Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Who is this girl??

And what, you may ask, is she doing on my nightstand? Good question. I have an answer for you that will only spawn further questions.

She is on my nightstand because we moved. No, not the whole "moving to Seattle, blah, blah, blah" but moving--again. Yes, again. To a new apartment, owned by Lynda Wong, who, if you were like me, you would assume is a lovely aging Asian woman. You'd be wrong, as I was, because she's actually blonde and blue eyed.

So, you're still wondering why we moved again, this time to a six-month lease. The "whys" would make for boring blogging. So I'm going to tell you that on the cusp of the upheavals that may or may not be wreaked upon us by the new governmental changes, we thought it best to max out our taxpaying dollars and give the United States Post Office Department of Address Forwarding a run for their money.

Now, onto Ms. Wong's ground level condo. The description was "partially furnished" and the rent was affordable, so we moved in. It's beautiful, really it is. Nicely decorated, well kept. The surprising thing is, that while I was expecting beds and some furniture, this place is not exactly "partially furnished." It's more like "hope you don't bring too much junk with you because all of my stuff, sans clothing, is still here." And when I say "stuff" I mean dishes, pots and pans, towels. Then I mean Vicodin in the kitchen cupboards, jewelry in the bathroom drawers, stuffed birds in decorative cages in the sitting room, and coconut body oil on the counter. I also mean grocery store coupons, post it notes with phone numbers inside the cupboard doors, chicken nuggets in the freezer and a full array of condiments (including oyster sauce) that we are "welcome to use." Also, courtesy of the previous tenants, we also had nighties folded under hair-covered pillow and sheets. But I digress.

It is TRULY like Lynda woke up one morning, thought "Hey, why don't I move to Hawaii", packed her clothes and took off. She left everything, including wedding and family pictures that cover our walls, tables, and nightstands. Weird, you're telling me.

And that, friends, is why Lovely Nameless Relative of Lynda Wong is on my nightstand.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sam Sam the Clean Wild Man

Sammy likes to be clean. It's his new thing. Granted there are worse vices. Like the phase where he wanted to cut everything. But that's another story. It was first manifested when, carving pumpkins, he gazed for a moment at the pumpkin guts before a polite, “Can I have some gloves, please?” I laughed, and smugly thought, 'that's my boy.' It's morphed into an obsession, though. He'll ask to take a bath or shower at least twice daily, and believe me, it's funny to see a little 3-yr old showering by himself. Like a little tiny man. Baths are more common, though. He'll ask to fill up the tub “Very, very hot, please” and then he'll just lay on his back and float. Usually he covers his ears under water and shouts “HEY, CAN YOU HEAR ME?” Then, like yesterday, when I am on the phone or something I'll catch a glimpse of a naked little bottom running into the laundry room (where the toys are kept) and then 30 seconds later, long foam pieces of the Cranium fort or big legos being joyfully toted to the bathroom. Interception. Yelling. Threats of draining the water. Happy playing.

When I deny him a bath, there is howling and gnashing of teeth. He's even gone so far as to have a potty accident on purpose. It used to be a direct ticket to a nice warm bath, but I caught on quickly. I'm no dummy. I made him just scrub off with Little Red's wipes, amidst loud protests of, “NO! I WANT TO BE CLEAN! THIS MAKES ME NOT IMPRESSED WITH YOU!!” (Apparently, he's not impressed with much these days). He also likes to wash his hands for a really, really long time. By the time he's done, the rest of the bathroom is clean/soaked too.

On the flip side of this fiasco, I can now use phrases like, “Come on, buddy. If you get this mess all cleaned up, I'll let you take a bath” and “Boys who make good choices get to play in the bath!” Gotta love when you can use good personal hygiene as a carrot.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Someone has a really interesting life

I mistakenly received a postcard meant for someone else. The picture on the front was a wild gorilla and the stamp was from Uganda. It read:

We finally made it to the gorilla trek campsite and tomorrow is the big climb. The weather has been good with occasional showers lasting only minutes. We have seen all the required animals with the cape buffalo, baboon, monkey, hippo and many different deer and antelope the most plentiful. Only three days till stateside.

How fun is that? A real life adventure. Different from the kind of adventure where you uproot your family and stuff them into a curry-smelling apartment half-way across the country, but still...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What I failed to mention

What I failed to mention about our first Seattle adventure, was that we came back from Pike Place Market only to be greeted by a parking ticket. Apparently they like to hide one parking "kiosk" per block behind some trees and stick it to you when you are new and have no idea that the idiots charge for parking on weekends.

I thought I would share my letter contesting this, which resulted in my fine being cut in half.

Feel free to copy it should this same thing happen to you in Seattle.


Your Honor,

First, I do admit that I made a mistake. But, I honestly didn't know I was in violation at the time. I had just moved here. In fact, it was my first weekend here and I was still in a rental car. We were out exploring Pike Place Market, which was fabulous. I moved here from St. Louis, where (if parking costs) we still have old fashioned parking meters at each parking space, which don't even require money on Saturdays or Sundays. I didn't see any meter or sign, and I was busy keeping my three very young children in tow. It was only when we ventured back to the car that I noticed a ticket and looked way down the street for any sign.

I did make an error, but considering that I had no idea about parking regulations in this area, I would sincerely appreciate any leniency the Court is willing to grant. I am excited to be in the beautiful Seattle area and would be very grateful for a gesture of goodwill.

Very truly yours,

Things' Mommy


Only, I signed my name. He or she is probably not a fan of my blog.
So, there you have it. Who knows? It might save you some money, too.

One other thing: I was not actually driving. J was. He insisted that I 'handle' this, as I am "better at handling 'this sort of thing'". Not entirely sure if I should be offended or flattered.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It Came Back to Bite Me

Putting the kids to bed at 6:25 p.m. last night, that is. So, whenever J is out of town for more than a couple days, bedtime seems to creep up earlier and earlier. Plus, I have daylight savings helping me out. The kids can't tell time, so they accept "Bedtime, kids" as soon as it's dark. (In the summer their bedtime is 8:30-ish. When J was in Utah for a week, I swear there was one night we ate dinner at 4:30 and they were in bed before 6:00 p.m.) Last night, as I was attempting a Thanksgiving-themed family home evening lesson, the kids' silliness meter was going berserk. I said, "Okay. That's it. Lesson's over. Family prayer." The kids were already ready for bed, so after prayer they trotted off to bed, and fell asleep right away.

"Sweet," I thought.

I slept horribly last night. Between waking up every time Girlie coughed, and bad dreams of my teenage sister unabashedly joyriding in my minivan, it was rough. Plus, I was sleeping with Little Red in bed with me. When J is gone, I trade one cute, bald guy for another.

Bright and early, I heard the kids laughing and running around, but I couldn't get my brain awake enough to really care. It was still dark, and I hadn't gotten J's 6:30 a.m. wake up call yet (10:30 p.m. Hong Kong time), so I knew it was way too early for the day to begin. When Sammy galloped in, he snuggled a little, and then in an angelic, repentant voice, he volunteered, "Okay, we won't get into cookies anymore!"
"Oh, have you been eating cookies?"
Just then Girlie came in. "Come here, Sweet Pea." She came over to snuggle, but was acting weird--snuggling backwards. I turned her around and then squinted in the darkness trying to figure out why she looked like a clown.
"Oh, do you have Mommy's lipstick on?"
"Yes," she smiled broadly. "I wanted to look like you."

I rolled my eyes. How can you get mad at that? I extracted myself from the warm bed, and came out to assess any other damage in our still-dark apartment. Then as 'punishment' for the kids, I poured big bowls of honey nut Cheerios which they had to finish before leaving the table. (For some reason, they're not hungry) Which is why I am sitting here at the table, typing this blog.

That'll teach me to put them to bed at 6:25 p.m., eh?

Friday, November 7, 2008

"I Sink You Smell Like Woses"

That's Sammy's latest way into my heart. It's quite effective. Even after one of his many Sofa Gymnastics Extravaganzas.

As you may or may not be aware, we've been a bit of a medical circus as of late. In the last 2 weeks we've had: 1 trip to the ER (following the 911 call), 2 trips to Urgent Care, 2 follow up doctors visits, a case of croup, a bout with pneumonia, three kids with fevers (as high as 103.3), and some resulting exhaustion. And a partridge in a pear tree. And while it is overwhelmingly stressful, it also makes for some funny pretend play. As follows:

"Okay, I am the doctor. Sammy, you are the patient."
"Okay, but I need my hospital bracelet."
"That one is mine. Yours is right here." (these are real, by the way) Girlie instructs us to please sign in in the notebook.
"Do you have the insurance card?"

"So, patient, what seems to be the problem?"
"Um, I'm sick."
"Well, what fluids have you been drinking? You need to drink lots of fluids. Uh, oh, your temperature is 103. I will call 991 and have the ambulance come and get you."
"But I already went to the urgent care."
"Well, let's take a picture of your chest." (x-ray)
"Take a picture with the fer-monitor." (thermometer)

The fer-monitor is used for the x-ray.

"Oh boy. Your lungs look a little cloudy."
"Okay, and then I can have my an-tin-bio-kics?" (antibiotics)

And so on, and so forth. It is funny and so sad simultaneously. I try to pick laughing over crying though, per Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's instructions. And, did I happen to mention that J just left for a full week in Hong Kong? He was invited to go, which was great...the timing just wasn't all that convenient. But, being the good wife I am, I gave him my blessing. In exchange for the price of a mere Burberry handbag.

Ah. This too shall pass. And I'll be a stronger person for it. A stronger person carrying a Burberry handbag. And smelling like woses.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Okay, just to keep it interesting, thought I'd go ahead and expose myself (only in written word). BUT, in order to read this, you have to promise to comment and confess something yourself.

10. I like to skinny dip, but haven't in quite a while.

9. I have been known to spray whipped cream directly into my mouth. It's true.

8. I am afraid of sleeping under ceiling fans, for fear that they'll crash down in the middle of the night and shred me.

7. I used to own a water bra. I think I still have it somewhere.

6. Sammy has a mirrored door on his big closet. I dance in front of it almost daily.

5. At BYU, one of my best roommates and I made a volcano (you know the kind, with baking soda and vinegar in a big salt dough mountain) in the middle of the sidewalk, in the middle of the night. And left it there.

4. I have been 'snacking' on cashews and white chocolate chips lately. I'm pretty sure those foods were not meant for snacking on.

3. Sometimes when I cook for someone/something and it doesn't quite turn out, I laugh and blame J. (Like his barbequeing skills could really account for the way my soy powder-packed hamburgers turned out)

2. When my oldest two are acting up, I have occasionally whispered to Little Red that he is my favorite. I'm pretty sure he won't tell.

...and humiliating enough,

1. I was runner up for Miss Teen Kansas. I'm just glad I don't have to actually face most of you after I write this. And Aubrey will love me anyway.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In Costume

Since our apartment complex had no Halloween spirit whatsoever, we trick or treated in a nice, rich neighborhood that handed out full-size candy bars (J was thrilled). Girlie was Princess Tiger Lily (from 'Peter Pan'), Sammy was a reluctant cowboy, and Little Red was a pumpkin, instead of the cute baby chick that is back in St. Louis. The weather was beautiful and a great night was had by all.

The kids at our ward chili-eatin', hay ridin', fish pondin', face paintin', cake walkin' trunk or treat.

My little cowboys all ready to go the hoe down for Girlie's school fundraiser. We did a little square dancing, a bit of Electric Slide, a smattering of popcorn eating. Thanks to Anisa for the boots!

Monday, November 3, 2008

If You Have an Extra Minute and No Inhibitions

Open up this link (you may have to copy and paste it), click on the top pumpkin, and try to dance along. It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

I'll post Halloween pics soon.