Thursday, August 30, 2012

Surprises, or trying to at least.

Do any of you struggle to keep a surprise? If you're like me, I can't keep one past 24 hours. If I buy Camm a present, I give it to him that day. If I have something special planned, I can't keep it in. Surprises are just too hard for me.

Camm's birthday happened while I was still in Utah but he'd already moved to Oregon. I felt badly that he had to spend his birthday alone in a town where he really didn't know anyone. I wanted to make his day special, but I didn't know how (being that I was 693 miles away). I had forgotten to send him something in the mail to arrive on his birthday. I couldn't send him flowers...he's a guy. My mom suggested I order him pizza and pre-pay over the phone. Genius! I called the pizza place and arranged to have it delivered at 11:45am.
I called Camm before I went to work that day to wish him a happy birthday.
"So I got out of the shower and realized I had absolutely no clean underwear," he explained, "So I'm in a towel until the laundry is done." I laughed it off and we ended the conversation.

Then, on my way to work I began to panic. I glanced at the clock: 11:30am. If the doorbell rang, there's no way Camm would answer it naked. But I couldn't tell Camm because it was a surprise.
I called Camm back, "Uh, Camm, you have to get dressed RIGHT NOW!"
"But you know I have no clean underwear," he was confused at my forcefulness, "It'll be ready before too long."
"Go without, or wear it wet, I don't care. BUT GET IT ON NOW!"
"Moll, why do you care so much?" my mind raced but I couldn't figure out how to keep it a surprise but still get him to answer the door.
"Consider this your 15 minute warning. Camm, get it on," I hung up the phone. Had I done it successfully? Had I kept it a surprise but made sure that he would answer?

15 minutes later my phone rang.
Laughter followed by laughter followed by laughter. He couldn't even talk. Finally he came up for air, "Thanks Moll. Great job."

I did it! He wasn't expecting anything, just thought that I was crazy, but when the doorbell rang, he knew it was time to answer. Success!

Am I the only one who has a hard time keeping surprises secret? Tell me about your experiences!


PS--I'm now ranked #36 on Top Mommy Blogs. My goal is the top 25. Click here to vote for me. Remember, you can vote everyday by clicking the brown banner on the right side of the page. Once you click, your job is done--they just tally how many people get to their website from my blog.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to get free stuff

As I mentioned before here, I am a cheapskate when it comes to buying milk for Ruby. So when I first started supplementing the boob with formula, my main concern was the cost. How was I going to make expensive cow powder the same price as free human milk?

Here's how:

I called up Similac's office. Ring Ring
"Similac, this is Sherry, how can I help you?"
"Hi, I have a little baby, and I am really concerned with whether or not your formula stains will stain her clothes. I just really don't have the time to be scrubbing out a formula stain from her cute little pink onesies," I acted as concerned as I could--somehow forgetting to mention that I wear stained clothes all the time and could care less whether my baby has stains.
"Um, I don't actually know. I've never gotten that question before. Let me ask my manager."
I sat patiently listening to the sounds of elevator ringing in my ear. 
Five minutes later she came back, "You know what, I'm still not really sure."
"Oh, really? You don't even know? Well, I don't want to spend any money on a brand until I'm sure that it won't be staining the onesies," I acted serious and disgusted, yet calm.
"Well, here's what I can do," Sherry sounded like she was following orders from her Similac manager, "I can send you a free sample so that you can test it out for yourself."
I gave her my information and hung up the phone.

I hung up for only a minute because I had several other places to call: Enfamil, Parent's Choice, Gerber, Kirkland Signature, and some kind of all natural place that I forgot the name. 

Four out of the six sent fairly large samples.

As Ruby drank, I forgot to pay attention to whether it stained or not. oops! But at least I didn't have to worry about the cost!

Have you used any crazy techniques to get free stuff? Stories, please!

PS--I'm now ranked #41 on Top Mommy Blogs. My goal is the top 25. Click here to vote for me. Remember, you can vote once per day by clicking the brown banner on the right side of the page. Once you click, your job is done--they just tally how many people get to their website from my blog.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

the sock

As many of you know, my husband and I fell in love running. Here I write a story from when the falling-in-love was taking place.
One day, when he was still trying to woo me, we were on a run and suddenly he had to go. (Not just go #1, he was barely holding #2 in).
"Um Miriam," he said quietly.
"Yeah Camm?" this was before I knew how to read if he was nervous to tell me something.
"So, I really need to use a restroom, do you think there's somewhere we could stop?"
We were in a neighborhood where I knew no one and probably five miles away from the nearest store.
"Um, you mean like at one of these houses?" I was a little weirded out and I told him so, "I think that's a little strange.Can't you just hold it? We'll be back in like a half hour."
"No, Miriam. I really can't hold it."
It was dark outside and we came to a small break in houses, "I think I'll just go here." I looked up and saw a small field (mind you, we are still VERY much in the middle of a neighborhood.
"OK, I guess I'll run along. Just catch up when you're done," I distanced myself quickly--hoping to not be associated with a street pee-er.
Several minutes later Camm finally caught up to me.
I tried to play it cool (like I didn't think he was a freak), "Hey dude."
And then he said to me, "Um, Miriam, just please don't ask what happened to my sock."
I looked down, and sure enough he had one sock off. It all suddenly became clear: I wasn't associating with a street pee-er, rather a street pooper. And apparently a sock makes good TP when you're in a bind.
We passed the same spot later in daylight and noticed the sign on the gate Camm had gone under:

I guess whoever owned the field didn't appreciate Camm's little surprise.

Isn't it amazing that Camm and I actually did fall in love running?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

UHAUL...isn't it wonderful?

Here we were in the UHAUL. Moving to Oregon. I was in the middle--not because I was trying to cuddle with Camm by sitting in the middle of his stellar truck--but because Ruby was in her carseat next to me.
We look happy. But that's because we'd had a chance to burn off some steam with the UHAUL company.

A week before we were about to move we went into the Uhaul store to ask about pricing and to reserve a truck. 
"We really don't have a lot of stuff," we told the exceptionally animated agent, "We'd like to get the smallest truck. But we need to make sure there are three seat belts since we'll all be riding in it."
He lead us out to the smallest truck and opened the cab. "Well you see, it looks like there's only two seat belts, but see how there's a space between the two bucket seats?"
"Uh, yeah," I was confused imagining what was coming next.
"So what you can do is just get some rope and strap in her carseat. You'll just need to tie it in."
Yeah, right. In a split second I imagined Camm tying Ruby's carseat in:
"Now how did that knot look that I learned in Boy Scouts?"
This was never going to fly.
Camm looked at me quizzically. I shot him a glance as if to say, "If you even think about strapping our baby in with rope, there's no way I'm moving with you." He got the picture.
"You know what?" he very kindly said to the agent, "that's probably not going to work for us, we'll take a bigger truck."
Relieved, I checked out the next size up. He showed us how to turn off the airbags so Ruby could sit with us in the cab, and I felt that it would safely suffice. Though it was much bigger than we needed, it would do.
He convinced us that we needed to reserve it right then so that it would be available for the day we needed. We gave him our credit card info and were ready.


The day before we were supposed to go the agent called us back and Camm answered, "So I'm not going to be able to hold the truck you wanted for tomorrow, you'll have to go another size up for an additional fee of $30."
"But I reserved the medium truck. I don't want a giant one," I heard Camm say.
"Yes, but you'll just have to get it because there aren't going to be any the size you wanted."
"So what's the point of a reservation if you don't reserve it for me?" my typically very calm husband was getting annoyed.
"This is actually a good thing, you get a bigger one. Aren't you happy?" the agent was trying to convince my unconvince-able husband.
"I don't want to drive a huge truck. In fact, I didn't even want the size I reserved. I wanted the tiny one but only got that size for the seat belts. I don't want to drive the huge truck. I don't want to pay for the gas. And I certainly don't want to pay the extra 30 bucks!"
They bantered back and forth. Camm said we'd go to a different company. Finally the guy gave us a deal on the bigger truck so we gave in. But really, what's the point of a reservation if they don't reserve anything? 

Oh well, I guess we got off happy enough.

PS--Would anyone seriously drive 698 miles with their baby self-strapped in?
PPS--Check out this Seinfeld episode where basically the same thing happens to Jerry. Has it happened to any of you guys?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

who is the faster runner?

Camm's opinion about who would win a race between us.

"Maybe if it were 15 yards and there were a hamburger at the end, then yeah, I might win. But otherwise you'd be the winner."
And he slides in! Barely out-eating her in the last yard of the 15 yard dash.

PS I'm currently ranked #53 on Top Mommy Blogs. I want to get in the top 25. You can vote every day by clicking the TMB banner on the right of this page, or you can click here: (once you click, your job is done, they just tally how many people get to their website from my blog)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Eighteen was an age of awe for me. I'm not sure whether I am trying to say that it was full of awe or awful, but it was something. It was a time when I was plenty hormonal and boy-crazy like any teenager, but I suddenly had developed the confidence to actually talk to boys (something I lacked at age 16 when I was only hormonal but never could so much as utter a "hey" in the hallway to a cute boy).
So at age eighteen I was a sophomore in college and decided to visit my sister for Christmas break. My sister happened to live only a mile away from where one of my best college friends' family lived. She also was home for the holidays so it was fun to be close by.
On New Year's Eve my sister told me that there was a single's dance at the church. I called Eileen and we arranged to go together. We got all dressed up with hair and make-up perfect--as any 18 year old girl does when she thinks there might be a chance she will be meeting the man of her dreams. I'm sure I straightened my hair--to make my completely stick straight hair even more stick straight (as if that's possible). I probably wore the same skirt/shirt combo Eileen had helped me pick out a few months earlier when I was trying to make some boy jealous. You get the point--we were typical 18 year olds.
It was about a 40 minute drive to the dance, and I'm sure that we were giggling excitedly the whole way. We skipped on into  the dance full of confidence--ready to live it up (and meet guys).

The moment we walked in, however, our emotions drastically changed. 
First we were confused.
"Hey, uh, Miriam," Eileen was speaking slowly and steadily yet I could sense the fear in her voice as we were looking around, "I think there's something wrong."
"You're right," I muttered as our confusion changed to complete panic.
"RUN!" I heard Eileen whisper frantically as we both realized that we weren't at a young single's dance, we were at an old singles' dance. These guys were like over 30 years old--if you can believe that.

We made it to the car, breathless, yet safe. My sister had almost messed up our confident, boy-crazy, eighteen year old lives.

We decided to take a break from our usual boy-crazy lives and we spent the evening on the couch looking at pictures of Eileen's study abroad.
We'd have to resume boy-craziness the next day--hopefully we'd be able to do that mistake free.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Camm's life long goal...?

7am Sunday morning Ruby let out a cry.

Camm rolled over and the first words out of his mouth were as follows, "Moll. Ruby and I are exact opposites."
"Why's that babe?" I assumed that it has to do with the fact that he is a grown man and she is a baby girl.
"Because when I wake up in the morning all I want to do is stay in bed all day. When she wakes up in the morning, she just wants to get up."
"Well Camm, maybe you'd feel differently if you had bars around your bed," I replied.
"Moll. That is my dream. If someone put bars around my bed I would be so happy to stay here all the time."

It was then I realized my husband's life long goal is to go to prison.

huh, don't know what to think about that.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My type of sports

For those of you who don't know, my two favorite sports are running and swimming. These are two sports that the rest of the world only cares about once every four years for a three week period of time when they're on the olympics. But I actually like doing them all the time. Most people have never even been to a swim meet. Most people aren't even sad they've never been to one.
I don't understand why people wouldn't want to go to a swim meet...
So anyway, when I moved here, I decided I wanted to try something really fun: ROWING! So I emailed the president of the local rowing team and have been attending practices for the past few weeks.

This week I decided to make sure to watch rowing on the Olympics since I'm taking the sport up. After one heat, I turned to Camm and said, "The two sports I enjoy the most (swimming and running) are two of the most boring sports to watch. But now I'm taking up a sport which is even more boring to watch--didn't know that was possible." I mean, at least people like watching swimming and running once every four years. I'm not even sure that rowing has that going for itself.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Again, we're talking about my cute babe in the high chair:
So I started thinking the other day that Ruby is getting to not be a baby anymore, so I should start treating her like a toddler. I remembered back to when Camm and I worked with the toddlers in our church. My favorite activity was always the Play-doh (where Camm would run around stopping the kids from eating it, while I would sit and make snakes and balls with the play-doh--not really paying attention to any of the kids...)
Anyway, I made some salt dough and put it on her high chair to play with (knowing that she would obviously take after me and love the stuff.
So I sat and watched my girl with the salt dough in front of her:
She didn't do ANYTHING but glare at it.
So I did what any mom who really loves play-doh would do. I started brainwashing.
"Ruby, this is fun! Play! Play! Play!"
She continued to glare. So, I started building stuff. A snake, a ball (then I realized that was all I know how to make). So I stacked the balls and told her it was a snowman and that she should love it.
Still, she glared.
So, I gently leaned over and knocked the snowman over with my nose.
That's when the giggling began. Harder than I've ever heard her laugh before.
So I rebuilt the snowman and did it again. giggle and again...giggle...and again...giggle...and again.
But soon it wasn't me who was actually doing it. She reached out her little hand and was pulling on my hair making me do it over and over againn.
My hair was a mess, Ruby never actually touched the play-doh, my head was sore from everything, and somehow it was one of the funnest times of my life.

That little girl has me wrapped around her finger.

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