Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Glasses

Note: This is the first (and probably last) time I've put a close-up of myself on this blog.

Consider yourself warned.

I've needed new glasses for a while. Mine got crushed about a year ago, which caused the frames to get bent, which makes the lenses randomly pop out, and the frames to sit crookedly on my face.

Note: Crushed is not the correct word to use in the sentence above. If they were crushed, they probably wouldn't be wear-able. I just like to be dramatic sometimes.

Anyways, we don't have vision insurance (shocking, I know), so I've been putting it off until the money fairy dropped $300 off at my door. But, then my sister told me about this online place called Zenni Optical, and I ordered a pair from there for $12.95, lenses and all. I got them yesterday, and LOVE them!

So, if you need a new pair of glasses and the money fairy hasn't paid you a visit yet, or if you just want a back-up pair, I highly recommend them.

Note: I don't know why I look orange in the picture above. I'm just gonna go ahead and blame it on the lighting.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Art Shmart

To go along with the artist trading card swap that Adam is participating in (received his first card yesterday from New Zealand, by the way... very cool), I decided to take the opportunity to learn about art with the kids.

I've never been really 'into' art. I'm just far too left-brained to get it. It's the only class I didn't do well in, in school. Mainly because when we were told to interpret it, I could never get beyond what it literally was. You know? When I wrote, "It is a cow in a field," the teacher apparently wanted me to write, "The cow symbolizes the hope of the future" or something like that.


But, I decided I wanted my kids to be a bit more cultured than I am. Just a bit. Though I do think that Adam is even more left-brained than I am, so there's probably not too much hope.

Anyways, we checked out some fun books from the library, that I highly recommend (What Makes a Picasso a Picasso, What Makes a Rembrandt a Rembrandt, What Makes a Monet a Monet, etc.). And we've had a lot of fun learning about different artists and techniques.

However, Adam is a bit confused why there was no "What Makes a Bob Ross a Bob Ross" book.

You know the 'happy little tree' guy on PBS? Adam thinks he's the best painter ever.

Whatevs. Bob Ross is kinda cool.

Anyways, today we culminated our art learning with a trip to the Las Vegas Art Museum. Which I had been told was pretty lame. And was it ever. BUT, it was also super-cheap, so what can you expect?

The three of us had fun, though, critiquing the art, talking about how it made us feel, and wondering what the artist was thinking when he/she made it. At almost every painting, Adam would tilt his head and say, "Yeah, looks like a kid made it."

Which was fine, because most of it DID look like it had been done by a child.

And, of course, he was very disappointed in the lack of Bob Ross art.

He really, really likes Bob Ross.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tires and Speaking French

This morning when I went to get into the car to bring Adam to school, I noticed that my front tire had a huge bubble in it.

And then I burst into tears.

This prompted our apartment's maintenance worker to say something in Spanish to me, to which I stared at him stupidly before getting into the car.

Because I had no clue what he said.

See, I decided to be all different in high school, and take 3 years of French. While all of my friends were in Spanish together learning a language that they would actually use, I hung out in French class.

Thank goodness for THAT decision! Because Nevada and Arizona are simply crawling with people from France and Quebec.


So, I don't understand a lick of Spanish beyond "hola" and "tortilla", one of which probably isn't considered to be a part of Spanish vocabulary.

I take comfort in the fact, however, that I can introduce myself AND offer a plate of French fries to anyone in French.

Je m'apelle Allison. Voulez-vous les pommes frites?

Which will be super-helpful when I fulfill my lifelong dream of working at a McDonald's in Paris.


Anyway, the time that was supposed to be spent at the library turned into waiting at Discount Tire, with Grace eating goldfish crackers and me lamenting my lack of Spanish skills. Fortunately, the tire was still under warranty and was replaced for free. AND they gave me a free water.


Er, impressionnant.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Onto Happier Things... 3, to be Exact

Yeah, so I was bummed yesterday, as you can probably tell. But, no matter. Today, Mike's back at work. Adam, Grace, and I are doing laundry, cleaning, un-packing, and going grocery shopping.

Which normally wouldn't seem all that great.

BUT... it's raining and cold!

And since I grew up in Arizona where it's really hot, cold weather + rain make my abnormally happy.

We didn't really celebrate Valentine's day... we were driving, picking up our car, fixing the car, and driving some more. BUT, I actually followed through on something, and made the kids rice pillows for a little Valentine's treat.

And they couldn't have come at a better time... as now I'm pretty sure Grace has an ear infection and, well, it's cold.

Grace's hair is also making me really happy today, which I don't think is a sentence I've ever uttered/written before. Because her hair has always driven me crazy. But, over the weekend, it got cut into a cute little bob. It's so easy to manage and adorable!

So, to sum this complete randomness up: cold weather, rice pillows, and Grace's hair are making me seriously happy and getting me through the mundane tasks today.

Strange, but true.

I guess I'm easy to please.

Which is surely a sentence that Mike would never, ever utter/write.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Murphy's Law

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

I feel like that pretty much sums up my life right now.


We've had a lot of ups and downs in our marriage, but things began getting a little crazy last August. Last August, Murphy's Law came into play, medically speaking. Literally one thing happened after another. Our health insurance requires that we pay a co-pay PLUS 30-40% of everything. Which completely stinks, by the way. And in case you were wondering, the percentage that we have to pay of all of these things that have happened since August comes down to:

Bronchoscopy: $1800
ER head laceration: $825
Sprained elbow: $1050
Chest x-ray x 2: $204
Neck CT scan: $280
Urgent care head laceration: $250

And there went any future possibility of a house.

And you don't even want to know how much has been spent on regular office visits/prescriptions.

So, anyways, this past week and a half, all of these medical bills began pouring in... all at once. I've had to submit accident form after accident form, and the insurance company released all of them at the same time, once they all were approved. Having several thousand dollars of medical bills materialize overnight is enough to stress anyone out, but I was trying to get ready to go out of town/do RS stuff, and I was freaking. I told myself, "We're fine... just nothing else can go wrong."

And then on Thursday, on our way out of town for a wedding/party that we've been very much looking forward to, Murphy's Law happened upon our trip. The working car (because the other one isn't doing so well, but that's a different story) broke down just outside of Kingman. The car that Mike had just checked over the day before, that was running perfectly. We had to rent a car to finish our trip, just to have to cut it short to pick up our car, which was working, only to have it die again when we stopped 5 minutes later at the rental car agency.

Come on! Seriously?

And then today Grace woke up with pink-eye.


I know that there is adversity in all things. I know that everyone has trials. I know that. BUT, come on! Does that seem like abnormally bad luck or what?

I've been cuddling with Grace today, thinking about life. I think that I'm a good person. We read our scriptures, say our prayers, and write in our journals. Mike and I both devote a lot of time to our callings. Mike works really hard for our family, and I try to be a good wife/mom. BUT, I just have to be doing something wrong. I have to be. Because, this just seems like more than bad luck or Murphy's Law. I must need to learn something from all of this, that I'm just not. Y'know? Am I not doing enough for my calling? Do I need to read my scriptures more? Pay more fast offerings? Serve more selflessly?


Stop whining so much and look for the blessings in all of this (and really, there have been SO many)?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Just Not the Same

Tuesday Pizza Night... On a Diet.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Witches and Swearing

This picture really has nothing to do with this post. I just like it.

This morning it was very cold (40s), rainy, windy, and Mike had to work. However, him working has nothing to do with this story.

I'm over it.

Anyways, so the kids and I cuddled on the couch under a blanket, and I introduced them to the wonders of the movie, The Wizard of Oz. Which they both fell in love with, and play-acted out the rest of the day.

Grace was particularly enamored by the witch in the film. Every time she came on, she got so excited and was most disappointed when she melted at the end. All day long she tried to cackle, attempted to fly the broom, and yelled, "Grace is the witch!"

All through our afternoon errands: the dry cleaners, the library, and D.I., she chanted, "Grace is a witch," alternating it occasionally with "A-ma (Adam) is a witch" and "Mommy is a witch."

Except, it doesn't sound like that is what she's saying at all. Her "w's" are kind of quiet, and she speaks fast, so it sounds like a different word. Which rhymes with "witch" and can mean that someone is acting like a witch, but is not "witch."

If you get what I'm saying...

It's actually kind of funny. Or, it would've been if it didn't sound like she was calling her mother the b-word. Seriously got some looks today. Especially at D.I. Maybe those Mormons don't approve of swearing or something. :) Anyway, the more I tried to quiet her, the more loud she became.

So I gave up, and just let the world think that my sweet, 2-year-old blond, princess-in-pink, swears.

And I'm seriously hoping that her swearing issues disappear before we go to a family wedding this Friday.

'Cuz that could be awkward.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kids Artist Trading Card Swap

I just heard about this cool Kids Artist Trading Card Swap, and it sounds so fun. Adam is definitely in on it, and can't wait to make his cards. Make 5 artist trading cards (2.5 x 3.5" cards with your child's artwork drawn on), and mail them out to 5 kids from around the country, and get 5 back.

Is that a cool geography lesson or what?

Read more about it here.

(Deadline to be a part is 2/6... so hurry!).

Project 365: 1 Month Down

I love scrapbooking. I love blogging. But, I'm so busy that I tend to only scrapbook the big moments (birthdays, holidays, etc.) and I'm pretty far behind in that. The same for blogging. I'm busy, get behind, and tend to only record the big moments.

So, at the end of December, I began doing "Project 365."

And I'm loving it.

Basically the idea is to take one "snippet" every single day this year, add a little journaling, and put it in a scrapbook. It can be a picture, or a receipt, or a souvenir. Whatever. Something that shows something about life that day. Becky Higgins sold kits, but I missed out on those. So, while I don't know how I'm going to throw this thing together yet, I've been faithfully taking pictures, journaling, and uploading it all to Flickr. And I'm saving my receipts/recipes that I want to tuck in behind the pictures in a folder.

I just looked back on the first month, and am so happy. I've already forgotten some of the little moments that have happened that I've documented, and I love how it's allowed me to record the little bits of our life that probably wouldn't make it to my scrapbook or blog.

The pictures aren't the greatest. Some days are boring (or hard). But, I think it's something that we will all love looking back on someday. Something I wish I'd done when I first got married.

So, if you want to see pictures of our 365 so far, go here.

And if you want to read more about the concept, go here.

It's easy, it's fun, and it doesn't have to begin on January 1st. Document a year of your baby's life, or a year or marriage, or whatever. Documenting our family history is something I'm passionate about, and this is a seriously easy way to do it.

Rice Socks

Have you ever heard of a rice sock?

My kids love them. They can't sleep without them. They drag them to the park with us. And they usually make it to the breakfast table, too.

It's getting a little crazy.

(And gross).

I made one for Adam when he had an ear infection in December, and it helped him get through the first rough nights. And days.

Even those he's completely done with his ear infection, he still sleeps with a warmed rice sock every night, and a few weeks ago, Grace insisted on having one, too. They sleep cuddled with them every night.

It's just sweet.

Basically, it's an old (clean) sock filled with rice, heated in the microwave for 1 minute. We also have one in the freezer, for all of the bumps and bruises that tend to occur (a lot) with us.

I really want to make it official and make them both rice pillows using this tutorial, but I haven't found the time yet.

Maybe for Valentine's day.

They would LOVE that!