Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! (a story)

Four years and a couple weeks ago there was a boy I liked.  I met him at church and we worked together for a few months, visiting the people who were new to the area.  He was so friendly to everyone.  One night I went to an institute meeting (basically its like Mormon Bible study, I'm guessing.  I've never actually been to a Bible study before. . .) with some friends.  A famous woman in the LDS community was speaking so we got there early to get good seats.  I was wondering if I would see him there.  Five minutes before this lady was about to start speaking the place was so packed.  If he did come, chances are I wouldn't even see him.  But fate played a hand for me that night and even though they showed up just minutes before it began somehow he and his friend got seats right in front of me!  For a moment I had a slight heart attack when I saw him sit next to my gorgeous friend Tiffanie, but soon I realized she wasn't there to sit with him, but with his friend.

After (certainly not during!!) the wonderful lesson by this sweet lady was over he turned around to chat with me a bit.  I asked about his Halloween plans.  He said he had some, but nothing set in stone.  So I invited him to my Halloween party.  He said he might come.  Soon after that we left to go home.  When we got in the car I informed my roommate Elise that we were now having a Halloween party!

Elise invited her boyfriend (now husband) and a few of her friends.  I had one or two of my friends show up as well and we carved pumpkins, ate food and played Nintendo.  By 11pm I was about to call it a night.  He hadn't shown up and probably wasn't going to.  Seriously seconds before I went to bed I got a text.  Was my party still going on??  YES! 

He came over fully dressed in Billy Idol garb.  I was wearing ghost earrings with my non festive everyday attire.  It was a little awkward.  We played wii.  We partied with our three party guests.  At 2am he decided to call it a night.  Right before he walked away, he paused and asked me out for that Saturday.  I said yes!

And that is the story of how my husband was wearing eye liner the first time he ever asked me out. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kids have some pretty morbid views on death. . .

If you're dead you don't get to go anywhere!-- Ty, 4

They will use your skin to make another person.-- Max, 5

No, they take your hair to make a wig.-- Hope, 7

Only if you donate it.-- Me

Yeah, I'm going to donate my hair and skin.-- Hope

All of this conversation occurred with out my prompting.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Who would you hire if you could?

I was just thinking of a friend of mine, wondering if she was going to have any more kids.  Then I thought: They're pretty well off, maybe they could just hire a nanny if it became to much work.  Then I imagined myself with a nanny (and not a job).  I don't think I would like that.  I only have one kid, but I know taking care of her is one of my favorite things.  And even when its not (like making lunch, I don't care for making toddler lunches) I'm still not sure I would feel right about passing that off to someone else just because I didn't want to do it.

But taking care of kids is not the only thing moms do.  Maybe I would want to hire a cook.  Can you imagine a nice healthy dinner every night?  Hmmm, that might be nice.  On the other hand, coming up with new creative dinner ideas and grocery shopping is a fun creative outlet for me, so maybe not.

Or a housekeeper?  Someone to clean the bathrooms and the kitchen?  Wash the sheets, fold the clothes?  I could get used to that.

Who would you hire if you had the need/money?  Or would you?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When you get pregnant

If you've never had a baby, I sincerely hope you look like this when you're pregnant.  But you probably wont, so don't feel bad, okay?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Butter

Have you heard of this stuff?  If you have, and you haven't told me. . .  I don't know if we can be friends anymore.  Basically pumpkin butter is like pumpkin pie jam, and contrary to the name it doesn't actually have butter in it.  One minute I was playing on Pinterest, having never heard of pumpkin butter and an hour later I was whipping up a batch on my stove top.  So easy and I had all the ingredients (except apple juice, which my MIL had.  The benefits of living with parents).

So far I've used it to make pumpkin french toast and as an apple dip.  (I've eaten two apples dipped in pumpkin butter just while writing this post) On cinnamon swirl bread toast?  I would probably die of happiness.  Topped on pancakes or muffins?  The possibilities are endless.

Ingredients:  (I followed this recipe exactly except I didn't have any mace, so left that out)
1 (28-oz.) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmege
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
2. The recipe said to bring it to a boil, but all it really did for me was blow up bubbles and splatter my kitchen with yummy smelling orange goop.  So I kept the lid on the pot, cracked with a wooden spoon to let the steam out.  I stirred it every minute or so for about 45 minutes.  It was only supposed to take 30 minutes, but maybe I had it turned down too low or maybe keeping the lid on made it take longer.  Still the yummiest thing I've ever eaten.

I put some in small jars to give away with this tag and the recipe for pumpkin french toast.  I used the pumpkin clip art from this site. When I printed it out I just folded it accordion style into thirds with the pumpkin on the top and put a small hole in the upper left corner to tie it on.

This is pretty much the best thing I've discovered this year. 

Friday, October 19, 2012


Did the title of this post just get a song stuck in your head?  Because it did in mine.  I'm practically dancing in my chair.

Something about this time of year makes me want to have more traditions.  Its so fun to be a new family because you get to start things now that your kids will remember and look forward to forever! We don't have a lot of them, but we make new ones every year.  Some are Adam's, some are mine, some are ours!

  • My cousin Cait started a new tradition of hot cocoa, doughnuts and a scary movie on Oct 1.  Next year, I'm taking that one!
  • Buy pumpkins at the small local pumpkin farmer near Adam's childhood home.  (We live like five minutes away from there now.  I assume we'll have to do away with this one if we move out of state. . . )  This is one we got from Adam's family.
  • One we started this year is pumpkin french toast bake on the first day of Fall Break (I think Fall Break is a Utah thing, so if we move out of state maybe we'll just do it on the Saturday before Halloween)
  • Chili on Halloween night!  This is from my family.
  • Crepes for breakfast on Christmas Eve morning.  This is one I started the first year we were married.
I'm sure there are more, I just can't think of them right now.  They're a little Halloween centered and I'm guessing that's because we celebrate Halloween on our own (or with my brother and his wife) instead of visiting one family or another.  It allows us to do more of our own thing.  I don't have any traditions for Thanksgiving (except the obvious huge dinner).  But again, its hard to start something when you're not really in charge.

So what are some of your favorite traditions?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

10 Years of Barbie

What are you going to be for Halloween?  I'm surprised people still ask me this.  Maybe its mostly the kids I nanny, I'm too tired to put a face to the question.  In any case, the answer is the same every year: Barbie.  Some kind of Barbie.  The awesome thing about it is that its pretty much the easiest costume ever, if you're blonde.  I wont pretend my body type fits Barbie's, but with a little bit of hot pink lipstick and blue eyeshadow, I think I can pull it off.  I wish I had pictures for you for all the years, but its hard to track down tangible photos from the time before digital cameras were common.  (Some years I guess I didn't dress up, or else I can't remember)

2001: Doctor Barbie

2003: Skier Barbie

2004: Bedtime Barbie

2005: Rich Widow Barbie

2007: Army Barbie

2009: Shopper Barbie (looked pretty much the same as Pregnant Barbie, except I didn't have a baby bump. . .)

2010: Pregnant Barbie

2011: Mom Barbie (original, I know)

So the big question: What kind of Barbie can I be while I'm pregnant, with out being Pregnant Barbie again?  This may be one of life's questions with out a good answer. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mirrors vs camera

I just don't understand how I can look fine when looking in a mirror but then look totally repulsive in a picture.  What kind of evil magic is at work here?  I smile for the camera, expecting to look like this:
This is a professional photo, I'm pretty sure it was altered.  But this is what I see in the mirror.
only to actually get a picture of me looking like this!
I mean, do I walk around with my face looking like that??? 
Please tell me I'm not the only one. . .

Friday, October 12, 2012

My history with blogs

I call it metablogging: Blogging about blogs.

Baby Blogger

It all started maybe seven or eight years ago.  I was required to take an education technology class.  My teacher was a kind man, but he kept talking about these things called "blogs" and "rss feeds" and I didn't understand a word of it.  He wasn't very good at explaining it.  It had nothing to do with the fact that my twinner friend Nicole was in the class and we love chatting.  Nothing at all.

(Nicole taught middle school and I taught high school.  She had most of my students before I did and several of them commented how I reminded them of her.  Best compliment ever!)

Anyway, one of our biggest assignments was to do a short weekly blog post on our class blog.  I didn't get it.  But instead of asking for help and/or trying to figure it out I just didn't do it.  And in turn I almost failed the class.  I almost failed a class because I didn't blog.  I seriously laugh about that now.  But like I said, he was a kind man and let me make up all my blog posts in one day after the semester was practically over.  I owe that man a lot!

Since then I've come along way with blogs.  I've had 6 blogs!

My first has like three posts.  They were all complainy.  I don't know why no one wanted to read it!

My second was the blog I had for three years.  I quit it because I didn't feel like it was going in the direction that I wanted my blog to go. . .

My third was a blog I started with my sister.  We both love to write and it was going to be a place to share our short stories.  I think we each posted once, maybe twice.

My fourth was a food blog, only I didn't understand the need for pictures with my recipes.  I shake my head at myself sometimes.

My fifth blog was my design blog, which I still do every Tuesday and Thursday here.

And this is my sixth blog!  I started it to replace my second blog when I realized I missed sharing stories and other silly things.  I try to post Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Try

How many blogs have you had?

And now, I leave you with an anecdote:
Me: I just got another follower on my blog!  Now I have 15!!
My dad: 15?  Aren't blogs supposed to have hundereds of followers?
Thanks for that, dad.  Thanks for that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why my baby is so well behaved. . .

Just kidding!!  Do you honestly think I would ever write that???

But seriously, I do think Olivia is a great little girl.  She has her moments of un-greatness too.  However, I'm not about to start doling out sleeping advice, eating advice or behavior advice.


Its like all those people who got married before me who were always trying to tell me how to get married.  You only got married once.  Do it three or four more times and I might be willing to listen.

So that's how I am with babies.  What I did might have worked for Olivia, but no guarantee it will work for all kids.  I'd hate to be all "I'm the master at getting kids to sleep through the night" just to have karma slap me with a super fussy colicky baby that never sleeps ever.

So sorry mamas, no baby advice here.  Not that anyone was asking or anything. . . 

Friday, October 5, 2012

What you need to know about kindergarten pickup

I feel like I'm a little young to be picking up kids from kindergarten, but truth is some of my friends my age have kids in third grade.  Even so I'm starting early with this since I'm a nanny to two kindergarteners that attend different schools!  Here are some tips if  I had to learn the hard way.

1.  Don't aim to arrive when your kid gets out of school.  Don't even aim to be five minutes early.  20-30 minutes early should be good.  Even then you wont be first in line.  Being last in line makes you look like a bad mom/nanny/grandma/dad.

2.  Don't worry about the signs that tell you not to park.  Go ahead and park.  Get out of your car and have a long conversation with your child about her day.  We're not waiting behind you to pick up our own five-year-old or anything. . . Besides, the actual parking spots are like five feet away.  It would be a shame for you to have to walk more than needed. 

3.  Because of #2, its important to remember that cutting is allowed, in fact required!  Jennifer turned off her car, got out and is now braiding her daughter's hair while discussing her child's grades with the teacher, so driving around her will be the only way to make it home in time for bedtime.  While your at it skip four or five other cars.  They don't love their kid as much as you do. 

4.  This is a great place to catch up on neighborhood gossip.  If your driving in the thru lane and you see a friend parked in the pick up lane you should stop and catch up.  No one really wants to drive through the parking lot anyway.  We all plan to stay a long, long time. 

5.  Should you get annoyed with anyone, please don't honk.  What will that teach the children???

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Little Boy Fashion

Can I tell you how much I've loved having a girl?  When most people say girls are more fun to dress I picture pink lace.  Not my thing.  Even so, I have loved getting to dress Olivia, but I lean more toward small adult clothes than frilly baby girl.  Leggings and long tops are my favorite look for her right now. 

Okay, but boys?  I know already there is just less out there for boys.  I've gone to Target a bunch of times just to find one newborn outfit to dress my boy in when we bring him home.  I know, I know, Target isn't the only place to shop in the world, except it kind of is.  I love Baby Gap, but I just can't afford $50 shirts for babies.  And I also like Children's Place, but its harder to shop at the mall with Olivia in tow. 

So watching Project Runway last night I was super excited about kids clothes night!  Ug, it was a huge bomb (despite being the funniest episode this season!!!)  I didn't like anything except Sanjia's outfit.  And luckily for me, she won!  Which means you can buy her design at Babies R Us.  (Sorry if I offend, but not a big fan of Heidi Klum's clothing line for Babies R Us, except for this piece, which obviously she didn't design) 

What do you think of it?
Its like a suit!  But comfy for babies!

Monday, October 1, 2012

How to survive a month with out sugar

So even though I wasn't perfect during No Sugar September, I still did pretty good.  No chocolate chips were consumed straight out of the bag, so not too shabby.  It should be obvious that the main thing I miss during No Sugar September is chocolate and so I was forced to invent the sugar free version of one of my favorite snacks.  

All Natural Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana 
(You cannot take a pretty picture of this, I tried several times and suffered through eating several chocolate peanut butter bananas but in the end I have given up and you'll just have to imagine)
This article is pretty funny
1 spoonful natural peanut butter (we use Adam's, with no sugar added*)
1/2 spoonful honey (if you use regular peanut butter maybe you can leave this out, maybe you can't.  You'll have to try it both ways, darn it!)
Some cocoa powder

Melt peanut butter and honey (or just peanut butter) in small bowl (like the size you use to feed your six month old baby) for like 10-15 second.  Stir in however much cocoa powder you want.  Taste it and add more cocoa powder (probably).  Dip your banana in this and eat it.  Lick the bowl.

*I recommend never getting the peanut butter with no salt added.  Never ever get it.

(The regular version of this is peanut butter with some chocolate chips melted in, in case you wanted to know)