Wednesday, October 3, 2012

General update

Yep, I've been a HUGE blog flake. Sorry. Actually, I'm not REALLY sorry, but I'm not really THAT concerned with keeping up my blog. If you people want to know what is going on in my life, shoot me an email. :) haha!

But anyway, here is a general update. The pictures are random. I just like them :)

 I am still working at Summerhays Music. I love my job still, but I still don't love the hours. I love the people I work with. I love what I do.

 Ella started preschool!!!! YAAAAAAY! She is SOOOO cute!!!! She looooooves preschool, but she has two little nemesis' that are causing problems; a little boy, and a little girl. I am going to sit in on some of her preschool classes to see if Ella is the problem. The teacher says she isn't, so we will see...

 Tommy turned two! He is SO cute! He is talking more, but not completely comprehensible. He loves to eat. He is absolutely obsessed with any type of balls and airplanes. He can drop kick like a pro and he has a REALLY good arm, much to Ella's dismay who cannot catch them because he throws them too hard! He doesn't walk anywhere - he runs. He loves to play and loves to be tickled! His new words are "No! Tommy's turn! I'll do it!" Our favorite words he says are "Coyote" and "apple pie". I don't know why, they just sound hilarious :)

Ella is almost five. I'm trying to plan her birthday party. She wants a tea party, so I'm gonna scope out and see what kids in her preschool we should invite :) She is excited...

Tom is job searching. He finishes his MBA in May. So far he has straight A's, and one B+. He is really excelling in it! Hopefully he can find a job soon, even if it takes us out of state, so I can concentrate on being more of a mom!

The kids took a trip to Seattle with Tom to see Tom's brother, Sam, get married. They had a fabulous time! I was sad I couldn't go, but it was right in the middle of my works "Fall Rush", which translates to "Crazy Rental Season". It is crazy. Everyone works overtime and it is a fun but chaotic four weeks!

We also took a trip to Lake Powell in July that was SUPER fun! The kids absolutely loved it and no one got sunburned! Yay! Tommy and Ella LOVED riding in the boat and I enjoyed reading some books :) I finished reading The Game of Thrones series and am almost done with the Lonesome Dove series. I love reading. Ella wanted to learn how to water ski - maybe next year. Tommy and Ella are definitely not afraid of the water and Ella even jumped off the top of the house boat! Ella and Tommy went on a really long hike, too, through some narrow canyons where they had to swim through some places. They are total troopers :) So adventurous. I love how un-wiener-like my kids are! Okay, Tommy can sometimes be a little bit of a whiner...but all in all, he is pretty adventurous :)

Here are some other pictures of adventures we have been on this summer!

 At the Renaissance Fair! Ella dressed in her princess dress. I absolutely love the Renaissance Fair. I sometimes think I should have been born in the 1500's...but then I start to sweat and am glad I can take a shower...with running water...that is my own home...and can wear deodorant...etc.

 Tom and I went to the BYU Rugby National Champtionship game. Woah. My first rugby game. That sport is hard core. I could TOTALLY get into rugby. So cool. And those rugby players...yummm.... :)

 Tommy hangin' out by the pond. Checkin' out the ducks...

 At the Millcreek Days Festival. Everything was free! Yay! :)

 Hangin' out at Liberty Park at the waterways. There are little shallow canals that the kids can play in. It is so fun on a hot day!

 Just bein' cute.
 Yep. That is Ella. My four year old. Climbing a huge rock wall at Trafalga.

 New swimsuit this summer! Woo! love it! :)

 At the drive in movies! My first time to the drive in. I absolutely loved it. Tom was so cute, too. He had little bags for the kids with treats, drinks, and premade popcorn. He even had a treat bag for me :) And blankets and pillows. We saw Ice Age 4. It was PERFECT for the kids. They could crawl around and didn't have to be quiet! We will be going again...

 Playing in the fountains at City Creek! :)

 At the County Fair!

 At the State Fair! On the Ferris Wheel!

 Riding horses at our friend's house! These kids LOVE horse back riding! :) Ella says she wants a pony...big suprise.

Okay, that is all for probably another six months! Haha! Sorry :)


 Ella is my four, almost five, year old daughter. If you're reading my blog, you probably already know all about her - but just in case you have forgotten how brilliant, intelligent, hilarious, sassy, sometimes bratty, and otherwise AMAZING my daughter is - here are some Ella-isms for your enjoyment. Keep in mind I am absolutely not making these up - I'm not that creative...

*walking around the house with a box full of stuffed animals*
Ella: Babies! I got babies! I got babies for sale!!

 Ellaism of the day: talking about making bad choices
Ella: you know what some bad choices are?
Me: what?
Ella: watching bad movies, listening to bad music...and killing your mom
Tom: wow, that escalated quickly.

 *Ella conversation while trying to get her to BE QUIET AND GO TO SLEEP!*
Ella: I'm already sleeping mom! I'm just sleep talking!
Me: No, you're not! You stop talking right now or I'm going to give you a sleep spanking!
Ella: What's a sleep spanking?
Me: Keep talking and you'll find out!
Ella: *silence*
Me: *aaahhh*
Ella: Show me on dad first. 

 Ella: Who am I going to marry?
Me: I don't know, sweetie. You don't really have to worry about that right now.
Ella: I'm gonna marry Tommy.
Me: You can't marry your brother. You don't marry family.
Ella: You married dad though? He's family.
Me: But he wasn't before we got married. We get married to start your own family.
Ella: So who am I going to marry?
Me: I don't know sweetie. You'll figure it out when you're a lot older.
Ella: Like maybe a guy without a wife?
Me: *laughing* Yeah, definitely a guy without a wife.
Ella: I'm gonna get all the guys, line them up in a line, and pick one of them that has hair just like me. Then I'll marry him.
Me: That's a great idea :)

*very seriously*
Ella: Mom...I can't go to preschool
(keep in mind she has been excited to go to pre school since she heard about it MONTHS ago)
Me: Why not sweetie?
Ella: *sigh* I don't have a backpack...
Me: Well, baby girl, we will get you a backpack.
Ella: Really?! OKAY!!! That's really cool, mom.
I hope she stays this easy to please for FOREVER. 

The other day we went to the BYU football game...
Ella: MOM! MOM! MOM!
Me: What?!
Ella: Look at that girl! She's black! Just like I saw on t.v.!
Me: Uh. Yeah?
Ella: Woah.

We need to get out of Utah...

Another bedtime episode...keep in mind that bedtime is an hour or more long process before she finally wears herself out...and me...holy cow...
Ella: Mom, I am NOT going to bed.
Me: Ella! You get in bed right now or you will be in HUGE trouble!!!
Ella: *sneers her face* Bring it on.
Tom: *sticks his head out from the other room* Did she just say bring it on??
Me: *shock* Child. You better get your bottom on your bed now, or you will spend tomorrow in your room. Move. It.
Ella: Fine. 

This is Ella's "model" face...

My sassy daughter. I love her. She is so stinkin' smart. Sometimes I just don't know what to do with her. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Musical Frustrations....

So I had a situation happen to me the other day that seriously pissed me off. Normally when things make me upset I can brush it off or at least take a breath, refocus and make lemonade out of lemons. This situation that happened though keeps pissing me off every time I think about. So I am going to express myself via my blog so other people don't have the same thing happen to them OR THAT PEOPLE DON'T DO THIS TO OTHER PEOPLE....

Many of you know I am a pianist. I accompany soloists quite frequently. It is an easy way for me to make a couple extra bucks. I generally need a couple hours of practice and then I am good to go. Now accompanying is not the same as playing a solo - it requires different techniques. You need to be able to follow along, take cues from the soloist, keep going if you mess up, and be able to keep up with the soloist if THEY mess up. In some ways it is trickier than what the soloist is doing because it is up to you to make sure it goes smoothly...kind of a lot of pressure. Plus, you don't want to be messing up or taking away from the soloist. I am a good accompanist. It takes work.

My accompanying fee is $50. That includes a one hour rehearsal and an hour for a performance. Most performances are less than that, but that would include any rehearsal time beforehand or something. My fee is very average and definitely worth it for what I can do. I accompany any instrument or vocal solo and can do beginner to very advanced music. It takes work.

So about three and a half weeks ago I get a call from this kids dad wondering if I can accompany his son who is playing a trumpet concerto in the State Solo Competition. I said, "Sure, be sure to get me the music as soon as possible because I know that piece is very fast and pretty difficult." He said, "Of course! I'll get it to you as soon as I can!" Well, two and a half weeks later I still didn't have the music. The performance is next Saturday. I called him this last Monday and said, "Hi, I don't have the music." Normally I charge $20 more for music received less than two weeks before the performance because it means I have to bust my butt and really push to learn it perfectly in that time frame. Plus, I don't know what people are expecting?? The soloist takes MONTHS to learn their piece and they play one note at a time - I am playing a full orchestra rendition and you give me a WEEK? Seriously? Don't expect much...ha!

Anyway, he tells me he can't find the music (this is the dad btw) and can't I get a copy of it myself? I tell him that is not my responsibility and if they don't have it at my work he needs to find a copy and get it to me TODAY. Luckily my work had it. It cost $10.50 which is normal for a concerto piece. I call him back and tell him and he scoffs, "$10?? Well...I guess I can pay you back." Uh...heck yes you will. I don't want to keep this music - what am I supposed to do with a trumpet concerto? Seriously? So then I ask him what day and time his son wants ot rehearse. I am available Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. He says he will call me back. He also then tells me that the performance is at Lone Peak High School at 11:18ish. I say "okay, I will be there at 11:00." He says, "You really should be here at 10:30." I tell him "Okay, but I charge more if I'm there for more than an hour." He scoffs again, "Seriously? Fine. Be here at 11:00." Stupid guy. Keep in mind that I am supposed to be working at 10:00 so already I am missing two hours of work...probably three.

So I hang up the phone, totally annoyed that this guy is being such an ass. Then I mapquest where the school is. IT IS 40 MINUTES AWAY!!!! ONE WAY!!!! It's going to take me 80 MINUTES OF TRAVEL TIME AND $20 IN GAS! Are you kidding me?!?

So I call the guy back and this is how our conversation goes:

"Hi, I didn't realize the school was 34 miles away. I need gas compensation. It is going to cost me $20 in gas. I'm adding that to my fee, and you owe me $10 for the music. So we are looking at $80. I'm not charging you for my time in travel."

*laugh rudely* "Oh? Well where did you think the school was?"

"I'm not from around here. I am from California. I don't know the area super well. I figured the STATE competition would take place in the capitol. Somewhere close to downtown."

"Well, you were going to have to drive SOMEWHERE so I'll pay half your gas."

"Excuse me?"

"Yeah, if you thought it was downtown that still was going to make you drive at least 10 miles. So I'll pay half your gas."


*hangs up*

So here is an analysis of the situation:

Fee: $50
Gas: $10
= $60
-$10 in gas.
-four hours of work (not including any potential sales I could have made with commission)

= $-2

I am losing money on this stupid accompanying thing and the guy is totally taking advantage of me. I am pissed. The only reason I don't tell him to screw himself and the horse he rode in on is because I feel bad for the kid. If I flake - he has no one to accompany him and he has to withdraw from the competition. Just because the dad is a total doucheface doesn't mean the kid now I'm just mad. Oh, and he still hasn't called me back with a rehearsal time next week. I'm tempted to tell him "no" to whatever time he suggests just to be a jerk. *sigh*

Cut me a freaking break here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

To Blog or Not To Blog?

I know it's been a long time since I've blogged and actually...I haven't really felt like blogging. I usually blog because I feel that something interesting or noteworthy has happened. Or something happened that I would like to memorialize. But lately...not so much. I'll give a brief update and some pictures, though, to make this blog worth reading for all my readers (whoever you are).

Work: I started working full time at a music store. I love my job. I love the people I work with. I love what I do. I don't love the hours. I don't love being away from my kids ALL day. And I don't love working on Saturday. I love the money. I love the commission. I don't love the fact that sometimes I get really competitive and it brings out a nastiness in my personality. I don't love that by the time I get home some evenings, all I want to do is go curl up with a book and not talk to anyone. I love how happy my kids are to see me when I get home. I don't love that Ella cries when I leave in the morning. As you can tell, its a little bitter sweet. I've decided my ideal situation would be working part time, 11:00a.m.-3:00p.m. That would be perfect. Just enough to get me out of the house so the chances of me murdering my children are less, but not enough time that I feel like I'm missing my kids too much.

Work II: Tom is starting a business with his brother doing taxes. So far things are trucking along, but slowly. Right now he is trying to juggle so many things that it is crazy. He is doing his MBA program (AND GETTING STRAIGHT A'S EVERY SEMESTER *shout out! woot woot!*), trying to start this business, AND be a stay at home dad. Yes, he is a better stay at home parent than I am, even if he won't admit it. Every day I come home (I'm not kidding or exaggerating) the house is SPOTLESS and he is busy cooking up dinner while listening to his class online, or trying to wrangle the kids. His cooking has been a complete success, as well. Needless to say, I am one lucky girl. We have decided, also, that in May or June we will reassess the work situation and change something if something needs changing. Tom is not the biggest fan of being a stay at home fact, I think sometimes he hates it. Who can blame him? It is a hard transition from being bacon earner, to bacon cooker. I'm going the opposite direction and it is a lot of pressure earning the money! Sheesh!

Ella: Sassy as ever. This kid is attitude through and through. She has an opinion about EVERYTHING and will tell you about it...even if you tell her to be quiet. Be Quiet and Hold Still are commands she does not comprehend. This girl is energy to the max. All day. Every day. Until well after sun down. Luckily she doesn't wake up until that's nice, but she doesn't go to sleep until after 9:30 most nights, even if I put her to bed at 8:00. I would like to put her in preschool and I think she would benefit from it like CRAZY, but is too expensive, so we are trying to sort of teach her stuff at home. She can almost read...I just need to work with her more. Sometimes I feel like a terrible parent because 1) I can't afford preschool for her and 2) I can't dedicate the time to teach her preschool myself. Am I a bad parent?? She is eating better, which is good because she is in the 3% for height/weight averages. She is a bean pole. Completely. Her favorite foods? Macaroni and cheese and candy. Big surprise. She looooooves to play Old Maid and Go Fish and do puzzles. Her favorite shows include: Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and Mickey Mouse Club. Shows she does NOT like? Anything Tom and I want to watch.

Tommy: Such a sweetheart. For as sassy as Ella is, this boy is all snuggles. He is a little rough when he plays, but he's just husky and throws his weight around. He looooooves food. Like...LOVES food. Seriously, he would eat ALL day if we let him. As soon as we walk into a restaurant, or he sees that we are starting to cook - he runs to his high chair and starts hanging out it and whining. This kid LOVES to eat. Even when we are watching TV, he will point and go "neh!" at the t.v. if there is food on it. Yep. He's a little chubs. We love him. His nick name is Wiggles. He smiles ALL the time and is such a little tow-head. He has LOTS of teeth and loves to brush them. He loves bathtime and is starting to talk. Words he has mastered: ball, dada, mama, ella, night night, buh-bye, more. He loves to give kisses, high fives, and throw EVERYTHING. Favorite things: food, balls, cars, whatever toy Ella is playing with. Least favorite things: sacrament meeting, washing his hair, sitting in his car seat. Oh, we just found out he has hip dysplasia in his left hip. We have a Dr.s appointment on February 17th. Hopefully everything goes okay...I'm a little worried about it...

Church: I officially am sick of my calling. Being the ward choir director of a lackluster choir is discouraging to say the least...but when my average number of attendance is gets a little ridiculous. Bless my regulars. They are so dedicated it makes me so happy, even if when we perform it is like nails on a chalk board and even Tom tries not to say anything when we sit down - I have my dedicated little choir members. I have been doing it for a year and am finished. I want to be in the primary so I can watch Ella sing "I Love to See the Temple" and watch Tommy bounce up and down dancing to the primary songs. Church is now at 11:00 which means we actually go to the first hour (sacrament is last). We have become a statistic. When church is at 9:00 and sacrament last...we make it there for sacrament. Yep. Oh well. Now we are completely active and on time.

Anyway, to be completely honest, there are a lot of hard things going on right now in my life, which is why I think I haven't really blogged much. But I hope you enjoyed this update and the pictures. I'll probably blog again in a couple seems to be my average lately.

How cute are these kids? Seriously?!