Saturday, March 31, 2007

Happy Easter!

Ok, so here's my thing.......Every year since my babies were born I have taken them down to the mall to get a picture taken with Santa and the Easter Bunny. It has been fun to get out the yearly pictures at each holiday and see how my children have grown. As Easter is quickly approaching, we decided to make the trek to the Layton Hills Mall so my girls can sit on a giant bunny's lap. I'm sad to say we did not get the anticipated picture.

First, it was quite an ordeal to get to the mall. My middle child, Madison, is very self-concious right now. She couldn't decide what to wear. She was in her room crying her eyes out because she looked "fat". My dear sweet husband stormed into her room and told her if she "wasn't ready and in the car in two minutes she was NOT going". Of course, hysterics followed. Being the mother, I had to go calm the child down. She was sure her daddy was kicking her out of the family!

After I got Madison dressed we continued to the mall. Steve and Madison had a huge argument about the radio. Steve wanted to listen to Madonna (yuck!) while Madison wanted the radio off due to her "father induced migrane". Steve, acting like the 39 year old he is, blasted the radio at full volume for a minute before he turned it off, all while yelling about his bratty 12 year old.

Finally we arrived at the mall. My five year old, Aliza, was bouncing up and down with excitement to see the Easter Bunny. She practicly ran to the display. We got in line and waited our turn. Finally, it was our big moment. Steve went to the attendent to figure out the picture end of the deal while I started giving my children direction on how to pose. Suddenly, I heard arguing. I looked back at my husband and noticed he was having a heated discussion with the attendent! You've got to be kidding me!!!!!

I ran over to help. I assumed there was a problem with having all three children in the same picture. But no, that was not the problem. My husband was arguing about the price of the photo. Now, keep in mind we have been taking these pictures twice a year for 15 years!!!!! The prices of these photos has been steadily going up and up and up. My husband was "appalled" the price had risen to $19.99. By the time I reached him he was livid. His voice was quite loud as he accused the attendent of being a "communist"!

I tried to calm him down but it was impossible. He started yelling "there is no way in hell I am paying these communist prices!" At this point I knew I had to get him out of there before mall security escorted him away. I started dragging him toward the escalator as my children looked on in confussion. Aliza, with tears streaming down her face, asked, "what about the Easter Bunny". My husband looked at his precious child and yelled, "this Easter Bunny is a communist FAKE!"

As you can imagine, Aliza started crying even harder. But the real meaning of Easter became clear as ALL the children in line started crying over the fake bunny. Now, not only the attendent wanted to kill my husband but all the parents in line wanted to kill him. Of course, being the mother, I had to drag my husband and three children up the escalator while my husband yelled "fake bunny" all the way up at the top of his lungs!

At the top of the escalator I demanded to know what the heck he was thinking. He stated he was standing on principle and I should support him. "What about the picture?", I calmly asked. I was informed we would drive down to the Salt Lake valley and search for another mall with a "non-communist" Easter Bunny. I sweetly reminded him that Crossroads Mall had been torn down. He said we would get the picture even if we had to drive to Provo. At this point I looked at him with my sweetest sarcastic smile and inquired, "won't that cost WAY more then $19.99 in gas?"

Today, Easter is a week away and I have yet to get my yearly picture. I guess the good news is my husband is sorta talking to me again! Aliza has prayed every night for Heavenly Father to direct her daddy to the "one true Easter Bunny". I hope all of you have an easier time getting your Easter Bunny pictures this year!!!

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Not So Funny Valentine

Ok…so here’s my thing; Valentine’s Day is coming. I HATE this holiday!! It is right after Thanksgiving on my worst holiday ever list!!!! This has never been a good day for me. For instance, I am allergic to chocolate. Every year, my husband, inspired by Homer Simpson, gives me a big box of chocolate. He then eats the whole box in front of me! One year, I was so annoyed I ate the chocolate and ended up in the hospital. In 2004, I decided I would try to make a good Valentine’s Day memory.

As I was driving home from work one day, I heard about a contest the local radio station was having. One lucky recipient would receive a $10,000 make over. Holy crap! It was as if God was talking to me from a burning bush! I was positive this make over was MINE! The winner would get the following:

  • Lasik eye surgery (I’m blind as a bat. I’ve had to put braille on my love handles so I know how many I have!)
  • Laser teeth whitening (My teeth aren’t even in the white family. They are more yellow then the snow my 4 year old likes to eat.)
  • A personal trainer
  • A gym membership
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery or lap band surgery (Band???? I could fit a whole orchestra in my pants…and like it!)
  • Hair (Cut, style, color, etc.)
  • Make-up
  • New clothing
  • A week at a spa!

Words cannot describe how badly I wanted to win this prize. All I had to do was submit a picture and an essay explaining why I should win.

No problem! One day I came home from work and spent two hours searching for my frumpiest outfit. I finally settled on an old pair of pj’s. I took off my bra and let the girls gravitate to their nesting ground: just above my knees. I polished my Coke bottle glasses up so the dark circles under my eyes could be seen. I didn’t wash my hair for days so it would look greasy. (It worked. It actually looked chewy.) I stuck my buckteeth out as far as I could get them. Then I took about 25 pictures. I brought several friends over to evaluate which shot I looked the worst in. I wrote my sob story down, got an oversized envelope to mail my picture in and sent it off. The rest is history…..

Soon after, as I was driving home from work I got a call from my husband. He said he had a great surprise for me when I got home. This was it! I raced into the house and awaited the big news. My husband sat me down and informed me that…..HE had been selected for a Valentine’s Day make over show! What the *@#$@ It turns out that, “inspired” by my idea; he decided to apply for a contest on his favorite radio station. His sports talk radio station, 1280 the Zone, was having a contest called: Queer eye for the sports guy. Imagine his parent's horror when they were told their son entered a contest with the word "Queer" in it. (They were serving an LDS mission in San Francisco at the time!)

As I sat there watching my husband beam with pride I imaged what body part I would dismember first. He turned on the radio, tuned it to 1280 and jumped up and down as the radio announcers discussed the winner of their contest. Words cannot describe my feelings as I listened to the announcers discuss my husband. They used words like: loser, slob, and train wreck. These comments were based on the picture and essay he sent in.

Now, unlike me, he put no thought into his picture. He just grabbed one of himself and sent it in. Steve sitting in a recliner eating a piece of pizza during a Lord of the Rings marathon. The picture wasn’t even staged!!!!!

Here is a copy of the essay he sent in:

Why do I need the most help? Because I am an: unemployed, 36 year old, overweight, bald, full-time student, BYU and SF 49er fan, and father of three. As you can see I am not exactly prince charming right now. My wife works full time so that I can go to school, so it is she that really deserves the benefits of my winning this contest. Also, in our house Valentine’s Day has always been a downer. Our first Valentine’s Day was while we were engaged and instead of a romantic day together, we spent the day apart because I was in bed with mono. As a result it is hard for my wife to get excited for Valentine’s Day each year. My wife has also had to put up with a very grumpy husband lately, as a result of the fact that my teams have all sucked. So from a man who is in the depths of despair, please, please pick me. Thank You.

With tears streaming down my face, I listened as my husband explained what he had won. A limo would be picking him up in the morning. He would be taken to breakfast. He would be taken to a spa. He would be taken to lunch. He would receive a $1000 outfit. He would be taken to Victoria’s Secret to get something for me (if you don’t know how I feel about this read my other blogs). He would get $500 to spend in a jewelry store. He would get a limo, roses, and a dinner for Valentine’s Day for the two of us. Oh yeah….did I mention he would be accompanied by the “Zone girls” for the day???? These are scantily clad women whose IQ is less then the circumference of their nipple!

Now, I consider myself to be very reasonable. But, you have to understand a few things about us. First, I sold my house in Logan, Utah and moved into my in-laws house in Bountiful, Utah so my husband could finish school. Second, I went to work full time to put my husband through school. I really tried to be gracious as I listened to my husband explain that he would be missing school so he could go to the spa and Victoria’s Secret with the dang Zone girls!!!!

Well, Steve’s big day finally arrived. As I drove off to work I was speechless. The neighbors were congregating outside our house awaiting the arrival of the limo and the “girls”. It was too much for me. I punched the gas pedal and stormed off to work thinking I would find some peace and quiet there. No such luck! My co-workers were talking about the contest oblivious to my connection to the winner. They had the radio station on so they could hear the updates throughout the day.

I tried to concentrate on work as I listened to these updates. I was humiliated as the DJ explained they had to stop for a snack because “fatty” needed to eat again. I felt like crawling under a rock when they explained how much wax was needed for his eyebrows. I almost lost bladder control when they interviewed Steve on the radio. They asked Steve to describe his purchase at Victoria’s Secret. He actually said…”It’s sexy yet tasteful”. ??? What the crap does that mean?

After my 10 hour day AT WORK, I decided to listen to 1280 on my way home. I just about caused a major pile up as I listened to my husband describe what he got me at the jewelry store…a $500 pair of earrings. @#@$#@#$ I DON’T have pierced ears!!!!!!!!! My husband and I arrived home at the same time. I asked if I could look in the limo but the driver was late and had to leave.

I patiently gazed upon my husband’s newly waxed body as he explained why he picked out earrings. (He didn’t get to choose them…the jewelry company made him take them). He told me how wonderful the Zone girls were. He showed me the lingerie he picked out (as if he would be seeing me naked in the next 10 years!!!) I decided I would try to be a good sport. After all, I would get to ride in a limo and have a dinner the next night right?

Wrong! It turns out the limo was overbooked so we had to drive ourselves. (This was very disappointing as I had never been in a limo before. The limo driver gave my girls a ride to school the previous day so I was the only one in the family who has not been in a limo!)

We drove to the fancy French restaurant, which only serves seafood! Since I don’t eat seafood I ordered the “Eiffel Tower”. (French fries shaped like; yes you guessed it, the Eiffel Tower). Oh well, my husband did look very nice in the lovely outfit the Zone babes picked out for him. He became the neighborhood hero for a while. He was asked to write an article for the ward newsletter. His pictures were posted on the 1280 website so everyone could see the before and after shots. He also had an experience he will never forget!

Are you wondering what happened to the contest I applied for??? I got a lovely letter from the radio station on Valentine’s Day informing me they chose someone else because I had “too much to work with”!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Great Taste! Less Filling!

Okay, so here’s my thing……I recently went to Las Vegas to watch my beloved BYU Cougars spank Oregon and win the Las Vegas Bowl. If you caught the game on television, you may have seen me dancing on the field during the trophy ceremony. While in Vegas I decided to visit my dad’s grave. Whenever I visit my dad’s grave, I bring him a bottle of Budweiser. (Bottle, not a can but a 12 oz. bottle of Bud!) I have a theory. Since I live in Utah I don’t get to visit him often. I figure if I leave a bottle of beer on his grave I can accomplish two goals. First, somewhere my dad knows I am thinking of him. Second, homeless people will visit his grave looking for free alcohol. This way, my dad is visited more often!! In the past, I would ask a friend for a bottle of beer (since I don’t drink). However, this time I didn’t have time so I decided to pick one up in Vegas. You would think this would be easy!!!! However this wasn’t the case! The obstacles I encountered while trying to buy one bottle of beer reminded me of the obstacles I encountered while trying to bury my dad!

My parent’s divorced when I was 5. Since my dad drove a Semi-tractor trailer across country, I only saw him a handful of times throughout my life. My dad had three true loves in his life. (Unfortunately, my mother and siblings weren’t one of them!) He loved driving a truck, smoking, and drinking Budweiser. He usually did all three at the same time. While driving across country, he would drink the beer, pee in the empty bottle, and then throw it out the window.

In June of 2002, my Aunt called to let me know my dad had collapsed and was in ICU. He was dying of emphysema. Although I recently had a baby, I packed up my family and drove from Logan, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada.

As I made the trek from Utah, my sisters and their families came from Arizona and California. Finally, we all arrived in Vegas. My sisters and I tried to visit with my dad while all of our children and spouses waited in the family waiting room. This proved difficult. As we were sitting with my dad, the doors to the ICU slammed shut as alarms went off. Doctors and nurses were running all over yelling and shouting. Turns out some idiot pulled the fire alarm! A look of horror crossed my sister’s faces. We ran to the waiting room to check our children. I was sooooo happy to know it was my sister’s kid that pulled the alarm, not one of mine. Besides, it was really the hospital’s fault. The hospital was politically correct. All of the alarms were at wheelchair level! This makes it the perfect height for handicapped individuals and 4 year olds!

My aunt decided to pull the life support system on my dad because “he is dying anyway”. My aunt had power of attorney so she made the decision. Once my dad’s breathing tube was removed and after the fire alarm fiasco, it was determined my dad would be moved to another floor while we waited for him to pass. We were sent to this deserted area where the kids couldn’t do much damage.

I have a few very distinct memories of this time. First, my cousin came to visit. She strolled into the room in the shortest shorts I have ever seen. She announced they were my dad’s favorite! I was startled by this since they were about 4 sizes two small. She told me “Uncle Pete” loved how they molded to her every curve! EEEEWWWWW!!!!

Second, the doctors came to remove the breathing tube from my dad. This would be the last moment we would have with my dad alert, since he would be on a morphine drip until he passed. We asked for a few moments with my dad before this happened. What could have been a beautiful moment with my dad turned into my aunt crawling up on the bed, shaking my dad as she begged him to have a priest give him last rites. Now, my father was either agnostic or atheist. (It depended on the day). He kept shaking his head no while my aunt sobbed for him to reconsider.

Third, my aunt brought a trucker that sometimes talked to my dad on the CB to the hospital. It turns out my aunt and this guy became attracted to one another and they “did” it in the hospital room. (They wanted to be there when my dad died and why waste money renting a room!!!!).

Fourth, my sister explained to her small children that grandpa was dying because he smoked tobacco. At one point, my nephew saw the catheter bag coming out of my dad. He thought it was a bag of tobacco and started violently pulling on it. We needed a janitor and a nurse to fix that one!

Fifth, my cousin (the ho in the Daisy Duke shorts) snuck a bottle of Budweiser into the room. She dipped q-tips into the bottle and then placed the q-tips into my dad’s comatose mouth. Ironically enough, he actually responded to this. How comforting to know that the taste of beer could reach my dad in a coma!!!!!

Sixth, since I was nursing my baby, I needed to drink a lot of fluid. I asked a nurse for a cup and she gave me a urinal to drink out of. I had many weird looks as I gently sipped my ginger ale out of the urinal. Funny thing is, I saved that urinal! I just can’t seem to part with it.

Finally, the moment came when my dad passed. That is when the real fun occurred. My aunt wanted to have my dad cremated. She then wanted to ship the ashes to New York, exhume his mothers coffin, and have his ashes sprinkled on her corpse. (Ever read the story of Oedipus???) The great state of Nevada requires the closest living relatives to make the cremation/burial decision, even when someone else has the power of attorney. After a family discussion, some of my siblings would not agree to the cremation sprinkling plan. My aunt was furious with us. Especially with me when I pointed out that my dad couldn’t be buried in my grandma’s coffin because he didn’t have last rites!

This led to a great legal battle! While we battled for the body, the funeral home called to let us know flesh was starting to separate off my dad’s bones. Have you ever seen that commercial where they put saran wrap on the bowl of Jell-O? The wrap seals the bowl tightly so the food can’t fall out. Well, this is what they did to my dad. They wrapped him like a mummy in saran wrap. This upset my cousins because they had heard stories of how my dad only had one testicle. They were hoping to check it out but now couldn’t due to the separation issue.

In the long run, we won the battle. We got the call on Father’s day. My family went to the funeral home to dress my dad for burial. While there, the funeral director had to explain to us that my dad’s mouth had been accidentally sealed before his dentures had been put in. They handed me the case of dentures and gave my children and I a few minutes alone with my dad. My children wanted to see what his dentures looked like. I don’t know what possessed me but I opened the case so they could see. The case was a little tight and as I tried to pry it open, slimy, smelly, water and teeth went flying and landed on my dad. I quickly collected the teeth and got them back in their case as the men came back into the room.

The next step was placing my dad into his casket. As the men began to pick up my dad, one of the guys dropped him with a thunk! “Holy #@#@”, he yelled. “This guy is leaking!!!!” The men started to panic as my husband burst out laughing. I had to explain to them my denture adventure. They were so glad to hear it wasn’t embalming fluid they were touching.

As my dad was laid into the casket, we placed a Budweiser into his hands. I have been bringing him Budweiser ever since. That’s why I was so disgusted last month when I couldn’t find the correct beer!!!! Please explain to me why you can get married by Elvis in Vegas, buy a 7 minute prostitute in Vegas, eat a $3.00 buffet in Vegas, but you can’t buy a single bottle (not can) of 12 oz. Budweiser in Vegas!!!!! Long story short, I had to put a whole six pack on my dad’s grave!!!!! Oh well, Merry Christmas, Daddy!!!