Thursday, February 26, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

When I was in London on Study Abroad we went to the Tate Modern art museum. Let’s just say it was an enriching experience. It taught me that anyone can be an artist. Dave Barry seems to agree with me.

Every once in a while our computer speakers pick up some weird frequency and we get snippets of people talking. It makes me think of “COPS”. The other day I heard the following: (spoken with a drunkish redneck accent) “I’m just tryin’ ta tell her I can stay up as late as I want, go out when I want, drink what I want…” Interesting.

Why is it that the fancy Bath & Body Works soap leaves a nasty scum in my sink, while the cheap store brand stuff has never done that?

I ordered books from Amazon on Monday and I am furious that they won’t even ship until the 2nd. What am I supposed to read until they get here?

The girls have Webkinz animals. Is it sad that I love the games as much as they do? I really need to get a life.

I truly believe in the power of prayer.

I hate dialup internet.

If I’m going to join Facebook (it’s becoming more inevitable every day) I need an awesome photo of me, one that not only makes me look really good, but also looks totally effortless, like that’s how I look every day anyway, no big deal. Because I care so much what people think of me.

I like it when people comment on my blog. It makes me feel justified in spending the time to post. This is not a hint, of course. Wink, wink.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Independence Day

I've noticed that there are few things that make human beings feel more independent than the ability to take ourselves to the bathroom.

Yesterday at church, Ellie decided that she needed this form of independence, not just at home, but everywhere. So Chris and I, being the supportive and encouraging parents that we are, decided to let her try it out. She knew where the bathroom was, she promised us she'd wash her hands, and we knew there were other parents in the foyer who would respond to the shouting if she found she needed help. We'd do it for their kids. So Ellie walked slowly out of Sacrament meeting, with her arms reverently folded, only to return a minute later and announce in her "quiet voice" that she can't get on the potty by herself because it's too high. I'm really glad she wasn't half naked at this point.

So I went to help her. As soon as I lifted her onto the potty, she said, "Okay, Mom, you can go now." As I walked out of the stall, she asked me to lock it behind me. I told her it can only be locked from the inside, so how about I just stay here and hold it shut? Apparently not. She didn't like that idea at all, so she hopped down off the potty, locked the door, told me I could go, and then turned around to get back on the potty. Uh, oh.

So she unlocked the door for me, and I lifted her back on. Then, assuming (I know, I should know better by now) that we had reached an understanding, I went to stand outside the stall door and hold it shut for her.

"No, Mommy! You need to go back to Daddy and leave me alone! I'll just lock the door!" And back down off the potty she came. This was when I started banging my head against the wall.

We finally compromised: I held the door shut, but I stood far enough away that she couldn't see my shoes and therefore felt like she was alone. As soon as she was finished she sent me on my way. I laughed all the way back to my seat.

When she got back into the chapel, she announced to Chris, "I went potty all by myself!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

When did my life get to be so crazy busy??? And yet there's still more potential activities to add to the mix! I don't know how my mother ever did it with 4 kids. Three will drive me insane one of these days.

It's really unfair how one day of not cleaning can take several days to recover from. I'm not enjoying that.

Look, cookies!
Nothing like last year, though. I just have the cookies for Lexi's much smaller troop this year. The best part is they've been here since Saturday and I've only had one cookie! Vicki and Lexi each bought their own box. Vicki still has 4 left (out of 15), but Lexi tore through her entire box in less than 24 hours. And poor Ellie keeps bugging me to open a box of "the red kind" (Tagalongs...mmmmmm...they're a family favorite) and I'm mean and won't do it yet. Because if I open them, I'll eat them.

I did not feel motivated to do anything productive today. This is not good for my newly discovered clean freakedness.

Evidence that my children have the coolest school counselor EVER: she buys a box of cookies from each one of our Brownies (that's 14 at $4 each); she brings her therapy dog, Maggie the Labradoodle, to school at least once a week and gets Maggie's school picture taken every year (for Halloween Maggie wore a blond wig to school and was Maggie Montana); she invited kids to have lunch with her in her office when she thinks they need a little extra attention, and they're always welcome to bring along a friend or three; she gets down to Ellie's level to talk to her whenever we see her at school (Ellie calls her "my friend, Miss N."); and best of all:
They planned this in advance, and she keeps asking Ellie when they can have a pink feather boa day again.

I love the sunshine.

We thought all the Oregon stations had decided to go ahead with the digital switchover on Black Tuesday (oh, I mean the 17th), but apparently not. At least, we still get all the channels we were getting before, which means PBS, NBC, and Fox, without using the converter box, with which we seem to be having an on-again off-again relationship. Considering the relationship, the delay works for us. The reception's not fantastic, but at least we still have it.

Speaking of relationships, I think I've found a new website for all my future Valentine's needs. Because every relationship needs an evening where the woman glues feathers to an old bra and announces, "It's time for plucking!" (if you don't believe me, check out the products section, under "relationship consultant". And for the more...sensitive...of you, this is not an, um, enhancement product site at all - totally clean and, frankly, quite frighteningly G-rated.)

Is there such a thing as too much chocolate? I don't think so. But I am currently not on speaking terms with my bathroom scale.

Monday, February 16, 2009


She pulled it out herself this evening while she was supposed to be doing her jobs. But it's the first tooth to be lost within the walls of the Ebert household that didn't involve string or a tile floor. Yay Lexi!

The tooth fairy will be making a visit tonight, by the way (if some people's children would ever go to sleep!) The mystery still holds for some of us, and those of us who may or may not be on to her are keeping our mouths shut. For the time being, at least.

Valentine's Day

I just have to say first that I really do have the cutest, sweetest, most adorable daughters that ever have been or ever will be. Really. Saturday morning they got up early and made breakfast in bed for Chris and me.
We got toast (which was toasted on the pop-tart setting, so it was kinda more like slightly crispy bread and butter) "oatmeal" for Chris - it's actually granola that the girls soaked in milk, thinking it would soften up - and a pop-tart (the Costco kind, of course) for me. Plus, we each got a HobNob that our friends brought back from England. See, those girls thought of everything! The only drawback was that they brought it to us at 7am. Oh, well, I guess we can't have it all.

This Valentine's Day happened to be the 10th anniversary of our engagement, so we decided to do what we did 10 years ago and have a candlelit dinner. My most wonderful husband spent the entire day (plus a good part of the day before) in the kitchen fixing the entire meal. I didn't have to do a thing! Here's the table set with the first course:
We had 3 mushroom soup (sooooo good!) and spinach and peppered pear salad with raspberry vinaigrette and homemade croutons, made with homemade French bread.

For the main course we had phyllo-wrapped chicken with sundried tomato-cream cheese filling, roasted Greek potatoes, and steamed broccoli with creamy lemon sauce.
And then dessert...dark chocolate mousse...mmmmmmm...
We had to pretty much roll ourselves away from the table when we were finished. Even though Chris reduced all the recipes down to two servings, there was still wayyyyy too much food. It was all so yummy, though!

And I had to post this picture because we got a kick out of looking at the table:
No, we're not alcoholics. We just like fancy-looking glasses, and we made candle holders out of Martinelli's bottles.

And the best part: the girls stayed upstairs and watched their movies without bugging us at all! It was a Happy Valentine's Day indeed, and here's to another 10 awesome years (and then a lifetime after that!) with the best family anyone could hope for!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday

Lexi has a loose tooth. It’s her first one. Vicki, who is considered the resident loose tooth expert around these parts, has been coaching her on the dos and don’ts of tooth extraction. First and foremost, she said, is that Lexi should never, EVER use the string-and-door method. It’s good to know these things really do sink in.

Why don’t people update their blogs at my convenience?

Ellie thinks that “Row, row, row your boat” ends with “mice is but a dream.”

I have decided that I really hate markers. Crayons honestly make prettier pictures, and they’re way less messy. We have issues around here with markers. Now every time I find a stray one (under the couch cushions, in the dirty clothes hamper, and behind the TV are just few examples of where they like to lurk in our house) I just chuck them. No one's noticed yet.

Dreams are weird. I dreamed the other night that I was Alice in a stage version of Twilight (it was a musical!) and this guy from high school (who had the lead in every school play, dated my best friend, and is still acting now) played Edward. I haven’t thought of this guy in a long time, so I have no idea how he turned up in my dream. It made perfect sense until I woke up. Then it just kind of creeped me out for the rest of the day.

Has anyone else ever noticed that “weird” is a really weird word to look at?

What happened to our nice weather? Last week it was sunny and nearly 60 degrees. This week it’s back down to the 40s, and on Tuesday it snowed. I miss the sun.

Ellie and her friend Katie are playing their new favorite game, “Labeessessa”. It took me forever to figure out what they meant. They like watching Dora Saves the Snow Princess. There’s a scene where Dora repeats over and over, “Who will we save? La Princesa!” Ohhhhhh....

I’m becoming a clean freak. I like it.

Vicki’s been taking piano lessons for a while, and her teacher is always telling me how impressed she is with her ear. She can pick out just about any melody after she’s heard it once. But the other day she decided to play a song from the Primary songbook that she’d never heard before. Something we didn’t even realize was missing finally clicked into place. She called me in, all excited, and said, “Mom! Did you know that this note (pointing to a note on the page) means to play this key? And this one (pointing to another one) means to play this one? They all mean a different key! Then you can play anything!” Ah, I love lightbulb moments.

Valentine’s Day is coming. Do you know what that means? More chocolate!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Way too fast

Allow me to update you on my ongoing cleaning project: the closets are almost finished! I spent Monday going through the clothes we’ve stored in the girls’ closet, which ranged from size 18 months clear up to 6x. I narrowed those down to a small stack of things that will fit Lexi or Ellie in the near future and put the rest aside to re-sell or take to Goodwill or the DI. Yesterday I tackled the boxes in the playroom closet. Those were full of clothes from birth to 12 months. It made me sad, looking at all those little tiny outfits and remembering when the girls were that little. Ellie came in, and I showed her one of the tiniest sleepers. She thought it was hilarious that it used to fit her, because, “I’m so big now, Mommy!”

Now that I’ve been through all the clothes, here’s what I ended up with: one small box of baby clothes I can’t bear to part with, one big blue Rubbermaid bin to take to the resale shop, one large box for my niece, one medium-sized box for the girl I babysit, four (count ‘em!) apple-crate boxes for Goodwill/DI, and two big black garbage bags for the dump. Why on earth we saved all that stained and falling apart stuff is beyond me, but I doubt Goodwill will want them.

Ellie may have thought all those itty-bitty clothes were funny, but I have to admit I shed a few tears over them. My girls have gotten so big, so fast. So, in honor of my sentimental self, here are baby pictures of all three girls. Time really does fly!

Vicki, 3 months.
(This is the only baby picture of her I have on the computer. We didn't get a digital camera until she was 2 1/2 - I scanned this one in a long time ago, before the scanner broke.)

Lexi, 9 months

Ellie, 5 months

Yeah, I know, they're cute. What can I say? :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday (Friday Edition)

For some reason when I sat down to do this last night, Blogger wasn't working. I don't know if it was my computer being stupid (it does that), or if Blogger was truly having issues, but thankfully everything is back up and running, so for all 2 of you who are actually excited to read my random ramblings every Thursday, have no fear! The Friday Edition is here!

First things first: I have spent entirely too much time the last couple of days reading the most hilarious things I've read in a long time. Some chick called Cleolinda has posted summaries/commentaries on all the Twilight books, plus a script for the Twilight movie in 15 minutes. We're talking stomach-clenching, side-splitting, can't-breathe, almost-pee-your-pants, rolling-on-the-floor hysterical laughter. This is a link to what is technically the beginning of her commentary on Breaking Dawn, but she kindly provided there a catalogue of links to all her other Twilight-related pages, except for the fabulous "movie in 15 minutes", which can be found here. (note: if you haven't read the books or seen the movie, you may want to do that first, since it will make more sense. Also, if you're offended by strong language, you may also want to skip these.)

Princesses are awesome. I didn't used to feel this way, but Ellie's recent desire to be one has led (so far) to the cessation of minor accidents, because "princesses always wear panties, and the don't ever, ever pee in them!" As she runs for the bathroom she hollers reassuringly, "Don't worry, Mommy! I'm still a princess!"

Why does it bother me when Vicki and Lexi wear matching clothes to school? This really shouldn't bother me, since it's not even like they're in the same class or anything, but it does.

My organization project is coming along nicely. Rooms are done, closets are getting there. Two more down yesterday. Two more to go. Then I may have to find a new pet project. Oh, wait, there's still the dreaded craft closet/place to throw whatever junk I don't want cluttering up the rest of the house but may want at some indefinite time in the future. I need shelves in there.

Rant time: it seems like everyone on the planet, and their dog, is on Facebook. Everyone but me. Even my mother is on Facebook, for crying out loud! And suddenly everyone I know, or have ever met, or whose blog I stalk read, is talking about Facebook. The world is conspiring against me to leave behind my non-conformist ways and succumb to the wiles of a computer community full of people from high school who never liked me anyway. It's making me insecure. What if I sign up and nobody friends me? Or worse, what if I request that someone be my friend, and they don't? Oh, the agony. On the other hand, though, I can think of a whole slew of childhood friends that I haven't heard from in at least 15 years who I would love to reconnect with. Aaarrgggghhhh!!! To Facebook or not to Facebook, that is the question.

Sometimes I think it would be great to be 3 again. I could eat macaroni & cheese or hot dogs every day for lunch without thinking about how not-good it is for me. I could watch Wall-E every day and never, ever get tired of it. I could sing random snatches of random songs at random times without getting weird looks. I could wear a princess dress all day long because it's pink and velvety and fancy and sparkly and everyone would smile and tell me how beautiful I am. Of course, if I was 3, I'd probably tell everyone I was 4, because 4 is a much cooler-sounding age.

For some reason I'm really excited about Brownies with Lexi's troop today. That doesn't usually happen. They wear me out.

Food Recommendation: Nature's Path Organic Toaster Pastries from Costco. They're like Pop Tarts without all the nastiness and the shortening-coated-mouth aftertaste. Cherry Pomegranite and Brown Sugar Maple Cinnamon...mmmmm...

Why do the mirrors at Ellie's ballet studio make my hips look so huge? It can't possibly be because my hips are really that huge, can it? I really, really, really hope not.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Because glasses look cool...or something

I have the parental advantage of being good friends with Lexi's teacher. I babysit her daughter, so she's at my house twice a day, 3 days a week. Yesterday morning, while the girls were brushing their teeth (they ride to school with her), she asked me, through her laughter, if Lexi had her glasses today. My response, of course, was, "Huh?" Now, Lexi has claimed for months that her eyes "go all blurry" on her at random times, usually when I'm trying to get her to do her homework, but,conveniently, never when she's watching TV. I think she wants glasses. But we've never actually taken her to the eye doctor, and she certainly doesn't have glasses. Her teacher explained that Lexi's friend Emily recently got glasses, and then on Friday her friend Kinsey showed up with these pale pink lenses, and on Monday Lexi came to school wearing a pair of gold granny-style frames that we keep with the dress-ups. I bought them to wear when I played the part of the Italian grandmother at a Murder Mystery Party. Her teacher recognized them because she was at the party, so she knew they weren't real. That, and the fact that they're HUGE on Lexi, slightly bent, and, best of all, they have no lenses. She said Lexi wore them all day long, although she took them off at recess ("so they won't break.") She wore them while doing her show-and-tell and snootily ignored the boy who asked what she had on her face. And since they weren't causing any problems, her teacher just let her keep wearing them, without comment. I commend her for not laughing in Lexi's face. If I ever see the glasses again - I suspect that they're hidden in her backpack somewhere - I'll have to take a picture. It's priceless. She cracks us up.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Crazy Eights

I got tagged by my friend Becki, and since I haven't done one of these in a while, I figured what the heck!

1. House
2. So You Think You Can Dance
3. The Office
4. Ummmm...I don't really watch TV

1. slept in
2. got the girls ready for church
3. was spiritually uplifted during Sacrament meeting - the girls all behaved and I could actually pay attention!
4. taught Sharing Time in Primary
5. improvised dinner when my original plans fell through
6. talked on the phone with my in-laws
7. played the piano
8. read

1. Chris becoming a real licensed architect
2. Mela coming to visit in June!
3. going to see Chris's completed project in Anaheim
4. going to that other awesome place in Anaheim
5. no more pull-ups at night
6. no one waking me up at night
7. weekends
8. Girl Scout Cookie sales being over with for the year

8 FAVORITE RESTAURANTS (not in any order)
1. Marrakesh
2. India Grill
3. Pastini's
4. Trio (Salt Lake)
5. Nuestra Cocina
6. Nostrana
7. Red Robin
8. Moonstruck (does a chocolatier count?)

1. a bigger car, so the kids can bring friends places
2. a house with a yard
3. more good books
4. more time!
5. Rosie the robot from The Jetsons
6. a day when I don't have to sweep the kitchen floor after every meal
7. a date with my hubby
8. peace on earth

Okay, now I'll tag 8 people (who can do it if they want, but don't need to feel pressured in any way!)...Emily, Carrie, Angie, Heidi, Sarah, Danielle, Kara, Lori, Pamela (okay, so that's 9 - maybe only 8 of you will do it!)
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