Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mature and intelligent Capricorn, represented in the zodiac by the goat, boasts a great sense of mental stability and many admirable qualities. (HA!) Capricorns, those admirable people born between December 22nd and January 19th, are practical, patient, forward thinking, confident individuals who carry with them a deep sense of purpose. (Seriously?) This ambitious earth sign is in store for quite a few surprises in 2012 along with one well deserved success after another. (Please say Yes!)

42.  It's arrived.  Not in full force, but it's here.  So, I do what I do.  You read.  Welcome to my 42nd year.

1.  I probably spend too much time on my computer. But somehow it seems appropriate.
2.  I have incredible boat etiquette.  Which is weird because we are not really boat people.
3."Hey, Mom."  is a phrase, introduction, beginning to a conversation, that I hear more than you can imagine.
4. Like Jason Derulo, if I were a popstar, I would be tempted to start every song I perform by yelling my name, "Jennifer Tyler!"
5.  Dinner is always a challenge.
6.  I strive to have handwriting like an architect.  In fact, I love creating my own fonts.  With pen and paper.
7.  I had dreams of being a lavender farmer.
8.  I get great pleasure from re-organizing a drawer.  Any drawer.  It gives me a sense of control.
9.   My favorite aisle in the grocery store is the cleaning product aisle.  There is always a new scent or product being introduced.  I'm a sucker for countertop spray.
10.  My children will all be taller than me and that makes me so happy.
11.  I fall asleep quite easily.
12.  I would love to have a small cottage decorated in a "shabby chic"  kind of way.  Like a playhouse but to scale for an adult.
13.  Moss is really beautiful.  I love the color and the way it feels.
14.  Speaking of moss, if I were a Smurf, which I would love to be, I would build my mushroom house on a moss patch.
15.  I DO NOT watch scary movies.  I just can't.
16.  Twitter has become my new challenge.  I am learning to use it slowly everyday.
17.  An emerald cut diamond is in my future.
18.  I love to watch my children swim.  They are amazing in the water.
19.  I should take some classes.  Photography.  Pottery.  Cooking. Accounting.  I need to continue learning.
20.  Planning parties is quite fun for me.  I tend to go overboard.
21.  See's Bordeaux candies make me smile.
22.  I like to be creative but at times I am embarassed by my creativity.  
23.  I never intend to make people feel inadequate.  That is one of the most hurtful things you could do.
24.  The numbers in my house address add up to 24.  I like that.
25.  I've often gone over in my head, "if my house was burning how would I get everything important to me out."  It's an awful thing to think about.
26.  At some point in my life, I would like to have a circus themed birthday party.  According to #26, I probably shouldn't plan it or elephants might be involved.
27.  My husband has become more handsome over the years.  He was a hottie when we got married.
28.  Sadly, I find some reality tv entertaining.  Hoarders.  Gross but totally entertaining.
29.  I love to dance.  Karaoke scares me. But I love to dance.
30.   I have no time for politics.  It pisses me off.  It's frustrating.  I think our government is a bunch of rich people who only give a shit about their own agenda.  Now you say, "NO DUH."
31.  I worry I will never be as successful as my parents.  Will my children feel the same?
32.  I only had 2 children when I was 32.
33.  I am proud of Here at the Hive.  I believe it's a nice representation of me.
34.  We feel lucky to have our parents around.  To have parents that are still living is a gift.  Mr. Handsome and I recognize this.
35.  I have met an amazing bunch of people.  In a weird turn of events I was invited to be part of the Snowmamas.  And in that, my life has changed.  in a great way! 
36.   I ordered a peppermint frappuchino the other day.  I drank half of it and then realized the calorie count.  The half I drank was delicious.
37.  When I was 13, I hated the idea of having boobs.  At 42, I love the idea of having boobs.  I will help my daughter feel the same way.
38.  Wind scares the shit out of me.  I. hate. wind.
39.  The ability to write a thank you note, actually write, with your own handwriting, is a dying art.  I insist that my children have that ability.
40.  It's the new 30?  Really?  That seems weird.  Why can't it just be 40.
41.  I feel more grown up this year.  I am easing into the new 30's.  I think by the time I'm the"new 39"  I'll have my 40's figured out.
42.  Being a little more selfish, it's what I'm considering as my gift to me.  I'll work on it.  But loving everyone around me, it's a priority.

Thanks for sharing today with me.  It make my day just what it should be, the very happy part of being alive.  Happy, Happy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A dog party! A big dog party! Big dogs, little dogs, red dogs, blue dogs, yellow dogs, green dogs, black dogs, and white dogs are all at a dog party! What a dog party! - P.D. Eastman

We had a birthday at our house this week.  I have kind of given up on birthday parties.  When my kids were really little, I went all out.   Made the cake, did all of the decorations, hand-made party favors, games.  I can honestly say I took birthday parties to a whole new level.

But I burned out.  And, they just stopped wanting to have them.  Going out to dinner with one friend or taking a friend to the movies is sort of our "go to" celebration now.  But the birthday we celebrated this week is special.    NO MR. HANDSOME DID NOT TURN 50!

Lola the dog turned 1.  Yep, my puppy is growing up......

Lola came to us with her sister Daizy during the holidays last year from our wonderful local shelter.  Mr. Handsome and I thought fostering some puppies during the holidays would be a fun experience for the kids.  We took 2 of the litter of 10 with NO INTENTION of keeping either of these puppies.  NO INTENTION!

But wait, are you kidding me?  Look at that!  Emma acted like the best mommy ever.  She truly loves Lola.  So when someone or something has such an impact on everyone in your family, you should celebrate their birthday!

I gathered up some craft supplies and a cookbook and got to my party planning!

I traced out an old party hat that I used as my template.  Making party hats is SO easy and a great way to customize a party.  Plus anyone that has a head can wear one!

The hats turned out great.  Now on to the treats.  A few years back I bought a dog treat cookbook.  I don't use it a ton but it's fun to make special treats for birthdays or holiday gifts for neighbor dogs (yes, I do that.)

Now, here's the hitch.  Our oven died.  RIP.  gonzo.  off to appliance heaven.  bit the dust.  Do you know what a pain in the ass it is to come up with dinner items that are all stove top, microwave or grilled.  Suddenly, we are all craving casseroles, homemade bread, souffles, braised meats.  ANYTHING from the OVEN!  Anyhoo, the dog treat cookbook has a microwave recipe.  So, Microwave Molasses Oatmeal Treats were on the menu.  But, I never got around to making them.  Cuz, I'm busy.  I have 3 kids with lots of homework, after school activities, laundry, non-baked dinner to make.  I'm freaking busy!

But I made hats.  

We partied like it was 1999.  We celebrated a very special friend.  She's the bestest.

Happy Birthday you squirrely little, tennis ball-loving, speed demon, freakaziod!  WE LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No question there is a diagnosis for this affliction. But I probably can't afford the meds.

I so often boast about my craftiness. Okay, boasting is the wrong word.  I "suggest," "flirt with the idea of,"  "insinuate" my craftiness.  I have a label for my posts "Crafty Ms. Jen, very crafty."  Yet I rarely show it to you.  Being crafty/creative and then documenting it are two very different things.  I get caught up in the creative process and rarely stop to grab my camera mid-steps to show where I am and where I am headed.

Halloween costumes are one of my most favorite creative outlets.  I love to conceive the ideas, figure out how to make them work and then construct them.  This year we had some doozies.  A gypsy with a full on corset (made by me.)  A voodoo doll with pins and all (made by me.)  A mad scientist with a custom lab coat (made by me.)  Plus, a voodoo priest and priestess (made by me.)  And, this year, I documented it, took pictures of the thrifted skirts I used to upcycle into a gypsy skirt.  Pictures of the drinking straws and styrofoam balls being spray painted by the 10 year who would be wearing them in his voodoo doll costume.  I did it.  Then, my camera died.  All of the pictures stuck on my memory card.  Mocking me.

So today, while creating a birthday present for my friend, I decided to try again.  This time with my phone.  A before and an after.  A peek into the lunacy that is me.  A hint at how I can't leave well enough alone.  A notion of how I think, "I can make this even more interesting."

Ladies and Gentleman,  my attempt at a craft blog.

Today is LeeAnne's birthday.  She has an amazing collection of crosses that she has artfully displayed in her home.  LeeAnne has incredible taste and creates a beautiful, ever-evolving home.  I went to a local store, The Paisley Pomegranate, that I know she likes and began the hunt.  Something perfect for a friend (and in my price range.)  I found this wonderful metal cross and knew right away this was what I needed.  But it needed more.  See, can't leave well enough alone.

I purchased, pondered and puttered.  Went to my local craft store, Michael's  and searched the jewelry making section.  This is not a section I normally hang out in, however I like ALL sections of a craft store.  Just cuz it says "jewelry" doesn't mean you gotta make jewelry!  Wire clippers, glue and a little imagination later and I am thrilled with the result.

It's bedazzled beyond belief.  Not really.  It is embellished in a beautiful way. (I am creative, however not a photographer.)  It really is striking and I am very proud and pleased to give it to LeeAnne.  She appreciates my creativity, that's why I love making things for her.

Okay, maybe not quite a craft blog yet.  But I think I like the documenting.  Now if I can slow myself down long enough to take a pic, I could be onto something.

happy gluing.

Friday, September 23, 2011

1 in 3200. Those are my kind of odds.

Autumn is a beautiful time here.  Today was one of those days you wish would last FOREVER.  The temperature, perfect.  The color of the leaves, mind blowing.  The wind, just a breeze.

This doesn't last long enough.  I love the winter but it arrives and stays.  Fall reminds me of being a flirtatious teenager.  Getting all dressed up in your pretty outfit.  Flaunt it for as long as your teenage-attention span can handle it.  Then go.  Seriously!  Get out of here as fast as you can because you think somebody might have noticed!

Well, I noticed.  I went outside and parked my body in a chair.  I soaked it in.  Like an 85 year old tortoise, dozing in and out of drifting in the breeze.   It was Heaven.  But then my brain got involved..... you know it does that.

I realized I had just put myself in grave danger.  I was tempting The Fates.  Outside.  Enjoying THAT brilliant blue sky.  Actually sitting.  Looking up at that sky.  Waiting.  Watching.

I am pleased to announce I survived.  I was not hit by a 1 ton bus-sized spacetrash piece of satellite.  I coulda been.  I was out there all exposed (totally clothed but totally exposed.)  I could have been that 1 in 3200.  And knowing how this flirtatious teenager's life works, I'm actually shocked.

I survived the Satellite Drop of 2011.  Nostradomus,  Mayans or Incans or whatever,  Ben Bernanke or Bill Gates or the economy or whatever.  I survived today.

Hooray me!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Getting a Jump Start on October......

As you know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.  And since I put it off all of last year, I decided that I'd better get my boobs over to the local radiologist and have a mammogram.

This is a first for me.  I've had these boobs a long time now but I've never treated them to this.  I am finding that as I get older, the idea of going in for routine examinations scares the hell out of me.  I don't fear the examination or the test so much, it's more of what they might find.  I guess I'm afraid of getting old mostly.  I'd better get over that quickly or I'm going to need some major counseling!

Unfortunately, I know several women who have suffered from breast cancer.  Some my age, some older.  I decided I owed it to them to go and get this done.  I owe to my children.  I owe it to my husband.  So in bold letters, I wrote on our Family Calendar  "Mammogram."

Q, of course, wanted to know what that was scheduled under 10:30 on Tuesday morning.  Was it something he needed to prepare for?  Was it an assignment that was going to require that he do some reading, because that would suck?!  So he inquired and I explained.

Me: "I'm going to have pictures taken of my boobs."

Q (looking totally disgusted): "What?"

Me:  "It's an x-ray picture that is taken of my breasts to make sure they are healthy.  It's really important for women to have done."

Q:  "Okay, cool."

And it really was as easy as that.  That easy to explain to a 10 year old.  That easy to do.  It didn't hurt.  It didn't even really pinch.  It wasn't embarassing.  And it took 30 minutes of my time.

Why did I put it off last year?  Not sure.  But I am quite proud of myself for taking the time this year.

 If you know someone who has had breast cancer, has breast cancer or just has beautiful breasts, give her a hug and encourage her to take care of those boobies.

P.S. Q just came home from school and said "How was your hammergrab or whatever you call it, Mom?"

It was awesome son, thanks for asking.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If Fifth Grade accepted 41 year olds, I'd fit right it.

I love Fall.  It's a beautiful time of year.  The weather is ideal.  Temperatures are nice, the grass doesn't grow as fast so there is less mowing.  The snow hasn't started to fly yet so there's no shoveling.  The leaves are just changing and haven't begun to drop from the trees so there is no raking.  Perhaps I love Fall because I'm lazy.

I think NOT.

I've been working on getting the family to try new things.  Fall brought the opportunity for us to go apple picking.  My inner-farmer was ALL over this.  We could go and pick apples in the changing Fall sunlight.  Sunlight that makes us all look prettier.  The wind could whisper through the trees while the honeybees buzzed sweet songs of encouragement in our ears.  I could wear a bonnet and an apron and carry a bushel basket I had woven earlier in the summer.  We should TOTALLY go apple picking!

The apple picking was great.  It poured down rain.  There was lightning flashing all around us while we wielded picking sticks high into the trees.  In all honesty, the rain added an extra level of "adventure."    The trees are 130 year old heirloom apple trees.  Not sure what kind of apples they are but we figured we needed 5 bags of them.  5 bags.

So we picked and picked and picked.

We came home with a shitload of apples.

Well, it's been 5 days since we picked apples I decided it was time to do something with them before they all began to rot on my counter.

So I made applesauce.  How clever.

This is 2 bags worth of apples.  First I peeled the apples.

I peeled and peeled and peeled.  Now my inner-homesteader was totally excited about the outcome of my peeling.  My fictious chickens are going to love this special apple peel treat.  I am sure they will all scurry into the coop and lay dozens upon dozens of eggs for me.  As a thank you for my generous offering of heirloom apple peels.  They really do love me so.

Step 3 requires quartering and coring.  And quartering and coring.  And quartering and coring.  Again, Henney, Penney, Lenney, Jenney, Benney, and Zenney (my fictitious chickens)  will love the results of Step 3.  But oh girls, you won't get all of the cores for some must go into my compost pile.  Not fictitious by the way.

Finally, some sugar.  A little more sugar.  A pinch of salt.  Some water.  How about just a tad more sugar?  And several "glug glugs" of Applejack and we are off.  Apples boiling, breaking down, making the house smell nice.

I DID IT!  I made applesauce.  It looks pretty.  It smells great.  The kids are going to LOVE it.

Well, it turns out Ladycakes is "kind of picky about applesauce.  You know it's not bad but it's not the best applesauce I've ever had."  WTF?  Q and Elvis have decided they are "too full" after 2 pieces of cinnamon toast to even try it.  I thought kids were supposed to be STARVING after school?

Well, there is a happy ending.  A silver lining.  A reason for spending  2 1/2 hours of our day working on a task.  A reward.

Look what I found while I was peeling the apples.

An apple bottom!  I am in love with it.  As you can imagine I sang Flo Rida's" Low".  THE.  ENTIRE. TIME. I made applesauce.  Me, alone in my kitchen, singing about Shawty and her boots with the fur.  God, I love making applesauce.

Add Flo Rida's "Low" to my Lifesoundtrack.  Careful, there are some explicit lyrics here.  So use your best judgement if you are sharing with kiddos.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

You know it's September when you give your cat a bath.

Let me start by saying, I've been a terrible friend.  The summer took forever to get here and then it just slipped away.  Right in front of my very eyes.  Gone.  I know I had some post ideas along the way but they all got lost in swim meets, laundry and bee stings.

Ladycakes has entered the world of Junior High.  Q is big man on campus and Elvis has left the building (he goes to school everyday, leaving me here all by my lonesome.)  Not entirely.  Mr. Handsome has his headquarters here.  We often meet and gossip around the watercooler.

Today I was, however, alone.  Business was being done elsewhere.  I decided to do my own business.  I bathed the cat.  This is the 16 year old cat that will be that freak of nature cat who lives to be 33.  The cat that caused Mr. Handsome to undergo years of allergy shots.  The cat we kept out of the crib for three different babies.  Just heeding the warnings, "the cat will smother the baby!"  This is the cat that now yowls, yes yowls in the middle of the night because she doesn't know where the hell she is.  The cat that Mr. Handsome clearly said at 3:26 in the morning, "that thing has got to go."

I didn't set up an appointment to euthanize that cat.  Nope.  Instead,  I watched a Youtube video on how to bathe your cat.  The woman was very informative and made it clear what I should and shouldn't do.  It was a pleasant experience.  The cat quite liked being bathed.  I do believe she was purring.  I have not seen her since I bathed her which was about 45 minutes ago.  But, I think it brought us closer.

The kids are back in school.  I am officially a cat groomer.  All in all, a good start to September.

If you would like to learn more about bathing cats, do check this out.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Just call me "Mrs. Mayor" or "Your Royal Mayorness." I'm cool.

Saturday,  after a big garage sale (I swear it's the last garage sale I host!)  as a family we sat down to watch a movie.  Tangled.  It's cute and easy.

3/4 of the way through comments began:

Elvis: "Dad, some day you will be King."

Q (from a lounging position): "King of What?"

Mr. Handsome: "There's a song that might help us with that."

Me: "Wait, let me check Youtube,  I think it's something like King of Anything."

Ladycakes: "Yes, I love that song!"

Mr. Handsome: "No, that's not what I was thinking.  It mentioned being the mayor....."

Me: "Is this it?"

Mr. Handsome: "Yes! Best song EVER!"

Me: "oh yeah, that makes WAY more sense.  You totally are gonna be King."

Add "Mayor of Simpleton" by XTC to my Life Soundtrack.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Regarding the Rapture

While driving home from a swim meet, the following dialogue occurred.

Q:  "Mom, what time is it?"

Me:  "It's 4:52."

Q:  "So, an hour and 8 minutes until the end of the world?"

Me: "Well, it's 6:00 somewhere."

Q: "Then, we're good??"

Me: "Yep, hon.  I think we're good."

Q:  "Okay, good."

We survived another day or Heaven looks exactly the same as our everyday life.  Wait... is this Hell?  (kidding.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Review of Flip Flop Children's Pink Beach Sandal

Originally submitted at My Cuban Store

Flip Flop Children's Pink Beach Sandal. Molded strap with printed logo. Squishy top-sole with printed heel logo. Custom Cobian textured outsole. You've herd the saying "Pretty in Pink". Well, that's just how your little girl will feel.

Perfectly Pink. But run a bit small.

By hereatthehive from Park City, UTah on 5/7/2011


4out of 5

Sizing: Feels half size too small

Width: Feels true to width

Pros: Stylish, Cute, Totally fun flip flops

Cons: Run just a little small

Best Uses: Wedding foot wear, Casual Wear

Describe Yourself: Alternative, Stylish, Trendy

Okay, we bought these for our boys. Yes, boys (10 and 6) for our niece's wedding. It is super hip for boys to wear pink and we wanted to go casual for this Colorado wedding. They do run small but at this price I am okay with ordering again. It's not SO small that they can't wear them day to day. They were shipped quickly and the product seems very high quality. Waiting on some other items that I will review. So Far So Good. Thanks MyCubanStore!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The black birds outside tell me it's Spring. It's Ornithorgasmic.

The weather here is questionable.  It threatens constantly.  Cloudly, rainy, snowy.  It's just questionable.  But today I experienced it.  The sign of Spring.  The black birds in my backyard are busy.  Some are flaunting, some are chasing, some are fleeing.  They are BUSY!  It reminded me that Winter won't last forever.

Baby birds are being created.  There is a whole lot of ornitho-foreplay happening in my backyard.  It makes me happy when blue skies are gray......

I am hopeful, not horny, birds don't do it for me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gene Autry was known to wear Easter bonnets.

Okay not Gene Autry.  But you get where I am going with this.  We have decided to boycott the Bunny since 13 year old is still dragging out Santa and my pocketbook refuses to buy anymore crap.  Seriously, my wallet bitch-slapped me at Wal-Mart and told me "NO MORE CRAP!"  It was thrilling.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Easter.  My frig smells like hard boiled eggs and Ladies and Gentleman, that's not a good thing.  Farts and green grass to you.  Right now, it's snowing!  Ugh, oy, and you gotta be f__ing kiddin' me!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Our "staycation" has turned into a "suckation."

It's Spring Break here in Park City.  Most of our friends have headed to warmer, more tropical locales.  We are stuck here.  As part of my Snowmama gig, I am given a 5 day stay at the Park City Mountain Resort.  So for Spring Break, we decided on a "staycation."  The resort has extended it's season by a week so we are skiing for our break.  Well, only 4 of are skiing.

We arrived on Monday afternoon, very excited.  We are staying at the Silver Star condos.  They are luxurious.  There is a ski lift right out the door, pool, hot tub, gorgeous kitchen and condo accomodations.  Well, it turns out the lift out the door is not running anymore and the pool is closed too.  Uh, not a great way to start.

The boys were totally excited about the bunkbeds in their room.  Ladycakes has her own king size bed and private bathroom.  Awesome.  The kitchen has high end appliances that Mr. Handsome couldn't wait to get cooking on.  I must admit, I felt quite proud I could provide this mini-getaway for my family.

We had a lovely dinner on Monday evening and the kids hot tubbed and watched a movie.  Mr. Handsome and I hung out by the fireplace watching t.v.  Bedtime came along and I went in to tuck pj'd and teethbrushed boys.  I climbed up the bunkbed ladder to tuck Elvis in and in a matter of seconds the ladder was no longer under my feet.  I could feel myself falling backwards and grabbing for the rail but not making a connection.

Suddenly I felt myself crashing into the other bunk bed's ladder with my back and then bouncing from there to edge of the lower bunk.  All the while yelling, "HELP!"  I landed on my side on the floor with a horrible sharp pain in my lower back.  I couldn't move.   Mr. Handsome came running.  The boys, both shocked, were staring down at me from the top bunks.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  It felt like I had broken my pelvis.

I spent yesterday at the ER being X-rayed and questioned.  No breaks, just really bad bruising, some muscle damage and some pain meds and muscle relaxers in hand.  Great friends came to our rescue to watch children while Mr. Handsome and I racked up charges at the hospital.  Then they came for dinner and provide the entertainment that we needed.  Even though I'm not very fun when I can't really move, they hung out.  We love our friends.

I can't ski.  I'm pissed.  My staycation sucks.  I'm sad.  I sent the family out today, to ski.  I am sitting in my luxury condo questioning it all.


Friday, April 8, 2011

PUMP. Please Understand My Pituation.

I mentioned that I wanted to discuss "stuff."  The accumulation of goods,  from clothing to toys to lamps to craft supplies.  Just stuff.  Here at the hive, we have a lot of stuff.  It seems to grow.  Stuffed animals are procreating in closets.  The sock draw is a hot bed of sock love.  A virtual swingers club for socks where I am noticing most couples end up single.

When I had the realization that a lot of my stuff is bringing me down, we had a sign.  A sign from the heavens.  Actually a sign from our gutters.  As Mr. Handsome headed down into our crawlspace to store just a little more "stuff,"  he stepped into 3 inches of water.  3 inches of water that is sitting atop plastic sheeting and then good old fashioned mud.  It's ugly.  It's messy.  It's not life threatening, but it's super annoying.

So this minor inconvenience got me thinking even more about stuff.  As I am pulling up pillows that I have been saving (why?)  frames that I've been saving (why?)  gift boxes I've been saving (why?)  I wonder why is it so hard to let go of stuff and why do we accumulate it?  I know there are reality shows out there that look into this.  I am not a hoarder.  But I am an average American.  There are 3 families (ours included) on our street that have a garage sale EVERY summer.  That is not okay.

I  have decided to work on what I purchase.  I am sick of buying junk.  I am going more high brow.  I want to buy things that I plan on having for a long time.  If I can't afford it now, I will wait until I can.  No longer substituting with something crappy just to fill a void, in other words stop hanging out at TJ Maxx or Walmart.   I think it will make my body feel lighter.  It will make my brain feel clearer.  It will make my house feel happier.  It will make my world feel healthier.

Now, off to use the pump I just bought from Home Depot.  Luckily this purchase is something we will have for a long time, hopefully we will only have to store it in the crawlspace with only a little  other stuff and it will be one of those purchases we never use but are so glad we made it.

Add "Pump up the Jam" by Technotronics to my Life Soundtrack because according to my friend Cal  "That's so you!"  Wow. and I know.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Change is what keeps us constantly striving to be more than we were before. Gettin' deep and not by going off the deep-end.

It's Spring here and I know because it's continuing to snow.  I have Spring Fever for sure and at the same time feel very stuck.  I've been feeling this way for awhile now.  And that rut, it just keeps getting deeper or I keep getting shorter and therefore it feels like there is no way out.  I do the same thing EVERY DAY.  Seriously, it really doesn't change.  I love routine but this has become torture.  I've decided to put it out there and maybe it will force me to make a change.

So with change in mind, I'd like to discuss a few things with you.  One topic at a time.  The first change I intend to make is regarding my body.  You guessed it,



As a person who is considered a cancer survivor, you would think I would have a real interest in my body.  Sheryl Crow wrote a cookbook because, as a cancer survivor, she realized she needed to consider how everything affects your body and your health.  People on a daily basis make lifestyle changes (green cleaning products for example)  for the sake of their health and well being.  I'm not like most people,  I instead have been secretly and subconsciously conducting my own form of warfare on the very body that I should be treating like a temple.

I eat poorly.  Not that I have twinkies for breakfast and McDonald's for lunch and then popcorn and beer for dinner, but I don't give a lot of thought to what it is I am shoving into my mouth.  I rarely consider portions, where my food came from, trying new things or eliminating things that probably aren't making me feel my best.

I do not speak kindly to or about my body.  Of course, a lot of the time I am just looking for a laugh.  But, if you say something enough you start to believe it.  I have a 13 year old daughter.  The LAST thing I should be doing is judging my body and only talking about what I feel is "wrong" with it.  Isn't that basic parenting 101?

I don't treat my body nicely.  I do take it out for a walk in the morning but that's only because the dogs can't walk themselves.  I do get out and enjoy the great outdoors but only if I'm guaranteed a beer afterwards.  I need to find something I like to do that gets my heart rate up and make it a part of my daily life.

Now, I know this can't happen overnight.  And, I know that I am only human and I won't always make the right choices.  But, thinking about it, saying it and then giving it the ol' college try can't hurt.

Another day we will be discussing "stuff."  Yes, "stuff."  The keeping, buying, storing, constant rearranging of and general downer that it brings.

Til then I'm off to eat a bowl of ice-cream and down it with a margarita.   Again, kidding.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Could you maybe make an announcement during the party and let everyone know I would have brought a gift but I was too busy thinking I was really cool and couldn't get it done in time but I swear if I had gotten it done in time everyone would have been super impressed. Okay, thanks.

Today I had a revelation.  Nothing religious, just a sudden thought that I understand myself a little better.  I am not one to have a lot of self-realization.  I kind of cruise through not paying much attention to myself.  Don't get me wrong, I tend to be self-critical.  But, self-searching and self-improvement are not high on my list.  Perhaps I'm lazy or dumb.

But today, today was different.  Today, I became aware of my Craft Confidence.  I am a terribly, almost foolishly, confident crafter.  I would prefer to refer to myself as an "artist" but that's when that self-critical monster rears her ugly head.

"How, Jen, did this amazing moment come to you?"  you ask.  Well thanks for asking.

Here's how it all went down.  I was invited to a baby shower.  I was told that the mother to be really only wanted diapers because she has everything she needs.  Diapers?  Really.  So boring.  I could construct a diaper cake, I could monogram diapers but I certainly can't give "just diapers."  Well, the hostess of said party knows I love to bust out the glue gun and fabric and glitter whenever possible.  She also secretly knew of my craft confidence and didn't tell me (perhaps she is my muse?)

So hostess says,  "You should totally make something for her."  :snicker, snicker, snicker:

It kicked in.  That warm, fuzzy, "you know you are RIGHT, I SHOULD make something for her" feeling.  And it started, my brain thinking "if I visualize it, it will come."

A MOBILE, that's it.  That can't be that hard.  I will construct a one of a kind mobile for this mother to be.  It will knock her socks off and she will be so glad that I didn't bring silly ol' diapers.

Fast forward to the day of the shower.  The mobile sat in my studio, totally not working.  Mobiles are really hard to make and I was sure I could get one done in a day.  Counterbalance, physics blah, blah, blah.

So I went to the shower empty handed.  This confident crafter ain't givin' in.  No way, no how.  I would give her NOTHING before I showed up there with an 84 pack of Pampers Swaddlers.

So today is a new day.  I know I'm a confident crafter, cuz I did it.  I made the mobile and I can't wait to hand it over to her.  And yell, "IN YOUR FACE!  I KNEW I COULD DO IT."

Wait, I will not say that to her.....

Birds on Branches 

Birds Hanging Straight on their Branches!

Crazy little birds......made by a crazy, I mean,  confident crafter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Courtyard Marriott, Bacardi Rum and a Bromine burn. Plus, where the hell is Kerry?

Mr. Handsome and I had quite a weekend.  The children were involved.  The Utah State Swimming Championship took place and we endured all 3 and 1/2 days.  In Provo, Utah.  Go ahead, Google it, Provo, UT that is.

Mr. Handsome was a swimmer.  I was a swimmer.  We swam together in high school (the bullfrogs).  I saw him in a Speedo.  He saw me being a dork. (This all should be read to the tune of "Froggy went a courtin' and he did ride Uh huh." *my dad played guitar and sang this to us :special: )  Oddly enough, his Speedo and my dorkiness all happened in the same place 25 years ago.... Mr. Handsome has been re-living it more than I care to remember. (and no we weren't there in 1965!)

 We didn't fall in love in the pool but we both love the sport.  LoVe came later.....

Okay not about me or him... our children.   We spent the last 3 days watching our 2 Big swim like I have never swum.  Is swum a word?  Both of our kiddos showed a competitive spirit that is thrilling.  Maturity that is mind blowing.  Atheleticism that I envy.

Then there were the other parents, oy.  See her, in the picture above?  She's there in the back.  We LOVE her.  Not only do we love the sport, we love the team.  The kids are amazing, they cheer for each other, socialize, act like kids together.  The parents support ALL of the kids.  We cheer, we scream, we rejoice and we share disappointment together.  I dig these people,  we dig that lunatic in the picture above.

I cannot explain in words how proud I am of my children.  Little (Elvis) handled a very long weekend with grace and patience and a hell of a lot of "Zumba" juice.  Ladycakes rocks being's not easy in case you can't remember.  Q was a champion with a drive we enjoyed experiencing.  It was mind-blowing, watching your kid bring it.

My hope is that all Moms and Dads find something their kids love and they love too.  Lucky?  You bet we are.

That lady in the background....we love her!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's not my fault so please don't trip.

I listen to XM Radio for a good portion of my day.  I'm in the car a lot and I tend to listen to the "20 on 20" more than I should.  It's a bit addictive and I end up singing along to songs that aren't really age appropriate.  I went through some old CD's today and I really should be listening to those.  LL Cool J, Luscious Jackson, R.E.M.  Instead I'm karyoke-ing to Miranda Cosgrove, Ready Set Woe, and yes, the occasional Lil' Wayne.

While driving with the family yesterday,  a song came on and I announced that it was my new "theme song."  Everybody shut up and listened to the lyrics.  Then all of a sudden, there was a huge burst of belly laughter from the back seats.  All three offspring were laughing hilariously.

I am so proud of my ability to make my children and myself laugh.  There is nothing funnier than making fun of yourself.  I happen to be really good at it.

Below is my new "Theme Song."  It's catchy.  Just try to not sing it to yourself, or do....... it will make feel silly and happy.  and maybe beautiful.

Add "Pretty Girl Rock" by Keri Hilson to my Life Soundtrack.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"I know it's 11:30 at night but I only have one more question" (and it's a doozy) says 10 year old son with more charm than whoever is the "most charming man" according to US weekly.

So we have been encountering questions.  With 3 children, questions come at us a mile a minute but lately I've actually been paying attention.  Not that I don't usually pay attention.  But "Mom, do we have any juice?" or "Mom, where are my underwear?"  are just not real questions anymore.  It's background music.

So a few questions Mr. Handsome and I have fielded in the last few days:

1.  "Mom, when are you going to get paid?"

2.  "How do boats catch on fire? They are on water."

3.  "Hey Mom?  When do you think you might have some money?"

4.  "Don't you think a fast skin swim suit might hurt my crotch?"

5.  " Mom. What's a condom?"

Uh, I don't know?  Might be the answer to ALL of the questions.  However, I do know what a condom is.  Mr. Handsome busted one out to answer this question ( and if you have been following for a year or so, we don't need these so yes, a new question is in the arena.)

6. "Mr. Handsome, why do you have condoms?"

Kidding, I was thrilled he had one and we did show it to Q and then made Ladycakes look at it, actually I threw it at her and she freaked out.  Then, we talked about it.  This is where I am....this is where I am.  Luckily, I kept my maturity in check and didn't make a dirty balloon animal out of the condom.  Mr.  Handsome and I need to talk......... :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not my proudest moment.

So the littlest and I went out for a snow shoe... and some sledding.   Took the new puppy and snowshoes and a sled and a mom who was questioning her decisions the minute she stepped out the door.  But that's what Moms do...

Took to the path and listened to Elvis bitch about walking to the sledding hill.  "It's too far."  "I'm so tired."  "I can't go anymore"  yadda, yadda yadda.

So we walked with puppy.  It was stressful with all of the puppiness and 5 year oldness.  But we arrived here, ready to sled.  Sled we will.

Elvis hiked this bad boy-self and sent his shit down like no other.  Run #1 AWESOME!  It was fast, furious and crazy epic.  Standing at the top of this hill, I was in awe.  Mr. Handsome was on his way over with Ladycakes, I called on the cell and asked him to bring Elvis' s helmet.  This hill is epic, he needs a helmet.

As Mr. Handsome and Ladycakes approached, Elvis wanted to take run #2.  He was ready.  On his game.  I mentioned before pushing him down the hill, "Bail if you need to.."  *note to self 5 year olds don't know what" bail if you need to" means..I SUCK.

Fencing consists of barbed wire and re-bar posts.  The blood you see, my child's.

He wasn't wearing a helmet.  We couldn't wait the 5 minutes for Dad to arrive.  He slammed into the above fence.  Luckily, he hit the side of his head not his face.  He's fine.  He has 5 staples in his head and will be just fine.

I'm  a wreck.  Mother of the Year, I'm out of the running.  I'm so proud of my brave little man but question my own decisions.  He still trusts me and for that I wonder if perhaps there wasn't a brain injury.

I love him.  I'm sorry.  I'll do better.  I promise.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another VD (Valentine's Day) comes and goes. And I feel great.

I remember when Valentine's Day was important to me (college).  I waited for it with great anticipation.  I wondered what I would "get" for Valentine's Day.  I hated Valentine's Day.

It's a weird holiday.  I am a romantic.  But not really.  I think I might be a little to practical for romance.  I kind of feel like you should be romantic all year round.  But that's cliche.  I do not practice what I preach because life takes over.  And since when have parent/teacher conferences been romantic.   The last time I took my car to be repaired, hardly romantic.  Scooping the kitty litter.  not romantic.

I love watching my kids discover love.  Crush like love.  But a little love none the less.  I love watching my kids celebrate their friends.  Loving their friends.

Happy Valentine's Day.  However you celebrate, with whomever you celebrate.  I love love.

Add "Eternal Flame" by The Bangles to my Life Soundtrack.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's a weird cloud. And, it's gross.

Q decided to be the one to talk in the car today.  Didn't ask me to shut Ernie D down, Q allowed a little background music.  I think it was Pink singing "Raise Your Glass" playing on Radio Disney.  I LOVE PINK and I love that song.  But on Radio Disney.  Hhhhmmmm.  But again, I digress.

So Q had a revelation at school today.  Thank God (wait not thanking for the revelation) my kids go to school.  Clearly they are getting all sorts of shit out of it.  And ladies and gentleman, it is not just the 3R's.  Which again, 3R's (Reading, yes, Writing, uh no,  and Arithmetic, totally no in the "R" arena!)  Again....sorry.

Revelations and not of the religious kind.  Q experienced something we have ALL experienced.  My experience involves an airplane.  Oh yea baby.  Q was on the playground.  Doing what 4th graders do.  Acting like dorks.  Just kidding.  Playing football, picking their noses, acting cool around the cute girls and then crying when they don't get their way.  An adorable bunch.

Q walked through a fart.  It was a first for him.  In his words.....

Q:  "Hey, you know how people fart just randomly."

Me: "Yes, that is kind of how it happens."

Q: " Well, today when I was on the playground, someone must have farted."

Me: " Really?"

Q: "Yes, because I was out there and I walked through something that smelled disgusting.  It was a fart cloud."

Me: "Right on, so you had a good day?"

Let's go ahead and add "Raise your Glass " by Pink to my life soundtrack because....why wouldn't I?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's like baby, baby, baby whoa...... and then I buyed some stuff.

While driving to pick up the big kids from swimming, Elvis asked me to turn off the radio.  No more Radio Disney, as much as we love Ernie D, enough already.  He had some stuff to talk about.  He's become quite the talker, although not at school according to the information we got at yesterday's parent/teacher conference.  But, I digress.

The Scholastic Book Fair coincides with Parent/Teacher Conferences at our school.  At your school too, I imagine.  The same people that put toys in the grocery store and candy at the check-out, schedule the Scholastic Book Fair during Parent/Teacher conferences.  Yes, we use it as a bribe.  We are no better than the other parents at our school.    Elvis is super in to the Book Fair, first experience with retail shopping while being educated.  It's like Heaven for Elvis, he's a shopper.

A lot of the kids bring "their own money" to shop the Book Fair during recess, yea right "their own money!"  Elvis got to experience two of his classmates acting as consumers.  Both girls, shoppin' away.  Buyin' shit.

So Elvis says to me while we are driving in the car, " Itzel and Jessica buyed stuff at the Book Fair today.  They buyed posters with their own money.  We got to see what they buyed in class."

I say to Elvis, "What did they buy?"

Elvis says, "Well Jessica buyed a poster of a horse.  But Itzel, she buyed a poster of Justin Beaver."

I responded, "Wow, She BOUGHT a poster of Justin BEIBER?"

Elvis quickly replied in a very judgemental tone, " Yea!  Can you believe she buyed Justin Beaver?  I mean really?"

Whoa.  Justin Beaver has a contract with Scholastic.  That kid is rich.  I just wish the poster was actually a beaver with Justin's stupid ass hair.  I would have totally buyed that too.

Guess my date night with Elvis to see Justin Beiber's new movie IN 3D!  is a bust.  He is so not boughting that.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stuck. Like a Stick in the Mud. Stuck.

I've got nothing.  I have so much.  I should be writing.  Yet I can't.  The ideas swim.. Back and forth, Back and forth.  None are worthy, funny, smart.  It just seems like day to day.

A swift kick in the ass is necessary.  A jolt, a pinch, a punch something to get me off my current track.  It's dull and boring and repetitive and blah, blah, blah, blah.

Nothing changes, everything stays the same.  I could live my life in my sleep.  Don't ask me to tell you about it but it goes like this....

1.  Alarm rings. slippers on, sweatshirt on.
2.  Awaken children.
3.  Trip over dogs waiting on children.
4.  Dogs outside, lights on.  TV set to PBS kids.
5.  Oldest roused.  "What do you want for breakfast?"  waiting, waiting, waiting.
6. Begin preparing lunch, prior to preparing breakfast.  "What do you want for breakfast?"  waiting, waiting, waiting.
7.  Continue preparing lunch. Feed dogs.  Suggest items for breakfast.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.
8.  7:25 a.m.  "Guys, your breakfast is happening, whether you like it or not."  Breakfast is served.
9. 7:30 a.m Word Girl begins.  Love Word Girl.


10.  7:39 a.m "Boys, go get dressed."  I follow to monitor dressing of boys.  Brushing of boy's teeth, shutting off of lights in boy's rooms.  General maintenance.
11.  7:52  "Get your boots on."  "Get your coat on."  "Where's your backpack?"  Repeat at least 3 times.
12.  7:57 "Q you have to hustle.  Keep moving buddy.  You have got to keep moving."  Blood pressure pushing day time high.
13. 8:00 "Gentleman, we are LATE.  Get your bodies into the car!" I then say, " I love you, see you at pick up, do your best."  When Mr. Handsome is in town, he acts as chauffer.  When he's not in town, this list is much longer.
14.  One more to send off and I am exhausted......  I will spare you the details, but she is the teenager so you can only imagine!

Working on inspiration.  Working on creativity.  Working on me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Should I be flattered, furious or flabbergasted?

I love getting the mail.  Especially during the holidays because I generally get a few Christmas cards here and there.  Aside from the bills, which come all too frequently, I love getting the mail.

Until today.

Today, in my mailbox was the "American Baby Parenting Magazine,"  an offer to subscribe to "More Magazine, the magazine for women in their 50's" and to add insult to injury,  my "Welcome to AARP" packet.


Am I in my child-bearing years?  No, that ship sailed about 1 year ago to the date.  Do I look like I'm 50?  Maybe it's the gray hair.  But AARP?  Someone needs to kick the shit out the person handling their demographic studies.

I am considering contacting my OB/GYN and asking him if he doesn't make enough money at the normal OB/GYN business.  You know birthin' babies, the ever popular annual exam and the boob fondling that comes along with that.  Because obviously he's selling his mailing list to make a little extra cash.

Honestly.  I'm not getting the mail tomorrow.

Thanks Carol@ Songberries