Monday, September 23, 2013

Life with Allergies

Last week we were out shopping and decided to try a new hamburger place.  When we got there David asked for the allergy information (Matthew has a bunch of food allergies, including eggs).  Going over the list we discovered that the french fries contained eggs (what the...?) but the hamburger buns didn't.  However, since they were called "Egg buns" on the menu, we thought we better clarify.

David:  The allergy information says these buns don't have eggs in them, but why are they called "egg" buns if they don't contain eggs?

Worker:  Oh, it's because they brush the tops of the buns with egg whites before they bake them.  It makes them shiny!

David:  So they do have eggs in them.

Worker:  Oh no, they don't have eggs in them.

David:  But they brush the tops with egg whites!  Why isn't that listed in the allergy information?

Worker:  They don't have eggs in them.  They just brush the tops with egg whites.

David: *facepalm*

Never mind that incorrect allergy information could kill someone... I'm more concerned that this girl actually has a license to drive.  On the road.  Next to other cars.

Now that's scary.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Of All the Luck

I am not a lucky person.  It's not that I never win things, it's that when I win things it's stuff like "Someone needs to clean up the port-a-potties at Girls Camp and that person is... Bonnie."  (One of the few things I've actually had my name drawn out of a bag for).  If our government ever starts instituting the Hunger Games I'm going to have to hitch a ride out of the country faster than you can say, "despot."

But when it comes to good things, I never win.  Case in point, today at Kohl's I presented a coupon for 20% off my purchase.  The cashier handed me a stack of scratch-off cards and said, "Here, see if one of these will get you 30% off."

I pulled out a nickel and scratched.  And scratched.  And scratched.  15% off, 15% off, 15% off...  You see where this is going.  A wad of ten used scratch-off cards later and I had only gone downhill from my original coupon.

Finally the cashier said, "Look, if you can win me in Rock, Paper, Scissors, I'll give you 30% off."

I had Michael play instead.  I'm not dumb.

(Although, seriously, if that's all it takes, just give me the dang 30% off!)

This comes directly on the heels of last Friday.  Now, I'm not superstitious.  I'll step on cracks and walk under ladders and open umbrellas inside.  But I admit that it did give me pause when I confiscated a handheld mirror from Leah and promptly dropped it on the bathroom floor, where it shattered.

"Do you think it's bad luck to break a mirror on Friday the 13th?" I asked David.

Four hours later I was awakened by Matthew's screaming.  I stumbled into his bedroom without my glasses on (read: totally blind) and managed not to step on any toys as I made my way toward his bed.  "Matthew, what's the matter?" I asked... right as my left hand came to rest in a gigantic pile of vomit.

"I barfed!" he wailed.

Yes, thank you.  Noted.

I took him straight to the shower where he screamed his way through a quick scrubdown.  Then I handed him to David for re-jammy-ing and snuggling and spent the next hour cleaning vomit-covered bedding and clothing and wondering if it was my stomach that was going to be next in line for the toilet.

Thankfully, it appeared to be a fluke because he was fine the next day and there has been no puking since then.

Of course, by saying so I've probably jinxed myself.  I know I said I'm not superstitious, but seriously...

Will throwing salt over my left shoulder fix that?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Truth and Lies

Michael:  Mom, why is your stomach so fat?
Me:  Michael, that's not a very nice thing to ask someone.
Michael:  But it is fat!
Me:  I know, but it's not very nice to tell someone their stomach is fat.
Michael:  But your stomach IS fat!!

This insistence on truth-telling is brought to you by the kid who tried to cheat me at Clue.

"Michael, cheating is LYING."

"It is?  Oh, I didn't know that."

Considering we've had the cheating-is-lying discussion about 300 times now, I think our lack of progress in this matter can only have one explanation:

I only think I am speaking English.

Even Leah and Matthew are discovering that there is a whole world of things that they can lie about.  Luckily, I have eyes on the back of my head.  Also a sixth-sense that a hand-in-the-cookie-jar expression and guilty whistling means they are hiding contraband behind their backs.

Matthew is my biggest klepto.  He regularly comes home from friends' houses and preschool with treasures stashed in his pockets.  If we have stolen something from you, I apologize.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to discover a pilfered toy and drag him over to return it.  His partner-in-crime is also discovering the benefits of stealing.  She's a regular Selina Kyle - coming home with gawdy rings and sparkly bracelets and acting for all the world like someone gave them to her.


I would like to say that I've gotten the problem under control after holding several Family Home Evenings on the subject, but I'll be honest, the best FHE we've had in recent weeks was the one that consisted mostly of time-outs and discussion of not using potty words and I ate frozen custard straight from the carton after the kids went to bed.

You might say I'm a little burned out.  And by that I mean if you try to come in my kitchen after you're supposed to be in bed, I will attack you with a flame thrower.

But good luck getting into my kitchen at the moment anyway.  I'm having my carpets cleaned today, which meant I greeted David when he walked in the door last night (er, this morning) at 12:45 AM and said, "Wanna help me move some furniture into the kitchen?"

I'm such a nice wife.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I Choose You

"Too many believe that love is a condition. . . something that happens to you. They disassociate love from the mind and, therefore, from agency. In commanding us to love, the Lord refers to something much deeper than romance—a love that is the most profound form of loyalty. He is teaching us that love is something more than feelings of the heart; it is also a covenant we keep with soul and mind."  --  Elder Lynn Robbins 

Yesterday afternoon I was digging through old boxes of books in the storage room -- books that had been packed in boxes 6 moves ago; books I intended to put on a bookshelf once we finally decided to get "grown-up furniture" in our living room.  Playing over my computer speakers as I worked was one of the latest songs from Sara Bareilles - "I Choose You".

I must have listened to this song (and the entire album it comes on) at least 75 times.  I'm constantly drawn back to it, I think because its message is so rare these days, and it hits on a truth that most people refuse to acknowledge:

Love is a choice.

My whole heart will be yours forever
This is a beautiful start 
To a lifelong love letter
Tell the world that we finally got it all right
I choose you
I will become yours and you will become mine
I choose you

My heart broke a little the first time I had to explain the concept of divorce to my son.  We were driving home from a playdate and he wanted to know why his friend's parents weren't living in the same house anymore.  "Sometimes adults decide that they don't want to be married to each other anymore," I said, adding assurances that his parents would never get divorced and that we would always love each other.

I watched his face in the rearview mirror as his eyes filled with a pensiveness I had never seen there before.  "That's a sad choice," he said.

It struck me as very profound - my preschooler could see what many adults cannot (or refuse to):  Divorce is a sad choice.  In many cases, the saddest possible choice.

This is not meant as a slam against anyone who has been divorced -- sometimes the dissolution of a marriage is absolutely justified, and we shouldn't judge each other in this regard.  But what if we all woke up each morning, even when -- especially when -- we're in the midst of marital problems, even when we've had a raging fight with our spouse, even when we feel our hearts sinking as if there is no hope for our relationship, and, instead of telling ourselves that our own happiness takes precedence over everything ("I choose me"), we said, "I choose you."?

No marriage is perfect because no person is perfect.  But love is a choice.  Loving the person you married is a choice.  So start now.  Choose your spouse.  Choose to love him with all of your heart.

See how beautiful it can be.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tales From the Treadmill

Yesterday I dutifully hopped on the treadmill for my morning workout.  "I'm making progress!" I thought, cheerfully.  "I'm not actively dying!"  So I decided to take some advice from a runner friend and change up my routine a bit, trying for a brisk 15-minute walk followed by a solid ten-minute run.

Two minutes into the jog, plates of brownies started flashing before my eyes and I started panicking that I hadn't told my relatives where my will is located.  Two minutes and thirty seconds in my lungs were on fire and I vowed never to step foot on a treadmill again.  I mean, seriously, if THIS is what two months of regular workouts gets me, what's the dang point?  Pass me a candy bar!

Then, just as I was stepping off the treadmill in a defeated slump, grumbling to myself and planning to eat pie for breakfast, I noticed I had accidentally hit the "incline" button when I was trying to set my pace.  I had been running uphill the whole time!  This meant two things:  1- My body is not as out-of-shape as I thought it was, and 2 - My brain needs some help.

Ah, well... it's like they say: you can't have everything.

But since I'm not sure what the point of having "everything" is anyway, I think I'm okay with that.  Or at least I would be if we weren't having our family pictures taken at the end of this month.  I'm ashamed to admit it -- generally I try not to be all body focused -- but I've stood in front of the mirror at least twice in the past week trying to figure out the best angle to hide my double chin.

The good news is, I found it! If I turn my head just so, I will totally be able to remove it with Photoshop! (Sooo much easier than trying to remove it with Treadmill).  I mean, what is digital photography for if not to allow us to remove all the imperfections that make us who we are?

Ha!  I'm kidding, I'm kidding!

Sort of...