Thursday, September 29, 2011

It Can Only Get Better, Right? Or Failing, Nicole Style

The result of Livi "helping" me clean up dishes. I feel like it pretty much summed up this honestly, true story of my adventures yesterday.

Yesterday was one of those days. You know the kind, the kind where you sit back and watch it all happen and think "is this really happening?" Just one bad thing after another until you are sitting on a pile of "stuff" surveying the wreckage around you.

The day started off just right. I weighed myself on the scale and had gained 5 pounds in two days even though I have been watching what I eat. Nothing says "Good morning sunshine!" like 5 extra pounds you thought you had got rid of!

I then managed to drop my kids off late to school, the first time EVER. They made it in time for morning meeting but had to run to meet up with their lines that were already going in. Ella, being VERY conscientious of time, left the car with a screech and a moan.

Ella's wails and curses upon my head weighing heavily in my ears and the knowledge that I can't even diet correctly left me a little vulnerable. So when Livi declared from the back seat that she needed a doughnut I heartily agreed. We ran to the co-op, bought the biggest cream filled doughnut we could and I proceeded to stuff my face. Way to fail hard, Nicole.

Deciding to run some errands I went to Walmart to get deodorant (which I had run out of that morning, of course) and to see if Walmart had the USB device that is essential to make my brand new blue ray player work, but was not included in the package. It turns out that no, my Walmart does not carry it, and Oh, it's only $80 to get one online. Looking more closely, the blue ray player with built in wi-fi was only $50 more than the one I bought. Feeling a little dejected that I failed so miserably at purchasing a blue ray player that my husband had warned me we didn't need right now (yeah right, he should stay home with kids for 4 days with no spouse and no DVD player!), I left the check-out feeling like a miserable failure. Eric would never say "I told you so." but he does have a silence that seems to provoke the same emotion in me.
As I was leaving I noticed the Walmart greeter had set up the carts in a row, nicely waiting for people to grab one. I thought "Oh, I can be helpful and nice. I will put my cart in the row to help them out! Yea me!" Right as I placed the cart the greeter made a huffy noise and ran over to correct my cart placement.
Knowing I had failed to even put the cart back in its position correctly, which even elderly and special needs Walmart workers can manage, I left the store crying. Yes, actually crying. Which made me cry more, knowing I was crying for a ridiculous reason.

Putting my seat belt on, my phone rang, normally not a good thing that early in the morning. It turns out I had forgotten I had made a visiting teaching appointment and I needed to be there in all my splendid, snotty, glory in 20 minutes. Running home to let the dog out for a quick potty break I finally made it to the house 10 minutes late. Livi proceeded to literally jump off the furniture and yell at me about seating arrangements. Near the end of the visit I was left feeling a failure again since I do not have family prayer and scripture study 2 times a day like the two other ladies there.

Eric called right as I was leaving to ask if I wanted to go out to lunch at Culvers since he will be gone to Lincoln for 4 days, which was nice of him. I showed up in the worst mood possible after my wonderful morning, and proceeded to order a giant cheeseburger, large fry, and caffeinated drink, just to show my body I didn't care that it hated me.

The day followed the same vein with me not finding the shoes Ella wanted online, shortened nap times, doggy "presents" all over my carpet, missing ballet bags, alienating every living being I came into contact with, and me stuffing myself with sugary goodness until I was spent with crying, in pain with a stomach ache the likes of which I haven't had since the day after Halloween 21 years ago, and a killer headache. I finally decided to try and sleep because, heck, the next day couldn't be any worse, right?

Wish me luck!

It's Not Just Your Dog

For Jes: Your dog is not the only one that eats walls (I especially love the abandoned chew bone right next to it).
For my mom: Your dog is not the only one that steals dirty underwear.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Give To You...Houdini's Dog

For you viewing pleasure:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Eric Should Be Doing This...

Eric went down to check on the kids last night and came back up with some pictures of Playmobil toys Ethan had set up. He wrote narratives for them, showing that he is a hundred times funnier than I could ever be. He is the one who should write our blog, or draw cartoons, or write (really weird) children's books.
Animals tend to gossip behind other species' backs. Except, of course, the cows. They are too stupid.

Not a lot happens in town, but the sole bike rider always draws a crowd. He can do a wheelie! (not shown).

And my personal favorite:
After Lucy slaughtered the villagers with her bare hands, she got away with all of their provisions. She let one mother and baby live to warn others that she means business.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Not So Great Outdoors

A couple of weeks ago we decided to try camping. It is the first time we have gone as a family since Livi was born, and we thought we could handle it. Actually, Eric thought we could handle it. I threw a tantrum, and refused to be enthusiastic.

We went to a state park not too far from home, thinking that if things got too bad we could come back (actually I was thinking if things got too bad I could go back home and everyone else could enjoy their "experience").
Amazingly enough I think overall I had the most fun. I went in expecting torture (have you ever eaten with Livi at a restaurant?) but it was actually relaxing. "How so?" you may ask:Eric took care of all the food, so it was actually a break for me to just enjoy being outside. He was stressed out and declared that we were not going again for another 5 years, but I'm already itching to go again. When else can I have 4 s'mores and not feel guilty about it?

Sure, there was the crazy wind that woke us all up at 3a.m. and had us feeling like our tent was going to blow away with us in it, and Ethan popping up like a little prairie dog every 5 minutes to check and make sure we were all still there, sure Eric didn't catch any fish, sure I found my son playing with a rodent skull, but there was a lake to throw rocks in, Ethan got to catch toads (which he even picked up by himself!!!), and best of all I had the comfy, nice air mattress I demanded before I agreed to go, so I'm going to chalk this one up in the "fun" category, and next time we'll bring doughnuts for breakfast so Eric can enjoy the trip a little more!

For your cuteness quota I present "Livi and Tonks Running," ending, as all my videos do, with Livi saying "I want to see..."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Escape From Reality

I often get weird looks from people when I say that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (a very, very close second to Christmas). I even had a member of my ward lecture me a few years ago about the evils of Halloween. I get it. I know it is based on a pagan holiday, and the whole thing revolves around some not very nice stuff, but I love it anyways.

There are a couple of reasons why Halloween is so fun to me, one of which is dressing up. I love getting to pretend to be someone different for a change. I can be the Mad Hatter, or Princess Leia, even if just for an evening (or 3 some years). I love the getting ready, the stage makeup, and the general fun of just putting on something I don't normally wear.

Another reason I love Halloween is the fact the whole community celebrates together. Our kids go door to door and neighbors, friends, and even strangers give them candy...for free! Businesses have sidewalk celebrations, the zoo has an extravaganza, and the community puts on festivals, all at no cost. It is just a giant block party that we all pitch in for.

One other reason Halloween appeals to me so much was reiterated to me today. An 8 year old little girl went missing here on Wednesday. Her body was found today in a ditch and they have arrested her step-dad. I was in JoAnn's today, crying with others because that is where we found out. This is only the 4th murder we have had since we lived here, and the last violent death of a child here was in 2003. We are pretty insulated in our small town, but this reminded me that the world is scary. People can be horrible. I find it nicer to read science fiction and celebrate Halloween where the scary things are monsters, ghosts, vampires, and other things that we don't have in real life. Real life can be horrible, and sometimes I just want to escape.

I'm going to go work on my Halloween advent calendar. I'm going to make my dog's costume. I'm going to watch The Office and try and escape for just a while from thinking about that poor little girl. Hug your loved ones tonight, I know I did. Enjoy life, and enjoy escaping once in a while.

I have a video to help:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Feel Like I Should Be Concerned

Reasons this picture concerns me:
1. Livi is as good as using my ipad as I am.
2. My husband thought this was significant enough to take a photo of.
3. I didn't even notice she was sitting on me, let alone coloring on the ipad, at the time.
4. I have no sense of shame and am posting a very unflattering picture of my backside.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yips, and Skulls, and Puppy Dog Tails

Having a high maintenance puppy is a definite adjustment for me. Having an indoor dog has been an adjustment for me. Luckily she does have some redeeming characteristics (more specifically, 2):

1st: She's too little to fight me when I dress her up. Ha ha. I can't wait for Halloween. It has been cool here and she would shake when she went out so I had to buy her a sweater (yes, I bought a dog a sweater. Don't tell my ward!). She was so embarrassed in the sweater I chose she hid under the stools for over an hour. Livi thought it looked fun and decided to join her down there.2nd: She gets the cutest attack of the yips I have ever seen. When she runs she tucks her ears back and her back legs hop so she looks just like a demonic bunny going ballistic in my house. I love it! (my floor has pieces of paper all over it because she shreds anything she can get her teeth on).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Day Blues/Celebration

Bitter/sweet does not do the first day of school justice. It is more like agony/joy or depression/elation. It is so nice to have the decibel level go down a little in the house. It is so nice to not see rooms destroyed immediately after spending hours cleaning them. It is nice to be able to watch "Veronica Mars" or "Alias" while I fold laundry and not have to pause it every time someone comes in the room.

On the other hand, I miss their funny comments. Livi misses her playmates. I... guess... I miss having an excuse to watch "Phineas and Ferb." Hmmmm, I know there are more things, but it is still too close to summertime and I am very happy to have a little quiet. Maybe I'll update later.

The kids both got different teachers the day before school started, which was a fabulous thing. Both had teachers I was a little "iffy" about, but got moved into classes with teachers that are enthusiastic and better suited to my kids. Both went from classrooms with almost no friends to classes with best friends (which I'm not sure is a total positive for Ethan who has a hard time paying attention anyways).

We went shopping for first-day-of-school clothes online, which Livi immediately had to be a part of. They, all 3, looked wonderful (meaning clean and dressed, which at this point in my recovery is progress) on the first day of school. I even managed to get up in time to do hair and put on respectable clothes on myself so I could go with them that first morning. They didn't seem to really care if I was there with them though. As soon as we got on school grounds they took off running to find their friends.I do miss them. I do worry about them. I do wonder if they are learning enough, socializing well, staying safe, making good choices, and concentrating when they need to (hint hint Ethan). But really, Livi, Tonks and I are enjoying a few hours of nap time/quiet time, and we all appreciate each other more when 3:30 rolls around.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Unintentional Humor

One thing I love about having a 2 year old is the amazing amount of humor she accidentally provides. She sees the world in such a pure way, not yet influenced by social niceties or bias. This is one of my favorite clips from our trip to the Stott reunion, and I thought everyone could use a quick laugh today:

In case you can't hear, here is the transcript:
Jared: Who do you love more, the puppy or me?
Livi: The puppy, Mommy, Daddy....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tails From The Crypt(ic future)

I have never had a truly spooky experience. Eric has a story from when he was a little boy. He got out of the shower and "BOO" was written in the fog on the mirror. I know people who swear they have seen ghosts, had answers on Ouija boards or seen inanimate objects seemingly move. I don't like being scared, but I always felt like I was missing out. Well no longer. I give to you "THE WRITING ON THE SHOWER DOOR" Mwahahaha:

So it doesn't seem like very much, but I was in there for a long time shaving my legs and somehow my mind saw:
Never? Never what? Is it like the Raven which is so horrible ambiguous that everyone has a different answer? Is it just there to torment me? Could it be a "future me" coming back to impart some special wisdom that could alter my life and change history as we know it? Oh, wait...
I guess it just means I never do learn to spell correctly. Thanks a lot future me.

Stott Family Reunion, I Think...

Due to the fact I was diagnosed with viral meningitis 2 days before leaving for Utah, and was technically still suppose to be in the hospital, it is little wonder that I don't remember a lot of specifics from the trip. I remember it was pretty, I remember I had fun, and I know we came home with a dog. I hope we do it again next year so I can remember it this time (minus the dog part, we don't need another one of those). Here are some highlights that I allegedly captured:
We started the first night off with a talent show and S'mores. Yummy!

The next day we rented ATVs for a fun day of riding. Ella loved it. I couldn't go but it sounds like it was awesome!

There was a big 6 man ATV that the kids could ride in. Joan said it felt like the "Indiana Jones" ride at Disneyland. No wonder Ella loved it so much.
Eric brought his slingshot which I believe they used to try and "catch" fish. I think that is what they did, or the were just trying to create pretty ripples in the water.
A cute moment with Livi and Grandpa.