Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Lego Lobotomy

It's not a very well kept secret that I'm a Lego Nerd.

I can't help it, really!

I just love building with Legos.  Before someone comes down and says "they're Lego Bricks" I'm just going to come right out and say:  I. Don't. Care.  Seriously - a Lego employee once reamed me for using the word "legos" and ever since then I've gone out of my way to use it as much as possible...

because I'm a sweetie like that.

My kids?  All Lego nerds as well.

The 12 year old had a little shin-dig to celebrate his manhood and wanted a lego cake...

it looked cool... but my favorite picture?

The Lego Lobotomy.

Of course, that resulted in a very interesting conversation with a room full of 12 year olds about what a lobotomy is...

at which point it was sounding like a better and better idea...

and now... days later when the "lego mess" has become a true "lego apocalypse" throughout my house...  I think I'll take a lobotomy with a side-order of electro-stim... it certainly can't hurt much more than stepping on all those stupid little things!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm steeling myself for the hate comments.

(Today is my guest post at Chocolate on my Cranium - which might make you still like me if I'm slamming your favorite book today...)

I read a lot of books...

Don't act shocked...

I mean... seriously - I put up a bunch of reviews over at that book blog I can't believe you don't all spend more time at!

Sometimes there's a book that just blows me away with its insight and tender moments.

This book?

SOOOOO did not do that!!!

Sorry, I know I'm begging for hate mail, but this book makes me want to punch orphans.
Okay, maybe it's not the book... maybe it's the people that read portions of this book from the pulpit in church.

No, I'm not kidding. We both wish I were, I know...

Question: Have you ever read anything ELSE by Robert Munsch? He's a hilarious author who writes funny stories about two kids who spend hours and days making fried chicken until they've perfected the recipe (and nearly burned off their mouths in the process). He writes about a young couple who leaves their barely old enough to see over the edge of the tub daughter at home while they run off to the hospital to have a baby and end up at the zoo instead and mistakenly bring home an alligator.

Do you think he expects us to take him seriously? So why, for the love of all that is good and holy, when he writes about a mother who is guilty of Breaking & Entering in order to lift her grown man of a son onto her lap and sing a song am I the only one stifling my laughter?

No, I actually don't find it touching... Sorry, I'm cynical like that... (I just re-read the end of the book after scoffing at it for the past 15 years... the LAST page is touching, but by then I'm too disturbed by the mental instability of the mother to shed a tear....)

My heart is NOT made of stone, stop saying that!

I read a book once about a grandpa who pushed his grandson in the stroller and helped him learn to walk and then their roles were reversed later in life... that was WAY sweet and I was mortified when I read it to a classroom full of children and ended up bawling... see, if my heart had been made of rock I would have made it through that day without mascara streaks on my face. (Can't remember the title to save my life, sorry)

I read another book about a baby who turned into all sorts of horrendous creatures before finally becoming human again...  and while that sounds just strange - that brought a tear or two (or twelve, I didn't count) because I have teenagers... and trust me... that book was as close to real life as it could get while being about a transmogrifying toddler. (Zagazoo)

See, totally human heart...  but seriously, I'm considering making it a condition of my living will that my children not be allowed to pick me up and rock me in the rocker... because THAT is perhaps the most disturbing image of all.  
 Now... if he were rocking an alligator from the zoo?  THAT might be a good story...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seems like a good time for a Serious Sunday

I am a big joker...

it's a curse... and a gift I guess...

but some days just call for a little more serious.

Today? Definitely one of those days.

Don't worry, I won't regale you with my story of "where I was when" - because ten years ago... we all remember that day and frankly? My story is boring... hey, I wasn't some glamorous bloggy goddess 10 years ago, I was just a regular old mom doing regular old mom things with kids who were still in their pre-genius phase.

Suffice it to say there were plenty of tears, fears, and a lot of protecting my children while trying to sneak a peek at the news when they were out of the room.

Ten years have passed... and mostly that makes me... well, sad - sad that the families most affected aren't necessarily getting to grieve in the own chosen ways... because I'm more of a "crawl in a hole and don't come out" kind of person rather than a "participate in a televised memorial service and cry in front of millions" type of person.
So my TV is off today - not because I don't care... but because I can't cope... and I can't worry that my children (most of whom don't have personal memories of that horrendous day) will be as affected today as many of us were ten years ago.

Today I'm focusing on positives - you want to know what kind of wonderful positives are happening in my world today?

My newly 12 year old son went to church today in his snazzy new suit and bright pink tie - and stood up in front of the congregation and welcomed as a MAN! (well, sorta...)

My 14 year old son and 16 year old son participated in vital ordinances that helped me to remember the sacrifices made for me by Christ... All willingly.. my sons are good people.

My sons have good examples :)

Traditionally on 12th birthdays for our boys I request letters from their older male relatives - and without fail I am humbled and amazed at the thoughtful, humorous, insightful things that are shared with my sons by people who I judge myself lucky to be related to (by blood or marriage).

A public thank you to my family! While I'm at it - a public thank you to any man who honors his responsibilities and shows a good example to the young men of this world.

Parenting would be infinitely harder if I couldn't point around me and show my sons that there are good, COOL, men out there being good husbands, good providers, and morally strong at the same time.

While I'm on my serious kick... I get to tell you about a little side-project I was privileged to participate in. I was asked to help celebrate the Proclamation to the Family with a couple of amazing bloggers - run to "We Talk of Christ"  to see who else is participating - and if you're really really brave and think you can handle my slightly more serious (but never completely over that official serious line) take on my assigned portion - visit Chocolate on My Cranium Tuesday morning...  heck, visit them both right now - there's good stuff happening as we speak!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

of Cakes and Camping...

Po-boy turned 12 today.

That's a big one for a boy - and I'm having heart palpitations that all of my little baby boys are now Young Men!!!!

One thing that young men enjoy doing is camping...
and so tonight, rather than trying to please the boy here at home with his birthday dinner and a big old cake - he's going off with friends and eating food cooked in coals and a cake that likely has more dirt than frosting.

How do you decorate a cake that's destined to get nice and dirty?

that's how :)

I mean... if there's going to be rocks, mud, sand, and soil on there eventually... may as well toss some on there to begin with right?

(okay, it's all edible - no need to report me to some Child Protective Services... unless they're concerned about the amount of calories in there... then they might have a case.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Foghorn, Leghorn, and Sam

If you follow me on Twitter you already know a lot of this.

If you don't follow me on Twitter - what is your problem you Twitterless weirdo?

Okay, probably not a good idea to call my dear followers weirdos.

Especially since I really relish the opportunity to tell this story again...

and Twitter is a monumental waste of time. (but I will deny that in a court of law... so don't quote me on it)

My neighbor has roosters. 3 roosters if you can believe the rumors.

I have never actually SEEN these roosters. (hmmm, can't say as I've actually seen the neighbor either)

Thus I have no idea what the roosters names are... for the purpose of today's discussion I am calling them Foghorn, Leghorn, and Sam.

No, there is no point in naming them since I don't know WHICH is which... but aren't those names better than "Cacciatore" "A la King" and "Saltimbocca"? (obviously I should never raise chickens...)

I get up fairly early each morning - 5:35 - but the roosters? They get up before me... every day... and have a tendency to wake me up with the way they enthusiastically greet the day.  Even mondays... they must have been dropped on their heads as eggs.

The first time? They must have been young roosters at the time because I heard an odd noise and thought I heard a baby crying outside my window. Either I was really tired or I have a low opinion of the parenting skills of my neighbors - because I went out and walked the street up and down for a little while before pinpointing the noise and putting my mind at ease.

The roosters are not young anymore... and while I'm glad that I no longer have dreams about small children being abandoned outside my bedroom window - I am not so thrilled that their little voices have become fully developed wake me up from a dead sleep loud booming Cock-a-Doodle-Freaking-Doo voices.

I have become "influential" on Twitter about Roosters I have been tweeting my annoyance out so often! (usually at 5 a.m.) 

My first tweet?

My neighbor has a rooster. I want to throttle him. #IntentionallyVaguePronounUsage

it's too bad my neighbor is a Twitterless weirdo...

I've woken up craving chicken breakfast burritos. (which really don't sound appealing at any time other than 5 a.m.)

I've had dreams about sharpening axes.

I have cased their yard in hopes of finding a small gap in their fence so the roosters could just "escape"

I have twisted my pillow between my clenched fists until the feathers threatened to burst forth...

I have spent more time than I care to admit brainstorming ideas for a "chicken muzzle"

and finally... finally I lost it. another night with very little sleep this week and I guiltily dialed the # for animal control.

I inquired nicely about the legality about roosters within city limits. (just double checking... but no, not allowed) and then was surprise when the animal-control guy knew which street I lived on... apparently other neighbors were fed up before I was...

Yay - for two reasons:
#1 - I should be able to sleep in soon
#2 - technically I wasn't the pain in the neck complaining neighbor who got them in trouble. so no guilt.

Okay... maybe a TEENSY bit of guilt.

Let's just say that if they throw a block party this weekend I'm totally going to avoid the bucket of fried chicken.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The not-so-complete guide to Utah parades...

ManOfTheHouse has been to his fair share of parades this year...
well, let's be honest - a "fair share" of parades is probably one apiece, which means that I (even though I've missed out on a few of the ventures) am well over my limit.

A good parade must have certain elements - some of which can be controlled... some of which...
well, hey, you can't blame the parade organizers when Mother Nature decides she doesn't like the blaring fire engine sirens and horses clomping down the street wearing diapers.
and though diapers may be funny... it is SO much better than the time we saw a marching band following a bunch of horses...

though in all honesty I have to admit that was pretty funny too.

and so my not-so-annual probably-won't-ever-happen-again awards for best parade entries are:

(drumroll please...)

First, let's introduce the contestants... and I apologize for not being able to make it to every small town rinky dink parade this year...  there are just only so many of me to go around... you are welcome to put your own awards in the comment box.

Cedar City - we visited this fair city on the 4th of July for their festivities... ended up standing in the middle of an intersection to scope out the parade action.
Escalante - ManOfTheHouse and a few of the older boys were in Escalante for a band gig over the Pioneer Day weekend...  because these boys are older they may or may not have run after candy... they're not telling me, so Escalante begins behind because they are automatically out of the running for "best candy"
St George - the parade was held alongside the County Fair... but not on a holiday or anything... that might explain a lot.
Hurricane - to begin the Labor Day holiday ManOfTheHouse took the girls out to the Peach Days parade...  (I had a valid excuse... really...)
Payson - and to finish the Labor Day holiday we all went down to the Onion Days celebration...  no, you didn't mis-read that... I did say Onion...  I think all the good produce was taken.

Best Candy?  This award has to go to Payson, thanks to their generous football players, 20th reunion floats, and many MANY others...  other parades (ahem, Hurricane and St George) also had plenty of candy... but my kids are not really fans of that salt water taffy stuff and apparently that was on sale in those cities.  Note to all parade cities - tossing dum-dums?  really dumb dumb... 97% of the time they will shatter upon contact with the ground and you are left with a very sticky mess in addition to crabby kids who just wanted something sweet for crying out loud!

Best Floats?  Sweet M debated this one for awhile, but eventually gave it up to Hurricane who apparently had a float come through with peach shaped little beds for the dogs... usually she is all about the princesses so those must have been some seriously impressive doggie beds! Worst? a large semi truck from a local grocery chain...  sure, the grocery carts with their good candy were great, but looking at the side of your very long truck for the 4 minutes it took to pass... not so thrilling. 

Strangest Float? This one has to go to Payson and the lovely Electrolysis business that had all of their  employees walk along with mounds of long curly hair glued to odd spots on their bodies...  it was very very very disturbing. (and I know... we both wish I'd taken my camera)

Best Weather?  We actually didn't get rained out at any of these this year...  from word of mouth we're going to hand this one off to Hurricane and their Peach Days...  but probably because I wasn't there to complain about the sun in my eyes or the wind.  I mean, it's Hurricane... isn't there always wind?

Noisiest?  Hands down - Cedar City.  I think every siren on every emergency vehicle from every fire station in a 63 mile radius was blaring for the entire parade...  my question is... what happens if someone's house catches fire during a parade?

Best Swag? Okay - the nice flowers I got in Cedar City were cool...  but my all-time summer favorite?

an onion shaped stress ball.  (from the Onion Days in case that wasn't obvious) I know... you're jealous too... 
and yes, my poor nephew had no idea I was making him re-enact a rather famous book-cover in this shot...  I promise he's not a sparkly vampire :)

Best Crowd? I'm going to have to give this one to Escalante - #1 because they pretty much tripled their actual population on the day of the parade and #2 because I haven't given them any awards yet... and I'm one of those "everybody wins something" type of people...  unless it's kindergarten graduation in which case can I just go home already???

Worst Crowd? for turn-out I'd have to say St. George... there was more candy than kids... which if it hadn't been 78% taffy would have been great... but for sheer annoyance I'm going with Cedar City... or maybe just that one obnoxious taller than me kid who kept sweeping up all the candy before my little 7 year old could get anywhere near it?

I might have parade rage...

okay, definitely, definitely I have an issue with parade rage...  don't get me started on how offended I am when I'm handed coupons for electrolysis, tanning, and micro-dermabrasion...  did they target me for a reason?

I just don't get it...

you see, I grew up in Colorado - and the only parade I remember was a Homecoming Parade that I had to ride in... 

and that was 20+ years ago... so I don't even remember anything except my silent prayers that the fake goal posts wouldn't fall down while we went down the street.