Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Allie's Halloween Habit

Allie has but one goal every year for Trick or Treating: to get more pieces of candy than the year prior. As you can imagine, it gets tougher every year.

Allie LOVES Halloween. She loves scary movies and stories, she loves costumes, parties, getting candy, decorating. You name it, if it's Halloweenish, Allie loves it!

Todd and I told her, when she was 11, that that would be her last year of trick or treating, since she'd really be too old to T-or-T after that. She cried. She's 14 and still Trick or Treats every year.

She even asked me if she could borrow Bryce and take HIM with HER when she really is too old to go on the candy expedition. Teehehe.

Here she is counting and categorizing her loot, circa 2006 (this was only about a week and a half after she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes [which is an auto-immune disease and NOT caused by eating sugar!])

In the background is the pogo stick that I think saved her from DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis).

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Blast from (Halloween) Past

I know it's not even close to Halloween yet, and I've been saying I would wait until October 1 to put up my Halloween blog decorations, but I just couldn't. You see, I have trouble with the whole "delaying gratification" concept. Darn it!

So, I figured I'd throw the decorations up on my blog today so October would hurry up and get here. Is it here yet?

And on an amusing note, Allie comes home from school every day and asks, "Is it here yet?!" but she's referring to her Halloween dress and not October itself. Teehehe.

And my Blast from Halloween 2003 (the year we moved to AZ from VA):


Saturday, September 27, 2008

What the...?

It's Saturday night, so what do I do that's entertaining? I look up all-things-Japanese on YouTube. Tonight I fancied a little commercial comedy. The Japanese have a bizarre (my favorite kind) sense of humour. I have no idea what they're trying to sell here, but ummmm...this could be very wrong. It's either very WRONG or very FUNNY. Okay, maybe both.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bryce Speaks Thomas

In Bryce's World, there is just nothing better than Thomas the Tank Engine. If you've never seen Thomas, he's a train...a British train. Hence, he speaks English-English, and so often, the characters are "cross" instead of mad or angry.

So today I was about to build a new track for Bryce, but first had to clean up the impressive mess The Little Man had made around the track, which included all the books from one of the shelves strewn around the floor. Crawling around picking things up, I landed my knee down firmly on a book and said

OWWWWWW! and made an annoyed and angry face to which Bryce noted,


I just smiled. How could I be mad at my little British-speaking monkey?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Please Just Go Here


Just go. You'll thank me (but especially Yummy Mummy, or wait, probably PETA most of all) for the laugh. I stalk Yummy Mummy's blog; her writing is lively and entertaining and I can't get enough of lively and entertaining writing. You'll like her. I should mention, when you're done reading that hilarious post, click her header to read the rest of her posts all of which are worth of immediate publication and much laughter, tenderness, tears, etc., but mostly laughter. Can I say enough? Love it!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Historia De Un Letrero

{The Story of a Sign}

My friend Dr. Mike Funicello sent me this; it's definitely worth sharing. Enjoy!

Or you can watch it larger and read more about it HERE.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Upon Further Inspection

Bryce usually just eats the icing from the cake, and who can blame him? That's the yummiest of the yum! But upon further inspection, Bryce decided that Texas Sheet Cake is too delish to let sit!

You'll find dozens of recipes for it on the web, but THIS ONE is (at least in my mind) the original and the BEST.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Toe Massacre

Okay, excuse the lack of pedicure; I have been neglecting my feet lately. I guess now I'm forced to give them (or at least the right one) a little love.

So I was in the shower last night and I slipped and fell. Yes, I'm like 74 years old, okay? Anyway, my toe got mangled under the metal dealy that catches water at the bottom of the shower door. It's broken, for sure. It hurts. But it's just more embarrassing than anything else. Todd, between bouts of concern, got in a few snickers.

Toes are such ugly things!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stuck in a Perspective

As I lay face-down on my NSA (what is it? click HERE) practitioner(Dr. Mike)'s table yesterday evening allowing him to facilitate the release of great amounts of tension from my body, a thought meandered into my mind: "Why have I allowed myself to remain stuck in this unpleasant perspective for so long?"

And I really don't know. It's a habit I have, I guess, or perhaps I want to wallow around in the suffering with the rest of humanity before rising once again above it (the suffering, not humanity).

Our thoughts really do create our world, our perception of reality.

All I know is that I occasionally find myself perceiving the world as a big dangerous place with despair around every corner and it becomes really easy to just stay home and avoid it all. Even getting to Dr. Mike's office becomes a long and dreadful drive (I do so dislike driving and the stress that goes along with it) and add to that the cost of getting there and back and I have plenty of excuses to just not go.

But going really makes a difference in the quality of my life. And so, the beautiful, wonderful Universe (headed up by a kind and loving Heavenly Father) creates a way for me to get there.

Zane hurt his neck and back while carrying Bryce around last week. He was in loads of pain for a short while, but it was Thursday night and Dr. Mike's office wouldn't open again 'til Monday. By Sunday night, Zane was feeling find, so we both shrugged off a visit to Dr. Mike. Yesterday the school nurse calls. Zane was in there (he never goes to the nurse, ever) having chest pains and tearful. Huh.

I call Dr. Mike then go pick up Zane. I take him to San Tan Urgent Care (we love Dr. Brooks) because it's nearby just to rule out anything more than anxiety. All along, I'm thinking it's anxiety and related to the fact that we blew off Zane's Bryce-related back pain. Dr. Brooks ruled out everything except anxiety and asked us to journal for stressful situations to see if it happened again.

So, on to Dr. Mike later that evening and now both Zane and I feel oh-so-very-much better, not just physically, but about life in general.

There is so much love flowing through the Universe. Why do we sometimes close ourselves down and refuse it? Why do I choose to see and amplify the so-called "negatives" in life and allow darkness to set in? Why do I get stuck in unpleasant perspectives?

I have been so diligent in not allowing any negatives to impose themselves upon my marriage. When I trip over Todd's shoes lying around the house or find a pile of dirty t-shirts hidden in a corner, I have two options, as I see it. First, I can get annoyed and allow that little seed of negativity to plant itself in our marriage (not good, since seeds like to grow once planted), or I can smile at Todd's lack of neatness and find it cute and amusing thereby planting yet another seed of affection and love in our marriage. I've been lucky for the past 4 years to be able to choose to only plant happy seeds and watch more and more love grow for my husband.

Now just to do that in all the other areas of my life. Not to say that there won't be an occasional thorn, but thorns can be plucked off.

What will you grow in your garden?


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Have you ever seen a philadendron leaf that big? It's as big as my face and larger than my hand! My mom didn't believe me (she lives in Virginia and I live in Arizona for those unfamiliar) so I took a picture. But really this picture's for you, since my mom doesn't have internet access or even a computer for that matter. :o)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This Guy Gets Around!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Julie (CrazyMama) sent me this; she's the BEST! Thanks, Julie; I couldn't resist sharing it on my blog.

This one's dedicated to you, Lisa Michelle!!!! Oom chicka oom chicka oom chicka!

I Love T.J. Maxx

Seriously, it's a little bit of Heaven on Earth.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Questionnaire for You

How do you feel about those questionnaires you get in emails and are supposed to forward to people in order to get to know them better? Hmmmm. Sometimes I like them and other times I just don't care. I do like reading other peoples' answers, though. Come on, indulge me. I'll answer for you, then you can comment or do it on your blog and answer for me.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? Eeek! I'm STILL reading the Einstein book (has it been months?), but whenever I reach a dull part (or something too technologically advanced for my brain) I read a book or two before going back to Heir Einstein. So, right now I'm reading David Sedaris's newest, plus Pride and Prejudice (a little Jane never hurts) and am about to start Water for Elephants (Julie, was it you who recommended that one?)

FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Apples to Apples, Scrabble


BABIES? With red wine sauce and a side of broccolini, please. Okay, yes...3, but none are babies any more.

FAVOURITE SMELL? Bulgari's Red Tea perfume. It explodes with a sweet blast of citrus and pepper, then mellows to a sweet mix of tea, fig, and walnut. The Rooibos tea competes with a prominent black, but it works for me! After an hour, it fades to a mildly sweet/nutty musk with a pinch of vanilla. Divine.

FIRST THING YOU THINK OF IN THE MORNING? "CRAP! Is it time for The Today Show yet?!" I'm really sick that way.

HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? I just answer it when I find it...if I find it.

FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? We're DONE, but Portia for a girl. Odin for a boy.

FAVOURITE COLOUR? Black, indigo, baby pink


DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? No, I don't like to drive at all. I prefer to be driven around, cautiously. What? I'm precious cargo! Snort!

WHO IS THE PERSON FROM YOUR PAST YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO? Joey Sellars. The one who lived in Woodbridge in 4th grade. Joey, if you're out there....

WHAT'S IN THE BOOT OF YOUR CAR? That would be the trunk for us Americans, right? I don't have a boot. Or a trunk.

DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? Only if peeled and tender.


EVER BEEN IN LOVE? Very much in love with my cute and nutty husband and my 3 delicious children.


WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? Monsters. What, they're under yours, too.


IF YOU COULD BUILD A HOUSE ANYWHERE WHERE WOULD IT BE? Oy, that's a difficult question. It's between Pacific Grove, CA and somewhere in southern Italy. But there is this nice chunk of land by the reservoir in Charlottesville, VA....

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING? Big stretched out sweats. SWEATS, not active wear. SWEATS! Lisa!

BEACH, MOUNTAINS OR CITY? Mountains...as long as they're not too far from a city.


COMEDY OR HORROR? Comedy, even though I was raised on horror.

THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT? Ummmmm. I dunno. I download from iTunes. And I don't remember what I last downloaded, but I think it was Sarah McLaughlin's newest.


WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE KITCHEN ITEM? Kitchen Aid mixer. Love it, love it, love it. Use it ALL the time.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN AFTERLIFE? Yes. I'm LDS, so, yes. We believe in a pre-existence and in an afterlife. And it doesn't involve sitting on a cloud playing a harp. Questions? Ask! (and please ask an actual member of the Church [like me] and not some nut-job spewing falsehoods, thanks!)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SEASON? In Arizona, winter. In Virginia, fall or spring.


CAN YOU JUGGLE? Of course I can, I have a life, don't I?

WHICH DO YOU PREFER: SUSHI OR HAMBURGER? Sushi unless we're driving by In N Out, then I just can't resist.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? The Traditional Thanksgiving Meal: juicy turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes/gravy, cranberry sauce, corn, pecan pie. Heaven. Pure Heaven. Is it November yet?

IF YOU COULD TAKE A VACATION ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD IT BE? Ack! Japan--because I miss it so much, Virginia so my mom could meet Bryce and I could end my incessant guilt, Italy--to eat...and eat...and eat, any Russian speaking country so I can see how badly my language skills have slipped away from me, Toronto--because it's my fave "big" city, NYC to people-watch, Alaska for the scenery, Hawaii to see some volcanos. Oh, and Cleveland. Just kidding about Cleveland. No offense.

Okay, your turn! Tell me something about yourself. It doesn't have to be an answer to any of those questions, but tell me something. Come on, let's share :o)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Blast from the (Skinny, Part 2) Past

These photos were taken in the tiny apartment where the kids and I lived when we first moved to Arizona five years ago (summer of 2003). It's sooooo funny to look back on those. I've been looking at my "skinny" pix lately. I'm about 15 pounds heavier now, and despite extremes in working out, I am hanging steady at 115 lbs. My body is different. There's more muscle, admittedly, but there's more fat, too. I need my wedding bands resized. It's effort to get them on, but getting them back off involves lots of soap and tearing of skin.

I always wondered how I would feel when this day came. You know, the day you realize time and gravity and genetics have finally caught up with you. Where I stand (or, if I'm being honest, sit) it looks like this: I can either 1) accept that my body is different now and like it, or 2) starve myself and work against nature to regain my skinniness.

Number 2 doesn't sound healthy, honestly. I mean, even if it just involved eating more salads and fewer desserts. Obsessing over appearance is really embarrassing and I refuse to be one of those people.

I think I'll go make a carrot cake and do my favorite work out. Only things that make me happy are allowed in my life!

And yes, the skinny pictures can stay. They don't make me sad. I'm not lamenting for days gone by. Life is good, even 15 lbs heavier.

The kids are still silly, so not everything changes.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I read once that the anagram of your name can reveal a lot about you. I anagramed "Barak Obama" this morning, but of course, the anagrams all came back in Arabic, so I can't read them. I'm sure they would traslate to things like, "If this man is elected President of the United States, quickly pack your bags and move to Canada." That's my plan, anyway. Sorry to jump ship, but I have to protect my family.

So then I anagramed my name (using Sandi instead of Sandra) and here are some that stood out and my interpretation of them:

Sardine Mill (hopefully I don't smell that bad)
Mandril Isle (this will surely be the title of my first cheap romance novel)
Dismal Liner (don't sail on that one; my first cheap horror novel?)
Island Miler (a race I would like to run?)
Land Slimier (oops...don't step in that!)
Damn Sillier (no denying that one)
Manlier Lids (why do you think I love makeup so much?)
Airmen Dills (yes, I was an Airman, but what's with the herbs & spices?)
Marines Dill (yes, I dated some Marines, but I don't think it's appropriate to talk about pickles right now)
Marlin Delis (I've never eaten marlin; can you find it at a deli?)
Marlins Lied (damn them! never trust a marlin)
Mall Insider (well, yeah, but I have a 14-year-old; it can't be helped)

Okay, so now go play with the anagram generator; it's fun! Let me know what deep dark secrets it revealed about you:


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You?

I was sitting at work, a small law firm in Virginia, doing legal secretary things when a client walked in and asked me if I'd heard.

"Heard what?" I inquired.

"That a plane crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center."

Confused, I knitted my brows together and stared at the client. My mind went over certain facts: planes don't fly over that way, do they?

I quickly did a search online and found the story on CNN's website. I watched for the next hour while the second tower got hit, the Pentagon got hit, both towers fell, a plane went down in Pennsylvania, and my sense of security crumbled.

My heart ached and broke for the people trapped in the towers, for those escaping, for the firefighters, for the families of the victims. I just wanted to leave work and get my kids from school and hold them close and watch over them. We lived only an hour and a half from Washington, D.C. The events were unfolding in our backyard.

The attorney I worked for went on with her day nonchalantly. She said we shouldn't be surprised, that the Bible said these things would happen. Yes, but is that cause for unconcern? Does that lessen the tragedy? Of course not. I quit that job not long after.

Where were you?

Don't CHEW Me Out

Snort! Haha! I'm snickering at my corny pun in the title. Allie hates it--HATES IT--when she hears someone chewing. And apparently, I'm the loudest chewer she's ever met in her 14 years on Planet Earth. So, here's one for you, Al!

And in this one you get to see 3-day-old bunnies! But the best part is when someone is chewing loudly next to the mic around a minute and a half into the clip. Teehee! Okay, the bunnies are really cute (in an ugly sort of way), too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nielsons and Bloggers in the News

Can just one day go by that I don't bawl for Stephanie and Christian? Every time I see another news article or video, I have to bawl all over again. Keep praying; Christian, in a brief moment of consciousness, said that HE CAN FEEL OUR PRAYERS. Keep going, keep going.

On KSL5 news:

The Today Show video:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Vampires in the Desert

You cannot walk outside at the end of summer in our neck of the desert without losing blood. Seriously...ridiculous! Look at that HUGE mosquito bite on Bryce's back! And our entire ward on Sunday was full of itching people. It's just not right.

Open Mic Night

Allie and her friend, we'll call her "C," did really well at Open Mic night. It was so fun watching them on stage and I was SO grateful that I didn't have to sing. The ears of all in attendance were truly blessed!

Updates on Nielsons: Plane Crash Survivors

I don't know if you've been following the story of Stephanie and Christian Nielson (links are all over my blog about it) who survivied a plane crash last month. They are still unconscious and in critical condition in a local burn unit. Your prayers are holding them to the earth; please continue to pray.

Here's an update from a local news channel:


And the story of how the blogging community has pulled together to pray, hope, and raise money for their hospital bills (which will be in the millions of dollars) is in The NEW YORK TIMES:


Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Quickie

Just a quick update, and hopefully a REAL post tomorrow (Monday)...in between working to meet Tuesday's deadline, preparing a speech to give for Allie's journalism class, and the general daily chaos.

GOOD NEWS: I did not sing at Open Mic Friday night! Allie's friend, C. sang the part. I will post pix and video (maybe) soon. It was SO FUN! We had a blast and can't wait 'til next month to do it again. I long to have a singing voice. Sigh.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Will Sing This! I Will Sing This?

Oh my oh my oh my. What have I gotten myself into? You see, I've always wanted to be a wild, crazy singer with a loud, rambunctious band, touring the WORLD and making mischief and such. I LOVE LOVE LO-O-O-OVE to sing!

One problem:


Can't sing.

Can't carry a tune. I mean, it's



But Allie's playing a song at Open Mic Night Friday night and she wants me to sing. She figures the only song I can sort of kind of sing is Demolition Lovers by MCR.

But here's the scary part. Even MCR's lead singer, Gerard Way, has trouble singing it.

See video. Pray for me.

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

I'm trying really hard to see the sunny side, seriously, I am. But it's only 10:15 a.m. and the day already sucks.

7:30 a.m. doctor appointment for me: a follow-up to get test results. Not good. Ultrasound showed I have something called "hydrosalpinx" of the left fallopian tube. This can mean 1 of 4 different things, one of which was a rare form of cancer. So of course now I'm scared that that's what it is. Following up with Gyn in a week-point-five. The healthy thing would be to NOT WORRY about it until I know for sure what's going on. Unfortunately, I'm not healthy in that way.

So I get home at 8:05 a.m. from my doc and Zane is sorting through some of my costume jewelry to wear to school for Switch Day. He finds an old silver ring, very tarnished and I tell him to polish it with a silver polishing cloth. He pulls a cloth out from the dispenser, but 2 come out, so he pokes one back in with his finger. OOPS! Finger is now stuck in VERY rigid plastic prongs and when he tries to pull the finger back out, they chew into his finger angrily.


I look for something sharp to cut the prongs with, which is going to be difficult since they're so tight on his finger. Scissors aren't sharp enough. I'm afraid to try my box cutter. Zane is yowling in pain.

Off to Urgent Care we go (which is right next door to the doc I had just come from). We get there at 8:45; it doesn't open 'til 9.

We sit. We wait. We worry. We pace before the door. The nurse/receptionist sees us and lets us in and takes a good look at Z's finger.

By the time we get inside and present payment, Zane's finger is BLUE/GRAY. The doc still hasn't arrived.

Doc arrives at 9 and we go back around 9:01. Doc pulls out some heavy duty cutters and within a couple minutes, Zane's blue finger is free. Doc keeps us there to make sure the finger regains circulation. Checks his pulse-ox a couple times. Gives him Tylenol. Tells us a funny story about his little brother who once got his HEAD stuck in a similar fashion. Hehehe. Not funny, but hehehehe.

We take Allie to school and Zane comes home with me. He can't write with the finger, anyway, so what the heck. He's a little traumatized. I'm a little traumatized.

And now I have to spend the day trying to get my deadline work done before I take Allie to the eye doc at 4.

Where's the freaking CALGON and how soon can it take me away?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another Campout at Airplane Flat

For Labor Day weekend, we decided to go back up to Airplane Flat where we had recently camped for Ward Campout. We love it there--it's cool, pretty, and fun!

Even the ride up wasn't so bad--Bryce is finally getting used to car rides. Allie brought a friend and so did Zane.

Zane and his friend had the honor of entertaining Bryce on the drive.

Todd entertained himself by making weird for the other drivers. Hehehe!

When we arrived at Airplane Flat, the campground was FULL so, totally bummed, we drove on to the next camp, which was also FULL. Refusing to be disheartened, I asked Todd to pull into Airplane Flat so I could talk to the host (he's like the ranger dude). The host told us that everything in the area was FULL FULL FULL but he joked that if we drove around the campground we might find someone we know and crash their site. Sounded like a plan to me!

We drove through and all the way at the other end, I spotted a sister from our Ward. I yelled out to her (I was so excited!) and asked if she wanted to share her site (the sites there are huge HUGE I tell you!) and she said sure, so we parked the 'Burban and got out.

Then I heard someone yell, "Sandi" from across the way. It was another family from our ward! Then another appeared one space down from the first family. We ended up setting up our tents between those 2 families. It was so fun and totally lucky that we saw them!

This is Zane's friend (and another ward family's son) keeping the fire going with his air mattress pump. LOL!

Bryce found an old toy and spent a while in the tent investigating it.

Then he had the best time pouring dirt down his back! LOL!

He totally took over someone's chair while he watched a volleyball game.

Allie eventually got in on the game:

Then she got stuck crossing a fallen tree over a ravine. hehehehe

Of course I had to find something funky and interesting to photo: a weird mushroom:

Our camp neighbor's boys CRACK me up. They are total cowboys; here they are on their log horses:

Good times! We had to leave early because it POURED and I woke up with dripping wet hair...Jake H. asked me where I had taken a shower (there aren't any there) and I told him our tent leaked. LOL! Despite getting rained out, it was super fun!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Crap, I've Been Tagged


My delightful (she really is; I love her) sister-in-law just tagged me. So I'm s'posed to:

List 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 obsessions/collections, 3 surprising facts and then tag five other people. Leave a comment for the people you tag so they know they have been tagged. Okay, here goes...

3 Joys:
1. Cool, clean sheets
2. Bryce dancing, Allie giggling with excitement, Zane being dutiful and serious
3. Todd scratching my back

3 Fears:
1. Flying
2. Insanity (real, actual insanity; not the day-to-day stuff)
3. Menudo

3 Obsessions/Collections:
1. NY pizza crust
2. Make-up
3. Blogging

3 Surprising Facts:
1. I am really not a Princess
2. I was diagnosed in 2002 with bipolar disorder, type 2 (the not-as-extreme kind), but am in denial about it and am too stubborn to let it rule me; I have never taken meds for it
3. I have never entirely told Todd about number 2

5 peeps who are getting tagged:
Julie (Crazy Mama), Janie (SuperHotMama), Allie (MikeyFlippinWay), Todd (MonkeysShantyTown), Barry (invert this space)

Monday, September 1, 2008


This may be the most beautiful thing I've ever read.