Friday, October 31, 2008

Ramblings: Halloween Part 1

For the past few years at Jeremy's firm, they've had little Halloween trick-or-treating shindigs for the kids. The kids get all dressed up, whine about how long it takes to drive downtown, then manipulate all the office staff with their cuteness to get buckets of candy and other treats. If anything, it's good begging practice for the real deal and a chance for me to iron out any costume kinks before the big night.

As soon as the kids got off the bus, I yanked 'em inside and started getting them dressed so we could rush downtown and destroy an entire floor of a high rise. Maddie was less than enthusiastic about her costume--and I have about 20 rejected pictures of her pouting in it as proof.

Apparently there's something hardwired in every five year old girl's brain that attracts them to glitter, spandex, eye makeup, fluffy skirts and/or wings and without some combo of most of these things, NOBODY WILL GIVE THEM ANY CANDY! Or something like that--she was screaming kind of loud and it was hard to understand what she was saying. So of course she wanted to be something fabulously sparkly and pink, but I told her that since I let her do that last year, MOM gets to choose this year. (Or something like that--I was screaming kind of loud and it was hard to understand what I was saying.) Plus, I encourage cross-dressing and pipe smoking at a young age so it'll really stick.

Her costume turned out hilarious though, and everyone loved it. Nothing like a little blond hair, blue eyed Sherlock with a man-stache to get a good laugh. Once she realized I wasn't lying that people would think it was funny, she was ok with it. But she was sure to tell me this morning that she most definitely would NOT be wearing that tonight.
I like how big Maddie's eyeball is through her magnifying glass in this group shot taken in the parking garage before heading upstairs. They actually posed for TWO pictures--if only you could feel the power candy has as a form of bribery for these kids.

Alex was supposed to be a Roman soldier, but when he finally tried on the helmet last weekend, we realized it was too small. Without it, he just sort of looked like a Village People reject in his fake muscles and gold armor. We dug out his Italian chef costume from about four years ago and he revived his "Mama, mia. Treak or treata" once more. I don't have too many pictures of him from the party because once the sugar hit his system, he and his friend Andrew were just blurry spots in our peripheral vision every now and then.

It took alot of highly intelligent and educated people an embarrassingly long amount of time to realize that the box and the UPS man costumes went together. I didn't just cheap out on Aidan's costume. (Obviously they are unaware of the oath that mothers of twins are forced to take at the hospital requiring you to dress them in theme costumes for as long as you are physically able to force them to do so. Or you get kicked out of the Halloween Twin Club.) The boys argued (wrestled, cried, screamed, smacked each other around) about which one got to wear the box costume--I did not expect this because I thought they'd both want the hat. But I ended up letting Aidan because I thought he'd tolerate walking in it the longest. Plus I found a "Top Heavy" label to print, and who's that more fitting for than our Big Head? I also enjoyed the "Fragile--Handle with Care--High Claim Value!" label.

The long elevator ride up was the spookiest part of the party for these two--they did not like that lurching sensation at the end. They don't get out much, people.

I hope that the firm appreciated all the stickiness and entire boxes of Nerds that we left in and all over the leather conference room chairs. We tried our best to undo our damage, but there's only so much a package of baby wipes can do on Sprite, sticky body parts, and candy drool. Aidan hoarded pencils like they were going out of style. Note--giant box does not allow for sitting.

Maddie took the candy collecting rather seriously. She even commented on how messy Daddy's office was..."Why are there boxes everywhere? What a mess!" No kiddin--that didn't take Sherlock to figure out.

Happy Halloween! We have more parties and the inevitable bucketloads of additional candy tonight. Good thing their Uncle Brent's a dentist--we may be shipping our kids up north for all their cavity-filling needs in a few weeks.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ramblings: There are far worse smells to be associated with than April Fresh Downy

Alex (as he's pulling on a freshly folded t-shirt) : "Why does this shirt smell like Grandma?"

Who does he think introduced me at a young age to my liquid fabric softener? (And then paid me like 10 cents an item to iron everyone's clothes for hours on end?)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rave: Concert Fave

I don't usually find the need or desire to quote lines from Chris Farley movies, but there's one that comes to mind about the concert last night. "THAT WAS AWESOME." It was a great show and we even managed to hit a restaurant for dinner beforehand. We had perfect seats but now I think I'm spoiled and I'll have to sit really close for any other concerts (minus any repeat performances from Barry Manilow that Jeremy drags me to. I have no desire to see him that close up in his tight leather pants that leave nuthin' to the imagination).

But there's really nothing like actually getting hit by a stray spray of spit during a great song (uh, that is spit from the singer, not from the mostly drunk dude belting out the lyrics behind you--which is a significantly less fabulous experience). Luckily, we still have three kids left to force into Mexican slavery for any future ticket needs. Let's just say homework isn't the only thing Alex has to do now after school everyday--those pinatas ain't gonna make themselves.

We were five rows back and I was fairly confident that I could outrun the 72 year old "Security" guard and jump up on stage for a cool picture and a hiney goose, but I think Jeremy would've made me walk home so he wouldn't have to be seen with me. So I had to settle for rather generic, poorly lit shots I managed to take during the frenzied singing and dancing. There was a bunch of freak-shows in the audience I could've spent all night long taking pictures of, but I was trying not to get distracted.

However, I did take some of the band because they were cracking us up. We had an hour long debate about whether the *Jim Carey in Dumb and Dumber lookalike* keyboard and soundguy was blind or not. He wore his sunglasses for a few minutes then ditched them and we realized his eyes were closed for 90% of the show. We decided 'no' to being blind, but it turns out he just feels the music sort of Helen Keller style.

And his drummer and singer guy we nicknamed Sancho had this funny garden Gnome doing the Power to the People fist raise and he kept rubbing and holding up the little guy. Sancho would stand perfectly still when he wasn't playing, with his arms crossed and this totally straight face and sunglasses. He was wearing this weird scarf/Mexican tablecloth tied around his neck and had small black braid extensions that were halfway down his back. Jeremy thought he looked like some sort of Middle Eastern terrorist--but when he was introduced we found out he's "half Latin, half African-American" and then something about the fact he has so much rhythm it leaves a stain. Yeah, I don't really think I want to know about all that.

You can see Jim Carey in the background of this shot with his giant sunglasses and bowl cut, sort of hiding behind Sancho's garden gnome on the table. There was also a guitar player that resembled a chubby George Clooney, but he kept hiding in the dark shadows all night so I couldn't get a good picture of him. Or it really was George Clooney and he was ashamed of all the extra weight he's packed on since his Ocean's 13 days. 50-50 odds on that one. OK, maybe 70-30.

We were forced to commit carbonated adultery. I'm still ashamed. That's all I'll say about that.

I have a confession. I have an almost uncontrollable desire to goose people's buns--especially in crowded places and even buns attached to people I don't know. So I really had to resist this urge on the entire walk to our car with this view.
It must be hereditary--I can remember Jeremy and I being simultaneously goosed by my cousin Micah and her husband in the middle of the BYU bookstore when we were in college. We didn't even see them coming. Who can resist a good surprise goosing on an unsuspecting victim? This is also my way of giving warning to all of you that I may strike at any moment.

And uh, yeah, there are also some negative social side effects of my condition and apparently it's highly hereditary from mother to child. Alex got sent to the office for goosing a girl in the first grade last year and written up for sexual harassment. He didn't even know what that meant, nor should he, but he's all "my mom pinches my hiney all the time." Whoops.

The concert got out at about my normal bedtime but we still had about a 45 minute drive home. We passed this car with the most GIANT TV screen playing rap music videos to an empty backseat. It was about the size of my computer monitor and was somehow suspended from the ceiling. I guess the guy driving was watching the reflection from his back window in his rear view mirror? Sounds safe.
By the time I got home, signed folders, made lunches for the kids, and got into bed and finally fell asleep, I was down to way fewer hours of sleep than normal, but it was totally worth it. Did we enjoy the concert?And muchas thanks to the village it took to get various kids to and from a soccer game, showered, fed, and into bed so we could enjoy the night out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ramblings: Love is in the air, NO WAIT, Loving the Air

The wind is blowing like crazy and the sky is darkening. The temperature is dropping like mad from it's current 77 degrees in order to reach it's forecasted low tonight of 42. We'll see if it does...but I LOVE IT! Te amo, cold front. (Or for any Persian readers--Doo-set daaram, cold front. Yeah, I had to look that one up but doesn't it sound cool? I found this fun site.)

It finally feels like Fall and even though I hate the extra hassle of finding and putting socks and shoes and jackets on everyone instead of sandals and tank tops, it's totally worth it. It gives me hope that the kids won't spend Halloween melting in their costumes and sweating to the point of dehydration during the trick-or-treating rounds. Plus, the cool air gives me a little burst of energy and makes me feel a little peppier. The kids burn off a little more energy playing and running around outside, and less time cooped up finding ways to finally destroy what's left of the house and my sanity.

On to my next hair. For some reason, every year when the weather finally decides to stay cool for more than a week or two, I feel like chopping or dyeing or doing something crazy to my hair. Like the change of season necessitates a change of hairstyle. I'm not too nervous about doing anything--my hair's pretty thick and grows pretty fast. Last year I started dyeing it a dark brownish red color, which prompted my friend Chip to ask me when I became a Goth. Ok, I get it. Too dark. So it's lightened up now over the past few months but I feel so blah about it. I may just have to take a whack at it. I hear the mullet's making a know, business in front and pleasure in back. It's a thought...any other ideas? AND NO! No matter how many of you ask, or even BEG, I will not get the permed fro of my youth. That is one hairdo best left in the past--unless there is someone offering a substantially large amount of cash...or Sonic giftcards...?

And just a tad over 24 hours till the Mraz concert. I'm thinking of bedazzling a Got Mraz? t-shirt for the occasion, but I better get cracking if I want to finish bedazzling the Mraz speedo Jeremy requested. It's Easy, Fun, and Fabulous! I'll be posting some pics of Mraz0rama on Friday---if I'm still able to type. We're a bit worried we may inhale a ton of second hand smoke--and I'm not talking about cigarettes here. (And now I know you're all wondering if I really do own a bedazzler. That's for me to know...)

Happy Cool Weather! (Just in the time it took me to type all this nonsense, my little thermostat dropped 7 degrees. sweet.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rave: Crack-fil-A

I'm pretty sure the "new recipe" that Chick-fil-A is using on their chicken strips contains some form of cocaine, because I've seriously become addicted to their Chick-n-strips salad. I crave it night and day. If you happen to be out and about and geared up to taste a deliriously delicious salad, give it a try. (Honey mustard is my personal choice, but ranch dressing is also really good on it.) I have a hard time eating anything else when we opt for fast food--I mean COME ON! They give you croutons AND sunflower seeds. But much to my dismay, it's just about the only fast food option the twins will eat. Salad...could they pick a weirder thing to love? So if you do get one...hide it from any salad-loving two year olds, cuz you will only end up with their scraps.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ramblings: Visual Trauma

I apologize for the traumatic and explicit pictures I posted yesterday that have scarred and assaulted your delicate senses. Hopefully, you can reset your mental images of any of the events that occurred at my house yesterday with the following pictures:

There--was that enough? Are you all calmed down now? Just whatever you do, do NOT scroll down because the disturbing pictures will horrify you again and then you'll need a few more minutes with the pandas until you're back to normal. (Do you like that I slipped Luke Brown back in there? I'll admit that I'm sort of infatuated with him now.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ramblings: Just in case you thought I was making this stuff up--PART 2

And THIS ladies and gentlemen, is what occurred 45 minutes ago that finally caused me to walk next door and ask my neighbor to run over my head a few times with his truck and put me out of my misery. (Apparently this morning was not the end of the corn poop as hoped for...) How dare I try to leave them playing cars for 10 minutes to fix lunch? Alex's carpet and bathroom took the hit this time and Aidan was the guilty party, even though I'm pretty sure Avery was the toothpaste man. Greg--this took place only ONE room away from yours...are you getting nervous yet?

Ramblings: Just in case you thought I was making this stuff up

This. THIS. T.H.I.S. is the trail I found this morning.

THIS is the reason I have so much practice counting to 10.

THIS happened before 9 AM.

THIS happened faster than the time it took Mr. Noodle to talk to Elmo about playing outside.

THIS is disgustingly smelly, but luckily mostly on the tile.

THIS is (hopefully) the last of the corn poops from Sunday night.

THIS is why I own a steam cleaner.

THIS is why I shower in under 5 minutes--fear of more poop trails.

THIS is why I'm not a poop-wimp.

THIS is an impressive sized poop for a 2 year old.

THIS is why I usually have a headache by the afternoon.

THIS is why I drink. (Diet Coke, not the hard stuff....yet)

THIS is what little boys do for fun.

THIS is what I think of when I hear the word "nugget."
THIS is why if my brother Greg was smart, he'd lock his door upstairs before he left for work.

THIS happens more often than I capture with the camera.

THIS probably ruined your appetite. Sorry.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Ramblings: True Randomness

* Luke Brown owes me an explanation as to 1) how he apparently runs his own watermelon farm at the age of 14 (?) and 2) why my watermelon was NOT tasty, and definitely not as tasty as I would have expected from someone willing to put a giant face sticker on each one. Were those comments welcomed? Doubt it.

*Yesterday we had our stake conference at church (or a sort of regional meeting with about 10 congregations all meeting together). I was determined to be on time since parking and seating get a bit crazy if you're not early. (Plus, last time we had forgotten about daylight savings and we thought we were on time, but we were actually an hour late. Embarrassing, but kind of nice because the kids only had to sit for an hour).

Anyway, I got everything ready, snacks and activities packed, and everyone's clothes ironed the night before so we could get there before nine. We live about 40 minutes from the building where it's held, and we were so proud of ourselves when we realized we were pulling in 10 minutes early. Oh wait, there are only two other cars in the parking lot...that can't be right, can it? NO! IT WAS NOT RIGHT. Turns out we were 10 minutes early for the CHOIR practice, and an hour and 10 minutes early for the conference. We were already facing two straight hours in metal folding chairs with four bored kids, and another unnecessary hour seemed unbearable. Luckily, we found a new, clean playground about a block away and we let them run and play before we headed back at 10. Hair and clothes: not so neat and tidy as before, but at least we found something to do to burn an hour. Moral of the story: Don't trust Jeremy when he tells you he knows what time something starts, or don't plan to be on time--it just backfires one way or another.

*No!, we do not own a cat. (Nor will we ever--they freak me out like nothing else. They're always lurking around, ready to pounce at any second and scratch your eyeballs out.) But I've found a great use for the cat door leading into the garage because I'm getting lazier and the poops are getting stinkier. Much, much stinkier. After we change them, we just say "Go stick it in the hole" and they take off running with it. I had to make Aidan do this about three times because he kept shooting the diaper through there at 90 mph, which is obviously alot faster than my reflexes with the camera. He thought it was a pretty fun game. And yeah, I see it's time to wash down the garage side of this door.

*That leads me to the next item--corn diapers. Anyone that has kids or has been anywhere within 10 feet of a kid with a corn diaper can understand what I'm talking about here. Is there anything nastier than changing a poop diaper after your two year old's feast the night before of a GIANT bowl of corn? I'm not a poop wimp by any means (barf wimp, yes, but not poop) but even I was gagging after changing both boys this morning. SICK.

* The boys' corn feast occurred last night at dinner when we were feeding the missionaries from our church. It was, as always, an eventful meal and I'm pretty sure they will just scratch our names off the sign up sheet the next time I volunteer to feed them. First, Aidan kept running around screaming about having"ouchy boogers" that were hurting his nose. I had to interrupt the meal twice to extract the ouchy boogers--which is not an easy task with adult size fingers in a tiny kid nostril. Then the boys started slowly stripping items of clothing off and screaming "me wanna be NAKED" over and over. Lovely.

Then when Alex went to refill the pitcher of water, the ice dispenser on the front of the fridge got stuck. He was screaming and ice was shooting everywhere and breaking into pieces as it hit the floor. No one could figure out why he wouldn't just let go, so it had been stuck for awhile before I got to it and unjammed it. After I cleaned that up, he tried to fill it with water from the same dispenser (I was booger extracting or I think I would've been monitoring this more closely) and it stuck again. Water was shooting out and overflowing down the fridge and all over the floor. Plus, I was still ticked at the $6 I wasted on Luke Brown's bland melon.

After the crazy dinner was over, Jeremy left to drive them home and the boys went out in the backyard to play. I was cleaning up when I look out the window by the kitchen and see the boys COMPLETELY NAKED sliding down their slide. (I'm just guessing that sliding down a plastic slide naked in 85 degree heat can't feel very good. Am I going out on a limb here?) The worst part was that Avery had pooped before removing his diaper. I'll leave it at that--but it wasn't pretty. At least the corn hadn't made its appearance yet.

And I'm going to have to reorder the push pad for the dispenser on the fridge and hope that i can figure out how to replace it without spending a ridiculous amount to have some dude and his buttcrack come exchange it. (I think they bill their time separately--guy: 1.5 hours; nasty buttcrack: 1.5 hours; total: 3 hours).

*On a happier note, when I went to fill up my mom-mobile today after pumpkin shopping, this was the price blinking on the pump. WhooHoo. Now I can drive to Sonic three times a day with less guilt about how much gas I'm wasting.

*We'll be carving up our pumpkins tonight with the hopes that they don't rot (again) before Halloween. So, which jack o'lantern should I pick? I'll just tell you that I may pick the one that will induce Jeremy's panic attack/brain aneurysm in under 3 seconds when sees it. Is it wrong that I like to harass him so much?

(Ok. Gimme a break, like I'm skilled enough to do either of these...or have that much free time.) But I have decided what face I'll be carving in my "punkin" tonight. Does the name Luke Brown ring a bell? Comments Welcome!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ramblings: Fair Fun

FYI directed to all those non-Texans out there: Texas L.O.V.E.S. its state fair. In elementary school, they spend a week or two pumping them up for it, making projects and reports about it, and generally brainwashing them about just how cool it is. Every school district even gets a day off and free student tickets to attend. Our Fair Day was last Wednesday and since we didn't want the children shunned by all the super-Texans out there, we decided to take them.

The fair is famous for picking weird fried foods to feature each year. Plus, I think they want to try to induce as many coronary attacks as possible within the gates of the Fairgrounds...just for fun.
This year's lucky winners were: 1) Fernie's All-American Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwich 2) Fried Banana Split 3) Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Waffle Balls 4) Deep Fried S'Mores 5) Fire and Ice (Deep fried pineapple ice cream) 6) Fried Chocolate Truffle 7) Chicken Fried Bacon 8) Texas Fried Jelly Beans. I couldn't get Jeremy to try any of the ones that actually sounded tasty--he went for #7--because bacon isn't greasy enough plain, it needs to be coated and then fried again. Nothing like eating hot greasy food in 85 degree heat.

I wonder how much they'd charge to deep fry that Blackberry for me?? Sounds good right? Deep fried Blackberry...

The kids were pretty good--especially since we broke down and bought them their cotton candy at 10:30 so we didn't have to hear about it for the rest of the day. (But first we all had to donate a few gallons of blood to pay for all of it.) Needless to say, the stickiness overwhelmed us for the next hour. Plus I told them the police booth was designed for parents to drop off naughty children--scared 'em straight pretty fast.

We started at the building with the big petting zoo inside. Although we were almost convinced we wanted nothing to do with it after we read the huge sign at the entrance...hemmorrhagic colitis? Yikes. I karate chopped Jeremy because I blame his profession that they have to post stupid signs like this.
You can buy big cups of food in there so we figured the kids would enjoy getting in the faces of different animals and slimed by them as they tried to feed all the animals. But apparently, some of the animals have sensitive stomachs...

It took the little boys awhile to warm up to the idea that these animals weren't secretly trying to eat their faces off. Eventually they'd stand within a few inches of the fence and pretend to pet them, but they were careful not to turn their backs on them. Avery would get so excited every time he saw something new...that is until it came close enough to possibly bite his face off.

I'm going to add to that collection of kids books about llamas. Mine is going to feature Aidan and Avery and is titled "Mama, mama. Scared of Llama." Avery didn't want to pose because he was too nervous about the critters in the background "getting" him.

Remember when I said I couldn't find any digital pictures of that hideous permed Afro haircut I had as a kid? Well, I found one. I hope mine had slightly fewer things stuck in it.

Alex searched for about five minutes before finding this guy's eyeballs under all that hair.

This big mama prompted far too many "your mom" jokes. Sort of reminded me of what I felt like when i was pregnant with the twins.

But seeing these little piggies all smooshed together just makes you want to take one home with you! Not to mention all the chicken fried bacon we could sell in a few years.

Then we ate lunch and went off to find Big Tex. The kids had learned all sorts of facts about him at school--like what size Wrangler pants and boots he wears. When we found him, Alex was less than impressed. "That can't be Big Tex. He's supposed to be bigger than that. That guy's not big." Well, sadly for him it was The Big Tex. My memory of him from when I was a kid was that he was alot bigger then. So maybe Big Tex has been downsized--or like all old people, he's been shrinking a little bit every year.

We took a quick walk through the auto buildings and let the kids climb around it all the new cars to get it out of their systems.

I found a funny sign on one of the car windows--I still don't really know what it was supposed to mean, but I"m thinking of having it tattooed on my arm so that when someone asks me something, I can just point to one of the answers.
Alex and Jeremy competed to see who could be the cause of the most severe case of whiplash.

We found some rides that even the little boys could ride. Aidan loved the canoes--he let his hand drag in the water as it floated its way along the little stream. Avery was ornery that the seats were wet and it wasn't going faster.

We were shocked when we tried to load the boys to ride this spinny ride and Avery FREAKED as soon as he sat down. He is normally the fearless daredevil and Aidan is the fraidy cat. But Aidan laughed and loved every minute of it after we had to rescue Avery before it even started. Must've had something to do with the fact it was prime-time nap time.

We all rode this pretty tame caterpillar roller coaster together and did the big metal slide that you ride down on sitting on big carpets. (FYI, not as fun when you have to carry a 30 pound kid and 2 huge, heavy carpets up the equivalent of five flights of stairs.)

This picture of Aidan and Jeremy shows just how alike they look---even down to Aidan's open-mouthed smile. The real set of twins...

At this point, it was getting pretty hot and everyone was getting cranky and whiny so we were ready to go. Plus, I think that we were close to having to take out a second mortgage on our house in order to pay for any more rides.

But on the way towards the exit, I happened to notice a guy carrying not only his kid (who was maybe three or four), but also wearing a huge hiking type backpack. On top of that, he had fastened this stiff four foot Spiderman doll that had to be fairly heavy. I'm guessing he probably felt really macho for winning it and insisted on taking it, no matter how awkwardly he was perched on his back or how sweaty he was at the end of the day from lugging all that junk around. That is some serious Spiderman love and it was a good laugh to end a fun day at the fair. Even better, we stopped at Sonic's happy hour on the way home--the BEST way to end Fair Day.

What fried snack would be your choice? Would you haul around Spiderman? Would you pet animals regardless of the risk of colitis?