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>Today, the Day Before Thanksgiving

25 Nov

>Since tomorrow is a day of thanks, today has become a day rife with irritation. Here are the things/people that have bugged or are bothering me today:

–Children who want jack-o-lantern socks instead of “Happy Halloween!” socks.
–Cats who knock over every single glass of water that is poured in this house.
–Tutoring students who want to discuss the hotness of Derek Hough and her likelihood of marrying him rather than working on homework.

–The car battery dying in the Walmart parking lot

–The idiot guy helping me at Autozone. I was quite certain there for a few minutes that he was going to set my car engine on fire.

–Idiot Autozone guy’s boss for making Idiot Guy look like a bigger idiot.

–Girl smoking outside my car window while Idiot Guy replaces my battery and talking to me while I’m CLEARLY involved in a very serious game of Super Mario Brothers 3 (on the Gameboy that somehow made it into my purse).

–Everyone at Walmart. The employees blocking the aisles. Stupid people blocking the aisles. Pre-pubescents out of school, running up and down the aisles.

–Whoever laid out the new Sam’s Club food court. As it currently stands, you have to fill up your drink, but can’t get a lid for it until you pass the place where you pretty up your hot dog, but there’s barely enough space between the drink place/hot dog place/drink lid place abd the tables to park your cart. I’m not doing a very good job of explaining this, so here is an illustration:

–People who check out ALL of their Thanksgiving groceries at the self checkout.

–People who lurk in my blind spot while I’m backing out and then start walking when I start to back out and THEN glare at ME when I have to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting them.

–Coming home to find a cherry picker in my driveway while they cut someone else’s tree branches.

–Telemarketers. I had the following conversation with the same employee from the Louisiana Department of Health from my most recent post this afternoon:

Surveyor: May I talk to the oldest male of the household?
Kate: He’s at work right now.
Surveyor: When will he be home?
Kate: Next week. He’s out of town on business.
Surveyor: During the week of Thanksgiving?
Kate: We don’t believe in Thanksgiving.
Surveyor: But doesn’t he get the time off work?
Kate: They don’t believe in Thanksgiving, either.
Surveyor: [Awkward pause]. When would be a better time to reach him?
Kate: I don’t know, you’ll have to ask him.
Surveyor: But how can I ask him if I can’t reach him?
Kate: [Out of lies. Hangs up.]

The fact that the public school system has essentially failed American students in respect to proper use of the dash vs. the hyphen, they’re/there/their, and proper use of the apostrophe, which is linked to the failure of teaching students how to properly pluralize. Also, when people literally have a full keyboard at their fingertips, is it SO HARD to write “what” instead of “wut”????? [Punctuation snobbery over.]

Now that I’ve gotten ALL that off of my chest, I have to share that Meredith was convinced there was an “Indian Boy” standing outside her window when she woke up this morning. I don’t even know where she picked up the term “Indian Boy,” but she was convinced he was going to get her.

Also, Clark told us the cracks in the floor at Sam’s Club were “most important.”

Today, we got the car washed, which was necessary but highly emotionally traumatic for Meredith. Midway through the car wash, she started yelling out things that would make her happy: “Chicken nuggets! ‘I Am a Child of God!’ Target! Sleeping Doody! Fish balls! [sushi]”

ALSO. I had a dream that I was staying at an all-inclusive mountain resort where they were filming a segment on mountain climbing. I was supposed to participate in the mountain climbing, but I was scared so Alton Brown, who was hosting the show (naturally), strapped me onto his front side in a Baby Bjorn-like contraption and we climbed up the mountain together. The whole time, I was thinking that my friend Jen (who loves Alton) must be incredibly jealous. It was highly disturbing on my many levels.

All right, I think that’s it. Check in tomorrow and see if I’m feeling slightly more thankful then…


>Blog Drought

29 Aug

>Okay, so I have a MILLION things to blog about and haven’t had time because it seems like a black cloud of doom has settled over us here. Not a black cloud like, “Hey, I have cancer and just got fired and everyone I know is sick and dying!” black cloud, but more of a “The world is full of idiots and any stupid thing that can possibly go wrong WILL go wrong” kind of black cloud. But then I remind myself of the Hank Hill adage: I don’t have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem.

Here are some highlights:

  • We got new cell phones. They were so pretty. I started programming mine and the “8” button didn’t work.
  • AT&T did not think it was their problem. It was Sony Ericsson’s problem.

  • Sony Ericsson did not think it was their problem; I should go to my local AT&T Wireless store and figure it out with them.

  • I go to the store and return my phone. They don’t carry the model I want. They can’t complete the return until Sam, who works 12+ hours a day, can come with me because they need his debit card, which was used to make the purchase.
  • The phone was finally successfully returned, but the contract renewal was reversed. Although it shows up in all of the ACCOUNT computers, both at the store and with people I talk to online, it doesn’t show up on the computers of the people who handle ordering new phones when you renew your account. So I have to wait 72 hours from the time I returned my phone in order to order yet a new phone. Idiot problem, idiot problem!

  • After returning the phone to the AT&T store, we discover that the Nissan would not start. We jump start it with the van and I take it to Book Club over at the church. The air conditioner was not working. The heat index was 105. I’m sure I smelled lovely.
  • The next day, the dishwasher overflowed.
  • I spent several hours dealing with my idiot problem at AT&T. Nothing was accomplished.
  • I decided to make a nice dinner on the grill. The grill wouldn’t heat up past 200 degrees.
  • Yesterday was Clark’s first day of preschool. That is another post that I want to do justice, so it will have to come a little later. The BAD part is that because the Nissan was officially dead at this point, I had to take Sam to work at 6:45 with the kids in tow.
  • Ran home, got them ready for school/the parent’s meeting. Breakfast dishes from yesterday? Still sitting on the kitchen table. That is how much extra time I’ve had in the last 24 hours.
  • Took 2 dozen homemade rolls to the church for the missionary zone conference.
  • Took Meredith to the doctor because she’s still not walking and she crawls funny. Found out our pediatrician, whom we LOVE and is a bright spot in our Louisiana experience, no longer accepts our insurance.
  • Went grocery shopping. We’re preparing for Hurricane Gustav, so everyone was there buying water. Waited 1 1/2 hours for gas. Somehow got stuck in the Stupid Line where people can’t figure out the right way to stick their debit cards in the machine.
  • Kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. Threw them in bed, hadn’t even stuck the frozen peas in the freezer, and Sam called and told me he needed me to pick him up.

  • Pick up Sam. Jump start the Nissan so we can take it to Auto Zone and have it diagnosed. It dies right under an overpass on the highway.

  • Sam has to stay (and it was SO hot yesterday) while I ran home to get the number of the mechanic we were referred to. I get back, we talk to the mechanic, turns out his shop is quite far away. He suggests we buy a new battery (the problem was the alternator) and drive out there. We drop $80 on a new battery and then the rain started. Like windshield wipers were going as fast as they could and we still couldn’t see. It finally subsided and he installed then new battery and he followed me, lights off, to this place out in the boondocks. Don’t think the Deliverance song wasn’t playing through my head when we drove down this road:

Facing west:

    Facing east:

    Facing the sign:

The cats:

The picture of the cats doesn’t even begin to do it justice. I couldn’t even count how many cats were there and they were everywhere–on cars, under cars, in cars. The kids were thrilled.

Anyway, I just heard from the mechanic, and it’s not GREAT news, but it’s not horrible, either. The alternator needs to be replaced and an oil leak (which ruined the alternator) needs to be fixed and it’ll be around $240. Sam, if you’re reading this, let me know so I can give him the go-ahead to do it! Let’s hope my dark cloud of doom is passing!

>I’ll Tell You Who Came Up with This Idea: A Man

6 May

>Okay, I’m warning you right now that this officially falls into the “too much information” category. In fact, it’s something that I’m pretty sure both my parents and my husband would say is information that’s better kept to myself. But any of you who know me know that I have no shame and am more than willing to discuss personal issues with the general public. And I KNOW I’m not the only one out there who has these feelings, so let’s get them out in the open. And I’ve warned those of you who are squeamish, so if you can’t handle a little personal medical discussion, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Men generally don’t get yeast infections. I mean, yeah, they get jock itch, but they don’t get yeast infections anywhere…personal. And do you know how I know this? Because no person who had ever experienced a yeast infection would have ever designed this:

This is an applicator for yeast infection medication. No, I didn’t draw it in Paint, but there aren’t any more bells and whistles in a real photo, I promise. It has blunt, sharpish edges. It is in no way rounded. It is made of hard, inflexible plastic. Not something anyone in their right mind would want to use in the best of circumstance, so imagine how fun it is when there’s itching. Burning. Irritation. Swelling.

Yeah, I know, they make those nifty little ovules, but those also cost $14 when I could be cheap and spend $4 on the nasty applicators.

I promise you, if the average man experienced yeast infections anywhere that couldn’t be treated with a shower and some Lotrimin, I can guarantee you that a) the applicator would be as small, soft, and bendy as possible and b) it would come with a Valium, a sucker, and a Spiderman Bandaid.

>Stop! Just STOP!

29 Apr


So I didn’t even realize it’s been a week since I posted last! We’ve all been super sick (well, except for Clark…let me tell you how fun it is to have a 3-year-old ruling the roost when everyone else is out of comission!). Everyone’s gotten better except for me (of course), so I’m going to the doctor tomorrow, completely convinced he’s going to inform me of some horrible diagnosis like pneumonia, coinciding perfectly with Sam’s week-long trip to Tennessee.

Anyway, I have to get something off my chest. And I don’t think it will offend anyone who reads my blog because I know the offenders don’t read my blog.

Remember the episode of The Office with email surveillance? Remember how it started? The email forwards? And how Michael is clueless about how much everyone hates email forwards? Yeah. I’m coming out to the world: maybe I’m cynical and bitter, but I do not like the vast majority of email forwards. If they’re informative, yes. Truly funny (like the Utah Barbies complete with pictures that I got from Jae)? Totally. But take a gander at what came into my inbox from a friend of an aquaintance today:

Supposedly, if I email this to seven people, someone will call me tomorrow at 10:17 am and give me the answer to something I’ve been wondering about. My only question is whether that’s Central or Mountain time…

>The Icing on the Cake

19 Feb

>So for those of you who have been following our adventures (or misadventures) for the last few months know that we’ve had some patience-trying moments. For example, in the last 5 weeks alone, Meredith has had a UTI, we’ve moved across the country, we missed our flight from Seattle to Louisiana, we’ve blown out a tire (and consequently bought 4 new tires), we almost had to pay sales tax for our van in both Utah AND Louisiana because the finance guy at our car dealership didn’t know what he was talking about, we spent over 12 hours in the car on what was supposed to be an 8 hour trip to go to Ikea only to discover that someone had put the wrong piece of furniture in one of the bins, so we have a double headboard to go along with our queen-sized bed (and the rest of the parts are all queen-sized), had the doctor’s office lose our insurance billing information. You know. All sorts of fun stuff. And I’m sure I’ve blocked some of the incidents from my memory.

Well, hey, at least we’re getting a smoking tax refund. So I thought. Well, I guess we still are, but not until we jump through a few more hoops. You see, do you remember THIS incident? You know, where Sam was pulled over the day he came down here for his interviews? Well, when he got the ticket, they gave him a court date. However, we would no longer be residents of the Great State of Utah when his court date was supposed to occur, so he went down to wherever you pay traffic tickets, explained the situation, and paid the fee. Fine, whatever, it was taken care of.

So on Friday, I log onto our online banking and find a mystery $288 in our account. That was not the correct amount of either of our tax refunds and it didn’t say who it was from, so, in an attempt to be honest in all my dealings, I tried to track down where the money came from. Turns out it WAS our tax refund, minus some fees for Sam’s ticket. Which had been paid. So they apologized and got a fax number to where they could send a refund request form (which, by the way, has not successfully arrived yet).

Today, I check the mail. There was a letter from the State of Utah. I open it. This is what I found:

The records of the court indicate there is now an outstanding warrant for the arrest of SAMUEL [INSERT OUR LAST NAME HERE] referred to as ‘Defendant’. A corresponding amount of bail was set at the time the arrest warrant was issued.

Pursuant to Section 59-10-529 et. seq. Utah Code Annotated, $175.00 has been deducted from your state income tax refund and has been sent to the court to be considered as bail to guarantee the defendant’s appearance in court. An administrative fee of $15 has also been deducted from your state income tax refund. Any refund balance is included with this letter.

The defendant must therefore appear in court within 40 days from the date of this Notice. At the time of that appearance, the defendant will be given the opportunity to understand and exercise the constitutional and statutory rights including the right to be heard. If the defendant fails to appear wthin that 40 day period, the amount of bail sent to the court will be forfeited and a new warrant for the defendant’s arrrest may be issued.

So yeah, basically, I’m married to a wanted man. Idiots. All of them. I have to laugh about it all beause I’d be on Xanax otherwise!

>Really? What Genius Came Up with THIS Idea?

14 Feb

>So I’ll admit it. I’m a naive little Mormon from Utah. And don’t get me wrong, I’m actually quite enjoying our time so far in the South, I just find a lot of things here that I think are funny (bedside gun holder…man in bright yellow sign that reads, “Read the King James Version Bible or BURN!” in the middle of the expressway…a church marquee that reads “Jesus Satisfies.”) I also think people here are genuinely nice, much moreso, actually, than in Utah. But I’m still scratching my head over this one.

So today I was flipping through our brand-new phonebook to discover a place called Daiquiris to Go. Drive-thru only. And, in case you’re wondering (as I did), these are real, true daiquiris with rum and vodka and gin and something called Diesel 190.

I guess I don’t get how we can reinforce that drinking and driving is wrong if there are places where you can actually buy alcoholic beverages whilst driving your car in sizes ranging from 12 ounces to 64 ounces in a cup and up to a gallon in a jug. Like I said, I’m not exactly an expert in what it actually takes to get drunk, but I imagine that a 64-oz. frozen fruity alcoholic beverage would probably do the trick.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that you’re legally allowed to buy the drink, but you can’t take the lid off or put a straw in it. Um, okay. It’s 100 degrees outside with 100% humidity and I go get a 32 oz. icy Diet Coke and you think I’m not gonna drink it? That I’m going to wait until I’m home and it’s gross and melty? Pshaw.

Am I totally off here in thinking this is so wrong? I mean, maybe it has something to do with the fact that two of my grandparents and an aunt were all killed by drunk drivers, but I just find this SO wrong. I’ll get off my soapbox now.

>Where in the World is Team Awesome??

22 Jan

>If you’re wondering where we are, that’s an excellent question! Right now, we’re supposed to be on an airplane to Louisiana. Are we? No!

Traveling with kids is quite the adventure. When making reservations for a long flight, you’re faced with the dilemma–do you get to your location early, but leave early? Or do you leave at a more reasonable time and get in at an ungodly hour? We opted for the early-departure option. This meant that we had to leave the house by 6:30 this morning.

We-ell, that is quite the task when you’re transporting two small children and everything you may need for yourself and those two children for a period of 1-3 weeks with you. Plus two carseats. Plus a double stroller. A diaper bag. A laptop. Toys. Treats. How about a Xanax?

Anyway, our flight was supposed to leave at 7:55 and we got there at 7:15. We ran in and they told us we were too late, the gate was closed there was nothing they could do, that we have to be there 35 minutes before our flight leaves. Well, Bucko, we had 40 minutes, but no. “There is nothing we can do.” Once we got home, we got on the Continental website and it says the gates close 30 minutes before the scheduled flight time.

So we’re taking a red-eye tonight at 11:55. This will be nothing if not a fun adventure! Hopefully, we’ll all get a good nap and then the kids will sleep on the flight tonight. We shall see.

On a cuter note, here are some pics of our visit here in Seattle! We’ve had such a fun time and we’re so glad that we were able to come up here for a few days before heading to Louisiana. Especially since our stuff isn’t supposed to be there for at least another week, so we would’ve been living friendless and family-less (that’s TOTALLY a word!) in our ghetto extended-stay hotel. When we first got here, we were walking to Sam’s dad’s deli in a total Norman Rockwell moment, holding hands and walking down the sidewalk in the picturesque historic part of a big city when Clark said, “It’s nice to have family!” It sure is.

>What the HECK?

26 Nov

>So apparently, in the state of Utah, it’s now illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving. Good thing everybody knew about THAT one. Sam got pulled over while talking on his cell phone to a guy from the company he’s interviewing with this week. Isn’t that awesome? The funny thing is, he was actually driving under the speed limit. Whatever.

>Doctor Rant

6 Nov

>This has been bugging me ever since Meredith’s 4-month visit and I need to get it off my chest.

There are 3 practitioners at our doctor’s office, and now, all three of them have informed us that it would be bad if Meredith grew up to be fat. Yeah, she’s in the 75th percentile for weight now, but I feed her breastmilk, not potato chips. I mean, Clark was in the 99th percentile when he was born and for about the first 6 months of his life, and now he’s around the 40th.

“Oooooh, you’re cute and chubby now, but you don’t want to be chubby forever!”
“It’s okay for boys to be big when they’re older, but it’s hard for little girls to bigger.”
“You don’t want her to stay in the 75th percentile forever.”

Really? I don’t want a fat little kid? I realize that childhood obesity is a big deal, and if she were off the charts, it would be another story, but she’s a breastfed baby. Relax.

On a completely different note, we heard from someone in Louisiana who wants to interview with Sam. That’s right. Louisiana. While I’m not uber-excited with the location, we’re thrilled with the company and the fact that they’re calling means he passed the personality profiling part of the application process, so maybe another branch in a not-so-Louisiana location might call.