Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 24

"You are sweet tempered, kindly, acquiescent, and retiring. You should choose a mate that is of strong character and robust to complement your quiet temperament. You enjoy serenity and like to be surrounded with luxury."

-Fortune-Telling Birthday Book

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Pendulum

Today over breakfast, my son happily informed me, "I don't want to miss the bus this morning. I love riding the bus, even more than car rider." This statement might not seem abnormal to you, if you didn't know that since the beginning of the school year, getting my son to ride the school bus has been an ugly, ongoing battle that has even been played out several times on our driveway. (And I am proud to say there have been no casualties... if you don't count my blood pressure). 
My inability to drive my son to school has been the ultimate injustice in his mind, as he just wants to spend more time with me. Cue the guilt. Lately, he has ridden the bus with no complaint, but this morning's statement was a major breakthrough. And then I realized the pendulum had swung a little too far in the other direction when in his morning prayers he prayed, "Help me to not want to come home."

All I can do is join Garth Brooks in saying, "Sometimes God's greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


What do the following songs have in common?

  • A mixed James Taylor CD
  • "Eye in the Sky" by The Alan Parsons Project
  • "Luna" by Smashing Pumpkins
  • "Concert Fantasy on Carmen Op.25: I. Moderato" by Jules Massenet
  • "Farewell and Goodnight" by Smashing Pumpkins

**If you guessed: "Songs that have been or are currently effective at soothing a crying baby in the car?", then you are correct! As  you can see, she has quite a diverse taste.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Slowly fades...

My baby girl is growing up. Her newborn look is completely gone... and I miss it a little bit. When she was born, I was pleasantly reminded of all the features of a newborn that I had forgotten I love:

  • Little clenched fists all the time
  • Bowed legs always tucked
  • Puckered lips
  • Impossibly small fingers and toes
  • Tiny bottom
  • The back of their head
  • Lean little bodies
  • Conking out after eating
  • Lips making sucking motions while sleeping
  • Little whimpers in their sleep
  • An indescribable freshness

There really is nothing more beautiful, sacred, clean, breathtaking, and awe inspiring than a newborn baby.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pure Energy

A recent article reports that Pediatrics (a medical journal) has found that energy drinks can be dangerous for children and teens to consume. The massive amount of caffeine, and ingredients used to enhance its effect, found in these drinks can lead to heart palpitations, strokes, seizures, and even sudden death. The authors of the report even feel these drinks should be regulated as stringently as tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs.
Of more than 300 cases of poisonings this year, a quarter of those included children under 6. My question? Why is anybody allowing children- who already have more energy then they themselves can contain- to drink energy drinks? That is not only irresponsible, but a form of self-torture.
I found it interesting that the senior vice president of the American Beverage Association defended energy drinks by pointing out that energy drinks contain "much less caffeine then some coffee from popular coffeehouses." Hmmm... for some reason that doesn't seem to justify its safety in my mind. I wonder if, for the most part, caffeine is a largely misunderstood drug.

As a side note, I found this article, "The Energy Drink Epidemic" in the Dec. 2008 Ensign interesting at the time it was published (I can't believe it was 2 years ago!). It is written by a doctor with the intent to educate and warn of the health effects caffeine abuse has on the body.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Casting Call

When I first learned about the practice of making death masks of a deceased person's face, I was a little bit creeped out by the idea. But, understanding that this was done in a time when cameras were not available to record one's exact likeness, the creepiness factor can be lowered. Many notable people who have had death masks made include: Tutankhamon, Napolean Bonaparte, Peter the Great, Abraham Lincoln, and Joseph Smith.

This, however, is just plain creepy. There is no justifiable reason to make one, except for the sole intent of being creepy:

Vinyl lettering and a grosgrain ribbon can't even save it.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Survey Shows...

About a month ago, I completed a phone survey that asked several questions concerning my opinion of the economy, my gender, age, employment status, and how much football I watch in a week (???). After I got off the phone, my son asked who it was. My husband then explained to my son that a survey is when you give your opinion on different questions. To which my son stated matter-of-factly, "Well, it's my opinion that animals should definitely not wear clothing." I couldn't be prouder.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Design Friday: The Cons of an Extreme Makeover

We are all familiar with ABC's "Extreme Makeover" show. Homeowners living in filth or going through some type of crisis, are chosen to have their home gutted (sometimes dozed) and turned into a beautiful dream home. It's fun to watch this show (and every other show like it) to witness the transformations, creativity, and joy unfold. The danger in watching these shows is losing touch with the reality that most normal people can not afford to overhaul their home all at once. Most folks are accumulating things slowly over time.
"Extreme Makeovers" choosing to rennovate your home would be akin to winning the lottery. I had never considered that such luck might be a double-edged sword, until I read an article featured in the Florida Times-Union.
"The Harveys were on 'Extreme Makeover' in March 2005. The family was sent on a vacation to Niagara Falls as its termite-infested 1930s house, which was previously an Army barracks, was demolished and rebuilt by contractors, plumbers and others from the Northeast Florida Builders Association's nonprofit Builders Care group.
"The family went from a 1,300-square-foot home to a 4,300-square-foot home. The home is noticeably bigger than any other home on East Street."
As a result, utilities for the home jumped from $60/month to $400/month, and property taxes were hiked from $500 to $5,200 after the makeover. Ouch. The homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments and the house will be auctioned off after being foreclosed.
The lesson I took away from this? Be careful what you wish for, or you might just get it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Keeping Proper Perspective

"Comparing how you feel on the inside (bad) to the way someone else looks on the outside (great) is a losing proposition. It's an impossible standard. We will always come up short. Women in particular know what I'm talking about: We often compare ourselves to others in order to make ourselves feel bad.
"Here's Maria's Recipe for Feeling Bad about Myself: I carefully choose as a basis for comparison someone who has a stellar career. Then I ignore any other problems she has, any sacrifices she's chosen to make. Next I discount any of my own assests- the talents, gifts, and abilities God gave me. Finally, I rachet up my expectations for myself to way, way past what I'm capable of. And voila! I feel like dirt. It's a recipe for depression. Comparing yourself to others rarely is in the service of self-improvement. It's usually in the service of bludgeoning yourself into hopelessness."

-Maria Shriver, "Ten Things I Wish I'd Known- Before I Went Out into the Real World"