Friday, April 30, 2010

Pollyanna Day 24

This post should have happened last night, but there was just no time.  NO TIME, I say!  Thanks to my girlz who came over and hung out (and laughed) and talked (and laughed) with me last night after the kids were in bed, I learned why I should be grateful that I'm not a certain love-starved animal living in the zoo.

I'm not a giraffe.   Most people who know me already know that I'm not a giraffe.  But you probably don't know why I'm THANKFUL that I'm not a giraffe.  It's ok.  I didn't know myself, until I was enlightened last night.

It seems my friend "Jane" (name changed to protect the semi-innocent) went to the zoo as a field trip chaperon this week.  It was cold and wet on this particular day, so many of the animals were inside, including the giraffes.  I didn't know they made houses that tall, did you?

I digress.

So "Jane" observes that the giraffes are in their own little stalls, separate from one another.  The male giraffe is banging his head repeatedly against the side of his stall.  Over...and over...and over again...until he's bleeding. The female giraffe is just hanging out in the next stall, blissfully oblivious to the tantrum that's happening right next door.   When "Jane" inquires as to what in the world is wrong with this poor male giraffe, she's informed that he's...well...a bit frustrated.   Apparently, his lady friend next door was in heat, and he was none too happy about being kept from doing his manly duties.  I guess their stalls aren't really built to accommodate any sort of bumping and grinding, and it was just too darn cold to let them outside.  Gee zoo people, something tells me they wouldn't have noticed the weather.  But the thought of "Jane" having to explain such a scene of animal debauchery to those kindergartners does make me giggle a little.  Or a lot.  Actually, we laughed til we cried last night.

"Jane" explained it like this:  "It was cold and wet and miserable at the zoo that day, but all I could think was, 'At least I'm not a giraffe.'"

Indeed, Jane.  Indeed.  I'm sure we all share that sentiment.

I'd write more on this subject, but I've got to run out and get my season pass to the zoo.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pollyanna Day 23

You know how you sign your kids up for city soccer and it rains and snows and blows gale force winds for half the games but the city won't actually CANCEL a game unless someone gets struck by lightning?  Well, this isn't about that.

Soccer.  Being a soccer mom is a whole lotta work.  It sucks up a whole lotta time.  It eats up a whole lotta disposable income in the form of drive thrus and take-n-bake pizzas and gasoline and anti-depressants. BUT...

Watching my kids play their last few soccer games, some of the sport's virtues have started to shine through just a tad.  I like what my kids are learning from it:  

Set a goal.  
Run your butt off.
Work hard.
Work together.  
Run TO it, not AWAY from it.  
It's ok to want to beat the other guy, so long as you play fair.  
You may not like your opponent, but you can still play nice.
Sometimes you'll lose, but don't be a jerk.

When soccer first started,  I was worried that I wasn't going to live to see the end of the six-week-long season.  Or more likely, my CHILDREN weren't going to live to see it.  The six weeks really have flown by.  No, that's a big fat lie.  The six weeks haven't dragged like I thought they would.  "Flown by" is a bit strong of a phrase here.  And while it's been a big drain on my sanity and my energy levels, I'm grateful for the life lessons my kids are learning while playing.  

It beats the snot out of ME having to teach them these things.  That's what I'm paying the city for, right?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pollyanna Day 22

After a day of work, kids, dinner, kids, grocery shopping, kids,dishes, kids, homework, kids, laundry, kids, soccer, kids, bath night, and last but not least kids...I'm really thankful for Tylenol PM.

Nighty night.

(Snarky 'nuff for ya, Tam?)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pollyanna Day 21

I guess that means I've kept this up for three whole weeks now.   I'm seriously impressing myself.

If you grow up in the Mormon church, there are certain songs that you sing so often as a small child and know so well by the age of twelve that you can sing them in your sleep...while standing on your head...while juggling flashlights.   One of them is a song about blossoming trees.

Popcorn popping.  

I looked out the window and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.
Spring had brought me such a nice surprise...
blossoms popping right before my eyes.

I can take an armful and make a treat...
a popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.

It wasn't really so, but it seemed to me...
popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

Living nearly my entire life in the desert, I never really picked up on the significance of this song.  In Arizona, things go from brown to green.  Not much drama or fanfare (or popping) involved in the process.

Now, being in a place with four actual seasons,  I get it.  I get what this little ditty has been trying to convey all these years.  Trees come to life in the spring!  So do flowers and bushes and plants and even grass.

This is my second spring here and I think I'm more in awe this time around than I was last year.  What a blessing it is, after enduring a long, cold winter when everything goes gray and dormant, to see every color of the rainbow  popping up on lawns and in parks almost overnight.

Tulips are my new favorites.  My daughter said to me the other day, "Mommy, I always thought tulips were just pretend; that they were just made-up flowers in movies.  I didn't think they really existed."   How sad is the life of a desert rat?   The poor kid thought tulips were the Easter Bunny of the plant kingdom.

I love spring in my new home.  Everything is green and vibrant with color.  The pictures above are of a tree in my back yard.  It looks a lot like popcorn popping, don't you think?

I suddenly feel like writing a song...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pollyanna Day 20

I have a new morning routine.

Pomegranate Craisins.   For about the last couple of years now, I've performed the same morning ritual:  Get up, throw on the workout clothes and sneakers, grab my water bottle and a handful of granola along with a handful of cherry flavored Craisins.  It's a yummy little taste sensation that provides just enough sustinence to keep me from getting light-headed and passing out during my workout.  .  

So last week I'm doing my shopping and I go to grab my usual week's supply of these goodies when something new catches my eye:  POMEGRANATE flavored Craisins.   Ooh.  I was intrigued.  It took me a few minutes to get up the courage to take them off the shelf and put them in my cart.  Cherry Craisins and I, after all, had been entangled in a two year long love affair.  This was a big step for me.  I'm so glad I made the switch.   Pomegranate is the bomb-diggity!   Sorry, cherry, but it was time for a change.  

p.s.  I highly recommend these tasty snacks.  A word of caution:  one handful at a time is plenty.  I probably don't need to explain the effects on your tummy when you OD on dehydrated fruit.   If you don't see where I'm going with this, do yourself a favor and just take my word for it. time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pollyanna Day 19

I'm almost out of the teens!  Final stretch, here I come!

Oceans.  Last year, when Disney put out their somewhat condensed version of the Discovery series, Planet Earth, I rounded up the kids and headed to the theater.  I had seen parts of the documentary on TV, and I thought it would be way cool to check it out on the big screen.  I was not disappointed.  There were parts of that film that actually caused a medium sized lump to form in my throat.  Yes, the cinematography is amazing and it was beautifully done, but what wows me is our planet.  Earth is such a super star.

Disney's follow-up to that film, landing conveniently again on Earth Day week, is another triumph.  I took the kids to see Oceans today (after a bad experience with mexican food at Los Hermanos--hate that place).   I can't say I loved this one as much as I did the first, but there were one or two of those lump-in-the-throat moments.   Most of us never experience more of the ocean than some knee deep frolicking on the shore.  I love how, through the wonders of modern technological advances, we can experience things that we'd likely never have the chance to otherwise.   There was, of course, the occasional force-feeding of environmental propaganda, with the big bad humans being painted as the destroyers of all things earthly and pristine.  But I anticipated it and took it with the usual grain of salt (the organic variety, of course).   Overall I say, good job, Disney.  Can't wait for the one about the big cats next year, the one with lions eating smaller, vulnerable animals.   Now that's what I'm talkin 'bout.

Men with stubble.  Every day as I drive through town, I pass one gargantuan diesel pickup truck after another.  More often than not, they're pulling flat bed trailers loaded up with quads or snowmobiles or jet skis.  It's always the same kinda man driving these trucks:  the MANLY man, complete with camouflage cap and a good 48 hours' worth of stubbly beard growth.  These men are HOT.  Hot, I say.  There's no shortage of  outdoor activities where I live.  We've got mountains, lakes, rivers, canyons, and waterfalls.  This means hunting, fishing, hunting, hiking, hunting, skiing, and also hunting.   This translates further to gun racks and expensive boy toys being paraded around on flatbed trailers.

I'm not even a little enamored with all the metrosexualized mama's boys running around town these days.   Please forgive me, but I'm inclined to post yet another set of song lyrics that say it better than I ever could:

These days there's dudes gettin' facials
Manicured, waxed and botoxed;
With deep spray-on tans and creamy lotiony hands
You can't grip a tacklebox

With all of these men linin' up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized
I don't highlight my hair;
I've still got a pair;
Yeah honey, I'm still a guy

Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked
There's a gun in my truck
Oh thank God...I'm still a guy 

This song makes me giggle right out loud every time I hear it.  Last night as I was headed home in my sexy mom minivan, I got stuck behind a very long caravan of what I later found out were SWAT team hell week participants.  Fire trucks, unmarked police cars, sheriff's department vehicles, and lots of guys in camo gear being tormented by their peers and pushed to physical limits (they were behind the fire trucks and they were pushing them up the street, for crying out loud!).  Of course, it didn't look like any of them had shaved in days.  I've never seen so much stubble in one place.  So to all of you manly, testosterone-oozing, fuzzy-faced men driving around town, please accept my gratitude for providing all the eye candy.    I, for one, am glad you're still guys.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pollyanna Day 18

Day 18.  Pollyanna's back.

Friends who know me (and still like me).  I had a hard, hard night with my kids a couple of nights ago.  My patience had been wearing thinner and thinner over the course of several days, and on this particular evening, I lost it.  My kids paid the price and so did I.  The next morning, I did what I often do when I'm struggling with my mommy duties and I contacted a friend who always knows what to do in these situations.  This is a friend who has talked me down from more ledges than I can even begin to count over the last few years.  I am so very grateful for people in my life who know me and understand me (or who at least try to pretend to understand me) and who are always thoughtful enough to say the things that will help ME at that particular moment, rather than throwing the usual cliches at me.  "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, " or "When you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on," or "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger."   All lovely sentiments, I suppose, but hearing these things from a friend doesn't exactly make me feel like he/she is in tune with my specific struggles in those specific moments.   The friends who "get" me because they've TAKEN THE TIME to "get" me are the ones who save my life on a daily basis.   This makes me think of a song I like a lot.  I'm going to risk being labeled a cheeseball and post the lyrics here:

Sometimes I swear, I don't know if I'm comin' or goin'
But you always say something without even knowin'
That I'm hangin' on to your words with all of my might and it's all right
Yeah, I'm all right...for one more night-
Every day...

You save my life

I'm a better person for all that you've taught me and my family is blessed every day for my knowing you.  I'm forever grateful for your love and friendship in my life.

The beginning of the end.  I work for a major university.  Yesterday was graduation day.  Graduation day is so fan-flippin-tastic.  As I left campus after work, I couldn't help but smile as I looked around.  I saw proud parents walking along sidewalks with their cap-and-gown-adorned sons and daughters.   I saw the droves of graduates lining up outside campus to have their parents snap their pictures in front of the big signs at the entrance of the university before they made their way to graduation ceremonies.  The face of accomplishment truly is beautiful.  There's something about seeing someone work hard to achieve a goal--or a dream--then being there to see them cross the finish line and do their victory dance in the end zone.  Ok, that was a reference to two completely unrelated sports, but you see where I'm going with this.  Graduation day just makes me happy.   I'm not a professor, but I do work in student outreach, so in some ways, I feel like my little babies have grown up and conquered the world.   Go get 'em, my little lambkins.  

Mom.  My mom moved here about a month or so ago.  We are all so glad she finally decided to make her way out of the desert and into the promised land (sorry, couldn't resist).  I have no doubt that she probably feels pulled in a thousand different directions because now that she's here...well...FREE BABYSITTING!  For all of us!  She watched my kids for me today so I could go into work and I just want her to know that I appreciate her. Whenever she's been here, my kids always come home, look around the house, and say, "Oh, Nanna's been here."  She washes and folds clothes, vacuums, cleans the kitchen, and generally straightens up around the house.  She doesn't have to, but I'm grateful to her for her efforts to make my day a little easier when she visits.    Thanks, mom.  We love you!

The Anti-Pollyanna

I'm shifting from Pollyanna mode for a moment to gripe about something.

I don't have much time for TV anymore, but when I get up early to do my workout every morning, I usually flip the TV on just to help the time pass if I'm on my bike.  I keep seeing this pet food commercial that's starting to get on my nerves a little.

I've not been shy in the past when it comes to writing about my lack of affection for furry creatures.  I'm not a hater, I just don't love them, ok?  I would never dream of abusing an animal, BUT:  They do not ride in a car with me.  They do not sleep in my bed or sit at my dinner table.  And  I do NOT don them with sweaters and hair bows.  So now that we're clear on that, the commercial...

It's for a new refrigerated pet food.  HUH?  Really, pet food people?  The lady doing the voice-over says something like, "You wouldn't feed dry, boring food to your family.  Why feed it to your pet?"   Why indeed.  Hmm, let me think on this for a second.

Because my family is...well...HUMAN.  Never once have I seen any of my children lick their bungholes clean.  Nor has any one of them ever asked me if they could have some raw roadkill for a snack.  From what I've seen, we humans just seem to have higher culinary standards than our animal kingdom counterparts.   I refer you to my post about my friend's cat who ate her bird on Christmas morning.  Pretty sure the little guy wasn't refrigerated...or cooked.  No seasonings.  No hollandaise sauce.  Just raw poultry, feathers 'n all.   So contrary to the line of hooey that this ad is trying to sell me, it seems like a nice bowl of dry, room-temperature kibble would be considered a gourmet feast by a creature who might otherwise be happy getting his dinner from the bottom of a trash can laden with egg shells and poopy diapers.

I guess I just never cease to be amazed at how there can be people struggling every day, not knowing where their next meal is coming from, while others are throwing down their disposable income for something that can be "found in your grocer's pet food refrigerator aisle."   I wasn't able to find anything online that reveals the actual cost of these revolutionary new pet products, but I'm guessing they ain't cheap.  

Gripe session complete.  

Pollyanna will be back, as soon as she's finished whipping up some glazed salmon with mint and cucumber slaw.  It's her cat's favorite, after all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pollyanna Day 17

It was going to happen at some point.

Tonight is the cop-out post.

My bed.  I love my wonderful king sized bed with the 80-lb. memory foam on top.  I love it so much that I'm going to visit it right now.

Rest assured, I have lots of thankful items on my list for the coming days.  But tonight, it's all about getting my six solid hours.

Nighty night.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pollyanna Day 16

Short and sweet tonight.

Thunderstorms.  We had a few today. I love the sound of the sky cracking and rumbling in the distance.  Arizona may have the best thunderstorms of any state in the U.S.  I think thunderstorms are one of three things I actually miss about living there.

The last few hours with my children has been just short of unbearable.  This is the best I can do tonight.  I promised myself thirty days of Pollyanna, but tonight I'm letting myself off the hook and settling for Eeyore.  It's still Disney, right?  I'm in the realm.  Same neighborhood, different block.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pollyanna Day 15

Day 15.  Halfway done.  I thought this would be much, much harder than it actually has been.  I like forcing myself to write a little every day.  Two words:  cheap. therapy.

No this is not my child and no I was nowhere NEAR this child when this picture was taken.  You can stop dialing the authorities right now.  It wasn't me.  I'm not responsible.  I'm only using it for entertainment after the fact.  

Grown-up time outs.  Mommies, I think you'll relate to this one.   Just a few minutes ago, my darling three year old threw one of his all-too-frequent-as-of-late mini tantrums.  This time, it was over the fact that I wanted to give him a handful of crackers in a bowl for a snack, while his idea was for me to hand him the box and let him go to town.  I don't think so.  As a result of this momentary meltdown, he was exiled to the time out corner.  Three minutes of utter torture.  No contact with anyone in the house.  No TV.  No outside play.  No speaking or being spoken to.  For three. whole. minutes.

My question is, at what point in our lives does time out morph from being a form of agonizing punishment to being something we seek after like the Hope Diamond?  I did something today that I have needed to do for a long, long, long time.   I spent a day all by myself.  No kids needing my services every second of every minute all day long.  No work (sorry, work).  No talking to anyone (sorry, anyone).  Just me, the laundry, my mop, a good book, and the sunshine.   Ok, so it wasn't exactly a cruise on the Mexican Riviera, but it may as well have been.  I got things done that have needed being done for a long time.  And I got them done without interruption.  I went to the store BY MYSELF.  I sat out in the sun BY MYSELF (unless you count the book).  I watched Law and Order: SVU BY MYSELF, following the plot from start to finish because I could actually hear the TV.  Don't judge me.  I love that show.  I'm not saying for sure, but I may have the tiniest of a girl crush on detective Benson.

Yeah, that's Olivia Benson.  I said don't judge me.

So today, now that my kids are home and my time out has come to a tragic but inevitable end as we prep for two soccer games and something-or-other at the school later tonight, I'm feeling thankful for alone time.  And even though I'll pay the price later, since it means working on Friday when I don't usually have to, being cut off from the outside world for the better part of a day was simply magnificent.

I don't care what my three year old says.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pollyanna Day 14

With the sun showing itself more frequently these days, it's inevitably time to remove the layers and start showing a little more skin.  Sigh...REALLY. BIG. SIGH...  So today, I'm feeling the fake tan love.

Jergens Natural Glow Lotion.  Every spring, this stuff becomes my new BFF.  Well, for a few weeks anyway.  What can I say?  I'm not very loyal.   A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on my couch watching a movie with my kids, when I noticed my bare foot sticking out of the bottom of my dark-colored pants.  The bleached out tone of my skin contrasted against the blackness of my clothes was reminding me of something, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was.  Then it hit me. You know those little plastic moons and stars you can buy to hang from your kids'  bedroom ceiling, so that when you turn off the lights, the room is instantly transformed into a tiny little solar system?   You know that sort of greenish-white glow they take on when the lights go out?  That was it!  That was the color of my foot.  I was sure that if we had lost power at that moment, it would have been perfectly all right, because we could have easily followed the glowing appendage protruding from my pant leg, which was emitting enough light to rival a Studio 54 disco ball.  So, you see, there's pasty white skin, then there's bright-enough-to-read-a-book-by-it skin.  Mine was definitely the latter.   But no more.  I busted out my Jergens and I've ramped it up to a lovely shade of ashen.  This stuff works.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pollyanna Day 13

Is it really day 13?  I'm tired today, and feeling a little too lazy to even go back and look at the last post so I can know for sure.  We'll just call it 13 for fun.

Yesterday, I mentioned my gratitude for the good men of my church and neighborhood.  Today, it's the ladies' turn.

Perfectly Imperfect Women.  Today at church, I was having a conversation with a friend about how hard we women--especially moms--can be on ourselves.  We rarely give ourselves enough credit.  On the contrary, we can usually be found tearing ourselves down, and in a way that we would NEVER tolerate if someone ELSE were doing it to us.  If you're a Christian woman/mom, you can pretty much quadruple the self-loathing factor.  We have a way of convincing ourselves that nothing we ever do is good enough or Godly enough.  So as I was discussing this with my friend, I commented (rather sarcastically--yeah, I know, shocker) that I was stunned to hear her say that she herself is not perfect.  At that point, because she apparently found that notion to be quite hilarious, she blurted out a phrase containing a word that you don't often hear in church, then was instantly horrified with herself for letting it slip out so easily.  We had a very long, hard laugh over this little incident.  Moments like these make me grateful for all the great women around me who choose not to take themselves too seriously.  More importantly, they get it.  They get that we are all imperfect people just struggling to make it through each day without breaking down and using our children as human pinatas.  It's a tough world out there, girls.  And while we're technically supposed to be striving to make our homes a haven, more often than not, circus side show is as good as it gets.  Stop fighting it.  Just grab some cotton candy and enjoy the elephant ride.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pollyanna Day 12

Busy day.  This will be short. Sorta.

Today, it's all about the lawn.

Good men.  I live in a neighborhood filled with good, decent men.  I was out in my front yard doing a little clean-up work this morning, when a couple of neighbors/fellow church-goers pulled up in a truck and said, "Hey there, we're just going around turning people's sprinklers on for them for the season."  Translation:  "Hey there, sad single lady with no man around, we know you're a landscape-tard (True Story.  I am.), so we're here to save your lawn."  Can I just say that I love these men?  Now, to all the neighborhood wives who may be reading this, please do not freak.  I mean that in the most non-romantic kinda way.  I love them like you love your mechanic or your gay hairstylist.  Ok?   Side bar:  If your husband IS your mechanic, then disregard what I just said.  And if your husband is a gay hairstylist, well, you've got bigger problems than the lonely neighbor lady and her sprinklers.   But in all seriousness, I'm so thankful for good men who are unselfish with their time and energies, who willingly give of both to make sure a sad single girl like me has a pretty green lawn and clean furnace filters.

Landlords.  My. landlords. ROCK.  Period.  I live in the cutest little house in the cutest little neighborhood, and I adore the people who rent to me.  Do you know what they do for me?  They MOW MY LAWN.  Front and back.  Every week.    They are so, so kind.  They don't want me to have to worry about it. Again, I think it's that poor, pitiful single mom thing that's working for me here.  I'm so not complaining.  I took my kids to the park to play and have a picnic today, and when I came back, my lawn had those pretty diagonal tracks all over it.  I knew the landlords had been here working their magic.  If I needed to do the yard work, I certainly could.  But it's one of those small blessings to know I don't have to think about it.  It's taken care of.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pollyanna Day 11

Today's gems are a bit random.  You're probably asking yourself how that's different from the other ten days.  Good point.  Read on:

Special Deliveries.  I ordered a book the other day from  The friend who recommended it to me (love you, Erin) strongly urges others to patronize local businesses and not send their hard-earned dollars to the big dot-commers, but...well...I can't help myself.  I love getting packages.  And even when I go online, punch in my address, and pay for the darn thing myself, I'm still surprised when the cute little brown package shows up on my doorstep a couple of days later.  "Why, lookie here.  Somebody sent me something!  I wonder what it could be."   So yesterday my unexpected package arrived and I was so excited...and surprised!   In case you wanna know, the author is Laurie Notaro and the book is called, I Love Everyone (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl.  Check out all her books here.   Or visit her website  She rocks.  And so do little brown packages (that aren't ticking).

Politically incorrect toilets.  Huh?  Nope, do not adjust your internet.  I said "politically incorrect toilets."  I would like to meet the tree-hugging, one-square-of-tissue-per-wipe whackadoo who thought it would be a good idea to invent something called a low-flow toilet.  Ever tried to flush something other than urine down one of these environmentally friendly doohickeys?  Good luck with that.  My house is new enough that I think I may be the victim of this cruel creation that probably had its beginnings in Al Gore's pretend global warming research lab.  In other words, I think my master bath toilet is one of those low-flow gadgets.  I'll spare you the details as to how I've drawn this conclusion, but let's just say I'd love to thank Al and his minions personally by paying a visit to them and using their low-flow toilets (though I doubt Al has one) about an hour or so after eating a giant plate full of linguine.  

I guess I can't really blame them.  These are probably the same people eating wheat grass and tofu for every meal.  I wonder if they've ever even SEEN a brick of cheese...or a Twinkie.  They probably don't expel anything larger than a rabbit pellet on any given day anyway.  So for them, I guess those low-flow toilets do the job.  Not for the rest of us, Al.  Not for the rest of us.  I'll take a 13 golf ball flusher, thank you very much.
I'm wondering, incidentally, exactly how much water am I conserving with these PC toilets when I have to flush them three times in order to clear the water?  I'm just askin...

Taco Rides.  Don't know what a taco ride is?  Well, technically, neither do I.  Click here for the Facebook page if you really want to know more about it.  Here's what I DO know:  It involves people in Nebraska or Iowa or both or something hopping on bikes on Thursdays and riding 10 miles to eat tacos, then riding back.  Why in the world would a Utah girl care about a bunch of bike-riding taco-eaters in the prairie lands, you might ask?  Let's just say that one of those bikers is a "friend" of mine who happens to have THE BEST, rock-hard thighs of any man I know.  And I do believe that those beefy hunks of man-thighs that I so love to pinch are mainly the result of lots of bike riding.  Taco rides included.  And for the record, he didn't think I could find a way to worm taco rides into my Pollyanna posts. Ha. Guess I showed him.  Really, what's NOT to be thankful for here?  Mexican food and sexy legs...does it GET any better?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pollyanna day 10

Yeah, that's right.  We're in the double digits now.  Day TEN.  T--E--N.  I really never saw myself being so consistent with this project.  Look at me go!

Stuff I'm glad about today (and don't be misled by the photo, this is not a cooking post--have you MET me?):

Child Protective Services.  This morning was a pretty typical morning at my house.  Up at 4:30-ish.  Worked out, showered, banged on the walls to make kids get out of bed, made lunches, banged on the walls some more, made breakfast, banged on walls, got myself ready, pretended I couldn't hear my boys screaming and crying and trying to kill each other via kicks to one another's groins, and fought nonstop with a seven year old who believes her sole purpose on this planet is to make her mommy cry on a daily basis.  So far so good, incidentally.  She's fulfilling her destiny quite well to this point.  As I stood in my bathroom feeling depressed over all the stuff my makeup wasn't hiding (like my hips, for example), I looked at the wooden spoon sitting on my bathroom counter, the one I carry around with me a lot lately to discourage bad behavior in certain family members. It's merely a deterrent, I swear.  I thought to myself how thankful I am that there are laws and entities in place to discourage bad behavior in MOMS.  I mean the kind of behavior that involves burying children in back yards or eBaying them.  This could have been the morning I made the headlines with that wooden spoon--or something larger and heavier, except I remembered that I'd likely get in trouble, and prison gray really isn't my color.  Maybe it's my CHILDREN who should be thankful today.

Some of you may be gasping at the notion that a mommy could have these thoughts, but please, just get over yourselves.  You've had them.  You're just not brave or dumb enough to write about them.  I am.  So there.

My microwave.  My mom was over the other day.  She just moved and was consequently without a microwave for a few days.  She mentioned how she didn't realize how much she used it until she didn't have it.  Amen, my sistah (or muthah).  How in the world did anyone ever survive without this marvelous invention?  I guess when they made their corn dogs and chicken nuggets and fish sticks, they actually had to heat up the oven.  How horribly primitive.

Ok, so it was a LITTLE about cooking.  Arguably so.  There are some non-believers who don't consider using a microwave to be real "cooking."  Probably the same people who don't consider corn dogs and chicken nuggets and fish sticks to be real "food."  Whatever.  Suddenly I'm hungry.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pollyanna Day 9

I like this little experiment.  I like how it forces me to think about the little everyday things that make life a tiny bit better.  So in that spirit...

My flat iron.  I have just plain awful hair.  Sometimes, if I don't do anything with it, it takes on that "I was just burned in a fire" look.   Sure, it's got natural wave, but in all the wrong places and in all the wrong directions.  I remember (back in the day) when I heard how my cousin's new wife liked to put her hair on an ironing board and straighten it with an iron.  Yeah, the kind you use to de-wrinkle your clothes.  I was tempted to try this.  The problem with that, though, is that I REALLY hate ironing...of all kinds.  I don't bust out an ironing board for my skirts, why would I do it for my hair?  If only I could use the clothes dryer to iron my hair like I do my clothes.  Now  THERE's a briliant idea. can imagine my sheer delight when some genius of a human being invented a tiny little hair-ironing device you could hold in one hand--no ironing board required.  As we say in Facebook land, "LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE!"  I am SO very thankful for my flat iron.

My car heater.  I guess this really should have gone on yesterday's list, experiment, my rules.  Once again, after a lovely and warm weekend in St. George, I spent a hellish evening at my kids' soccer games.  We have yet to have a game...or a practice, for that matter...where it's not windy and ridiculously cold.  I'm hopeful for today's game.  So far, sunny and 61 is the forecast.  Glorious!  Annnnyway...all I could think about yesterday as I was freezing off on the sidelines, and fighting with a three year old who has no ability whatsoever to restrain his irritability, was how I could not wait to get in my car and turn on the heater. It's a small modern-day convenience, but it means an awful lot when you're fighting with four very cold, wet kids who do NOT care how miserable they're making you by being miserable.  It's just me, me, me all the time. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pollyanna Day 8

I must say I never thought I'd be consistent enough to make it to day THREE, let alone day 8.  I'm patting myself on the back as we speak.

A couple of things I'm feeling warm and fuzzy about right now:

Garage door openers. Think about it for a minute.  If you have a garage, how much simpler is your life because of that little remote with the magic button on it?  I'm a soccer mom now...for a few more weeks anyway.  I'm in the car, out of the car, backing out, pulling in, coming, going, constantly.  I love that I can just push a button and the door opens and I'm in...or out.  I think having to get out of my car thirty times a day to open and shut the garage door would probably alter my mood, and not in a good way.  I wonder how they managed back in the Little House on the Prairie days, you know, when they had to get out of their wagons to open the barn door in between soccer games.  What a jip.

Snow.  It makes me appreciate the warm, sunny days.  That's all I'm going to say about that, because certain people who live around here tend to get hostile with me when I start speaking positively about snow.  So I won't. Starting now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pollyanna Days 6 and 7

As I said on day 5, I'm doubling up Sunday and Monday, since we were out of town and I was purposely ignoring the internet.

The Sun. Warm, sunny, balmy, 80 degree weather.  And a hotel swimming pool.  I took the kids out of town to someplace much warmer.  It was simply divine.  I swam with the kids, then I watched them swim while I worked on minimizing my pastiness.  (It's just too soon to call it a tan.  I am WHITE, people.  Freakishly WHITE!).  I loved being able to just sit outside in the sun for a while, with nothing to worry about except for the possibility of three of my four kids drowning.  Hallie's my only swimmer.  Livvi's improving.  The other two need work.

Hotel Housekeeping.  The kids thought I was a little weird when we came back to our room on Saturday and I became positively giddy when I saw the crisply-made beds and fluffy clean towels which had magically appeared in our room during our absence.   Kids.  They don't know anything.  Moms,  I know you get it.  Just the idea that I get to climb into a fresh bed that *I* did not have to make, and I get to dry off with towels washed and dryed and folded by SOMEONE else...Oh, I'm getting dizzy thinking about it even now.   Did I mention they emptied the trash, too?  It almost makes up for the Hefty bag full of laundry I brought home from the trip--which, incidentally, will NOT be done by someone else.  Ok, dizzy spell officially killed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pollyanna Day 5

I'm in the midst of frantically trying to get four kids plus me out the door for a mini vacation to someplace warmer.  Along those lines, I'm thankful for a couple of things:

Flip flops.  The longer winter goes on, the more I forget how simple it is to dress kids in the spring/summer months.  Going outside in winter is a major event.  Pants, long sleeve shirt, socks, hat, gloves, jacket, even snow boots at times.  I love it when the temps warm up and it takes 30 seconds to throw on the shorts and FLIP FLOPS! No putting on socks and tying sneakers!  I'm all about simplifying.   Not to mention the perpetual pile of the aforementioned winter gear that is a permanent part of my entry way decor for a good five months or more.  They come in, take it off, and leave it. And I get to the point where I just don't care.  I love it when the pile goes bye-bye.

Diapers.  I'm not in love with the idea that I have a near-four-year-old who knows how to use the toilet but refuses to do it.  It's part of his wonderfully stubborn personality.  He is on a mission to remain the baby and no amount of bribing or threatening has helped us on this issue.  BUT...or in this case, maybe much as I am sick to death of changing and BUYING his diapers, I shudder to think what my life would be like without them.  You know those crazy old ladies whose homes get raided by the health department and animal control because she's got 67 cats in her house, and all the feces and urine that come with them?  That's pretty much the kind of scenario I imagine when I think of the damage my little man could do without the diaper barrier.  So, while I know there will eventually come a glorious day when he gives in to being civilized like the rest of us potty poopers, for now, the diapers are better than the alternative.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pollyanna Day 4

I'm tired.  More like exhausted.  So, as for what I'm thankful for today:

It's over.  This week, the insanely busy winter semester, the annual department awards luncheon of which I am in charge (aka, the bane of my existence over the last 3 months).  All of it's over and I'm headed out of town with my kids to end their spring break on a happy note and  hopefully recharge my battery a bit.  My children have spent the last couple of hours beating each other up and playing "Who can make a sibling cry first by annoying the crap out of them?"  Gosh oh gee how I love that game.  Time to get out of town.  Poolside and 80 degrees:  Here. I. Come.

p.s.  On that note, I'll have to write down my Pollyanna items on actual paper with an actual pen over the next couple of days and catch up when I return on Monday night.  I won't have a computer with me and I don't plan to do much blogging (translation:  ANY blogging) while I'm doing my battery recharging business.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pollyanna Day 3

This weather makes me happy.  After a seemingly endless string of snowy, cold, wet, cold, gray, COLD days over the last few weeks, we're finally on our second day in a row of sunny and over 60.  It is absolutely gorgeous outside today.  I want to hurry with this post so I can get outside and enjoy it.  Today I'm feeling more thankful than usual for:

Mount Timpanogos.  I love this mountain in all its snow covered glory.  I especially love it on days like today when the sun makes the snow so bright that it almost hurts my eyes to look at it.  Add to that the incredibly bright blue, CLOUDLESS sky that serves as the backdrop and it's all I can do to avoid crashing my car just so I can stare at it while driving.  The sky is so clear and blue, and the mountain is so very white, the contrast almost makes it appear fake.  Like someone drew the mountain on bright sky-blue paper.  I love it.

Communication.  It's not that I'm thankful that it exists so much as I'm thankful I know how to do it.  I'm grateful for the power of words.  When used properly, they can move, teach, inspire, soothe, and change.  As I've focused more lately on writing, I'm feeling the significance of my "gift."  (Sorry to toot my own horn, but I can own this one).  Recently I've had some problems I needed to address, and I've been able to use the power of my words to help create the outcomes I wanted and needed.  I'm grateful that I can sit down and collect my thoughts and translate them into effective communication.  Besides, most of you already know about my love affair with the English language.

Sentences good.  Paragraphs good.  Alphabet goooooood.

And Thursday makes three.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pollyanna Day 2

I'm doing it.  I'm actually doing it.  Two days in a row posting on my blog.  I know there are 28 more to go, but I'm feeling a little proud of myself at the moment.  I'm going to pause briefly to revel.


In no particular order, the things I'm feeling thankful for today:

Security cameras.  So I left my office for a few minutes today, as I often do throughout the day to make copies or answer mother nature's call, or take a cigarette break (just making sure you're paying attention).  When I came back, after being gone for about 15 minutes, my office door was locked.  I thought to myself, "Strange, I know I didn't lock my door, but hmmm, maybe I did."  My next thought was that my little brother was in there hanging out.  He's a student and he often comes to my office to hang out in between classes.  He's been known to go in and lock the door if I'm not around when he gets there.  He thinks it's funny to lock me out of my own office.  Ha. Ha. Ha.   So after jiggling the handle a few times, my door opens from inside, and I see a man I don't recognize.  Never seen him before in my life, as a matter of fact.  He starts hemming and hawing and apologizing, saying over and over that he was looking for so n so's office.  I point him in the right direction, at which point he proceeds to walk away---in the OTHER direction.  I thought it was all very weird (and the guy was way creepy), but wasn't terribly alarmed.  Nevertheless, I told somebody about it.  That somebody watched the security tapes, and from those tapes, it appeared that the man had cased the office first (checked to see if anyone was in there), gone and put his things down in another room, then come back into my office, locking himself in and me out.   Next thing I knew, the police were there taking a report from me.  Nothing seemed to be missing.  The guy was apparently only in there for less than a minute before I came back.  Nice.  Thank you, security cameras.  We got a perfect shot of his face as he walked down the hall a few minutes later.

My kids' sense of humor.  My kids are awesome.  I'm sure yours are, too, but mine really are.  I know kids say the darndest things, but my kids have a seriously wicked wit about them.  They can hang with all the best movies and keep right up...Young Frankenstein, Nacho Libre (I know, Erin, you hate that movie), Princess Bride, you name it.  I can say something completely tongue in cheek and my kids will read the sarcasm in an instant.  I love that they inherited their humor from me.   Whether you think I'm funny or not (if not, I don't really want to hear about it), it's great to me that my kids think so and they can laugh at...uh...with me without missing a beat.  Who cares if the rest of the world thinks I'm an idiot?

Drive thru convenience stores.  I need a diet pepsi and I need it now.  What's that you say?  I can drive up to a window and ask for 32 ounces of fizzy splendor and they'll hand it to me without my so much ever having to turn off my car and get out?  SHUT! UP!  For you native Utahns who don't get out much, note that this is not the norm out there in...well...the REST OF the world!  I come from a place other than here, and I'm telling you now, they don't have such a marvelous set-up in that place.  You have to park in front of the store, get out of your car, walk inside, and fill your own stinking cup with ice and beverage.  I don't know who initially came up with this concept of convenience stores for the lazier-than-lazy, but that person needs to run for president.  Of the United States.  There, I said it.

And there you have it.  Day two.  This is fun.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Deeeeep Breath...

No more procrastinating.  I'm just gonna do it.  I'm kiping this idea from my awesomer-than-awesome friend, Jenn.  I'd send you to her blog so you can see how truly awesome she is, but she's one of those hoity-toity types who only lets us elite folk peruse her written marvels.  When you're done crying about that, read on...

Jenn is conducting a month-long experiment.  In an effort to force herself to spend a little more time thinking happy thoughts, she's posting about the little things in life for which she is grateful.  Every day.  For thirty days.  She's calling it "The Pollyanna Experiment."  If you don't understand the reason for this label, well, you're too young and uninformed to be reading my blog.

When I first read these gratitude posts of hers, I have to say I was inspired.  But really, not that much.  I mean, take a look at my blog.  Notice the last time I posted?  It was last year!  Posting every day is a HUGE commitment for me.  Nevertheless, here I go.

A few things to keep in mind:  I'll likely be steering clear of the usual fodder:  family, gospel, job, yadda, yadda, yadda.  We're all thankful for those things.  Most of us probably acknowledge our gratitude for that stuff on a regular basis.  This will be a bit more random.  I want to take the time to think about the little day-to-day things that we sometimes overlook.  At least *I* overlook them.

Today is day one.  Now, since this post is already way longer than I had intended, I'll start simply, so as not to lose the attention of anyone who's been kind enough to read to this point before falling asleep or leaving to go do something more fun, like laundry.

1. My treadmill.  I HATE the stupid thing.  It's a boring , ginormous eye-sore and it sits next to my bed facing a blank white wall.  Did I mention it's boring?  But with the weather the way it's been, I am so thankful that I can throw on some workout clothes and crank the incline and work up a nice sweat at 4:30 a.m. without worrying about frostbite and snot-sicles.   Now, if I could just stop being so overly grateful for things like Oreos and Junior Mints and Taco Bell, my treadmill might actually do me some good.

More tomorrow.  Please keep me accountable.  In other words, if you don't hear from me in 24 hours, send out a search party.