Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Rose by any Other Name...

Okay - FIRST - if you haven't submitted a smoothie recipe to the e-mail listed in the prior post - go do that... and since 99% of you haven't I should start to see tons rolling in... and yes - I'm sending mine today too, so join the "I was a slacker but I'm getting with the program" club today!

Now the post: which was admittedly brought on by my inability to address the birthday invitations for Little M's birthday party... too many ways to spell/misspell her friends' names... so in advance, I will apologize to Hailey/Hailli/Haley for messing up.

Once upon a time I was young... a mere teen with my maiden name intact - but my first name has always been the same... I hear it works that way for most of us -

on the particular day in question I had gone to church and met my new teacher... she'd just moved into our area and she didn't know any of us rowdy kids... thus the invitations around the room...

Teach: and your name is?
Adrian: Adrian.
Teach: hi Adrian - nice to meet you... and you?
Lara: Lara.
Teach: Good to have you here Lara... and your name?
Me: Tonya
Teach: oh, I named my daughter Tonya - but then we decided we didn't like the name so we changed it to Tawny.
Me: silence...

I mean... what are you SUPPOSED to say when someone tells you they are willing to pay good money to not have to say your name? (I tried to find out how much "good money" equals... but online estimates are anywhere from $10 to $250...) I said... well, okay - let's be honest I have NO idea what I said... I wasn't nearly as snarky back then.

Today? okay, so today I still have no comeback... you can leave your best one in comments.

but names in general are a funny thing... and the spelling of such names can be even funnier...

Is it a form of child abuse to name your daughter something pretty reasonable like "Sierra" and then spell it "Ciarrah" just to be "unique"... because you know that will haunt her for life?

Don't get me wrong - I love unique names... there's not a Sam or Mary amongst my children... but with all the unique spellings out there for names... I start to wonder where it will end.

Tonya for example.

Tanya - I know, there are Tanyas out there galore... some of whom pronounce their name just like mine... I can deal with that...

Tonia - yeah, this one doesn't irk me either... if I get letters with this spelling I'm a little confused, because it doesn't seem like the MOST common spelling - but it IS pretty - and would certainly be my choice if I ever decided to change mine... (for between $10 and $250)

Tania- ...
Tanja- ...
Tonja- (okay that one's starting to irk me...)

but the end all be all "I can't believe somebody worked THIS hard to spell my name wrong" was the letter that came one day addressed to:


no joke.

Of course, this is a little strange for ME to be annoyed by this... considering I wanted a dog when I was little - and I wanted to name him Phydough.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Moms Don't Get Sick Days

at least that's what I've heard... but I was willing to buck conventional wisdom and give it a try anyway.

I must not be completely recovered because the first time I typed the previous sentence it said Confectional Wisdom...  which sounds tastier... but certainly less wise.

If I commented on your blog yesterday - please ignore anything written in my ick-induced stupor.  Unless it was witty and wise - in which case it was totally me.

I think I do my best work when I'm not 100%.

Like the time I was directing "The Good Doctor" by Neil Simon... 

My dress rehearsal was scheduled for the same day as my wisdom teeth removal.

I may have announced to an entire room that my legs were growing...

I may have fallen into the orchestra pit...  that part is hazy.

and I may have made a few changes in the show.

They were ALL hilarious...  at the time.

Two nights later at the opening?  Okay, still hilarious.

Good thing my actors were such good sports!

I'm going to ask a favor now... and because you feel in a generous mood you're going to comply.

Especially since it's totally free.

#1 - Find your very favorite Smoothie recipe... c'mon... everyone has one right?  (and the smoother the better... you'll see why in a second)

#2 - open up your e-mail and pop in this address for my Sister-In-Law... the food blogger one... and send her the recipe.  If you have a picture - include it... If you don't have a picture... do what I do and draw one! 

#3 - if you draw your picture it doesn't necessarily have to be of the Smoothie...  Might I suggest something like this?

That's right - we're collecting recipes for a bloggy friend Devri whose daughter had a little bully run-in and will be eating only Smoothies for a little while...  and by little run-in I mean horrible terrible experience resulting in a broken jaw (see, these have got to be SMOOTH smoothies) and some serious hospital time.  I don't know what this world is coming to...  it's a good thing that there are good stories out there to counter my cynical "world going to heck in a hand-basket" attitude sometimes. 

#4 - if you actually have a smoothie picture - include a nice little note for this 12 year old - who is really a tough little cookie going through a rough time!  And her Mom?  Yeah - there's a lady who could use a sick day right about now... but she's not slowing down :)  Maybe two notes would be in order :)

#5 - leave a comment here telling me a good story to counteract my attitude :)

Recipes will be posted at Taste Buds Are The Best Buds soon...  which is my go-to food blog of choice, not just because it's my Sister in Law... but because I might actually MAKE the things I see rather than just coveting the ability to make them...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Consumer Protection

maybe, just maybe we've gone a little too far...
When the "do not remove" tag is larger than the pillow... I think we have a problem.

for reference, that couch is not quite as wide as my credit card...  we're talking too small for a Polly Pocket to relax on...

but what a relief that the consumer protection agency people are looking out for my daughter's safety.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What I did over Spring Break - by TisforTonya

the band
the keyboard guru
the appreciative (but sound sensitive) audience
the disco cake
the cousins (and look, it's Megz!)
the birthday girl

 add to that a few incidences of getting completely lost in IKEA - many hours of driving - eating some pizza - eating some scraps of the FIRST cake I made (oops), and maybe just a teensy little bit of stress... 

who me?  stress?  I know, you're shocked.

the band did great by the way - they didn't place - but they totally should have.  That's my professional unbiased opinion at least.

speaking of professional unbiased opinions - Todd Nuke'em from X96 was the Emcee for the night and I think I saw his jaw drop off his face when Veggie Teen tore up the keyboard.  I certainly heard him say some words of amazement regarding the keys being on fire...  but I might have been too busy hooting and hollering at that point to be able to quote him directly!  A huge shout out of thanks to Megz for Sher for joining us for the fun - auntie Megz even got up there in the stage crowd and encouraged Veggie Teen to do a fist-pump or two... ish.

and a truly well-written 5 paragraph essay about my weekend adventures would conclude here with what I learned from the experience and how I'm so glad we did it all...  in all honesty - I'm sure I learned something, and I'm certainly glad we did it... but I'm just SO tired that the wrap-up paragraph might have to wait...  I think some of my motivation got left behind in IKEA... somewhere between housewares and the 5 square mile display of shelving.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Whole Is Greater Than A Sum of Its Parts

Am I getting philosophical on you? I mean... this IS the consummate Gestalt philosophy is it not? Ummm, yeah - I'm not really sure on that one either... let's just assume that I'm right and move on from there.

I'm slowly realizing that as parents we give our children a few things.

no, not roots and wings... that's not philosophical, that's just cross-stitch-able.

what we give them differs depending on the parents...

I've ranted and raved about how ManOfTheHouse and I have managed to "give" them our worst qualities... his crooked teeth, my rotten eyesight, etc... but apparently we've given our kids a few things that might even be "positive qualities".

take Veggie Teen for instance.

Rotten, crooked teeth. Asthma. Stubborn to a fault. Tendency toward snarkiness at the most inappropriate of times. Don't forget avoids chores like the plague... we passed all of these on to him. We're not proud of this, just accepting our part in the disaster of DNA.

He is also a lover of music, brighter than average, tenacious (nicer word for stubborn), and curious. These traits - why yes, we're rather proud of passing on these... I will take the credit for "brighter than average" - ManOfTheHouse can have "tenacious"... no wait, yeah - that's probably me too... I'll let M.O.T.H. claim "handsome" - because while I'm sure that was a compliment in the 1800's, today... not so much.

Fortunately for us (well, and for him) the resultant person that Veggie Teen is fast becoming... IS much greater than the sum of what went into him. He makes good choices in friends (well, most of the time), he is a pretty decent brother (hey, that can be tough at times) and the modicum of musical talent that we as parents gave to him... he RAN with.

I am constantly amazed when the boy sits down with a guitar or at the piano - and within the hour he has learned a new song, or composed something of his very own... He has a gift.

As you read this I am likely up North helping him prepare to show off his gift at the Battle of the Bands. This proud Mama would like to think that her part in this contributed sum-thing to the whole... but the truth is - these boys (the whole band) has worked their fingers to the bone (okay, not really... that's just gross... and makes it difficult to strum the guitar). All gifted musicians here... the bass player?  Learned the instrument just to help out the group - and he rocks it.  The vocalist?  Also plays a mean harmonica - no joke! Guitarist?  Rocks. The Drummer?  Out of this world...  and I think that's a direct quote from the judging sheet :)  Keyboards?  oh, well, I've probably bragged on my kid enough...

So, before the sound checks are done, before the songs are judged, before the results are in...

I want to be the first to give them my standing ovation - Way to Go Guys!!!

and yes... you (family and friends... and anyone really) ARE invited to the big show - Jordan High School in Sandy (on Beetdigger Blvd, hehe) - 7-9:30 - Saturday March 19th... everyone who's everyone will be there... okay, so I will be there, and... ummm... some family... and a whole boatload of other people.  I mean...  really, what ELSE are you doing with your Saturday Night? 

I'd ask you to say a little prayer for them to do their best... but even I am having a hard time keeping a straight face during those prayers...  given that their band is named "The Aliens from Planet Rock"... yeah, I have a brother-in-law who could do that with a straight face... but not I said the little red hen.

and yes... just so it's clear - this TOTALLY counts as his birthday tribute...  same goes for those shoes I bought him for the performance.  Just sayin...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

custom license plates... how I really feel.

I'm sure you've seen them. I mean, who doesn't just want to smile when a little sporty red car pulls in front of them with the plate "DADDYSGIRL"... especially when poor Daddy is the one driving the car.

If I were to customize my own plates I have no idea what I'd put on them... mostly because "LIKELYTOSHOOTDIRTYLOOKSIFYOUCUTMEOFF" doesn't fit.

Apparently I need to put some more thought into choosing my imaginary custom plates.

Apparently so do some other drivers.

Case in point... I mean, does this mean "Liberation" or "Liberating"? either way - you were in front of me in traffic and going a full ten miles under the speed limit. not very liberating at all...(though I'm sure you are a very nice person and conscientious driver - & I was probably a horrible example to the children of earth by wanting to drive faster)

I think perhaps there needs to be a quick driving test for any custom plate orders in the future... because obviously the people at the DMV have LOTS of spare time... I mean, those lines just go so quickly... *ahem*

DMV Counter Dude: I see you'd like a custom plate sir... and you'd like it to say "SPDEMON" what's that supposed to say... spiderman?
Guy Who Has Gotten Older Waiting In Line: I was going for "speed demon"...
DMV C.D.: oh yeah... okay, I can see that... okay - well we have a little test for you, just step this way.
G.W.H.G.O.W.I.L.: a test? Ummm... I didn't study
DMV C.D.: psh, nothing to worry about, just drive our little test car around the test track and we'll be on our way.
G.W.H.G.O.W.I.L.: okay, I can do that.

and he does, very carefully following the laws of the road, because after all, these people look like they'd enjoy shredding his Driver's License into confetti for their next office party.

DMV C.D.: Very well done... let's see (tallying all the points)... it looks like you don't actually qualify for the Speed Demon plate... according to your numbers here I can only offer you this one here...

G.W.H.G.O.W.I.L.: ummm... maybe I'll just take my chances with a regular plate after all
DMV C.D.: Of course sir, that's entirely up to you - just take a number and wait in line, we'll be right with you.

images created at

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why I don't have a cooking blog - how NOT to make a Pie Cake

Yesterday the geeks of the world celebrated Pi Day... you know, that whole 3.14 blah blah blah jazz...

Normally, I wouldn't call myself a geek (because normally other people would beat me to the punch) but when if we're handing out PIE? Yeah, I'll wear a neon flashing geek sign if I can have a big enough slice.

And - because we like to spend obscure holidays giving birth in our family... Pi Day also happens to be W's birthday.

To celebrate - he ate a burger the size of his head.

When he ordered the very nice waitress looked him up and down and asked whether or not he thought he could finish it. Since she'd just given him a kiddie menu and offended his newly 14 year old ego I'm pretty sure he took that as a challenge.
at this point the kids are chanting "Man Vs Food"

In a bizarre blending of the two holidays we settled on a Pie Cake... there are a LOT of ways to accomplish this - some very cute in fact... but since W LOVES chocolate cake and prefers actual pie crust to Fondant... we decided to go the "simple" route.

You know, bake a chocolate cake, ice it, and cover it with a real honest to goodness pie crust.  Made from scratch (Ahem, *cough*... okay, Jiffy mix... I was in a hurry)


yeah, we're blaming all that cracking on the candles... and pretending that I didn't stick all the candles in the already busted up crust hoping people would buy that excuse. We're also learning that in order to make a crust and move it onto a cake you should probably grease and flour the plate a little more thoroughly.

I will say however, that it was reportedly delicious...  I myself had a slice of Strawberry Rhubarb at the restaurant... chocolate just isn't my thing.

Next birthdays: First Day of Spring, April Fools' Eve (yes, we have to call it that), and Earth Day...  see, we like the obscure holidays a LOT

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One of these things is NOT like the other...

If you live near enough to hear the frustration that issues from my open windows - you will already know this...

You might also be privy to this information if you follow me on Twitter... because I'm hardly quiet about things there :)

Our family has contracted a nasty virus...  for a week it seemed that everyone had a cold...  and since I can't say as I'm a "fan" of mucus you will imagine the irritation I might feel when I walk from room to room in my home finding wadded up bits of tissue here and there (usually "here" meaning 1/2 an inch from the trash can and "there" meaning tucked under the pillows of the couch)  Ick.  During week one it seemed that we all had the same version of the Virus and thus we'd be done and over it.

And then week two hit...  and I wonder why my kids can't just do ANYTHING alike?  Ear Infection?  check. (that was H's job)  Hacking Cough?  double check.  (Veggie Teen and little M decided to team up)  High Fever? got it.  (M and H) Visits to the doctor?  yep.  Stomach Flu?  yeah, that too... unfortunately...

I'm pretty sure that illness will go on my list of things that are never the same twice!

Other things on that list?

Lightning Strikes
Pregnancy Cravings
How ManOfTheHouse loads the dishwasher... which frankly, I won't criticize - because the bit about him loading the dishwasher???  yeah, downright amazing in its own right... I've got a keeper :) (and yes, that last bit was added just to keep him happy)
40.2009 365 Dishwasher Duty

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Toss the Dice Tuesday

well, to be perfectly honest I stayed up late last night because I had a hilarious post in mind...and it fell on its face.  crashed and burned...

I'm blaming it on my computer.
Because blaming it on the computer is a LOT easier on my ego than admitting that I just should have been more careful...
See, ego intact - I'm still awesome.
Awesome isn't all that funny by itself.

So I tossed my Blogger Blocks - and they would like for me to tell you a little story about the Veggie Teen and his worst Church experience...  with a drawing.  Fortunately for you - I think we're all sick of my drawings this week.

So I'm using a picture instead...  if you want the source of said picture - I think you can click on it... suffice it to say that it isn't mine...
Remember that movie?
More importantly - remember the song?
Which song you ask? 
According to my kids that movie had ONE memorable song.
Everybody Wants to be a Cat.
Because... a cat's the only cat...
and all that Jazz.
When Veggie Teen was a little tyke.
REALLY little tyke.
Like... seriously we're talking Toddler-hood... 
he LOVED this song.
He would sit in his highchair and pretend to pound the piano keys and sing this song at the top of his little lungs - and we should have known then that there was musical ability in the kid because he hit all the right notes. 
No, not the notes on the highchair tray... with his voice.
We were probably smart to delay purchase of an actual piano until he stopped feeding himself with his hands and picking his nose!

We thought this little trick of his was really cute.
In each pew there are hymnbooks - kept in a teeny little box attached to the pew in front.  Apparently sometimes people are annoyed by the noise the hymnbooks make when they drop into this little box.  One such easily annoyed individual took it upon themselves to cut a thin little carpet strip to line each little box - thereby dampening this "clunk" and preserving the Spirit for all.
Of course - they never foresaw the possibility that a small child could pull out the carpet strip and magically transform it into a piano keyboard in his mind. 
Pounding away.
And singing.
Quite Loudly.
During the Sacrament prayer.  (if that confuses you - please just know that this is the most quiet and reverent part of our Sunday Service.)

As a new parent - perhaps we had not quite developed the super human speed necessary to stop him quickly.
I'm pretty sure he was well into the second verse before we managed to get to the Foyer.

Somehow I'm pretty sure that none of the members of that congregation would be shocked that this same boy is scheduled to be pounding the keys at Battle of the Bands later this Month... 

Don't worry - they're not going with "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat"...

although I'm pretty sure they'd ROCK it!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Strange Sightings...

I have been driving a LOT these past few days...  there's something about Spring that just makes you want to get out and enjoy the fresh air...

there's a lot of fresh air on the way to soccer practice... or museum meetings... even more fresh air on the way to teacher conferences and birthday parties...

there is however NO fresh air at the tire place where it will inevitably take FOREVER for them to rotate your tires...  so you will have to get a little fresh air while walking to a nearby department store...  but THAT is a story for another day...  mostly because I have yet to let ManOfTheHouse in on all of my little purchases at said department store...

Today's little story is about chickens and monkeys...  You see - a new local business was advertising at a major intersection in town.  Namely the intersection that connects my house to the main road...  the main road that I needed to go on to get to the school, the tire store, band practice, the birthday parties, and the soccer practices.

(oh, sorry, I paused there for a sec... just double checking that I remembered to pick up all the kids I dropped off...  phew, that would have been embarrassing as it's currently 11:30 p.m.)

Anywho - now that you're all debating which protective agency to turn me over to let's get back to our story...  I think I drove through this intersection at least 10 times today... each time noticing the very energetic man holding a LARGE sign and dancing around in his chicken suit advertising for a new Online Deal website...  by the third or fourth time through the intersection I actually took the time to notice the website...  by the fifth or sixth time through the intersection I noticed his counterpart across the street... a slightly less energetic but equally large sign-holding friend... the ape.  You might worry about my driving skills since I didn't see an APE on the side of the road earlier than this...  but really...  from an advertising standpoint - if you want to be noticed... go with the chicken.  Every. Time.

The final trip through this intersection (on a mad dash to the store to find a gift for a 14 year old girl...) netted me a sight worthy of many MANY pictures...  Unfortunately all I had with me was a camera phone with a full memory. 

Yes, there are probably at least 10 pictures of the inside of my pocket.  Dumb Phone.

But - fear not - I have re-created the scene in all its glory just for you...
you're welcome.

and yes, for the record, by this time Monkey man had removed his mask... allowing me to see the chagrin on his face AND making it a LOT easier to draw.

Were they really doing anything wrong?  Were they being charged with Indecent Exposure because the animals had no clothing?  Did they simply have to call their boss and show a business permit?  I REALLY want to know the rest of the story behind this...  REALLY...  and so I will be stalking their new website (and maybe picking up a few deals along the way...)  and I'll be sure to get back to you with any further developments!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A nearly Wordless Wednesday a.k.a. an excuse for random pictures...

In honor of Dr. Seuss Day - I present, green egg and ham sandwich
yes... I know, I might make mom of the year someday if I keep this up...

 to prove what a terrible influence I am on the children around me I present a picture taken last night at a church activity.

so... it wasn't actually an activity about folding paper airplanes out of gum wrappers of making cranes out of napkins...  wisely we had chosen a table in the back corner...

of course, I'm pretty sure the mother of my crane-folding photo-taking friend might never let me sit with them again...  and I'm SURE the words "enabling immature behavior" were definitely uttered.... 

maybe by me :)