Sunday, June 28, 2009

Where, Oh Where?

If you were a one-year-old where would you hide the remote?

And don't say couch cushions, we've checked there. Twice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A List

The other day my visiting teachers came over. The two girls assigned to me are actually friends of mine. One lives across the street and the other is her best friend. They're really fun. I don't ever hang out with them but I talk to my neighbor when we're both outside and she's way good at food storage and having lots of stuff on hand to bake with so she's my go-to guy when it comes to borrowing sugar, flour, eggs, etc.

So let me give you a little history. I'm a cancer survivor, remember? I had Hodgkin's disease when I was 17 and again when I was 19. Well during my first bout with it I had radiation therapy to my throat, neck, part of my mouth, chest and under my arms. Now, several years later, I can't swallow my food worth a damn. It always get stuck in my throat. I'm certain it's scar tissue built up from the radiation. I've had my esophagus stretched twice and it always comes back. This past year I discovered the only thing that helps food go down: pop. Which works out since I'm addicted to Diet Pepsi, anyway. (Yes, DeNae and Sher...PEPSI) So now I have to drink pop with every meal. And lots of it. The only thing I can eat without choking in cereal. And even then, it still has a hard time going down. The worst food is bread and meat. But lately it's been everything. Pasta, rice, lettuce. Pretty much everything. It's hard to suppress 33 years of eating habits. Normally when a person eats their tongue and throat just automatically start to work the food down the throat. Well, I have to focus on keeping it all in my mouth and chew it to oblivion. And to remember to take small bites. Not that I take HUGE bites, but I have to intentionally take small bites. So the first bite I take of any meal is usually too big and I don't usually chew it good enough. This is mostly a nuisance. I do throw up about every single day. Food just gets caught and it won't go down. I'm not really choking, in that I can still breathe and talk. But the food is just sitting there. I start to salivate like you do before you throw up. And I can always tell right away when it's just not gonna happen and I'm gonna have to go put my finger down my throat and get it up. I know. This is way graphic. Sorry.

Well, one time I was eating Cafe Rio (yum!) and I took a bite of chicken (seems to be the WORST thing for me to eat. Which is awesome since I love chicken.) and it got stuck. So I take a drink. Still stuck. Another drink. Even more stuck. So I get up to "fix it" and realize I'm not going to be able to make it to the bathroom and I start heaving into the garbage can. And for the first time ever, I actually choked. Like full-on, not breathing, panicking, sheer terror, choking. Luckily Tavis was there. He didn't actually have to do anything because I eventually worked it out but when it was done I was so scared to think what would have happened if I hadn't worked it out and he hadn't been there?? Ya. So now I'm really nervous to eat when he's not home or when my kids aren't home. At least they can call 911 if they need to.

So if you're ever out to eat with me and it seems like I'm drinking an inordinate amount of Diet Coke (since most places are jerks and don't serve Pepsi), don't judge me. It's because I'm doing my best to get my food to my stomach!

OK, fast forward to my VT's coming over. I had just fixed me a PB & J sandwich for breakfast (shut up). They come in and get settled. I take ONE bite of my sandwich and I realize it's not going down. Drink my Pepsi. Nothing. So I tell them that I have to be right back. I get up and walk the, I don't know, 6 feet toward my front door and realize I'm not gonna make it to the bathroom so I stick my head out the front door and try to "work it out". Well, guess what? Cafe Rio all over again! I started to FULL-ON choke! So there I am choking and gasping for breath and spewing Pepsi all over my porch while my poor friends are in the house not knowing what the hell is going on! This whole episode lasted about 20 seconds, but it seemed like FOREVER. When I stopped choking, I walked back inside and the look on their faces was one of sheer dumbfoundedness. (Is that a word?) So I sat back down and explained to them what just happened and I realized that the bite hadn't gone down (or up) all the way, still. So I took my Pepsi and went to the bathroom and got it all "worked out".

So, on to my list.

How to Look Dumb in Front of Your Visiting Teachers:

1. Throw up on your front porch.

2. Say "ass". A lot. Before you realize you've said it. A lot.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do You Know What Today Is???


Why are you still here? Get over there and wish her happy birthday!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Birthday Fun!

Warning: Picture overload ahead. You're welcome.

Last Saturday was Avery's birthday party.

This is the kids in their "crash posistions" on the airplane thingie.

She had a Hawaiian party. This is the first birthday party I've ever given her. Ya, I'm mother of the year like that. So I send out like almost 20 invitations. One for each of the girls in her class as well as a few others. I put at the bottom where it says RSVP to call or text. Which should mean that I really do wanna know who's coming and who's not, right? Or not. I only got about 5 RSVP's so I was nervous that she wouldn't have a good turnout. Plus that the freaking WAD I spent would go to waste. But as luck would have it, 9 girls showed up. So including her there were 10 girls and Hayden. That was perfect. They did potato sack races. (Actually, I use the term "race" very loosely here. There was no finish line. No prize. Just who could get to the sand box and back the fastest.) Kids are so dang awesome! They had such a good time doing that "race". After a couple there-and-backs they split up and did a few races with just a couple kids. "Race" around the trampolie, etc. They just made up their own rules and had so much fun! Good kids. Notice Hayden on the left side of the picture. It's hard to tell the difference between this picture of him and the next one of him. He's so dang funny.

Then I had bought a thing that you put your face in and took their pictures. (Crap, that reminds me I need to get those printed and send them to the kids!) Scott and Tavis and Hayden and kind of Harley got their pictures taken, too. Way fun.

Then we did cupcakes. Every Wednesday after work the girls I work with and I go to Chili's for chips and salsa. Our waitress, Alisha, does professional cupcakes so I had her make Avery some and put them in the shape of an 8. They were chocolate with peanut butter cream filling. YUMMMMY!!! She put crushed graham crackers down to look like sand and added sea shells and umbrella. I put the flowers on them to make 'em look like a lei. She said she could do that, too, but I had already bought the lei and just cut it up and stuck them on. It was so freakin' cute! Seriously, if you have any event that you want DELICIOUS cupcakes for, go visit her! She's darling and so accommodating and makes a bad-A cupcake!

Then we did presents. She got a lot of really great stuff! He friends (parents) totally hooked her up! By this time it was 11:50. Really? I have to entertain these kids for another 40 mins??? But Tavis said they'd be fine to just play in the sand box and the creek and he was right! Those kids had so much fun! She's got some really fun, cute friends. And the best part was we found out one them lives by us! See, we don't really go to church very often. And my kids never go to church with me because they go to their dad's every weekend and they go to church with him. So we really don't know what kids live by us that they go to school with. Plus, we live at the very tip corner of our ward so it's likely that the kids that live right by us don't go to our church, anyway.

So finally at freakin' 12:50 (the party was supposed to go from 11-12:30) the last kid's mom picked her up. OK, that's a funny story. This little cutie shows up in a sarong and has dark skin and dark hair. She looks Hawaiian or Polynesian at least. So my ex, Scott, says to her, "are you Hawaiian?" She says, "no, it's a sarong." Oh. OK. So he says, "no, are you Hawaiian?" "No. It's a sarong." I'm laughing under my breath.

So this little cutie is the last to have her mom come which gave me time to talk to her. Scott was taking the kids home with him for the rest of the weekend so he was waiting with me. (Tavis was inside feeding Harley lunch.) My kids and their cousin were piled in his car, just waiting for this girl's mom to come. Anyway, we're all kinda hanging out on the driveway. So I ask her, "where do you get your beautiful brown skin and dark hair? What's your last name?" She tells me a perfectly NON-Polynesian name. So I say, "where's your mom from?" She says, "um....California."

Huh. "Where's your dad from?"

"California, too."

Clearly, I'm not going to get it out of this kid where she's from. And it didn't matter, obviously. We were just curious. She really is SUCH a cute girl! And her name's not bad, either. It's Amber. So I just finally say, "well you've got beautiful skin and your hair is so cute!"

"Well, I'm part Indian so that's why."

AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREEEEE!!!! (I wasn't about to go into "feather" or "dot".)

Anyway, her mom finally got there and cute little part-Indian Amber left.

Then I went to work that night and guess who came to see me??? VANESSA!!! It was Dillon's birthday and he and I bonded at lunch a few weeks ago and he CHOSE to go to Rib City just to see me. How freakin' cool is that?? I love that kid! He's adorable!!!

So it was a great day. The weather was perfect but for a little wind. Avery had a ton of fun. I had a ton of fun watching her have fun. And then I got to see Vanessa and her darling family.


So I'm probably going to be doing some posting over at Rib City Grill's blog. My boss is under the impression I actually know what the hell I'm doing when it comes to blogging. She obviously hasn't spent much time over here. Go visit if you get the chance!

Monday, June 8, 2009

And a Hush Falls Over the Crowd

Welcome to the next stop on the "Solitude" blog tour! It's good to have you here!

Let me tell you a story.

My baby doesn't sleep through the night very often anymore. I'll go into details in a later post. But know this: we're all a little sleep deprived, lately. The first week of summer was kind of hard on me. I've been stressed to the max with Tav's job and Harley not sleeping and the kids being home all day. It's kinda wiggin' me out.

So last week, true to form, Hayden and Avery were sniping at each other. We were getting in the car to go shopping and the bickering was about who got the front seat or something equally as important. ("You had it last time!" "No you did!" "I get it on the way home!") So I went to check the mail and guess what??? Sher's CD was in there! YAY!!!!

After clearing it with Avery that I wasn't ejecting the Hannah Montana sound track, I put in the CD. I turned it right to track 6 because I knew they'd recognize it. As soon as "I Am a Child of God" started the bickering stopped. They listened. They hummed along. They asked who it was and I told them it was my friend. Avery said, "she's incredible." (She can't say her "r's" so she actually said, "she's incwedible".) She looked over the back of the CD cover and asked Hayden if they knew a couple of the other songs. We listened to it the whole way to the store and not one time did they snipe at each other. It was so calming.

Then, tonight I was going to work. I was a little apprehensive about tonight's shift for some reason. I knew Owner was the manager on duty and I was still a little sore about my bad night (which I took down because it was done and over with and I didn't want it there anymore) and the fact that I never got an apology from her. Anyway, I got to work about ten minutes early. So I started Sher's CD again. And again the calming feeling came over me. And I had a pretty good night.

I am AMAZED at how talented this girl is. I have such respect for people (like DeNae) who can hear in their minds how they want a song to sound and then have the ability to put in down on paper and make it sound really good! That they know that this instrument will sound with that one and that it will sound good and they're right!

Sherrie Shepherd is truly, truly gifted. Her album "Solitude" A Collection of Inspirational Piano Solos really is "incwedible".

(And for my non-LDS friends, let me just tell you that it's not all LDS music. Promise.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This Is Where I Live

Just up the street from me, perhaps a block, is this. I know I cuss Utah. I'll always hate the winters here. They'll always last too long. But when spring and summer finally arrive, all those 12 million inches of snow are just a distant bad memory. And this takes their place. And this is where I live. How lucky am I?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Avery!!!!!

(I did two posts in a row today. No, it's not Christmas. Feels like it, though, huh?)

Today my baby girl turns 8. She's such a sweet girl. Seriously, she's my saving grace. Every mom needs a daughter. I couldn't have asked for a better one than her. These pictures are of her at her dance concert last week. Isn't she beautiful???
She's so funny. She's got the best sence of humor. She's clever and witty and fast with her comebacks. Makes her mama proud! And best of all? She looks just like me!!!

I love you, Avery! You're the best daughter EVER!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Oh. My. Gosh.

Let me just tell you about my night at work tonight. (No, this isn't my "terrible night" story.) One of the servers I work with told me I had a table of two. That's all she said. So I go walking up to my table (first table of the night), and facing me was......JERRY SLOAN!!!!! That's right. The winningest coach in NBA history with a single team. The longest tenured coach with a single franchise of all major professional sports. There are only two other coaches in NBA history to have 10 straight winning seasons: Pat Riley and Red Auerbach. Not to mention all his wins with the Chicago Bulls. Which reminds me...he's TALL!! I know he played in the NBA and obviously you gotta be tall, but I was surprised at how tall he is! Like 6'5".

I walked up to him and his wife and said, "Oh my gosh. Wow."
He said, "I gotta eat my ribs with two hands just like everyone else."
Me: "I can't believe you're at my table. My name is Amber."
Sloan: "This is my wife, Tammy."
Me: "Nice to meet you. Oh my goodness. My heart is beating a mile a minute, now."

So they order their drinks (him a raspberry lemonade and water and her iced tea) and each got a full rack of baby back ribs. He got a baked potato with butter only and baked beans. She got a baked potato and cole slaw.

So I go to the back and called Tavis and told him to get down there! Which, of course, he didn't. I also asked the girl that seated him if she knew who he was. She didn't realize it was him. DUH!!!

I took them their drinks and said, "I would just like to say that I have so much respect for you. You're amazing. I don't want to bug you but I just want to tell you that I think you're incredible."

Him: "Thank you."

So I send out a mass text: Guess who's at my table tonight??? JERRY SLOAN!!! Eeeeeeeek!

Here's the replies I got:

Niki: Are you kidding me? How many peeps are with him? He better tip you good!
Jill: Holy!!! Eek is right!! Good luck! Let me know how much he tips you!
Jason: Show him your boobs.
Kim: AWESOME! Treat him like gold. You know, Jazz him up!
Mom: Wow treat him well.
Dad: John Deere. Tractors and stuff. Ask Tavis. He restores John Deere tractors on his farm. (OHHHH!!! Gotcha. Ya, I was confused.)
Alison: Hopefully you get a big tip. That's awesome but kinda scary. Don't spill anything on him. (Thanks, Ali.)
DeNae: How very cool! Get an autograph! (I didn't dare to ask him.)
Vanessa: Awesome! Did he tip good? Was his new wife with him? Did you ask him how come Andre Kirilinko is such a sissy? (Me: BAAAAA!!! I forgot to ask him that.)

So I deliver their meals perfectly. Refilled their drinks right on time. Basically, I nailed it! He had a crutch with him and his leg was extended out from under the table so I asked him, "are you laid up? What happened?"
Wife: "Apparently you don't read the paper?"
Me: (Crap) "No, sorry."
He told me he'd had knee replacement surgery. I asked how he was doing because my (ex) mother in law had her knees done and one was great and the other was not so great. He said at first there were some complications and they had to go back in a week later but that was 5 weeks ago and he was doing a lot better.

The owner came in and sat down and talked to them for a few minutes. His wife ordered dessert and as I was setting it down the owner was saying how good I was. And that I was one of the good ones. (Which when I tell you my "terrible night" story, you'll wonder if it's the same person.)

Apparently, the last time he came in he wasn't very nice. He actually told people no when they asked for an autograph and only tipped like $5. It was during the season so maybe that's why. Anyway, when he left he called my boss and told her that he was really impressed with me. And that he really liked me. Plus, they tipped me $12 on a $56 ticket. Yeee-Haaaw! And as he was leaving he posed for a picture with a little boy. I thought that was really cool.

It was seriously so amazing. I'm a HUGE Jazz fan. HUGE!!! It was such an honor to meet him. Better than when my boss's brother, Vincent D'Onofrio, came in. (Sorry, DeNae. I know you love him, but Sloan meant more to me.)

So there's my incredible story. I ended up making $50 tonight. Not bad for a Monday!!!