Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu prevention tip

As a Master of Public Health (or so I'm supposed to be...I still question how I faked competence through that program convincingly enough) I feel it my duty to warn everyone how to avoid this potential pandemic.

DON'T do this:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

splash attack

You know how you can have so much fun that it makes you SAD that others aren't there to share your happiness with? Last night's bath was one of those times. Brian was out of town on a business trip, and I didn't have my camera handy, so all I could do was a cell phone pic. Brianna was absolutely wired - she had missed her 2nd nap, so was acting like a squirrel on caffeine. When I finally managed to corral her into the tub, she began SPLASHING like crazy. Arms flailing, squealing and shrieking... for a solid 15 minutes. I admit - I egged her on a little ("ah! You're splashing me! ahhhh!") and she just kept going and going. It was hilarious. You had to be there. But you weren't. You missed out big time. But there's no way I'm going to try to re-create this by depriving her of naptime... she didn't calm down enough to go to sleep til past 9. Even then, I could hear her talking to herself (or perhaps to Elmo?) til much later. Lesson learned: keep camera near at all times. And wear a raincoat to bathtime.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm an April Fool

Before it gets ridiculously belated, I thought I should post about my April Fool's Day shenanigans. Disclaimer: I'm likely not as funny as I think I am. But humor me. At least with a courtesy-laugh.
Ok, so I had a dentist appt scheduled for April 1st. I don't even know my dentist very well - I'd only been to Jason Monfredi once previously - but he comes off as the intense-serious type. Like the I-studied-80-hours-a-week-through-dental-school-then-ended-up-in-Vernal-and-bitter-about-it type. But his hygenists are the giggly overly-friendly type (you know - where they try to have a conversation with you while cleaning your teeth and you have to give them one-word muffled answers while trying not to spit or drool but you don't want to be rude because they're genuinely nice).
Anyways - I showed up and checked in, telling the receptionists, "man, it's a good thing I had an appointment today - one of my teeth really needs to be checked out!" I smiled to let them see my dark red front tooth and gums. They gasped in shock and hurried me in to the chair. The hygenist came in, "so you have a tooth bothering you?" I said "yeah, it doesn't hurt, it just looks really bad" and I smiled for her. She jumped back and her eyes got wide with an expression of disgust and surprise. She leaned in fo a closer look... then the trick dawned on her and she playfully hit my shoulder saying, "oh, you goof!" We laughed. But then it got even better. She said, "hold on! Stay like that - I'll go get the doctor." I could hear her conversation with Monfredi, asking him to come take a look. He sounded confused, telling her to do the cleaning first, or at least get x-rays. She just kept insisting he come in NOW - keeping a straight face the whole time. So Dr. Monfredi walked in, and washed his hands while asking me, "so I hear you have a tooth bothering you?" "Yeah, I hit it this morning pretty hard." He put his gloves on, the funny binocular-goggles, and peered into my mouth. I smiled wide and he jumped back, "WHOA - what did you HIT it on?!?!" I started laughing - "A tube of LIPSTICK!" His eyes got wide and he looked seriously concerned. The hygenist had brought in the other hygenists by now, and they were all snickering. It took the doc a few seconds. Finally his shoulders slumped and an annoyed grin came over his face. He took his goggles off and shook his head saying, "you got me. they're never going to let me forget this."
Then the cleaning proceeded and the hygenist talked about my prank the whole time.
The April Fooling wasn't done though... while she jabbered away and I braved through those nasty trays on my teeth, I texted about 40 people saying "I'll be at your front door in seven minutes." The reactions to that were very entertaining. Only one person knew right off that I was April-fooling them.
The fun still wasn't over... I sent my mom a texting saying "some guy called me looking for u. Call him back 238-4126. Name is Mr. Lyon"
What's the phone number to? The ZOO! So can you picture it... she calls the zoo and says, "may I speak to Mr. Lyon?"
I know you're laughing right now.
But if you're not... picture Brian coming home at the end of the day to a sign on the front door, "Please use back door," then walking around the house to see a sign on the back door, "please use front door."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

No more highchair

I don't know if she's quite ready for it yet... but I decided to ditch the highchair and put her in the booster seat at the table. I thought maybe it would help her sit and eat for more than 30 seconds at a time. Plus, our tiny kitchen wanted the 3 sq ft of space back.
Eating time is slightly prolonged now - maybe 2 minutes, depending on how entertaining the menu is (to play with, that is).

Friday, April 24, 2009

selling my yard

I've spent the last 12 hours doing nothing but yard sale prep. Advertising, pricing, hauling stuff, blahblahblah... I'm SO ready to be done with this yard sale, and it hasn't even started. It's a VernalMOM group event, so fortunately I've had the aid of my amigas or I'd really have gone loco by now.  I've never done a yard sale before and if this doesn't go well I'll never do it again! It's a LOT of work! If any hagglers show up, they better not mess with me. I'm SO not in the mood to have cheapskates trying to offer me pennies on the dollar.  It's been a looooong day - can you tell?  I feel like I've done nothing but go through mountains of STUFF.  Oh, and I did an 83 minute run to get ready for the Ogden 1/2 in a few weeks. I feel ready.     
Ready to go to bed, that is.
Good. Night. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Brianna and the horsies

[pardon the cruddy pic - cameraphone]
Brianna loves to go across the street to the Western Park rodeo grounds when the horses are in town. We bring snacks for them (shhh, don't tell - we're probably not supposed to) and she giggles gleefully at each bite.
But I'm really ticked. There are two horses stalls with EVICTION notices on them. The explanation is obvious - the poor creatures are nearly knee-high in droppings, with matted nasty manes to match. Those WT owners... probably driving around in $50K trucks, but too lazy to care for horses they shouldn't even be allowed to own (yes I'm being judgmental =P ) I wish there was an equestrian branch of DCFS in Utah. I'd totally turn them in. Then become their foster-parent. Brianna would be in heaven.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nickel Auction for the VernalMOMS night out

Saturday night was easily the most (non-family) fun I've had here in Vernal.
My VernalMOMs group does monthly "Mom's Night Out" events. Typically they go out to dinner, or a movie, or bowling, or some combination. Not a lot of options in Vernal, but I'm sure they have a good time. I've never attended - we've always been out of town. Even if we weren't... I typically would rather spend the time with B & b.
But not LAST Saturday! I said adios to my loved ones and had an awesome time with the ladies.
I was somewhat obligated to go, since the activity was my suggestion... but you couldn't have paid me NOT to go! Well, maybe if you paid me well over $10, since that was about what I net-profited...
ok, enough with the rambling. This is what we did:

A NICKEL AUCTION! Here's Carrie (our fearless leader) explaining the rules (10 min max per person, no commentary on the item, 5-cent increment bids, etc). I'm in the right corner, barely visible, but with a look on my face like, "hmmm....I wonder how I can best milk this..."

Group shot, before the auction began. We had a little potluck, of course. Many of the VernalMOM events involve food. I have a love-hate outlook on that. And don't ask about my pose. It's just the way I roll.

As I said, I was voted to begin the auction. I think people thought I knew what I was doing. I didn't. The only reason I suggested this activity was because my sister-in-law Tia (well, she's actually my sister-in-law's sister - so are we technically related? Dunno) sent me an email with a link to a KSL article and video segment on the popularity of nickel auctions. Apparently they're going on all over, and have been for years. Tia goes to one every month in Ogden! I immediately fell in love with the idea. So I suggested it to the right VernalMOMs to get the ball rolling, and starting digging around my house for funny stuff to auction off. It didn't take me long to have a couple boxes full. I'm not a pack-rat...I just hold on to certain possessions for long periods of time in case I need them someday...way different than pack-ratting. Anyway - so I gladly went up and entertained the group with my one-liners and silly auctioneering. I really have no fear of public speaking. It's like the classic phobia for the populace... but I have no problem going up in front of others and looking ridiculous. I not-so-secretly enjoy the adrenaline rush.  I hit my 10-minute limit, but later on other ladies donated their extra minutes to me so I could finish. They wanted my goods.

My good friend Jen - who gets the credit for all these pics (thankyou!) She was so cute up there playing auctioneer. I think she's the one that sold me the "fresh-cut grass" candle for 10 cents. It really smells like freshcut grass. Kinda gross. Keeping it for future gag gift (or future nickel auction - maybe I can sell it for 20 cents! 50% ROI there!)

Kayli was the queen of selling books. I came home with a few DOZEN of them - the cardboard kind - much more resistant to chewing (Brian just can't keep his teeth off those baby books. Yes, I said Brian.) She was the recipient of many of my nickels (which actually - I forgot to BRING! Fortunately I was the first auctioneer, so I was able to use my earnings for later bidding).

Holly was a newcomer, invited by Jen. I think she was a little in shock about how flippin cool our mom's group is. I explained to her that she was welcome to join... AFTER the passing the initiation hazing.

Naomi, my slightly-on-the-quiet-side friend, auctioning off one of those really ancient cameras...the kind that require FILM... vaguely remember those ... Even quiet, reserved Naomi got into the boisterous bidding! She was kicking herself for not out-bidding Tina for the froggy camping pillow I auctioned off (I won it at some 5K - got $1.35 for it!)

After-party-party. I hung out there til 10pm. Yes, 10pm! Told you it was a wild crazy night.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

bitten by the masochistic lion...

... like a year after everyone else. But it was an accident, I promise.
So it went down like this: I had my Monday free Redbox code and was looking for something to watch while on the treadmill to keep me distracted. Twilight was on the first screen page of options. Something inside me said, "no! Don't go there! You know you have no self-control... you'll get sucked in like everyone else!"
But... it was just a movie, right?
A very, very good movie... watched it twice to make sure...
Then Brianna had a playdate with Hayden, whose mother had the series sitting on her bookshelf. I inquired casually, "so you're a Twilighter? I just saw the movie yesterday... I wish it had more character development...I was thinking of reading the books, but I just don't have time..." And suddenly the books were in my hand, with a look from Deb like, "where have YOU been?"
Well, I've been living in "I don't read fiction" world. It's not that I avoided the craze because I'm too pious to join a fad... I just can't bring myself to sit down and read when my sink is full of dishes and there are crumbs on the carpet.
But then I realized... there are 8 hours every night when I'm doing nothing but laying around!
I'm halfway into the 2nd book. I'd be done with them by now, but I force myself to sleep, eat, shower...
No, actually I have a rule - I can only read while multi-tasking. IE - while on a cardio machine at the gym, while driving (book on CD), or while following Brianna around at the park. She's been getting a lot of park time lately.
So - let's do a rollcall - I'd like to know if I'm really the last person on earth to read the series.
Fess up.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Elmo works out

Brianna's reward for behaving herself at the childcare each morning at the Rec Center is a little tour around the gym. She loves climbing on everything and saying hi to all the sweaty people.

Notice the red Elmo in her hand... yeah, they're inseparable lately. She used to just get access to him at bedtime - it was her "lovey" and likely aided her in adjusting to wakeless nights. But I discovered that she was much more willing to go to the childcare at the gym if Elmo went with her. The ladies there said she drags Elmo with her everywhere, agressively protecting him from other curious children. But now she wants Elmo ALL the time. She'll hunt around the house saying "eh-moh, eh-moh..." Oh well. As long as she gets over him by kindergarten, I guess.
ps - do you like her outfit? Again - a gift from our Gymboree hookup, Aunt Jocelyn!
Texting 1 2 3 im sending this post from my cell. Just seeing how this works. Lovely weather today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

#1 #2 !

I never thought I'd get so excited about a child's bodily functions.
But Brianna's first poo in the potty really did it for me.
Of course, we're not really in full training mode... I don't really know the when/hows of it yet... but yesterday post-bath while Brianna was air-drying, she got that look on her face (you know what I'm talkin about). I panicked. No diaper in site. What to do, what to do...there's the bathtub, the sink... TOILET. I straddled her over it and she completed what her contorted face told me was coming. I jumped up and down like Christmas morning.
Photo from the after-party:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Park injury

According to the Journal of Ambulatory Pediatrics, children make an estimated 200,000 emergency room visits each year in the United States due to falls from playground equipment. These injuries account for 15-20 deaths each year.
Thankfully, Brianna's fall today didn't turn her into one of those statistics.
If you think I'm being overly dramatic, you should've heard how much she cried over this:

Sad huh. She fell off the uneven bars while attempting a triple back flip. Landed a little off (9.8 score) and scrapped her leg. Cried like a girl.

Amazing how resilient little tykes are though - a few minutes later she was up and going again:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Brian's frozen bubbly explosion

This is what happens when you put a bottle of sparkling cider in the freezer: The best part is that Brian still ate the slush (risking his life, dodging the glass particles).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

For posterity

This post might seem a little...odd, perhaps... but I found all these old photos of Brian's family and thought they deserved some preservation. Plus, if I ever get around to printing this blog (it's on my never ending to-do list) it might be neat for Brianna to see her predecessors. So I present to you - the McKell family: Above: Brian's father's father's parents
Melissa, Mark, Mike, Ashley, and Brian, circa 1987
Daryl and Marjorie Berrett, Barbara and Kent, Erma and Mark McKell - 1970

Brian, 1984ish
Ashley and Brian
Barbara and Ashley (Brianna now has the dress)

Brian and a cousin (shirt says "Grandpa and Grandma went to Hawaii and all I got was this dumb tshirt)

Kent McKell

Melissa and Ashley (they were both really into local pageants)

Grandpa Mark McKell and his brother Art, doing their favorite pastime - farming
Barbara and Kent - met at BYU (interestingly, the exact years my parents were there).
Brian, his siblings and some McKell cousins - probably Chad, Josh, and Bryce)
I really like Grandpa's jacket this picture. So 70's. I would totally wear it.
Mark and Erma McKell and their three children" Marilyn, Kent, and Allen

And finally - Grandpa Mark McKell. Dashing young man, dontcha think? I think he would be very proud of this post.