Monday, March 26, 2007

Family Fun!






Do you know what I love? Our Hogle Zoo membership. It isn't too expensive for a year (two parents and all our children) and I love that we can go whenever we want and we don't have to feel pressured to stay all day. It's perfect for our two young kids and we always have a good time going. When we went last week, the weather was perfect and we just had a blast! There was a snow leopard in their new exhibit and he (she?) was pacing in front of the glass - I think he (she?) was showing off a bit. The Bubbs and the Simster loved it and we got a great picture! (PS - Notice anything else? As much as I'm not ready for it, I'm now officially a Soccer Mom...)

(Late) Bday Pics




I've been meaning to add these pictures for a while now, but again, no USB cable... But now, the happy day at last has come! I am posting a few fun ones... The last is just the cutest pic of the Simster learning from his Dad. Isn't it just perfect?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pictures and Another Scribbit


I am picture challenged. I haven't posted pictures for a while, and nothing extremely exciting. This is because A) I am not a very awesome picture-taker and I don't take pictures as often as I should/like; and B) when I'm ready to post, I can't find my darn USB thingy and can't get my silly pictures off the camera. I am posting a few today (although not completely recent ones) because I should.

I am also entering Scribbit's contest again. Why? Because of two things. I had another memory that was mostly already written and is pretty cute and clever and also because I went to look at the topic of Februray's contest and it had to do with love and I figured with my crush story I am pretty much beating a dead horse. Whoops. So I'll post my other story here. If you get sick of reading my stories, sorry. :)

Innocent Until Proven Gullible

There really should be a law. I mean, you can't drink until 21, can't vote until 18, can't drive until 16 (legally, of course). But being deemed "gullible"? It can happen at any time. To some the age of accountability isn't reached until age 8, and I propose that the same distinction be made with the age of gullibility. Not only should young children be exempt from the "gullible" label, they should also be treated exactly as they treat adults - with honesty. My daughter, who is two going on I-can-do-everything-myself, has a very difficult time with the whole "I got your nose" joke. You know - the one where you grab the kid's nose and then put your thumb through your fingers and call it their nose? She becomes livid and shrieks at a frequency only known to dogs "NO! THAT'S MY NOSE!" And then the offending person laughs, gives her back her nose and says to me "She's so cute. What a gullible kid." And yet, she's pretty much just innocent. She doesn't know the difference between being duped and really having her nose stolen. That's why I'm going to head to Capitol Hill and lobby for the "Innocent Until Proven Gullible" law. It sure would have helped me as a kid.

Christmas was a magical time during my childhood. Of course, we did the typical decorations, cookies, lights, caroling, good-doing, shopping and present-wrapping as the next family, but it seemed magical to me. My father, who is worse than tone deaf, suddenly was full of song. My older sister and brother sort of actually paid attention to me, and I, second to youngest at the time, waited anxiously for Santa Claus. I was probably 4, maybe 5, and Santa was the best thing since sliced bread. I had no doubt he would bring me what I asked for and I tried to ignore my many "naughty" incidences and hoped I wouldn't find a lump of coal on Christmas morning. My brother, almost four years older, enjoyed teasing me about the whole thing. Any time I got sent to my room he would smirk at me and remind me that coal tastes nothing like candy. On one particular Saturday, he and I found ourselves sitting at the top of the stairs. I can't remember why, but we were probably avoiding doing our chores. Our house was a decent size and the basement had once been used as a separate apartment, so we had two kitchens, two living/family rooms, etc. For some reason I was pondering this fact as my brother and I hid out there at the top of the stairs.

"Jared?" I asked suddenly. "Why do we have two kitchens?"

I should have noticed the grin come over his face and the light bulb of an idea hanging over his head. "Well..." he said slowly, "this house used to be two houses."

"Why?" came the quintessential young child reply.

He leaned closer to me, in comraderie. "If you must know...there were two houses with two different families until -" he paused for effect. "- Santa Claus brought the stairs."

I should have known better. But I was four (or maybe five) and I sucked this right up. Under the "Innocent Until Proven Gullible" law, my brother would have been arrested on the spot, but as it was, he had a captive audience. "How did they get to the other floor?" I asked.

"Oh," he said knowingly. "It was just empty space here. The people on the top could just jump to the bottom, but the people on the bottom floor had to go outside and come around to get upstairs. It was a pain. Finally, someone wished for stairs and Santa Claus brought them for Christmas!"

The explanation was good enough for me. He had his fun and I had my answer. No one was harmed in the making of this joke - EXCEPT I believed it for TWO or THREE more years! I often thought about my friends and how Santa Claus must have brought their stairs too. Those two or three years later, I mentioned it to a friend of mine and her older brother started having a problem breathing, he was laughing so hard.

"What?" I asked.

"Santa Claus doesn't bring anyone stairs!!! Are you stupid? Who told you that? You are sooo gullible!" At the time, I didn't understand gullible, but I sure as heck knew what stupid meant. I was crushed. Santa Claus was not such a huge hero and my brother, the Evil One, had probably been laughing at me the entire time!

And now I pose it to you: Was that fair? Little children should always be considered innocent until proven gullible - at an appropriate age! And, if anyone out there knows of an instance where Santa Claus really did bring the stairs, I'd be happy to hear about it! It's never to late to stick it to my brother! :)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Write About Time I Start Really Writing

After years of loving to write and never really doing much about it, I am turning over a new leaf. Just in the last week I have really been pushing my writing...maybe something will come of it...
  1. I am working on my GAN (Great American Novel). I have currently finished 1.5 chapters and have absolutely no idea what will come next and/or if I will ever finish it. (Teaser: It has something to do with a mustache... stay tuned!)
  2. I am entering Scribbit's March Write-Away Content with the post I just posted below. It's really just for fun and I had a bunch of fun writing the post!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Little Girls & The Boys We Love

I am really no longer that exciting for my friends. Not so much the I-knew-her-since-she-got-married friends, but the pre-Hubby friends. And not because I have two little children (which actually does wig them out, even if they don't tell me). On a side note - I must be dating myself because I said "wig me out" - I'm sure the teenage girls I work with in my church youth group would be staring at me in confusion while adjusting their omnipresent iPod earbuds. At any rate, the reason I am no longer exciting for my pre-Hubby friends is because I am now - brace yourselves - calm. Calm. What was I before, you might ask? Well, the opposite of calm, but not quite hurricane-ish. I just had this thing - for boys. There was always a "Top 10 Boys" list hanging out in my journal or locker or doodled on my Geometry homework. Now that I have my catch - and he's quite a catch, I must say, even after his "Over the Hill" birthday and the old man he is at age 30 - I am rather calm. Sigh. Sometimes I ask my hubby if he'll pretend we don't know each other yet and that we're on a first date so that I can experience some of my giggly junior high crush feelings, but alas, he usually just gives me a look and we go on with our lives.

I have very few memories as a child when I didn't have a crush on some poor unsuspecting little boy. There was a Caleb who lived on my block and had a trampoline, a Thomas who was the coolest because his parents let him play in the back of their pickup truck, a Colton I chased during recess in Kindergarten, a Watson who chased me during recess in Kindergarten, a Steven who de-pantsed me when I was doing a special Show-And-Tell in Kindergarten (it was a busy year...) and then there was Conrad. He was perfect. I had my eye on him since the beginning of the 2nd grade. Of course, he was the most popular kid in the class and I was the geeky gawky one with the mismatched outfits (my mom, bless her heart, has always been a little fashion challenged). A Cinderella story waiting to happen. I longed to be the girl he chose to chase at recess, but I usually found myself swaying on the swings trying to hide from Benny (the nose-picker) while Amanda, The Beautiful One, would prance gracefully away from Conrad. Life is unfair, man. At least Miss Pack reassigned seats and I got the seat next to Conrad. Thinking back on this, I am pretty sure there was nothing that special about ole Conrad. He probably took a bath once a week when forced and needed several XYZ (eXamine Your Zipper) reminders on a daily basis, but at age 7, there's no accounting for taste. As the days went by, I decided that Conrad must really like me deep down. It was the little things: he asked to borrow my eraser, tripped me a couple of times, laughed in my general direction, etc. Someday he would profess his love for me and we would move away to Disneyland and live happily ever after. He just needed to find the right time...

November 1. The day after Halloween. We were in the middle of extremely exciting addition problems when Conrad let me know his true feelings. He had been laying his head down on his desk all morning with a couple of well-placed groans. All of a sudden he lifted up, turned an indescribable shade of green, and proceeded to unload his full Halloween candy spoils on my desk. A quick swallow. And then another. And then the thought going through my mind as I gagged was "He likes me! He likes me!" He must! Amanda was seated on his left and he could have chosen her desk, but he didn't. He chose mine! What a beautiful day! Not only that, but Miss Pack asked me to accompany Conrad to the clinic. As we arrived the nurse took one look at him and pursed her cheap-lipstick lips at me. "Shoo" she swatted. But as I turned to go, Conrad whispered, "Stay until my mom comes?" I loved him! I loved his miserable face and his pleading eyes. I loved Halloween and Halloween candy and, for the one and ONLY time in my life, I loved throw up. What a deranged child, huh? I guess...but it makes for such a fabulous memory!

We moved to Colorado shortly after the love-professing incident so I never got a chance to see how our "relationship" would develop. But I still yearn to see Conrad again and say, "Hey, remember me? You hurled on my desk!" Not having seen him for almost 20 years, I'm sure he'd be filing a restraining order :)

The years have passed and I've had more than my share of weird relationships and crazy crushes (as you may imagine from this episode), so it's nice to have settled down and become calm. Now I have two men in my life: my older-than-dirt husband and my one-year-old son. And you can be sure I'll be teaching the Simster how to properly show a girl his intentions - no throwing up allowed!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Firefox

I'm very posty today. It's because I try to limit myself to posting while I'm testing my computer programs (in order to make sure there are 0 errors, I sometimes have to wait while the program runs its course) and I have been testing this morning. At any rate, I am doing a WFMF (Works For Me Friday - I'm a little late to use WFMW) and I am just putting in a plug for the web browser Firefox. It is Mac and Windows and Linux compatible and it's usually super fast and it uses tabbed-browsing (which I adore). Recently I also discovered that there's a ton of cool Add-Ons for Firefox that enhance browsing. I personally am trying like 10 of them right now and I will probably install more. They add cool functionality so you can do lots of stuff easily in your browser. I have an NBA scoreboard one (gives me recaps in an easy toolbar icon), a calculator one (I hate pulling up a separate app!), a calendar one, a stickies one (you can add a note to a webpage and when you go back to that page, the note's still there to remind you!), one to synch my bookmarks between computers, one where I can hilite any word and right-click and it will give me a German translation, one where I can hilite an address on any webpage, right-click and it will give me a map of the location, one to control iTunes so I can easily listen to music while browsing and several more that I can't mention or my post will be a mile long! It's so nice to have my browser do so many extra things for me! It must be a woman because it's doing some serious multi-tasking! :)

A Day on the Town

After a very long week of work and YW (New Beginnings, and those of you who know what I'm talking about, we tried to put on a dinner too - yikes!), I had a very nice afternoon yesterday. I packed up my children and joined one of my very favoritest people and two of her children and we went outlet shopping together in Park City. It was a little chilly and we hit some wind and a little flaking snow, but it was a nice day. Mostly because our children did okay on the drive there and back and we got to just chat with no distractions. We didn't hit all the best winter closeouts (I think we were a little late), but we still found some good deals (Carters was the best, for anyone who's interested). I just feel so blessed to have such a wonderful friend! I look up to her all the time and just really enjoyed a little time together! Because of our children, we don't actually get together too often so it was really nice. I think all women need friends to relate to - it makes life so much easier! If we end up staying here and not moving to Texas, she'll be one of the main reasons (plus I'm trying to hook the Bubbs up with her son eventually and I don't want to lose that opportunity :) Even though we were both a little worn out when we were done and I left many things at my house unaccomplished, it was totally worth it and I strongly recommend it! :)

Milestones

This month has really been a month of milestones for my family, and we have more to come this year. I guess I think of every year in terms of milestones at some point, but this year I'm noticing a little more than usual...
  1. I went back to Germany for the first time in almost 7 years.
  2. My hubby and I celebrated our 6th Valentine's Day together (and had the stomach flu - how romantic!)
  3. My son turned 1!
  4. My sister turned the big 3-0! (But she doesn't look a day over 20 :)
  5. My hubby turned the big 3-0!

Upcoming milestones:
  1. Three years in our current house
  2. Three consecutive years serving in YW
  3. Our 5th Anniversary
  4. The Bubbs turns 3!
  5. I'll hit the midpoint of my 20s...

At any rate, I just seem to be noticing more of the years that are adding up lately. After looking at my sis's post on important things that have happened in her life since turning 20, I was analyzing it for my husband as well (he actually said things didn't pick up for him until he met me at age 24 - how sweet is that?). Maybe that's why I'm noticing more. :)