Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The problem with running is...

...you increase your chances of stumbling across a dead body.

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago while I was running along a waterway near my home. Isn't it often an innocent runner who catches a glimpse of a body in the river? The thought was startling enough that I decided to avert my eyes.

Within a few days, it happened.

A body.

Face down.

In the water.

Phone Pics

Phone Pics

Luckily, it was not exactly "dead," just "unliving."

Friday, November 22, 2013

I sliced my finger and ate diaper rash cream

Story #1: Wherein I Cut My Finger

The other night, I was in my basement getting a jar of beans when suddenly, I made some random upward movement with my hand. I don't really know what happened, but I hit my hand on a shelf and cut my finger.

It was a little cut, or so I thought.

When I got upstairs, I looked down and realized it was actually a flap of skin under which blood was pooling quite heavily.

Dinner was on the stove, and I had :08 left on the timer, so I had to ignore the blood and do some stirring. I held my finger in the air while maneuvering the spoon around the pan, and then I started wondering if I was in shock. I glimpsed at my kids, pondering who would be capable of administering a blanch test, but then I realized that if I was thinking about blanch tests, I probably wasn't in shock.

That's always a plus.


Story #2: Wherein My Baby Has a Diaper Rash

The night before I cut my finger, Zoe had pooped herself in her crib. Being the mean mom that I am, I let her cry herself back to sleep, completely oblivious to "the situation." It took about an hour for her to stop crying and fall asleep, and she did this about three times.

In the morning, when I figured out she was poopy, I felt horrible. This, of course, resulted in a nasty diaper rash.

Bad mommy!

I know!


We were out of diaper rash cream, so I went and bought a brand spankin' new tube of Butt Paste.

Story #3: Wherein Two Stories Become One

So there I was with a recently cut finger. The Bandaid I had eventually put on was full of blood, but the bleeding had stopped, so I took it off. I had just bathed Zoe and lathered her up in Aveeno to help with her eczema.

I grabbed the new tube of Butt Paste and took off the lid. There was foil covering the opening of the tube, so I gripped the tab with my slippery Aveeno fingers and tried to remove it. No luck. Being the problem solver that I am, I immediately positioned the foil tab between my teeth and pulled.

You know how hindsight is 20/20?

Now I can see perfectly that the tube was going to explode in my mouth.

Needless to say, I had to apply the cream to my baby's bum while trying very hard to not taste the portion that was caked on the inside of my lips.

After the application, I needed to get the excess cream off my fingers so I could finish fastening the diaper, so I used the bath towel to give my fingers a firm swipe.

Remember how hindsight is 20/20?

Now I can see perfectly that running my cut finger through a towel would remove the skin flap and cause blood to gush everywhere.


Is an allegory of my life right now - one chaotic moment leading to another then overlapping with exploding Butt Paste and gushing blood.

Open jar of mayo falling off the counter, son putting fist through big screen TV while playing Wii, baby emptying utensil drawer...



Messes galore.

I live in fear that my life will never have smooth moments again.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Pants Almost Fell Off at Costco Today* (and ten other random facts)

Fact #1: I mentioned a few posts ago that I've been suffering from a reading aversion. I can't read. I pick up a book, a book I should love, and I just can't do it!


Am broken.

Fact #2: Lately I've been vegging on the couch, watching The Paradise. It's a cute show, but has one of those slowly unfolding love stories that makes you want to jump up and yell, "JUST MAKE OUT ALREADY!!!" Ever watched North and South? Same thing there. I'm just as wary of slow love stories as I am of quick ones. Remember how long it took Matthew and Mary to get together? By the time that happened, I didn't even care that they existed anymore.

And then...


You-know-what happened. DARN IT, BBC!


Fact #3: I have two toenails that are turning black from running. I guess I let my toenails get a little long this week. Can I just say that running does some really disgusting things to the body?

Fact #4: Sometimes after I do an ab workout, I feel like I'm having ovary pain. It takes me a while to realize that it's actually my obliques. I find it funny that the sensation is so similar. Today, though, it really is my ovaries.

Fact #5: This pre-winter is off to an interesting start. We've had three cases of hand, foot, and mouth; two cases of pink eye; two vomiting episodes; and a double ear infection since Halloween. Now we're on to croup. I hope we're just getting it all out of our systems early so we can have a healthy winter.

Doubt it.

Fact #6: A couple of weeks ago, we bought a new furnace.

Um... yay?

Anyway, the company that we bought it from gave us a free air duct cleaning, so the other day, a stranger came to my house with a bunch of hoses and tinkered with all of our vents for a few hours. I was kind of disappointed because all of the mysterious filth in our air ducts went straight into a huge canister, and I didn't get to see any of it. I wanna know what was in there! There are some things that are just so gross that you have to see them.

Plus, I'd like to confirm that there was nothing dead in there.

Fact #7: I went to see the new Thor movie last weekend. I feel dirty now because I am a loyal X-Men fan, and I didn't see The Wolverine in theater, but I saw Thor. I cheated on the X-Men, and I am ashamed.

Fact #8: My general thoughts of Thor (the story, the movie, the character, the actor) are Meh which is one more reason I feel so guilty.

Fact #9: The other night I had a dream that I was fighting werewolves by throwing bean bags at their faces. I was quite fatigued when I woke up. It was a lot of work.

Fact #10: One of my New years resolutions was to have all of our Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. I'm happy to report that it is DONE except for a few family members for a drawing that will take place on Thanksgiving. I'm excited to enjoy the Christmas season for what it should be rather than stressing over gifts and money through it all.

*Because I was desperate and had to use the bathroom with my baby on my lap, and I could only use one arm to pull up my pants, thus leaving the drawstring untied, so as I pushed my cart out (while still holding the very fussy baby in one arm), I had to clench my thighs together to keep my pants on.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Flickr Revisited

Does anyone still use Flickr? I do. I have to because my computer AND my external hard drive went kaput, so there are thousands of lost photos that I can only get back if I pay thousands of dollars. Luckily I have a history with using Flickr to post photos to my blog. It saved me!

Anyway, I was going through an old photo set on Flickr today (looking for my Christmas banner), and I came across some very interesting photos. Most of them had blogging significance at one point, but if you were to see them now, without the back story accompany them, you might find them odd.

Here are ten of my most random Flickr photos. I hope my lack of explanation allows your imagination to go wild:

1. Raoul is a pansy!


2. The Prophet Called...

The Prophet Called

3. Kenny

Creepy Doll

4. Cutting the Cheese


5. Uncle Brett's Legs


6. I don't Remember Owning This

February 2009 007

7. Constipation Greeting Card

June 2009 009

8. How I Casted Twilight

Saved by the Bella

9. That Was a Bad Day

August 2010 351

10. Just Bill & Ted

Pages from my Book of Mormon

Monday, November 18, 2013

Practical Advent-ing

For a long time, I struggled with traditions. I don't always like to do the same thing year after year, so as I started my own family, I just winged it for a long time. Now that I have three kids, I'm a little more apt to form traditions. I, myself, still don't care to do the same things over and over year after year, but my kids are starting to remember events past, and with those memories come anticipation and expectation. I was surprised in October when Nicky asked me if he got to eat a Lunchable during General Conference because that's what he did "last time." I felt horrible when I had to explain to him that I didn't buy him a Lunchable for General Conference (then I hurried and whipped up a Conference Bingo card for him to make amends because I knew that's what he would ask for next). I know that traditions are important and that they mean a lot to my children, so I'm trying to be more consistent with having them (even accidental ones like Lunchables during General Conference).

About three years ago, I was mulling over holiday traditions and trying to figure out what - if anything - I could do with my children during the days leading up to Christmas. I saw a lot of neat ideas online (this was back in the days before Pinterest, but the internet was no less daunting), but all of them were way to over-the-top and elaborate for my taste, not to mention time-consuming and expensive.

I saw things like, "Buy 25 Christmas books, wrap them, then let your kids pick one each evening to read together next to the Christmas tree." I thought about doing the library/thrift store/books-I-already-have version of that, but my desire to follow through was minimal.

There was the whole, "Elf on a Shelf" deal, which was cute for a minute, but again, too time-consuming. Our Elf would probably sit in one place for the entire season, and my kids would just think it was dead and start poking it with a stick.

There were all sorts of advent activities and countdowns and crafts that my brain just about went kaput. Even the spiritual activities seemed way too showy and complicated to me.

My pre-Christmas tradition needed to be simple, inexpensive, and easy to execute.

That year I decided to make a good, old, paper chain with a link for each day until Christmas starting with the day after Thanksgiving. I wrote an activity on each link, and my kids removed a link each day and did the activity.

{Hello, pre-cut chain links purchased from Walmart for 97¢}

I know, this is nothing new or exciting. Lots of people do something similar.

But wait...

The activities were fast and easy. Things like, "Sing Frosty the Snowman." None of this "Go to Temple Square" or "Bake Cookies" nonsense (because I can't handle things like that). I took full advantage of our calendar and used Christmas parties, TV movies, and even birthdays to our advantage. The link for December 14 said, "It's Grandma's birthday! Take a present to her house!" because guess what! We were going to do that anyway! So there was no extra work on my part (short of writing it on the chain). Then my kids were totally excited because THE CHAIN HAD SPOKEN.

Now the tradition holds firm; we've done it for three years. Some of the usual activities are:

-Attending Christmas parties (we get about five days out of this one)
-Watching Holiday movies on TV (about once a week)
-Singing Christmas songs
-Adding pieces to the Nativity (so our Nativity builds over time - Jesus being the final piece added on Christmas Eve)
-Going to birthday parties (we usually have about three in December)
-Having Family Home Evening (once a week)
-Drinking hot chocolate
-Making a Christmas craft (purchased from the $1 bins at Target - no cutting or planning necessary)

My children LOVE this tradition. It just goes to show that you don't have to sew, bake, buy pretty things, or overwhelm yourself to give your children wonderful memories. There is room in traditions for practicality, and children appreciate simple things.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Candidate for Runner

I never thought I'd become a runner. I still don't know at what point I'm supposed to take on that title officially, but with or without the title... I run.

Back in May, I ran a mile for the first time in my life. It was really hard, and it took months of training. For just one mile. 

In August I ran an entire 5k for the first time (I had previously "walked fast" in a few 5k's). It was hard, and it didn't help that the first mile was on that hill that goes up to Primary Children's Hospital AND it was 100 ° outside. I visualized myself collapsing on the side of the road at least a dozen times, and as Scotty and I approached the finish line, my thoughts were along the lines of I #&% HATE THIS!!! I didn't think I could ever do it again. But then...

In September, I went to Colorado and ran three 5-mile legs in Ragnar.

Two weeks later I ran with one of my best friend in her first 5k:

Color Me Rad

Last week I did a five-mile run with the same friend (her first five miles! So proud of her!)


I never thought I'd see the day when I could run five miles. I can run more than five miles now, but I usually only have enough time to get five in. I've worked really hard, and I've had to really push myself out of my comfort zone. I'm pleased with my efforts and wish I could see the look on the faces of Britts Past had they heard the news that in 2013 I'd be a candidate for the title of "Runner."

(Britts Past never would have believed it).

Even more unbelievable is the fact that I actually like it. I never thought I would enjoy running - it's something I forced myself into - and here I am declaring that I like running.

Seriously, who is this person? What's next... yoga?

(I HATE yoga!!! Boo to that!)

Time Well-Wasted

Kid #1 is at school. Kid #2 is at a friend's house. Kid #3 is asleep.

So let's make an assessment of how I use my time when I am "kid-free."

Here are the things I should be doing:

~ Getting caught up on laundry (there are piles and piles of clean clothes to put away - we have been living out of laundry baskets for the past week).

~ Sweeping the masses of food off my kitchen floor.

~ Vacuuming (oh, but that would require picking up the bazillion puzzle pieces in the living room).

~ Exercising.

Instead I've:

~ Combed through new recipes I want to try - do you ever pick up on a theme when you start looking at recipes? Last time I copied down a series of recipes, I ended up with several things that go on top of rice. This time I printed off a bunch of black bean recipes.

~ Snooped around for a good vegetarian recipe blog (no luck - too much fancy food with expensive ingredients that I've never heard of).

~ Sat on the couch and stared at a wall... just because I could, and no one was there to cling to my legs or whine at me, or ask me for food.

~ Written down a few ideas for New Year's resolutions (perhaps I am jumping the gun a bit? And you thought is was bad to listen to Christmas music this early!)

~ Piddled around with this blog post.

But to earn myself a little credit, I:

~ Started a load of dishes

~ Threw some baked potatoes in the oven for dinner (which is six hours away. Look at me being all productive and what not!)

~ Got my SDBBE book ready to mail


~ Paid the bills (which I actually think is fun to do - I find it rewarding to plan a budget and see it used as planned).

So there you have it; my round-about confession that I might not be using my time as well as I should. Now please excuse me, I'm going to go stare at the wall a little more.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Passions as Films

Two of my favorite books are The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Both of these books are being made into films, and I have mixed feelings. I don't mind when other people's favorite books hit the big screen, but I get a little fidgety when Hollywood starts messing with my own. There's always the concern that the cast and the story line will be all wrong or that something will be portrayed *not quite* how I have spent years visualizing it. At the same time, there is something exciting about getting to experience a book in a new way.

Pros and cons, folks.

Pros and cons.

When I heard about The Book Thief, the first thing I did was look up the cast. I was pleasantly surprised - for the most part, they are right. Rosa is a little bit older in my head and Hans is a little bit... uh... fatter, but they casted them well. Max is pretty darn close to what I have always imagined, and for some reason, I've never put a face to Leisl. I've always had a hard time imagining Rudy as a blonde, even though he is described as such in the book (probably because of the Jesse Owens incident), but I can change my ways.

After I became familiar with the cast, I waited for the trailer. When I saw that it was up on Youtube, I had a "this is it" moment where I sat down, held my breathe, and clicked play. My reaction wasn't positive or negative - it was just "huh." Like acceptance, I guess.

But then I worried.

I worried because the narrator in the trailer was Leisl.

Leisl can't be the narrator.

I knew that if the narrator was different from the book, everything that is beautiful about the story would be sabotaged.

I waited on pins and needles to hear news about the narrator, and I leapt out of my seat when I read that the narrator in the movie is the same as in the book.


So now I wait another week, and then I see it. I am thrilled and nervous and excited.

As for The Giver, we'll have to wait until next year. There are some red flags in the cast: Taylor Swift? Katie Holmes? Hmmm..... I just don't know about that. Also, Jonas is going to be played by a 23 year old heart throb, and that always ruins things a bit. Jonas is supposed to be twelve. I'm worried that the depth of the story will be lost (which is how I feel about the film adaption of The Hunger Games).

Time will tell.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rocking and Stinking

I rock at meal planning.

I stink at eating lunch at home.

I rock at finding cute dresses for my daughters at the thrift store.

I stink at keeping my house tidy.

I rock at getting my family to church on time.

I stink at keeping track of library materials.

I rock at remembering names and things about people.

I stink at portion control.

I rock at doing laundry.

I stink at putting it away.

I rock at getting rid of stuff.

I stink at making my bed.

I rock at flossing daily.

I stink at trying new things.

I rock at saying morning and evening prayers with my kids.

I stink at saying personal prayers.

I rock at planting a garden every summer.

I stink at weeding.

I rock at avoiding condensed soups.

I stink at avoiding sugar.

Anything you want to confess rocking or stinking at?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Currently {November 2013 Edition}

Reading: nothing. I'm experiencing a case of reading aversion right now.

Watching: Downton Abbey season 4. It is something I do to wind down on Thursday nights. Like most TV shows, it's not as good as it once was, but I can't quit it just yet.

Procrastinating: nothing. I'm at a point in life where I don't "put things off," I just forget. 

Wanting: a big waffle iron, a double toaster, these, and some new running shoes.

Craving: ice water in my Camelbak water bottle. Sometimes I crave specific water bottles. That's normal, right?

Wearing: a fuzzy, purple robe (it's 6:02 on a Saturday morning) (or at least it was when I started this post. Now it's 5:06 on a Sunday morning).

Stressing about: everything. Here's a little sample from the past 48 hours: handling Halloween by myself while Scotty was at school; having family pictures at 8:00 in the morning the next day; dealing with very fussy baby during pictures; baby breaking out in red sores all over body, baby having hand, foot and mouth disease; baby's 1st birthday; and furnace going out. 

That's just a snippet. There is a lot going on right now, and each individual thing is no big deal, but when stacked one on top of the other, it is crazy pull-out-my-hair kind of stuff. I'm kind of FREAKING OUT over here. 

Relieved by: NOTHING. I am so stressed out. In about a week, when it's all over, I'm anticipating the biggest sigh of relief of my life! 

Missing: sleeping past 5:00 a.m. I used to think waking up at 6:00 to get ready for work was a bit of a burden. Now I cry with joy if I get to sleep that late. My little early risers are slowly sucking the soul out of me. And hearing all of these people say we get an "extra hour of sleep" this week just makes me angry. All it means for me is that the clock says 4:00 when my kids wake up instead of 5:00. 

Excited to: see The Book Thief. I don't even care if I hate the show; I just want to go to a movie! It feels like the biggest luxury to me.

Neglecting: getting my crying baby out of her crib. I just need three more minutes to finish this post that I've been working on for three days.

Thankful for: a warm house.

Looking forward to: a date night with Scotty. We don't get nearly enough date nights, but we're trying to start going once a month. Last month we got to go twice. What?!? Crazy, right?