Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Morning's Screenplay

Jude is notorious for waking-up at ungodly hours early in the morning and ready to begin his day. The rest of us in the Brem family do not possess this skill. In fact, Noelle is currently asleep as I write this. Now, we aren't bums and we get up early - just not ungodly early and sleeping in would probably be classified somewhere between 7:45 and 8 AM these days.

This morning at "ungodly early o'clock" Jude walked into my room and asked if he could watch a tv show. Usually, I would probably say yes and drag myself out of bed in the next few minutes, or so. But, the Brem family has been inspired and is taking a break from the tv - which I am loving and so pleased with - except for at the moment at the break of dawn that Jude is asking to watch a show and I am thinking, "What the crap was I thinking giving-up the tv?"

I gently ask Jude to please go back to his room and read a book quietly or play quietly with his toys just for 10 minutes.

Jude loudly shouts, "But I'm hungry!"

I gently (and probably with my eyes still closed) say, "Then you can go get a banana and then go play quietly in your room."

Jude runs out of my room and returns 17 seconds later and loudly explains, "But those bananas are (extra loudly on this part) DIS-GUST-ING!"

I desperately plead/whine, "Please honey, just go play for a few minutes and then I will make you breakfast."

Jude runs off to his bedroom and I sleepily give a sigh of relief, pray for two more peaceful moments of sleep and naively start to drift off.

I begin to hear loud sounds of crashing and banging coming from Jude's room.

A plea of desperation is all I can muster and I yell out to Jude, "Honey, what are you doing? You are supposed to be playing quietly so you don't wake up your sister."

Jude promptly and confidently replies, "But I'm playing with my light saber."

Of course he is.

I groggily remind him, "You need to play with something else or read a book."

I hear the light saber drop to the ground and I am momentarily relieved. That was premature relief, of course.

Jude grabbed his "Bop-It" game and for the next few minutes I lay in bed plotting and thinking of my next move to the rhythm of "Pass it! Pull it! Bop it! Shout it! Da-da-duh!"

When all hope within me for a few last moments of shut-eye is crushed, I drag myself out of bed, throw my robe on and head to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I realize about a minute later that Jude has finally become quiet and is contently reading a book. I take my time and neti-pot and remove the leftover makeup from under my eyes. Jude is still quiet. I check my email and read some news. Still quiet.

He is a genius. And I'm thankful for an early start. Also, Noelle is still asleep.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Christmas 2009

2009 was a rough year for the Brem's. We had recently moved to another state, went without work for a couple of months, landed a new (awesome) job, left all of our friends and began renting a house in California from an insane landlady. Christmas in 2009 was planned very carefully.

Fast-forward to 2011. It is nearly June of 2011 and I am finally about to reap the benefits of the 2009 Christmas gift given to each other between Gavin and me - tickets to see U2. You see, Bono (the front man of U2) went into back surgery just weeks before our chance to originally see him. Thankfully, I am a girl with a great sense of humor and can see the hilarity of this. But I am also a girl who prays diligently and am praying that nothing happens to Bono (or any other band member at this point) between now and June 6thish. It has taken nearly two years to realize the only gift we gave each other for Christmas in 2009. Don't mess it up U2, por favor?

I may be feeling a little cynical/uninspired this last week...

Maybe it was the time this week when I went to help my sister carry the baby and the pizza to Noelle's softball game and turned my back for a second and discovered Jude peeing on a tree for all to see and I embarrassedly tried to brush off Gavin shouting at me from the field to look at Jude along with the looks of all of the parents pretending not to notice?

Maybe it was the time this week when I went to kiss my kids goodnight - individually- and they both ripped a big toot when I kissed them?

OR, maybe it was the time when Jude politely asked me if I wanted one of the ice cream treats stored in the freezer while I was gardening and when I said "no" he proceeded to eat the remaining treats without permission?

I love my kids.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oh, The Glamorous City...

In case you were wondering, this is how our anniversary night away in the glamorous city of San Francisco went...
Kalamata olives, roasted red pepper hummus, whole wheat pitas, regular hummus, diet coke, chicken sate', gyros, kebabs, falafel, strawberry salad with candied pecans and roasted chicken, chicago hot dogs with jalapenos and mustard and pickles, sweet potato fries, flatbread with tons of chopped basil and pesto and tomatoes and mozzarella and pesto, vanilla Haagen-Daaz, grilled veggies and eggs on a croissant, fresh fruit salad, a veggie-filled crepe, coffee, coke zero, carnitas and a big salad with barbacoa. And maybe an extra "celebration pound" or two were gained. So, there may be need for extra "celebration workouts" this week.

Also, the Giants won.

It was a great anniversary celebration. :-)

(All of these pics are from my iphone in an effort to look less like a tourist by not dragging my big ol' camera around)

We stayed there...

I saw this in the CANDY SECTION of Walgreens...

I ate this...

And a few of these...

And some of that...

And a bunch of that...

And my husband was filled with great joy on the day that I donned a Giant's hat...

Now, onto those "celebration workouts" I go.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Amazing Bathrobe - The Slam

My Amazing Bathrobe

My bathrobe is so warm and fluffy,
Who cares if it makes me look puffy?

It used to be white, but now sorta gray,
I wish I could wear it all day, every day.

It keeps me warm as I drag out of bed,
It's not terribly cute, my husband has said.

"Kinda gross" his actual words may be,
I don't really think it's that ugly.

If I wear it too long, I do start to sweat,
A blanket with sleeves makes my armpits wet.

On a cold morning it's the perfect thing,
It's cozy softness makes my heart sing.

I throw it in the washer every now and then,
Praying the white will return and the softness stays within.

Once, I wore it drop the kids of at school,
I knew as a Mom that it wasn't cool.

It might soon be time for us to part,
When that day comes it will break my heart.

To think of waking up without my blanket with sleeves,
I already begin to dread that day when my heart grieves.

Cozy, dingy, gray, warm, sweaty and old,
Soft, fuzzy, ugly, puffy and keeps me from being cold.

I care that my husband looks and thinks, "yucky",
I'll find a cute robe replacement someday if I'm lucky.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Unsolved Mysteries

The mysteries of Jude continue to unfold. I don't know if it's just boys or if it's just my boy, but I'm often left scratching my head.

Here are some of the questions I currently have for Jude...

What happened in the bathroom that led to water dripping down all over the mirror?

How did toothpaste get on the wall?

How did your shoe mysteriously vanish in between driving from Papa Murphy's to pulling into the parking lot at the library?

Why do you poop 85 times a day?

Who taught you multiplication?

What inspired you to cuddle-up with a Star Wars light saber at bedtime tonight?

Why do you like all cheese except for melted cheese?

When are you going to start sleeping in?

Obviously, there's never a dull moment in the Brem household.

Monday, May 16, 2011


We have a friend who's "pet-peeve" is when people use the word "literally" inappropriately. For example, "I'm so hungry I could literally eat a an entire horse" or "I literally almost died laughing" which of course, no one could really eat an entire horse and I'm not aware of anyone on record dying of laughing (although, I could be wrong). The one our friend especially hated had something to do with a pastor friend saying something along the lines of "liquid fire literally falling from the sky". Ever since we had that "pet-peeve" conversation, I've been much more aware of how I use the word "literally". Sometimes though, I still say that I'm so hungry that I'm literally starving or that I literally almost peed my pants from laughing, so his pleas for people to stop using the word inappropriately apparently didn't completely work on me.

Jude tends to take things literally and it is often hilarious when he does. Yesterday, Gavin was leading worship for our high school service at church and Noelle and Jude ended up joining us rather than being in their normal Sunday school class. The words to the songs were projected onto the wall so everyone could read them (remember how Jude is a genius and reads amazingly well for a 6 year old?) and Jude and Noelle were singing along. On one of the songs that Gavin was singing, the lyrics said;

"Oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, I can't forget about it (Repeat)"

And as everyone sang along, Jude sang along loudly and yelled out "Repeat" every single time we sang that particular line...which was about 6 or 7 times. I would fully expect a freshman boy to do that and find it funny, but my 6-year old truly and hilariously thought that we were all forgetting to say "repeat" along with the song. I was "literally" dying laughing while we were singing.

This afternoon, after much anticipation, Gavin, Noelle and Jude completed some impossible feat on the Wii game "Star Wars Legos" (which I hate and would rather torture myself in a million ways than be forced to play). As soon as they had completed their task, there was much joy/dancing/jumping/yelling in our household that I heard from a room away. I heard Jude yell, "We defeated the bad guy Daddy!" and then I heard him repeatedly yell, "High stomach Daddy! High stomach Daddy!" of which I had no idea of what he was talking about. Then it hit me: high-five = slapping hands, high-stomach = chest bump. Jude wanted to chest bump Gavin. Thankfully, Gavin was clued-in pretty quick and gave Jude the high-stomach he was looking for. I "literally" teared-up as I giggled.

My heart "literally" melts when I look at this face.
(Okay, maybe the joke isn't funny anymore, sue me...)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gavin Slam

I tried posting this yesterday, but they were doing maintenance on blogger for what seemed like eternity and I couldn't get on. Boo.

Again, in light of our looming 11th anniversary, I thought I would post about my husband. I wrote this silly poem for him long, long ago, in a land far, far away...back when we were dating in college. I dug this out of the garage last night...

My poetry/humor/art skills sure have come a long way in the past 11 years...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sleep Twitcher

So....Gavin punched me in the face...again. I still haven't come to grips with the fact that I married a "sleep twitcher". In the eleven years that we've been married, Gav has "sleep-punched" me four times. Twice it's been in my nose and twice it's been in my eye (I think the nose is worse) and I didn't even cry this time like I did with the other 3 times. Yay for me! (Still, BOO for punching your wife while you sleep!)

Imagine being deep in REM, peacefully snoozing away when "POW!!!" - you are suddenly awakened by a hit in the face...welcome to my world. Gavin is a sleep-twitcher gone awry and it sometimes manifests in a punch to my face. And Gavin wonders why I have a hard time falling asleep without tuning-out to a TV show on hulu.com...

When we were first married, I had a really difficult time sleeping in the same bed as Gavin. In fact, I would lay awake stirring in anger as he peacefully twitched every single part of his body in succession approximately every 15.5 seconds. Then I would wake him up and snark at him to stop twitching. This totally worked, obviously.

The first time he sleep-punched me, we were staying the night at his sweet Aunt Chris's house on a trip to be on the Price Is Right and a visit to Magic Mountain in our first year of marriage. Being newly married AND on vacation, I bawled my eyes out in complete shock (and pain!) at 4 in the morning. The two other times are kind of a blur (is that a coincidence?), and then the recent punch in the eye forced me to wake Gavin up, annoyingly tell him that he punched me AGAIN and then I promptly fell back asleep for a couple more hours. I think I may be (finally) getting used to being married to him. :-)

It takes a strong woman to survive sleeping next to this dude...

Love you babe! Maybe you're just paying me back for that one time when I was trying to toss the remote control and hit you in the butt and accidentally whacked you in the head? I have bad aim...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Inspired By Reality TV

Gav is traveling for work in the Pacific Northwest right now and comes home today! Yippee!

Sometimes when he's gone, I get bored and do things that I wouldn't normally do. Once, I shampooed the carpets and one time he came home to a freshly painted dining room. I usually take the time that he's gone to tackle projects and things that I probably wouldn't do while he was home. Often, I'll take that time to rearrange, organize and purge things. Poor Gavin comes home and has to repeatedly ask me where things are (sometimes they've already been donated to the Goodwill - oops!). He's a lucky guy!

Last night I was inspired by watching a little too much "reality" tv on Bravo (my weakness). I noticed how nicely groomed all of the eyebrows were on that network. The kind of nicely groomed eyebrows that I've only had once or twice when I've actually taken the time to have them professionally waxed. I have pretty thin eyebrows with lots of little "strays" that I groom with tweezers when I'm annoyed enough by the "strays" to care. I really hate tweezing because it takes to long and I get bored. Last night, I was inspired by the Bravo eyebrows, and wondered if Target would have some kind of self-waxing kit. Hey, I was bored and avoiding dishes and laundry - no judging. Sure enough, they make such a thing!

So, I embarked on my adventure for the evening. Like I said, I've had my eyebrows waxed a couple of times, so I knew it wasn't going to feel good, but I wasn't confident that I would have the nerve to rip hair out of my own face, rather than let a cute little lady do it for me like the previous times. It wasn't so bad! Or maybe I'm tougher than I thought? Or maybe I'm an idiot? Either way, it wasn't awful. And I think my eyebrows look great - not that anyone else would notice, since they are almost nonexistent anyway. But I notice, and I like 'em!

See, reality TV isn't totally worthless. I successfully avoided housework, embarked on a little adventure AND waxed my eyebrows all thanks to reality TV. Now, let's see if I can get all of that avoided housework done before Gav gets home from his trip this evening...

For those who might care, this was the kit I used and it was only $6.50 AND I'll probably get two full uses out of it. Bought it at Target!

The End. :-)

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Booger On The Wall

As I was in the shower yesterday, I spotted something on the bathroom wall. Yup, it was a booger and I was not the one who had put it there. Also, I was pretty sure that the kids hadn't placed it there, since they usually bathe in their own bathroom and don't have a habit of blowing there noses while bathing. Hmm...that left only one person. I used to get upset after finding boogers on the shower wall - taking it personally, as disrespect for the one who actually cleans the bathroom...me. But then, Gavin and I came to an agreement about the boogers on the wall: If I find a booger in the shower, Gavin gets to clean the shower and I'm released from the shower cleaning duty. So, having spotted the booger on the wall yesterday, I was actually happy and caught myself smiling while staring at the nasty booger and simultaneously rinsing the shampoo out of my hair. Picturing Gavin scrubbing the shower down and wiping boogers off of the wall was a gift and brightened my day. It's things like these that make our marriage happy and successful!

This month, we will be celebrating 11 years of marriage! This may sound braggy, but we really do have a great marriage. We definitely have our moments, but overall we are blissfully happy and it gets better with every year.

There is lots of good advice about marriage that we follow and that you've probably heard before, like; Keep short accounts, keep Christ in the center, don't go to bed angry, be affectionate, etc. I thought I would share a few of the "Brem" things that make our marriage work...like the rule about the boogers.

If you want to be like The Brem's then you should:

*Have a vacation/celebration dance. The moment our vacation starts we dance around whatever room we are in and sing a little ditty that goes, "We're on vacay-shon, We're on vacay-shon, We're on vacay-shon" over and over until we feel satisfied. Those words can be substituted with "We got a ray-aise, We got a ray-aise, We got a ray-aise" or "No more crazy land-lady, No more crazy land-lady, No more crazy land-lady". Do this to celebrate anything and make sure your kids join in too!

*Celebrate A LOT. We celebrate everything possible. Birthdays, lost teeth, 1st day of school, last day of school, report cards, paying off debts, moving away from crazy landlords, cars miraculously getting healed of transmission issues, friends coming to visit, three day weekends, having all of the laundry done at the same time...

*Marry someone funny. We laugh a lot. And we really enjoy trying to make the other person laugh. And we laugh a lot at ourselves, at our kids, at TV shows and with friends. Sometimes, I even make myself laugh. I'm still laughing at that one time when Gavin forgot my birthday! Boy, he's hilarious! He's still laughing at that time when I sobbed while watching Steve Carrel's last episode on The Office. See, we are F-U-N-N-Y!

*Don't have designated sides of the bed. I don't know why, but we just don't. Sleep on whatever side you want. Works for us!

*Have a mutual distaste for having a dog, but do it anyway for the love of your children.

*Dream and talk a lot about the future and all of the places you want to go and food you want to eat. And eat a lot of good food. And dream about eating a lot of good food. And watch TV shows about good food. And eat a lot of good food when you go to baseball games. And fairs. And restaurants. And theme parks. And go to a lot of theme parks.

*Feel free to pee with the door open, but for heaven's sake, always poop in private!

Works for us! Happy 11th anniversary Gavin! Can't wait for the next 11 years and that clean shower! :-)

Look at us...just BABIES!!! Sigh...

P.S. - When Gavin forgot my birthday, it was ONLY in the morning for like 30 minutes. He felt horrible because I had gotten up and gotten the kids ready, made breakfast etc. And he spent the rest of the day making up for it. He is an amazing husband with a great sense of humor - obviously, since he's letting me tell these stories about him! The most compassionate, kind, patient and generous man I've ever met. After 13 years of being together, I'm happy to report that I haven't met a man yet that even compares to him. His integrity and character are unmatchable. Can't believe he picked me. :-)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Haiku Slam

Last Thursday I put out an A.P.B. looking for ideas for the Poetry Slam and I got lots of great ideas. Feeling a rush of inspiration, I couldn't wait to bust out the Poetry Slam this week. I even added a few of my own ideas to the list.

I'm so daring and adventurous that I waded into the world of Haiku this morning. I know, I know - We really walk on the wild side here in the Brem household! Don't worry, I'll reel it back in for next week...unless the adrenaline rush from all of these Haiku's is still running...

(Thanks for the idea Amy C!)

Lettuce fields galore
Tacos on every corner
Mild temps all year long

My iphone

Apps for everything
I don't want life without you
Apple stole my heart

Dave Ramsey
(Thanks for the idea Erin!)

Live like no one else
Debt snowball saving our buns
Credit cards paid off!

(Thanks Maria!)

Hot dog scent wafting
Too many rolls of T.P.
Where do I store it?

Jillian Michaels
(Thanks again, Erin!)

Rock hard abs and glutes
30 day shred makes me sweat
Puddles on the floor

The Sandwich I Made For Lunch Yesterday

Peppers and mushrooms
Turkey and Havarti cheese
Making mouth water

Our Subaru

Little Red Rocket
Gavin looks like a giant
Driving forever

Last place in my league
Husband thinks I'm the greatest
Pitching really sucks

Wow! I'm so energized from all of that crazy Haiku writing. Maybe I'll try something really daring and attempt to weed the garden! Happy Poetry Slam Thursday!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I haven't had Gavin blogging since that whole Triaminic poisoning fiasco, but finally, here he is again!

Pride is a funny thing that can easily be misunderstood. Sometimes pride is bad. When one thinks of himself more highly than he ought to, that kind of pride is bad. When one cannot be convinced of his folly, that kind of pride is bad. When one cannot admit he is wrong, that kind of pride is bad. But sometimes pride is good.

A father who beams with pride over his son's teeball performance has good pride. A mother who sheds a tear over her daughter growing into a beautiful young woman has good pride. A blue-collar worker who sweats and gets dirty in order to bring home an honest paycheck has good pride. AND A DUDE WHO'S CAR ENDURED RAIN, HEAT, AND SNOW WITHOUT AIR-CONDITIONING WHILE AVOIDING MAJOR REPAIRS GETTING TO SEE THE ODOMETER FLIP TO 200,000 MILES HAS BIG-TIME PRIDE!!!

That's right. My 1995 Subaru turned 200,000 today and I couldn't be prouder. This tough little car has been with me for 11 years. It has accumulated multiple dents, dings, and scratches, rust, rattles, and squeaks yet has never given up. Even recently it was miraculously healed when the transmission locked up only to pop free a week later (after I put gear oil in it). After 200,000 miles it has only needed a new boot and some kind of rubber ring to stop the said gear oil from leaking. Sure, the air-conditioning broke about a month after I got it, but other than that, this little go-getter has been a reliable champ. Even a spider has decided to take up residence in the door mirror finding solace and safe-haven in the Subaru. I am a proud Subaru owner and I don't care who knows it!

By the way, I'm selling a 1995 red Subaru with 200,013 miles (mostly highway). Runs great. Minor blemishes.

See how it glows?

Right before the fateful moment...


My spider-tenant's web...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fun Facts

I'm pretty sure that David Letterman used to do a segment on his show called "Fun Facts" where he rattled off a bunch of stuff that may or may not be true. It was pretty funny, except that sometimes I didn't really know whether the fact he was sharing was real or not, so I often was left feeling more confused (dumb) than actually laughing. Once, I went to New York and actually got to see a Late Show taping - I think its funnier on television, just so ya know. He didn't do the "Fun Facts" segment when I was there though...and Dave was kind of a jerk.

Today, I'm introducing some Fun Facts from the recent days in the Brem household!
I know, you are dying to learn them...

Fun Fact #1: Dumping the correct amount of salt into a neti-pot is a delicate balance. Too much = a feeling of a fire burning the insides of your sinuses up. Too little = a feeling of drowning yourself while standing over your sink in the bathroom. I suppose I could actually measure the salt before dumping it in, but where's the fun in that?

Fun Fact #2: While in a silent moment of prayer during a meeting, Jude WILL walk into a room and burp out loud. It's inevitable.

Fun Fact #3: Bindi has magical powers. She was locked in her kennel in the garage at bedtime last night, and was discovered this morning inside of the house waiting to be let outside by the back door. Somehow, she opened her kennel AND the door leading from the garage into the house. It's just magic, I guess.

Fun Fact #4: I really, really stink at Fantasy Baseball. And I'm actually trying to be good at it. I'm in 10th place in our league (out of 10) and am getting beat by people who don't even log-in to check on their team. Good thing baseball lasts until October...I may need that long to figure this crap out.

Fun Fact #5: It is really fun to talk baseball and actually know something. Plus, Gavin thinks I'm the best wife ever.

Fun Fact #6: When someone says, "Those are interesting shoes you're wearing." what they really mean is "Those shoes are dang ugly and I just wanted to point that out to you." Yep, I had that happen this week. I still LOVE my shoes. (Plus, I got WAY more compliments on them than "interesting" comments - of which, I only had one.)

Fun Fact #7: My kid is OBSESSED with the Queen of Diamonds. You know, from a deck of cards? He saw something about it on a movie called "Looney Toons Back In Action" and now wants to sleep with the Queen of Diamonds from his deck of cards lying next to him. I don't get it. Anyone?

Fun Fact #8: Sometimes, my treadmill gets stuck on an incline and I don't know it. I was running today thinking, "I must be SO out of shape. It feels like I'm running up a hill and I'm running on a flat treadmill. Oh my goodness! What has happened to me? Am I old? My legs feel like they weigh a ton!" And then I realized it was on an incline. I'm real quick like that.

Fun Fact #9: The day I announced that I was giving up sweets for my non-Lent, Lent Gavin forgot and went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of ice cream. We roll like that. (I haven't had any!)

Fun Fact #10: Watching the Royal wedding AND watching "The King's Speech" in the same day make you feel like an expert in all things English for about 24 hours. Then you realize how much time you spent in front of a TV in one day and feel embarrassed and dumb.

Aren't you all so glad you have me to teach you all of these Fun Facts? I know you are...

Here's an iphone pic of Jude sleeping with the Queen of Diamonds...I don't know if I should be mad/confused/happy/laughing contently...

And here is a photo from 2008 from my trip to New York with my college roommates waiting to get into the Late Show. (Rachel - thanks for taking the photo, but dangit, I wish you were in it!)