Monday, March 31, 2008

National Infertility Association Advocacy Day

A rare second post in one day from me because I just think THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.

Resolve, the National Infertility Association is having an advocacy day on April 10. I'm not suggesting that you hop on a plane and head to Washington DC because even I can't do that and everyone knows that I have a vested interest in this infertility business. But what I ask you to do, whether you have been effected by infertility or not, is to pray. Constituents will meet with staff members of Senators and Representatives to discuss the following:

Co-sponsorship of The Family Building Act of 2007 (HR2892), federal legislation mandating insurance coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment. Currently, most insurance companies will not cover infertility diagnosis or treatment because they view childbearing as an optional choice. While I agree that having children is a choice, for my husband and myself (and countless other couples in the nation) becoming parents was not optional. It was something that we longed for with every fiber of our beings. For me, it was as natural and necessary to seek fertility treatment as it would be to seek mental health treatment.

Make permanent the adoption tax credit. This would help (in major ways) couples who desire to add to their families through adoption. It would essentially lower the costs of adoption and help unite children in need of parents with parents in need of children.

Increased funding for medical research for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 1 in 10 couples struggle with infertility. That means that 10% of women that you walk past in the grocery store, mall, church, etc, are probably longing for a child and 10% of men are longing for a child AND consoling their hormonal wife. Medical research is imperative to correctly diagnose and treat infertility.

Please join me in praying for this day of advocacy.

The Run Has Ended

Today is the last day. Click here to read the first day.

You just don't see enough fuzzy toilet lid covers these days. I mean really. Why did these go out of style? What a perfect place to put on your nylons. Sit down on a comfy, cozy cover and your butt doesn't get chilled. And they just add so much character to the otherwise boring latrine. But, since they are difficult to find in stores these days, they are hard to come by. Enter The Magic Scarf. This is actually the perfect place to keep it. You always know where it is--affixed to the top of your toilet bowl--so when you need to use it for something else (i.e. burqa, tie, steering wheel cover, beret, dog leash) you simply run to your bathroom and yank it off.
This is also a good way to end the run of The Red Thing. It's in the toilet, been flushed, adios and sayonara. I hope you've had as much fun as we at the Doozleberry Home have. Stay tuned for tomorrow's blog where I will discuss some of the rejected Red Thing uses.
Garrett's attention span is about 20 minutes (maybe a half hour if he's tired) so imagine my surprise when my dad popped in Toy Story 2 last night and my kid watched the entire thing. He was so adorable. Whenever we would laugh, he would look in both directions, see that we found something funny and start giggling. His precious laugh is reason number 89,129,000,952 why I sometimes want to devour him with love.
He's been outside swinging (he got a Little Tikes swing from my parents for Easter!) and playing in the mud and I hear him in the garage so I'd better go assess the filthy clothing situation.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Let's Just Say It Involved A Yeti

So my parents are here, like I said, and, well, there was an accident. Let's just say it involved a snow mobile, a Yeti sighting, and a severe case of black ice. We spent the evening in the emergency room and, thankfully, they released my father to recover at my home. This was only accomplished because I assured them that we had our own traction and I would make sure my dad used it.

Okay so I hope you came to the conclusion that my father didn't actually meet a yeti while on a snow mobile speeding over black ice. But IF he had, well, The Red Thing would have come in quite handy. And kudos to my dad for being a total sport and posing for this picture.

So, we have one more episode of The Red Thing/Magic Scarf. I'm just wondering if anyone has any guesses as to what it might be. If you guess correctly I will give you major credit in the final installment. Disclaimer: You cannot be my mother or my husband because you two already know what it is.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Master Shakespeare, will this Red Thing work?

Once upon a time, stage blood was portrayed by a red cloth or silk. This was "clean" and wouldn't stain the stage or the costumes. But, for authentic Shakespearean productions or, of course, basement plays put on by children, the red cloth works much better than realistic looking, stainable, gooey stage blood. This is where The Red Thing comes in handy. Below, for your viewing pleasure, is a short film. The scene is taken from the final act of Romeo & Juliet. It is important for you to understand that I have a degree in Theatre and that I was being over dramatic on purpose, to accent the wonders of The Red Thing as Stage Blood.

There are 29 down and only 2 remain. What will they be? Stay tuned for our final installments.

Friday, March 28, 2008

And Now For Some Kitchen Practicality

27 down, 4 to go. Read this post if you've forgotten how it all began.

I used to be terrified of baking when I was a kid. The oven may as well have been the doorway to hell. I just knew, KNEW, that if I reached inside I would burn my entire arm off. It still makes me a little uncomfortable although that's more because I have a toddler pushing and shoving me into it and less because I think it's a wormhole to the underworld. But due to residual childhood oven fright, I almost always wear oven mitts...on each hand. It doesn't matter if my left hand isn't going to get anywhere near the oven, it should probably have a mitt. Just in case. In case of what, I'm not really sure. Maybe, like, if flames start shooting out or something. If you, like me, have a mild to moderate fear of ovens, buy yourself a Red Thing if only for this feature. Not only is there enough material to make Magic Scarf into a three or four layer oven mitt, there is enough left over to run it halfway up your arm. This allows for protection of both the hand and the forearm. In fact, it is quite possible that you would have enough material to protect your bicep as well. I doubt there is a bicep protecting oven mitt on the market. I'm not entirely sure why your bicep would be anywhere near getting burned, unless, of course, we had the aforementioned flames. The Red Thing also shrinks and stretches to accommodate any size hand and forearm. It just doesn't get any better than that.

My parents are flying in tonight for a visit and I can't wait. Neither can Garrett. When I ask him if he wants to see Grandma and Grandpa today he grunts and shoves another cracker in his mouth. That's toddler code for, "Of course, crazy lady, they're way more fun than you are." Although, where his language is concerned I am starting to be slightly less ohmygosh what's wrong with my child and why the heck won't he talk already. That's partly because last week he started saying the word home. I think that is a weird word to say when you only have about fifteen words in your repertoire but whatever, I'm not going to criticize. At Brian Head he said more for the first time. Although, it should be noted that when he says that particular word he sounds like he's from New York. And today, while walking through the grocery store, he suddenly got all up in a frenzy over the water cases. I said, "What the heck are you so excited about? The water?" To which he looked right at me and said, "wa-duh." Yes Garrett, all these words make a language. Welcome to it.

So we go to this study on Thursday nights. All along we've thought it started at 7:00 so that's when we get there. Straight up 7:00 every week. Come to find out, we've been getting there a half hour late. I hate late. I hate being late. I hate when other people are late (unless, obviously, there is a really good reason). It's a gigantic pet peeve of mine. Imagine my horror when I discovered that it was my own family who had been the culprit of tardiness. I'm still horrified. I might be over my extreme humiliation in a year or two. But I don't know. This one could hang on for life.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Whip Lash

It's almost over. See where it began.

You're sitting at a stop light, flipping through the radio stations when BAM your rear end is slammed into by a vehicle twice the size of the one you're driving. You fling forward and your neck whips violently into the back of the seat. Pain shoots from your head into the pit of your stomach and you realize, quickly, that you can't turn in either direction. You have visions of people walking around in neck braces and slowly you begin to understand that that will be you in a matter of moments. You're less than thrilled because you think they look downright boring. Plus you've got an important event coming up and you just bought a new red dress (or any color, really. Remember that the Magic Scarf comes in a wide assortment of shades). This is where your Red Thing comes in handy.

I tried my best to look as miserable as I think I would be if I actually had to don a neck brace. Notice the lovely shade of nausea I'm wearing?

I did not fall once while I was skiing. Granted, I stayed on the beginner slopes in hopes of keeping my femurs intact, but still. (When I was 14 my mother broke her femur while skiing which is a major part of the reason that I have only put skis on twice in the past twelve years.) Troy fell once. I was complaining about how I was so out of shape that my legs were killing me and my husband turned around to laugh at me and, despite the fact that he was standing still, tumbled into a heap. If I was a member of an Indian religion I would begin a discussion about karma right now.

On occasion, Troy and I play this game we call Would You Rather. It's not really a game, actually, since there is no way to win or lose but it makes for a fun discussion. It was probably born from the game I used to play with him where I said things like, "Would you still love me if one of my eyes was three inches lower than the other?" or "Would you have married me if my legs were on backward?" So last night, we struck up a game of Would You Rather. One of Troy's questions really got me thinking. He asked, "Would you rather have Garrett get a giant black eye that didn't cause any permanent damage or drink a gallon of rotten milk?" A good mom would drink the rotten milk in a heartbeat but when I really thought about it I wondered if I would even be successful at drinking a gallon of milk, rotten or not, without puking my guts up. I paused. He started to laugh and said, "You want to say drink the milk but you're thinking it might be better if Garrett got a black eye and we took a lot of cool pictures and you made a scrapbook page about it, aren't you?" I told him I was a horrible mother. Just then, The Dictator squeaked in his sleep on the baby monitor and I thought, maybe, I could get a gallon of rotten milk down. So what do you think? Would you rather your kid got a black eye or you consumed a gallon of curdled milk?

The other hilarious Would You Rather question went something like this:

Me: Would you rather I had as much chest hair as you (he's not particularly hairy or anything, but still much hairier than a woman should be) or you had the same size chest as me?

Him: (long pause) Well, I'm thinking that reduction surgery would be cheaper than that much electrolysis so I guess I'd take one for the team.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Fuzzy Red...

To read where The Red Thing began click here.

We are back from our trip to Brian Head. We had a wonderful time with family and I went skiing for the first time in ten years. Garrett had a great time sledding (or, in this case, saucering) and leading people around by the fingers. This finger leading has earned him the new nickname "Tater" which is short for The Dictator. It takes 3.5 hours to get to Brian Head from where we live and Tater did not cry more than about 20 minutes total. And those 20 minutes were on the way there. Today he did not cry for even a fraction of a second. Yay! I'll expand with details of the skiing later but right now I need to get a Red Thing picture up here and then get back to my laundry. Because y'all, we got really wet and stinky during these last couple of days.

Someone read my previous post and was curious as to why I have, in my possession, a tiara. The answer would be that my veil was attached to that "tiara" in my wedding. I hope that I looked more like a bride and less like a beauty queen when I wore it.

I'll give credit where credit is due and this following Red Thing photo was my husband's idea.

I don't think there are words. Other than, maybe, "Oh yah. The Red Thing totally rocks as a steering wheel cover!" This is great for cold winter days when your steering wheel is so cold you can't bear to put your hands on it. It's also great in the summer when your steering wheel is blazing hot. The most important feature of this photo, however, is the fact that when this car was born, steering wheel covers weren't out of style. That's because this Honda is only a few years younger than my own self. Do you see the funky looking clip in the bottom corner of the picture? That would be the jerryrigging efforts of my father who, when the heater/air conditioner knob stopped working, invented this wonderful device. I refer to it as the roach clip. It was super special to be the Christian college student driving down the road with what looked like drug paraphernalia attached to the dash of her car.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Two Installments. Prepare Yourselves!

If you have just stumbled across this blog and are confused by what this fuzzy red thing is, read here to catch up.

I'm quite sorry to disappoint my six loyal readers, but tomorrow there will not be a Red Thing post. My little family is going out of town for a couple of nights. We will be back sometime on Wednesday night though, so there may be an installment then. Otherwise, you will have to wait until Thursday. I am ever so sorry. However, I promised 31 Red Thing options and 31 you will get. Today's post features two Magic Scarf Functions.
So it's your kid's fifth birthday party. You've got the cake. You've got the pizza. You've got the drinks, the goodie bags, the napkins, the plates, the pinata and the Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey. You've thought of everything. Except the blindfold. You run up to your bedroom and consider the options. Your nylons. Too see through. Your bra--too, um, inappropriate for five year olds. Your jeans--too bulky. Your...ah yes, your Red Thing. Perfect.
My husband, being the mighty sport that he is, modeling The Magic Blindfold. Above, in exhibit A, you can see a frontal view, showing the thickness and size of The Red Thing which serves to decrease the chance of cheaters. Below, in exhibit B, a side view. There is so much extra Red Thing hanging down the back that you can grab hold and use this to spin the child around and around providing optimum dizziness.
If you are the kind of person who just has to have a daily dose of The Red Thing, or really enjoys a surprise every now and then or likes to delay gratification, come back tomorrow to discover the new and wonderful usage of the Magic Scarf. However, if you're one of those types who just can't wait another a second, I encourage you continue on. If you don't know which category you fall into, allow me to help you decide. Category One Individuals (a.k.a. The Stop Reading Right Now People) do not go hunting for their Christmas presents in the closet three weeks before Christmas. They do not eat their dessert first. They do not find out the gender of their baby prior to its birth. Category Two Individuals (a.k.a. The Read On People) push their peas around their plate after they've eaten all the good stuff and pray that they will just disappear (category one people scarfed those peas first thing and then enjoyed the rest of their meal). They would cry if someone threw them a surprise party--but most likely they use their sleuthing skills to determine the location of and exact guest list of said party. They cannot imagine the horrors of a gender neutral nursery--and how the heck would you ever have any clothes if you don't know if it's a boy or a girl--so OF COURSE they find out the gender of their baby. Okay. Do you know which category you are now? Category One people, stop reading right now or you will be very disappointed tomorrow!
Sing with me now! "There she is, Miss America. There she is, your ideal. The dreams of a million girls who are more than pretty, may come true in Atlantic City. Oh she may turn out to be the queen of femininity. There she is, Miss America. There she is, your ideal. With so many beauties, she'll take the town by storm with her all-American face and form. And there she is, walking on air. She is fairest of fair. She is Miss America." Okay, so you obviously know what's coming but I need to take a minute to say Oh. My. Gosh. I never, ever, knew the lyrics to that song and had to look them up on the Internet and my mouth is practically agape I am so appalled. YOUR IDEAL? ALL-AMERICAN FACE AND FORM? Okay, let's get one thing straight, I'm a fairly thin individual so this might sound a little like the pot shrieking that the kettle is black but I really do not think there should be AN ideal. I mean, what is the ideal? Please tell me so that if I ever have a daughter I can be sure to attempt to conjure up specific characteristics. Blonde? Blue eyes? Skinny? Large breasted? Flawless skin suggesting that you were never allowed to step foot in the sun as a child? If anyone has "the list" by which I can check my own self against The Ideal I would be glad to examine it. In any case, The Red Thing can also be used as a beauty queen sash.

"What? Oh my gosh. I had no idea. I mean, I had made it into the top five out of 51 so you would have thought I might have seen this coming. Especially since Miss Vermont tripped during the swimsuit competition and one of her straps broke and Miss South Carolina completely bombed her question and Miss Indiana missed her high note by thirty feet. Still, I am shocked. SHOCKED. I think I will sob. But I won't put my hands on my face because that would ruin my make up."

Here I am again. I've calmed down this time. I'm waving. "Hi there, I'm Miss America. Don't you just love my crown?"

It should be noted that the author of this blog is not against pageants and the scholarships that they provide. She thinks that most of the contestants are not only very attractive individuals but also appear to be fairly, and often highly, intelligent. She realizes that they work extremely hard and does not mean to put down their efforts. She is simply appalled that the lyrics of the famous song emulate a 1950's ideal of womanhood. To think that we should all be wandering around Atlantic City doing nothing but dreaming of possessing the All-American face is a tragedy. To think that, as a ten year old, I waited for the Miss America Pageant like I waited for Christmas makes me so sad for that little girl who didn't know that beauty was in the eyes of the beholder, who didn't know that only 51 women were that gorgeous, who didn't know that what really mattered was what was on the inside.

Not that my parents didn't try to make it clear, but as a kid commercials and pageants don't sound quite as much like Charlie Brown's mom droning on and on from the kitchen.

P.S. I did not know what we were having. My son has a gender neutral room. And guess what, he still had clothes when he was born. And I'm a serious planner. Like, I think I put the plan in planner. Or something. It is possible to be a planner and also enjoy the occasional surprise. I'm just saying, is all. Also, I realize that I am in the 5% of people who don't find out. And I'm okay with that. And I plan to "not find out" again if given the chance. So there.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

No clue what The Red Thing is, start here.

This is what the website likes to call The Crisscross Shawl. At least, I think that's what it's called. It should be noted that my husband actually thinks the Red Thing kind of works when it is in such a configuration. But if I were ever freezing to death I might...might, mind you...consider wearing it. Like this, I mean. I would consider wearing it like this. Because I wear my Red Thing all the time. And my husband wears it as a tie. Yah.

And I just threw this one in there for fun. This is what I look like after one too many Magic Scarf photos.

Cute huh? Oh yah. I shoulda been a super model. It should also be pointed out that The Red Thing Crisscross Shawl really rocks as an accessory to a maroon and brown stripped shirt.
Happy Easter! He is risen! We had a really blessed worship session this morning at church followed by my wonderful husband explaining why Jesus was really dead and, no, the disciples did not steal his body and, yes, he appeared to a great many people so he really did raise from the dead and that is the basis of our faith and salvation is free and...guess don't have to work for it!

It was weird not being at Mountain View this morning. I haven't missed an Easter at MVCC in over fifteen years. But it was wonderful being at our new church. If I could shove my old church and my new church into one congregation in one building in, maybe, Lake Tahoe, the world would combust with perfection.

Garrett was really sweet this morning. Here he is just before we left for church. He grabbed that bat and was obsessed with carrying it around. The funny thing about that is that it's shaped like a carrot. Two Easters ago, when I was pregnant with either a Kate or a Garrett, we referred to The Fetus as Carrot (or, I guess, more accurately "Karrett"). I filled Troy's Easter basket with all sorts of carrot items. This carrot bat was one of the things he got on that Easter morning--to play plasticball with his future son or daughter. It's flat out ridiculous that The Fetus is walking around wielding it with ease and wearing a sweater vest. What happened to my teeny little embryo?

And yes, in his other hand is the itty bitty Mater that he is obsessed with and must sleep with and have in his possession AT ALL TIMES.We were really color coordinated at church this morning and we didn't even do it on purpose. And since Garrett rarely wears a collar or a sweater vest and Troy rarely wears a suit and I haven't worn a dress to church since September, I deemed the occasion picture worthy. Other than that serious problem where my one eye will not stop being smaller than the other, I think it's a good picture of us. But then again, how did my fetus get so freaking gigantic?

So gigantic, in fact, that he went hunting for eggs. Despite the fact that he has never, ever, hunted for eggs before, he seemed to know exactly what to do. What this video proves is that I have got to stop talking to my son like he is four months old. I sincerely apologize to anyone who has to listen to me speak on a regular basis.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Just To Clear Up Some Things...

So I need to clear a couple things up from my previous post. First of all, I don't know what kind of lunatic "Hi I graduated two classes short of a second degree in English Education" I am but it totally slipped my mind that Voila is the spelling for what I generally say as Waaalaa! Thank you, Jenni and Brenda, for reminding me.

Secondly, my previous post sort of made it sound like my dad was a stick in the mud who never let us have any fun. The truth, I assure you, is completely contrary. Sure, my dad wouldn't walk within 75 feet of me when my friend, Lianne, and I put on head to toe "mosquito garb" and sure he doesn't typically grab a hairbrush, jump up on a table and sing I Feel Like A Woman. Indeed, I mortified my father on more occasions than I could ever dream of counting but a better father you could NOT find. He tortured us with Pillowhead games. He hid under my bed more than once and scared the very breath out of me. He busted out the Manheim Steamroller dance moves complete with some serious hip action every Christmas. He river rafts. He tries his darnedest to dump us off the tube behind the boat he's driving. He even plays certain board games that he hates because we want him to. And one time he took me to Hollywood, just the two of us, because I loved it there. I assure you, it was not high on his list of places to spend the night. Then there was the matter of the father of the bride speech at my wedding and, I kid you not, it was hands down the most hilarious, lovely, heartfelt speech I have ever heard any father of the bride give and trust me when I tell you that it's not because I'm biased. It was that good. So dad, I love you very much and I didn't mean that we never had any fun with you. I simply meant that I was surprised when you came down the stairs wearing greasy hair and nasty teeth. That just seemed like something I woulda done...and usually the things I do mortify you.

Towels, Terminology & Teeth

Click here to see where Red Thing March began.

Don't you just hate when it seems that all the towels in the house are dirty? I don't know if it's because something leaked and you ended up using all the clean towels to mop up the mess or your husband used it once and deemed it dirty or your kids used them playing a rousing game of capture the flag, but it's a total drag. Never fear, The Red Thing is here. You walk to the linen closet, open it and realize that there is not a towel to be found. Guests are on their way and, since someone will most likely need to use the commode, you'd better find something that will suffice as a hand towel. Run, don't walk, to your dresser and whip out your Magic Scarf. And waaalaa! (Does anyone actually know how to spell the word waaalaa?)

Side note: My adorable husband refers to his dresser as a chest of drawers. I thought that I was the only person who found this terminology to be gut busting hilarious but it turns out that I'm not. One day I brought it up at church and some of the guys wouldn't let Troy hear the end of it. I mean, on the one hand, it takes like fifty billion times longer to say and on the other hand it makes him sound like he's a 17th century Englishman. "Ello, sorry I'm late, I misplaced my slashed doublet in my chest of drawers." But on the third hand, the one I wish was coming out of my torso so that I could hold my toddler and still make dinner, it's super endearing. I mean, if I'd known before I married him that he'd use the phrase chest of drawers in reference to furniture, I might have fallen in love with him faster. It might have taken me only a week to realize I was wildly smitten instead of, you know, three weeks. So he can keep calling it his chest of drawers but you can bet that I'm going to keep making raucous fun of him.


The last time I was at Tahoe, my conservative and you-will-never-see-me-being-even-slightly-silly father let loose. He came down the stairs with this hideous and greasy looking hippie/stoner wig and a set of nasty looking fake teeth. Needless to say, my brother and I laughed until one of us wet our pants and the other ruptured a couple of vital organs. During the rest of the week, we had a great time taking pictures with the terrible teeth and incorporating them into the plot of our video.

Today, we all went grocery shopping. Troy and Garrett were looking in the toy aisle and discovered a set of four different teeth for 88 cents. They're a much flimsier variety than what my dad had purchased a few years back but for 22 cents a set I figured that, in all likelihood, we could absolutely not live without them. Moments later, Garrett ripped them open so their fate was sealed. As we were exiting the store, I popped a set into my mouth and called the kiddo. He looked at me. I grinned. His eyes got huge and he began backing away from me. I crouched down and told him it was alright and to give me a kiss. Leary, he inched forward and finally kissed me.

When we got home, Troy decided to pull some weeds and Garrett just had to help. I waited a short while and then popped the teeth back in. "Garrett," I wailed as I crept toward him. Because, really, I'm an awesome mom like that. He took one look at the teeth and went flying toward Troy, screaming. I instantly took them out. (I used to chase the puppy with the vacuum cleaner and he turned into a 65 pound golden retriever who goes into cardiac arrest every time my carpet is dirty. I've learned my lesson.) "It's okay. I took them out," I explained. He hid behind his father. I kind of laughed and went back inside to make lunch. When it was ready I went outside to get the boy. He saw me coming and took off in a mad tear across the yard, toward Troy. I easily caught him and showed him my real teeth. He sobbed and thrashed. I carried him inside and plopped him in his high chair. He writhed and tried to climb out and very near ruptured a blood vessel in his head. Tears were flowing freely down his face. I knelt in front of the high chair and showed him, again, that the bad teeth were gone. I rubbed my hand gently over his cheek and talked in a soothing voice. He calmed. I turned around. He began the sobbing routine again. I soothed. He calmed. I turned. He sobbed. It seemed that every time I turned my back on him, he was certain that The Scary Toothed Woman would return. I finally had to fetch my husband just so that I could turn my back on my son long enough to put his lunch in front of him.

The moral of this story is that you should maybe never alter your appearance for fear that your children will be laying on a couch one day saying, "It's all because my mom put in these creepy teeth."

So I ask you, if you were 20 months old, would this scare you?

How about this?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Is Your Kid A Messy Eater? No Worries.

If you forgot how The Red Thing began, or you're new to this blog, click here.

There it is, the Magic Bib. I call it that not only because it is made from a Magic Scarf but because it also has so many nooks and crannies that you would probably only have to wash it once a week. Your little tot can drop Cheerios into it, yogurt down the front, heck even stuff those peas he doesn't want into one of the fuzzy pores and it'll still look like it's fresh from the laundry. Additionally, this bib is a one size fits all. That's great news for the elderly who may have lost some hand/mouth coordination and the person who is prone to spilling. I know a little something about that because I used to drop something down the front of myself at nearly every meal. And don't forget that it comes in assorted colors so you can buy pink for your daughter (or great grandmother) and you can buy blue for your son. Of course, if your son is confident in his manhood, you could put him in the pink one as well. I prefer red because, well, that's the color I own.

Yesterday at MOPS the topic was gardening. Let me tell you, my thumbs are not even tinted green. So pretty much I just sat there listening and letting my mind wander and then pulling it back into focus and listening some more. But then the speaker starting talking about how there is this one composter on the market that uses dog poop. Now that's recycling! After the snow melted and our ground started thawing out, my poor husband spent well over an hour cleaning up three months worth of doggie waste. If only we'd had that composter. And, well, a garden. Now I really must be going because San Diego is playing their March Madness game and it happens to be the only one I care about. Not that I think they'll upset Connecticut, mind you, but here's hoping.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fake vs Real

Click here to read how The Red Thing got started!
So in this episode of The Red Thing we discover that not only can Magic Scarves be used as clothing or accessories or even sleeping bags, they can also be used as household decorations. Garland! This is exciting because I know quite a few people who are allergic to pine and can't use the real stuff at Christmas. And, let's face it, who wants to be picking up all the little glittery specks that fall from the fake stuff? But let's back this garland train up for one second. You should know that if I were suddenly diagnosed with a pine allergy, I might just have to be put on suicide watch. If my child develops a similar allergy I would considering putting him back where he came from. I don't use real garland because I think it's probably kind of expensive but I do have a real Christmas tree. I need my tree to be shedding needles and slurping water and dripping with authentic pine scent. I want to cry for people who have to sport fake trees because of their congestion and snotty noses. Although, if it were me, I would probably just buy myself a real tree and wear a surgical mask for three weeks. Nothing--and I seriously mean nothing--smells more like Christmas than a pine tree that hasn't been stuffed in the attic all year. I've seen some really nice looking synthetic trees so it's not that I think fake trees are hideous or anything...they just don't SMELL the same. I mean we're talking about the difference between the scent of the forest and the scent of mothballs. Right? Back to the garland though. It's red and festive and fuzzy and does not drop a single speck of glitter or pine needles. This is perfect for both the Fake Tree Consumer and the Pine Murderer. The Pine Murderer (a.k.a. Me) is busy vacuuming up the needles from her tree and cannot even think about vacuuming underneath the garland as well. The Fake Tree Consumer is allergic to real trees and therefore is also allergic to real garland. And if given the choice between fake garland and The Red Thing, I'm willing to put a bet that Fake Tree Consumer is going to see the beauty in the Magic Garlarf. Can't you see the scene unfolding in your heads. You're at your husband's work Christmas party and That One Woman You Have A Hard Time Standing Because Her Husband Got That Really Good Promotion And A Huge Christmas Bonus And Yours Got No Promotion And A Ham approaches you.*

You: Gorgeous shoes, Hilda. Wherever did you get them? (Because in these sorts of scenes we always talk like we are from the 1930's.)
Hilda: They're Manolo Blahniks. I bought them with my husband's Christmas bonus.
You: Oh how wonderful. We fed the hungry with my husband's Christmas bonus.
Hilda: Your husband got a ham.
You: My point exactly.
Hilda: Interesting scarf. It's so, bohemian. Wherever did you find it?
You: Well, actually, I purchased it on the Internet. It came highly recommended. From a blog I read.
Hilda: You read blogs, how quaint.
You: Yes. I am well learned, indeed. (Pronounced learn-ed)
Hilda: It's very fuzzy and large and, if I may, seems rather impractical.
You: Impractical? Humph. How little you know. It doubles as my garland! (Turn quickly on heels that did not cost $900. Flip scarf over shoulder dramatically.)
*This scene is completely fictional. I know no one named Hilda. Additionally, my husband works at a church that employs himself and a secretary. To my knowledge, neither Troy nor I nor the secretary nor her husband wear Manolo Blahniks.
My baby is 20 months old today. It seems like 20 months is a really big deal. I'm not sure why. I'd like to remember that this was the age that he started really talking. I feel like we're on the brink of an eruption of verbal skills. I can hear it bubbling just under the surface as a series of babbles and attempts. I'd like to forget that this was the age that he became obsessed with his own boogers. He puts his fingers in his nose all the time and, since he's got a cold right now, they often come out bearing gifts. Apparently he's decided he's not a fan of boogers because he holds them out to me, stuck precariously on the end of a stubby digit. This morning we were driving and he held a giant one out to me as if to say, "Mommy, I'm going to show you just how much I love you by giving you this wonderfully green extension of my own self." I had nowhere to put the nugget. I encouraged him to just hang on to it for a second but clearly that wasn't happening. He whimpered like he'd caught the plague. The whimpering turned into a groan followed by a, "MAAAMMMMAAAA!" I held my hand back toward him. "Give it to me. Give me the booger." He wiped it happily into the palm of my hand. He smiled and settled back into his car seat. Moments later he shoved his finger back up his nose to look for more sticky wonderment. I drove the rest of the way home with his big, green, wet booger sitting there staring at me. Yah. That's pretty much what it's like to be a mom. You give birth to them, they wipe their boogers on your hand, and twentysome years later they dance with you at their wedding.

And still I find myself praying, on a daily basis, "Thank you so much for the privilege of being this boy's mother." I have a son! And he wants me to hold his boogers. It just doesn't get better than that. Happy 20 months, Garrett.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The No Name Red Thing

Click here for the background on the glorious Red Thing!

So you know what, I don't even know what to call this. I feel like maybe they wear them in Russia? I really feel like calling it a babushka but I just looked that up and it's the Russian word for grandmother. I'd laugh my FANNY off if suddenly my son began referring to one or both of his grandmas as Babushka. So, um, does anyone know what this is called? I feel as though Disney's Anastasia wore this at some point when it was chilly outside. In any case, The Red Thing can totally be a "thing that you wear around your shoulders and up over your head."

Today G and I went to the zoo with Allison and her kids. He seemed to really enjoy the elephants as well as the turkeys that kept gobbling in unison. But the most important thing that happened was that Garrett went down the big slide all by himself. Well, that is to say, he was followed very closely by Tiny Mommy (Allison's daughter who reminds me so much of my own self at that age) who made sure he was safe/not lost/holding someone's hand for the majority of the day. It was quite nice to go to the zoo and have someone else practically babysit my kid so that I could chat with my friend about that one time in college when someone barfed in my mouth. Also he ate his lunch like a good little boy despite the fact that we were eating right next to the playground. This has led me to the conclusion that aliens abducted my child last night while I slept. Any bets on whether or not it was the same alien that lives in my neck?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Boa

To read about where The Red Thing began, click here!

It's important for you to understand that The Red Thing can totally be a boa. But the truth is, I don't really know how to wear a boa correctly. I don't think I've ever worn one. I asked my husband, hoping that he would have a clue but he really didn't either. Actually, now that I write that sentence, I realize that I was probably not hoping that he would have a clue. I was probably hoping that he would look at me and say, "A what? Never heard of it." I'm pretty alright with the fact that he's not a closet boa wearer. So we took a variety of pictures in hopes that we would figure out how to fashion it appropriately. It's imperative that you do not get too close to your computer screen as the cordy muscle things in my neck might just reach through cyberspace and strangle you. Seriously. They look like they are alive. It's like there is someone inside of my body attempting to eat her way out through my neck. Correct me if I'm wrong but I do not feel like my neck is as frightening in real life as it is in these pictures. It's like suddenly my head decided to weigh more than the poor little thing could handle. But do pay attention to the dress because it's one of my favorites. I think a Gold Thing would have suited it better than a Red one though. Ah well. Long live the Magic Scarf Boa!
In this shot the Magic Scarf is wrapped around me much like an actual boa constrictor would be. If I had a boa constrictor. Which I don't. And if I let it wrap itself around my neck. Which I wouldn't.
Attack of the creepy neck cordy things! And right now feels like an appropriate time to discuss the fact that I used to be a blonde. Yup. Right up until I got married I was a Strawberry Blonde. Within a couple months of marriage it had gone to this color. Some husbands make their spouse turn gray. Not mine. He brought out the fiery redhead in me.
I feel like I look like a turtle with a secret in this picture. But you know what, I don't care because I rather like the way my arm looks. Yah. I haven't liked my arm in a picture since my swimming days. You go, left arm. Work it.
This shot exclaims, "Look at this soft and fuzzy red boa! Isn't it just wonderful? Don't you have to have one this instant?" See how I am practically dissecting it with my fingers? And I was going for the smoldering look. I think, maybe, I should not attempt such things in the future.
Another extremely terrifying neck shot. Don't worry, I won't let the alien wreak havoc on the world. I promise.
When I married in to this crazy Doozleberry family, I had to start participating in their annual March Madness Bracket Tournament Thingamajiggy. So probably if you've so much as said hello to me, you know that my picture is in the dictionary next to the word competitive. There is no skill whatsoever involved in this bracket stuff and still I find myself rejoicing when certain teams win and crestfallen when they lose. The really absurd part is the fact that I don't give a fat fig about college basketball any other time of year except the time that starts on Thursday and ends on April 7. So I've made my picks for the first two rounds but I can't decide who to pick to win it all. I'm going to go with a number one seed. I'm not going to go with Memphis. That leaves UCLA, UNC and Kansas. I won't pick Kansas because I want to cheer against them in every single one of their match ups (He Who Shall Not Be Named was a huge fan). I feel like UNC is the smart choice but I want to pick UCLA for some reason. I know they had that horrid loss but I'd like to think they've fixed those problems. I think they maybe have the easier road to the final four. Anyone have an opinion on this? Right, of course not. I'm thinking my brother is the only person still reading this far. I'm sure everyone else got bored back around March Madness Bracket Tournament. So, hey Jon, it's just you and me now. PUMPKIN HEAD! (Speaking of which I'm not sure where I put that thing. No seriously.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

If You Had A Super Power What Would You Want It To Be?

Here's where The Red Thing began!

When he was born, he was just a sidekick. Now that he's rapidly approaching his second birthday (how is that even possible?) he's graduated to Superhero status and was awarded his very own cape! As you can see, the SSPE (Superhero Society of Planet Earth) uses Magic Scarves as the material of choice for their capes. Masquerading as Garrett Doozleberry* by day, Secret Super Power Boy saves the world by night. We know he's a superhero, we've watched on the baby monitor as he changes into his super clothes and jumps out the window at night. Chances are, you didn't give birth to a superhero, as they are very rare indeed. But chances are also that your child will one day long to be Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman and you will want to fashion a "play" cape. All you need is a Red Thing and a chip clip or safety pin. See below.

Secret Super Power Boy stares pensively out the window, waiting for his chance to save the world. It should be noted that when I put this "cape" on him, he refused to let me take it off once I had taken the picture. In fact, at the mere suggestion that I might be coming to take it off, he ran into whatever room I wasn't in and attempted to hide. In keeping with the Cape Theme, leave a comment telling me what super power you would like to have. I would like to be able to duplicate myself. If Duplicate Lori could make dinner while Regular Lori played with Garrett, the world would be a better place. Additionally, Duplicate Lori could sleep and Regular Lori could clean the house, catch up on scrapbooking, grocery shop, read, write, etc. Oh the possibilities are endless.

Is it just me or does he seriously look like a miniature Jack Nicholson? This was taken on the second day of the "I Refuse To Take My Sunglasses Off Extravaganza" and I am wondering if I ought to be worried that he strongly resembles Crazy Jack.

*As always names have been changed to protect the innocent from murderous stalkers.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Magic Sling

If you want to read about how The Red Thing series began, click here.

I just discovered that the Infantino SlingRider that we SWORE by with our infant was recalled about a year ago. I feel slightly better about the fact that my kid was being carried around in a defective sling because, apparently, only those sold after July 24, 2006 are affected by the recall. Ours was sold sometime before that because I know we had it when The Boy was born on July 20, 2006. But I'm not sure how much difference a couple of days makes. What if my baby had been the one with the fractured skull? Never fear, Red Thing to the rescue!

This is pretty much what the sling looked like and I tell ya, we couldn't get Garrett to nap sometimes to save our lives unless we shoved him into it. Once he was sound asleep in the happy sling we could take it off and lay him (still inside) in his crib or on a couch or, in Troy's case, a doorknob, and the kid would sleep for at least an hour. He simply loved to be in his sling. But you don't want to go killing your kid with the SlingRider (actually, they've fixed the defect and so I highly recommend them) and The Red Thing is half the price. Simply tie the two ends around your neck and you've got a Magic Sling.

The truly amazing thing, however, is that it doubles as a toddler sling. I think expectant mothers should be put through The Drill. You know the one. Your husband is on his way home from work and you're trying to get dinner on the table. Your toddler is hungry and growing weary. You're bouncing from the oven to the pantry to the stove to the microwave in hopes that everything will be finished at approximately the same time. You're trying to set the table, get out the vitamins and get drinks and your toddler is getting precariously close to grabbing the burner, dumping the silverware drawer, and pulling your pants off as he climbs your leg. You get the urge to drop kick him halfway across the room. CAN YOU PLEASE GO GET A BOOK OR WATCH THE CARTOON I TURNED ON OR MAYBE, HEY HERE'S A NOVEL IDEA, SET THE TABLE! You say this through clenched teeth because you really don't think that drop kicking is the answer. The toddler sobs as he continues climbing your pant leg. You realize that the back pocket he has managed to grab hold of is dangerously close to ripping off and tears are rolling down your toddler's face as he mourns, "Maaaaammmmmaaaa," and your vegetables are about to start burning. You lift him up, brush his tears away, and decide to just hold the snot nosed booger--he's your sweet precious and growing up way too fast little tiger, what else could you do? That's the scenario that The Drill will prepare expectant moms for. Because, let's face it, we're prepared for the newborn but the toddler is a whole other ballgame. It might even be another sport altogether. Problem is, now that you've picked up the kid, you're down an arm and you really do need that extra hand for stirring, setting, pouring, etc. If only you had a third arm growing out of your torso...or a Toddler Sling:

The toddler sling ties around your neck in much the same way as the Infant Sling. Place a portion of the Red Thing under the toddler's hiney and you've got two free hands! (Side note: I wasn't allowed to say the word "butt" pretty much until I moved out of the house. I can appreciate that for children and toddlers. I mean, what's worse than a little kid referring to his or her hindquarters as a butt? Don't even get me started on using the word "fart" if you're under the age of about ten. It just sounds so crass coming out of the mouth of a child. But it was pretty awful to have to refer to my buttock region as a fanny or a bottom or a hiney when I was seventeen. And if you know my parents, don't blame my mom for that one. My dad just doesn't like the word butt. At all. For whatever reason. Now that I'm 26 I find it rather endearing. Not so much as a senior in high school.)

Did I mention that my cousin, Brian, saved a bunch of Cars toys out of cereal boxes for my kiddo? Well he did and Garrett has absolutely fallen head over heels in love with the little Mater. He's decided that where he goes, Mater goes. This includes bedtime. At first I tried to fight him on it and then I thought, "Why the heck do I care if he has a tiny little car in there with him. Pick your battles, lady. It's not like he wanted to take Evie the feral cat to bed with him or a butcher knife. It's a car! Let him have the car in bed with him now and fight him on the important things like flossing and not smoking pot." So, he climbs into bed with Mater in a vice grip. And in the morning, before we hear so much as a peep from his mouth, we hear the squeaking wheels of Mater being driven around his crib. Here is a picture of him right after I laid him down for the night. Just a boy, a blankie, and a Mater.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Dog Wants In

If you don't have a clue what The Red Thing is, read this first.

There are six of us in this house. There is me. There is The Husband who has been featured in suspenders and the tie. There is The Boy who has appeared in several of The Red Thing photographs. There is The Golden Retriever. And there are The Felines. I doubt that Oliver will be featured in any Magic Scarf attire because he is very skittish and not trusting of strange objects. Evie (a.k.a. The Psycho Feral Cat that moved with us because we felt bad for her and she was making progress and she has now been fattening up in our basement and finally FINALLY going outside some of the time because it is warming up) will never appear in one of these shots because, in order to achieve that, I believe one of the other members of our family would have to sacrifice a limb. But our patient, lovable, adorable golden retriever has been begging me with his big chocolate eyes to join in the fun. And so, below you find The Red Thing Starring Beck and Featuring Troy:

I give you The Leash. Let me tell you that this dog was extremely disappointed that his walk lasted thirty seconds. He sat while Troy put The Magic Leash on. He heeled appropriately. (Not really in this picture. Yah. Not so much.) Just to turn back around and go inside. Poor boy. But don't feel too sorry for him. It's been warm enough that we've let Garrett play outside in the afternoons while I'm making dinner. I just keep the back door open so that I can hear him. Yesterday I realized that it had been quiet for too long and I peered out the window in time to see them in the grass. Beck was laying lazily next to Garrett who was simultaneously staring up at the sky and playing with leaves. It was precious and I tried to get a picture but the giant dummy of an animal came sprinting toward me, wildly abandoning his boy. And don't feel too bad for him because that canine, who has never been allowed to sleep in our room, except during thunder storms because OH MY GOSH we bought the biggest weenie dog ever, has been sleeping in our room on weekends. Part of the problem was that he was always a spastic psycho when we lived in San Diego and letting him sleep in our room turned into him roaming, scratching, licking, rearranging and we could not sleep. For some reason (ahem DEPRESSION!) he's been much more calm since we moved. We carry his bed upstairs and he lays right down and goes to sleep. Well except that last night, in the middle of a scary part of my book (have I mentioned that the church secretary has me addicted to Ted Dekker?) with my back to the dog, suddenly I felt something cold press against my neck. IT'S THE BARREL OF A GUN. SOMEONE SNUCK INTO MY HOUSE AND MY HUSBAND IS IN THE BASEMENT AND MY BABY IS IN HIS ROOM AND I AM GOING TO BE KIDNAPPED RIGHT FROM MY BEDROOM AND THEY WILL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN AND WHY IS THE BARREL OF A GUN BREATHING? Which led, of course, to the assumption that some sicko pervert had snuck into my room just to breathe on me and I don't know which is worse, the barrel of a gun or a breathing pervert. But then I felt whiskers and a furry muzzle and it was simply that my first baby was coming to say, "Hey, lady, are you ever going to turn out the light? I've had a really hard day of napping and playing in the yard."

We went to see a school play last night to support a student in the church. And afterward, since we hadn't been to The Cheesecake Factory since our second anniversary, we bought two pieces of cheesecake curb side and headed home to relieve our babysitter. And you know what, I thought that Cheesecake Factory slice size was standard across the nation. Maybe it is and it's just that we haven't been in so long. Maybe San Diego just cuts a bigger slice. I don't know. But my cheesecake was not the quantity of which I recall from my So Cal days. On top of that, it was $14.55 for two slices. Is that absurd or is it just me? So I was moderately irked about it being kinda tiny and not gold plated which, for the price, it should have been, but then I sunk my teeth into this:

Tiramisu Cheesecake. Now on the one hand there is tiramisu which is probably my favorite dessert in the wide wide world. And on the other hand there is cheesecake which is probably my third favorite dessert in the wide wide world. Then they are thrown together in perfect cheesecake to tiramisu ratio and how much did I spend? Never you mind because it was WORTH IT!

If you're wondering what my second favorite dessert in the wide wide world is, I'm pretty sure it's Creme Brulee. It's hard to tell, I've kind of become a dessert fanatic in the past two years.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm Brother Josiah of the Monastic Order...

New to Red Thing March? Read how it all began!

Ever wanted to be a monk or a nun but worried that you'd grow weary of the lack of color in your wardrobe? The Red Cowl just might be your loophole. I'm not entirely sure how the monasteries would feel about the vibrant fuzzy garment but it sure would seem less dreary. Just think of it. The monks are in line, filing in to the church for the daily liturgy and then BAM like the first rose of spring, there you are! While The Magic Scarf does not actually possess enough material to cover the hooded cloak and wide sleeves needed for an adult male cowl, it certainly provides enough for your little monk in training.

Monk In Training: Mommy, I want to be a monk when I grow up.
Mommy: Well, Jim Bob, while that is certainly a noble aspiration, we aren't Orthodox or Catholic.
Monk In Training: Sacrifice, mom, sacrifice.
Mommy: Fine. I'll buy you a Red Thing and you can practice being a monk.
Monk In Training: Yippee!!!


Mommy: Jim Bob, what are you doing?
Monk In Training: I'm playing Guitar Hero in my cool new Magic Cowl.
Mommy: But son, monks don't play Guitar Hero.
Monk In Training: They don't? Why not?
Mommy: No. They pray and worship and do chores and sometimes garden.
Monk In Training: (eyes growing wide) For the entire day?
Mommy: Uh huh.
Monk In Training: (Rips the cowl off) I don't think I really want to be a monk. I want to play Guitar Hero.
Mommy: Oh good. Grandchildren after all.

So you see, not only does The Red Thing function as a bright child's cowl for Halloween or just for fun, it also helps guide them out of their "I Want To Be A Monk" phase.*

It's warming up here in Utah, the mini golf place opened and if Garrett hadn't been a tired and whiny grumpity, we would have gone today. Maybe he'll be a happy toddler tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow he won't have already had a cold and then rolled down the stairs and thumped the side of his head on the tile thus creating an even more miserable, snot infested, little person. Here's another tidbit of information on the "Hooray it's warming up" front. It actually rained yesterday and, well, while I'm not a fan of rain, I don't mind it every once in a while and the fact that it didn't turn into snow was definitely a pleasant occurrence.

The little "I don't talk" guy has stumbled upon a couple of new words. Ish. We had a minor setback two days ago where he would not stop referring to his father as baby. It didn't matter that he's been saying dad, daddy, and dada for some time now in reference to Troy, the word just dropped out of his head. For a day. Now he's back to saying daddy although, much less often than he says baby. He really likes that word. But, he's added an emphatic NO no his repertoire as well as uh oh and meow. I realize that meow is more a sound made by a feline and less a word but we'll take what we can get with the grunter. As long as he doesn't start referring to me as sweetie or honey, I think we'll be okay.

This blog author thinks that those who dedicate their lives to the Lord by entering a monastery are noble and, obviously, self sacrificing. She just wants grandchildren, is all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I'm Sorry To Say It's Just A Shirt

If you haven't stopped by in March, read this first or you'll be a little confused. Maybe. I don't know.

So I understand that given the burqa and the sleeping bag, yesterday's Red Thing usage seemed a little basic. My brother thought that I was running out of ideas and needed some suggestions. Actually, I have more than 31 ideas already and The Belt had to come at some point. Perhaps I should have put it at the beginning. Don't worry though, there are still what I consider to be some major gems coming soon. Today, however, we've got to stay with another simple garment. I present The Shirt or, if you so choose, The Dress Over Pants.
I've never done the dress over pants thing. NOT ONCE NEVER EVER IN MY LIFE. It isn't that I don't think it can be pulled off, because I do. I just don't think that I'm exactly the kind of person to successfully do it. I'm a tank top and flip flop kind of girl. I can totally pull off beach bum and I can totally pull off jeans and fuzzy necked ski jacket. I can't pull off the dress over pants thing. And I don't want to. I'm actually kind of glad I don't see fit to attempt it. It's a fashion trend I can generally do without. But if you want to try it, I encourage you to do so with The Red Thing. If you're like me and you don't want to rock the double clothing genre because you get confused, you don't know where to look, or your head starts hurting, wear it as a shirt.

Now the truly amazing thing about The Magic Scarf Shirt is that it grows with you. Magic Scarves are one size fits all so, then, are the shirts. Where tops are concerned, I usually wear a small. But trust me when I say that if you wear an Extra Large, no problem where The Red Thing is concerned. But the greatest of all is that it is also a maternity shirt. Not just any maternity shirt, my friend, a maternity shirt that grows with you. It doesn't matter if you're fifteen weeks or forty, a huge pregnant person or a small one.

That's a hard hat in there but I'd be lying if I said that the thought didn't cross my mind to wear it for the rest of the day. That's how desperately I want to be pregnant. I'm almost willing to wear a hard hat all day just so I can pretend that Garrett's brother or sister is on the way. It should be noted that I was NEVER that big when I was pregnant with my son. Much to the chagrin of several family members and a few friends, I only gained 22 pounds and I decided to start wearing maternity pants at 26 weeks because I'd paid for them so I might as well put 'em to use. It should be noted that I was really careful about what I ate and I've always had decent abs that came in handy for holding him in tight. Side note: "I'm eating for two," while true, is a completely ludicrous statement. Yes, you are. You're eating for yourself and a FETUS, something that, for the majority of the pregnancy is the size of a large piece of fruit. How much does a cantaloupe need to stay alive? Okay, climbing off my high horse. Yes, there was the day that I strongly considered eating an entire Costco cake and yes my mother talked me out of it and yes, I know, for that lecture I just gave, if there's ever a next time I'm sure I'll be huge with child. And I'd gladly trade my figure for another one. And, if I had a second pregnancy and gained 60 pounds, I'd gladly accept a tongue lashing from anyone who feels offended. And at least, for a little while, I'd have my mammae back. And YAY! The Red Thing doubles as a maternity shirt for tiny pregnant people all the way up to the ones who have sextuplets. Well...maybe not them. Even the Magic Scarf has it's limitations.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In This Post I Very Randomly Start Talking About Israel And Then Can't Seem To Stop...

Welcome to Red Thing March! If you're new to this wonderful event, read this first!

So today it's back to basics folks. It really is time to just accessorize with abandon. I know that The Red Thing can be a sleeping bag. I know that it can even be a burqa. But you've gotta join with me in admitting that these are pretty innovative uses for such a scarf. Today, we're going to take a step back and examine how The Red Thing can function as a very basic clothing companion. Take a look at just how much it snazzifies a simple gray shirt and pair of jeans as The Belt:
Oh yes, sister, you know you'd be styling. You know you'd turn some heads.

And, while I'm sure that this will be yet another word that falls out of Garrett's head (he said dog at nine months old, stopped saying it at ten months and has really never gone back) today marks the day that he emphatically says, "no!" every time I ask him a question. Unless that question happens to be, "Would you like a cookie?" Then, of course, he squeals with glee. He's caught yet another cold and this time he's running a low grade temperature so I doped him up on Tylenol and sent him off to bed. But not before I confiscated his sunglasses. Yesterday he developed the wild notion that he needed to be wearing them at all times. It's continued into today but luckily I was able to convince him that we don't actually need them for sleeping.

I wish I had enough money to buy my body weight in fresh fruits and vegetables. I read in this week's Parade that eating a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet can help you live to be 100. Now, it's not that I actually feel the need to live for an entire century but I did lose like five pounds while I was in Israel eating a Mediterranean diet and walking like 200 miles a day (okay, probably not quite that many) and I just felt healthy. And most of the time the food was yummy. Subtract the lamb and the constant use of the chick pea and add in some sugar and the occasional french fry and I'd be one happy camper. I remember especially loving breakfast while we were in Israel. Typically we would have a spread which included tons of fresh fruit, salad (which I know sounds weird for breakfast but it's just as good at eight in the morning, trust me), assorted breads, cheeses, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes and occasionally yogurt.

And while we are talking about the promised land, if you ever have an opportunity to go, I would recommend it in half a heartbeat. I really didn't want to go at all and I thought that maybe I would get shot or something but I totally did not. It is such a different and amazing culture and you gain an incredible amount of perspective where your daily time with the Lord is concerned. If you are reading this and you aren't a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, well, obviously I would encourage you to strike up such a relationship because your life will never be the same. However, if you are shaking your head in horror and vowing never to read this Christian blog again and you get an opportunity to go to Israel, still go. It's beautiful. I'm serious. I know you're thinking, "It's in the middle of the freakin' desert." But if you think this is a picture of Hawaii, you'd be wrong.
This is actually a picture of Gan Hashlosha National Park near Beit Shean.

And that is a picture of Ein Gedi located west of the Dead Sea and close to where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. It is mentioned several times in the scriptures. Song of Solomon 1:14 "My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of Ein Gedi."

Which, consequently is how I think spouses should greet one another, "Good morning my cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of Ein Gedi..."

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh It Can Even Be A...

If you haven't stopped by in awhile, you can read about the birth of The Red Thing here.

So I'm sure that it's a fairly common dilemma. You're in line at WalMart and, after the cashier rings up all of your items, you realize that you just can't actually purchase all of them. You're short on cash or your spouse will claw your spendy little eyes out or you just didn't realize you'd put that much merchandise in your cart. You are left with a decision. Do you opt out of the tie for your husband or the child size sleeping bag? Oh have I got a solution for you. Put them both back and pick up a Red Thing. I'm not actually sure if WalMart has gotten in on the Magic Scarf action yet but you can just go buy one on the Internet from the confines of your own home. As you've already seen, The Red Thing makes a wonderful tie and let me assure you that it also makes a fantastic children's sleeping bag. Or, really, let Garrett assure you:


1. Spread out The Red Thing on the floor or bed or in a tent or wherever.

2. Insert child into the hole in the scarf.

3. Prop child's head up with pillow.


1. Insert pacifier into child's mouth. (This is really only acceptable if the child is quite young.)

2. Distribute literature to the youth.

Now if you're surprised that he stayed still long enough for me to get this shot, you're not the only one. Especially since the camera has been malfunctioning lately and decided to get stuck on display and I had to keep saying over and over in the most soothing voice I could muster, "Stay there, Garrett. You're being such a good boy. Just lay still." Finally, I got the shot and you know what? He didn't want to move once I had it. So you see, The Red Thing as Sleeping Bag is comfy, cozy and downright sublime.

You know you want one!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Must Supress The Cravings

New Red Thing readers click here.

I thought it was time for my ever impressed husband to appear in another Red Thing shot. The following photo shows just how versatile the Magic Scarf can truly be. We've appealed to infants with the use of the fuzzy diaper. We've appealed to women across the globe. We've appealed to men with the tie. (And by we I mean, of course, The Red Thing and me.) Now we are showing you that even old men, who would probably not be caught dead in the boutiques that these are often found in, can effectively wear the Magic Scarf. All hail the suspenders:

So, not only are these great for your average suspender wearing man of any age (also, they match the tie and cummerbund) they are great for someone who has recently become memory challenged. If your friend, spouse, or great-grandfather has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's simply shove him into Red Thing Suspenders or, as I like to call them Magic Scarpenders. This way, when he wanders off and Search & Rescue tries to locate him, he'll be helping them out by proudly displaying his humongous, bright, fuzzy suspenders.

It should be noted that it is not the intention of this blog author to make light of Alzheimer's or any other disease which effects the memory.


Dang it stays light here for a long time now. Being that I now live more north than I ever have before and we are pretty close to where Mountain Time ends and Pacific Time begins and we just leaped forward, it was light last night until sometime after 7:30. It's March! I don't know what the summer will bring other than a later bedtime for Garrett or some kind of black paper on his window so that he can sleep when it's still light out at 10 pm. (Exaggerating, I hope!)

My brother called last night and left me a nasty message about how he was eating white sauce from Miguel's. I didn't think it was a very nice thing to do to his best and only sister. Three and a half months must be the point in a move where you start longing for specific restaurants not found in your new neck of the woods because additionally, I'm craving a tostada from La Cocina and a piece of boysenberry apple pie from The Julian Pie Company. I'm sure I'll live through the cravings. Other than the yummy Cafe Rio, living out here is like Mexican food detox. I'm just a bit afraid of trying Comida de Mexico so very far from the border. I'm spooked that it will be Tex-Mex masquerading as authentic Mexican food. Or, more accurately, Tex-Mex masquerading as the exquisite California-food-with-its-heritage-rooted-in-Mexico that I know and love.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Eastern Apparel (UPDATED)

***Scroll to the bottom to read the update!

If you're new to Livin' In A Fishbowl, read this first.

Secondly, for those of you who were appalled that I put my offspring in a fuzzy diaper, you join the ranks of my father who called last night insisting that I take it down. Something about, "No self respecting grandson of mine, etc, etc..." I did hear him but, much like some of the decisions I made as a teenager in his home, I decided not to listen. Loincloth Garrett is still happily gracing the March 8 blog.

Now on to today's Red Thing.

I don't encourage anyone to actually wear her Red Thing or Magic Scarf in the following way. I am just attempting to be multicultural and show the rest of the world that this wonderful accessory is not limited to Westerners. Behold, the burqa:

The burqa is a garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions for the purpose of cloaking the entire body. It is typically removed once the woman has reached the sanctuary of her home. It was a good thing that Troy and I were laughing pretty hard whilst trying to take this picture because otherwise I might have puked or gone into a temporary nervous breakdown over the situation. I pretty much want to rip these off the heads of the women I see wearing them and scream something along the lines of, "With Jesus you are free!" Actually, there's no "pretty much" about it. I definitely want to rip them off. It's not that I don't understand the call to modesty but I think it can be done in a way that allows for identifying who's who in a family picture. I mean, see below:

Can you even imagine this? Okay so, one day, ten years from now, a woman will say to her little girl, "Look, there's mommy, the second burqa from the left. And that's your auntie there on the end. I know because I recognize her purse. And that one next to me You know I can't remember. I can't tell us apart. We all look so much alike." It's ridiculous.

I know that if I had been born as a Muslim in Afghanistan I wouldn't know any different and I would think that bikinis were of the devil and I would maybe even be happy to just live my life behind my mask. But I would like to think that I would still be the strong-willed woman that I am today. I mean, I was born stubborn so I suppose that they would have had to beat it out of me in the Middle East. I hope that under my burqa, even if there was nothing I could do about my place in life, I'd be giving some abusive and controlling man in my life the finger. I mean, as a pastor's wife I don't flip the bird. Ever. But if I had grown up under the oppressive weight of the burqa I wouldn't be a pastor's wife and I think I would consider my middle finger a great deal more of an asset than I do now.

But I totally digress. The Red Thing can be used as a burqa so yay for that, right? In fact, it would be an alternative to the traditional blue and black that they typically wear. I'm all for integrating color into people's wardrobes.

****A comment by anonymous wondered if that was entirely Red Thing or if, perhaps, a red sweater accompanied the Magic Scarf. It is, in fact, entirely the wondrous Red Thing.