Thursday, February 26, 2009

Life of a Dance Mom

I've been a slacker about blogging this week--but with good reason! At least I'm sure I have a good reason... I'll have to get back to you on that.

Anyway! I'm going to be a slacker for the weekend, too. I'm off with the Princess on yet another dance adventure. We're hopping an early flight tomorrow for a weekend away. She and her team are going to compete a few numbers to qualify them for nationals.

The life of a dance mom sure is a rough life--ordering room service, lounging in my jammies, lunching with the girls, reading, shopping... Oh, I mean, I'll be really busy walking her to the convention center early in the morning, being responsible for delivering healthy meals, making sure she is well supplied with energizing snacks, adequate fluids, and lots of Advil. Yeah, that's what I meant!

So, have a great end-of-February weekend. I'll be back in March!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Request for Info - Italy

I'm on a quest. It's a European, Roma-centric, no kids tagging along, just The Mister and me, vacation idea gathering quest.

The Mister and I are going on a trip this Spring to Greece and Italy. The Greece part of the trip will be taken care of by Mister's company. My job is to book the Italy portion of the trip.

I've never been to Italy, so I'm asking for ideas, suggestions, and recommendations. We've decided that we'll be staying in Rome, and we'll have 3-4 days there. I've been looking at hotels in the Historic Central area, but the nice ones are WAY expensive. I've found some really nice looking vacation apartment rentals--any thoughts?

We also know food will be really expensive. Any suggestions on great places where we can eat and keep all our arms and legs so we can walk back to our accommodations at the end of the meal?

How about transportation? We are planning to walk to most of the sites, but can we rent bikes or scooters? How safe would that be?

Any must-see/must-do sites that I might not know about? Any tips or tricks to getting discounts or freebies or just saving time?

I'm sorry about all the questions. I have this obnoxious tendency to over research and analyze every decision I make. But thanks in advance for your suggestions--PLEASE Leave Suggestions!?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Drug of Choice

Why would a seemingly sane person spend two days making frozen yogurt in the middle of winter? And it's real Winter here, not like the 75* Winter in Raratonga. It's actually cold here--we have feet (yep, plural) of snow on the ground. And yet, for some completely insane reason, I've spent the last two days making frozen treats in my kitchen. What kind of crazy does that make me? I really don't know... You'll have to decide.

Some of you may know that I'm a BIG fan of frozen yogurt. You may not know that in my old neighborhood, I was moderately famous for my ice cream. Truth be told, my old neighbors knew me as the maker of all things ice cream. I spent each summer perfecting my newest recipe. I even created my own recipe for a very delicious coconut ice cream.

However, since my fortuitous trip to New York City, and my infamous introduction to Pink Berry, I've been nursing a serious addiction to frozen yogurt. But not just any fro-yo will do. No, I am an actual fro-yo snob, and I've got a pretty serious addiction to Pink Berry and Red Mango. The truth is, my addiction can sometimes spur me to make late night excursions to get my fix. I've even been known to hop two subways to get to my Pink Berry before closing time. I never thought my love of ice cream would be eclipsed by a new, creamy indulgence, but it has.

So why, you ask, have I never parleyed my ice cream skills into making frozen yogurt? I guess I'd have to say that it simply never occurred to me to make frozen yogurt. Or, maybe I thought it would be too hard. Or, maybe I was worried that it just wouldn't compare with the irresistible yumminess of my two fav fro-yos. But after today, instead of sneaking off to the yogurt shop, I'm going to make my own brand of narcotic. I've discovered that I can make a very good approximation of my beloved fro-yo. In fact, I have created a deliriously delightful frozen treat!

Behold. My marvelous concoction of addicting, creamy deliciousness.

I made my first batch of frozen yogurt yesterday and we polished it off in about 15 minutes. Today's batch included some alterations--also with a very tasty outcome. Honestly, I think the only way to make my new concoction better would be to serve it outside, on the deck, on a hot and sunny afternoon. I guess I could have done that today, but although it was sunny, it certainly wasn't Summer (or even Spring) weather.

So, I guess I'll be saving my gas money and feeding my addiction right here at home. No more driving through seedy neighborhoods looking to score. No more sneaking a few extra spoonfuls to get me by. No more sobbing requests for someone to provide me with my next hit.

Goodbye Red Mango--I'll miss your cheerful decor. But Pink Berry--unless I can figure out a way to make frozen yogurt in my hotel room--I'll be seeing you this Summer!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Read the Label!

You'll have to bear with me as I venture into uncharted waters. I don't usually post blog entries about toilet turmoil, potty problems, flushing fantasies, or choked chamber pots. I typically leave the toilet and/or bidet related topics to Dug (he currently displays 30 posts labeled bathrooms). But in light of my new found knowledge, I feel it is my responsibility to warn and inform.

This morning I was feeling particularly grumpy and blurry eyed as I stumbled into the bathroom. I say stumbled because I actually tripped over this package of toilet paper.

I assume you're not overly excited about the package of bathroom tissue sitting on my floor. Believe me, I wasn't too excited to trip over it either! The Mister, in an effort to be helpful, left this package on the bathroom floor so I could refill the dispenser. Typically, I would have done just that. Subsequently, I would have stashed a few extra rolls in the cabinet above the toilet and gone about my day. Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn't be at all intrigued by a package of toilet tissue. But then this small phrase caught my eye.

Septic Safe? I always knew that label reading was important. I believe MSG is evil. I endeavor to limit my intake of sodium. I avoid trans fats like the plague. I fret about corn syrup and modified corn starch. But it never occurred to me that I should be reading my toilet paper labels!

Can you imagine the horrors that could be created by frequently feeding your fancy flusher with unfit tissues? The tissue issues could be unfathomable! And for all those tissue rolls that are not certified to be septic and/or sewer safe--are you supposed to wipe with them and toss them into the trash? Ew--not to mention ick!

So, the lesson is this: Choose wisely. Read the labels. Some people say you are what you eat. I suggest that you might keep that in mind in regard to your potty. There is nothing so off-putting as a putrid, porcelain potty.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No Spring About It

The picturesque view from my bedroom window did nothing to inspire thoughts of Spring this morning. The snow had been falling all night, and it has continued throughout the day. Despite the wintery view, I got the itch to do some serious cleaning. Serious Cleaning. The type of which most only tackle when they're actually doing Serious Spring Cleaning. This is the kind of cleaning that usually requires nice weather. Warm weather, so you can fling the doors open and let in the sun-warmed, fresh air. Let's be clear: there was no sun-warmed, fresh air. Just cleaning.

But Spring or not, I cleaned! I've sorted, filed, stacked, trashed, hauled, emptied, organized and dusted. And that, my friends, is why it's time for dinner and I'm still in my jammies. Don't judge me. I am now organized enough to take phone messages on something besides the back of an envelope, and with something other than a broken crayon. It's a big step.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's a Love/Hate Thing

The adage goes something like this: The qualities that you initially find endearing in your spouse will eventually become the things that drive you nuts. Similarly, those things about which you complain become the things without which you cannot live.

This post is not about how The Mister drives me crazy (although it could be!). Instead, this post is about how the much lamented Groundhog Days of recent are now a thing of wishful thinking.

Last week (and for seemingly unending weeks prior to that), I was bored by the ongoing sameness and predictable nature of my life. Today, my world was thrown into a tailspin of a technological nature. There is not much which can produce the same amount of havoc as an electronically induced meltdown. And that is exactly what I am enduring today.

Where did The Days of The Predictable iMac go? As is typical, this morning I logged onto my iMac--or rather I tried to log onto my iMac... After much tapping, typing, button holding, ejecting, unplugging, and tech support calling, I was informed that it appeared that my hard drive had gone bad. Hmmm. Then Tech Support Guy helpfully informs me that I am no longer under warranty. Yikes!

Tech Support Guy and I continue to tinker with my once beloved iMac, which is now literally a shell of its former self... Tech Support Guy informs me that I may have lost all data on my hard drive.

Was there anything really important on here?

Hmmm, anything important? Gee--why would there be? It's not like I use it to store all my digital photos, oh, that's right, I do! Drat! And it would be stupid for all my iTunes music and movies to be stored on my iMac without a backup anywhere in sight... Yep, I'm that stupid... And nobody would be dumb enough to keep documents and contacts on their iMac without keeping hard copy, right? Wrong... ARG!

So, today I'm wishing for a Groundhog Day. Something predictable, reliable, and not at risk of costing me great amounts of money and undue stress. Boy, the grass certainly is greener, isn't it?

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Perfect Winter Weekend

Our Cabin Fever has been eradicated.
This is where we received our treatments.

The first step of treatment looked something like this.

The second step was something like this.

Treatment would not be complete without a little of this.

And it's hard not to indulge in a little of this.

By the end of the weekend. We looked a little like this.

It's a good thing...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cabin Fever

My idea of Cabin Fever and your idea of Cabin Fever are probably dissimilar. The difference? I am able to rid myself of Cabin Fever by a weekend getaway at an actual cabin! We love to pack up the kids and run away for a weekend of snowmobiles, sledding, snowball fights, and snow forts.

So--we're off! I hope you're weekend is as fabulous as ours will be!

Happy Valentine's Day!

My love to all our Friends and Family.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weather or Not

Life is a little like the weather. It can, at times, be remarkably unpredictable. One moment you're in the middle of a blustery storm that you're not sure you can endure. Mere moments later, you can be disoriented by an improbable calm...

Today there is a lull in the onslaught of accumulating snow. The drifted snow glitters like diamond dust as sunbeams scatter across the surface. It is a beautiful day, despite the twenty-something degree temperature. We are anticipating another big storm for tomorrow, but for today, the sun still shines.

I was lamenting my life of Groundhog Days not too long ago. But today, I am enjoying a reprieve from the astonishing monotony of my life. The Buddies are off to the cabin with Meema and Papa, and the Mister and I are responsible only for ourselves and the two older kids for the next 24 hours. It's amazing--the sense of freedom that evokes!

The Mister just suggested an evening out... What was that? An evening of adult conversation? A promise of amazing food that I didn't have to cook? Food that is served by a waiter and arrives without paper wrappings and/or a side of ketchup? Oh, the anticipation! Without the three little ones (and the accompanying headache of procuring a babysitter) it would be simple to arrange an evening out. "Yes," I said. And I can't believe that we are unencumbered enough of any responsibilities that we can actually go!

So, Goodbye, Groundhog Day! Today I'll celebrate a different holiday!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Actual Customer Service

How many times have you called Customer Service only to get anything but service? I've certainly had my fair share of those experiences! But today, I was pleasantly surprised by a phone call from a company asking how they could make my experience with them better. What? Did I hear that right?

I use a product which requires ongoing service from the supplier. Not in a bad way--it's just that the product is a monitoring device, and I have a contract with the company to continue to monitor the unit for me.

Two days ago, I got an email asking for suggestions, requests, or testimonials. I have used similar products, and because this product and service has been so superior, I was more than happy to give a good word. I also submitted three suggestions that I thought would make my experience even better. Lo and behold, I got a phone call this morning telling me that they had implemented one of my suggestions, they suggested an alternate remedy for my second request, and they are looking into implementing my third suggestion.

This product has been very reliable and I've had no complaints. With these new additions to my service (which they implemented for FREE!) I am sure to be an ongoing customer.

Now that's what I call SERVICE!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wii Fit Parody

I have to be honest and tell you that I love my Wii Fit. But when I found this video on Laura's blog, it was so funny, I just had to post it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Groundhog Day

I know I'm not a celebrity. In fact, I'm fairly anonymous, even in my own community. But for some completely absurd reason, I relate my life to movies. I've mentioned that I sometimes feel like I live on the set of The Truman Show. But lately (ok, for a while now), my life has taken on qualities more attributed to the movie Groundhog Day. (And before I get all sorts of FYI emails, yes, I know that Groundhog Day - the holiday - was last week. That, however, is irrelevant to this blog post.)

For the past few months this has been my routine: Wake up to see if it's snowing. Often times, it is snowing--go figure, I live in the mountains of Utah... The kids leave for school, I do laundry, I cook, I clean, the kids come home. We eat, do homework (maybe), make a mess with toys and books, eat again, do the dishes, get the kids is jammies, put everyone in bed, give thanks that I've survived another day.

I recently (read: this is my first day back among the living) took a 10 day hiatus while I was sick. You'd think things would change after more than a week off. Maybe nothing big, but some sort of recognizable alteration of the routine... But, no. This morning I got up, checked the snow. Gave thanks for the snow plow driver, got the kids out the door, started the laundry, baked some cupcakes, picked up yesterday's toys, and in almost exactly two hours, I'll be picking the kids up from the bus stop. From that point, I expect to fix lunch, help with homework, let the kids play, make dinner, do dishes, get everyone in jammies, and put them to bed. At the end, I'll give thanks (if I survive)...

I don't know, you tell me... Does this sound like the premise of Groundhog Day to anyone else?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Important PSA

While I'm sure nobody has noticed, I still feel it necessary to acknowledge that I've been delinquent in my blogging responsibilities. Since the end of the 30 in 30 challenge for January, I've taken a bit of a break. But don't be jealous--it's not like I've been sunning myself on the beach of a tropical island... No, it's much more mundane than that.

In fact, I've been here at home for the past week, moping around while harboring a virus. And as if that wasn't bad enough, now I've added strep to my repertoire.

But the PSA is this: I'm Alive!

Please feel free to send flowers, get well cards, and chicken soup. Popsicles of any flavor would also be appreciated.

And when I actually start leaving the house again (for something other than a doctor's appointment), I'll be sure to share the adventure.

This ends this very important Public Service Announcement. You can now return to your regularly scheduled life.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Mister's Dream

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must warn you that the following post is about nothing of significance. In fact, it's entirely insignificant.

Yet again, I rolled out of bed this morning to see snowflakes falling from the sky. No big surprise, the forecast called for rain. But we usually get snow when the valley gets rain. I'm looking at the snow on the ground and watching the fresh flakes fly when The Mister asks me if I want to go to the Boat Show. The Boat Show? Why would I want to go to the Boat Show???

It's not exactly boating weather. In fact, when I look out my window, I can clearly see ice on the lake. If he had asked if I wanted to go snowboarding, or skiing, or maybe even sledding, I might have entertained the thought. But the Boat Show? And it's not as if we even need a boat. In fact, we have a very nice boat sitting in the garage with a For Sale sign posted on the windshield. See? This is our boat. Isn't she a beauty???

And why, you might ask, are we selling our beautiful boat? We are selling her because The Mister has always dreamed of owning a Mastercraft. And so, a few years ago, we bought the inspiration of his dreams. The Mister fully enjoyed skiing and wakeboarding behind his new found perfection, until he discovered wake surfing. That was the point at which The Mister realized that this Mastercraft was not, in fact, the boat of his dreams... The Mister wanted to surf behind his fantasy watercraft. And (apparently) our X-30 leaves behind it a less than perfect surfing wake--go figure!

To be clear, I've skied, wakeboarded, and even surfed behind our boat. And I rather enjoyed myself during all those activities. The Mister, however, seems to think that the wake could be improved.

The Mister has now identified the Utopian wake surfing vessel. He is now on a quest to surf behind it at all costs. And for the moment, that cost is the sale of our beautiful X-30.

If you know anyone who is looking for a beauty of a boat, (Please!) have them give me a call. She has a tower, hot water shower, heater, stereo with CD and tower speakers, Bimini top, full ballast system, and lots of other stuff about which I know nothing. The best part is that she's an open bow and can seat at least 12 people, which makes for quite a party!

Anyway--if you can help The Mister fulfill his dream by taking our X-30 off our hands, we'd both appreciate it. Now I think I'll go put on my parka, snow boots, and mittens and be off to the Boat Show!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I've been Tagged

I've been tagged by Laura. Thanks Laura--this is the first time I've been tagged!

10 Things I Know

1. My life resembles the The Truman Show. I know it's real, but I still feel like I play the part of someone much older (and more plump) than I actually am.

2. A good bag makes the outfit. But the outfit should never include sweat pants and sneakers (unless you're at home, sick in bed--in which case why are you carrying a bag and wearing sneakers?).

3. Shopping in stores should be limited to grocery shopping. Online shopping is the greatest advancement in
my civilization.

4. My three little boys are more than a set of triplets. They are all interesting and unique individuals. I hate it when people refer to my little boys as "The Bean Triplets" or "One of Those Bean Boys." They each have a name.

5. You should never read the jacket cover of a book. Just open the book and read it from page one to the end. Never disrupt the flow of the story by peeking at the ending!

6. Blogging is addictive. Don't start blogging unless you're committed to sticking with it for a while. It just gets better and better!

7. My husband must be a Saint-in-Training to live with me. I love you, Mister!

8. Talent is a God-given gift. But just like a forgotten birthday gift, if you neglect your talent, it will get lost, tossed by the wayside, or lose it's luster. Growing a talent takes time and effort.

9. Friends and Family are both important. The people with whom you surround yourself make you who you are.

10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know it for myself. I will respect you even if you don't agree.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The 100th Post

Oh--the surprise! I sat down today and realized that this is to be my 100th post. Somehow, this momentous milestone has arrived without any pomp and circumstance. No big brass bands. No grand hoopla. I have no FREE prizes, no fantastic drawings, not a single giveaway to offer.

I've won no awards, received no public recognition, and yet, I am loving this little bloggy existence of mine! I've met people from Germany, Poland, Sri Lanka, as well as people from nearly every state in the US. What other hobby (obsession) can be credited with the addition of so many new acquaintances? I love reading the comments left by friends and strangers alike. I love finding the links left by new readers and following them to their blogs.

For those of you who have kindly taken the time to stop by my little blog, thank you! If you've commented--more thanks! To those of you who stumbled here for the first time--I'll do my best to come up with a freebie for my next big milestone!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dance Diaries - Photos

I've been editing photos from the weekend competition.
The choreography for this piece was done by Travis Wall.

The jury is still out on this next one.
Cute, but is it really dancing if they wear roller skates for half the performance?
(HRH is seated on the right)

HRH hates this next photo because her knee isn't straight.
I think I just caught her a little late.

I promise not to bore you with ongoing photos.
But thanks for indulging me this time!

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