Monday, December 22, 2008

My friend Heidi

I used to teach English at Pleasant Grove High School with my friend, Heidi. She was one of those teachers who, even now after several years of not teaching, former students contact to say that she was their FAVORITE teacher! Anyway, Heidi was a HUGE help to me as a flustered and nearly incompetent new teacher - I literally wouldn't haven't survived that first year without her. She has a really funny blog, and her latest post made me laugh. Here it is for you to enjoy! I hope it makes you smile.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mystery Shopping: The Bane of My Existence

I did two mystery shops today, both of them paying pretty well for what mystery shopping usually pays. I dragged my kids along with me. They didn't mind too much the Arby's shop, because they got to eat lunch, and they thought the Anywhere Fitness I "checked out" was pretty cool because Avery kept slipping on their floors with her wet shoes and making all of us, including herself, laugh. But I found that I minded taking my kids along because it wasn't how I would have chosen to spend time with them. (And yet, I did choose this because I am the one who signed up for the shops!) I'm discovering more and more how I loathe performing these shops that I sign up for, and when the due date approaches and I finally have to make good on my obligation, I'm cranky and resentful and stressed. And the people who pay the price for my bad mood are Kate, Avery, and Lilly (and Mac, too, I guess, but mostly the girls).

When I first started mystery shopping a couple of years ago, it was fun and interesting. Here was an unusual way of making a little mad money that often got me free stuff and allowed me to role play different scenarios. I fell in love with it! But as Mac's work schedule has gotten busier and the number of babie's I've birthed has increased, I'm finding that it's just not worth it to me to spend my precious time out on these errands that have become so laborious and so, well, stupid. It's not just the time spent doing the shop either. Once I'm home, I have to find time to input all of the information online while other important things, like cleaning, cooking, playing with my kids, reading, addressing Christmas Cards, and relaxing all have to wait. It's just not worth it anymore!

So why haven't I quit? The same reason any intelligent person doesn't stop a knowingly destructive habit: Because I'm addicted. I keep saying that I'm trying to stop, but doing the stopping is actually really hard. I've always enjoyed making money, and when I became a mom and quit working full time, I began looking for other ways to make money, even when I didn't need to. But I'm hereby declaring that once the new year is upon us, I will sign up for no more mystery shops! I mean it. I do have one shop I'm already scheduled to perform in January, but really - that will be the last one! By making this commitment public, I'm counting on myself actually standing by it. Mylife will be richer, fuller, and more stree-free if I can finally let go of this little money-making side business that has made me into more of a working mom than I want to be.

I blame (er, thank) Lilly for pushing me to this state. That third child really makes you come to grips with your limits.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Budding Author . . .

Kate is really into grabbing five pieces of paper (I don't know why, but it always has to be five), stapling them, and making it into a book! I am really proud of what she's able to do, since she's only four, so I thought I'd share with you one of the cute books she made. I helped her very little. Sometimes, after she had written a word, I would tell her that she spelled a word wrong and how to spell it correctly. She would look at me very confidently and say, "Well, I like to spell it a different way." So I will provide a translation for your convenience for when her spelling gets a little "different."

Cover Page: Boy Stop Writing on the Table . . . Stop Writing.
(Page One): Princess (I'm thinking this is a short prologue to tell us that a princess becomes important later on in the story).
(Page 2:) "Boy, stop writing on the table!" (Apparently, this is a mom speaking, although she's not important enough to be mentioned specifically.)

Page 3: The boy stopped. He gave his mommy a hug.

Page 4: Princess was walking in the woods. She saw a monster.

Page 5: They got married in the temple. (The princess didn't marry the monster - she married the boy, just in case you were wondering.)

Page 6: But there were pirates in the boat. (Cue the scary music!)

Page 7: The pirates came to the . . .

Page 8: Came to the temple!

(The End.)
What a cliff hanger! I mean, did the boy and his princess live happily-ever-after or what.? It's quite a disappointing ending, although not as disappointing as in Breaking Dawn. As her editor and agent, maybe I can talk Kate into writing a sequel with a more satisfying ending.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ta da! I've finally managed to blog my first video. It was really hard, and it took forever for the video to upload, but here it is in all its glory. Lilly has started to "dance" by shaking her head back and forth the instant anyone mutters anything with a beat. We think it's hilarious, but that's because she's our baby and we love her. Most of you will probably find it passably amusing, a little cute, but boring.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Three Reasons to Smile Today

Reason #1: Cute Baby

Reason #2: Silly Girls
Reason #3: Cute Bums

Monday, December 1, 2008

Locks of Love

After - Curly.
I've tried to replicate the curly look like the stylist did on this day, but I have been totally and completely unsuccessful. I've used all the products, but I still can't get the curls to come!

After - Straight