Thursday, November 29, 2012

Black Friday #2: The Creepy Thing I Found in the Walgreens Toy Aisle

A picture really is worth a thousand words. I saw this in the toy aisle of the Marshalltown Walgreens.

In case it wasn't clear from that picture, it's a ready-to-paint Spider-man! I'm not sure this was a great idea for a toy. It may have sounded good on paper, but I would have thought someone would have put the breaks on the project after seeing a sample.
I was tempted to buy it, but was trying really hard to be responsible with my Black Friday budget. I couldn't stop thinking about this thing! So the next day, I went to the Waterloo Walgreens and found a whole stack of naked Spidies on top of the shelf above the adult diapers. I was SUPER excited! Until.......Until. I had a few minutes to examine the figurines while I waited for the Walgreens guy to come with a ladder. The Waterloo Spidies didn't seem as "well off" as the one I'd seen in Marshalltown. I wasn't sure if I had built it up in my mind, so I brought up my pictures of the originally spotted Marshalltown Spidey. The one in my pictures definitely appeared to be better off. Either there was a Spidey miracle or something went right wrong with that mold! 

I do hope that someone saw the potential in that one-of-a-kind Spidey in the Marshalltown Walgreens and that he brings joy to a special someone!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Black Friday #1: Why my sister and I went to the Kmart four times

My sister, Sara, and I had a blast on our traditional Black Friday shopping adventure in good ole' Marshalltown, Iowa. There's no Target, no Best Buy, no Home Depot, no Lowe's, no full-line Sears, no Gordman's, no Kohl's, no Old Navy. BUT, there were only a fraction of shoppers, and that's why we love it!

Here's the first part of the story about my most critical purchase. Black Friday #2 will tell the tale of the creepy thing we found in the Walgreens toy aisle.

Trip #1 to the Kmart
Approximately  9pm on Thursday
Sara and I were so happy to find our own cart that we didn't even mind the attached baby seat or the discarded empty beer can. We scouted out the 5am "big things" Doorbuster that I was dead set on getting for the girls. I was nervous because I needed three of them. It was no where to be found, but I vowed to return. (I can't tell you what the "big thing" is because it will ruin the surprise!)

Trip #2 to the Kmart
Approximately 4:40am on Friday
We arrived early for my "big thing" 5am Doorbuster. It was frigid! We waited in our car, like a few other eager beavers. We strategized about what the other people were after, convincing ourselves that their "big things" weren't the same as MY "big things".

I couldn't stand the anticipation and got out of the car at 4:49. We were about 12th in line, and I was sure I would get my "big things"! The funny thing is that NO ONE in line talked about their "big things". It reminded me of lining up for a track event. Intensely competitive.

DOORS OPEN!! HEART BEATING FAST!! Sara and I speed walked directly to the electronics department, but they directed us to customer service. We rushed over and were first in line. We spotted three of my "big things" behind the counter. Hoo Ha! Then the customer service girl told me that two were already spoken for with vouchers, so only one was available. BOO!!! I pointed out the ad that said "At least 6 per store," but the associate said they'd only received three. Not cool, Kmart! I didn't know what to do, so I bought the one remaining "big thing".

The lady in line behind me also asked for the "big thing" I had just cleaned them out of. I felt a little badly because I didn't even know if I would keep the one I had just bought.

We left the store with me mumbling about something being fishy. Something very fishy. I vowed to call Kmart headquarters and to get to the bottom of the situation. At least 6 per store. At least 6 per store. At least 6 per store! Grrrrrrrrr!

I bought three things that were disappointing replacements for the "big things" I couldn't get at the Kmart. But it was important to get three of the same "big things"!

My sister and I asked for help finding the chain binder on my dad's list. Three helpful Menard's men helped us find the chain binders and thoroughly demonstrated the gadget. They emphasized that we would want two chain binders. But they didn't understand that our dad is extremely precise, and the item was singular on his list. So we took two chain binders. Then we waited for the Menard's men to go away, and we put one back. And we were right. He wants one chain binder.

Trip #3 to the Kmart
6:40am on Friday
I went to return my "big thing" at the Kmart since it was no bueno unless I could get three. The customer service rep was excited to see me. She told me one more of my "big things" was available. So close, but I needed three, not two. Then she leaned forward and whispered that the third one would be available for  me in 20 minutes if no one came forward with the voucher. :D Yeah!

Trip #4 to the Kmart
7:00am on Friday
I GOT THREE "BIG THINGS!" Christmas is saved at la casa de Schaffer! Fa la la la la! La la la la!

Thank you customer service girl at the Marshalltown Kmart!!! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Day I Sent a Text to the Wrong Person

I had an unfortunate texting incident. I sent a text to my hardworking husband. Only it went to my hardworking husband's FRIEND. This particular friend happens to be my husband's lieutenant at the fire station.

TJ was about to finish up his shift at his part time job at Dick's Sporting Goods on Black Friday. He was about to join me at my parent's house. I wanted to encourage him after a long day and also asked him to bring me a couple things.

To best experience this post, you must now pretend you are my husband's lieutenant. And you've just received a text from me.

Start reading with the text I wrote in green.

I about died.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Four Funny Things I've Seen at The Walmart

I'm sure I've seen more than four funny things at the Walmart, but these are the things that stick out.

Thing #1: Woman Admits She Steals Hand Sanitizer from Her Workplace

I was in the check-out line behind two women and a little girl. The little girl picked up a little bottle of hand sanitizer and asked if she could have it. Her Auntie said, "Girl, why would we buy hand sanitizer when yo mama works at the hospital and can bring home as much as she wants!" Then she turned and looked at me like she was hot stuff. Like maybe I should be jealous of her free hand sanitizer situation.

By the way, in our house, we shorten hand sanitizer to hanitizer. That was Gwen's idea.

Thing #2: A Clueless Employee

I know...shocker, right? A couple weeks ago, I made a quick to trip to the Walmart for a birthday gift. I thought I would chug through a express lane. Little did I know that the cashier was about to slow down the express train.

Me: I would like a gift receipt for this.
Miss Walmart: A what?
Me: A gift receipt.
Miss Walmart: What's that?
Me. A giiiiiifffft receeeeeipt.
Miss Walmart: (speechless)
Me: It's a receipt that doesn't show the price, but can be used to return the item.
Miss Walmart: (speechless)
Me: So the person who receives the gift can't see how much you paid for it.
Miss Walmart: (with disbelief) No. We don't do that. I've never even heard of such a thing.
Me: What? (thinking for a second that I might be the crazy one) I've gotten them here lots of times.
Miss Walmart: Nope.
Me: Yes, I'm sure you do them.
Miss Walmart: (speechless)
Me: I'm not going to buy this unless I can get a gift receipt.
Miss Walmart: (hollering to a cashier at the next register) Hey, have you ever heard of a gift receipt?

To Miss Walmart's surprise, the other cashier came over, pushed a few buttons and magically printed out a gift receipt. TOLD YA, Miss Walmart!

Thing #3: A Fake Service Dog

A few weeks ago, I was in the cereal aisle and noticed a family shopping with a large dog. The dog was on a leash, but it was pretty excited to be in the Walmart. It was jumping around smelling other customers and things on the shelf. The dad had a smug look on his face like he wanted people to notice or comment on the dog. Like everyone else in the aisle, I completely ignored it.

Then I rounded the corner and saw two employees huddled together. I heard one say, "He said it was a service dog, so there's nothing we can do about it."

I've never seen a service dog jumping around smelling things or sniffing strangers crotches, so I'm 99% it was a fake. I wish you could have seen it because I can't seem to find the words to tell you how funny and weird it was!

Thing #4: Flowers in the Men's Room

TJ took this picture for me of some flowers that were unexpectedly displayed in the Walmart men's room. Even though he didn't buy the flowers, I loved that he sent this picture even more than if he had sent the flowers to me. This man gets me!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dairy Queen Blizzard Spoons

I submitted this request to Dairy Queen through their website on Monday.
I am a DQ fan and am curious about your Blizzard spoons. Why are they shaped the way that they are? To clarify, I'm talking about the long spoons that are opaque white, with a four-sided hollow cube tube handle, and a hook-like thing on the end. I've always wondered about the spoons, and Google disappointed me.
Please help me solve one of life's mysteries! I would be very grateful, and I promise to eat more Blizzards, even when it's cold outside! Thank you, Dairy Queen Queen (or Dairy Queen King if you are a guy)! 
P.S. I noticed that the photo of the Blizzard on this very page has a regular old red plastic spoon. Is that because it's prettier than the actual spoon or do some DQ's use different types of spoons for their blizzards? 
P.P.S. I like the Blizzard spoon, even though it is not photogenic. I'm not photogenic either, and most people seem to like me.
Here's a picture of the spoon I was talking about.

After crafting such an eloquent message, I'm sure you can imagine my disappointment when the form had technical issues and did not submit.

I was really curious, so I called the DQ headquarters in Minneapolis. Charlene in customer service was friendly, but she did not know the answer. She offered to ask some of her coworkers. They said I was actually describing the spoons used in McDonald's McFlurries! (Oh, boy, did I feel STUPID!) She went on to explain that the spoons are designed to attach to McFlurry machines and are used to stir in the mixings. That way they don't have to clean any attachments.

Well, that explains the shape and hook thing on the McDonald's McFlurry (not DQ Blizzard) spoons! It also explains why the photos on the DQ site do not show these spoons. The McFlurries on the McDonald's website are shown without spoons, in case you were curious. My taste for both McFlurries AND Blizzards partially explains why I'm not photogenic. You're welcome for solving many mysteries.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Western Themed Day

I woke up early Saturday morning to take the 8th and 9th grade Girl Scouts to volunteer at Aspire Therapeutic Riding. We cleaned the horse barn, picked up "apples" from the pasture and winterized the memory garden. The girls worked very hard!

I was pretty tired when I got home and accidentally parked with one wheel off the driveway. Click here for a story about another one of my bad park jobs.

That night I watched Emma perform in an unbelievably good junior high performance of Oklahoma! 
I once saw a performance of Oklahoma! that starred John Schneider. I met him after the show, but was completely star struck! Look how pretty he is!

After Oklahoma, we hosted the cast party for about 30 kids at our house. It was great fun and I would totally do it again!

When we were finishing up at Aspire Therapeutic Riding earlier that day, a lady said she had a leftover sheet cake and wondered if we could use it. Yes! I was actually going to make a cake for the cast party, so that would save me some work! I couldn't believe my good luck (hehe see the horseshoes?) when I saw the cake because it was decorated PERFECTLY for Oklahoma!

I posted a couple notes for the party to keep the kids out of trouble.

When I started planning the party, I googled "How to plan the best junior high party." Well. WELL. What I found was advice written by junior high students. A couple of the suggestions were Spin the Bottle and a Makeout Room. That's why you don't let kids plan their own parties!

Instead, I bought the latest Just Dance Wii game and set out games like Jenga, Twister, Spoons and Apples to Apples. They did play the games, but I learned that the key to a good junior high party is to have plenty of pop (soda for you here for the rules of my blog). I tried not to hover too much, but I did quickly intervene when a group of about seven boys and girls locked themselves into the bathroom. That's when I announced the rule about one person in the bathroom at a time. Next time I'll write a note about that. Seriously, I will.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Random Text

This morning I had a text from a number I don't know. I replied truthfully, but I did add in some jive. They are white. I am green. (I'm talking about the color of the bubbles on my screen, not skin color. Sheesh!)

That last one was an accident. I meant to text TJ because I have the day off and wanted to walk the dog. I wonder what keishya thought I meant by that! Oh, I looked up the area code, which is in Houston, TX. I don't think this text is from the couple of people I know from Houston.

Also, I wonder if someone was trying to trick me. First they said they were keishya. Then they were looking for her.

Oh, and I got a call from this number a little bit ago, but I got nervous and didn't answer. That was before I accidentally texted them about the leash.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Here's why you shouldn't bite your fingernails. Or your toenails.

This post is going to sound a lot like last month's The wart is gone. If it comes back, it can stay.

I don't know about you other parents, but I hear daily complaints about a sore neck or a hurt knee or a blurry eye or an injured finger, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. And like most good parents, I ignore it all. At least until the patient has complained several times about the same thing for at least two days. I followed that rule and then finally took a look at Alli's sore finger. After all, how serious could a sore finger be? Well, I felt pretty guilty when I saw it. The whole end of her finger was swollen and red, but the thing that disturbed me was that the "moon" on her nail was puffy and GREEN! So off we went to the convenient clinic.

The nurse took one look and said, "Oh, boy. We're going to have to stick a needle in and get that drained." One thing you should know is that Alli is terrified of needles. Here's what instantly happened to her face:
- Her eyes got huge and started leaking
- Her nostrils sucked in sealed shut
- The center of her lips poked out and the sides squeezed in
- Her little chin crinkled and shook

The nurse felt badly for making her upset and then broke the news that we needed to wait about 30 minutes for the doctor. Alli calmed herself down by making up a song to the tune of She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain. The first verse went something like, "She'll be coming with a needle through the door!"

We got a straight-shooting Indian lady doctor. Her worst grade in medical school was probably Bedside Manner 101. But maybe just a C, not an F. At least she tried. She felt she could calm Alli down by explaining every detail of what she was going to do.

After her finger was numb, I held Alli's head and good hand while she laid back. Dr. Indian Lady (DIL) showed Alli the blade, which looked like any Exacto blade. Bigger eyes. Bigger tears. Then DIL said she was going to poke. Alli was freaking out, but I was holding her close, trying to keep her still. DIN asked Alli if she wanted to watch. Really? No.

Then DIN said, "Mom, Mom. Look at dis. Look, Mom!" (It reminded me of the lady who threaded my eyebrows.) I really had no choice, so I looked. And and I got to see DIL squeeze the pus out of a hole she had cut. Boy, I sure am glad I didn't miss that! I realized I was in a difficult situation, needing to choose a reaction that revealed no sign of disgust, that gave the doctor the appreciation she was looking for, and that did not alarm my freaked out kid. It went something like this. "Oh, yes. Oh. Ummm hmm."

It must not have been enough for DIL because she asked if I saw the pus. Alli lifted her head to see, and I gently shoved it back down, out of range of the puss. I tried to better express my reaction, using a little more enthusiasm. Then DIL asked the nurse for the blade and said she needed to make the hole a little larger. Alli paniced and tried to lift her head, but I firmly held her forehead down. She got through it just fine, and DIL saved the little finger.

This is kind of gross, but here's a picture of her finger 24 hours later. The fingernail may or may not make it through.

We think the infection started because she bites her nails, so that's how I came up with the title of this post. Please don't bite!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!

Here's a video I took of Gwen tonight before bed.

And here's the craft she made last weekend. It's a cow she made out of paper bags. I'm sure glad to have it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things in Sky Mall: Neck Pillows

My dad says it's ok to change careers before you're 40. But statistically, your retirement savings is negatively impacted if you have a drastic career change after 40. Uh oh! I just passed the turning point! And just when I finally identified my dream job! I aspire to work on United Airline's Sky Mall catalog. I would like to be a Sky Mall buyer or writer. Please let me know if you have any connections!

Sky Mall prides themselves on offering things that are surprisingly innovative. Things that you never knew you needed until you see them in the catalog you are flipping through because you can't turn on your kindle for about 20 minutes before, during and after take-off. There are many, many items that make you want to nudge the stranger sitting next to you so you can share a hearty laugh.

It's tough to choose where to start, but I'm going to focus on the neck pillow category. There's nothing wrong with neck pillows, but they just aren't for me. Kind of like turtle necks. Turtle necks and neck pillows both look fine on other people. As for me, I like to leave my neck out in the open because it's one of my most slender body parts.

Top Five Neck Pillows in Sky Mall

5. The Handkerchief Sneaker
I call it that because it looks like you're trying to fool people into thinking you're wearing a handkerchief instead of a neck pillow. Officially it's called the "Releaf Neck Rest". I wonder why it's Releaf and not Relief. No explanation is given. Any ideas? 
It easily fits into a purse, briefcase or pocket. I assume they are referring to some pocket other than the front one in your jeans. It's a bargain for $19.99
4. The Princess Leia
The unique shape of this neck pillow transforms you into a sleeping warrior princess.
I suggest you do not attempt to awaken this little gal.
Sky Mall says this one was "lovingly designed by an RN." It's $39.99, and the matching blanket is $19.99.

3. The All Around Most unComfortable
This looks about as comfortable as a C-Collar used by paramedics, but it's called the Komfort Kollar.
The inflatable version is just $27.85. (Your flight will be over by the time you finish blowing up your Komfort Kollar.) The memory foam version is a pricey $59.85.

2. The Neck Contraption
Requires the sleeper to sit back on straps that hold the contraption into place. Pray you do not slump forward in your sleep because the back straps will release, your face will hit the seat in front of you and your contraption will go flying. I can picture my coworker, Steve, in this thing.
The UpRight Sleeper is $39.99. You can watch a video here.

The Neck Contraption Cover
If you embarrass easily, conceal your contraption with a cover that doubles as a carrying bag. It also looks a little like the magician just pulled a head out of an empty bag. Wow! Amaaaaaazing!
$9.99 and available in satin or fleece!
1. The Snuggler
Is it a quiver? Is it a club? No! It's an inflatable pillow, shaped to fit around your body so you can comfortably snuggle it on the plane. Less embarrassing than a teddy bear? Debatable.
Did I mention that it can be tethered to your body or to your seat. It does all that and more for $29.99.
P.S. Seriously. Let me know if you can get me that Sky Mall job. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What a Cool Dog!

I've been a lazy blogger lately, haven't I! I don't have a great excuse, other than I've been busy turning forty and traveling for work.

Anyway, Emma and I were driving around town with our girl, Nellie. Nellie loves to hang her head out the window, but Emma was nervous that she was going to fall out. It's actually a valid worry because Nellie is a clumsy beast. She falls off the bed all the time. So we put the windows up.

 Silly dog popped up out of the sun roof. We let her stay up there for a little bit because it made us laugh and it made her happy! I hope it made at least one other person laugh, too! Win-Win-Win!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My First Trip to Providence

The good news is that I made it to Providence, Rhode Island safely and in time for my meetings this morning. The bad news is...well, let me tell you! I left my house at 9am to make my 12:28 flight from Des Moines. I checked in at a United kiosk, but it didn't seem to be working right. A nice employee came to my rescue and said United didn't have a 12:28 flight to Chicago. I pulled out my agenda to see if I had the wrong airline. Nope, it was United. But then I noticed that the flight didn't leave from Waterloo at 12:28. It arrived in Chicago at 12:28. So I missed it. Sometimes I am amazed at my own stupidity!

Luckily, the nice United lady rebooked me to arrive in Providence a little later than planned. I arrived in Chicago and tried to make the most of my long layover. My flight was supposed to leave at 7:15, but I started getting text updates from United.

Flight is delayed to 7:50

Flight is delayed to 9:06

Flight now departs at 8:40 (Hey, that's good!)

Flight is delayed to 8:55

Flight is delayed to 9:10

Flight is delayed to 9:30

We started boarding around 10:00. The plane drove away from the gate and got in a line behind a lot of other planes. Then the pilots turned off the engines in order to save gas. Then we had to wait for the airport to open a different runway because the wind changed directions. We sat there for about an hour and a half. I couldn't even read my Kindle because electronic devices had to be turned off. I would have snuck it, but I was sitting next to the flight attendant in the back row. And I was next to the bathroom, which is not cool.

We landed at 1:54am. Another bad thing about being in the back row is that you're last off the plane. I picked up my luggage and found the taxi line. You have to go to the first taxi in order to make it fair for the drivers. The first taxi in line looked a little run down. I wanted to put my suitcase in the trunk, but the driver wasn't paying attention. I opened the back door and noticed she was somehow sleeping even though rap music was blaring. I asked her to open the trunk, but she was trying to wake up and couldn't hear me over the music. I put my bags in the backseat and sat down. I gave her my hotel info, and she tried to start the car. After several tries, I told her I was just going to get another cab, but she asked me to please wait. Then I heard her make a call to ask someone to jump start her cab. That's when I stopped caring about the taxi line rules and found a different cab. 

Needless to say, I really needed a shower this morning. I thought I was missing something, because I couldn't figure out hot to turn on the shower! It looked like a simple contraption, but the handle would not budge!
It even has little arrows to show which way to turn it for on and off. I pulled really hard. Then I thought maybe it was like my dryer knob where you have to pull it out and then turn it.
I wasn't super embarrassed when the maintenance kid saw me in my pajamas. He fixed the shower in a few seconds. I asked him what was wrong with it, and he said it was stuck. So I did get my shower, and the rest of the trip has gone well so far. Wish me luck for the return trip tomorrow night!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm Kind of Like My Mom, But Not Really

Someone once told me about a study that proved people learn how to handle toilet paper from their mother. Apparently, if you fold your TP before wiping, there's a strong probability that you mother also folds. And if you wad it up, it's likely your mom wads. Great use of research funds, I say.

This may surprise you, but I'm actually not going to tell you what I do with my toilet paper. I actually do keep a few things private. However, it may be an interesting topic of conversation at our family Thanksgiving.

I don't know about the TP thing yet, but here are some things I do have in common with my mom:
  • We store our beaters in the silverware drawer. (I actually only have one beater. See this story.)
  • We chew gum, only I can't make mine pop like she does.
  • We drive fast, only I've had a few more tickets than my mom.
  • We laugh until we cry.
  • We are afraid of those creepy black spiders with a red spot on their backs that like to hang out in the tomato plants.
  • We fold our towels in half, in half, and then in thirds.
  • We like to read.
  • We love the same people.
  • We eat our popcorn in milk, like cereal.
I will tell you one thing I don't have in common with my mom is the way we use food storage containers. Mom is an expert in getting the exact right size container for the amount of food to store. Every time she eats a bit, she moves the leftover leftovers to a smaller size container. Mom's motivation is to save room in the fridge. My motivation is to do as few dishes as possible, so I usually have large containers with small amounts of food. For example, here's a salad we've been chipping away at.
A photo that will never win a photography award. I swear it looks better in person!
You better believe I put that single salad serving right back in the fridge in the original bowl. But here's the thing. Almost every time I do that, I think of my mom and how she would find a smaller, perfectly sized container. It almost feels like I'm defying her. Is that a sin? I may not always do what she does, but that doesn't mean she's not in my head!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bad Parking Experiences (and I'm not talking about making out)

Does it ever bug you when you notice that someone has done a really bad job parking their car? Maybe some of the tires are up on the curb or the car is hugging, on or <gasp!> over the painted lines. And then you notice it's your car? And you realize that you're the one who parked it there? Oh the shame! Does that happen to you??? I wouldn't say that happens to me all the time, but I wouldn't say it never happens. Ok, it happened today at work.

I was excited that I got to work early this morning and got to park next to the door. That meant that a lot of people walked right by my car. I don't know how this would have happened, but here's how I found my car parked after work.
My car parked about 6 feet from the front of my parking spot
Here's another car I noticed the other day that did not pull all the way forward into its spot. See the parking line that is right in front of the rear tire? I'm not the only one!
Big Rims may have parked this way on purpose because he didn't want a car to park behind him.

Except a truck DID park behind Big Rims. Oh, and I didn't get a picture, but the truck's rear end was sticking out of the back of its parking spot, partially blocking the driving lane.
I almost didn't notice the bad parking job because I was distracted by the oversized tires. I do not understand why people put expensive rims and tires on cruddy cars. If you have the money to do that, why not just buy a nicer car? And guys, here are the two questions you should ask yourself before pimping your ride.

1. What kind of woman do I want?
2. Would that kind of woman feel good about riding around in my pimped out car?

I don't know of a classy woman who would want to ride around in a rusty 1980's sedan with fancy rims. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I'm just getting old. I just hope Big Rims never shows up in my driveway to pick up one of my girls.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fun Kids Activity: Wedding Planning

Most of the time, I'm a last minute kind of girl, but every once in a while I do plan ahead. For example, I encouraged my daughters to start planning their weddings a couple years ago when they were 11, 8 and 5. They each made a binder that we can pull out when the big day arrives. We have pretty solid plans.

I picked up some old bridal magazines that the library was giving away. Then I took the girls to the paint section in Lowe's to pick out their wedding colors. I printed pages with categories of decisions they need to make. It gave them some structure, but they could choose to include or ignore any of the pages, depending on what was important to them.
Each girl started with an opening page, so we can remember how old they were when they made their plans.
I made one template page for them to fill in with a lot of the details. I'll write their responses below.

Emma - Age 11

I will be 20 years old.
I will weigh 197 lbs.
My fiance's name will be Bryan.
My fiance will be 20 years old. He will have brown hair and brown eyes.
We will get married at Disney World.
We will have 2,000 guests.
I will have 5 bridesmaids.
Their names will be Alli, Gwen, Kylie, Maddie, Chloe.
Our food will be Chicken Alfredo.
Songs that we'll dance to Tik Tok, Hey There Delila.
After the wedding, we will live in Florida.

Emma is going with a classy jungle theme for her reception.

Alli - Age 8

I will be 25 years old.
I will weigh 110 lbs.
My fiance's name will be Alex.
My fiance will be 26 years old. He will have brown/blond hair and blue eyes.
We will get married at a beach.
We will have 58 guests.
I will have 6 bridesmaids.
Their names will be Emma, Gwen, Sophie, Maddie, Harley, and Gracen.
Our food will be cake, punch, crackers and dip.
Songs that we'll dance to Who Let the Dogs Out.
After the wedding, we will live in Chicago.

Alli was very specific about her colors.

It says "My Bridesmaids Dresses color is going to be sea song and my flower girls Dress is going to Be Firmament and my Dress is going to be candy. My furniture color is going to be ocean voyage and the room is going to be Apple4."

Gwen - Age 5

I will be 15 years old.
I will weigh 31 lbs.
My fiance's name will be Hudson.
My fiance will be 15 years old. He will have yellow hair and blue eyes.
We will get married at a ball.
We will have 100 guests.
I will have 2 bridesmaids.
Their names will be Emma and Alli.
Our food will be cake, punch, ice cream, circle eat, jawbreakers, candy and cheese. (Circle eat is bologna and is still one of her favorite foods)
Songs that we'll dance to Hey There Delila, Boom Boom Pow, ball songs, and Fireflies.
After the wedding, we will live in a castle.

Gwen chose an elaborate dress.
And then she drew a picture of how it would look on her.

I really wish I would have asked the girls how much their weddings will cost. We should probably start saving money now!

Making Your Own Wedding Plans

I highly recommend this activity with your kids. When you're ready, gather these supplies and let their imagination take over!
  • 3 ring binder
  • Sheet protectors
  • Bridal magazine(s)
  • Paint color cards
  • Scissors, glue, pens, crayons or markers
  • Template (Here's mine, or you can easily make your own)
  • Blank pages for things you didn't think of

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kelly's Wedding

We had a great time at Kelly's wedding last weekend! instead of writing about it, I'm going to share a few photos. I was completely enjoying the beautiful event, and wasn't thinking about taking pictures. They're not great quality, but you'll get the idea!
A fun direction sign and table signs. The swirls were rhinestones!
Another sign along the road that let us know what we were in for.    
Kelly and three of her bridesmaids
Me and mine...15 years ago!
Kelly and Tyler
Kelly at the reception with TJ sneaking into the background. It's a funny thing he's done since he was a kid. :)
Tyler and Kelly Domino. Guaranteed to Last a Lifetime! You know...because Kelly and I work at the manufacturer of Craftsman tool storage.

I loved the lanterns with different colored lights.
The prettiest cake I've ever seen!
Except of course our tower of goodness! As in, "Oh my goodness!"
And we're still happy, happy, happy!
That's all for tonight!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Little Indian: My Brother's Potty Partner

I don't know much about urinals. I know that there's a magical round thing in them that somehow keeps them fresh and clean. I know that if I see a urinal, I have just opened the wrong door! I also happen to know that at least one men's room at Adventureland has (or had) something more like a long trough for the boys to use. I don't know how common that is or what it is called. I know about it because TJ once came out of there with a really weird look on his face. A little boy had taken one of the first steps to become a man by going into that men's room all by himself. He found a spot at the trough next to TJ. Unfortunately, the boy was too short, and he sprayed straight up into the air. And he was unable to stop the flow.

My brother, Ryan, knows how much I appreciate a good bathroom story, so this one is from him. Ryan explained that the urinals in his office have automatic flushers. I have to be honest right here. I did not know urinals flush. If they don't have an automatic flusher, do they have a flush handle on the side? Or do they have a flush pedal? Maybe I don't need to know that.

Have you ever accidentally gotten on the same bathroom schedule as someone in your office? It's an awkward situation that no one likes to talk about. (Except me. I love to talk about stuff like that. I even have a name for it. It's your potty partner.) You might decide to adjust your schedule, but you never remember to adjust it until after you are in the bathroom and you run into your potty partner. Again. Well, Ryan has a potty partner he calls Little Indian. There are three reasons for this nickname:
  1. Little Indian is short.
  2. Little Indian is from India.
  3. Ryan doesn't know Little Indian's real name. HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HIS POTTY PARTNER'S NAME!
It's going to sound like I'm bouncing around here, but I promise it will come back around. It's important for you to know that the automatic-urinal-flusher sensors work just like the sensors in the ladies room. They sense when the person has moved away from the target. The automatic-urinal-flusher sensors are located just above the urinal. It works well for all of the urinal-users in the office with one little exception. Little Indian. Little Indian is so short that the top of his head is barely in line with the automatic-urinal-flusher sensor. So he stands there, trying to do his business with his urinal flushing like crazy. It's like the urinal is screaming, "Hey, everybody! Look at me! I'm in use!" Ryan said it's best to keep your eyes on the ceiling in order to keep from laughing. It's gotten somewhat better because Little Indian has learned to reduce the constant flushing by standing on his tip-toes and holding his head very, very, very still. Apparently it's still entertaining.

I like to include at least one photo in my posts, so I googled "urinal trough". It appears to be the correct term. I apologize in advance for leaving you with this image, but I just didn't know what else to do.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Wart is Gone. If it comes back, it can stay.

Emma, my 13-year-old, is begging me not to post this post. She said I should never ever ever mention my wart. She's not the boss of me, which means you get to hear this story.

I've had a wart on my naughty finger for three or four years. It laughed in the face of every over-the-counter treatment, so I finally made a doctor appointment to get rid of it. On my way to my appointment yesterday, I started to wonder if I might actually miss my wart. It's given me something to pick at when I'm nervous. It's been there for the good times and the bad times. It comforts me to press on it and cause a little pain when I do something stupid, like yell the wrong name at a soccer game. I know that's gross.

It was time to say goodbye. I don't go to the doctor very often, so I felt silly for going in for something so minor. Umm...was it really necessary for the nurse to weigh me in for a wart appointment? I wondered if they going to weigh me afterwards to calculate how much the wart weighed. The first question the nurse asked was if I was having chest pains. And then she took my blood pressure. Evidently it was stuff they needed to cover before getting rid of my warty little friend.

Dr. K used to be my neighbor, so we had a nice chat. Sometimes it's good to personally know your doctor, and sometimes it's not good. I plan to go to urgent care if I ever have anything super embarrassing. Funny how fewer and fewer things fall into that "embarrassing" category, the older I get. When I held up my naughty finger, Dr. K got a weird look on his face and said he didn't even know if it was a wart. In my head, I thought to myself, "It probably looks weird because I get nervous a lot and have picked off the top of it". But I didn't say anything out loud. Then Dr. K said it didn't really matter because he would figure it out when he started cutting into it.

WAIT A SECOND! "Cutting into it?!" I thought we'd be freezing this thing off. Well, shoot! Before I could ask any questions, Dr. K said he would be back with all his stuff. He really said it just like that. His stuff.

Dr. K came back with a nurse and a bag of stuff that I tried not to look at. I scooted my chair to the exam table and laid my hand on an almost-white towel. I asked if the towel was clean, and they told me it had come from a hospital. I acted like that answered the question. Then I declared that I would not be watching whatever it was Dr. K was going to do to my finger. He seemed surprised and asked if I was more worried about the needles or the blood. Oh, good golly! I wished he hadn't said either one of those words. I hadn't even considered that it would be bloody! I stuttered, but didn't really answer. He gave me a pillow and told me to lay my head down and look the other way.

I got as comfortable as possible with my right hand on the clean white towel, my bottom in a chair, my feet on the floor with one of them a-tap-tap-tapping, my right cheek on a pillow, my back curved around in an unflattering posture, and my eyes squished tight. I wasn't sure what to do with my left arm, so it was the last thing still moving around, trying to find a "natural" position. Dr. K got all his stuff out and told me I'd feel a little bee sting. He was still talking about the little bee stings as he gave me five shots in the finger. Dr. K also practices pediatric care. I handled the bee stings just fine. After that, I couldn't feel pain, but I could feel a feeling that someone was digging into and cutting something out of my finger. I stayed very still and quiet during that part. These are some things I heard Dr. K say.

"Oh, you were right! It is a wart! I see the core right there."

"Wow. It's really deep."

"Hmmm. I don't think I should dig any deeper."

"Now I'm going to cauterize."

"Now it will feel cold while I freeze the core."

"Let's clean this up for you."
[I'm picturing a bloody, bloody mess.]

"Give me a call if it comes back, and I'll work on it some more."
[I stayed quiet, but I'll let you guess what I was thinking.]
[And then, as I lifted my head off the pillow]
"Oh, are you sweating?! Are you light headed?"

I admitted that I felt a little dizzy, but really I felt a lot dizzy. The nurse gave me a cool damp washcloth and rested for a little while. I finally looked at my finger, expecting to see it wrapped up in thick gauze. I was prepared to see a bit of blood around the edges. In fact, I wondered if I would be able to type when I went back to work. I saw this.
I might be a wimp, but at least I'm not warty.

That could be the title of a country song, or at least in the lyrics of a country song. You heard it here first.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Operation Save A Buck

I'm on a kick to save a little money. I realize that one of the easiest ways we can save money is food. I get lazy with meal planning and eat whatever sounds good and is convenient. When TJ works his side job at Richard's (his name for Dick's Sporting Goods), he sacrifices his lunch break to pick up he kids from school in the afternoon. I'm a nice wife, and I bring him deli or fast food that he can woof in down on a 10 minute break. It's not healthy, and it's EXPENSIVE! Well, duh!

Time for a new routine! I know myself enough to know that I will not get up early to pack anybody a lunch. I'm not even in the ballpark of being that motivated in the morning. So we need something easy. TJ got some frozen burritos that he can microwave at Richard's. And I ate sandwiches four days this week. Instead of making lunch ahead of time, I brought ingredients to work and assemble my sandwich in the break room. That way I only have to remember to bring ingredients about once a week. Here's a hint for you: "hint of lime" mayo doesn't have enough hint, but dill mayo is YUM.

Today I broke down and went to Subway because I had a bad experience at the doctor trying to remove my wart. I'll tell you about that soon. I'm not ready to joke about it yet.

I tried to make our evening meals at home this week, too, even if it was more sandwiches, salads, hot dogs or some other cheap, fast solution. Until last night. Because I suddenly realized what time of the year it is. It's my favorite time of the year. Sure, the leaves are pretty, and the weather has been lovely. But that's not what I'm talking about.

It's McDonald's Monopoly.

I dislike McDonald's food. And I don't gamble. I've never bought a lottery ticket and I don't spend a penny gambling when I go to Las Vegas for work. BUT, I believe in my naive, innocent heart that I have a shot at winning McDonald's Monopoly.

Last night I went through the drive through and carefully planned my order using the menu board that smartly lists which items have Monopoly plays. I maximized the plays per dollar with a #1 (on the drink and Big Mac), 3 medium pops (play, play, play) and a 20 piece McNugget (double plays, man. double plays.). I forgot to ask for a Monopoly board, so I stopped the car and made Alli run in and ask for one. After we matched up our plays, I made Alli slowly read each prize and how we were doing. We are one property away from $1 million. So it's looking good for us.

Oh, but then I crushed my own precious hope with my own curiosity. I asked Mr. Google which properties are rare. This also happens to be a list of properties that I am looking for. If you find one of these, please give it to me. I will appreciate your kindness.

Pennsylvania Ave
Ventor Ave
Kentucky Ave
Tennessee Ave
Verginia Ave
Vermont Ave
Meteranian Ave
Short Line RR