Wednesday, April 30, 2008

One Can Dream

It is snowing right now. That's right. It's April 30th and it's snowing. I've lived in Utah for 16 years and I honestly can't recall this happening before. It might have, but my memory only retains good stuff.

I can only hope that this rediculous extension of Spring may also affect Summer, that it may last well into October or even November. What will probably happen is that Summer will only truly last for two months and then it'll be cold again. It's just not fair. By this time of year, we're usually well into Spring with days that feel like Summer is actually here.

So far we've only had a handful of nice days and I'm feeling so feverish to get outside in decent weather and shed sweaters and pants!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sorry, I Have ADD

I can't help it. I used to be the kind of person that would persevere through a boring task just to say I'd finished it. I've just reached that point in my life where I've realized that life's too short so I might as well spending it doing things I'm enjoying.

Like not watching American Idol anymore. B.O.R.I.N.G.

and might I add - PREDICTABLE (my, i had to spell that like 3x to get it right..ouch!)

And reading books! I used to finish them despite how bad they were! So not me anymore. I can get 3/4 of the way through even, and if it has stop capturing my wandering mind, it's history. Seriously. I just did it the other day. Remember that book I wrote that I was "hooked" about - something called "Poyson Garden"? Got 1/2 way through...back to the library folks. Drivel.

So, my rambling point in all of this is that I'm really sorry that I promised you all a weekly American Idol post. I have deleted all of my TIVO'd episodes because frankly, I'm just not going to watch them. Rest assured that every single person who made it to the top 6 will be on the radio within a year, and they will have deserved it heart-and-soul.

That's my two cents.

Oh, Why the Heck Not?

Everybody else has done it. I suppose I can throw mine up too. Funny, no one else I've seen is this one...

You Are Cayenne Pepper

You are very over the top and a bit overwhelming.

You have a fiery personality, and you can give anyone a good jolt.

You can easily take things up a couple notches, no matter what crowd you're running with.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Massage for Kids

When the Supreme Princess was a baby, I bought a book on pediatric massage therapy and diligently tried to bond with her this way. She'd have none of it and cried the whole time. It was not a positive experience. She just wasn't that type of baby.

Fast forward to today. I've been taking formal massage therapy lessons from my Massage Therapist mom for the past two months, about 2 hours a week, to complement my occupational therapy practice. We just finished last week and my first full body massage is tomorrow.

So tonight, to practice just a bit, I asked SP if she'd like a massage. She's enjoyed the bits I've done on her as I've gone through the lessons so she said okay. I bought a table at the beginning of the lessons and she hopped up on there in her adorable little birthday suit, pink little buns flashing.

It was very interesting and lots of modifications had to be made. Although she said she was liking it, she kept asking if we were almost done. Her feet and armpits are very ticklish and she couldn't take a whole lot of pressure.

I am so happy to have learned this new skill. What an amazing way to bond with someone through touch. As I massage also, I get to look into her eyes as she looks up into mind and we talk.

I hope I can give her massages into her old age, and that she'll always be happy to let me.

p.s. to the person I asked to be my practice model, I am ready to begin if you are :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

What the H?

SP: "Look mom, I'm wearing your ovals!"

I'll just bet you can guess...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Great Debate

I've been reading a blog lately that has been discussing the issues surrounding being either a stay-at-home-mom, or a working mother.

I am amazed at the various opinions on both side. And as I read the posts and comments, I can see the opinions from both sides. I like to consider myself a stay-at-home-mom, but then I dip my foot in the working-world pool as well. I work sometimes up to 12 hours a week, usually not more unless my husband is home to watch my daughter.

I don't think that my stay-at-home status is as difficult as many of my friend's because I only have one child and so am able to get a lot more done than perhaps they are. I'm not sure because I don't live their lives.

What I do know is that I enjoy working...some. Early on, I went back to work to have a little tiny bit of time away. Gradually I increased the time because I like my work and eventually came to depend on the income. Ending my association with working would be difficult.

However, what I've noticed is that on whatever side of the fence you sit, there is still a lot of defensive-ness about the decision that we've made. I have done it and I know a lot of women who also do it, whether they stay at home or work full-time. And I have a lot of friends who are SAHM and lots that work full-time. And since I stay home as well as work I can relate to both.

It's just interesting how heated the debate and defensive-ness can get when you're discussing motherhood, working, priorities, and other things that are so close to our hearts. Heaven forbid someone insinuate that we're not good mothers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Inventory of Tasks

I love Spring. I love all of the opportunities and potential that it brings. And in my yard, the potential abounds.

It probably would be in a lot better shape if at every house, DH doesn't vow to "change everything" but then we never seem to either have the time or money, at the same time. Both front yard and back are disgraceful because he keeps telling me not to get too drastic because "it's all comin' out". Well, I've stopped believing him for the most part but just in case he's serious, I don't want to get crazy and spend too much money or time fixing problem areas. And there are tons of them.

I did a quick inventory yesterday to see what things HAVE to be done. Then hopefully we can do some of the more major re-do's this year (like the entire front yard which I abhor!)

1. I don't usually let people see the Spring version of my planters but here is this one. It's needing some serious attention. Daisies line the perimeter of it and is that bush even still alive? (click for bigger pics)2. So that's where all you little guys have been hiding out! Time for a little heart-to-heart fellas. My parsley is NOT your home.
3. What are you? And where did you come from? 4. I hate you. You are going down! 5. This is the southeast corner of my yard leading up to the front. It's a menagerie of useless plants that turns jungle-like in August. I plan to tear it all out and then I have no idea.
6. Didn't I already tear you out like 12 times already? Persistent little bugger.7. Why didn't anyone tell me to take out bulbs before laying sod?8. Anyone need Irisis? These are in the wrong place, too compacted and just a little too unkempt for me.9. Boxwoods: How about a measuring tape when planting, people. I mean, did they just haphazardly throw them in the ground or what? (there are 2 more to the right) Ugh.So, you can see my work's cut out for me. I don't have the skills to do all of these chores but I'll do what I can before I lose all interest completely.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hardy Annual Gardening Pots

Come May every year, I somehow get sucked into buying big and beautiful overflowing pots of annuals. Geraniums, petunias...anything that hangs will attract my eye. They run about $30 a piece sometimes higher for a well-developed pot. And I usually buy at least 2 of them.

I hang them anywhere I can see them easily from windows, stepping out my door or whatever. And they do well at first because I try to water them regularly. But when July hits, they are needing water at least once daily and they start looking bedraggled because inevitably I forget a day here, a day there (vacations are the worst!) Then, I spend the rest of the summer trying to revive them and by August, they're in the trash. Every year it's this same routine.

This year I decided to circumvent the entire fiasco and do my own. I have this polymer stuff that absorbs water and you put it in your pot, then it releases the water over time. It cuts down the frequency of waterings by up to 75%, and has worked well in all other pots I've used it in. So, in case you're as enamored as I am with the beautiful hanging pots, but also hate having to water them and then throw them's your plan.

Go out and buy some good hanging pot plants - your favorites, the ones that you always buy already planted in pots. Get a nice big pot that will hang. Then, get yourself some polymer (here's a source - I haven't verified it but you can get them here: Aquadiamonds. I got mine at the Home & Garden Show but I'll bet you can buy them at any old nursery. (all pics can be clicked on to enlarge) If you're doing about a 4 gallon pot, measure out 1 tbsp of crystals into a large bowl and put 1 gallon of water into it and wait 2 hours. This is what it'll look like: Then, you'll want to either stop up any holes in your pot or line them with plastic. The key here is no drainage. You want all of that water available for your plants only. There's no way they'll get too wet. It evaporates too quickly. Put about 3 gallons of soil into the lined pot.
Now, put about 1 gallon of reconstituted crystals into the pot with the soil.

And mix in well. Now, you can plant all of your flower plants. Mine are young but have plenty of time to grow and will fill in nicely by even next month at the same time I normally buy the big pots. All of this cost me around $35 except I don't remember how much the crystals were. But they last forever. They come in packets of about 4 cups. I've had them for about 4 years and they're not even used half up.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I Keep Forgetting

I'm not sure why I keep doing this to myself. I seem to have no capacity to learn and retain new information.

Remember that "run" I went on the other night after I pressed the "submit" button on the triathlon? Yeah, great run. Total success. Great high after.

Now...I can't move. Literally I was doing the prego walk today and every single muscle in my legs, back and abs are screaming. Guess I shouldn't let it go so long between my runs, and then attempt a longer one. I mean, I can do it...but should I?

And why do I forget how bad it feels after I start an exercise routine and go hard-core just because I can?

I have my first spin class tomorrow in several years. Those are seriously hard classes and I'm really excited. Nothing gets me in shape like spinning!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Triathlon - The Next Adventure

It's been 3 years now since I participated in my first and only triathlon. I trained for it in 3 months. The training plan was hilariously called the "Couch to Triathlon" plan which was as close to the truth as you could come.

When I finished, I vowed to stay at that level of activity and for the most part, I have done pretty well. I still run and swim, and if my road bike would be consistently working, I'd probably use it more too.

So yesterday, the same friends that miraculously talked me into the first triathlon, talked me into another. This time in Scofield, Utah on July 17th. My heart was pounding as I pushed the "submit registration" button last night but only because I was excited.

They are really fun!

After I pushed the button, I went on my first run in about 4 months. I ran a full 3 miles including all of the hills. I'm sort of hobbling today but I am super excited about where I'll be starting my training. All I want to do is beat my time considerably from last time...and keep up somewhat with my friends who no doubt will dust me.

The pic at the top is before. Can you see the "What am I doing here?" look on my face?. Here's me after the race in 2005 (right).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Let's Get Morbid

A few posts ago I mentioned the untimely death of my grandmother. I never knew her; she died a year and a day before I was born.

This is her. Her name was Carmen. She died when she was only 46 and when I was young, that seemed like it was a ripe old age and of no real concern to me.

Now I'm 34, and 46 is only 12 short years from now.

There are a few major problems with this situation. First of all, although I don't see the resemblance at all, my dad says I'm her spitting image. And I think it might be more mannerisms, looks on my face and perhaps there are facial features or something. He gets this glassy look whenever I'm around him, and I know he's thinking of her. So, we know I take after her.

Second, she died very unexpectedly. Great health one day, dead the next. She complained of some severe stomach pains the day and night prior to her death and thought she ate a "bad pear". She died during or right after using the bathroom in the middle of the night. By the time she got to the hospital via ambulance, she was gone.

Her husband would not allow an autopsy. Hence, I have no idea what caused the death.

I've been very interested in family history for the past several years and have finally gotten in touch with some of her/my ancestors...cousins and things like that. There have been emails back and forth and some mention of health problems. I'm interested to find out if perhaps I can find some answers that way.

On the other hand, I have an appointment with my doctor next month to discuss genetic testing to find out if there's anyway they can give me an idea of what gastrointestinal diseases I may have a predisposition for.

12 years just isn't enough time. My daughter will only be 16.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tanning Lotions - Everyone Has a Story

When I was in 9th grade, the cosmetics industry finally saw the huge niche for self-tanning lotions. Me and a bunch of my kleptomaniac friends kifed a bunch of different types and got down to business with them. It was shorts weather! Yea, I was one of THOSE girls.

Fortunately, I didn't get as carried away as one of my girlfriends. Poor girl evidently didn't read the instructions on the Coppertone bottle that said "EVENLY spread..." and "WASH HANDS after". hahahaha - that girl had the most ORANGE legs you have ever seen, and her hands looked like she had dipped them in orange paint and only wiped off the palm and finger tips. It was so funny! The worst thing is I guess she just didn't see the big deal and thought she looked hot. She wore shorts every single day to show off her super tan! I can still remember how awful she looked - how ORANGE she looked!

Ever since, I've been understandably gun-shy about self-tanners and when I do try them, am very careful to spread evenly, and wash hands! I haven't found one that I love yet. Mainly because I just can't see myself walking around my house completely n*ked for 30 minutes just so my clothes don't get stained. It's just not a realistic lifestyle for me - I might get some weird looks from SP and DH, not to mention I'd be cold!

While at my cosmetologist's office the other day, I happened to pick up a new one that she said was really good. I trust this girl, she's not a hoser. And doesn't that just tell you everything?

The thing I loved was that you don't have to wait 30 minutes - just like 1 or 2 before you dress. She said the tan looks very natural and so far, she's been right. It's marketed as an "instant" tan, and that part is true, and it gets darker over 3 hours too. I've so far used it 4x and noticed immediate results with not even a hint of orange. I didn't even wear make up today, which is when I know summer is really here. Lol, except of course the stuff that's tattooed on.

I got it this 8oz bottle for about $23 but on-line I found it for $17.99 at this website. I just Googled 'Gieseie". I'm not advertising...just a small shout-out. Summer's coming!


Did you get your taxes filed? Today's the last day! I hope this post isn't your reminder because you're probably too late!

We had a new accountant do our taxes this year. We thought we'd try to see if we could get more by trying someone new. And, although it cost us double to get them done, we got back about 4x more than we've ever gotten back using our old accountant.

I'm one of those girls who has NEVER done my own taxes, even when I was doing the EZ form. When it comes to something as important as getting my money back from the government, I just don't trust my skills. I've never done great in math.

For those of you who do your own taxes, yaddiyaddiyah - hooray for you. You're so awesome and intelligent and all that... I have better things to do with my time than make myself crazy with tax law - like prying my eyeballs out with a butter knife. I'm glad you do your own taxes, it leaves accountants more time to concentrate on mine.

Do I sound bitter lately? At least I have an excuse.

Amy will be back for her regularly scheduled programming in 4 days time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ask Me If I Care

There seems to be a lot of bloggers out there who think that if they heatedly give their opinion about something, then you're required to go do exactly what they say.

These opinions especially irritate me when they relate to how they think I should be spending MY time. It can be anywhere from shopping at WalMart, parenting habits, political involvement to driving smaller cars or spending my money.

I'm pretty sure that my time is my business as are all of the decisions I make about my life. That's why it's called "my life". So, perhaps what they should be doing is minding their own business because likely their lives are about as perfect as mine is...not perfect at all.

I have a better idea though...why don't all of those people who have big, hot opinions and want to tell me all about how I should be doing what they say -- just go and take those opinions and jump off a cliff!

I'll be doing whatever it is that pleases me, thank you very much.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend in a Nutshell

I left my favorite shoes at my in-laws last weekend so I had to take the 2 hour trek out there to pick them up yesterday. Hence, my absence.

While I was out there, I visited my cosmetologist who did my permanent make up about 3 years ago. She'd moved out there since and I hadn't been able to have a touch-up. She re-did my upper and lower lid eye-liner, and re-did the miserably failed lips. I'd originally had my entire lip (top & bottom) done but it didn't work after several attempts. This time I just did the liner. If you're not familiar with the process, it's similar to tattooing. The skin is pierced and injected with dye. It can be a little painful.

I know...just a tad on the vain side...but more so on the "less the complexity of the morning routine" business. I mean, I'm going to wear this make-up anyway! Why not have it permanent?

So, as anticipated, this morning I woke up to swollen eyes and lips, and chapped and cracked lips. I decided not to go to church to face all of the people that I know with a swollen face, so instead, donned a pair of big sunglasses and went to the zoo and a baseball game. Now I have a swollen, sunburned face. It was HOT!

And, there were like 6 million people at the zoo. Note to self, don't go to the zoo the first nice day of Spring.

Speaking of the zoo, the Hogle Zoo became the home to a new baby giraffe on November 2007. That little guy is so cute!

So that was my weekend. Did you do anything fun with the warm weather?

Friday, April 11, 2008

In the Break Down Lane

Surprisingly, my Tahoe threw up a white flag day and we hobbled into the dealership because she wouldn't come out of 4-Low. I'm sure everyone around me was wondering why in the heck I was driving 20 down State!

Surprisingly, because it's still a pretty new truck, only 40,000 miles - well, I guess that's not considered new anymore but it's still new to me. This Tahoe was the very first brand spankin' new vehicle I've ever bought - well, leased.

I bought the extended warranty on it at the time of purchase because I was done paying for repairs for a good while. And while most months when I'm paying my enormous lease payment I'm not especially happy about it, but when repair bills are tallied, I remember why I decided on a new car/high cost vs. older car/no payment. I'm just that way - at least for now.

With my transportation, I just would rather pay for my reliability. Nothing's worse than wondering how much this repair is going to cost now...and wondering where you're going to be stranded next.

More on my rental vehicle later...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Me, Me, Me

(18 months appx??)

I haven't participated in a meme for a long time so when Josey tagged me the other day, I was surprised! I think I've done this one on email a long time ago but perhaps things have changed with me. Here goes.

First, the rules:
1. Each blogger answers the questions about themselves.
2. Then tag five people. Make sure to let them know! :)

What I was doing 10 years ago - 1998

  1. living with my grandma
  2. 2nd year in college
  3. taking Anatomy (at this time, the hardest class I'd taken)
  4. working a dead-end job for a controlling & emotionally abusive nut-job
  5. balancing full-time job, college, social life and boyfriend: difficult

Five things on my to-do list today

  1. exercise
  2. go to work for a few hours
  3. continue reading The Poyson Garden (i'm hooked)
  4. figure out what to make for dinner
  5. work on cleaning out my perennial beds if it's warm enough

Snacks I enjoy

  1. Doritos
  2. rice cakes with roasted red pepper dip
  3. chips & salsa
  4. milk chocolate
  5. fresh strawberries

Things I would do if I were a billionaire

  1. pay off all my debt and all my immediate family’s debt
  2. build my parents houses and buy them each the cars they want
  3. put away money for my daughter & nieces and nephews to go to college
  4. take a few vacations somewhere abroad
  5. buy a small farm and build a nice home my family—complete with my dream greenhouse, and indoor pool w/retractable roof
  6. set up a charitable donations account and invest the rest

Five of my bad habits

  1. sleeping late
  2. forgetting to pray
  3. not thinking entirely through what I'm going to say
  4. being too sensitive to others' feelings (then I obsess)
  5. being inpatient with the Supreme Princess

Five places I have lived

  1. Provo, Tooele, & Salt Lake City, Utah
  2. Frederick, Maryland
  3. Long Beach, California
  4. Tucson, Arizona
  5. Denver, Colorado

Five jobs I’ve had

  1. pizza maker at Little Caesars (first job)
  2. Sales secretary for Nature's Way
  3. Sales secretary for Convergys
  4. Construction assistant at Big-D Construction while they constructed all of the venues for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics
  5. Currently and forever more, and occupational therapist

AND my own “5 things” additional category (just for fun!):

What I’d like to be doing in 25 years

  1. be a cookies & milk grandma
  2. in the Peace Corp
  3. going on a church mission
  4. being at peace finally with my past
  5. um, still be alive. My grandmother whom I take after died unexpectedly when she was 46 from a stomach-related disease. No autopsy so I'm sort of in the dark about what I'm up against... sorry for the morbidity
I guess I'll pass this along to: Christy, Tara, Susan, Shelby and Rachel

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Little Seinfeld Never Killed Anybody

Sorry Kelly. I had to do it.

I was watching Seinfeld the other night, specifically Elaine, when it dawned on me that I know this girl...personally! And then I wracked my brain trying to figure out who the heck it was!!

Then it hit's my friend Kelly. Check her out here.

She even sort of looks like Elaine, really! For those of you who know her, don't you agree?

When Seinfeld was running, I used to sit back and think, "are there really people in the world like that?" regretting that there probably weren't, but that if there were, I'd want to know them because I sort of feel a little "Seinfeld" myself, at times.

And now I do. I get real-life Seinfeld every day if I want it. I just have to call 867-5309 (had ya huh?) Kelly, did your heart stop?

Until you know "Elaine" in real-life, you don't know what you're missing...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hallway Makeover

Yesterday I woke up to an overcast and ugly day, creating an even darker hallway than typical. Our walls are the color of brown-bags, by choice. In other rooms of the house I love it, but in the hallway it's just depressing.

Time for an overhaul.

I spent the day painting it a light cream and will do the baseboards white eventually. I think we'll replace all of the trim upstairs eventually but that can wait - so expensive!

Today I focused on putting together a menagerie of pictures and accoutrements that will take up the longest wall. A trip to the basement storage room to rummage for picture frames, and then to Iron Works, and $100 later I was ready.

I cut paper the size of the wall I wanted to decorate then laid it on the floor and arranged everything the way I wanted, outlined them in pencil and marked where all the nails would go. I then taped it to the wall, pounded holes then tore the paper away. What was left was a clean slate where I could just hang up the stuff!

What a difference! Well, it's actually hard to tell because the before pic was taken in the day, and the after pic was taken in the evening.

Aren't these so cute?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Mom, What's Her Name Again?

That's what I asked my mom several times after my little sister was born. Dude, she was just this little pink thing and I could barely keep track of the names of my Barbies for goodness sake!

It's Ellen, by the way (the one in the middle...with the black eye??? Yikes!) She's now 30, still pink...not so little. But that's because she's pregnant and due in July which is just around the corner.

I've blogged about Ellen, here and here. And I guess I keep posting about her because she's an anomaly to me, so different than me, and just amazing.

I teased her the other day because in July, she will officially have 3 children...under the age of 3. To top if off, as far as I know none of them are potty trained although I'm sure she's working on the oldest, a little girl and it shouldn't be too hard.

All I can say is that if anyone has the patience for a job of this magnitude, it's her. She's so patient, calm and determined. Not that she doesn't have a temper...because she does [I've seen it many times, being her big sis and all - boy do I know how to bring it out] but that's not the point. She is so laid back that having 3 kids to her will probably be a walk in the park. Hehe, a lot of walks in the park.

Anyway, I'm excited for a new baby, even if the last one is well, um still a baby. At least she has super cute kids - keep 'em coming El - keep the grandparents happy!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Trip to the In-Laws

Have patience. I'll be back tomorrow. Don't have regular internet access here; just a quickie on & off. Won't be able to drop e-cards today either but will be back to doing it tomorrow. Just one day off.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Indoor Vegetable Garden

In February, when I planted my little indoor vegetable garden, it was the first time I'd used these lights and done it this particular way. I covered all of the plants with plastic wrap to keep the humidity in. I didn't take into account the natural humidity in the room and all of the seeds and peat containers molded away.

All except this box of peas which have been doing amazingly well! You can't really see it but they are winding all of the place trying to find places to attach themselves to. I'll want to put them outside soon.

I replanted all of the other seeds today. I figure that they can just grow as much as they can until mid-May and then take the whole peat pot and plant it, after a little hardening off. I'm really excited!

Hope they do better than the last planting! I've got lots of things here that I've never planted before.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dreams and Reality

When I graduated from college, I had a diploma saying that I had SKILLS. Skills that could change people's lives. I had dreams of creating programs, instituting them and making a huge difference.

Somewhere along the road, my dreams of changing the world capitulated into endless loads of laundry, dishes, cleaning out the tub after baths, paying bills and playing Polly Pocket, which are worthwhile activities and I'm not complaining about that.

It's just hard to be altruistic when my daily focus is right this basket of dirty clothes, in this dirty sink, in this un-made bed.

I know...the Peace Corp can wait, my child is only young once. I'm trying to be patient.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

One Week To Live

I read a post today over on Charles Hamel's blog about having a week left to live. It was hypothetical, and he wanted to know what you'd do if you knew you only had a week left.

I asked for permission to post my answer here. It intrigued me, that question. A week just isn't very much time!

What would I do?

He asked if I would try to mend any broken fences, like relationship type things. The answer to that is no. I believe that who you encounter here will also be encountered in the after-life and so there is time for that, not to mention a good deal of perspective.

Would I hit my knees in a last ditch attempt to redeem my soul? Probably a little. I don't think many people can honestly say they wouldn't say a few heart-felt prayers *just in case*. Not that at this point do I think that would make any difference whatsoever.

Here are 5 things I'd do in the week before I knew I'd die:

1) write a very long letter to my now 3 year old daughter for her to read when she's 20
2) let my 3 year old sleep with me every single night
3) share a whole cheesecake with whomever wanted to (as long as I got the majority, lol)
4) have a small, intimate party with family and close friends
5) spend every last waking moment with my husband and daughter

It just occurred to me that none of these things need to wait until the last week of my life.