April Fool's Update

Well, the Simpson's toy had to be removed. It was laughing loudly every time I even got NEAR the lunchbox, and I was afraid it would give away the joke too early (like, before she had even left for school.) So instead, I buried it in her backpack. Again, really feeling sorry for her teacher tomorrow.

I was wishing, as I cleaned up the kitchen just now, that people in my family drank milk. Or even just ate it on cereal. How funny would it be to dye it black, so when someone poured it on their cereal in the morning black milk washed all over their breakfast? Awesome. I'm generously giving this idea to all you procrastinators out there, who haven't planned your jokes yet. You know who you are.

Then I thought I could have made sugar cookies with black frosting (we do this every Halloween) because it dyes your poop a weird greenish color. The problem here is that it takes a day or two to work through your system, and would be too unpredictable as to when the joke would hit. You might miss April 1 all together.

A more direct approach is to go the Methyl Blue route, as Laura and I were fond of in college. You can buy it at any decent pet store, and bake a batch of brownies with a large amount in it. We had lots of fun with this, April Fools day or not. Later on, though, we heard the stuff was radioactive or toxic or something, so we had to cut it.

Ashley (of the jumprope workout) and I were concocting some fun ideas for jokes on our husbands. She suggested finding a pregnant lady, getting her to pee on a pregnancy stick, and then showing her husband. I took it one step further and thought for maximum effect, you could collect the pee and hide it in your bathroom, so you could open the test, go in, and come out and watch it develop together. Of course this would take a lot of prep work, and if I did it to Travis he would just be happy and excited. Not nearly as freaked out as I would be if HE told ME I was pregnant.

Anybody else got some good ones to share?

April Fool's Day

I love April Fool's day. I've pulled the "I'm engaged" and "I'm pregnant" on my parents so many times, I've lost track. So now I'm looking for a new target. Luckily S finally gets what this day is all about. She's super excited to pull all kinds of tricks. Her poor teacher.

Carrie helped me come up with a great trick; instead of packing her regular lunch, I filled her lunchbox (yes, it's a Pokeball lunchbox) with the following items:
-a diaper
-a Pokemon card
-an old tennis ball
-a binky
-an empty Easter egg
-a tube of Chapstick (one with petroleum... I've thrown most of them away, but found this one in the junk drawer today. Hopefully she'll lose it at school.)
-an empty balloon
-a checker (red)
-a Simpsons toy we got from a Burger King happy meal that laughs in a very annoying way. I'm hoping this one doesn't make it back home, either.
-a pair of C's underpants

Man, I really wish I could be there when she opens it. I'll report back tomorrow...


A Spring Treat

I made these for a bridal shower yesterday and they really hit the spot (if I do say so myself).

I stole this idea from my sister-in-law. You take a strawberry with stem on & cut it into thirds. Then spread the strawberry out so it looks like one long berry - and fill the middle with other kinds of fruit. I used pineapple, bananas, and watermelon. Looking back the kabob needs a little green - next time I'll add some honeydew or kiwi.

Then sprinkle with melted chocolate chips and try not to eat them all. (It also helps to wipe all the smeared chocolate from your face before the shower begins.)

23 weeks

Proof that I now deserve 3/4 of the bed.

Can someone please explain this to Dave?


Random Things

It is Friday morning and I just can't start working yet probably due to the fact that at 3 am I was working from home on a tax return and my computer locked up. When I got in this morning the tax return that I had entered all of the client's information was BLANK.

Here are some tid bits from the life of Suzie CPA at KBVN

1 - At this time of year random things occur around the office. To name just a few:
- There was a papertowel with about 15 plain M&M's in a straight light on top of the microwave for about 3 days.
- There was a package of 3 crackers on a filing cabinet in the file room
- The bowl of M&M's was in the refrigerator
- One of the shareholders opened the empty office to retrieve his Mtn bike for a ride only to find another staff accountant on the air mattress napping in the afternoon
- The concierge took someone's $5,000 suit and winter jacket to the dry cleaners and give him the receipt. The concierge was then "sick" [it is her spring break] on the day it was to be picked up. The staff accountant looked at the slip which had no name, phone number, or address for where the dry cleaning was. He looked up dry cleaners w/in walking distance and spent time at lunch "looking for his dry cleaning".
- There was one Advil by the pencil sharpener
- Dave's brother's dog Danny severed all the tendons in his right paw. Dave's wife and kids went to Utah for the week so Danny has been an unpaid observer at KBVN for 14 plus hours every day this week.

2 - On the way to work on Wednesday I was driving on a 40 mph street that is notorious for having cops. I thought "I better be careful" and looked at my speedometer which read 45 mph. Then I passed 2 motorcycle cops and one in a car sitting on a side street. I thought "sheesh, thank goodness I wasn't speeding". Then much to my chagrin one of the motorcycles pulled out and turned on his lights. I expected him to pass me and grab someone else but nope, he wanted me. As he approached me I said "I just looked at my speedometer and it said 45mph". He replied "well, the girl standing at the light looked at us and indicated your were going 50mph". I thought "what girl standing at the light" and "since when do the fuzz use girls at lights to nab law abiding citizens"?? He came back with my ticket and said, as if he was doing me a favor, "I knocked it down to 49 mph which is only a 1 pt ticket and $100". I know he did this b/c "that girl at the light" was just plain wrong.

3 - Got my $139 refund check from the Colorado Dept of Revenue in the mail today and you know what? $100 of that goes right back to the state for my ticket.

Okay, I feel a bit better, now back to making money by counting other people's money just so I can spend that money on speeding tickets.


Now this is just weird

Can it actually get bigger?



Have you seen these?

Now, I've never been a big fan of W. I didn't vote for him the 2nd time (unlike some people I know), and I realize he's made mistakes while in office. But this? It feels a lot like scapegoating to me. I don't think he can shoulder ALL the blame for the mess our country is in right now.

But that's not my point.

I was driving behind a car that had one of these stickers on it yesterday. And I feel I must vent a bit... in typical Lewis list form:

1. Why on earth would you put such a time-sensitive bumper sticker on your car? It's like when I see people drive by with Kerry-Edwards stickers on the rear of their automobiles. Do we even remember who those guys were by now? I mean, come on.

2. Why would you put a STICKER on your car to begin with? Who spends 20-40 K on something, and then goobs it up with stickers that cost $1.50? When I inherited the Chevy Citation from Laura in 1990, that thing was a piece. My dear friend Kristin suggested we snazz it up a bit with some bumper stickers, or maybe by paint splattering it. Even at the tender age of 16, I knew that would make the car worse, not better.

3. And if you are going to put a bumper sticker on your car (I'm sure some of you have, and when my daughter is on the honor roll there's a good chance I'll throw caution to the wind and stick one on myself), wouldn't you TAKE THE TIME TO MAKE SURE IT WAS CENTERED AND PUT ON STRAIGHT? The car I was behind had just haphazardly stuck the 1.20.09 sticker up, in the general vicinity of the trunk lock and at about a 37 degree angle. Are you kidding me? I was so distracted by the unevenness of it all, I nearly ran a red light.

Can you hear me sighing over the internet???


The Night Nomad

It's 7.30 AM and I just woke up for the day. Thought you might enjoy a sampling of what a night in life of Sara is like:

1. Fell asleep on C's bed in between C and S. Struggled out about 2 hours later when I couldn't take the claustrophobic feeling anymore, and headed to my bed to join Travis.

2. A couple hours later, S woke up and came in to us, scared. I rolled to the middle (how do I ALWAYS end up in the middle?) and she climbed in. We slept until...

3. C came in whimpering. He was scared, and clearly the space limitations were being met in our bed, so I got up and joined him back where I had started. About 30 minutes later...

4. Oz woke up. I went in and nursed him, and went back to C's bed.

5. Oz woke up again about 4 hours later, so I fed him again and went back to C's bed.

6. I then woke up around 6 when I heard Travis getting up to leave, but managed to force myself back to sleep until 7.10, when Oz woke up.

There have been many nights where I climb into S's bed, but this one is in Oz's room and I don't sleep well when I hear every little sound he makes.

If someone had told me in my early 20's that I would get up and feel functional after a night like this, I never would have believed them. The crazy thing is, last night wasn't nearly as bad as it can get. At least no one threw up!


Woes of a tax accountant

As some of you know, I am a tax accountant which means that from mid January to April blessed 15th I sell my soul to Uncle Sam. Having done this for many years, I have gotten accustomed to the following during this time of year:

- doing wash at 1 am [yep my downstairs neighbors love me]
- excessive "rush" online ordering of clothes, shoes, etc. just to break up the long days.
- excessive receipt and build up of above items that need to be returned but aren't because UPS and USPS aren't open at 11 pm.
- feeling like going to Whole Foods or the grocery store is an "event"
- equating the feasibility of visiting the mall on the same level as a trip to Mexico, totally out of the question
- waking to the alarm's beep one hour after it was set to go off. [yep, i can sleep for one hour while it beeps 2 inches from you head]
- Instead of "springing forward" for daylight savings, I "stepped back" and set my clock back and subsequently completely missed church and left the primary kids without their chorister
- making it to the mailbox once a week
- having people say repeatedly "wow, you look really tired" which equates,to "you look like h _ _ _!
- once again missing out on accompanying the family on a Spring Break trip to Hawaii, Arizona, ...

But today I really hit ROCK BOTTOM in fact, I've gone way below rock bottom and am looking up at it. I've sunk so low that worms are looking down at me. It is 11:30 am, my mom called me and talked for quite sometime and then threatened me about posting anything on the blog about her birthday. HER BIRTHDAY. I hadn't even called to wish her Happy Birthday. I made a mental note last night to call her early but I had totally forgotten. This is the woman who gave me life, who has sacrificed every and anything for her family.

So, in attempt to raise at least a centimeter off the bottom, I'd like to say Happy Birthday to my mom who is the most self sacrificing, amazing, strong, smart, witty, and wonderful woman in my life. And to the IRS I would like to say, make gifts, lunches, notes, and any money spent on a mom tax deductible.


I'm addicted to Chapstick

You know how sometimes you read something, and it seems really insignificant, and then it pops back into your brain in the middle of the night and you can't stop obsessing about it? (I'm directing this question straight at Carrie, although I suppose it's possible for people who aren't direct descendants of T.G. Lewis to worry as well.)

Well, that exact thing happened to me 2 days ago. I saw an ad for Burt's Bees chapstick. I half-heartedly tried finding the ad online so I could show it to you all, but no dice. It basically said something like, "Burt's Bees chapstick. Contains no petroleum (the oil you use in your car)." So at about 3 AM I got up to feed the baby, and my lips were burning. I slathered on my usual giant amount of Mentholatum and the whole time I was nursing him, I couldn't stop thinking about that petroleum. Surely it's toxic. And I use a SIGNIFICANT amount of chapstick every day.

I googled chapstick the next day... never a good idea for someone like me. I found this. So while I was mildly worried before, I found myself in a tailspin of concern. How many tubes of chapstick had I used in the past 20 years? A million? Even a thousand would be my ticket to breast cancer. So I gave it up. Cold turkey.

There's got to be a better month than March to give up chapstick... especially when your lips are physically dependent on it. Why don't my lips produce any moisturizing agents on their own? Oh right. I probably killed the cells that do that with PETROLEUM. So the wind has been blowing here and my lips feel like they are literally about to split open. I really wish I had seen that ad in JULY when it's so humid here I feel like I'm constantly wrapped in a wet, warm blanket. Not to mention the fact that Trav got back from China yesterday, and I could barely stand to kiss him hello. Even smiling hurts.

So yesterday I went to CVS and bought about 30 dollars worth of Burt's Bees chapstick. It doesn't go on quite as smoothly, or last as long, but at least I won't leave my 3 kids motherless.

One last thing: Mom, don't let Dad read this post. We don't need to give him a new fear du jour!


Baby's first T

After our 20 week ultrasound yesterday we headed straight for the nearest baby store and Dave picked out the following T.

I think this is the shirt Dave would have picked regardless of the gender...but I do think our little BOY will look quite handsome in it!

Dave really wanted to buy our boy his first BB gun, or his first dirt bike, or his first puppy...but I talked him into a piece of clothing instead.


I'm sorry. I can't help it, I just love saying that. Even though I told my mom it was a boy 4 phone calls ago, I've caught myself blurting out "IT'S A BOY!" in each and every subsequent phone call with her.

Let's hope my boy doesn't end up in the ER as often as his dad did growing up due to: homemade firecracker accidents, bike accidents, snowboarding accidents, repelling from his bedroom window accidents, jumping down a flight of stairs accidents, and so on.


There I go again. I just can't help myself...


Sunday evening

Here's what was going on at our house tonight (so Travis doesn't feel like he's missing anything while getting 2 hour massages and facials in Korea).

S has taken up jumping rope lately. It's the perfect post-surgery activity, wouldn't you agree? She's been jumping about 50 minutes per day, I'd estimate. She had just been reading her latest issue of Zoobooks (thank you Brian and Amy!), about lions, which had shown her how to make a lion mask. So I looked over and she was jumping rope in her lion mask, while wearing her typical Sunday outfit. She just keeps taking things off after church until she's only wearing her tights.

Life with her: It's never dull.


Red Flag

Me: Tell Nana what you got on your spelling test!

S: 100%!!! And I didn't even have to look at anyone else's paper!!!

Oh. Dear.


Happy Birthday Laura!!!

Just when Laura thought the Birthday attention was winding down...here are 18 things you may not know about Laura:

1. Our first nephew couldn't pronounce her name correctly - it came out "yah yah." The name has stuck and now everyone calls her "yah yah."

2. She is hands downs the best audience you will ever find for a personal story. She will give all sorts of fantastic reactions and can say "WhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT?" in a wonderfully dramatic way (that can be heard all the way from Texas).

3. Laura is a performer. She is an amazing singer, harmonizer, dancer, and piano player. And, she can do many of those things simultaneously. You really should ask her to sing "Don't cry for me Argentina" sometime. She has the type of voice that makes you want to lay back and close your eyes so you can focus on the crystal clear quality of it.

3.5 (Sara's addition): When Laura was in high school, she used to call boys she liked and SERENADE them over the phone. Her favorite selections were, "I'll Be Your Candle on the Water" and "Think of Laura."

4. Laura is a cho-co-holic. OK - you probably know this about Laura. If you know her at all, you know chocolate is one of her deepest loves. Not only does she love to eat chocolate...she loves to work with chocolate. She can invent the most delightful desserts and is always baking and taking treats to people. What I would love more than anything is to give her a trip to Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory for her birthday.

5. Laura invented, that's right, INVENTED the over sized chocolate chip cookie. She was working at Mrs. Fields in high school and suggested they make over sized cookies for special occasion gifts (of course she had been making them for years as gifts - in the shape of a dog, Easter egg, football stadium, etc.) They passed on the idea...and a few months after she left, Mrs. Fields mysteriously started selling over sized chocolate chip cookies. THIEVES!

5.5. (Sara's addition): Laura, S has requested one of these giant cookies for her b-day. You have to make it look like a Pokeball. Good luck.

6. Laura does NOT like being cold, and often is. She lives in a world of fleece to help insulate her against the cold. She even has fleece bed sheets - which she slips into, while wearing fleece pants and a fleece jacket. I know what you are thinking. Doesn't the fleece stick to itself and trap her so she can't move at night? This is not a problem. Laura is famous for not moving one muscle while asleep. She has always been the sibling of choice when bed sharing was forced.

7. Laura is extremely generous. She consistently breaks the "only buy for 1 sibling" rule at Christmas time and buys for everyone. I always feel sheepish when my nephews open the $10 book I got them after they have opened the puffy North Face jacket from Laura. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Be careful when you compliment her on a piece of her wardrobe. She is likely to take it off and give it to you. She is always on the look out for those who have needs (friends, ward members, etc.) and going out of her way to meet those needs. She spends a large portion of her time and money serving others, often anonymously.

8. Yah Yah is a wonderful and dedicated Aunt. She goes out of her way to spoil and spend time with her nieces and nephews. Those who live close are assured regular dates with Aunt Yah Yah either for dinner, movie, ice cream, or shopping. Those who live far are assured regular care packages in the mail from Aunt Yah Yah. The care packages come stocked with enough toys, kits, and treats to keep a kid entertained for weeks! I can't wait for my little baby to meet and love its Aunt Yah Yah.

9. Laura really, really, really hates the rain. Maybe it has something to do with spending 2 years on a bike, in Sweden, on a mission, in a constant downpour of rain. I will never forget when we picked her up in Sweden and were on a long drive in the van. When it started to rain she pressed her face against the window and started to cry.

10. Speaking of her mission, I should mention that Laura is quite active. In high school she was one of the fastest cross country runners in the state. She still loves to go for a nice long jog. I think the average mission companion lost 20 pounds when serving with her.

10.5. (Sara's addition): One time I ran the Bolder Boulder with Laura. I almost died. It felt like I was a dog chasing a fire truck for 6.2 miles. I can't believe I hung with her ALMOST the whole time (she lost me at the end.) She can literally run FOREVER.

11. Laura thinks parking signs (and other traffic signs) come with a footnote that say "Does not apply to Laura." She has had her car towed & ticketed countless times and always seems so shocked! When asked "Were you parked illegally" she replies "Yes...BUT..."

12. She is an extremely hard worker. She often bills more hours than anyone in her office. While my parents were taking the rest of us aside and telling us to "work harder, get better grades, live up to your potential!" they were taking Laura aside and saying "Laura don't work so hard, take a break, don't be so hard on yourself!"

13. Laura introduced Sara and her husband Travis - and then encouraged her to date him (even after he exhibited some stalker-ish behaviors).

14. Laura is an accountant by day and once ran a mini-bakery by night. She started a business and sold all sorts of delightful chocolate treats to local stores. The business was going great, but finally she had to give it up b/c tax season was just too time consuming.

15. Laura cares about and is interested in you! She demonstrates her interest by asking all sorts of thoughtful questions about your life. You have to really pin her down in order to get her to talk about herself. One minute you think you've got her telling you about her weekend...and the next thing you know, you are sharing a painful childhood memory.

16. (Sara's addition): She's an avid reader. She has finished every book ever started, even if it was really, really lame. She can also read while doing absolutely anything: walking, stairmastering, cooking, hiking, cleaning, and driving (which may explain some of the bumps and nicks on her car's exterior).

17. (Sara's addition): Laura thinks spray butter can be put on ANYTHING. And conversely, anything can be put in empty spray butter bottles. Carrie once had a nasty surprise when she sprayed hot chocolate on her baked potato. And then Gordon suggested she eat it anyway.

18. Laura loves gumballs, especially really massive gumballs. Two memories come to mind - the time she passed out gumballs to all the nieces and nephews while they were in the hot tub. 50% of the that gum ended up cemented to the hot tub floor. Another time she passed out gumballs as the primary chorister to all the kids - but told them they had to wait until after church to eat the gum. The kids walked out of church that day with blue/purple/pink hands.

Laura is a wonderful person. She has a very kind heart - and cares deeply about those she comes in contact with. Laura I love you so much - my life would not be the same without you!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For some years now I have really tried to forget my Birthday. The fact that it falls in the heat of tax season coupled with my dislike of reminding myself that yet another year has flown by without the acquisition of either a husband, children, significant pay/position raise or a new hairstyle might also contribute to my reluctance to observe such a day.

Anyway, for whatever reason, each year without fail my sweet sister Carrie makes an overthetop effort to do something special even though I make it as hard as possible for her to do so. One year, when she was engagged to be marred to one DP Denham the first, I arrived home from a long day at work to find "a few/all of my favorite things" on my counter and in my fridge. They had bought cookies, candy, ice cream chocolates, flowers, and put diet Pepsi in my fridge. They drove all the way from Denver just to deposit such goodies.

Once again she did it this year. Here are some excerpts of the many emails she sent to me last week (this was after last Sunday night when she said any time, anything, she would meet me, come here, etc.):

email #1:
I love celebrating your birthday. Any word on the huge projects that you didn't have the info for yet?
How do you think this weekend will shape up? Or is it too early to tell? Well, turns out this weekend is a little more booked than I knew. Friday night we have another $52.80 dinner planned, and Saturday night there is a birthday party for Kim and Jim's youngest. I supposed Saturday day is totally out. What about Sunday? I could have Rand's fam up to mom & dad's and I could do dinner no problem. Or we could just do a smaller group - you, me, dad, dave - in Boulder so you don't have to drive too far.

email #2
Let me know what you think. We don't HAVE to celebrate this weekend, but we do HAVE to celebrate. So let me know what might work for you.Sorry Saturday night doesn't work. How about Sunday night with just you, me and dad (and maybe Dave) after your massage? That way I can bring dinner to dad...something I like to do when mom is gone anyway.
If that doesn't work b/c you need a little down time I TOTALLY understand. I just thought I would give it one last ditch try. ;) We don't even have to talk about your birthday...we can just talk about how awkward it will be for dad when he cousin comes to visit. Ha ha.

And again:
It is finally starting to warm up - it is supposed to be SIXTY on Saturday. If you could swing it - it would be fun to do a hike?! I could come to your office for a little break?

So thanks Carrie Sue. You are the best. I love you and your Lewis [or maybe it is Crane] tenacity.