Saturday, November 29, 2008

In case you didn't know

My hair is darker again. Much darker. See for yourself.

Everyone seems to be pretty surprised that it is so too. But Chris likes it and it is growing on me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Year of the Wreath

I'm not an interior designer. We've lived here two years and we don't have a single frame or decoration in our entire bedroom. The frames and decorations I do have up around the house are super simple and who knows if I even have them up aesthetically, if they are centered, or at the right height.

Ever since we got married and I had a house to take care of and attempt to decorate, I've wanted to have a wreath on my front door. You may think it sounds kind of cheesy, but I really like the idea of having a beautiful, seasonal wreath for every time of year. And for six years I've wanted and thought about but never had my "wreath rotation"--maybe because I didn't have a house worthy of decorating, or perhaps because I couldn't afford the one that I envisioned. I've even pictured my storage room with off-season wreaths mounted on every wall. One year I tried making my own Christmas wreath with a la carte plastic greens and berries on some craft wire (probably costing less than $5 total)--it was really pathetic looking, a sorry excuse for a wreath, and sadly I kept it around for several years, finally throwing it out today.

At some point in time I subconsciously deemed this year as "The Year of the Wreath." I decided that since we finally had a non-impoverished income, a beautiful home, and a nest of kids, that makes us worthy of finally having a wreath for every season. And it contributes even more to that sense of "home" that is so cozy and not at all temporary. 'Cuz hey, we've lived in Provo for six years and we're finally having Christmas at the same address two years in a row--that's gotta mean something.

A Change of Decor
Here's the before and after. Last month I decorated my one surface inside the house, putting out a fall garland I got last year on clearance after the fact, and my first-ever Wreath!

Then today I finally got my Christmas Wreath! I really wanted the one with large poinsettias, several colored ribbons and cute little snowmen dangling from it, but that one was $130.

I decided to just spruce up a cheaper wreath and make it just as cute. Thanks to 30-60% off sales at Roberts, for $35 I got a wreath, some shape-able ribbon and some cute little ornaments to hang on it. I also got two sparkly wooden greetings for about $10 each--they are cute and trendy and having them makes me feel like I, too, can be on board with in-style decor even though I may be stylishly imcompetent otherwise. And on my "mantle" I cheated by turning our speakers sideways and draping blue fabric over them (hehehe). Oh, and I'm so glad I have a three-year old style guru who was able to help me pick out the right things (she picked out the bell all by herself). I think the wreath and my TV-top display both turned out really fun and classy. I'm so excited to finally have my Christmas Wreath!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yeah, it's that kind of day

The first thing I did this morning was reverse the doorknob on my daughter's bedroom door so that it locks on the outside.

Yeah. Tantrums. They're great.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Girl Who Cried "Potty"

Scenario 1:

1. Situate yourself with a baby, a new diaper, and a container of wipes.
2. Remove child's soiled diaper, clean his behind, replace with clean diaper.
3. Discard soiled diaper. Replace clothing.
4. Wash hands thoroughly.

Scenario 2:

1. Remind child to go potty every 30 minutes, before every meal, outing, and at least three times before bed.
2. Help her remove pants and sit on potty.
3. Return 5 minutes later, cheer for joy, clean her behind.
4. Flush, replace clothing.
5. Wash two sets of hands thoroughly.
(I highly prefer this method)

Scenario 3:

1. Hear "Oh, NO! I went potty!"
2. Observe puddle of pee accumulate (in slow motion) on the floor, on the kitchen chair, and on the carpet.
3. Find something to soak it up with. Strip soiled clothing off of child.
4. Take child up to tub and scrub her down.
5. Dry her off and dress her in clean, dry clothes.
6. Clean up mess on kitchen floor: Soak up pee and sanitize surfaces. Scrub cloth kitchen chair.
7. Pile up all the nasty clothes and towels and cleaning rags, start a load of laundry.
8. Wash hands thoroughly.
9. Give child a big hug and tell her you love her anyway.
10. Reheat lunch and finish eating.
11. Repeat again 2 hours later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas Card Stamp-A-Stack

Come on, you know you want to.

In order to avoid being annoyingly patronizing, I'll spare you the details. If you're interested, click the "RSVP" link in the top right corner of my blog. You can also just order the ready-made cards from me for $2 each.

Don't forget about my Demonstrator Website.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Making History

Guest post by Frank Sorenson, aka SuperGrandpa

On Tuesday night, when we realized that the Obama campaign was planning a post-election rally in Chicago, we decided that we wanted to be there when history was made. I have been fighting a cold, but I agreed to go down to Chicago with Ellen. We stuffed pbj sandwiches into a backpack and jumped on a train to the city.

To get into the restricted seating area where the speeches would be given required admission tickets, but we knew that the park is a big place and we wanted to be there to participate in the event. People were streaming into the park, where there were several 40-foot-wide tv monitors showing election results as they came in. The crowd was enormous! People of every race, age and economic status were there (but probably not every political party). We were fortunate to have one of those very rare Indian summer days where the temperature was in the 60s—it could have been 25 with sleet.

The gathering was the best of the USA : a beautiful city, a peaceful, multicultural crowd enjoying the basic right to peacefully assemble, and the evidence of a fair election (no killings, no kidnappings, no stolen ballot boxes, etc.). Though crowded, the 200,000 or so people present all seemed to be happy to gather together to celebrate the successful election of the first Black to the US presidency.

When I was a young adult, water fountains, bathrooms, and even restaurants were segregated in many areas of the south. Many jobs were not available to blacks (in the south and in the north), even though they may have had the same qualifications as the whites who got the jobs. Growing up in Utah, I didn’t even know of these inequalities!! It wasn’t until I served in the army, visited the south, and read histories that I understood the latent racism that took so long to die.

This week we had an election where 110+ million people voted without threats or coercion; the outgoing president will not call up the Marines to keep himself in power; nobody will “suspend the constitution” and declare himself a dictator-for-life. The most powerful position in the world will be changed peacefully and smoothly because the entire nation is run by laws and proper procedures. And the new president will be a black man! We have truly come a long way from the days of Jim Crow.

We cheered as projections came on the big screen. We tried to position ourselves so we could see the screen nearest us, but it was difficult because of the enormous crowd. We needed to catch a 10:40 pm train back to Naperville, and stayed as long as we dared. We had left the park and were on Michigan Avenue when word came that McCain was going to concede defeat. We could tell something had happened because of the roar of the crowd. Where we were, there were 200 people entering the park for every 1 person leaving! Cars were honking, people were cheering, and everyone was a friend to everyone. Most blacks admit they NEVER thought it would be possible for a black to be elected.

So, while we were not able to shake hands with the president-elect, at least we can say we were there on the night history was made.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Walking baby, jealous toddler

Trust me, this is worth 68 seconds of your time. Not only do you get to see Samuel attempt his first steps (which he did accomplish after the memory card was full), but you can see me completely ignore Leah. She's a smart girl.

Luck of Late

I'm becoming increasingly familiar with the Allstate Insurance claims process. I had that ridiculous car accident in August and was thoroughly humbled to be a more cautious driver. (And even though I should probably avoid Target based on Leah's stitches and my parking lot crunch, I still continue to go there--is that asking for trouble?)

Well, not only did we seriously loose the remote control several weeks ago, forcing us to actually decide what we want to watch before sitting down, I've now misplaced my keys and already managed to get locked out once.

And the clincher, last week one of our bikes got stolen!

It was the one I won in a drawing back in 2004. And this summer we bought a second one just like it so we could go on bike rides together. Here's the strangest part of this all: We had two bikes hanging upside down in our carport, with a car parked underneath them. They were both locked. The perpetrator cut the cable on the older bike and took it and didn't even attempt cutting the cable of the newer, nicer bike (fortunately!). So how do you cut a cable and maneuver a bike down from the rafters with a car parked underneath it? Do people that do this kind of thing seriously have no conscience whatsoever?

Chris had been riding it to work every day and we were only filling up the gas tank twice a month, but with a $250 deductible, we can't exactly buy a brand new bike.

Any brilliant ideas of where to find our bike, my keys, or the remote? (And it's not in the couch) Maybe we'll find them all together with a stash of lonely socks. That's my bad luck. Oh, and I have a stomach bug this week.

At least Obama won--that's something to smile about. :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Candy Coma

What do you get when Cruella DeVille and the Phantom of the Opera reproduce? A round-baby-faced Dalmatian and a genuine cowgirl!

Leah had two Reese's peanut butter cups and got a tummy ache before we even left home. Of course, she had refused to take a nap earlier in the day, so when it was finally time to go trick-or-treating, she wanted to lie down and rest. But once the first costumed kids came by and she could see how the system worked, she was ready to get going. Unfortunately, she wanted to eat every piece of candy as it was deposited into her pumpkin, a practice we obviously had to stop before it got started.

This year I made my Cruella coat, Leah's vest, chaps, and arm/sleeve thingies (without a pattern, thank you very much!), and Chris's cape and vest. I got Samuel's costume at Walmart for $8. You can't really see it in the picture, but Chris is wearing a wig, and it looks pretty good! He got an award at his office Halloween party for the most elaborate costume. Go Phantom!

After the neighborhood trick-or-treat, we ventured over to the church for our ward's annual chili cook-off, party, and trunk or treat. It was a blast. Halfway through the meal Samuel pulled an entire bowl of chili onto my lap which included Chris's phantom cape, my dress, and my Cruella coat. Ugh. It was really messy. Oh well, I guess I'm washable. Speaking of washing, my hair was so tangly that I had to cut the hair ties out, it took four shampoos to get all the paint out, and two conditionings to get the majority of the tangles out. Then my shower enclosure looked like Psycho meets blender. Greaaat.

Okay, here are some awesome pictures. It is 2:24am. I am much less coherent at this hour than at day-light hours, although sometimes I'm not entirely coherent then, either. Actually, thanks to daylight savings time, I think it is really only 1:24...again. Either way, I think it's too late/early to be blogging. I better hit the sack. Enjoy!