lend me your ideas

So! I have scheduled on my calendar my very first elementary school mom helper day. I am excited, but hopelessly pathetic in the kid craft department. If the internet did not exist I would be doing the tootsie roll pop ghosts with tissue and marker eyes every year. I'm that bad.
I googled ideas for kid bug crafts, as bugs are the theme for the week. I want to do a book/ craft/ snack that are related to one another. I came up with caterpillar. Well, not me. My internet findings led me to this idea. Ask me to pull together a talk for sacrament meeting or a power point presentation with a 5 minute warning and I'm good. Entertain a little room of kids and my palms get sweaty.

Book: Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Craft: paper chain caterpillars w/ googly eyes

Snack: Caterpillars ideas:

a) cupcakes like image above


b) just bring little samples of what the Hungry Caterpillar eats:

•Ice Cream (but not this)
•Swiss cheese
•Cherry Pie
•Leaves (lettuce)

Those of you more experienced at this, I would love more ideas. They are 5 year old kids with limited attention and need few steps.
Can't I just turn it into a career day and tell them about the HIPPA law? Or Final Written Warnings? Or something else from my extensive HR background???!! I could hand out stress balls. Maybe draw their names on them, over the company logo, with a marker?


saving retail. one post at a time.

It's too bad toddlers don't get sarcasm. Cos we'd all be laughing a whole lot more during the day if they were instinctively on board my humor train.
Then that whole 'hey shut the sliding glass door' and him telling me no over and over would have been a whole lot more funny.

If he understood the hilarity of how I wanted to respond it would have made the day go by a whole lot faster.

It's cool, actually. Leave it wide open. Afterall. Yeah, um I didn't really mind, telling me no is so awesome. It makes me feel really good. Happy. All fuzzy inside. In fact, since there are like- oh- seven bees about three inches from your face begging to buzz into the house it would be best if you just went to get the honey. While you left the door wide open. Telling me no. While looking right at me. Then go ahead and smear it all over the family. While you leave the door open. For the bees to come & hang out with us inside. And hey while you're at it, why don't you just go ahead and kick my teeth in, too. That would be just about as much fun as you telling me no all day long. While the bees sting us. Then we'll have a bunch more fun in the afternoon while you scratch my eyes out with forks. Man, your dad's really missing out on all the fun today.

In other totally unrelated news, someone needs to let JCPenny in on a secret. In the 10+ years I have seen them busting out their Back to School commercials never have I seen a kid in their clothing actually look cool. It's not working out, the whole image thing they have been trying to go for. It makes no one in their right mind of school age want to go there and purchase their items. Regardless of the quality/ coolness of their products, the commercial just keeps killing any sort of hope of an image they could have. They should find the people who rescued Target's branding. That would be a nice suggestion for them.

Oh Sylvia

It's impossible
for me to look at this picture
and not smile.


okay. so. parenthood

This is hard. We jump into this whole ordeal without an earthly understanding of all that we are truly getting into. And all that it fully means to commit to such an enormous responsibility. And that no one explains the extent to which it can really suck sometimes. It is so much more work and taking of you beyond anything you could imagine. We just throw confetti into the air when someone has a baby and we forget to whisper into their ear 'hey this job feels really hard and frustrating sometimes, but it's okay cos it's normal to feel that way. Some days are amazing, but many days are not.'

Which is all good, I would still do it all over again. Every single day of it. Motherhood. And I obviously choose to keep doing it as we intentionally grow our family. But I'm just tired of feeling bad for the guilt of realizing that it's a whole lot of work. And it just gets harder and the work just gets more complicated and heart breaking and frustrating. But those are the parts I guess we aren't supposed to admit to, right? That sometimes a little daydream into former life reminds you it used to be a lot easier. And you didn't even have any idea how much to appreciate that 'easier' life because it was all you ever knew and whatever, it was hard waiting 5 minutes for a treadmill at the gym! THAT made for such a rough evening.


I explained to someone once what it felt like to become a mother. I said simply that it is the quickest way to learn selflessness. And sometimes that learning rubs shoulders with selfishness and they want to have a fight. But selfless always wins. And that's the beauty of how God created mommies. And in all the journey of being a mommy it's okay to be aware that it's a lot more work to do than we imagined. It's all a lot less heavy when we smile, it just might change the world.
This morning in the usual rush of getting Zane ready for school, I normally find I am able to dedicate the entire time to him. To keep things moving and avoid distraction. This morning I stepped aside from the routine for a moment to change a baby diaper. I returned to his side and found he had logged onto the computer, somehow got to the Nokia website and found a cool phone he wanted to show me.

Patient and curious of his exploratory computer time, I let him show me what he was so excited about before I hurried him along to his shower. I am glad I did. Because as he excitedly pointed to this $600 phone, he said "Mom, I'm going to get this for you when I marry you".

Okay, so truly he has no idea what the concept of marriage is and all, only that you pick a girl to be with forever. So it completely melts my heart when he says things like this. My Zaney is quite a handful to put it simply, but dang this kid is so awesome.



If I drank tea.

If I had a china cabinet.

If I had an unallocated $99 laying around burning a hole in my pocket.

If I wasn't so darn practical.

Then this happy Teavana's Noble Poppy Bone China Tea Set would have a home with me.



I spied PAUL FRANK at Target in the kids clothing department. Way to go Target. $7.99 for such coolness is waaaaaaaaay better than the $25+ I have spent for Paul in former days.


of being a spoiled, bratty housewife

Do you remember that part in Raising Arizona where the jailbirds bust out of the muddy ground? When Mike gets home from traveling and I leave the house completely alone for any amount of time or any purpose I feel exactly like that. It's amazing to me the grandiose feeling of ease (10 million bricks lifted) being alone even to get a slurpee down the street at circle k without latching / unlatching one.single.carseat. Or baby mouth.

It's incredible (or is it pathetic?) how a simple little teeny tiny outing like that by myself pleases me.

I sneere in the direction of 'convenience' stores during the week at all hours of any day as I roll past in my car. shyea. sooooooo convenient. Then my cotton mouth turns green at the thought of an ice cold 44 ouncer of Sprite. And watch the luxury of the patrons coming in and out and in and out. Leisurely. With their free hands. And their silent mouths. And their freedom of thought and attention all the while. Do they even know to appreciate these things!?!?!?

Someone buy a franchise and put in a drive-thru already. And for Subway. I would pay double price. Possibly triple on pay day before reality of a budget sets in.

Seriously, though, it's cool. I had my own prime years where I was able to come and go freely without the responsibility of Tiny Others. I get it, I'm not the target customer anymore. Just like The Gap and their Skinny Jeans and tiny shorts. I once was the person they wanted money from, but not any longer. I belong to the stroller slinging mall club. No matter how much I fight it. The life of Nothing is Ever Convenient or Hip.


Isn't this the perfect size flower for me to glue onto a headband?
(totally kidding, btw)

I cracked up at myself as I drove up to The Ruffler's Roost Ribbons and Lace store this morning. I wasn't cracking up when I left. Man these places are overwhelming to the mommy who's never had a girl before. Or put together a plan and executed any sort of craft. Bringing along a chimpanzee for a toddler and a screaming baby adds to the enjoyment. Not to mention it's filled with quiet patrons methodically thinking through their projects, quietly and peacefully fingering through their options. While they dodge the spools of ribbon my child throws at them.

But! The good news is I didn't say a single swear word while I maneuvered my busted Craig's List double stroller around the aisles trying to keep them quite. Much like the movie Speed. I would slow down only a little bit to eye-ball a ribbon choice, then pick up speed again quickly to keep the bus from exploding. And I didn't even cry when the jacked up stroller pinched my finger as I tried to collapse it and shove it into the car, the unwieldy beast that it is. And let me tell you the most important tidbit of the day- trust me when I tell you to not purchase the stroller from craig's list if it doesn't lock in properly when you close it.

You might think it's not going to be a problem because you are getting a smokin' deal on it, but believe me it's quite the problem. Especially when it is 115 degrees outside while your flip flops melt into the hot, black asphalt and your children cry while they wait for you inside of the hot car. And even though it's good entertainment for the workers on the other side of the window to see you manage this massive, broken, piece of junk....Do yourself a favor and pass up the 'opportunity'.

You know, maybe I'm a sucker. I'd like to think not. But just maybe I am. When the person selling it says they only used it for a trip to Disneyland. And it is possible she was telling the truth. If perhaps she meant that the AIRPLANE THEY TOOK DROVE OVER THE STROLLER A FEW TIMES and then it fell out of the plane and rolled down the mountains and landed back in her rental car for her to use at Disneyland. I could see how she might have conveniently left that part out.

All I know is that when this bad boy goes back up on craig's list I am going to be honest and bribe someone with a lot of additional free items to rid me of this thorn in my side. COOKIES! Baby clothing! Crib Bedding! Happy Ending! Anything. Just take the damn thing already.


pretty in pink

I think I just found my favorite color of pink. I wonder what it is called. Barbie Vomit? Royal Bubble Gum? FREAKING Awesome Pink?

of dishes and homosexuality

Monday mornings used to begin with a spotless kitchen, not a single dirty dish in the sink. Sunday evenings Mike would scramble at making dinner, then he would do dishes, pack his suitacase and rush out the door to his red-eye flight. And while it was a glorious way to start the week with a clean kitchen, I always felt I had lost something as I began the day making breakfast. I felt like it left our weekend too crammed with duty and not enough play time. It didn't feel like any of us were having a nice endcap of a weekend. I appreciated Mike's efforts at working hard at helping me any way he could before going away for the week, but I wanted us both to start the week more relaxed. Even if it means letting go of home organization and cleaning efforts more than usual to get optimal time together.

So I suggested no dishes on Sunday. For anyone.

And when I wake up and enter the messy kitchen on Monday morning I always smile cos it means we had a good weekend hanging out lots and making family time a priority as much as possible with the little time we have available in those two short days.
Okay, that sounds super gay. Unless you know the life of The Dad only home on weekends this probably sounds pretty cheesy. And btw does that even offend gay people, to say the word gay? Because I am pretty certain the people I know that have come out of the closet between the 90s and now probably used that word, too. And if it does offend, was it secretly offensive before they came out of the closet? Or was it only offensive to the gay person after coming out?


mi casa

Guess what! I decided what I am going to do for my guest bathroom! I know exactly what colors and art to put in my guest bathroom and I am excited to start and finish the smallest room in the house. Orange.

The whole thing will work with these amazing shots Mike took around Central Park when The Gates installation was up. He woke up very early one morning before the sun was up to go and photograph them and I am so inlove with this series of photographs. See for yourself.

Now...it will take another 12 months to execute my plan.


I was cleaning up the counter and realized in this little pile each of my children were represented. It made me smile.

she'll be a woman someday

When we first moved to New York and I finally got a job in the city, I knew I would need a purse big enough for a little umbrella. I was thrilled to see how easy it was to shop off the streets! What a convenience, I wondered what stores these guys worked for. At any rate, I looked up and down all sorts of Avenues and Streets each time we were in Midtown or Downtown hoping for just the right one. I finally found a big, black squarish purse with red and white gingham on the inside and cute little handles that could rest on my shoulder.
The first few Sundays I showed up to church with it, I got rave reviews. People that never spoke to me before were asking me about this purse of mine and where I got it. I had no idea such a simple little black purse would draw so much attention. Especially since fashion is clearly not my thing, I often left purse conversations quite perplexed. Then someone asked me if my purse was real.

More confusion. And scratching of my head. I just wanted something to stuff my umbrella into and now there is this secret purse code-talk I wasn't really sure how to engage in. I asked for clarity. I had no answer.
I turned to my confidants at work, real New Yorkers, whom would help me know my answer. How do I know if my purse is real and why do I care? They enlightened me.
I learned how the purses off the street are sometimes fancy name brands (those of highest values I knew little about). Apparently my Kate Spade purse caused such a stir because they are super costly items. I had no idea. I still don't understand how that makes me more conversation worthy or why it matters to someone else if it's real or not. I suppose it's like one who appreciates good quality design the way another appreciates an aged cheese? Anyway, the purses on the street are real if they have 'fallen off the truck'. Normally this sales person would not be liscenced to sell anything and there would be no paper hanging around his neck.

It they are not real, a fake label has been made and glued onto the purse, looking exactly like the expensive version of the real deal. Sometimes the labels will be in the man's pocket and he will ask you which one you want and then you could essentially choose a Prada style purse and stick a Kate Spade label on it if you wanted to. All for the price of $15. If you know how to haggle. Otherwise, you will be like most tourists and pay between $25- $40 for your 'fake' purse.
Within a few months my famous purse told the truth. The label peeled off and I was left with a boring old black purse. It was sad to me how much less I liked it once its true identity was exposed.

All this leads me to my next point. I was strolling through the dreaded mall today.......ugh, I know, but seriously it's the only damn thing to do with non-swimmers/ being outnumbered with kids/ in the heat of the summer. Okay so back to my afternoon... I actually became smitten with a REAL purse today for the very first time in my life! So I have charged my husband in New York to find me this purse on the street before he returns home from business. This Lucky Stash Bag in the brown (not shiny) leather totally rocks. I am feeling ready to ditch the diaper bag scene. I think I could get 2 baby diapers, my wallet, and a thin case of wipes in here easy.

Mike, just think of it as a fun scavenger hunt! Oh, and don't get caught by undercover police buying one like my mom and sister did with their watches on that one trip, okay?


i forget

how universally happy ska music is. any day. any season. any words. it's like eating rainbows and sitting on a big, fat, happy pile of lemons in front of the beach with a cool breeze and perfect sunshine in the afternoon between 70 and 80 degrees. it's just about like that. every damn time. never fail.

Save Ferris, for example. And I don't even think they are a super awesome band or that this song needed to be covered. But it's still pleasing to me.


my daily show

Each morning he pulls his socks up to his knees. Because he likes to be just like Frozone. And as he plays video games waiting for the bus to come, mama secretly tugs the socks down a little bit.


more than meets the eye

I officially SUCK at playing transformers. I never get put them together quite right. I do, though, get a kick out of exploring each stage of 'boy' toys right along with my boys.