Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer mosaic

Some other randomness

I saw this and I almost peed my pants and then I thought about it a little more and cried.

Product description from
Dr. Michael Salzhauer, a renowned plastic surgeon, wrote My Beautiful Mommy to help patients explain their transformation to their children. The story guides children through Mommy's surgery and healing process in a friendly, nonthreatening way. Through vivid illustrations and straightforward dialogue, My Beautiful Mommy explains a parent s physical transformation in a breezy, child-friendly manner from a young child s perspective. You and your child will follow along as Mommy goes through her plastic surgery experience and learn how the entire family pitches in to help Mommy achieve her beautiful results.
Plastic surgery has become extremely common among mothers with young children. In 2007 more than 400,000 women with young children underwent elective cosmetic surgery in the U.S. alone.
If you are a mother with young children and thinking about having plastic surgery - this book is a must have.
Undergoing a plastic surgery procedure can be an exciting and stressful time for you and your family. After you ve picked a board-certified plastic surgeon and a surgery date, take a few minutes to read through this book with your child.
This book will make your plastic surgery experience more understandable to your little ones. Information For Parents: Plastic surgery has become extremely common among mothers with young children. In 2007 more than 400,000 women with young children underwent elective cosmetic surgery in the U.S. alone.
As any parent will tell you - children are very perceptive. It is nearly impossible to hide a plastic surgery transformation from your children. In my years of experience, trying to do so adds additional and unnecessary stress for both parent and child. Throughout the process young children can become confused.
During the initial consultation they may ask themselves questions such as Why is Mommy going to the doctor? Is Mommy sick? If these questions are not addressed, the child will often imagine fantastical scenarios to fill in the gaps of information they are lacking. This phenomenon becomes more pronounced after the surgery.
Once mommy is home and the child sees that mommy is bandaged and bruised, they can become even more worried and inquisitive. Finally, when the bandages come off and mommy looks somewhat different, their confusion may lead to responses that adults may find inappropriate or hard to understand.
This book is designed to explain to your child what to expect - from the initial consultation to the final result. It is recommended that you read this with your child (and spouse) at least three times during the plastic surgery process: once prior to the initial consultation (if they will be coming along), once more prior to the surgery, and then again during the post-operative healing phase. Encourage your child to ask questions as you read. Answer them in an honest and straightforward manner in language they will understand.
If you follow this advice, you will be able to calm your children s fears, address their concerns, and help your family to sail easily through the plastic surgery experience.

Some random things for a Monday

1) My mom posted over on her blog about these skirts so here is one...aren't we cute?

2) My mom says that I am an "oversharer". She thinks that I tell people too much about myself and sometime it's going to bite me in the butt. For some reason I have been thinking about this a lot lately and I think I've come to a conclusion. I have decided that I'm going to continue to be an oversharer. Here's why: First, as long as I'm talking about myself and how I feel and I am honest while keeping in mind that I shouldn't say things that hurt other people then there could only be harm done to me and no one else. Second, Being direct is a unique part of my personality that I'm not willing to give up in the interest of playing it safe. Last, It weeds out the sissies. If you know who I am, quirks, faults and all then you love me or you don't.

3) I can't believe the summer is almost over. I feel like I've been running non-stop. It's one of the things that I love about summer but it's also the thing that makes me long for sweaters.(I know that makes no sense but it does in my crazy world)
So, this last weekend I finally stayed home and it was really nice. Watched movies, did some swimming, went to the Saturday market, finished all my laundry, bought groceries and a bunch or random household things (hangers, ironing board cover, etc). It was really great and mundane and helped me draw a conclusion. It really is all about balance and your personal balance may be different from anyone else's. I like to be busy and have a lot of things to do, places to go, etc and when I have several days that feel a little crazy then I can appreciate the days that are "everyday life" kind of days. I have been struggling with feeling guilty about not wanting to be home doing "mom things". I have been working a lot and really enjoying it and for some dumb reason I feel bad for enjoying it. I guess it's just mom guilt.

4) Later today I will be posting pictures of our summer so far, more hiking pics and my postcards.

EDITED: For some reason my skirt pic isn't showing up...I'll try again later today.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My family's favorite meals

This one is for you Warren:

Thai Chicken Burritos
Cooked chicken breast marinated in Soy Vay Very Very Teriyaki
Black Beans
Shredded Cheese
Green onions
Big tortilla
Lots of peanut sauce

Roast Beef Pesto Sandwiches
Roast beef
Sourdough bread
Provolone or Swiss
Grill it up on the George Foreman panini style

Tortellini "Soup"
It's not really soup but that's what Livi calls it
Refrigerated fresh tortellini (or frozen)
Tomato Soup
Onion flavored cream cheese
Chicken broth (2 cans)

Cook the tortellini as directed on the package but in chicken broth not water
When it gets to a boil scoop out some chicken broth and whisk it in a separate bowl with the cream cheese and tomato soup. Whisk until smooth, pour it all in with the tortellini and simmer for about 15 minutes. You can add Italian Sausage too.

Kelly's Chicken
Chicken breast (diced)
Brown sugar
Black beans
(could add corn)

Cook the chicken breast(s) in butter until nearly cooked through. Add a handful of brown sugar, cook until the brown sugar melts, add about a cup of salsa per chicken breast. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in Black beans (and corn if you want). Put it on your plate, mix it up with some rice and use torn pieces of tortilla like a utensil...scoop or pinch and shovel it in.

Wicked Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
Family Size Cream of Chicken (or whatever your favorite "cream of" soup is)
Favorite 1 pound bag of frozen mixed veggies
Cooked Diced Chicken-2 big breasts (hehe)
Lots of pepper

Put one crust on the bottom of a pie plate
Mix all the crap in a big bowl
Dump it on the crust
Put the other crust on top
Pinch the sides together
Cut slits in the top
Bake at 475 for about 30 minutes (until golden brown)
This makes a lot of pot pie but you can cut the crusts and make it in two smaller oven safe containers and freeze them. When you cook a frozen one don't thaw it first just cook it longer.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head! The nice thing about all of these (except the pot pie) is you can make as little or as much as you'd like.
I'm sure I'll be able to think of more later. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Voluntary Simplicity

My dad would say that I save too much stuff. I believe that this is only because he tosses/donates/recycles a little over zealously. He has been known to dump my mom's Coke down the drain while she is drinking it. She sets it down on the counter, folds some laundry, comes back and it's gone. I'm so not joking. So I said all that because I know my dad will call bullshit on what I'm about to say.

I have been reading a lot about "voluntary simplicity". It's everywhere in print and online. Even if they don't call it that particular catch phrase there is a general buzz about simplifying your life. It goes hand in hand with "going green" and that has proven to be a marketing gold mine so why not cash in on the next step?
I keep reading all these stories about people who have sold all their things to live on a boat, move to a house in the country with no electricity and become organic farmers, pack up their six bare footed hippie children and live in a bus. That is not the kind of simplicity that I dig. Definitely not. But there is something so deeply appealing to me about owning less stuff. I love getting rid of things (ask that poor unsuspecting television) that I don't use/want/love. It may possibly be my favorite thing to do. I pride myself on the amount of toys my children don't own, that I actually wear every piece of clothing in my closet, etc etc but every day I wish I could have less. I read this article and most of the things said in it made me a little ill but I identified with this part and I think it says pretty accurately about how I feel about stuff:

“If it enhances your life and helps you do the things you want to do, great. If you are burdened by these things and they become the center of what you have to do to live, is that really positive?”

I'm sure there are a million reasons that this owning less appeals to me...I'm sure it's deeply rooted in past childhood trauma having to do with my mom...but the one I choose to acknowledge is that one. What you own owns you. If you have less stuff aren't you free to do what you want to do? Be who you want to be?

To be clear: I do not want to go without electricity, hot running water, a soft bed, beer, Doritos. I have no intention on becoming a stinky hippie (don't get me wrong, I love hippies) or eating only organic food. There is nothing spiritual or deep. I just want to be able to do the things I want to do and I intensely believe that in order for that to happen you can't have a ton of shit weighing you down. You can't have a bunch of bills from the acquiring of all that shit. And most important of all...things are just that. Toys don't create happy children. Six sets of fancy plates don't create fun dinners with your friends and family. Keeping that size six pair of jeans will not make you weigh 120 pounds again. Having a new car will not make you cool.

I could go on.

Disclaimer: Compared to bazillions of people in the world I have so much stuff that it's disgusting. I want for nothing and the fact that we have to have some kind of bullshit "movement" for a measly few hundred people to cut down on the insane amount of buying more and more and more...well it all just smacks of yuppie B.S. Right up there with my super cute reusable grocery bags that are my token contribution to saving Earth. So I am definitely pointing the finger back at my self righteous self and's not enough. You are still sickeningly fortunate and the fact that you even have to worry about owning less...well that says it all right there.

Ok, I will step down from the soap box now. Thank you. hehe

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Since you were wondering...

My other guilty pleasures...

1) When I had a television my guilty (and OMG do I feel guilty every time I watch it) pleasure was watching TMZ. I am so very ashamed that I even hate to admit it but there it is for all the world to see. I LOVE TMZ!! The really dumb thing is that I don't even know who the hell they are talking about half the time but there is just something so sick and appealing. It's like a train wreck.

2) Reading a book all afternoon. I know this isn't really a "guilty pleasure" in the strictest sense but the part that I feel guilty about is that at 5:30 I jump up off the couch, throw dinner together, pick up the kid carnage and act like I've been slaving away all day when Jimmy walks in the door at 6. (hehe)

3) Nacho Cheese Doritos. I can actually eat an entire Family Size bag...without throwing up. I also really love those disgusting tacos from Jack In The Box...but I have to be pretty drunk to eat those.

I'm sure I can think of more later...right now I'm headed back to work!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rexburg, my guilty pleasure

I had a lovely weekend in Rexburg!

We left Thursday afternoon and arrived just in time for dinner. The kids were FANTASTIC on the drive there. I kept bracing myself for a pull over on the next exit in a big ass hurry moment and it never came. They colored, they ate, they slept, they colored some more and then we were there! I was so proud of them. I think they were annoyed at how gushy I was about it. "You girls didn't fight at all!" "I'm so proud of you for being such great travelers" and on and on until Jamie actually said, "I know mom! You think we're great hikers too," in her most exasperated voice. Apparently I gushed about hiking also.

Friday we went grocery shopping and played at the splash park downtown. We picked up lunch and then Kelsey told me about a place that only serves....drumroll....gourmet hot dogs!! I wanted to throw my lunch out the window and go there instead. I've made a mental note to go there next time....for EVERY meal!

Saturday was spent at Bear World. I wanted to go to Yellowstone but the time crunch won and we went just down the road to Bear World instead. You drive through really slowly and look for bears that roam free through the park. (Well, as free as electric fences around the perimeter could be.)

We were right behind the feeding truck so all the bears were out on the road when we went through. A HUGE ass black bear licked all the bugs off the front of our car and then sniffed around Kelsey's window. It was a little creepy.

Ooh, I forgot about Saturday morning! We spent the entire morning in the front yard watching the crop duster. That was actually the highlight of my trip. I tried to take a picture but the sun wouldn't cooperate. I should edit that to read, I spent the entire morning watching the crop duster. Everyone else lost interest after 5 minutes. Once again...easily entertained. Hey, at least I'd be a cheap date, right!?
"Do you want to spend 75 dollars at Bear World or do you want to drink cheap beer and watch the crop duster?" See, totally a cheap date. Shut up...I think it's a good quality to have!

I decided to head home Saturday night instead of early Sunday morning so we hit the road at 5 and once again...super little travelers! Our ipod died somewhere around Burley so that kinda sucked but the really great thing was all the talking that the girls did...for a while anyway. It got annoying around Mountain Home but before that...hilarious!

Oh and one more thing. Despite my eye rolling about Rexburg, I actually really love it. I love that we rode 4 wheelers to the dunes and my kids swam naked in the lake, I love that the crop duster was my favorite thing, I love that when I asked Kelsey where the next gas station was she said, "There isn't another one between here and my house" (20 miles-ish), I love that across the yard is a giant spud cellar that is empty right now so some guys from the church are building a parade float in it, I love it that Kelsey sees someone she knows everywhere we go, I love that there are streets and hills named after her family, I love that Kelsey's dad was 5 minutes from the house and of course he had jumper cables in his work truck, I love (and am terrified of) crossing on the freeway instead of over it, I love all the little dorky things that make it annoying and rural. It's my guilty pleasure, for sure.

To be fair, I would actually drop dead if I had to live there but I do enjoy visiting!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Oops...I completely forgot to post postcard pictures. I will be making more this weekend while visiting my little brother in the beautiful town of Rexburg! Maybe I'll post them all together.
So yeah...Tonight I'm taking my kids to their first Hawks game and then I am leaving tomorrow afternoon for Rexburg. Here I come! I'll be back Sunday!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I planned on posting pictures of my postcards today but I forgot the stupid cable to hook my camera to my computer.
But a little update anyway...
The girl that is organizing the swap took an early vacation so I have not mailed any out. Turned out to be a good thing because it sounds like I'll have to make 15 and I've only made 7.
I decided to go with a "simple pleasures of summer" theme. It wasn't hard because I am all about the simple pleasures in everything. (My friend, Buffy, would call it "easily entertained". hehe)
So, I decided on some simple pleasures and then to help me with a direction I labeled them with a color and basically stuck to that color for every piece of the postcard.
I promise to post pictures tonight. I know the pictures won't quite do them justice because they are very textured. On one of them I even embroidered on a piece of an old sheet. I had so much fun making them. I'm hooked.
So, here's the list. Read it and then leave me a comment about your favorite simple pleasure of summer. I need 6 or 7 more!

1. Bare feet in the grass (green)
2. Colorful cotton skirts (red)
3. Summer love (pink)
4. Hot sun (orange)
5. Cold water (blue)
6. Cool sheets (white)
7. Sleeping under the stars (black)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hiking Pics....story below

Partially successful

I am home a day early because our backpacking trip did not quite go as planned.
We left Friday and after much debate decided to drive through Mountain Home....through get south of Stanley to our desired "base camp". We planned on camping in our tent on Friday night then getting up early to set out for 4th of July Lake and stay the night there.
Sometimes my kids are fantastic in the car but sometimes....dear god someone kill me!!!
By the time we got to Hailey I was going to rip someone's head off and stick it down their bickering throats. (Ugh, I'm still annoyed) So, we decided to camp at the SNRA Headquarters campground and then head over Galena Summit in the morning. 4th of July Lake is a 1.5 mile hike so we could have set out pretty late and still made it.
We found a nice little camping spot, made friends with the camp host, built a fire, hung out and then headed to bed.
I could not, for the life of me, sleep. I won't get into the sordid details here but suffice to say...sometimes anxiety gets the better of me. Especially at night and especially in "bear country". And it was so freakin' cold that we ended up sleeping in the car (a tight fit in a Toyota Camry wagon) Jimmy and the kids were in the back with the seats laid down and I was wedged in the front seat.
In the morning we walked to the ranger station and asked about hikes close to town. We decided to day hike and then head home Saturday evening. We would try backpacking again when the night time lows were above 2o degrees. Too damn cold for my babies.
So, Baker Lake it was. 2.5 miles (5 roundtrip). We were a little nervous that the kids might not make it but decided to try anyway.
Let me just kids are so cool. They made it 2.4 miles and then some really friendly guy gave Olivia a shoulder ride the last .1 miles because he thought she was so cool for having hiked that far. So with Jamie on Jimmy's shoulders and Olivia on the nice guy's with a dog named Max..we made it. We fished and played for about an hour and then headed back.

This conversation between Olivia and I on the way back is definitely the highlight of the trip:

"Mom, I'm feeling happy because we made it all the way to the lake. We fished and now we are going back to the car and I'm going to fall asleep."

"Do you know how I'm feeling, Olivia?"

"Yeah, you're feeling proud of us"

"That is exactly how I feel, baby."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Big plans

I am taking my kids on their very first backpacking trip this weekend!

I'm so excited and so is Olivia. I think Jamie and Jimmy could do without it but no one gets to be a party pooper at my party! (Some people have been know to find this trait of mine annoying).

We are going to 4th of July Lake in the White Clouds. It's a super short hike (1.5 ish) and if we get there and decide we want to keep going then there is another lake 1 mile away and several more another 3 miles.

Last night Olivia and I spread everything out on the living room floor and double checked that we had everything we needed. She quickly caught on to the fact that we were carrying all of this stuff on our backs so we wouldn't be taking any stuffed animals or Polly Pockets. My favorite part of the conversation was when I said, "Nature is the toy, honey. We are not bringing toys."
Whatever the hell that means but she totally got it.

Later on she said, hoisting Jimmy's sleeping pad up off the floor, "Mom, this is heavy, maybe we shouldn't take it." Hehe. Priorities baby, priorities.

Free to blog, at last

I was tagged by someone to do something and the only thing I can remember is "What were you doing ten years ago?"

Lets see...
Ten years ago I was 17 and heading into my senior year of high school. I wish I could remember the details of what I was thinking and doing. How I felt. Time flies and your memory fades really quickly, huh? I do have something to say to my 17 year old self,

"You have no idea how much different your life will be than what you planned. You will not die if your parents forbid you to date him. In fact, he will become so insignificant in your life, you will be amazed. Please don't give up anything for him because this is it. This is the only time in your life that you will have the luxury of being selfish. Please have fun and stop worrying about the future. All your worrying will be for nothing. You will end up upside down and inside out from what you planned so please enjoy today."

I'm sure that someday my 37 year old self will say to my 27 year old self these very same things. Why can't I hear it now? I don't know anyone who can.