Monthly Archives: May 2008


Sean just called me a little bit ago. The digital camera he has at his office isn’t working.


OK, no, I don’t usually celebrate things like that. But, the thing is, he has to have a digital camera. He has to keep pictures of every house he writes insurance for on file. So he has to replace the broken one. Quickly. And, well, I’ve never been overly fond of my current camera…

Starting to understand?

He has offered to take my wimpy five megapixel camera with a crappy close-up macro and buy me a new, upgraded camera!

So, I need to figure out what I want. That’s where you all come in. Can anyone suggest a good camera? Here are my wants/needs:

  • Not overly expensive. There, I said it. We’re not made of money. We are planning a trip to Disney next month, so it isn’t exactly the best time to go blowing any more money. So I need to stay on the reasonable side of things. That being said…
  • I’d like to get in the eight megapixel or above category.
  • I’d like to be able to take close-up pictures that don’t look like these.
  • The ability to take decent video clips with audio is a must.
  • Probably a given, but it needs an expansion slot for an SD card.

So, any recommendations? Even if you don’t have a specific camera to recommend, do you have a good place to buy from? I am not averse to buying a reconditioned camera, as long as it has a good warranty on it.



Filed under Uncategorized

Chinese Water Torture

A week or two ago, Sean and the kids decided to fly kites. I wasn’t home at the time, but I’m assuming that they got some real height going. Why? Well, because C’s Elmo kite is now stuck up in Grandma and Grandpa’s tree. Near the top. Higher than anyone can get without the assistance of a fireman’s ladder. Elmo will not be coming down for a very long time.

And until that day comes, I’m gonna hear about it.

Seriously, I think that I have heard “Elmo not coming down,” or some variation of that phrase, at least once for every hour that C~ has been awake since “Elmo stuck.” It is enough to drive a momma to tree arson just to eliminate the constant red, furry reminder.


I was the only persona in my Biggest Loser group to show up for our training session last night. It seems that three out of our group of five have pretty much checked out for good. But the other girl is usually there with me. I really do like her, but I also really like being the only person. She is at a completely different fitness level than I am (don’t get me wrong–she works her butt off), so it is great to get one-on-one attention with the trainer where everything is done to really work me.

He had me doing all kinds of crazy stuff last night (Step-ups with six risers under the step? Sure! Why not?), with very little rest during the workout. Needless to say, I’m feeling it some today.

There is no question that my muscle tone has really improved since I started working out with the trainer. I just wish that the numbers on the scale would reflect it a bit more. I know that I’m replacing some of the weight from fat with weight from additional muscle (blah, blah, blah…), but I’d still like to see those numbers coming down faster.


I finished the book I have been reading–Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Macguire. This is the third book I have read by him. I love the fractured fairytale genre. I love how intelligently he writes. I hate that he throws in some really unnecessary language and sex scenes (When you barely use swearing in your writing, then drop an f-bomb, you’re just doing it for the shock value of that word, not for any semi-legitimate reason. Ditto for sex scenes that don’t further the plot). So anyhow, not really anything worse than I read in my literature classes at the very religious university I attended, but still nothing that I would ever recommend for, oh, say, a church book club.

So anyhow, that leads me to the big question…

Does the title of this post refer the the Elmo questions, or my sister’s constant verbalization of her vampire fantasies?

Oh, wait, that’s not it.

Is it time for me to blow the eight bucks and buy Twilight?

Of course, I only have to ask this question because being an obsessive fan of the book apparently requires having both the hardbound and paperback versions in your possession instead of, say, leaving one behind for your sister to read for free. Hurmph!

So, anyhow, I guess I’m going to get the book when I stop to buy OJ and diaper wipes this evening.

I’m not sure how I feel about even approaching this book. After all of the build-up about how I shouldn’t read it unless I’m using birth control, I just fail to see how it will live up to the hype. Of course, I just can’t imagine getting that worked into a lather over a teenager.

Yes, yes, Elaine. I know. He isn’t really a teenager. He’s over 100-years-old. Fine. Have it your way. I can’t see getting that worked up over a dirty old man with a thing for little girls.

So, anyhow. Time to read Twilight. I’ll let you know what I think. Or you can just mark your calendars and see where things stand in nine months.


Filed under Daily Life, Healthy Living, Just for Fun, Kids

Probably More Than You Wanted to Know…

Brown tagged me for a meme. I have to admit, though, this one is full of the kinds of questions that I am awful at answering. Favorites? I’ve never even been able to commit to a favorite color. But here’s the best I’ve got:

Favorite Person Outside Family: (Shoot, stumped already…) I don’t know what this says about me, but I’m not a BFF kind of a person. I have a lot of friends, but no one that I really hang out with outside of my family. I don’t keep in contact with any of my old college roommates (even the one that I grew up with). I maybe talk to my friends that I’ve known since kindergarten a few times a year.

And now you are all wondering if I wear a hoodie and sunglasses and write creepy letters from some shack in a forest…

Quirks about me: Aside from my apparent inability to maintain deep, personal relationships outside of family? (Really, those who know me in real life know that I’m not some social hermit.) Hmmm…My plates and bowls need to be put away a certain way. If someone else unloads the dishwasher (incorrectly–always), I have to rearrange them or it drives me nuts. I broke myself of doing the same thing with making the bed because I think it was hurting Sean’s feelings (as in, “why bother?”).

How would the person who loves you most describe you in 10 words or less: Loyal, loving, committed, intelligent, good sense of humor, cautious, (if anyone knows a word for “gets into things, then gets into other things” that doesn’t have the negative connotation that “flighty” does, that would be his final contribution…)

(Incidentally, I’m not the only one who sucks at these kinds of questions. I asked Sean to describe me in 10 words or less and he became flustered, saying he would need time to think and paper to write on. Huh? For pete’s sake, just throw some words out there! At least it only took three adjectives before I stopped sounding like a lap dog.)

Any regrets in life: I had considered changing my major to food science and nutrition my freshman year, but chickened out because I was afraid that I couldn’t hack the math and biology aspects. I totally could have done it. I regret not showing myself what I was capable of instead of sticking with what was comfortable.

Favorite charity/cause: My church. They do tremendous service all over the world, and they tend to do it very quietly.

Favorite Blog recently: Oh, come on, I can’t pick just one. I love you all!

Something you can’t get enough of: Sleep.

Worst job I ever had: My freshman year of college, I worked in the kitchen at the LDS Missionary Training Center. They had three HUGE garbage disposals (big enough to stand in). All of the leftovers would be ground up, mixed with water, then ran into an even larger machine that squeezed the water out and turned the nasty pulp into mulch for the flower beds.

My job was to clean all four machines.

I would go home covered in ground-up food. It (and by “it” I mean “I”) reeked. I would have to head straight to the shower.

Worst job you would pay NOT to have: Um, see above.

Favorite bible verse: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

That one saved me from a nervous breakdown or two during my college years.

Guilty pleasure: Mmmmm….Marshmallow Fluff. I don’t do it so much anymore, but I used to buy it and just eat big spoonfuls from the jar for a snack.

Got any confessions: Sure I do. But I’m not sharing. My mother reads this (and she would be horrified if I told you anything negative).

If you HAD to spend $1000 on yourself, how would you spend it? Probably on clothes. Or books! Or wandering through a fabric/craft store.

Favorite thing about your house: My backyard.

back yard2

Need I say more?

Least favorite thing about your house: The layout is very closed. I like the more open layouts of newer houses.

One thing you are good at: I sing well.

One thing you would change about your circumstances: My husband is an insurance agent, so he gets paid on commission. That means I never know what the next month holds with a great amount of certainty. I’d enjoy not having to wonder if the next month will be good, bad, or average.

Who would you like to meet some day?: My great-grandchildren.

What makes you feel sexy: Oh, come on! I’m not quite three months out from having a baby. I can tell you what doesn’t make me feel sexy (stretched out tummy, spit-up on my clothes, not being able to fit into pre-pregnancy jeans), but I’m having a bit of trouble with sexy at the moment. Although the Aerosmith song “Crazy” has a strangely (as in, no identifiable reason for it)  hormone-inducing feel to it for me.

Who is your real life hero?: I’ve never been able to truthfully answer this question. I’m not really into the hero thing.

What is the hardest part about your job?: The hardest part of being a stay-at-home mom? Aside from no time off? The fact that I really had to give up a lot of myself to do it. Despite what a lot of people seem to think, giving up having a job to be a mother is tough. It is easier to see what you are accomplishing with a job. You tend to get a whole lot more praise with a job. And you can leave your job at the office. But being a mother? Yeah, not so much.

When are you most relaxed?: When the kids are in bed and I’m vegging in front of the tv or with a good book.

When are you most stressed?: When I have to depend on someone else and they don’t come through. (Basically, when I don’t have control over a situation.)

What can you not live without?: My cell phone. I’m just sure I will meet with great peril if I accidentally leave it at home.

Do you agree or disagree about the recent article that reported blogs are authored by narcissists: Some are, some aren’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if many blog authors have higher self-esteem, since writing in such an open forum could mean you assume that people care about what you have to say.

Of course, on the other side of the argument, I think a lot of blog authors use it as a form of self-therapy.

Why do you blog?: To keep a record of my life. To feel like I’m having adult conversations, even if I’m sort of talking to myself…

Who are you tagging?:
1. Answer the questions
2. Link back to whoever tagged you
3. Tag eight bloggers to do the same, 2 from each category.
New/ newer bloggers (since we want to share the love and send them traffic)

Nicole, Lilola

Bloggy friends

Jill, Cindy

Bloggers you’d like to get to know better

glittersmama (not that I don’t already know you…), Melody

Bloggers you don’t think will respond, but you hope will

Doug, Elaine (if I had to bet on one, it would be Elaine)

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Filed under Kids

Beware of the Little Things

2 Nephi 26:22 And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.

Members of my church are very familiar with this scripture from the Book of Mormon. For those who aren’t familiar, a flaxen cord is very thin–very easy to break. But, if you put several of them together, it can quickly create a strong cord that isn’t easily broken. From a doctrinal sense, it is meant to illustrate the fact that repeatedly committing little sins creates an atmosphere for evil to take a strong hold in your life.

Yesterday, I got to witness the concept in the practical sense.

Since the weather has been somewhat unseasonably cold lately (insert Al Gore joke here), E~ has been hanging out in footie sleepers most of the time. Yesterday was one of those rare occasions where his feet were exposed. Around three o’clock, I was playing pat-a-cake with him while his brothers napped. As I kissed the bottom of his foot, I noticed that his middle toe didn’t look right.

Let me try that again: I noticed that the top half of his toe was really swollen and angry-red. And there was a thin, deep depression all the way around at the knuckle. Something was wrapped around his toe. And I couldn’t get it off.

As thoughts of docked puppy tails ran through my mind, I headed next door and asked my neighbor to watch the other kids until my dad got home so I could go to the pediatrician right now.

Two different pediatricians worked on E’s toe. They didn’t have anything to numb it, so he screamed in pain and looked at me with the most horrible pleading look as they tried to free his toe. They managed to get a couple of loops off and determined that it was a hair tourniquet.

OK, it is bad enough to realize that something has been cutting off the circulation to your child’s toe that you hadn’t noticed for goodness-knows how long. But to realize that it is a long, golden strand of your own freakin’ hair? Yeah, I was ready to pull a Britney Spears and shave my head right then.

Since the (two!) pediatricians couldn’t get the hair completely out, we next took a trip to the ER at the local chidren’s hospital. I had to laugh when the pediatrician that I don’t normally see asked if I knew how to get there. Um, yeah. I have four boys–I’m familiar with the place. Anyhow, we drove there and had a wonderful doctor decide immediately that the hair shouldn’t be removed without the toe being numbed (ya’ think?). Anyhow, a shot, a scalpel, and a few minutes later, and the hair was finally removed completely. He came home with a huge grin and a war bandage.


His toe still doesn’t look normal, but it is improving. I couldn’t get a clear picture of it for some reason, but here is a blurry shot of what it looked like about six hours after the hair was removed.


Everyone that saw E~ (doctors, nurses) kept telling me that this is really common. At our follow-up this morning, the pediatrician told me that it could have been so much worse–they have had parents not notice until the toe is literally on the verge of falling off. What a horrible thought.  And it doesn’t just happen to toes. They see it on fingers and, um, little boys.

So this is my public service announcement for the day: Watch for flaxen cords. Because even a single strand of hair can create horrible consequences.


Filed under just plain bizarre, Kids

Smooth Legs Shouldn’t Be Complicated

It is absolutely amazing, the things that pregnancy will do to me.

I mean, anyone can get a mom butt and pizza dough stomach. Heck, I know I’m not the only one whose hair went from straight to curly once the hormones kicked in (although I was still stunned by it). But pregnancy-induced allergies?

OK, I know that I haven’t been pregnant in awhile. I just haven’t mentioned this because I thought that I had it figured out an under control. About half-way through this last pregnancy, I started getting hives every time I shaved my legs. I tried different razors, with no luck. Finally, I did the unthinkable.

I switched to razors with no lubricating strips.


But, it worked. The hives stopped. I made it through the rest of the pregnancy (and the winter) without an added layer of warmth for my legs. My husband, I’m certain, was grateful.

Unfortunately, the problem has come back. With a vengeance. And I’m still using the moistureless leg-scrapers.

I’m stumped.

And bumpy.

And freakin’ itchy.


Bad Angle, but imagine that up and down both legs

When my mom saw my legs (she was hanging out with the kids while I took my shower), she expressed a measure of alarm and gave me two very serious suggestions. Let me summarize:



As far as I’m concerned, neither is a workable long-term solution (it’s almost summer, people, there is no way that I’m only shaving once a week–and that wouldn’t solve the problem, anyhow). But something has to be done. Otherwise, I see a headline like this in my future:


Mother of Four Dies of Vanity


Cooterville, USA:

A young mother died yesterday after an attempt at smooth legs sent her into unrecoverable anaphylactic shock…


I mean really, death by hair removal? If nothing else, how embarrassing!

So, it’s settled. Something must be done. I’m thinking a trip to the allergist is in store (there is something wrong when I have to fill out a medical form and, when it asks for my family doc, I sit debating if I should write the allergist or the OBGyn–that’s about all I ever go to doctors for).

It’s either that, or I buy stock in Nads.


Filed under Daily Life, I think my head might explode, just plain bizarre, pregnancy

CSI: Wonder Emporium

Today is a sad day. N’s “warm bear” has met a tragic end. What, you don’t know what a warm bear is? It is a stuffed bear, filled with flax seeds, that can be heated up in the microwave and snuggled in its long-lasting toastiness. My parents bought them for N~ and W~ a few Christmases ago (and I have made one for C~).

A couple of nights ago, N~ had an accident in his sleep. Sean–half-asleep, since it was the middle of the night–helped N~ strip his bed, change his clothes, and throw the dirty bedding downstairs. The next evening, he got around to washing it.

Before bed, he brought me the body.

Have you ever seen a crime show (real or fake) where they show a body that has been bloated from time in the water? Um, yeah, that’s what happens when you toss a grain-filled teddy bear into the washing machine. Here’s what the bear used to look like:

normal bear

This bear, however, now looks like what would happen if you crossed CSI with Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Matted fur. Bloated-grain body. Apparent stab-wound to the back (that I suspect is a result of the swollen flax bursting a seam). Pure carnage.

bloated bear

bear back

All the scene needed was for a rabbit-toothed Dustin Hoffman to come out, Einstein-hair poking out in wings from under a baseball cap, wearing a bullet-proof vest and saying, “It scheems to me that we should schtart by dusthting for fingerprinthts.” (You try to write a sentence in Mr. Magorium’s lisp–go ahead, I dare you.)

chalk outline

It is amazing the lengths to which you will go in an attempt to entertain yourself when you are home all day with four small children.

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Filed under Daily Life, Just for Fun, just plain bizarre, Kids