Thursday, April 28, 2011

The $26 Prom Dress - Part Two

****SPOILER ALERT: You better have read Part One in order to truly appreciate how horrible the alternative dresses were****

Where were we? Oh yeah. Screamapillar has perused and modeled the alternatives, and rejected them outright. "But Mom, they're awful! and they don't fit! Can't I get a NEW dress?"

"Seriously? You're a sophmore. I have potentially six more formal dances to provide a wardrobe for you! and dresses are EXPENSIVE!!! Karen wore a vintage gown to Homecoming her junior year, why can't you wear one now?

Okay. So maybe that's not the best example. But she was flexible!"

The vintage gowns have been shunned.

Then she sneaked off to the mall with her little compadres to try on real dresses. Big giant froofy dresses with extravagant price tags. She called me on the phone, and asked that I come look at some dresses she was considering for Prom. I met up with her at the store, with my "mean mom" face on.

The dress in question was a mere $119.
from the deb website

(Right here I'm hoping you remember my "tightwad" statement from the previous post).

I look it over. There is some stitching that has come loose, and there is a spot of makeup on it about the size of a pea. It's the only size six in the store.

"It is on sale ($69), but I can probably get it marked down. Are you prepared to pay half?"


"Let me handle this, dear. I'm going to speak to the manager."

$26.25 including tax.

Here's how you do this:

1. Catalogue all the problems with the dress, making sure that these items could send this dress to the back room, never to be sold (for maximum bargaining power).
2. Talk to the person who is really in charge, who can make a decision about marking it down.
3. Be prepared to walk away without the dress if the price is not right, and make that clear to the manager.

Here's what we brought home:

That giant cinnamon roll flower has to go. Right now. As you can see, the strap ruffle has come loose also, but other that that, this is a great dress. Just needs a little jacket. I love how messy the house looks in this photo.

So, mommy shamelessly copies someone's bolero from Etsy, and here's our finished product:

I felt sorry for the dress, depriving it of it's hideous flower like that, so I made a new one and put it on the jacket:

Apparently, Screamapillar thought it needed more color:

These are all the girls in her prom group. I'll bet you can guess which one is mine.

She had a lovely time! Here are two more photos to help you appreciate how fun it was:

And here it is - the results of yesterday's poll -- Next year the Screamapillar will wear (drumrollllllllllll please.........)

The Purple Vintage dress.
Thanks for all your votes!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The $26 Prom Dress, Part One

(Warning: This is a two part post. It would have just been too painfully long if I hadn't broken it up because I'm the queen of the run-on sentence and unable shut myself up most of the time.)

I'm a notrious tightwad. And grils are expensive. Especially if they have to go to Prom. With all shoes and jewelry, and flowers and the hair and the big giant all adds up. Grils are expensive on a regular day, but add Prom to the mix and you'll wish you had more sons.

Thing One was easy on me. She was shy and reclusive, and didn't go to Prom until her senior year. And we got lucky with the dress, she inherited her cousin's amazing pageant gown.

It can be awkward when your brother's best friend (a sophmore)
asks you (a senior) to Prom. But it can be fun, too.

When Thing Two went to prom, it was equally easy, because he is, of course, a boy. An all a boy needs for prom is a date (and hairy legs). My boy is the one in red, in case you forgot.

Manly men with hairy legs. And dates.

The Screamapillar is not easy. Ever. She is difficult on a good day. And picky.

And even though she just turned 16 (the magical dating age in the LDS faith) just a few weeks before the prom, she got asked by (almost) three boys. (And in case you didn't know, asking anyone to a dance in Utah is a major event, often involving Herculean tasks.)

Oh, it was wonderous, watching her discomfort! Boy One made suble inquiries via text messages to a variety of parties to ensure that 1.) she hadn't already been asked and 2.) If he asked, she wouldn't turn him down, crushing his frail and fragile heart. Friday night he taped giant orange paper fish all over our front door and dropped off a GIANT fishbowl with three little fishes. Attached was this note:

"If wishes were fishes
And I had three
I wish you'd go
to the Prom with me"

And he signed his name.

Screamapillar was elated. Now she had to figure out a way to answer, just as creatively. Saturday rolled around, and we were excessively busy with a conference and a bunch of other stuff, and she was trying to figure out a way to answer still, when another package arrived at the door. A giant plastic bowl filled with Swedish Fish and gummy sharks. Attached was this note:

"If wishes were fishes
And I had three
I wish you'd go
to the Prom with me"

Screamapillar was confused. I told her maybe her boy was going to ask until she answered, or maybe had three things planned, or something! She better get on the ball and put the poor boy out of his misery! And then she found it. The note.

Not from Boy One, from Boy Two.

So of course she consulted the Oracle (aka Facebook). She logged on, only to discover that Boy Three was making suble inquiries (as Boy Two failed to do) as to whether Screamapillar had been asked yet. She luckily nipped this one in the bud, and Boy Three made other plans.

But what to do with Boy Two? Boy One was expecting a yes. He was a senior, and a good friend she was comfortable going with. But Boy Two was a friend also! It was decided that she was definitely going with Boy One, but needed to take Boy Two his Swedish Fish back so he could ask someone else with his exceedingly original verse. Screamapillar squirmed all the way there. She thought she was gonna die. But she didn't. She was brave and awkward.

Then we went and delivered a "YES" to Boy One, and if I tell you what happened with that event, she will probably never speak to me again. But it was really funny and involved falling flat on her face while trying to run away after ringing his doorbell....this is why everyone loves her so.

She spent the next two weeks trying on dresses. Here are my suggestions, the ones from my enormous costume collection that I thought we might get more mileage out of. Assisting with the modeling today are Wren and some nerdy girl who keeps showing up at our house:

purple ugly dress, pink nightgown dress, green with extra wrinkles

Hey! I like the green one, the one with extra wrinkles. The pink one looks like a nightgown. And the purple, just eek.

How about we try some HOT PINK!
red with giant puffy sleeve, hot pink sheath, hot pink with giant puffy sleeves
Because the Screamapillar HATES pink. So of course I made her put it on. I can't imagine why she didn't like any of these...they all have such BIG sleeves!

How about something....softer?

blue vintage Cinderella, pink funky dress, red funky dress
Well, it was worth a try I suppose. What else is there that you could try on?

Coffee vintage dress, lavender horrible dress, ivory vintage with extra sequins!
Two exceptional vintage gowns, and that HORRIBLE lavender thing my
horrible sister made me wear to her wedding in 1993.
It should be burned. Burned, I say.

What about these? These are nice!?!

navy blue bridesmaid, my prom dress, lovely purple vintage
 On the left. A bridesmaids dress for a 12 year old. The waist is entirely in the wrong place. On the right (the one with a telescope sticking out of it?) another fantastic vintage gown. Oh, look! That one in the middle is PERFECT. And not because it was my prom dress.....right?

Now I need your votes!! Comment below which dress the Screamapillar should have to wear to PROM!!! (well, actually not wear, because it was last weekend, and she wore the $26 dress that is yet to be revealed. But if she had to wear one of these, which should it be?)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chocolate bunnies, indeed.

I am a firm believer in hard boiled eggs and jellybeans. My love for chocolate covered marshmallows is equally fervent.

But my love for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is in a category of it's own. I am thankful for the Atonement. So watch this if you'd like to celebrate the TRUE meaning of Easter:

Friday, April 22, 2011


Dear Eclair,

I'm so glad that  you have made friends with that nice crossing guard at school. But would you please stop missing the bus on purpose just so you can borrow his cell phone? Thanks.

Love, Mommy

Dear Thing Two,

I so enjoyed getting two phone calls and two text messages from you yesterday. That is more communication than we have had in years. Funny thing, how since you moved out and are doing your own laundry and grocery shopping and such, all the sudden I'm not looking like a complete moron anymore. Life is good.

Love, Your Mama Who Carried Your Stubborn Little Self for 42 Weeks in the Womb

Dear Mother Nature,

Today is April 22nd. The weatherman says it's going to snow. Again. Please tell me you're just messin' with him?

Sincerely, Weary of the Cold

Dear College Student Customer on the phone at work,

Yes, I'd be happy to create your first utility account for you. But you do need to know a little bit more about where you live, because "that blue house kinda by Arby's" doesn't really help me to locate your meter. It would also really help if you knew your own social security number, and if your mommy didn't call in for you (you are over 18 now, right?). And yes, everyone who has no credit has to pay a deposit, get used to it if you ever plan to grow up, k?

Thank you, Customer Service Representative

Dear Screamapillar,

There is a reason God created the nighttime. It was so you would sleep. Not talk to boys on the phone until 2am. Especially after your very full day that goes like this: 6:30 am Early morning seminary, 8 classes at school followed by track practice until 5pm, followed by concerts, dinner, church activities, parties, shopping and facebooking. Please, you need some sleep. Because you can I say it? Unpleasant. When you are tired.

Love you anyway, Mother

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Poor El Guapo...

He's in the middle of finals. I don't know about you, but that was my FAVORITE part of college. Not.

The poor boy is working (with a one hour commute), planning a wedding, vacuuming my house, and going to school. He's a wee bit overloaded, and yesterday was particularly bad. He had a bunch of tests, and tried to pull an all-nighter in order to cram in a bit more studying. Until he fell asleep. When he got up he followed the plan of many college students, and drank a bunch of energy drinks before heading to Salt Lake for his testing.

When he got  home late last night, I asked him how it went. He was optimistic, saying that he thinks he did pretty well. He did have one complaint, though.

"When you've had too much caffeine and too little sleep, it does weird things to you. I was filling out the little bubbles on the testing sheet with my name: at the top for "B," down to the bottom for "R" back to the top for "A" down again to "N" up again for "D", when I had this amazing thought......

......why the heck didn't my mother just name me Aaaaa? It would really have made my life a lot easier!"

That's the caffiene talking, boy!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Wreath

Usually spring is about spring cleaning. But I have come to the sad realization that cleaning my house is pointless and futile. It will never be clean until my kids all move out.

So instead, I will make silly crafts.

I made this a few weeks ago, but couldn't bear to put it up until spring had really tulips have finally bloomed, so I think it's time.

And there it is. My grassy spring wreath. It's pretty easy to make, all you need is some of that "fun fur" yarn and this very detailed diagram tutorial:

Wait -- wrong detail. Let's try this one:

Crap. That's not it either. So just do this intead: Buy green extruded wreath (I found mine at Joann's). Buy Lion brand Fun Fur yarn, in green if you like green grass (I found mine at Hobby Lobby). Wrap yarn around wreath for about 5 hours. Add flowers using straight pins (I painted the heads pink to match the flower centers because I'm OCD like that).

And if you're weird, like us, your grass needs bugs:

Thing Two pointed out that this looks like I skinned Oscar the Grouch and used his pelt to hang on the front door. Thanks for that lovely observation, my son. Next time you spend five hours on a semi-pointless craft I'll find a suitable inappropriate comment for you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Break Top Ten

Spring Break is here. What were my first clues?

10. All the cereal is gone and we're going through more than a gallon of milk a day.

9. There are empty Kool-aid packets everywhere and the handle to refrigerator is treacherously sticky.

8. There are more pillow and blankets in front of the tv than in the bedrooms.

7. There is not a clean dish to be found. But dirty dishes are EVERYWHERE.

6. The tic in my left eye brought on by lack of sleep has temporarily disappeared. I expect it will return next week when I start driving the Screamapillar to early morning seminary again.

5. Bickering has reached a crisis point.

4. My chocolate stash has been discovered and consumed.

3. The phrase "I'm bored." has been used at least 56,723 times just today.

2.  I receive random text messages during my brief time at work asking "where's the remote?" and "what's the new password on the computer?" and "WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME?" The answers to these questions are, respectively: "in my purse, go read a book instead" and "why do you think I changed it? have you practiced your clarinet today?" and "Srsly, NEVER."

1. I'm really, REALLY looking forward to summer vacation now. Not.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Follies of Youth

Utah. Home of the Greatest Snow on Earth. Says so on our license plates. Having lived here my whole life, snow is nothing new. You can count on snow cropping up at any time between October and May. Usually our mountains are snowcapped until late August. So all in all, we're used to it.

(it lets us make giant ice sculptures like this)
Clearly, I have learned nothing in my 21 years of Utah winters.

This last weekend, my friend Happy Banana and I decided to go up to her cabin at Strawberry Reservoir.

***NOTE: Mommy will be adding random heckling from this point forward. Two Blonde grils have wandered into the wilderness and have apparently left their common sense in the car. Back in the parking lot. Far, far away.****

We knew that there would still be lots of snow, and we would have to park in the community lot and hike in on the packed snow to the cabin. All in all, should have taken us about an hour, maybe hour and a half to get there** your mother would have told you not to do this if she had know what the true plan was....hiking through deep powder during a snowstorm for more than an hour? Did you forget something? like your brain?***

We packed up our food in a sled, and off we go. We're happy! This is our weekend getaway, the last one we'll get to have for several months before Happy Banana leaves me for the excitement of Europe.  *** Happy Banana is even blonder than Thing One is  -- just thought you should know. *** We're both dressed in jeans and down coats--we forgot the snow pants. We arrived at 8, with plenty of light (even though it was snowing a little). All was going well until it got dark. But as we passed the halfway point **** walking how many miles in the snow? following snowmobile tracks? probably made by young men having a good time and not really caring where they were going? If they had known they would be leading two foolhardy young women to lostness in the woods, they may have made it even more interesting for you...*** and continued on, we started sinking into the snow. About up to our hips. **Good thing you're so short. Your hips aren't too far from the ground that way.**

For anyone who's never sunk into the snow up to their hips, it tends to want to take your boots off when you try to get out. **I'd do a "Nelson" laugh, here, if I wasn't such a wonderful mother.** I didn't look at my clock at all during this whole excursion (until much later), so I'm not sure how long we tried to keep swimming through the snow. After a short **?**  while, we were starting to feel our energy drain from trying to drag our sled of food along. We decided to leave it behind and come back for it in the morning, taking a loaf of bread along with us to tide us over. *** I must insert here, that they were discarding things from the sled before this. The first thing they dumped was the 24 pack of Dr. Pepper. That was the worst mistake of the trip.***

This is about the time that the thoughts that this could have been a bad idea started to creep up on us. But we'd come so far that the idea of going back seemed even more exhausting than what lay ahead. Or so we thought.

By about 11:00 we were so wet, cold and tired, we couldn't go any further--even though we could see the cabin, we still had another 1/4 or 1/2 mile to get through in (what we later found out was) six foot deep snow. ** In case you didn't know, dear daughter, snow tends to be just a little bit deeper in the mountains than what we get here in the valley. Especially after you run out of snowmobile tracks to follow.** We were fortunate enough to have cell phone signal, and we were able to call my friend H.B.'s parents. After explaining that there was no way we could keep going ** because your banana friend had succumbed to hypothermia and was turning purple like this text**, she told us she would see what she could do to get us out of there. Her mother called search and rescue, then told us they were on their way. We then backtracked to a locked-up garage we had passed a short while before, waiting for SAR to contact us back.

As we were headed back to the garage, the thought crossed my mind that if SAR was on its way...there was a distinct possibility that we could end up on the news. As horrified as I was by this thought, I realized that my mother would KILL me if she found out we were lost in the barren Utah snowdrifts through the local news ** LOOK! She found her brain!! **. Once we reached the garage, SAR called us back. H.B. was in bad shape at this point **like I said, purple**, so I spoke to them and called 911 so that they could get our GPS coordinates for SAR. They said it would be about an hour til they got there. We call H.B.'s mom to touch base, and I ask her to call my mother **Thank you for remembering me at all. That way I didn't have to spend all that money on gas so I could drive up there and kill you**. Then we huddled together to try and stay warm.

A bit later, H.B.'s mom calls back and tells us she was able to reach a couple who lives in the area year round **thank heaven for crazy people who for some unknown reason live in the wilderness all the time on purpose**, and that they were going to come out on a snow-mobile and look for us. Miracles of miracles, a few minutes later, we hear a motor and then see lights coming our direction. Our rescuer, Mr Hancock arrives, and I have never been so happy to see someone I've never met **why, oh why, couldn't it have been some eligible young bachelor that came to your rescue?**. We called SAR back and they were able to call off the rescue. As H.B. gets onto the back of the snowmobile and I get into the towing sled, Mr Hancock explains that he had found our abandoned sled of food and followed our tracks to find us **how good a rescuer can he be if he didn't pick up the Dr. Pepper? Seriously, Mr. Hancock!**.

The Hancock's let us spend the night at their house. I have no words for how incredibly humbled and grateful we were for their hospitality. After warm showers and brief chatting with our rescuers, I called mom, then H.B. and I turned in for the night **how you could sleep with the gulit after scaring the bejeebers out your parents, I will never know**.

The next morning they took us back to our car, where H.B.'s parents had driven out to meet us there. Then we went home **where everyone was still picking up their jaws from the floor in astonishment that you survived this fiasco**.

Summarizing: We are both complete morons who's own pride and stubbornness should have gotten us KILLED. It was only through answered prayers that we were not killed by our own stupidity. My parents refrained from telling me "I told you so," to my face **but we did a lot of sniggering behind your back, dear one.**. Probably because they figured I'd had the living daylights scared out of me already and I've learned my lesson. **I love you, dear demented daughter, and I'm glad you didn't die.**

How was your weekend?

What were YOU thinking?

Okay. If you have a blog or are even remotely familiar with blogger you probably know about your stats. No? well you should. It's the place on your dashboard where you can find out really valuable information. Like how many people stopped reading your blog because you're a loser (meaning me, the loser).

Stats is where I go to see where in the world you are, people reading my blog. And how you got here. Did you click a link on Facebook? Are you a follower (my absolute favorite - I get absurdly happy when that number goes up, and cry in a closet when someone leaves me...)  or get notifications through Google reader whenever I get my act together and post? Did you click a link from your own blog, or a friend's blog? Did you see a post linked up from some random craft I posted out there on the interwebs?

Or did you search for me? Did you really miss me so much that you tried to find me using Google? Or Dogpile? Or whatever?

Did you know that I can see the words you used to search for my blog?

Well I can.

And whoever found me using the key words "chicken leg ficus plant," you've really got me concerned about your mental health. You worry almost as much as whoever used "a picture of a cricket getting burned by a flashlight."  Eeww. Srsly?

What is a "chicken leg ficus plant" anyway? And why would you look for one? On purpose? As for the cricket hater, I can't imagine how that combination of words brought you here.

But I hope you both stopped to read a little, and forgot about the search that brought you here. Because nobody should be out there trying to burn a poor innocent cricket with a flashlight anyway.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Moving out

Major changes happened at our house 'bout ten days ago. Thing Two and El Guapo did a swap. Thing Two moved out into El Guapo's bachelor pad, and El Guapo moved in with us until the wedding. This is a real win-win, as Thing Two wanted out and El Guapo is desperately trying to save money before the wedding.

Here's Thing Two in the new place:

Isn't it nice how he poses all sweet anytime I want to take his pitcher? Well, do notice the necessary items that make this a bachelor pad. Can you find all these items in the photo above?

- disco ball
- pirate flag (partially hung)
- dart board
- mismatched furniture
- bongo drums
- movie posters
- musical group posters
- Wurlitzer organ

I didn't take any photos of the kitchen or bathroom because I was afraid.
It's funny how things change. This young man, who couldn't bear sharing a good size bedroom with his little brother now shares a bitty little room with a stranger.

And suddenly, I'm not such an idiot! He asks me thought provoking questions like "How long do you think a jar of peanut butter should last me?" when a month ago, he wouldn't have trusted me to put my shoes on correctly on my own.

Change is (sometimes) good.