Dec 31, 2010


I know that you think you have WAY better things to do right now than read my blog.  But let me tell you - it's soooooooooooooooooo worth reading this.  It really really is.  Just the amount of "o's" in that "so" should have convinced you already, but in case you need more persuasion, I now present to you...


1. I'm more exciting than a barrel full of squishy piglets. 
2. And I showered today, so I actually smell better too.

3. Once I entered and won a pie eating contest - and I can tell you about it.
4. Fine, I didn't win.
5. FINE, I didn't even enter. 
6. Where does one enter a pie eating contest anyway?
7. I have played an actual game of Bunko before, which is probably the most interesting story that I can think of to tell you right now that is actually truly true.
8. At the Bunko game I had to tell my cousin not to eat the Jell-o because not all Jell-o is jiggly and sobriety friendly.
9. I kind of think it would have been funny if I had encouraged her to eat the Jell-o and then sat back and watched.
10. I kind of think it would have been funny if I never realized what was in the Jell-o so that we both ate it and then I could claim that I've been drunk, BUT ON ACCIDENT.
11. I wonder what I would be like drunk off of Jell-o?
12. More or less interesting?
13. Louder...possibly?
14. Probably just puking.
15. My college roommates and I said that we never needed alcohol to act stupid.  (It's true - we were good at being stupid ALL ON OUR OWN.)
16. And that's the story of the one time I played Bunko, but don't worry I have more to say.
17. If I didn't have anything important to say, why on earth would I be blogging at 2:11 AM?
18. Well, if you really must know, I'm blogging because I'm cleaning off my computer and there's a lot of "wait time" involved, because the worst of all worstsestes happened - I FILLED MY HARD DRIVE WITH CRAP.
19. And when I say "crap" I mean "important stuff that I need to keep on my hard drive".
20. When we bought this computer I thought, "Ooooooh-wee that's a lot of hard drive - we'll NEVER fill that!"
21. Sometimes I'm incredibly stupid.
22. Or just naive.
23. Let's go with naive.
24. So here I am with a full hard drive, and guess what else is feeling incredibly small and slow these days?  My ram.
25. Why is it even called "ram"? 
26. Does anyone know what that stands for? 
27. And why don't I have enough of it?
28. I only have about 367 programs on this thing - I should have enough ram for that, right?
29. And did you know that my computer is like 5 years old now?
30. That's a whole year past "should be dead in a shallow grave".
31. In case you were wondering why you were reading this incredibly stupid list - here's some VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION: computers are only good for 4 years.
32. It's true.  Ask a geek.  They'll tell you.  I'm right.
33. But we can't get a new computer.
34. Stupid money.....and the lack there of.
35. Also my laptop is wheezing it's last breaths and fluttering its last mechanical heartbeats - this is the laptop that is also my tablet - the one that I would pretty much DIE A HORRIBLE VOCATIONAL DEATH without. 
36. But I don't get a new laptop.
37. Stupid money.....grrr.
38. Also an external hard drive would be super (if we're talking about things I don't get to buy).
39. Nothing under a terabyte would be great.
40. 1 Terabyte = 1,000 Gigabytes.  1 Gigabyte = 1,000 Megabytes. 1 Megabyte = 1,000 Kilobytes.  And 1 Kilobyte = 1,000 Bytes.
41. Or is it Bits?
42. Who knows - we haven't been dealing with bytes/bits for like eons now.

Holy pigeons, I just reached #42 on my 42 reasons list!

That's amazing.

At yet my computer is still doing a "disk cleanup" and I still have to defrag it.

Want me to do another list?  Or should I just congratulate you on reading THE COOLEST POST EVER and let you go on your merry way?

Merry way, you say?


The End.

That's it, I swear.

What are you still doing here?  GO AWAY ALREADY.



Dec 28, 2010

the elf poo hitteth the fan

alternate title: Not a Good Way to Tell your Kids About Santa

So, Christmas.  sigh. 

Things were going per the usual, insanely busy, way but I knew we'd make it and have a great Christmas day with presents that would magically appear under the tree whether or not I had spend an entire week without sleep getting them finished in time.

Opie, however, is a thwarter. 

Thwarter: one who thwarts/hinders/slows/and quite possible RUINS CHRISTMAS.

Two Bits received an MP3 player from Santa this year.  She pretty much loves it, and hasn't really taken those headphones off since we gave them to her.  Which is saying a lot since that MP3 player was the catalyst in the whole Opie ruined Christmas story.

The story goes like this:

Opie is a challenge.  My own personal challenge.  Sometimes I think he's in cahoots with the devil to see how many times a day I can yell loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

Opie steals, lies, poops his pants, punches and is quick to top volume.  We have to lock up the pullups because he will take and hide the poopy ones thinking we won't find seven of them under his pillow.  (Yeah, Opie just turned 6 - the pooping thing is a whole challenging topic of it's own.) 

He climbs over the massive "kid-proof" gate, gets on top of my desk then takes and hides things like scissors, sharpies and staplers, then attacks things with them when we're not looking - - like his window sill or other things that are going to kick us in the financial butt we want to stop renting here. 

We have to put food at impossible heights or it will disappear.  He'll climb onto the kitchen counters to spoon sugar out of the container when I'm busy.  He may have stolen candy from the grocery store the other day - I just can't find the proof. 

Then after he does all these things he lies about them.  And then screams at me for hours.  And throws punches.  Literal punches - closed fisted.

CHALLENGE.  All capitals.

So two days before Christmas when Two Bits MP3 player went missing from inside the computer desk, behind a closed door/gate in a place that is not supposed to be accessed, it didn't take long to figure out what happened.  I tried to deny it though.  I thought, "No, I just put it somewhere else.  No, Husband must have moved it."  I search and hoped.  But my first line of thinking was correct.

After questioning Opie 3 times and starting a room-trashing search, the kid finally admitted to taking it and throwing it in the bottom of Monkey and Number Four's closet.  Under a big pile of toys.  That scratched and smashed it.

Luckily it still worked and we had it back.  Things should have been ok.  But it was Two Bit's SANTA gift.  And Two Bits and Opie had seen and played with and ran down the battery on it.  And Two Bits and Opie still firmly believed in Santa.  WITHOUT QUESTION. 

Oh the innocence.

We had to shatter it.  There were no options.  We had no choice.

I was devastated.  Opie's easy-to-anger flaw is pretty well rooted in genetics, and I have to say that I generally turn to it in times of utter devastation.  But I was so upset I completely skipped that step and went onto uncontrollable sobbing.  Which is saying a lot, since I only get to that point about twice a year.

There we were: I was sobbing, Husband was yelling and Opie was screaming, "I want to run away from home!!!"  (Which is one of his favorite phrases when he gets in trouble.)  So when we got Two Bits out of bed to tell her about Santa, I'm pretty sure she was terrified.  In fact, she didn't even say anything.  She just sat there all shell-shocked and then excused herself to go back to bed.

It's surely an experience my kids will be telling their therapists for years.

But, like I said, the MP3 player is a massive hit with Two Bits.  And after all of that Opie was in pretty rare form, trying his hardest to not let Monkey and Number Four know about Santa's fakeness.  In fact, he was doing such a good job that on Christmas Eve I said, "Uh, you do remember what we talked about last night, right?"  And he looked over at Monkey, smiled, looked back to me and said, "How Santa is real?"   And went on his merry way discussing what reindeer like to eat and how much milk to give the big guy with his cookies.

I'm just hoping that we can break the Santa news to Monkey and Number Four in a much less psyche damaging way - you know, when the next kid ruins Christmas.

Dec 23, 2010

in case I missed someone when emailing...

Merry Christmas - - from us!

p.s. Mombabe and Jen were the winners of my drawing. And now you know.

Dec 20, 2010

fat give away

Because I'm awesome, I'm giving away TWO $25 gift certificates for my stellar website Green Jello with Carrots.  (These are to cover those last minute, "oh crap I forgot to buy a gift for what's their bucket" emergencies.)

Here are some pictures of the crap we offer on our site (and when I say "crap" I mean "the awesomest products ever to exist"):
 Fun games for FHE or, you know, just for fun.

 A crazy huge amount of file folder games. (Church-y & fun ones.)

Primary talks, in color so all you have to do is print them.

 Hey look, more file folder games.

 Christmas-y stuff.

Cool stuff to use in Primary classes or for FHE.
Some other stuff.  Ok, LOTS of other stuff.  We seriously have lots and lots of stuff.

All you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite product is.  And you can have extra entries if you either follow my Green Jello with Carrots blog or "like" us on Facebook.  (Leave a comment for each entry, and don't forget to leave your email address.)

I'll be randomly choosing the winners on Wednesday at 5:00 PM MST.  And the cool thing is that you can download our products immediately so you don't have to worry about shipping, or you can print a fancy gift certificate and just give it to someone in your family, and they'll think you spent $25 on them.

Yup, awesome.

Dec 14, 2010

does this tooth make me look fat? what if we take a little off the side?

I had potato chips for breakfast. 

This is not a generally healthy practice to begin with, and it was a pretty horrible choice if I had had the goal to have a good, or even semi-decent, morning.  Because when I bit into my second breakfast chip a humongous chunk of my front top tooth broke off, leaving a huge cavernous hole that could rival the canyon in Twin Falls that Evel Knievel tried to jump over on his "skycycle" in 1974.

At least it FELT that big. (Sometimes I get a little dramatic - but it wasn't tiny, I swear.)

It didn't hurt though.  Because my front top teeth are dead anyway.

My 9th grade spring break was pretty eventful for my teeth.  I thought it would be great to learn how to skateboard that week.  (I had the skater jeans, I just needed to actually skateboard.)  So my friend and I took the only skateboard we had, which was an old skinny board that my aunt got in the 70's that rocked back and forth on its rickety old wheels.

We were only trying to jump off the sidewalk.  Not anything tricky.  Not even trying to jump ON the sidewalk.  Just off.  It seemed like a simple way to start.

Except that I forgot about my coordination problems.  And how I mostly just look like a newborn 3-legged giraffe whenever trying to do anything physical.  (I was the kid in our neighborhood that could crash -or even just fall over- on their bike just because.)

I don't think it took too many attempts before the moment my teeth were changed forever.  Instead of jumping the skateboard off the sidewalk, I just jammed the front end into the gutter, which flung me, teeth first, into the asphalt.  I'm pretty sure they were the first things to hit before I skidded up my face.

It was pretty stinking glorious.  (Of course you'll have to ask my friend, Cathy, how amazingly awesome I looked flying into the street that day.)

Luckily most of my face was saved through sheer dweebiness. 

I had glasses, which were scratched and bent horribly, but protected my eyes.  And my amazing dorky braces saved my teeth.  YAY for dorky braces.  My teeth probably would have been permanently wedged in the road if my braces didn't keep them in my mouth.  Except they were pulled out of their sockets, so I had to rush to my orthodontist where he SLOWLY pushed them back in.  (That was so much more painful than the lightening quickness in which they were yanked out.)

But before I could get to my orthodontist I had to get home, which wasn't hard since I only lived around the block.  What was hard was convincing my mom on the phone that I was bleeding from multiple places on my face and needed her to get home ASAP.  Yeah, my mom thought I was just fooling around when I told her.  I'm pretty sure I had to break out in fresh sobs to convince her that it wasn't a joke.  (Obviously I was an incredibly serious child who never made up wild stories for any reason EVER......or I did......a lot.)

So anyways.  After that I had to see an endodontist to take care of my teeth which were dead and apparently in root shock.  Every 3 months I would visit to have him yank stuff out of the canals of those teeth and jam more root stuff back in.  Basically it was like a double root canal.  Every few months. For over a year.  (Also I couldn't use the gas that is supposed to make things less stressful, because it just makes me sick.  Which I found out once when I puked at the dentist office with a fully numbed mouth - with the ENTIRE dental staff watching.)

And now I have dead, brittle, short-rooted top front teeth.  That apparently hate potato chips.  They hate them so much, in fact, they are willing to break apart and jump right out of my mouth to avoid them.

But GOOD NEWS, because while I was at the dentist office in a state of freaking-out-ed-ness I had a chance to ask about Two Bit's double set of teeth and I guess it's really not that big of deal as long as we keep them clean and the baby teeth fall out before she turns 37......or 9.  Either way, I'm pretty sure we're gonna be ok.

Well, as long as I can convince my teeth to stay in my head from now on.

Dec 12, 2010

oh man

There are a few conundrums of sorts floating around in my head.  Some of them aren't really solvable problems, just more things that deserve a loud "ack".

Every time I run errands I take Husband's car.  And pretty much every time I take Husband's car it's completely out of gas.  As in, the gas light is blaring the second the car starts, and I sit there wondering how long it's been like this, and that I'm really glad there's a gas station just around the corner.

Do you think he runs out of gas on purpose, knowing that I'll need the car next?  Probably, right?

Every morning Number Four stands in our living room, pointing her chubby little finger and screeching, "MOMMY!!!  MOMMY!!!!"  until I plug the Christmas tree lights in. 

Number Four's speech still isn't all that great, but man has she mastered the inflections of the word "mommy" to pretty much mean anything.

You know, the first time you hear your baby call you "mommy" your heart does this big flip of joy and then goes parading around the block with a banner and some trumpeters.  Then your baby figures out how to use the word as ammo against the flimsy barrier you call sanity, and it's not so awesome anymore.

At the dinner table a few nights ago we were discussing the absurd lateness of loose teeth in our family.  Husband and I were late in getting and losing teeth, but Two Bits is 7 1/2 now and not a single tooth is even slightly wiggly. 

Then this morning Two Bits comes running up to me in a hurry and says, "I was just in the bathroom looking in the mirror and LOOK!"  The she opened her mouth and guess what I saw? 

Her two bottom adult teeth growing in right behind her two firmly rooted baby teeth.

I gotta tell you I freaked out a little.  I'm still kind of freaking out because WHAT IN THE HECK?!!!  Does this happen often?  Do you know?  What are we supposed to do?  Besides, you know, freak out?

I called my mom - because that's what you do when you're freaking out - and apparently my older sister had this happen with her first adult tooth.  So thanks to faulty genes, once again my kids are mutants.  (It's a good thing no one in our extended family has one of those extra long spines that protrude away from the pelvis like a little tail.)

But in all seriousness - what should we do? 

In case you're wondering, we don't have dental insurance.  Because Husband's job is....grrrrrr.  So no benefits.  But I'm thinking that since one of Two Bit's adult teeth is like halfway grown in back there, we should probably get the baby teeth out of the way before people start noticing we have a shark daughter?

Because of the whole tooth fiasco I was explaining to my kids how and why baby teeth fall out and where the big teeth come from.

I drew diagrams.

It was amidst the tooth discussion that Husband says, "Baby teeth DO NOT have roots, Melissa!"  Husband thinks I'm a moron and loves to correct me whenever possible.  But really I'm the genius in our family because how can a grown man live 31 1/2 years and never find out that baby teeth have roots?!  Honestly, how does he think they stay in your head?

So if anyone ever asks you who's the smartest in this relationship - ME.  Definitely me. 

I always have to remind Husband that when I was in Kindergarten I was so smart that they gave me an IQ test.  I have no idea what the results actually were, but my mom tells me that they were literally in the "genius range".  And you've totally got to believe that, because I'm like the smartest person alive.  (Not even I can read that sentence without openly laughing.)

Not only am I really not the smartest person alive, because woah, I'm so not, but I'm also still a little stuck in immaturity-ville.  I was telling Husband, just tonight, that I don't feel like a grown-up.  As we were talking I was polishing off a frozen Schwan's sherbet push-up.  And right as the words "grown-up" came out of my mouth I took the last slurp of sherbet, flinging most of it all over my face and down my chin.

Accidents like this totally prove my point.

And about a month ago I had to give the opening prayer in Sacrament Meeting at church.  FYI, not by choice.  Because usually microphones and I don't get along, even when I'm trying to be mature.  

(Me + microphone = horror & stupidity.)

My mind went completely blank when I got up there.  Part of the actual prayer went like this:

"And thank you for........the weather?  uhhhhhhh......."

It really wasn't that big of a shock when they called and asked Husband to speak for 15 minutes this week and didn't even mention me.  (Not that I'm complaining.)

Dec 8, 2010

how many things can I fit into one post?

I think I have a lot to say.  And I feel like numbering this post so it sounds all important and stuff.  So here we go:

#1 - Have you heard about this yet:

'Tis cool.  Every month you get 1 of 12 special edition paintings and ideas on how to bring your family closer through dinner table conversations and lessons.

All the paintings are by Liz Lemon Swindle, who not only is a fabulous painter but an awesome person.  When I was 18 I got to listen to her speak at a fireside.  I can still remember some of the stuff she said - which is saying a lot since my brain hardly remembers ANYTHING these days.

Check it out on the details on the  Return to the Family site.

#2- Monkey got into the Early Intervention Preschool.  And might I add, FINALLY.  I 've been trying to get him in since last February.  I haven't really blogged about it because I figure I whine enough here as it is.  And sometimes frustration is better dealt with when I lock it in a cage in a brain and keep it there.  (Yeah - repressed emotions are uber healthy.)

The reason why it took so long for him to get accepted was because they have to determine everything by test scores (the joy of state-run programs).  And Monkey has always tested better than he functions.  And his scores are always just above the cut off line.  So they'd say, "Oh sorry, we can't let him come because this piece of paper says so."

But I kept trying, because I'm annoyingly persistent when I want to be.  And one day I spent 2 hours with the school psychologist filling out tests on what Monkey is like at home.  So this time when they tried to turn us away they couldn't - because there was a piece of paper that said he could be there.

Now we just need to get the bussing thing all worked out.  Of course it would help if his teachers didn't accidentally FORGET he rides the bus.  Because that's just obnoxious.  This is my daily "getting the kids to school" schedule:

8:55 Monkey gets on bus.
8:56 Other kids, who are already buckled into the running van, get driven to school (which is a different elementary school than where the preschool is held.)
Chill (or work - usually work) with just ONE KID at home (joy joy joy) for awhile.
11:55 Snag girl across the street and walk a couple blocks to bus stop.
12:05 Opie gets off kindergarten bus.
12:15 Neighbor girl gets on different school's kindergarten bus (in case you're confused- the kids around here to go to a bunch of different schools which is sort of annoying, but man am I glad we have choices).
12:16 Walk back home
12:25 Monkey gets off bus in front of house.
3:40 Pick up Two Bits in van.

Lots of busses.  But it beats having to drive everyone around!

#3 Is this post getting long enough yet?

#4 I still can't see out of my left eye.  SUPER ANNOYING.  How am I even supposed to practice Guitar Hero like this?  Or, you know, work.

#5 I'm trying to earn a few extra bucks for Christmas this year (just like every year, really.)  And I have a bunch of coloring pouches and mini dinosaurs already made (as seen in The Barrel this month).

The coloring pouches look like this:

Those specific ones are actually for my kids.  But I do have the following colors available:
• brown & blue with a star
• black & green with a star (I have two of these)
• purple with a flower
• purple & white with a flower
• blue & red with a star
• red & gray with a star
• blue & brown with a flower

They cost $8 (which includes shipping).  And if you want one in a different color, I would have to get a few more supplies so they'll cost $9.50.  And if you want to buy more than one, I'll knock off $2 on each (after the first) to make up for the combined shipping.

The mini dinosaurs that I have already made look like this:

Those exact colors and everything.  (The green one has light pink spots and the purple has blue spots - you can't see them in the picture.)

They cost $9 (including shipping) unless you want a different color, and then it will be $11.  I'll also knock $2 off the price for shipping, per extra dino that you order.

So yeah, email me if you want anything: melissabastow AT hotmail DOT com.
(I'm a dweeb and had my email address wrong before - so if you tried to email me before this line appeared in the me again.)

And that wraps it up - - that had to be a personal record for long post writing...

Dec 2, 2010

snow day

Yesterday was a "snow day".  As in, it snowed 6+ inches overnight so the school district called all the parents at 5:00 AM with a recorded message in Spanish telling them the schools were closed.

Yes, I said AT 5:00 AM.  IN SPANISH.  I'm pretty sure we still speak English in the U.S. even if it's well before dawn. 

I didn't answer my phone so my voicemail recorded it all, it was a pretty long message for such a short topic.  I mean, they could have just said, "SNOW DAY!" and all the parents would be like, "OK!"  And then we could all get back to our sleeping.  But no.  Long Spanish message.  (At 5 AM.)

A few minutes after hearing the phone go off I checked the message just in case someone had died or something (since that's pretty much the only time someone SHOULD call me that early).  I had no idea what the message said in my half-asleep state, but I coudln't go back to sleep so finally I woke up for real and listened again.  I had to listen to it like 3 times for all of my Spanish translation skills to kick in (which are fairly minimal and severely out of practice).  I finally figured it out about 3 seconds before they called again, this time with the recorded message in English.

These are the kinds of things I hate in the wee hours of the morning.  On my list of "Hateful Early Morning Sleep Disturbances" are: Kids puking in their beds  (of course, that's hateful at any hour), kids peeing in their beds, kids getting out of their beds, the house burning down and long Spanish recorded messages.  So now you know how best to annoy me.  When I'm sleeping.  At 5 AM.

I never had any snow days as a kid.  All the other school districts would close, but there we were trudging off to school through 6 feet of snow.....for 10 miles, without shoes, up-hill both ways.  Ok fine, my mom drove me.  And it was only like 1.3 miles.  And I had shoes.  And the 6 feet of snow was more like 2 1/2 feet.  BUT STILL.

We didn't enjoy the snow, however, on our first official "snow day" yesterday because I was really busy finishing this:

But it was worth it.  Especially when you all go read it.  RIGHT NOW.  Because I worked hard and you owe me.  (So fine, you don't really owe me.  But you still should go read it.)

The Barrel this month is all about Christmas!!  whooooo.  It has some super yummy recipes in it like the Magic Bar Cheesecake that my sister made up.  (She's a cheesecake wizard.)  There's also some cool Christmas crafts/homemade gifts in there.  I pretty much borrowed (stole) all of Rachel's ideas, because Rachel's awesome and let me.  Plus she has fabulous taste in crafts/homemade gifts.  And you can read some great Christmas-y stuff written by some of my very favorite bloggers like Lisa, Claire, That Girl and Kim.  And of course Barbaloot has written something hilarious, per her usual.

So yeah, that's what I did with my snow day.  And today we're just dealing with the aftermath which is mostly just slush, ice, wet jeans, late busses and the sparkling white lawns of the winterland that is now our neighborhood.

I really hate snow.