Thursday, May 29, 2008

Inquiring minds want to know

In lieu of anything monumental to blog about tonight, I thought I'd take a page from Gabi (our own personal Bawbwa Waltehs) and conduct a little interview of my own.

With one of my own.

Clicked off to hunt for free porn yet?

No? Good, here goes.

Tonight I will be interviewing my youngest, Hannah, who for some reason seems to think that bedtime does not apply to her tonight.

Name: Hannah.

Nickname: Odette (Watch Swan Lake much? Me thinks a little TOO much).

Middle name: Ruby (in real life, she doesn't have one).

Favorite color: Pink. P-I-N-K, Mom. That spells pink. Ha ha ha ha ha. (She finds herself quite hilarious)

Favorite animal: Bunny. (If you only knew my girl, you'd know how vast of an understatement this is. Someday I will blog about her love of bunnies)

What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher because I want to learn lots of things. But a teacher really only teaches things. So, I guess I don't want to be that. Maybe I'll just be a mom. And really beautiful. I'll be really, really beautiful and have lots of children. My husband will be just like Daddy, except maybe not with brown hair. He'll probably have gray hair. And he'll be handsome, just like Daddy.

What do you think I was like as a little girl? Just like me, only not as pretty. Ha ha ha ha ha. (Nice one, kid.)

What kind of a mom do you think you will be like? A nice mom. I will take my children out to dinner at fancy restaurants like McDonald's. I will buy my little girls lots of Webkinz. And I guess for my little boys, too. I think I will have two girls and one boy. That's the opposite of our family.

Am I a nice mom? Yes.

Be honest? YES, GEEZ!

What's your favorite food that I make? Umm...[crickets chirping in the background, then a long pause]...panacakes.

What do you think Daddy does for work? He helps the hospital, and he gets people to the hospital. (Close, except that sometimes health care consultants have to FIRE people working in the hospital. I won't tell her if you don't.)

Who is your best friend? Jilian.

What is your favorite thing about me? [Long disapproving look] Umm, you smell good?

What are you afraid of? The dark because I think ghosts will pop up, but I know they're not alive.

If you know they're not alive, why are you afraid of them? Because I can't get rid of that feeling.

Why are you still awake right now - it's 9:58? Hee hee hee. Cause I want to sleep with you. (Husband is out of town, of course, which leaves me with a six-year-old bunkmate)

Are you waiting for me to come to bed before you will fall asleep? Yes.

Who is the mom here, me or you? ME. Ha ha ha, hee hee hee.

All right. Time for bed.

So concludes the end of this highly important interview in which I learned that I smell nice and am not in charge around here.

Now tell me something I didn't know.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What happens when Spiderman has a major growth spurt

I tried to make him promise never to wear this EVER. AGAIN.

He simply couldn't imagine why.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Don't give up on me

I'm not ignoring you, interpeeps; honest I'm not. Just been really busy.

School ended last week.

I took on some new work projects.

I got a new camera lens that I am wanting more time to play with.

We started a basement project that is requiring a lot of my time.

Oh, and did I mention the kids are home now? For the whole summer?

I promise, little blog, I'll be back soon. Lots of pictures and stories to tell.

Stay tuned...

P.S. For those of you that are interested, the mohawk lives on. Essentially, I am powerless on this subject. I've accepted it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Death by Caramel Bars

It's time, dear interpeeps, for another edition of: MAKING MY FRIENDS AS FAT AS ME.

This week's tool: Caramel bars.

Now, don't be fooled by their simple appearance. These are not just ordinary caramel bars. They are special. They are 'wrestle your husband to the ground for the last one' caramel bars.

Not that I'd know anything about that, ahem.

And if I was sitting in prison, awaiting death row for killing a husband who dared to eat the last one, I'd probably make these my last meal. And I'd definitely die happy.

[Luckily, I really don't know anything about that. Phew.]

But I got this recipe years ago from my friend Sue, when we both lived in Boston. I can still remember the first time I tried them in her beautiful, spacious kitchen in Concord. Right then and there, I knew two things. One, I HAD to have this recipe, whatever the cost; and two, that Sue and I would be friends for life. Because a friend that gives you a recipe like this? She's one you'll trust for a long, long time.

So. Let's begin fattening you all up, shall we?

First melt two sticks of butter in the microwave:
Then add:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Stir it all together. I like to use my hands. Makes me feel all earthy and homemaker-ish. The dough should clump together, but still crumble well.
Now press only HALF of the dough into a greased 9x13 pan.
Bake at 325 for 17 minutes. (How could you not love this recipe with a baking time of 17 minutes? Just sets my little heart all a flutter).

Remove it from the oven and dump an entire bottle of this over the top.
Yes, that's right. I said the entire bottle. Now would be a good time to mention that you might need to grab a few insulin shots while you're at the store getting supplies. One bite of this will likely send you into a diabetic coma.

But it's so worth it.
Next, generously sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the caramel. Then top that with the remaining dough. You don't need to press the dough this time, just crumble all over the top.

Now pop this baby back into your 325 degree oven and bake for another 17 minutes.

Once you remove the pan from the oven, let it cool completely. They really need to sit for a while to allow that caramel gooey-ness time to firm up a bit. You can put them in the freezer to speed up this process if you're too impatient to wait. What? Me, impatient? Never.

And finally?

Hello, lover.

As your new BFF, I am thrilled to have helped you discover these lovelies. I say a little prayer of thankfulness for my friend Sue each and every time I make these.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why husbands should not be in charge of matters relating to hair

Remember this from last year?

Apparently, it has become a tradition.

Quite without my consent.

Here is what my darling boy looked like before the Husband took him for a haircut today:
And here is what he looks like now:

There are just no words (except words with four letters in them, and I vowed to stop saying those out loud).

Welcome to my world, internets.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Things I Learned Last Week

  • You bloggers have very decided opinions when discussing being on-time or late. I had no idea there was such strong feelings on the subject. (Note to self: Be more controversial).
  • Caramel bars make the Husband's Sunday school class a very happy place to be (recipe coming later this week, I promise).
  • Pulling my brand-new dryer out from the wall a little bit will quite miraculously reduce the time it takes to dry a load from one-and-a-half hours to about 36 minutes.
  • Doing this will cause me to swear out loud, and then wonder stupidly why I didn't do it a month ago.
  • In my mind, stockpiling my house with books makes up for the lack of food storage. What we'll eat in a crisis? I don't know. But books, we'll have in droves.
  • Watching my son pitch at his games and strike out several players is a very fun thing.
  • Unless you are the player getting struck out. Then it's probably not so fun.
  • Four-dollar-a-gallon gas prices will put a damper on the Husband's RV dream vacation this summer.
  • The aforementioned gas prices will force us to stay in nice hotels instead (which thus turns our trip into more of MY dream vacation).
  • My backyard has somehow become a bird sanctuary. Especially around five-thirty every morning when they converge right outside my window and speak to each other. AT THE TOP OF THEIR TINY BIRD LUNGS.
  • This is making me not like them so much anymore.
  • Self-given pedicures are against god's plan. When eagerly scraping dead skin off my heels, it is always a good idea to stop before the blood appears. Pain and suffering will surely follow, along with a solemn promise to never touch my own feet again.
  • Favorite thing this week: Good friends and tents in my backyard, warm chocolate chip cookies, and a few sunny days that make up for all the rain.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Will the real time please stand up?

Hi, my name is Christie, and I am obsessive-compulsive. (Hi, Christie).

Bet you didn't know that.

Lately, I have been thinking about another facet of my ever-so-slight OCD (stop laughing). It is definitely not the worst of my many quirks, but is still something that drives the Husband a little batty. And that is the fact that I am incapable of showing up late to ANYTHING.

I think my eye just started twitching thinking about it.

It literally pains me if I am late to anything. Pains me. I just cannot be late. The Husband moans and groans every Sunday when we arrive 20 minutes early to church. But I cannot, and will not, sit in the back, so early we must be.

I have developed a bad habit of moving the time ahead on our clocks in order to trick my family into thinking they are late, thus making them rush a little more to get out the door. Imagine their delight when we get into the car, and surprise! We're not late at all. We're early. (Some in our family don't find this to be a good surprise. Cough*husband*cough).

The only problem is that now I have no idea what the real time is because I've moved every clock around by so many minutes. I have become terrified I will actually BE late when going somewhere, and so I combat that by moving the clocks MORE ahead.

I know, I need help.

Next spring, at daylight savings, do not be surprised if our clocks don't have to change at all.

Do any of you do this? Or am I standing all alone out here on my big crazy platform?

Probably. But that's all right.

At least I won't be late for all those therapy sessions I'm going to need.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My kids

My kids wake themselves up to play at the crack of dawn, and see nothing wrong with this annoying habit.

My kids make their own waffles and smear peanut butter all over the counter. And they never clean it up when they're done, either.

My kids climb trees in our backyard.

Then come in crying when they get a scratch.

My kids make huge messes. Especially in their rooms.

My kids track mud all through the house. I honestly believe they have no idea what a doormat is for.

My kids do not want me to come with them to the bus stop. They want to do it all by themselves.

But they do require that I stand at the window and wave as the bus passes.

My kids currently do cub scouts, swimming, baseball, and ballet.

My kids whine when they have too much homework.

My kids splash water all over the floor when they're in the tub.

My kids grow out of their clothes faster than I can keep up with.

My kids crave sweets, sugar, suckers, and gum. And they get it more than they should.

My kids tell the dumbest knock-knock jokes.

My kids fight with each other.

They absolutely detest running errands, unless it's to Target, and then they beg and whine to go down the toy aisles.

My boys love Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and World War II.

My girl loves dress-ups, dolls, and High School Musical.

My kids color with markers that sometimes leak onto my desk.

My kids break expensive electronic things.

My kids wear holes in their jeans faster than ice cream melts.

My kids cannot fall asleep without a kiss and a hug from me.


This morning, my mind and heart is full of all the things my kids can do. We made our semi-annual trip to Children's Hospital for McKay's asthma and allergy check-up.

And as we sat in the shared waiting room, I couldn't help but look around at the other kids. Many were in wheelchairs with contorted, mangled limbs. Many were there getting their heart checked, because the core of their body just doesn't work like it should. A few were bald, with patchy tufts of hair the only remnant of what they looked like before the cancer reared its ugly head. Some smiled. Some looked sad. Some didn't look like they knew where they were at all.

And I have never in my life been more thankful for what we don't have.

So today, I will clean up that peanut butter. I will wipe the marker off my white desk. I will hug them when they slip and fall. I will probably still get mad at the mud they track through the house. But I am eternally grateful for all the annoying, physical, happy, healthy, busy things my kids can do.

And my heart just aches for the moms who have kids that can't.

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's a dog-eat-dog world

This morning I went to Sam's Club. And before you ask, no, I was not hit on today by any strange or handicapped men. Disappointing, yes.

But I happily wandered up and down the aisles of my local store, filling my cart with all kinds of treasures. Things full of partially hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup. Things that probably cause cancer and diabetes. You know, things that taste really good.

And while there, I had me some samples.

I had some of these:

And I had some of this (which I buy on a regular basis and love):
And I even had some of this, and although delicious, I did not buy it. I prefer my wasteful calories in cookie dough form.
I was tempted to have some of this, but the sample table was too crowded. Lots of old men in cowboy hats dying for a miniature bite of a pizza bagel.

But it was all right. I was already full from my chips and cream puffs.

But the one sample that I was not even remotely tempted to taste was this:
Yes, they were sampling DOG FOOD at my Sam's today.

In sample cups.

For people to taste, I presume, since no dogs shop at my Sam's on a regular basis.

You know, seeing as how they don't drive or take the bus. Because THEY'RE DOGS.

Has the world gone mad and I just don't know it? Please explain this to me. Why would they sample the dog food?

I just don't get it.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The keeper of the kingdom

TravelinOma wrote today about the green people in her life.

Let me take a moment and tell you about the little green person that is in mine (who probably would be much happier with more environmentally-conscious parents like these).
Chase has always been fascinated by animals. It began when he suddenly became obsessed over elephants at about age one. And when I say obsessed, please think of stalker-like, all-consuming-type behavior. To say that he loved elephants does his passion a great disservice.

Elephants somehow morphed into dinosaurs around age three.

There were not enough books in the library to satisfy his need for information. Big, thick books with words I had to learn to pronounce like Orinthomimus or Pachycephalasaurus (which I still know to this day). It agitated him to see cartoon-like T-Rex's with three claws on scrawny arms. Because, after all, T-Rex only had two claws. And any self-respecting paleontologist would know that.

Dinosaurs eventually morphed into reptiles--frogs and snakes, in particular. He can identify any snake or frog, in pretty much any part of the world. He can reiterate its life cycle, predators, food, and mating habits. He even once tried unsuccessfully to mate two plastic frogs in the middle of church.

He has always expressed extreme sorrow when reading about the rain forests being destroyed. His little heart nearly bursts when he talks about the importance of protecting the environment. It has in the past, and no doubt will in the future, bring him to tears. When his hero, Steve Irwin, died, we felt like we had lost a real friend.

Chase is just that kind of a guy.

Well, lately his passion has taken on a new voice.

The very loud voice of recycling and energy conservation.

He lectures me on a daily basis for not recycling my diet coke cans. He yells at his brother and sister when they leave the water on while they're brushing their teeth. He digs through the garbage when he gets home from school, and pulls out anything that can be recycled. Even if that thing has disgusting dried up food on it. He sees beautiful neighborhood fountains, and is disturbed by the wasteful use of resources.

And, with a passing comment made by Aunt Heidi in Utah, he is busily preparing a full-blown lecture series on the environment for his cousins when we visit this summer.

And yes, he's only eight years old.

So, thanks to Chase, we'll keep recycling around here, even if it's against our will and without our consent.

Al Gore would be so proud.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Telling lies to get to Blogapalooza

There is so much to say. And yet where to begin?

Let's begin with the trip that almost didn't happen.

After getting a very sad email from my real-life friend, Annie, that she would not be able to make it (see why here), I arrived at the airport on Thursday afternoon. I was excited, nervous, and ready to go. I stepped up to the counter, and was greeted by a guy who looks disturbingly similar to this one:

Only a little less cute.

He checked my ID, and commented that we share the same birthday (except he was classy and smooth, and pointed out that my birthday is ten years sooner than his, thus making me essentially an old hag). He was flirty and eager, yet annoying, and I made nice long enough to get myself checked in, and on my merry way.

About ten minutes before I was scheduled to board the plane, the Seymour-Hoffman Ugly Twin comes to the terminal and announces that our flight has not even left Denver yet, and that we'd be delayed for an undetermined amount of time. He told everyone to sit tight, and that they'd work on connections and call us up when they were done.

Immediately 40 people got in line at the counter. I was wise enough to be one of them.

I watched five or six people in front of me be turned away without success. When it came to be my turn, I tilted my head, pathetically batted my eyelashes, and said in a sultry whisper, "Hello, birthday friend." He blushed, and apologized for the delay. Sensing my chance, I told him that I just HAD to get to Salt Lake tonight. He shrugged his shoulders and said they'd do their best, and for me to have a seat.

That's when the lie suddenly, and without warning, came out.

I might have accidentally told him that I was supposed to be the keynote speaker at a very important conference Thursday night (unlike the real keynote speaker), and that I just HAD to be there. This lie might have been told with very doe-like eyes, and my bosoms may or may not have been squeezed together - accidentally. He glanced behind me at the ever-growing line of angry customers, and then slowly picked up the phone.

Turns out, his mother works for another airlines as a gate agent, and between the two of them, they were able to get me switched to another flight.


I have no doubt that others waiting behind me did not get the same lucky break (too bad they weren't born on the same day as the Seymour-Hoffman Ugly Twin. Yay me).

My lucky break, it turned out, was not as lucky as I needed it to be. I did get into Salt Lake and to my Blogapalooza party (after getting lost and requiring cell phone directions from my private navigation system, the Husband), but not until it was almost over.

I peeked my head nervously into the room full of women I have been dying to meet. Celia Fae looked up, recognizing me immediately. She screamed and rushed over, throwing her arms tight around me.

And I promise you, internets, I have never felt like more of a rock star than at that moment.

Right then, all the stress and drama was forgotten. It was such a treat to look around the room, and meet you all in real life, to recognize you from your blogs. People who I have been reading about for a very long time. People who actually read me, and then leave nice words for me when they come. It was a very good feeling, and I wished I had not missed so much of it.

I did not get to talk to all of you like I wanted, but those that I got to chat with were as generous, kind, and beautiful as they are on their blogs. I felt as though I knew you already. Conversation was easy. There was not the awkwardness that you would expect in a room full of people you didn't know. I felt as though I were in a room full of old friends.

And in a way, I was.

What say you to making this an annual tradition, new friends? Shall we meet every year? Say yes, and I will be there.

But I can't promise I won't lie my way into getting there again, and I definitely will work what I've got to get myself on that plane.

This is one party I wouldn't have missed for the world. Thanks for everything!