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.