Archive for November, 2006

Nov 30 2006


Published by under amy's head,daily,house

James’ work holiday party is tomorrow. Yay. The kids’ school has a “parent’s night out” that night, so babysitting is taken care of. Wahoo!

My parents are coming for christmas, and now I’m totally obsessing about the house. Our basement is in disarray, with the beginning of the laminate floor going down, and now I’m all, “Can we finish it by Christmas? Let’s finish it. and we need a couch. and an area rug. Could we get a new TV by christmas? What about paint? I hate the carpeting on our main floor. Let’s replace it. Tile? maybe. FLOR? A definite I-must-have-it-now maybe. There’s a shop in charlottesville you know. Let’s go there this weekend. But only after we finish the basement floor.”

So, um, wish me luck. Hopefully we can at least finish that damn laminate floor. We may not have anywhere to sit down there, but dammit THERE WILL BE A FLOOR.

More accurately, wish James luck, becuase he is goign to be dealing with a CRAZY person for the next 4 weeks. At least our christmas shopping is pretty much done. OH CRAP MY PARENTS ARE COMIGN AND NOW I HAVE TO BUY THEM PRESENTS TOO.

Shut up. I would have bought them presents anyway. But it was more of a, “oh yeah I shoudl do that”, order something, done. Now they will BE HERE. Now I will SEE THEIR FACES. So now, I have to actually use my brain and get them something GOOD. Bugger!

You may be thinking that I don’t WANT my parents to come. Au contraire mon frere! (did i just call you my brother? wow, french class was SO LONG AGO.) I’m tickled pink that they decided to come. Me and my lil family is the only ones in my family on this coast. Everyone else is on the OTHER side of this huge country. You know, it would make things a lot easier on me if we could just knock out some of those middle states to make the trip more convenient.
Or I guess we could move to a smaller country. Something to bring up in the next meeting, I guess.

Anyway, we’re in VA and my folks, 2 sisters & families and 1 brother are in Utah, 1 brother & family in Colorado, 1 brother & daughter in Oregon… i think i’m missing someone, is that it? Nope, that’s it. Yes, six kids in my family. We had a blast growing up. I’m the 2nd youngest. My mother, boy, I don’t know how she did it. Honestly. It takes me having kids now to REALLY appreciate the feat of strength and determination it must of taken to raise six children. And she’s mormon, so there wasn’t even any alcohol involved! The mind boggles. Also, it takes having kids to suddenly realize that that little dash of crazy she serves up now and then is a direct result of having raised me and my 5 siblings..

So yes, being so far away from the rest of my family really does suck. We talk sometimes of moving, but we are pretty happy here. I know it really kills my mom to only see our kids once or twice a year though. All in all, everyone is pleased as punch that they’ll be here Christmas morning. Because Christmas is fun and all… but it’s even FUNNER watching KIDS Christmas morning, and that is probably the best gift I could give my folks.

Think that would fly? “Oh, I didn’t get you anything. Here watch the kids open their presents. That should be plenty.”

OK. Must fly off and work now.


*it would make me so happy if someone actually knew what that was from. go ahead. comment what it’s from and MAKE MY DAY!


Can we say mom-present? YES I THINK WE CAN!

And thank you to misty for pointing it out!

4 responses so far

Nov 28 2006

self portrait tuesday

Published by under amy's head,daily,photos

it’s a bit past midnight, so that means it’s tuesday now. so here are the photos i took on friday when i needed a break from work. the hat is due to a non-hair day. “bad hair day” is when it wn’t do wha tyou want. “none hair day” is when you really don’t care what the hell it does, and don’t really want it to do anything anyway.

after i hit publish, i’m going to bed. *yawn* *damn work deadlines* *yay overtime* *yawn* so i’m sorry for the run-on sentences, bad grammar and punctuation now. Not really sorry though. More like, bite me 🙂
I realize that this is the wrong time for this, but I’ve been thinking about the past year. I think it all started when I realized I past my year blogging anniversary (um, btw, yay me! about that) and poked around at some of the past posts. Usually January is the time to reflect, renew the gym membership, watch what you’re eating, make resolutions, decide to become a better person, eradicate all credit card debt, cure cancer and end world hunger. but I’ve been feeling the “new year’s” vibe, and so decided to get a new haircut last week.

Looking at a few past posts, it’s nice to realize that I’m in a much better place right now in my head, and when I think about it, I know exactly why it is. Last year, I had pretty much given on up project skinny. I had been staying at home with my kids with no real motivation or purpose. And for the past few weeks, I had also pretty much tossed in the project skinny towel. It’s when I’m not happy with where I am (be it lack of sleep, lack of will power, lack of adults to talk to, or lack of a clean house, etc) that I get all mopey and depressed. As soon as I start to take action, then it snaps me out of it. going back to work, while a financial necessity at the time was a big catalyst in bringing me out of a major funk, but it still shows in some of those posts.

Taking action = end of the funk. It’s a nice thing to know.. but when I’m in the middle of mopeyness, it doesn’t necessarily help me much. Knowing that you have to climb out of the hole you dug yourself doesn’t make it any easier to start getting dirt under your fingernails. But the nice thing is once you DO get going, you usually feel pretty good and energized. It’s sticking to it that I am an utter failure at. 🙂 I have to figure out what to do about that.

It’s a little discouraging to look back at posts about losing weight, and realizing that if I had just kept with it, my body would be in a very different place right now. At the same time though, it’s a good thing. Today is first day of the rest of your life, and all that crap. I think all this reflection is what projected me toward my new hairdo. It’s always nice to do something totally different. For a day, or even a week, people stop and look at you in a diferent way and say, “Hey! Look at you! Wow! Cool! Looks nice!” (at least if you’re lucky). I’ve always found it to be a good way to step out of a funk. At least temporarily. In fact, I used to always get my hair cut the day before my birthday, so that even if no one knew it was my birthday, I would have people complimenting me all day and I’d feel nice.

I don’t think a camera ever points at me too long before I make a stupid face.

Having a new ‘do always motivates me to do the things that I had slowly slacked off doing, like blowdrying my hair, making sure there aren’t any cat hairs on my clothes before leaving, maybe even applying some MAKEUP (or at least mascara) (ahem. You can see it hasn’t helped me do anything about those eyebrows. EEP!) It makes you look at yourself the way others see you, which you never do. I was checking out the short hair in the mirror this evening and james gave me a funny look and asked what I was doing. “You see the new haircut all the time, but I still haven’t gotten used to it. *I* never see it!” Not only do others look at you differently, but you look at yourself differently too.

I am pretty happy. I feel energized. It’s time to take some names and kick some ass and makes some changes. I have so much to give thanks for and so many people to love. It’s gonna be a good year. Err. End of the year 🙂

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Nov 27 2006

weird habits meme

Published by under amy's head,daily,random

Linda my linda-lou-hoo did a weird habits meme that I’ve decided to do too. Then I dared Anna to do it, and she went and did it, so now I really need to hurry up and do mine 🙂

  1. Clocks. Time. I like to know the time, at all times, and yet I don’t like to wear a watch. Therefore, I have clocks in just about every room in my house. And sometimes I fantasize about putting up a clock and where I would put it when I’m in a room for longer than 10 minutes that doesn’t have one. (Last week, it was at the vet’s office.)
  2. I stick stuff in my bra. I’ve mentioned this before, so I won’t go into the details, but yeah. My bra = my own personal storage area. Most commonly found item in the brassiere = my camera lens cap.
    You may think it’s weird, but you gotta admit – I never lose my lens cap!
  3. Toilet paper. It goes over the top people.
  4. this one has recently come to my attention. the dirty dishes don’t go IN the sink. They go on the counter NEXT to the sink. Because if they’re in the sink, then you have to move them out of the sink in order to get to work on them, and that’s just a step that doesn’t need to be there. Maybe this is a weird habit, but I like to think of it as common sense!
  5. This one I’ve mentioned before too, and it’s a little tough to explain.. If my mind is idle, and I’m walking, I will take the whole “don’t step on a crack” to a new level and begin to dissect all the angles that I see and then not step on THOSE imaginary cracks. it’s weird. i know.
  6. I give things or people little names. “Tarty school marm shoes” is one example. I do it all the time, and sometimes they stick. In fact, one time, it stuck in a MAJOR way. It was the first day in my new dorm on the first day at college, and there had been a meeting when everyone introduced themselves, and a guy was walking by that I couldn’t remember anything except that he was from Missoula, Montana, and I called out, “Hey! Missoula-boy!” and it stuck. For a month, he was Missoula to everyone, and then it was just shortened to Zoula. It got so that he even introduced himself to new folks as Zoula. He was my best friend all through college.
  7. I have to sleep with a smallish, squishy pillow (and this pillow shall be called, “Squishy Pillow”, yes, hello, another name for an inanimate object). Sometimes I can get away with a substitution, but overall, gotta have the squishy pillow to hug while I sleep.
  8. It’s gotta be a mouse. Trackballs make me nervous and edgy and upset. It’s beyond a preference into a weird habit.
  9. I like to chew gum and blow bubbles. I even buy Bubbilicious or Bubble Yum at times, just for the bubble blowing opportunities.
  10. I can’t think of a 10th, even though I had one on my way in to work this morning. Oh well.

Ahhhhh.. that was fun. I’m not tagging anyone because then I feel like a loser if someone doesn’t do it. Feel like joining in? Knock yourself out! And then I’ll feel special because someone DID do it! Wheeeee!

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Nov 26 2006

random thoughts from turkey weekend

my brain has been swirling with thoughts that i keep thinking, “I should put that on my blog!”

So this might be a little scattered.


We have had many a day when we are lying in bed all groggy and half a wake Saturday morning and we hear Jocelyn’s little holler, “Moooooommmmy!!! I’m pooooooooopy! I took off my diiiiiiaaaaaaaaper!”

Nothing will get you out of bed like that sort of wake up call. We are still haunted, HAUNTED I SAY, by Ethan’s Excrement Extravaganza (we just refer to it as E cubed) when we walked into Ethan’s room and were accosted by the sight and smell of a poop-smeared room. Walls, carpet, bedding, even INSIDE THE DRESSER DRAWERS, people. It was awful beyond the imagination.

So while in the back of our mind, we know that REALLY, the worst is behind us, still those poopy words shore will spring you into action!

It wasn’t that bad. (I score “stripping the bed and tossing everything in the wash” as “not that bad.” you have to look at things comparatively, people.)


We have had a succession of kind of laid back thanksgivings. Just us. Just our little family. Usually, I make way too much food and no one under age 30 eats anything except pie and bread, which can be exceedingly frustrating for the chef.

James handled the turkey this year, and while we had a little moment of fearing it was overdone, it was perfect, as usual. (Brining is the way to go, people. Let’s BRINE THE CHILDREN.)? I only made some dressing, and the thanksgiving must, Company Carrots.* Last year, I don’t remember what I made, but it was a hairy sort of day and I remember being sort of cross and tired all day. This year = much more laid back. Also, I’m over the dressing I usually make. It was just OK, and I didn’t even save any for leftovers. Next year it’ll be something new. Dessert didn’t consist of pie. It consisted of chocolate mousse torte cake. And it was gooooooood.

I had to work Friday, which wasn’t so bad. It was nice to sail down the highway to work with no traffic whatsoever. It was shocking to look at the mall and see the parking lot FULL at 8am. I stopped at McDonalds that was near the Microcenter, and it was stuffed full of people. I went to work and it was blissfully quiet and I got a ton of work done. I took a break and did some crappy blurry camera phone pictures of myself with my new haircut/dye job, so I’ll have to post those sometime.


So I decided to go blonde for the winter. I walked into the salon Wednesday night, sat down, and said, “I’d like to go blonde. I realize this is hard with red hair, but I really don’t want to walk out of here as a strawberry blonde.”

I walked out with strawberry blonde hair, and a haircut that I have to describe as Melissa would say, made me look like a mushroom.

I was quite happy with the color, actually, but the haircut I got fixed on Friday. It’s all a bit shorter than I would like, but really, I’m easy. It’s hair. It grows back. You don’t like it? Give it time, and try again. It may be a bit more strawberry than I’d like, but I can fix that in January.

I had a bit of a dilemma in the spring when I dyed it red. See, I have been dying my hair red since high school. Then through sheer force of will, I managed to NOT dye it for a while. Long enough that it grew out my natural color and there was no more red. So going back to red was a bit of a struggle in the amy brain, but as soon as I got back to the, “what the hell are you freaking out about, IT’S HAIR IT GROWS BACK JUST DO IT ALREADY” then i was fine. and i gotta say, i love the red hair, i just thought blonde would be fun for a while.


Ok, then I’ll talk about Jocelyn’s! I sat down with her today and french braided her hair. Of course, I had to put Dora on in order for her to hold still long enough, but it was so much fun. Like having my own little barbie doll to play hair with. It was really too short to stay in, and so we took it out after 5 minutes before it just fell out, but it was such fun. She is such a sweetheart. She is doing and saying so many intolerably cute things every day. She just kills me with all the cute.


So Ethan has been anxiously counting down to the christmas holiday since before halloween. It seems like as SOON as Thanksgiving was over, he was like, “Next is Christmas, RIGHT???” We told him yes, and Saturday found us digging out our Christmas decorations, and going tree shopping. Yes, the tree has been purchased and it is up and decorated. Christmas stockings are hung. And taken down, and carried around and rehung, and pointed out, and described, and taken down and put on little feet, and then rehung again.

Now we just need to get all these boxes outta here. and the gourds. Sorry gourds, you are no longer seasonably appropriate. You must go. Plus, you were starting to get a little wrinkly, so into the compost bin you go. If you’ll fit.


I actually had to work a bit this weekend too, but working from the comfort of your couch while watching Gilmore Girls off your Tivo and Season 1 Battlestar Galactica (we’re done now, and WOW, what a finale. Gotta get Season 2 SOON!) and getting up early and actually putting on CLOTHES and driving into the office… that will suck.


because we managed to get a lot of stuff cleaned up around here this weekend. half of our garage had been littered with bikes, wagons, … and other junk that i can’t picture now that it’s all cleaned up, which means MY CAR IS ACTUALLY HOUSED IN THE GARAGE! YAY ME! this is especially good because Friday has raine with a chance of SNOW SNOW SNOW! so it’ll be nice to park in the garage and not have to worry about frost/snow on the car.

We also cycled through quite a bit of laundry. I knew you wanted to know ALL about it.


Because if i get it all out more regularly, then I don’t make these ridiculously long posts with lots of nonsense in them. I’ll try to do better.


Last week, I tried to get the sitter for the weekend (not this last weekend, but the week before) and the sitter left a message at the speed of light and I just took it to mean that she could not make it. So I called and told her I didn’t quite understand her message, but I was going to assume she was busy.

BUT SHE WASN’T! SHE WASN’T! SHE WAS AVAILABLE! And let me tell you, when you THINK you can’t go out, and then you CAN, it’s almost better than chocolate and peanut butter after lots of sex (almost).

We decided to hurry and try to finish up the christmas shopping before a movie. Then we were starving so we stopped at California Tortilla, got stuff to go, and snuck it into the new Bond movie (it was good, despite the blonde Bond. You wouldn’t think I would be prejudiced, having decided to go blonde myself, but sadly, I am, and it’s a hard one to get over, but it was still good). I still want to go see Stranger than Fiction. Afterward we went to Sweetwater Tavern and shared a flourless chocolate waffle while just wallowing in our kidlessness for just a FEW MINUTES LONGER.. Ahh. heaven.


This friday: James’ company holiday party.

Next THURSDAY (can we say “cheap?”): my company holiday party.

All I can say is, better have open bar.

A new suit was purchased for James today, and I purchased some new duds last Friday (yes, I braved the crowds on my way home, and it wasn’t too bad). Note for next year: take some dance classes before the holiday parties, so we have something to do and won’t get bored and just wnat to go home and watch tv.

I hope they’ll be fun.


– amy knows december isn’t til next week, but she put up the new banner anyway.

* When me and my siblings were little, company carrots was our very favorite dish at thanksgiving. My mom would tell us she would make however many carrots we would peel, and we would peel 2-3 5lb bags at least. I’m 32 now, and it’s still my favorite. Very simple, too. Yum.

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Nov 24 2006

stop sign

Published by under daily,photos

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Nov 23 2006

lincoln logs

Published by under daily,photos

As much as I hate to do so, I have to give credit to James for this one.

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Nov 22 2006

kid art – Ethan Creations #3

Published by under daily,kids,photos

Only one of Jocelyn’s. I’m afraid they’re not to the stage where they look like actual objects, but cute none the less. Beautiful use of color, don’t you think?

the rest are Ethan’s:

Fire house with orange bell and ladder.


Maze. Ethan loves mazes (it’s so nice that now there’s something to engage him while we wait for our food at a restaurant). So this drawing was especially sweet.

T’s have monkey tails. Just letting you know.

Practice writing, crane on a flat bed truck.

I don’t remember if he said that tall one was a rocket, or a tower, or just a tall house or what.


Our house. Not just any house, OUR HOUSE. Because our bricks are sort of pinkish, mommy!

and finally, this one is my favorite:

It could be because when I saw it, his cute face was looking up at me, and he said, “I made this FOR YOU mommy!”

It could be because for MONTHS, nay, YEARS I have been trying to get him to draw ANYTHING, but alas, to no effect. Always, he would hand me or his father the drawing utensil, and patiently instruct us on what we were supposed to draw. “A train!” “No! Not like that! With a grill! On a track! Now a truck! No! not like that! A dump truck!” “Why don’t you try?” “No. Just you do it.” and now finally, look! He is doing it himself. I think this is a big part of why this one is my favorite.

but mostly, it’s because you can see how happy he is drawing trucks. He obviously loves trucks. and he loves to draw them. A merry little page of a busy flock of little trucks.

And he made it just for ME!

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Nov 21 2006

going up?

Published by under daily,photos

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Nov 20 2006


Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

Jocelyn has been really whiny lately. She instinctively says “NO!” to everything that is queried of her and she generally assumes the loudest and whiniest tone ever.

It must be very frustrating to have every decision made for you. You will eat now. You will get up now. You will get dressed now, and you will not watch TV with popcorn now. You may not use my new fabric to drag around the house and then pretend to sleep under, and you will go upstairs, take a bath, and go to bed now, because my nerves just can’t TAKE IT ANYMORE AHHHHHH!


No wonder she meets every approach with “NOOOOOO!!” It doesn’t help that when I’m trying to cope with an instance of Whiney Tantrumy Jocelyn, Ethan will choose that moment to come over and start talking to me.
Let me share with you the things we’ve (me, her father, and her teacher(s)) tried through this increasingly difficult stage.

1. Counting.

jocelyn: NOOOOOO!*
me: That’s 1.
jocelyn: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
me: That’s 2.
jocelyn: NO NO NO NO NO NO!
me: That’s three, time-out.

* Just assume that everytime you see a “NOOOOOO!” on this post, that the volume level is set on “migraine-inducing” or “nasal-whiney”.

Counting is better for activity that she needs to stop, rather than counting instances of bad behaviour. Like if she keeps running around her room naked instead of coming over to get her jammies on, I’ll start to count to three slowly, and before I get there, she’ll stop, run over, while saying, “I AM I AM I AM!” (as in, “I am coming! I am coming! I am coming!”) It also gives them time to stop, rather than just saying, “Come over here now.” If you give them til the count of three, it gives them time to adjust to the fact that they have to stop what they’re doing, and come over.

So counting. Kind of helpful, in some kinds of situations. Since you can’t back down once you’ve started (this falls under the very first parenting rule ever, which is: “When In A Battle Of Discpline, Never Lose Or Give In Or Then You Will Be Their Bitch Or At Least You Will Really Regret It When They Constantly Retest The Boundaries You Tried So Hard To Set”) always follow through, even if you realize that it wasn’t the best situation to use it in.

2. Giving her a choice:

me: It’s time to brush teeth!
me: Do you want pink toothpaste, or clear?
jocelyn: PINK!!!

And then the fight is over! When it works, it’s Magical! If only it worked EVERY TIME! IF ONLY!
3. Pointing out the different “voices”:

This one worked well, to a point. First, I had to make sure she knew what I meant.

jocelyn: NO NO NO!
me, first, getting her attention by removing her from whatever the situation is, and getting her to look right at me: Let’s learn about the different kinds of voices, Jocelyn.
me, talking normally: listen to this voice. This is a noooormal voice!
me, super over-the-top whiney: and this is a WHINEY voice!
me, normal: And this is a normal voice! Can you use a normal voice?
Jocelyn, in a normal voice: Yes! I can! I can use a normal voice!

It really is amazing when this tactic works. She will be in the throes of a full whiney temper, and I’ll ask her to use a normal voice, and she sometimes will snap right out of it. Sometimes though, not so much.

4. Brainwashing. Or, telling her what to say:

This all started out innocently enough. Jocelyn has always had pretty impressive verbal skills. Ethan didn’t even say “mommy” until he was TWO YEARS OLD (I am not exagerating. mama, yes. mommy, no) and Jocelyn was stringing a few words together not long after 12 months. That constant stream of conversation Ethan keeps up evidently seeped into her brain pretty early.

So, all that, to say, it’s hard to remember that she is still learning a lot of vocabulary, and perhaps is just instinctively saying ‘no’ because that is the easiest thing to say right now. She gets to make so little decisions about her life and her body, that it’s easier to blurt out, “NO!” than to think it over, analyze what she actually wants, and then construct a sentence to convey those wants or opinions. So at these times, I would just tell her to say, “No thank you.”
me: Jocelyn, here’s your drink.
me: Just say, “no thank you!”
jocelyn, all perky: No thank you!
then she eyes the drink, and says: I do! I WANT it!!
me: Say, ‘I would like the drink please!’
jocelyn: I would like the drink please!
me: Here you go!

I started to skip over the middle part of that conversation, and just tell her SAY, what I thought she wanted. Then I just started to tell her to say what *I* wanted… and she would say it!
me: Stop running around naked, and come over here and get your jammies on, sweetie.
jocelyn: NOOOOOOOO! *run run run*
me: say, ‘Ok mommy, I’ll come get my jammies on!’
j: OK mommy! I’ll come get my jammies on!”

AND SHE WOULD!! It’s BRAINWASHING MAGIC! I hope it lasts forever. It will be very handy when she’s 16.

me: I want you to be home by 11:30.
me: say, ‘I will be home by 11, I won’t TP anyone’s house, and I won’t drink or smoke and I love you forever!”
j: Oh, mom, that hasn’t worked since I was TWO! BYE!

sigh. jeez. My brain won’t even let me fantasize about the possibilities. MY BABY GIRL! DON’T EVER BE 16!
5. Praise, praise, praise until you feel like you need some pom-poms and an audition for ‘Bring It On 3: OH IT HAS BEEN BROUGHT-UN! ‘

This is something I seem to routinely forget, and remember, and it always helps a lot for whatever it is we’re doing… praise praise praise for the good stuff she does. The last week I have been tearing my hair out and losing it and screaming like a banshee out of the blue because this behaviour was just pushing me to the very edge of existence (work (as opposed to staying at home with kids all day) has SO made my “patience” supplies dwindle, sigh) and I just have to keep remembering this, because I know it will help. Praise praise praise. Over the top praise, even. Every time she does it *right* I coo and carrying on until I feel like an idiot, except for the look on her face as she absorbs every word makes it totally worth it.
Hopefully with praise and my magical brainwashing abilities, I will still keep a bit of my hair. Holiday parties are coming up you know.

do you have kids? any special disciplining tricks you have tucked in your sleeve you want to share?
-amy points you in a crooked line

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Nov 20 2006


Published by under daily,kids,photos

Click to see a bigger version, which is even better. What a good way to start the week.

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