it is a true plus for me. My family is in Utah--granted, not all of them are here, but the bulk of my relations are here. I know I can make friends wherever I go--this has been proven time and again throughout this last year--but obviously nothing can quite take the place of your family.
  • Utah is my home. This point is possibly even more important to me than the last. Even if everyone I knew left, I still know Utah. I grew up here, became the person I am today right here in Utah. Also, I know the area. I feel quite comfortable and at home.

So there are my thoughts about living in Utah. If you didn't notice I am more pro Utah than con. When Charming and I are done in North Dakota, we'll see if the folks here can scooch over a bit and make some room for us. That being said, I am open to any fabulous offers in the surrounding states--Nevada not included.

How do you feel about Utah?

Monday, July 7, 2008

We're not in North Dakota anymore Todo

Sunday morning I was just in the beginning stages of doing my hair, on the ground floor level bathroom at my grandparent's house. The window was open, and I peeked through it to get a glimpse of the beautiful morning. There, not five feet away from my face, lounged a huge buck (male deer for those of you who aren't....well you should know what that is), starring right into my eyes. I don't pay attention to things like how big it's rack was (although Charming said he saw a five-pointer around here lately; that sounds big), but the words huge beast flitted through my mind. I screamed, and we both jumped. Seriously, the deer literally jumped. I'm sure he's not used to being snuck up on like that. Me neither. He immediately pranced away, as I clung to the towel rack trying not to fall over while my heart slowed. This isn't something that would normally happen in North Dakota--at least it hasn't happened to me. Deer don't usually peek into my bathroom window on Sunday mornings there. (Hello, can a girl get any privacy around here?) Welcome to Utah, Megs.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Truthful Words

I love how little children always speak their minds without thought of other people's feelings or consequence. Apparently the elderly are also allowed the same privilege.

Yesterday evening I sat directly across the table from my grandpa while we ate dinner. I noticed him staring at me intently, and I finally met his gaze head on. He smiled at me and then said to my grandma, "Geri, isn't it wonderful to see Megan? All that round chubbiness in her face is now gone!" I laughed and said, "I'm glad too, Grandpa. " One of the most heartfelt compliments I've ever recieved.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Quick Overview

I have officially arrived in Utah as of Saturday night, after driving all day through North Dakota, Montana, bits of Wyoming (the Yellowstone part), and Idaho. Charming and I listened to Tom Sawyer on cd and were thoroughly entertained for maybe eight hours. I forgot Mark Twain was so hilarious--he completely hits the nail on the head when it comes to naughty ten-year-old boys (I suppose that was Tom Sawyers age?). We laughed a ton and in between boughts of listening tended to the poor little children in the back seat who were continually asking are-we-there-yet, or in Lou Lou's case just trying to wriggle out of her carseat to no avail.

Anywho, the drive wasn't as bad as I thought it might be--probably because I was expecting something hellish. We were finally greeted at our destination like the heros we were and fed well. Sunday was church and to be frank it didn't go well. Both of the children stayed out of the nursery when my hopes were geared in the opposite direction. But then again, we were soon afterwards fed well and all was put to right.

Charming left this morning just a little after six o'clock to his internship in Salt Lake City. I felt like a mother sending her child off to kindergarten--dropped him off at the bus stop and everything, and drove away feeling a little sad, missing him, and hopeing that the other kids would treat him nice. He's going to be gone for around 12 hours a day, so that will be a big adjustment for me.

I have already been thrown into the thick of wedding planning for my sister Sally. There is much excitement and decision making going on, and I'm glad I got here in time to witness it, and maybe have a bit of influence. I am simultaneously typing this post and going through wedding announcements (fonts, colors, etc.) with Sally at the kitchen table. Who knew there could be so many ways of wording an invite?

To sum up, I AM ARRIVED. This is important news for those of you who reside in the vicinity. Please feel free to call me or drop by. Maybe a party is in order..... I guess it just depends on how willing and eager you all are. And for those of you whom I have left behind, or who still live far away--so sad! Also, I'm not sure how often I will be blogging over the next several weeks. It seems that when you are surrounded with interesting people, you discuss all the fun topics and leave nothing else to be vented on your blog. But we'll see, the vacation has just begun.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Too Many Thoughts--Must Organize

I have had so many thoughts going through my mind lately, I thought I had better organize them for my own relief, as well as your viewing pleasure.
  • I need to leave town. It is going to happen soon, but it's like waiting for Christmas. The closer I get to the actual date, the slower time moves and the more anxious I get. Nothing else I do matters until I can get into the car and drive away.
  • Chrismas is exactly six months from today! Can I make a count-down chain yet?
  • Facial hair: disgusting. And I don't just mean on women. I admit I do have one "man hair" that grows on my neck like a disease--I pluck it every two weeks and for special occasions. But yesterday Charming came into the family room while I was minding my own business and shocked me with his new goatee (sp?). (This man can grow a full beard in an afternoon, so arranging one of these on his face is a snap for him.) He wanted to keep growing it out the rest of the week, but I think he knows he won't be getting any snogging done until the thing is gone. I have thought much on this topic since last night, and I have waxed eloquent in my philosophies; but I have come to the conclusion that I should not share my ideas about facial hair--more specifically goatees--in this blog. I would not wish to offend my more hairy readers, so that is all I will say. If however, you desire to know my thoughts on the subject, let me know and we can discuss it over lunch (or whatever).
  • I like my new reading glasses. I think they make me look intellectual and hott all at once. And they help me to see better.
  • My children may be suicidal. They are constantly climbing on natually tipsy things, or running with sharp objects. As of late they have taken up not eating. I don't know what they see in it--if I was going to die by food I would rather go the high cholesterol route rather than starvation.
  • It is impossible to keep a toddler's hair from becoming staticy.
  • We should all be more kind to sweet young girls. And I mean from ages 1-17. Ages 12-15 are the most bumpy years in my opinion, and these are the years for real confidence to be formed. Many a young girl's self-image is fragile and easily destroyed--so if you have the opportunity to encourage and build, please do this--rathering than mocking or belittling. You never know how deeply your comments and criticisms may hurt. Give these girls a chance to prove themselves. They are just starting to spread their wings, and they may surprise you with their abilities.
  • I think I am doing a relatively good job of not thinking about anything "Twilight" as of late. But then again, here I am discussing it in this post, so maybe not.
  • If I could go back to any place in time and live out a fantasy, at this moment I would chose the late 1700's/American Revolutionary War/French Revolution period. This is mainly because their clothes were fantastic and I love the big hair. I'd also like to try some powder in my hair, or maybe a wig. I guess I just want to be Cinderella from Slipper and the Rose. Oh, and it would be fun to see Charming in tight breeches.
  • It's amazing how much a three-year-old can learn from watching tv. The American Academy of Pediatrics has no idea what they're talking about.
  • Apparently spray-on sunscreen makes plastic (and thus those little hair-elasticy thingies) disintegrate.
  • Peanut butter is single-handedly destroying my carefully-crafted diet. There is way too much of it in the house, but I can't throw it out because it is one of the only things that will make the children go off their hunger strike.
  • I would like to say a few things about weddings, marriages, and such--but I cannot. It has all been on my mind so much, but this is not the place for that kind of expression.

Thank you so much for reading my list. It feels good to get it organized so that I can see what may be causing my occasional insanity etc.

That is all.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Over the Rainbow


It was raining pretty good the other day when we were coming out of Walmart. The sun was setting in the west, peeking through the clouds to create a magnificent rainbow. Gasping, I pointed it out to Buttercup, hoping her little eyes could make out a real rainbow--especially when she pictures rainbows to be like the ones on Care Bears. Buttercup stopped what she was doing and stared intently for a moment. Then she turned to me with wide eyes and implored, "Mama, can I slide down it?" I wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time. It was so cute that she believed it possible to slide down a rainbow, and completely awful that I had to destroy her precious-little-girl-fantasy. I gave her a kiss and explained that "Only Care Bears can slide down rainbows, but aren't we lucky that Heavenly Father made one for us to look at today?" She smiled and took it like a woman.

I love my children. Part of me wishes that they would completely stop growing and stay small and innocent just like this forever.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ode to Mornings

The last few days I've decided to try getting up early again (early as in 7 am). I used to have an entire routine down, then I just became lazy and would sleep until the girlies woke me up. My morning routine can be long and drawn out; often I have woken in the morning with dread at the start of another day. It just seems like too much--too much of the same thing that takes way too long to accomplish. (I know this is a terrible frame of mind, and it comes and goes--depending on what time of the month it is, if you get my drift....)

So anywho, I decided it was time to buck up and be a woman and rise with the sun, or at least at the time the sun would normally rise in the fall/winter. Of course this ended up being a fantastic decision, because once you actually drag yourself out of bed you find that mornings are lovely, pleasant, quiet, with birds tweeting, and all that sort of thing. I discovered that in the hour I had to myself before the children woke up, I could get so much more done on my routine list (some of it much more meaningfully--like prayer and scripture study). The awful morning obstacles I had to overcome became hardly a thought, such as my daily workout, showering, folding a load of laundry, and making my bed, etc. I know, you're all out there going, "Geesh Megs, what's the big deal?" These things aren't difficult right? Of course not, not when you don't have any children. But when you have two needy, hungry, fussy children following you around, getting the little things done is like running a marathon. Nix the children and all is bliss.

When the girlies woke up the bliss continued. Everyone was cheery and I had a lot less on my mind. I noticed how sweet and precious my children were. I've got to keep this whole morning thing up--it's turning into quite a success.

All you stay-at-home-moms out there, what do you do that makes your day run smoothly? Or are you just a lot less OCD than I am about having a check list?

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Power of Words (notice that this title is very clear about the subject and has nothing whatsoever to do with booby-dazzlers....)

More and more lately I have been surprised at how what I say affects people. I feel that I have learned a few lessons recently--lessons I suppose I've had to learn over and over again throughout my life:

(1) A simple compliment can be the beginning of a real friendship.
(2) A few negatively charged comments can cloud the mood of a conversation.
(3) Observations made in passing can cause people to change their direction.
(4) Words that come out of my mouth have a huge affect on my own disposition--whether it be for good or bad.

I have always had a problem with saying too much--it is something I hope and believe that I am getting better at as the years go by--thinking before I speak. It doesn't take entire speeches to brighten someone's day, to hurt their feelings, or even to change the course of their lives. Just a few words will do the trick. So in my quest to become a better person, the person I yearn to be, I am recommitting to using my power of speech more thoughtfully, more carefully, and with more love. I want to be the kind of person that other people are drawn to--not because I'm particularly cool or funny--but because they feel comfortable and at home with me, they feel safe enough to share themselves with me, and they know that they will leave my presence a little more lifted than before. I try to surround myself with people like that--don't we all?

Some people are unsure of themselves and are easily persuadable. Persuasion has been one of the powers that I have felt thrust upon me lately. If you are in the same boat, let me caution you--think first before you persuade. Do not take this power lightly, because sometimes once your "persuasion" has been accomplished, it cannot be undone. Think on that.

One of the most gloriously lifting things in my life is the simple pronouncement of "I love you, Mama, this much!", often spoken daily by my three-year-old daughter. When I hear those words and see the truth of them in her smile, I feel whole.

That is all.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Just in Case

Charming has seemed a bit tense lately. It feels as if he is ready to spring at any moment, worried about some danger, or maybe attempting to protect himself. I noted this the the other night when I was in bed reading, he asleep right beside me--I merely turned the page of my book and he sat straight up, wide-eyed, sputtering "What, huh? Huh?". I told him to go back to sleep in a soothing voice (attempting to cover my chuckle).

This is not the only incident that has left me worried. There have recently been two or three episodes where we've been asleep, Charming with his arm around me, and he has suddenly tensed up and began choking me. I am not even kidding. I had to throw him off me (no small feat). The second time it occured he got a talking to. Can you blame me? Who wants to wake up to find your husband strangling you?

Now the real question is: Was Charming really sleeping or was he really trying to kill me? All this jumpiness has me a tad concerned. Is this all part of his master plan?

So, in case I die unexpectedly (or somewhat suspiciously) within the next few weeks, you'll know what happened.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Get Your Rotten Tomatoes Ready

So one of my callings at church is to be the ward chorister--that's the one where you stand up in front of the congregation three to four times every Sunday and wave your arms around like you know something about music. I don't mind this calling much. Usually the hymns are easy and the congregation sings along with the songs they've known all their lives. From my position up in front, I've noticed that most people never even bother to look at me. (Do they care that I'm cutting them off, or trying to speed up the song? Of course not.) So in other words this calling is relatively low-key and pretty breezy every Sunday.

Unfortunately this Sunday was not so breezy. (Those of you in my ward will nod and smirk enthusiastically. Yes, I know you're out there and you read this blog:)) Recently our chapel has undergone rennovations and our ward has started meeting in an office building on the other side of town. We've lost a lot of perks in the process, and that includes the grand organ one usually finds in a nice LDS chapel. Instead we have an electronic keyboard--you know, the kind that will do a drum beat while you play a sonata, etc. So today after meandering up to the front of the room and preparing for the hymn, you may imagine my surprise when instead of an organ, or even nice electronic piano sounds, the musical instrument sounded like chimes. And that wasn't even the worst of it--somehow the keyboard was managing to transpose the entire hymn into an entirely different key about five notes higher than the orginal score.

It was far too late to remedy the problem, but being the professional that I am (smirk), I worked at keeping my face solemn and intent on the hymn. (I do admit the pianist and I exchanged a few wise glances.) The notes climbed higher and higher and as I listened, I realized that I was probably the only person in the entire building who was singing the high notes--probably topping off at a high G (not even kidding). Half the congregation wasn't even singing--refusing to, I should say, and the rest of them were either singing very quiet or singing an octave lower. The story never gets better. We continued to sing hymns throughout the meeting (we even had to sing a blasted "rest hymn"), and even though a sister tried to discreetly fix the keyboard in between songs, the problem remained. The disastrous meeting culminated in the longest, slowest song (Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd, if you're curious), sung, of course, about five or six notes too high. I swear only the dogs could hear me when I was done. And I will admit to lip-synching some of the higher notes.

Of course right after the meeting, a Mia Maid skipped right up, flicked a button, and completely fixed the whole problem. Couldn't you have thought of that a little earlier sweetie? I would categorize this as one of my most embarrassing moments, but I refuse to give in to that. It wasn't my fault that the keyboard was screwy--right? Nobody would mock me for trying to sing the notes I was supposed to.....right? But still, I just got the feeling that most everyone was looking at me and thinking, "What an idiot." Maybe I'll just show them and transpose the notes down next week and turn on the police siren sounds.......

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Booby Dazzler Defined

I have been receiving feedback that the title of my last post was misleading to my readers (I say that like I am writing for the New York Times). Apparently the term "Booby-Dazzler" wet the appetites for a complete discussion on what booby-dazzlers are, the actuality of their existence, and why my husband only wants one of them. I apologize if I was inadvertently deceptive--I tend to title my posts after I have typed it all out, and often I do not go for the obvious. When my readers were hoping for a breakdown on this seemingly lively topic, instead you were blasted with my woes of sick children and laundry. Again, I apologize.

The term booby-dazzler is not one you will find in the dictionary, and I would highly advise against googling it--I don't want to be responsible for whatever happens there. The word has made its way into my vocabulary trickling down through the generations from my Grandmother, who to this day, frequently uses the word. Instead of defining it myself, I went straight to a more knowledgeable source: my mother. Here is her definition:

Booby-Dazzler: "So amazing, so extraordinarily conspicuous; the ultimate in whatever commodity. Usually a sandwich."

So, although the term begins as an adjective, it has become so descriptive that it can be used as a noun. So instead of saying "What a booby-dazzler sandwich!", you might instead reflect "This sandwich is a real booby-dazzler!"

I would like to take this opportunity to add that my Grandmother's homemade "Spudnuts" (aka. mouthwatering doughnuts), are also commonly referred to as booby-dazzlers. That is all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

All my husband wants is a "Booby Dazzler"

It's been a long and crazy week. I seriously think that I have had something going on every night for the last seven or eight days. And just when you are excited for things to slow down a bit (so that you can blog, cross-stitch, sleep, read, whatever....)? Your children become ill. Yes, that is the sound of a million mothers nodding knowingly, or at least three. I think my children have been noticeably sick--and I mean beyond the basic comes-with-the-kid runny nose--at least once a month this entire year. Good heavens, I took Lou Lou in for a CAT scan last month; just the fact that I even took my children to the doctor today is a shocking blow. But when your child has a temperature of 103.8 degrees, it's time to take her to the doctor. Oh, and on top of all this madness, I'm having my period--yich. Can a woman catch a break? All I ask of the universe is that I be allowed to fulfill my domestic duties without interruption, and then be permitted a few minutes of peace.

The main evidences of the reigning chaos are found in my lack of domestic upkeep. Not physical upkeep mind you--I am a firm believer in doing hair and makeup every morning. And then getting dressed. I have found that if I do not do these things, I feel like a schmuck, my self-esteem goes down, I get depressed, yada-yada and nothing gets done. When I get my "work suit" on, all is bright and cheery. You know something is seriously wrong with Megs if she hasn't even showered. I do believe the only time this phenomenon has ever occured was during each of my pregancies--hellish times I wish to put behind me forever. (And yet I still see them looming in my future.)

Anywho, back to the topic: Domestic upkeep has been lagging around the house. This domestic upkeep is much less important to me than my personal upkeep, but it still has bearing on my overall happiness. To be sure, I am not one who goes around with bleach and a toothbrush cleaning my house every week (my mother might be a little chagrined at how often I dust), but I do take pride in keeping my home tidy and all spaces clutter-free. This last week of chaos has not afforded me my usually nice home; instead there have been clean clothes left all over my bed (from trying on in the morning), clean clothes all over the floor (from the laundry I never folded), clean dishrags and towels and such (from more laundry) on the living room couch, and then just a huge pile of dirty laundry in the girl's room and next to the dryer. Hmmm, I guess it would be safe to say that when I let something go, it would be the laundry. Also, I have forgone grocery shopping and bread-baking. It is possible to survive for some time at my house without ever going to the store, though I wouldn't recommend it for those who enjoy dairy, fruit & veggies, and any kind of meat.

Usually I make bread once a week. My mother got me started on making this delicious whole-wheat bread made straight from the wheat in my food storage. At first I did it for fun, and then out of necessity--I couldn't possibly go back to that yucky store-bought bread for anything. Needless to say, my husband has become addicted as well, as he often makes himself very large booby-dazzlers (calm down, its a sandwich, nothing too scandelous), practically everyday for lunch out of my delicious bread. Unfortunately, the nutty atmosphere of the last week put a stop to the bread production, and we were clean out for three days before I broke down and made a few loaves today. The children were very sad. So was booby-dazzler-free-Charming.

Tonight after the girlies were put to bed, I gave in and went to the store. Not having any dishwasher detergent will do that to you.......... Anywho, when I arrived home with my goods, I was proud of my accomplishments. I was a woman who not only showered and readied herself for the day, but also had bathed and dressed the children, washed the dishes (by hand--no detergent!), baked bread, made three meals and cleaned them up (along with the meal-eaters), took two sick and doctor-phobia-afflicted children to the doctor, tidied the house, and went grocery-shopping. The fridge was full--I asked Charming if he was happy. His reply? "I'm just glad you made more bread." Huh. I'm glad I could do a little something for him every once in awhile (besides birth his children and run his home).

Now if I can just keep Lou Lou's temperature down below 100 degrees, I'll be free sailing for another week--when we run out of bread. Oh, and let's hope the Buttercup remains fever-free. She's much more entertaining when she's healthy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Modern Art?

Buttercup is a creative soul. I have no idea which direction her creativity will venture, but her creations have made me wonder. I've already introduced her dress-up skills to the world, and of course the kid has some interesting ideas for play-doe (other than the usual "snake" or "worm"), and she also spends much of her time building "towers" out of blocks, books, and the like. These are not the things that make me pause and wonder where her future is headed.
Today as I got out of the shower, Buttercup practically pounced on me to come see her newest creation. She was so insistent that I had to go dripping wet in my towel to the living room to see the masterpiece. Apparently she had gotten into the utensil do-dad drawer in the kitchen and built some sort of modern art structure. These designs have become common occurences, along with Ella's little stashes of "treasures" that she gathers from around the house, and stores in special places. Today I took a picture to record the ever-too-fleeting moment (Lou Lou was on her way, carving a path of destruction).

This first picture is Buttercup's "tower" of the day. It consists of some kind of butter container balanced on the squeezer-thingy from a medicine dropper, with a measuring spoon balanced a top of that. Standing as pillars to her genius are the remains of two other medicine droppers. Hope nobody gets sick anytime soon.......

The second picture is just silly. Buttercup had these two baskets (along with their plunder), hidden under a dish towel, which she lifted reverently for me to see. Her treasures range from things that are harmless toys (such as the shoes and refrigerator magnets pictured here), to my very own jewelry she has snuck from my room.

I wonder what these tinkerings mean. Charming tinkers a lot too--but he gets that out of his system with cars. Does this mean Buttercup is going to be a mechanic? Please say you think she's going to be a world renouned architect.... What do you think?
Disclaimer: Buttercup dresses herself when we are not leaving the house. Do not judge me for her fashion choices.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Jog Blog

This last year has been a changing one in several ways. I've adjusted to having two children rather than just the one. I've worried and celebrated and then worried again when we prayed Charming would get into a Physical Therapy School, and then when he was accepted, and then when we realized we were moving to North Dakota. I've dealt with some heavy emotional and minor medical issues. Right here I was about to trump this entire list by stating: "But the biggest thing of all...", but I don't think that either having a child or moving can be trumped that easily. Nevertheless, today I am feeling vain and would like to state that my favorite life-changing thing about this last year is my body.

Yes, that's right. My body. I don't say that to sound sensual--my body is anything but that. I say it because my body has become functional, and there's nothing more fabulous than a body that works for you.

I was never the athletic type and would rather have washed my mother's baseboards than play baseball--let alone run the "fun run" (a sick term the PE department from my school came up to enthuse the students into running their weekly mile in class). I wasn't chubby, nor was I slim--just your average girl who wanted to be skinnier. Still, I felt I had a handle on things and didn't think I was out of shape.

And then my shape changed. Two babies later and I had gained enough weight to equal the equivalent of both of their current bodyweights plus a sack of flour or two. Obviously I didn't like the way I looked, and even more hated the way I felt: in my clothes, sitting, standing, breathing etc. I was plain uncomfortable and I knew that had to change. My mother tells me this is where my strengths lie--in seeing a problem and using all I have to fix it. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and that I would want to quit several times over, but I was angry with myself for letting myself go that far.

I turned my frustration into determination. I signed up for Weight Watchers Online and made an exercise goal for each week. I got rid of my excuses and decided I wanted to be in shape more than anything else. I worked SO hard. I watched as the pounds slowly melted off as the weeks went by. I was shocked as the months passed and found myself buying workout equipment--an aerobic step, a stability ball, and small weights. I found my endurance level rising, my heavy breathing becoming calmer during my workouts, stairs were no longer a problem--and best of all, I could run around the yard with my children without exerting myself or pausing for breath. Yes, I lost a lot of weight. That's been wonderful and worth it for my self-esteem and my wardrobe. But even better is that I feel good. I have never been healthier in my life--never, not even in my teenage years.

So this morning I decided to do something I have never done before--something I never dreamed I would voluntarily do. I went jogging. Yup. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous. I knew I was in better shape than I've ever been, but that doesn't mean I'm in "great shape" by anybody's standards but my own. Even so, I began with a warmup and then headed out. It was exhilarating, moving under the speed of my own feet. It was overcast and there was a slight breeze, just right for a jog. I probably went for a 1/3 of a mile and then had to slow down to a walk. After a bit I bumped it back up again and went around the block a couple times. It was short, and kicked my trash, but it was a jog and I did it! Something I never thought I would or could do. For me this is the biggest milestone yet.

I intend to keep my new regimen up--short workouts five days a week and making small changes in my diet. That part is simple enough for me now, and worth the pain (yes, I still hate working out most days). Now, if I could only find a way to avoid future pregnancy weight gain. Surrogate, anyone?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Be Nice to the Knights

Often when reading other friend's blogs, I check their links to see if there are any other interesting blogs for my perusal. Sometimes I read blogs of people I knew from way-back-when, who have no idea that I am peering into their lives. Does this make me a creepy-stocker-person, or just a really bored housewife? Don't answer that.

Anywho, today when I was going over said blogs, I came across a blog of a girl I pretty much only knew through other friends in highschool. She was more of a friend-of-a-friend type of friend. Get it? Moving on. Surprisingly enough, this "friend" was thinking of writing a story based soley on her own highschool--mine as well--and then went on to critique all the cliques and social niches of the students.

Now I went to this highschool, and I understand the rolling-of-eyes when you think of some individuals or groups, but I was really shocked at the bitterness behind the groupings. There was not one "group" or "clique" or whatever that she had anything nice to say about, and instead turned all of the students into shallow-minded, self-centered, materialistic beings. Or, if they weren't on the high end of the social ladder, they were sent to the bottom because they were "smart".

This got my end up, mainly because I have been sick and tired of defending my school from those that would lump the school together in one big group of materialistic jerks. Forgive me for being forthright, but I do not remember it that way at all. (And no, I was never one of the "popular" crowd, so that doesn't make me biased). Instead, I remember the majority of the students in my school being friendly, hardworking, and smart.

Yes, there were always a few individuals who didn't fit the norm. There were some jerks who thought they were better because they drove a sports car to school, and there were a few snotty girls who wore too much makeup--but overall this was not the case. I saw people of all groups (drama, band, sports, dancing, debate, physics club, etc.), move pretty freely through crowds and intermingling with everyone around them. But alas, no matter how often I have expressed this view to the common skeptic, the rude-self-absorbed-rich-highschooler stereotype over shadows the relieving truth: Most of the kids at Lone Peak High School (class of 2001) were friendly. If you think otherwise, I wonder if you were not so friendly, or perhaps just insecure? I know that in highschool I oozed insecurity, but I didn't classify the masses as cliquey kids who were trying too hard.

Now, I am not so big-headed as to think that my blog will be graced by said friend-of-a-friend's presence. She will most likely never read this post, or see how I have defended my school's honor. Call me a coward if you will, but I thought it would be rude and in-your-face to post a comment on her blog. I don't want any enemies--I want us all to be friends.

I want us all to be a little more forgiving of the people who bugged us in highschool. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that teenagers in general suffer occasionally from insecurity and trying to find who they are. Probably a lot of the behavior we saw was an outward shell of the person underneath. I hope I will be granted the benefit of the doubt in my case. In all seriousness, I literally blush when I think of how awkward my teenage years were for me. The immediate outward appearance did not scratch the surface of who I was then, and is worlds away from who I am now.

Go Knights!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Snow, Girl's Night Out, and other such Nonsense

It has been awhile--at least awhile for me--since I have blogged. Five days have gone by and I have felt no strong revelation on any important subject to express my opinion on. Thus we encounter the daily life of a "stay-at-home-mom". I try to look for things to blog about that I would usually discuss with an adult friend, had they been standing next to me, eager and ready to listen throughout my day; but lately I haven't felt that pull of interest towards any specific topic. Although I must say my sister Sally's not-so-official-engagement (sorry if I spoiled something Sally--I have to find amusement somewhere), and the drama surrounding the topic of wedding planning and the hovering return of her ex-boyfriend from his mission in three weeks has been tempting me a bit. But that's not my story to tell--is it?

Anywho, I've come to the conclusion that my daily life with my children can also be amusing at times, and so it may be fun to share. Last Friday Charming went on a father's and son's outing. Yes I know, he is not the father to a son, or the son to a father that lives within the vicinity of 1,000 miles--but still he went for the male bonding and the inevitable delicious breakfast he would never have gotten at home. Buttercup was shocked to see him leave on a Friday night, and her eyes filled with tears as her lip trembled when he answered that she couldn't go with him. I saw the dilemma and immediately organized a girl's night out for me and......the girls!

In honor of Buttercup we watched Ella Enchanted, a movie she had never before viewed, but was impressed with all the same because their was a princess (named ELLA!) and a handsome prince who fell in love etc. etc. I broke out the nail polish, which interested Lou Lou to the utmost. I painted both pairs of toesies a soft pink which Buttercup chose immediately upon viewing the choices. The main trick was not just to paint the excited, wiggly little toes, but to get them to dry without being destroyed. In the end, neither set turned out perfectly, but well enough for the "under 4" set. Needless to say, the evening went well and the girls were happy. I tried to take pictures to document the occasion, but I must say they do not do the party justice.

The best joke of the whole thing was that I woke in the morning to snow on the ground--Charming was out there somewhere in a tent! And yet the snow continued. And it was May. Despite my frustration at Spring's slow approach, I put on my happy face and my Christmas music! Nothing like a little holiday cheer in May to help you enjoy the snow.

Another little tidbit I thought was funny enough for the world wide web: Tonight at dinner was frustrating because it was the same as all the other nights at dinner--which includes Charming and me eating our (delicious) meal, and Buttercup and Lou Lou doing all sorts of things but not eating theirs. When dinner is over, and Charming and I are clearing away the remains, Buttercup and Lou Lou begin to complain that they are hungry and want to eat this or that. (Well, Lou Lou more or less squaks about it, but I know what she means). When this happened tonight and we were trying to coax (real) food into the children, I complained to
Charming about the whole situation. I said they needed to eat when we eat and eat what we eat--and that I was tired of feeding them. Buttercup was listening closely to this exchange and exclaimed with worry in her brow, "But Mama! You have to feed us!" Much laughter followed. I reassured Charming not to worry, the only person starving her is herself.

Oh, and just for your viewing pleasure, here are some cute pictures of my darlings being Tinker Bell. We have a plethora of Tinker Bell costumes coming in steadily from a generous donor.