Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tis the Season! (and Farewell!)

Well, here it is, my last post until Next Year. (Oooh, that sounds dramatic!)

I am off to brave the crowds at the airport (not to mention security--I always seem to get picked for the slightly embarrassing "in depth" search) and take part in the mandatory drama that surrounds my in-laws. But Hubby and I promised each other that we would turn our "join in the family drama" switches to hibernate mode for this trip and superglue a couple of smiles on our faces. Christmas is a time of joy, no matter what--and that's what we want. Some good old-fashioned joy, dangit. And now as we're about to embark on the plane, Thing Two got Thing One's diahrrea and Hubby has just come down with a spectacular head cold. FABULOUS timing, if you ask me.

And yes, I'm being snippy.

Hubby suggested I not take my laptop along this time. Which I find a bit strange because he usually insists I take it because 1) We could get robbed or 2) the house could burn down or 3) he might need a computer. But now that he has a Blackberry and I have a thumb drive, I don't feel the need to velcro the laptop to my thigh every vacation we take. In fact, it's sort of liberating, not having to lug the clunky thing through airport security and the airport itself.

So, I hope everyone has a wonderful, fantastic, fabulous (and not in the sarcastic sense) holiday, and a happy New Year--I plan on blogging again starting January 3rd. And I hope Santa brings you all what you wanted--I guess I need to go whisper in "Santa's" ear about what I want, because I sure haven't gotten around to it!

Cheers everyone! Be happy, be safe.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

Wednesday, Part II:

I just got a gorgeous gift basket from my sister-in-law, from Lehi Rollermills. You can see it here. They make the BEST mixes!

ANYWAY...she ordered only one for me, and they sent me THREE!!! Ha ha ha!! This is highly reminiscent of my experience! Three lovely 20-pound boxes. I just got off the phone with her, and she's not quite sure what happened. Of course the honest thing to do would be to call the company and tell them their mistake. Because they only charged her for one.

Guess it boils down to whether I'm naughty or nice. *wink*

Countdown Begins...

I have officially 24 hours before we fly out for the Holidays--we won't be back until the 2nd of January--and BOY do I have a truckload of things to do. Lists and lists it seems.
I am excited for the holidays--mostly because it's not MY house we're going to be messing up! Ha ha!
I finally got my house top-to-bottom spotless and I'll be danged if it isn't staying that way. (**Lara stands at the foot of the stairs and yells at the top of her lungs ALL OF YOU COME AND PICK UP YOUR SOCKS AND SHOES AND COATS OFF THE ENTRYWAY FLOOR RIGHT NOW!!!**)
I'm a really good yeller. I don't like to yell, but sometimes I have to because who wants to run down two flights of stairs just to tell someone to come back upstairs and please flush their toilet?

So upon discovering said domestic offense, I stand in the spot where the reverberation and echo work most to my advantage, take a deep breath, and yell. It's much more fun. Especially when they all come running. This is one mom who never makes it past two when she has to count. Scurry scurry.

We had some of Hubby's old friends (and business partners--they're in footwear) over last night. Great guys. They own a bunch of successful companies and travel the globe, yet they're down to earth and lots of fun to laugh with. And dedicated to their families. We had a lovely couple of hours with them. I can't wait until we have more friends (we're still new--that's the only setback to moving) to hang out with. Sure, I'm making friends at my ward at church, (one nice thing about our faith--anywhere you go in the world you have an instant support system as soon as you find your church ward) but we are missing some of our friends from Wisconsin.

So I am getting ready to run around--my new friend S. and I got golf lesson packages for our husbands because EVERYONE golfs here and it's about time our hubbies learned. And I got a sweet set of clubs for hubby this Christmas, but I didn't want to lug them all over so I got them, took a polaroid of them with a big bow on the top, and stuck the pics and the golf lesson package inside a pack of new golfballs, and wrapped that to put under the tree. The golf clubs are stuffed inside my closet, behind all my skirts. He'll never find them. Ha! (And he doesn't read this blog so I'm not worried about spoiling the surprise.) But at least I dont' have to worry about shipping them this year.
And can I just say? I LOVE! In ONE hour I had all the Christmas presents bought and shipped for my kids...there was only one sold out item I had to go into a store and purchase, and that was it. SUPER EASY. Of course shipping them all BACK home will be fun...

Hope everyone is having a good day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ah, The Holidays

Here I am, tapping my toes to a jazzy rendition of "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth"--which happens to be the hold music (estimated wait time--exceeding 20 minutes) for Kohl' So I thought I'd blog in the meantime.

So, a few days ago, Hubby and I decide to order a Kitchenaid Mixer for his mom at We tried to order it, but it said our Amex was "invalid." Hubby tried a few more times to order the item, and it said the same thing. So I tried a couple of times with my Target Visa (our one other credit card--for emergencies only) and it said the same thing about my card, so we knew it was just the website having technical difficulties. Of course Hubby kept trying to order the mixer every 15 minutes or so--he got the same error message, so we eventually gave up.

So Hubby called up and an operator helped him place the order. We were thinking "that's it, end of story."
Well, we called to verify the status of the order, and it turns out that we have EIGHT ORDERS for EIGHT KITCHENAID MIXERS at $250 each!!! We of course freaked out and called the customer service number, but it was on a loop so that if you actually got through there was a message that said "Thank you for calling Kohls. Goodbye." And HUNG UP ON US!!!

I don't think I've seen Hubby madder--(except maybe when I hit the side of the garage with his brand new black Lexus five years ago--leaving a white paint transfer on the front corner end that wouldn't come off) so I sort of backed away and went and tidied the kitchen.

So, he sent a scathing email to them, to which they replied this morning: "Sorry for the confusion--only one order was placed" etc. etc. ad nauseum, HOWEVER when I checked our credit cards lo and behold, they had been charged for all the charges.

SO, here I am, no longer tapping my toes, listening to "Oh Come all Ye Faithful" (THANKYOU KOHLS FOR AT LEAST NOT STOOPING TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!) and waiting, waiting and waiting to ask them why they lied.

This should be an interesting conversation.

But I am determined that today will be a BETTER day! I bought some finishing touches for our basement, which is turning into Hubby's retreat. We put in a bar and I am filling it with sports stuff. Hubby's favorite:

He's loving that one. That and a dartboard with an electronic "trash talking" feature that insults the dart thrower in a voice that sounds absurdly like one of Hubby's younger brothers--made us laugh for hours!

Well, I'm off to buy tons and tons of gift cards and such for Hubby's employees--he has a few too many people on his team, if you ask me! But it IS Christmas. A time for giving.

So, hopefully today will be good. I'll know when I get off the phone with (I'm still on hold by the way--now listening to "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)


Monday, December 19, 2005

Why Is It...

...that these things ALWAYS seem to happen right before you go on vacation? One of my ovens broke just as I needed to bake about 15 dozen Christmas cookies, I got a flat tire from pulling into my garage (calling card remnants of the construction workers I suppose--#@!*&!! NAILS) and I about passed out when they told me the cost for replacing ONE tire (AAACK!) and of course Thing One has had diahrrea for a week straight and I was chided by the nurse for giving her Ammodium because apparently it allows the virus to "fester" in the stomach rather than help. (Poor Thing One--she's been waking me up at 4am every morning crying because she's had to go to the bathroom ten times already).

AND--Hubby is in a wonky mood because he's on drugs for his chronic back pain. FUN for me. The doctors are baffled. So I think they're just throwing stuff at him to see if it works. UGH. Poor Hubby.

This morning Thing Three kicked Thing Two in the eye (not intentionally, thank heaven) and I have already had to give the little darling (this said with gritted teeth) about seven time-outs already and of course, in typical Lara Fashion, I (once again) missed the bottom step in the garage and fell into the freezer at 6am because I was nice enough to run and put gas in Hubby's car because he would have been late for a VERY important meeting, and I have ugly bruises on both shins. I came up with a new curse word too. (Actually it was more like a wail than a curse, but it had a satisfactory effect. I might have to use it again.)

Other than that, things are Spiffy. Just Spiffy. But I need some serious "me" time or I think I might be ready for the Men in White Coats soon.
I think I'll ditch the kids one afternoon and catch a matinee of Pride and Prejudice all by my onesy with a bucket of popcorn and a NON-diet on the edge, that's me!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Crazy Time

I think the month of December is like having a baby. You forget how painful it is until the next time it happens--and when you're in the middle of it you gasp: "I signed up for THIS?"

I honestly haven't written a word since before the move, and it looks like it will be 2006 before I begin to write again. Too many cookies to bake, parties to go to, gifts to buy and ship and just your average December craziness happening for me to get much of anything else done.

And of course this year we're going to the in-laws for Christmas. It's a little crazy. We're flying to Idaho for a few days, then to Washington for a few days, then back to Idaho for a few more days, then back to Colorado. I am going to be sick of airports by then, but it will be nice to see the family on both sides.

I have to run--I have one precious hour a day between 7am and 8am where I don't have to run around just quite yet, so that's the only time I can do things I want to do, like this blog, for instance.

Then the fun begins... *smirk*

Monday, December 12, 2005

I HAD a Shiny House...

Isn't it amazing the house clutter that accumulates over a weekend? Most of my morning will be spent "tidying up," I suspect. I just don't feel like cleaning during the weekend. If Hubby can lay around like a slug and watch sports, well, so can I! I did, however, manage to keep the kitchen clean. I can't cook in chaos. Although I will say that cooking at high altitudes kind of sucks. Our favorite family dishes have been turning out a bit "funny" every time. For instance, I made my scratch clam chowder last night. Usually, it is PERFECTION when I make it. Well, to my surprise, it turned out slightly "gluey." The family ate it up, but I noticed the change in the consistency. And the cake I baked I had to add extra flour, because I learned things don't set well in the oven when you're six thousand miles in the air! Ppphbbbbhhhbtttt.

We saw Narnia on Friday night. It was AMAZING. It was a tad violent (my kids were scrunched waaaaayyyyyy down in their seats during the war scenes) but it was all that I had hoped it would be.
I haven't read the Narnia Chronicles, but I DO have two brain cells to rub together, and I picked up almost immediately on C.S. Lewis's symbolism. Very interesting. Very cool, actually.
(Of course, like complete morons, we showed up at the movie theater 20 minutes early (we should have showed up at least 40) and the only seats were fourth row from the FRONT. Yikes. We learned our lesson with that one.)

Well, I need to go run around. Mondays are crazy for me. Every weekend I find myself saying "Oh I'll do it on Monday, I'll do it on Monday..." and when Monday comes I am ready to freak out because I've got such a laundry list of stuff to take care of, fires to put out, bills to pay, etc.

But that's what I get for being a procrastinator.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I Have a Shiny House

Ahhh, having a clean house. FINALLY.
"Julie" and I unpacked all the boxes (we had a panic moment when we were trying to figure out where to put all the stuff that filled the entire living room--you know, the odds-n-ends stuff that basically belongs NOWHERE.) but we got it knocked out.

I went and made a killing at Target and bought pictures and candles, etc. and Hubby loved it all when he got home from work. I said "great--so this means you won't be mad when you get the Amex bill!" :-)

This weekend should be fun. We're going to see Narnia (woo hoo!) with the kids on Saturday, and Hubby and I got a sitter and we'll go Christmas shopping Saturday night sans kids.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Whirlwind

You gotta hand it to my sister-in-law (for privacy's sake let's just call her "Julie").
Julie is staying with us until Friday night for the sole purpose of organizing and helping clean my house.
Well, she flew in last night and before we collapsed into bed at midnight, we (well, more like SHE) had completely cleaned and organized the master bedroom, Hubby's and my walk-in closets (we're talking MAJOR undertaking) the Master bathroom, the office, and six loads of laundry. Of course today we have about eight loads more, but we can do those as we clean.

So I've nicknamed Julie the "Whirlwind." She moves at the speed of sound (I think you can literally hear the sonic booms once in a while when she's working) and cleans everything in sight like the Speedy Cleaning Robot Machine she is.

I am starting to feel a little inadequate and inferior. She reassures me that it's an illness, and she is the worst person to set a standard by, because she's obsessed with cleaning, and cleaning quickly. (Apparently it's useless to compete with a person who has O.C.'s just not possible if you're...well, normal.)

So I am content to work at my "normal" pace while she runs circles around me and does a job in half an hour that would take me half a day. I'm very grateful to her, to be sure.

Okay but I'm still feeling a little dorky about it. She is making me look BAD...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bitter Cold

Okay, it's just a tad cold here today. My car said it was -5 when I took the kids to school. The radio said with wind chill it was -15. LOVELY.
I spent nearly 10 minutes stuffing Things 1 and 2 in layers with their down coats and boots and thick scarves and gloves and hats and ultra-reinforced super-duper-full-body-armor-shields, etc. (Thing Two was resisting the whole way, it was similar to trying to dress an angry octopus)and when I was finished they resembled large lumps rather than children. But I don't care. It's too damn cold.

Thing One saw "elf footprints" everywhere on the way to school and so we had some fun with that. (And no, Laura, I don't mind at all if you use that story--I'm sure it's been told before now!)
Luckily the school doesn't let them outside if it's colder than 20 degrees, so I didn't have to worry about them freezing their booties off during recess.

My sister-in-law is flying in today. Rather, I flew her in for two days to help me. She's extremely obsessive/compulsive about cleaning and organizing (we're talking crazy O.C. here) and she volunteered to come here to help me unpack and get organized. She said "give me two days and I'll have it done."
So, I am very excited. I'm sure Hubby wishes I was obsessive/compulsive about cleaning, but I take the "relaxed" approach, as in "I'll do it later." Hubby goes around picking up behind me usually, shaking his head and chanting under his breath: "Lara messes it up, Hubby cleans it up." And after ten years of marriage, I don't care.

I scored a MAJOR coup on Ebay the other night. I got a black-leather bound 1898 ten-volume set of the works of Guy De Maupassant. For EIGHT dollars. I dont' think anyone even bid against me. What a treasure. You know what they say: Another person's trash...

I also scored the 2-vhs set of Young Catherine starring Vanessa Redgrave and Julia Ormond as Catherine. It's one of those shows they had on TNT a hundred years ago that had me swooning as a teenager--I guess I am feeling nostalgic.

Unfortunately, I promised Hubby that I won't do any more Ebaying for a while--he says it's a bit much and I agree. But there are always BOOKSTORES!! BWA ha ha ha ha ha!!! I still haven't made it to the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover (it's FOUR miles from my house!) but I will. Next week maybe. Things have been so crazy here!

Wish me luck driving to the airport. I am what you would call "directionally challenged" so I need specific instructions if I'm going somewhere for the first time. Luckily we have mountains now. Mountains are always to the West...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Finished Memoirs of a Geisha last night. Couldn't put the durn thing down. It was so enthralling.
Of course now I have a sink full of dirty dishes and a sleep-deprived Hubby who goes around sarcastically grumbling "Just one more chapter, honey honest," under his breath--but it was worth it.

So, on to the Elves. Thing One (who is eight and actually has to defend her belief in Santa Claus to one or two of her classmates occasionally) is determined that we have Elves everywhere. This stems from a story Hubby told the kids a few years ago, about how an elite corp of Santa's Elves go around during the month of December leading up until Christmas Eve, spying on all children and reporting back to The Man whether they've been Naughty or Nice.

I thought the Elf story was ridiculous at the time, but it actually came in handy for when the kids were less than stellar on the behavior scale (I sure hope the Elves didn't see you stick your fingers in that cake Mommy made for tonight) etc..

Well, our kids (very excitedly) came and woke me up a few mornings ago, telling me that there were "Elf prints" in the snow. They dragged me down to the back windows of our house (the entire back half of our house is windows, we have a view of everything) and we could see "elf prints" everywhere, on the ground outside the windows (where they spy on kids) I told them and we could even see them on the roofs of nearby houses.
The kids have been on their best behavior lately, because they know for sure that Elves are spying on them. In fact, Thing Two has become a bit obsessed with being good for that reason.

Sure, I know it's bad, but we're having too much fun. I don't have the heart to tell them that we have some adventurous cats around the neighborhood. That would ruin the magic.

Thank heaven for the cats/Elves. They sure are making this holiday season fun.

Although Thing One is becoming VERY frustrated because she's always running around trying to catch an Elf in the act...

Monday, December 05, 2005



Now, on to other things...

I am mortified. MORTIFIED, I tell you. Why? First, let me preface this post by declaring that nothing, NOTHING like this has ever happened to me in private, let alone a public place.

Okay. So I'm at church yesterday with the family. I was dressed very nicely, and I have to say I'm hitting it off very well with the other ladies in my ward. So, at the end of church, everyone is crowded in the foyer, chatting and socializing and whatnot, and we finish our chatting and decide to head to the car.

So I'm walking down the hall with my eight-year old daughter next to me (Thing One) and my two sons in tow with Hubby leading the way. Well, we get to the most crowded part of the church, and suddenly, I feel this weird sensation around my ankles. I look down at my feet, and gasp, just as my daughter blurts out (of COURSE in a voice even louder than the rumble of the crowd): "Mom! What is that? IS THAT YOUR UNDERTHINGY???"

It was my slip. My very WHITE slip, and yes, folks, it had fallen down around my ankles.
The little voice in my head became an ear-shattering guttural scream of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" and I bent down as quickly as I could, stepped out of the slip and stuffed it into my handbag.

I had three options at this point: A) Pray for a yawning chasm in the carpet to open up and swallow me whole or B) burst into tears or C) Pretend it never happened.

Naturally, I opted for C. I will say, however, that I have never seen Hubby quite that shade of pink before. I think I'll call it puce.

So, after we got into the car and sat staring for a few moments in stunned silence (yes, that really DID just happen in front of the entire congregation) I told him we could always move again and he agreed and said we'd just try and forget about it.

...Apparently "forgetting about it" involved calling up every relative Hubby had in the known universe and retelling, in dramatic fashion, the story of my unfortunate "wardrobe malfunction."

Sure, it's funny now, but it SURE wasn't funny then! Serves me right. I'll never wear a white slip with a black skirt and black stockings and shoes again. EVER.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Thing Three is a Ham

Quote of the Day: "In the sixties, normal people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal."--JC Mikesell

Ah, the woes of having a child who is a bona fide "ham." Everywhere I take him, he's performing for people. Whether it's using his "squeaky toy voice" to answer whenever someone tells me he's a cutie, or singing assorted songs at the top of his voice in the grocery cart to elicit comments from passersby, this kid was born to be on a stage.
Thing Three (who is four years old) has always attracted an audience--since he was a baby. I literally had people come up to me and compliment me on him. He has super blond hair and huge green eyes (he's a carbon copy of his daddy) and a little pug nose, and I'm not being biased here-- he's definitely a cute kid.
The only problem, is he's been told it so much, he's beginning to realize it. And he's acting accordingly. Which is, to be honest, highly annoying.

Now Thing Three (the only child I stayed home with, I worked with the other two) has always had a healthy dose of self-confidence. When he was three, we went through the "Exhibitionist Phase" (where whenever we had company over he would inevitably end up streaking in plain view of the guests in nothing but his birthday suit, and when caught, would begin to dance) and we went through the "baby voice" phase (where, whenever I'd get a compliment on his cuteness at a store or other public place, he'd lapse into this high-pitched baby voice and make cooing noises--UGH) and after the singing phase (he was so proud he learned the ABC song he'd sing it very loudly anywhere we went, apparently sotto voce wasn't in his repertoire) during which he literally had a fan club...well, now we've entered the "so-cute-and-bashful" phase.
Whenever someone compliments his cuteness, he now emits a high-pitched squeak and proceeds to hide behind my person. And he won't reappear, until the complimenter gives up or leaves.

I have to roll my eyes at this. Healthy dose of self-confidence or not, I don't want Thing Three to grow up to be arrogant and self-absorbed. He's always been the "leader" at his preschool, all the girls want to sit with him, all the boys want to play with him, and so far he hasn't suffered the pangs of social rejection. Someday it will happen, and I'm hoping sooner rather than later. He needs some good old fashioned teasing or outright rejection, so he'll be better rounded and have a better grasp on reality.

But for now, he's a cutie. I'm sure every family has a "ham" like this. Maybe I should find a "Mothers With Hams" club or something. I'm not sure what to do about him. He's a kid, for cripes sake--I don't want to shoot him down or undermine him in any way. But one day his cuteness will get old, and his eyes will be opened. That will be a sad day.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

#*&%!! CSI New York!!

I had a nightmare last night. I NEVER get them. Hubby and I watched CSI New York last night, and one of the sub-plots was a man who suffered from Hypergraphia, or the compulsion to write. (After he murdered the man his wife was having an affair with, he wrote an entire chapter on the corpse--ew!)

So, in my nightmare, I was writing (with a large black Sharpie) on my kids. Their faces, their arms and legs, and they were all crying because the ink was permanent. And I was telling them to suck it up because maybe they would walk by an editor who would read their faces (literally) and like my work and perhaps give me a call!
Walking human billboards, if you will.

OK, that is SO disturbing. I woke up from that one in a sweat, about 2am. I didn't bother telling my Hubby, who was busy in Dreamland.

Am I that desperate to sell a novel? They always say dreams are a manifestation of what our subconscious thinks. EEK.

I have decided that it is high time I put my office in order so I can resume working on my novel. I need to get it out. But I am disappointed in myself because I wanted to have it to my agent before the end of the year, and if I were to bust on it now, it would be crap. So I am shooting for early Spring. He hasn't given me a deadline, but I know I need to get cracking on it.

So, currently shaking the mental image of Sharpie-branded kids out of my head, and gearing up to head to World Market. They have an AMAZING imported gourmet food section, and I have a couple of Christmas boxes to send off.
Things 1 through 3 got to open the first window of their advent calendars today! How exciting.

Happy December everyone!

ps--check out my post today on the Scruffy Dog Review Blog...