Friday, September 28, 2012

A movie, a revolution, and some serious pipes.

Many of you know what a GINORMOUS obsession I have with Les Miserables. A friend introduced me to The London Cast soundtrack when I was 15, and I have been addicted ever since. 

I was actually just telling my husband (this morning) of a time when I was about 20 years old: The Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts was presenting the musical, and I was meeting my mom and aunt at the school on the last night of the show to see their final performance. 

I had never seen the musical live before, and my only exposure to it's uberness (other than the soundtrack, which I had listened to so frequently that I could sing along word-for-word with every song, and my cd was to the point of needing to be replaced) had been a copy of The Dream Cast performance that my mom bought for me years before - ready for this? On VHS. Hehe. That just goes to show how long I have been addicted to this musical. ;)

Anyway, needless to say, I was extremely excited about finally having the opportunity to see the show performed live, and I was anxiously anticipating what an epic experience it was going to be for me. 

This is where I must insert a very ardent note-to-self: DO NOT wait until closing night to buy tickets to an extremely popular musical - at least not if you REALLY want to see it. Yeah - we got to the high school the night of the performance and the tickets were SOLD OUT. Why we didn't purchase advanced tickets was beyond me, but the fact of the matter is that as the reality of the situation sunk in while I stood outside of the box office that night, tears started streaming down my face (and I don't mean one or two little tears. I was crying hysterically. haha) as my dreams of finally experiencing a live performance of "Les Mes" began to crumble around me. 

Yes, I was a grown woman crying about not being able to see a musical. It was like a scene from a movie where some type of ferocious adversary is attacking a small village - chaos and confusion are ravaging the scene - and there is the one small child standing alone in the midst of it all, separated from her mother, crying wildly and inconsolably. Yeah, it was kinda like that.

It is what it is; though - and no, I am not ashamed to say that I am that passionate about Les Miserables. Sure, it was probably a silly reaction, but what can I say - I love Les Mes, and I am simply an emotional person. It's something I have come to accept and appreciate about myself, and maybe - just maybe, those tears are what ultimately became my saving grace after all, for an older couple that was standing nearby saw me in distress and came to my rescue.

Apparently, they had bought an extra ticket for their daughter, who was unable to attend the performance, so they offered the ticket to me. I turned to my mom and aunt - feeling somewhat guilty that they would not be able to go - but they encouraged me to go ahead and take the ticket. So, I did. :)

I went to pay the husband for my ticket but didn't have exact change, so he told me to just keep it and not worry about the money. The ticket was only like $17, and I was so extremely grateful to have my hands on it that I would have gladly given him the whole $20 bill in my hand, but he refused to take it. Maybe I reminded him of his daughter or something and he took pity on me. Haha. 

Either way, I finally got to see the musical performed live and it was absolutely amazing - and I am sure that my husband will never let me live it down, knowing now that I completely lost sight of my self control over a high school production of Les Mes. ;)

I still have never seen an actual broadway production of the musical (though we did purchase the 25th Anniversary concert, which starred Nick Jonas as Marius, when it came out on DVD last year, and we did see my husband perform with The Las Vegas Philharmonic a few years ago; a performance, which  featured four soloists that staged some popular songs from Les Mes, along with those from a few other popular musicals - and it was absolutely epic), but I am extremely excited about the upcoming theatrical release of the movie (which has an amazing cast and is going to be radiating with all of the musical magic, not to mention some seriously intense acting) this December.

Anyway, today is Frivolous Friday, and in honor of the much-anticipated upcoming movie release, I want to share this absolutely epic video of Hugh Jackman (who will be playing Jean Valjean in the film) singing the opening number at the 2009 Oscars. Before seeing this video, I knew that he had been on broadway, but had never even heard him sing. Man, does he have some pipes! And to think: he was never even classically trained. It's ridiculous how good he is.

The video also features Anne Hathaway, which seems rather serendipitous, seeing as how she is cast as Fantine in the film. It kinda makes ya wonder if the organizers for the Oscars and the producers of Les Mes were in cahoots. Hehe. Either way, I couldn't be more anxious for December! ;)

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baby's Breath

You lie in my arms
Staring up at me
With those big, beautiful, steel-blue eyes
And my heart melts.
I hold a little piece of Heaven
When I hold you in my arms.
And for a moment,
My whole existence is evanescent
Of worry and sorrow.
I brush my lips against your cheek
And fill my lungs with your essence;
The sweet aroma of your breath.
You are all that is lovely and pure in this world. 
A perfect example of innocence and love.
I playfully munch on your soft, little cheeks 
And you smile.
I then can’t help doing so myself,
For I am suddenly filled 
With a complete sense of joy and pride.

How can one, little being 
Bring such happiness?
Such overwhelming gratitude?
Looking into your smiling eyes, 
I see your innocence;
Your precious soul.
And as you stare back into mine 
With loving acceptance;
So trusting
So dependent on my love,
Tears of gratitude fill my eyes.
And I can’t help but thank Heavenly Father
For entrusting me with your sweet spirit,
For blessing me with the amazing gift
Of being your mother,
And for granting me this precious moment
In time
When the world stands still
As I hold you in my arms. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The best chocolate chip cookies EVER!

From the time that I was a child, I have had an affinity for baking. I have so many memories of times that I spent with my grandma and my mom - watching them carefully, in awe at the wonderful, delectable treats that they would create. I think it is the memory of these tasty, little delights that causes me to have such a love for baking today.

I remember baking homemade biscuits with my Grandma Ruby (my mom's mom) - sitting there at her kitchen table, waiting anxiously and impatiently for those warm, comforting mounds of goodness to finish baking so we could devour them straight from the oven with butter and jam.

Then, every Christmas, my mom would make the most delicious pumpin rolls. She would bring them to our annual family Christmas party and they were always a huge hit. To this day, you can see the disappointment on everyone's faces if she runs out of time before the big event and isn't able to make them.

I also remember her divinity, helping her frost sugar cookies that she baked (I actually have a scar on my chest from when I pulled the cookie sheet out of the oven while helping her bake these for Easter one year), cupcakes, fudge, rice krispy treats with peanut butter, and the list goes on and on.

One thing I really remember my mom baking as I was growing up; though, was her chocolate chip cookies. I don't know what it is about these warm, gooey, little confections that make every child so giddy - perhaps it's the simple fact that they are so warm and gooey, but there is something about the aroma that fills the house while they are baking in the oven, and the appearance of a huge bowl full of chocolate chip cookie dough that brings me back to the days when I would sit on the counter and help my mom drop rounded spoon-fulls of the chocolatey goo onto a cookie sheet. It's like a scene from Ratatouille when the food critic takes a bite of the rat's creation and is instantly brought back to his childhood. haha. Good stuff.

Anyway, for the majority of my life as an adult, I have struggled and struggled with attempting to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies. I have even tried using the Nestle Toll House recipe that my mom always used, but for some reason, they always come out really fragile-like for me. They taste great and all, but they have no "meat" to them, and they always end up falling apart when you pick them up.

When I think of a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie, I think of a firm cookie that is crispy on the edges, but gooey in the center, and I was racking my brains because I could never quite get there.

Well, I have had so many chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime and have tried so many different recipes, and I have FINALLY found THE one!

These cookies are so delicious. They are humungous and chewy - with the perfect combination  of sweetness and goo. Hehe - It makes my mouth water just to think about them. I am thinking my children have the same problem too...

My 11-year-old showing her enthusiasm for these cookies. ;)

I made these cookies for our Sunday school class one Sunday a while back (we used to teach the 16 - 17 year olds), and people who weren't even in our class were talking about them. ;)

Anyway, those of you who know me know that when I find a good thing, I just can't keep it to myself! I know, I know - I am so thoughtful. ;)

The original recipe that I use can be found here; although, I have made a few alterations to the recipe and usually double the batch so there are plenty to go around. I have come to realize; however, that I can  only make these when I have to give some away (visiting teaching, etc.). Since Zach and I have been on a mission to lose weight these last few months, having them in the house can be dangerous (haha), for all I want to do is sit and eat them until either they are gone or I have a tummy ache. :-P

At any rate, the exact recipe that I use is as follows (note that this recipe is already doubled):

The best, big, fat, chewy chocolate chip cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups peanut butter chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Happy baking. Hope you enjoy! :) 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Euphemism Party!

As a devoted wife, a loving mother of three, and a daughter of our Heavenly Father, I do try to maintain a positive attitude (despite life's struggles), to exhibit patience, to emulate the example of our Savior, and to show kindness and charity toward others from day to day. But let's face it - life is full of challenges, bittersweet moments, failures, and monotonous days that tug on my sanity (at least some times it can feel that way). There are some days that I simply find it difficult to keep my head up and put a smile on my face.

When those days arise, I acknowledge the need to snap myself out of "the funk" I am in, and find myself ardently seeking ways to uplift my spirits and maintain an attitude of gratitude - because hey, I can do hard things; Cue the euphemism of the day (hereinafter referred to as the EOTD).

This is where I find myself invoking (yet again) The Purple Lady's genius, for it was she who first turned me onto the idea of the EOTD - and I must say that it is an absolutely inspired way to take a negative principle and infuse it with positive energy.

For quite some time, the EOTD has been our little inside joke. We take the super tedious things that we absolutely loath doing (like washing dishes or scrubbing the bathroom) and turn them into a euphemism:

I adore staying up all hours of the night to complete crap-tastic homework assignments (that I procrastinated doing until the last possible minute) because it challenges my otherwise distracted mind and makes me a stronger person. 

Ha! I hope that YOU at least got a kick out of that one, Lar. Or how about this one...

I absolutely LOVE doing the dishes because it provides me with a clean environment and makes me feel happy.

Yeah, if doing the dishes makes me happy, then my name is Iron Man (haha. It was the first eccentric character that came to mind. My toddler has been on an Iron Man kick lately, so it's pretty much all we've watched over the last few days). 

But seriously, every time I evoke the power of the euphemism now, I immediately feel my cheek muscles contracting into a smile - I can't help it. My thinking has actually become so altered by this exercise that I often find myself in the middle of some daunting task (changing a diaper, for example - and heaven knows that with two babies, this sometimes seems to be all I do for the majority of my day), and the euphemism comes to mind before the negative thought has a chance to form:

Changing diapers brings me such joy. It makes baby happy, and endows me with a sense of importance. What's not to love? 

Bahahaha. I pulled that directly from a EOTD tweet that I recently posted. Hehe. It was an actual thought that I had when I was changing my 4-month-old's diaper. Come on - I know that it made you smile. :-D 

In all seriousness, I decided to share this one guilty pleasure with you guys today because I felt selfish maintaining near-sole possession of such an uplifting, empowering, little secret - and I want to invite all of you to take part in the joy (and the madness). ;)

Please feel free to leave your EOTD in the comments below, and don't forget to check out #DailyEuphemism on Twitter too. Maybe we can even start our own little twitter euphemism party. ::winks at The Purple Lady::

related links:

I can do hard things!

Twitter Word Party

Friday, September 21, 2012

Spelling B for the funny bone. ;)

Brian Regan does spelling B humor ALMOST as well as Weird Al does grammar. ;)

Happy Friday! :)

P.S. Just a friendly reminder; too, that you can still get in on The Purple Lady's half-birthday bash giveaways. But don't delay, the festivities end today:

A one-hour free photography session with Underground Photography

Tag templates from Simply You Simply Me

Book and/or gourmet cupcakes

doTerra essential oils trio pack

related link:

Frivolous Friday

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Giveaways galore!

Today is day #4 of The Purple Lady's half birthday bash, and she has a seriously awesome giveaway today. She is giving away a doTerra essential oils trio pack, so head on over to All Things Purple for a chance to win. Anyone who appreciates the marvelous healing power of essential oils (and understands that good quality, therapeutic-grade ones aren't usually the cheapest items on the market), should definitely take advantage of this opportunity. You can also check out her review of these essential oils here.

Her blog today also alludes to her poetry, which is absolutely beautiful. Those who know me can attest to my love for poetry - and she has such a beautifully delicate way with words. It's a fabulously purplicious way to celebrate her creativity at the start of this ever-so-awesome "Friday eve" (my favorite new nickname for Thursdays. hehe).

Also, don't forget about the other fabulous giveaways that she held this week - all of which are ongoing until the end of the half-birthday celebration tomorrow, so you can still earn entries to win those fabulous prizes:

Day one: free professional photography session

Day two: tag templates

Day three: book and/or gourmet cupcakes

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chocolate or poop?!? :-P

My two-year-old son has been going through a really trying phase lately, and I am not sure if I should take it as a sign that he might be nearing the ready-to-potty-train stage, or if this is just what nasty, little boys do.

A few nights ago, I took my son out of the bathtub and wrapped a towel around him. I brought him into the living room and then put him down on the couch so that I could grab a diaper from the nursery (which is literally the next room over). By the time I returned to the living room, he had chucked his towel and was running up and down the hall like a crazy child.

I sat on the couch and told him to come over to me so I could put on his diaper, but instead, he looked up at me with an expression of disgust on his face. Then, with his knees bent in an awkward position (as though he were trying to avoid touching something on the inside of his leg), he held his hand up to me and said, "Eww."

"What is that?!?" I proclaimed, as I could immediately see that he had something brown and squishy in his outstretched hands. Yep, you guessed it. It was poop. And no - there was no need to reenact that scene from Baby Mama: "Is this chocolate or poop? Chocolate or poop?" lol. Once I got near enough, the smell spoke volumes for itself.

Yes, this is chocolate! ::evil grin::

So was all over his bottom, down the inside of his leg and all over his hands. Then it hit me: "Oh my goodness! Where did you poop?!?" I looked down the hall and immediately saw it - a nice brown trail that led to a big pile of "gold" at the end - right in front of my bedroom door. ::sigh:: I immediately stuck him in the bathtub and cleaned him off, then took him to my oldest daughter, requesting that she keep him out of the hallway so I could clean up the mess. Let me just say this: It. was. so. disgusting. And keeping him away long enough to get the job done was a whole challenge in itself. The boy is so stubborn!

Anyway, the following night, my daughter was taking a shower and (as he usually does) my sneaky, little guy creeped into the restroom and poked his head in through the shower curtain (he loves taking baths and always wants to join you when you are in the bathtub). Before I could get in there to retrieve him; though, she asked him if he wanted to take a shower with her (ugh!), so in order to avoid a meltdown, I conceded. Not five minutes later; however, I heard my daughter screaming bloody murder.

"What in the world is the matter?" I shrieked as I rushed into the restroom. Sure enough, the terrible twos had struck again! He had pooped in the bathtub. ::shudders::

Yeah - it was kinda like that. ;)
He doesn't seem to be ready to potty train in other aspects of his demeanor, and I don't want to push him into doing so too soon, but COME ON! Two days in a row? Really?!? Little boys are just so nasty. :-P

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A six-word glimpse into your soul, PLUS GIVEAWAY!

My six-word memoir. :)
I know I already posted a Slice of Life post today, but in honor of The Purple Lady's week-long birthday celebration, I have an extra special post for you guys...yay! :)

Today is day #2 of this fabulous celebration - and once again, there is an awesome giveaway. :) A while back, the concept of the six-word memoir was introduced to me via The Purple Lady's blog. I adore this exercise, for it is a simple method to get your creative juices flowing. It is also a fun exercise that encourages people to connect through creative writing, which happens to be one of my favorite things. It's a win/win, people! :-D

Since writing is such an ardent passion of mine, I encourage each of you to participate in this exercise by leaving your six-word memoir in the comments section below (click here for an explanation of this exercise, and for some examples). Then, click on the link below to participate in the giveaway.

Good luck, and let's get writing! ;)

P.S. Don't forget about yesterday's photo-session giveaway. You can still earn entries into that giveaway as well by clicking here. You're welcome. :-D

related link:

Half Birthday Bash: Take 2 - Day 2

Tales of a 6th-Grade Drama Queen: Vol. 2

For those of you who remember the drama that happened with my daughter's bus on the first day of school, I have another volume to add to our seemingly increasing (seeing as how we are only on week 4 of the school year, and there are still more than 8 months left for the drama to accumulate) Tales of a 6th Grade Drama Queen.

We made a special crown for her to don in honor of her official title. ;)

Against my better judgment, my husband and I had decided after that first day of school that we would continue sending our 6th-grade daughter home on the bus in the afternoons. We soon found out; however, that there is another flaw in the bus system - the routes are so over-crowded with students that there is not room on one bus for all of the students at each stop. So, instead of adjusting the routes and the bus system accordingly, they only allow the first twenty students on the bus at each stop, and then send a late bus around for the stragglers. I know - it's ridiculous. I didn't want her to have to fight her way onto the bus every morning, nor did I want her standing around at the bus stop after the first bus took off (leaving her unsupervised for an unknown amount of time, and exposing her to who knows what else), so we started driving her to school in the morning.

I would pick her up in the afternoon as well, but she gets out of school right in the middle of the babies' nap time, and I hate to disturb their MUCH-needed sleep - just to pile them in the car and drive over to her school. And according to my husband, "it builds character" for her to persist in riding the bus after what happened on the first day. So, basically, she has still been taking the bus home in the afternoons - and yes, the drama just keeps on coming.

Anyway, the Las Vegas valley got hit really badly with a horrible rain storm one day last week, and there were flood watches all over the county. That afternoon, I drove to the bus stop to pick her up, thinking she wouldn't want to walk home in the rain. When the first bus showed up and she wasn't on it, I just figured she had to catch the late bus home and that it would be arriving shortly.

I waited and waited, but the second bus never arrived. I thought maybe I had somehow missed her, so I left the stop and drove back to the house to see if she was there. Naturally, she was nowhere to be seen, so I started to panic, thinking to myself, "Not again!"

As before, the stinker did not have her cell phone (she had left it at my mom's house across town the previous weekend), so I couldn't call her. I figured I would get back in the car and drive up to the school to see if I could find out more about her whereabouts.

As I was on my way out the door; however, a car pulled up to the front of the house and Madison got out. You can imagine my relief (and my curiosity as to why in the world she was getting out of a car and was not on the bus) as she walked across the yard in my direction.

Apparently, the bus had broken down a few blocks from the school and was smoking so badly that the driver pulled the bus over and told the kids to get off. So, there the kids were - standing out in the rain - and I guess some of them decided just to start walking. ::smack my head::

I guess at that point, the bus driver was no where to be seen, and she (my daughter) didn't know what the protocol was from there - if there was another bus coming, if they were supposed to walk back to the school, or what. She decided not to walk back to the school; though, after her friend commented on how flooded the school grounds had been when they left, so instead, the two of them started walking home - in the rain - with no phone, and really no certainty as to where they were even going.

She said her friend knew how to get to the bus stop from the school, so they were planning to walk there, then continue on home from the stop. Let me just say; though, that they would have passed both of our houses (her friend's and ours) had they actually had the opportunity to execute that plan, not to mention how nuts I would have been in not knowing where she was for all the time it would have taken them to walk the two miles (in the rain, where the flooding was so bad in some spots that the water was up to their knees) from the school. I mean, come on! I thought we had learned not to leave the bus when 1.) it's not your assigned stop; and 2.) you aren't 100% certain where you even are, or how to get home. ::sigh::

Luckily, a friend of mine (whose twin boys go to her school) was driving home and saw her walking. Knowing how far it is from the school to our house, he pulled over (thank heavens) and asked her if she wanted a ride home.

I AM extremely grateful that (once again) we were lucky in the fact that nothing bad happened, and that she is safe, but I certainly do not remember being so oblivious at that age, nor do I recall there being so much dysfunction with regards to the school's bus system - and I rode the bus to and from school from 4th - 6th grade.

The moral of the story is that the convenience of having her ride the bus home is just NOT worth the agony - and I am currently in the process of arranging a car pull with some friends in my ward whose kids also go to her school. Also, I don't know what needs to happen, but something MUST transpire in order to knock some common sense into that child's head. ::sigh::

related link:

Middle School Mayhem: The day my heart stood still!

Tales of a 6th-grade drama queen

Monday, September 17, 2012

A very merry half birthday! :)

When I finally decided to start my blog a few months ago, I was ultimately inspired by a very talented writer, whose blog has been somewhat of a model for my own. Her posts are filled with deep-seeded creative goodness about real life, and the ups and downs that come with it. She writes about poetry, food (one of my favorite things. hehe), the joys and pangs of motherhood, movies, music, and just about everything that her creative, little mind can conjure.

She happens to be celebrating her second-annual half birthday (Congrats, Laura) this week, and she has some seriously awesome giveaways. I wanted to invite my Lucky Readers to participate, in hopes that one day, I too will have as awesome a readership as she does. Who knows...maybe I'll have to throw a half-birthday celebration myself when the time comes. ;)

In the meantime, you can get in on the fun at The Purple Lady's half birthday bash! Thanks for being so supportive of my blog thus far, and good luck on the giveaways! <3

 My two-year-old is even ready to celebrate! ;)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Music to my ears

It's amazing to me how incredibly remarkable the human brain is. Now, I am no scientist (never really did all that well in science growing up, as a matter of fact), so I can't even begin to give the biological explanation for how it is possible for our brains to store the memory of a certain smell, or the taste of a certain food, but it blows my mind that we have the capability of recalling said tastes and smells upon simply thinking of its source.

For example, think of the last time you ate a slice of pizza - or a mouth-watering, succulent slice of homemade apple pie. Instantly, you can remember the flavor of that yummy goodness on your tongue, and can almost taste it in your mouth. Yes, the brain is a marvelous thing.

Music has that same effect on my brain as well. I can hear a song on the radio - it can even be one that I haven't heard in years - and I am immediately back in time, re-living a moment from my past when that song had a special significance.

Anytime I hear Steve Miller Band, I remember road trips to Utah (usually, camping trips) when I was young - my crazy dad blasting the radio while all of us sang at the top of our lungs, eating road food and (me, in particular) getting car sick. haha. Or how K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight" reminds me of when we used to crank up the music in our living room (with my dad's speakers that were like 8-feet tall and almost went to the ceiling) doing "the bump." My dad was so nutso when we were growing up., and I LOVED it. :-D

Janice Kapp Perry wrote a plethora of songs that remind me of my mom. I sing them with my children now and remember the times that she and I would sing our different parts in quasi-harmonious tones, cuddling before bedtime or recording ourselves on a little hand-held tape recorder she had, playing it back for ourselves later. ;)

There are songs that bring me to recall past romances, friendships and just ordinary moments in time. Remembering some of those moments makes me sad, but others put a smile on my face, for I look back on that moment with fond memories of what once was.

One song, in particular, that has a very special significance to me is "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds. It is seriously one of the most beautifully romantic songs of our generation. And every time I hear it, I am instantly taken back to a moment right after my husband and I were married when he put together a wedding video for me compiling photos from the wedding, and laced that song to the background.

A romantic was not something I had particularly ever accused my husband of being (I have since learned that romance can manifest in many different shapes when a relationship is based on love, adoration and an eternal commitment, and I can now say that he is one of the sweetest, most genuine and subtly romantic men that I know), but I thought it was one of the most romantic gestures my husband had ever made up to that point in our relationship.

For those of you who didn't know already, my husband and I had a very brief courtship. We met in December, 2006 and were married 4 months later. He teases that he wanted to marry me so quickly before I had a chance to really get to know him. haha. Either way, we didn't have "a song" before we were married, but after that moment, we both knew that we had found THE one. Hence, the name of the blog (for those of you who were wondering). Now, every time I hear it, I smile because it reminds me of how fortunate I am to have found such an amazing man - who happens to be my husband. I truly am The Luckiest. ;) To this day, we still have it on our phones as our ring tone for each other. :-D

Anyway, with it being Friday and all, I don't want to get too serious on you guys. I came across this video featuring "The Luckiest" and I just had to share it. When I first saw it, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or shake my head in disbelief. It just made me feel...well,  kinda awkward...haha.

I am not sure what the creator of the video was going for, but luckily, I have a good sense of humor. :)

Happy Friday, all! Don't forget to be frivolous. ::evil grin::

Friday, September 7, 2012

Yoga & tips for relaxation. :)

Brian Regan has always been one of my favorite comedians because he is very clean, he usually doesn't use any swear words, and is ridiculously funny. 

Have you ever heard his bit about pop tarts? Oh my goodness...I thought I was going to die laughing the first time I saw it. His impersonations and facial expressions seriously make me lol. ;)

In this video (thank you, husband), someone used a bit that he did on yoga and laced it to the background of a pretty hilarious (sort of stick figure) animation. I was busting a gut watching it. My husband and I can especially appreciate this, as we've been trying different home workouts lately and usually feel pretty ridiculous in the process. Hehe. Hope you enjoy. :)

Happy Friday! And don't forget to be frivolous! :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Malls, Mahem and the Joys of Motherhood!

I think I have come to the conclusion lately that either my two-year-old son is actually an alien from outer space sent to earth to torment me for some unknown, heinous crime I committed in a previous life (no, I don't actually believe in reincarnation), that he is possessed, or that someone upstairs in fact thinks it would be a fun little joke to test the bounds of my patience in blessing me with such a needy, whiny, headstrong toddler...who also, by the way, has some serious anger issues.

I have never in my life known any other child to pinch the skin of your neck between his thumb and index finger excruciatingly hard, while staring you square in the eyes with a scrunched up, nasty-as-all-junk expression on his face - like he is in a scene from Indiana Jones Temple of Doom where the man reaches through the guy's chest and rips out his heart. Yeah...he executes this skin-pinching routine with such conviction and animosity that it kinda feels like that. His head even shakes a bit as his eyes get all narrow with intent and go kinda's really rather disturbing. lol. Then, he hops down, kisses me on the lips and goes about his business, as if nothing unusual has occurred. Like I said - possessed. Haha.

I don't actually think that my son is the spawn of Hades (Zach attributes it to "the Jackson temper"), but I do think that his life's ambition is to test what I am made of, and I feel that this temper of his is extremely frustrating, particularly at nap time when I have the baby (our 4-month-old daughter) asleep in her basinet and I'm lying in bed with Logan in the same room (as Zach works graveyard and is usually occupying the only other bed in the house at the time I go to put Logan down for a nap) when he decides to fight me tooth and nail for over an hour (yes, this happens on a daily basis) as he thrashes around violently, screaming and trying continuously to get down off the bed.

I am usually so exhausted after this charade (from trying to keep him in one spot long enough to get him to relax and fall asleep - all while shushing him profusely in an attempt to avoid waking up the baby) that when I do finally manage to get him to settle down, I end up crashing too...then all my hopes and dreams of actually getting something accomplished while the babies sleep quickly goes down the drain. ::sigh::

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the value of a nap during this stage of motherhood, but I also aspire to one day have a clean house (that actually stays clean for more than like 5 minutes), and I somehow always seem to fall short. Thankfully, I have an understanding, forgiving husband...or I'd probably be in deep do-do on a regular basis. ;)

And let's not forget what a pleasure it is to change his messy diaper - while he kicks and squirms - again, screaming like I am skinning him alive or something. Zach can attest to this one. If you somehow manage to avoid wearing the contents of his diaper by the time it's all said and done, you are counting your blessings. HE is just lucky to escape without getting a smack on his bottom, for if there is one thing that I can't stand, it's having to change a stinky, messy baby who won't sit still and cooperate.

I think things have been exacerbated these last couple of weeks, too, since Zach has started school again. The poor man is getting hardly any sleep between work, school and his lessons, so I can basically forget about having him available to offer any amount of relief during the week. Our oldest daughter, who is 11 years old, is a huge help - when she is not procrastinating her own responsibilities, requiring me to follow her around, riding her like a Nazi on crack from the time she gets home from middle school until it's time for her to get in the shower at 8pm.

Don't get me wrong. I love my children with all of my heart. Each of them is a blessing beyond explanation to me, so please don't take this as any indication that I am ungrateful for their presence in my life. I have just been feeling extremely overwhelmed these last few days and constantly find myself praying for the strength to handle it all with patience and tolerance.

Today was a real test of my patience; however. I took Logan and Bailey to the mall this morning to get a security tag removed from a pair of Old Navy jeans that I bought for Madison recently (and somehow managed to take home without setting off the alarm in the store). Since we don't have a double stroller, I had Bailey attached to my front-side in a baby carrier and was pushing Logan around in his stroller.

After getting the tag removed, I proceeded to walk around Old Navy for a bit to check out the new fall arrivals and explore some options for outfits for family pictures that are coming up in October. Logan started screaming and reaching for a basket of balls that was nearby, so I figured I'd try to appease him for a few minutes and handed him one of the balls that was on the top of the pile. Naturally, that one was unacceptable to him, and he wasn't satisfied until I reached all the way to the bottom to retrieve the football that he wanted.

After that, he was pretty well-mannered, except for the fact that he kept throwing the football over the side of the stroller and I kept having to lean over and pick it up off the floor (with the baby attached to my front, mind you). I finally told him that if he did it one more time, he was going to lose the ball. That must have done the trick, because he discontinued chucking the ball over the side (thank Heaven for small favors).

After finding a few items of clothing that I wanted to purchase, I proceeded to the check-out line and thought for a moment that I might actually be escaping for once unscathed. Uh, yeah...not so lucky. The sales clerk was taking an exorbitant amount of time with the woman in front of me, and to my dismay, Logan discovered the toy cars that were located directly outside of the store and managed to escape from his stroller with all kinds of ambitious desires as he headed in the direction of said cars THREE times before I was able to check out. I had to grab him by the arm and bring him back into the store as he threw himself back violently, kicking and screaming as everyone in sight just stared at me like I was crazy.

I couldn't pick him up with both hands; though, for I still had Bailey in the carrier on my front-side, and he absolutely refused to put his legs down and walk. I literally had to muster every ounce of self control that I possessed in that moment not to bend him over right there in the middle of the mall and bust his little behind.

I seriously wanted to cry by the time I left Old Navy - and decided very quickly that I was just going to go home and chuck the idea of walking around the mall to get out of the house and get some exercise. I started feeling hungry; though, so I stopped by the food court on my way back to the car. I thought maybe I'd feel better if I ate something.

As I was ordering food; however, Logan managed to escape from the stroller AGAIN, so this time when I retrieved him, I strapped his butt in so tightly that he couldn't get out, and he started screaming profusely upon arriving at this realization. I was seriously so frustrated by this point and had to fight the urge to sit on the floor in a fetal position with my thumb in my mouth. Haha.

My one saving grace was a super polite gentleman who was in line behind me that saw how overwhelmed I was and offered to carry my tray to my table. I don't think he truly understood how tremendously that one small act of kindness was appreciated.

One thing is for sure: I think I will hold off on making trips to the mall until I have a double stroller...or at least a second pair of hands. ;)

Oh, the joys of motherhood! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012