Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Letter

Dear random author of the New Mexico Bowl Game wikipedia page,

You know who you are.

I am going to the bowl game this Saturday. I wasn't quite sure in exactly what city the game is located, and I live in Las Vegas and lack a lot of clothing that is appropriate for cold weather. Unless you count the clothes my mom bought me 6 years ago the winter after I got home from my mission. Hoping that the temperature doesn't get too low at the game, I got onto trusty google and searched "New Mexico Bowl Game". To my surprise, one little bowl game has it's own wiki page! I have been instructed by wikipedia before, and usually find it's information informative. As I had hoped, in the first paragraph I learned the game is held in Albuquerque, where the winters are somewhat mild. Suddenly I wondered, is it so masterfully updated that it would contain the information about the 2010 bowl game? I scrolled down, and lo and behold, there was a sentence or two about this year's game:

The 2010 New Mexico Bowl included UTEP from Conference USA, the first time a team from outside the WAC or MWC had played in the game.

Nothing about BYU. Okay, I understand, if UTEP playing in the NM Bowl was a first timer, it deserves mentioning. But then I saw the chart.

Game results

Date Played Winning Team Losing Team Notes
December 23, 2006 San Jose State 20 New Mexico 12 notes
December 22, 2007 New Mexico 23 Nevada 0 notes
December 20, 2008 Colorado State 40 Fresno State 35 notes
December 19, 2009 Wyoming 35 Fresno State 28 (2OT) notes
December 18, 2010 UTEP ' BYU notes

Wait a gosh darn minute. Do you consider yourself some type of seer, Mr. Author? A super duper sports critic? You can't even use the excuse that you just put the teams in alphabetical order! Why, I ask, did you even have to list the teams as winning and losing at all? They haven't played yet. If you wanted to include the information about the competing teams, perhaps you could have added it after the special UTEP reference in the body of the paragraph.

Let me be clear, Wikiman. I went to BYU. My parents went to BYU. My husband played football for BYU. Every time my one year old sees the letter "Y" or a football helmet he yells "Go Cougars!". I'm a fan. And I don't appreciate you displaying your useless opinions to the entire world as if it were gospel.

I wanted BYU to win before, of course. But now that I've seen your stupid chart, I desperately want them to win, just to see those two team names FLIPPED.

Yours truly,

Mandy Kolbaba
Byu fan and Wikipedia boycotter

Monday, November 29, 2010

Evil Dr. Pork Chop

Didn't get much sleep last night. Grayden, who normally sleeps like a dream, screamed at the top of his lungs from about 10 to 12. We took turns going in and calming him, but he always eventually went back to screaming. This isn't the first time this has happened, he sporadically has nights with fits of terrible screaming, maybe two or three a month.

I may be a crazy mom looking for silly excuses, but I think it's nightmares. But what could an 18 month old dream about that could be so scary??

Well, last night he told me the horrible thing that attacked him in his dreams. I went in his room and picked him up, sat down on the rocking chair in the dark and he rested his head on my shoulder and whimpered a little. After about a minute, he said, "Pig".

So, there ya go. Since the only movies he will watch are Signing Time, with no bad guys, and an occasional Toy Story, it must've been Hamm's diabolical alter ego that invaded his subconscious. Either that, or he has a small obsession with farm animals.

I wonder if Disney pays out damages for psychologically traumatized toddlers?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's not too late....

You are allowed to post about Halloween until Thanksgiving. Unwritten rule.

And honestly, did you want to miss out on this??

Poor Nate. For a big, buff guy, it's so difficult for him to look tough. :) But honestly, he was a legend at the Halloween party we attended. Young and old gawked and stared and commented nonstop. It was great. Grayden and I followed his theme and we made a great team.

And now, more pictures of Nate, because honestly I can't get over how funny he was.

Dig the hair. And then here are some of little comic wolverine (and his cousins):

Fun, fun times. Much candy eaten by all.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More food.

I'm having so much fun, can you tell???

I paid $2.11 for this, but I got back $3.75 in catalina coupons (money off your next order) so I basically got paid $1.64 to buy this stuff. Best part? After freezing the pie and tortillas, nothing else is perishable! Fry's ROCKS.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blag Time

Nate and I are so excited we feel like we're on drugs. We went grocery shopping today and got this:

I won't even go through the list of items we got, it's just a lot.

Total? $16.67!!

Savings: $388.50.

I look at that pile and even I don't know how it happened. I keep checking my receipt for mistakes. That's just ridiculous. I was a little embarrassed when the manager had to come out and approve my transaction, but it was also a great feeling. Yippee :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Good Choices

You've got to love it when you're innocently checking Fox news online and the front page breaking news has a picture of the very high chair you have in your kitchen, with a headline RECALL.

I hardly ever go to, so I thought this was a lucky coincidence. Fortunately, I guess my model was made after the current recalled models, because mine doesn't have the "dangerous pegs" that kids can fall on and need stitches. Then again, can't kids fall on almost anything and get stitches? Are they going come round out the edges of my counters and kitchen tables?

On an unrelated note, I am on the computer and randomly blogging because it's 8:30am and Grayden is still asleep. Love that. I can get so much done! Like couponing. Nate and Ihave used coupons on and off during our marriage, but this time I've gone all out. I've recently become so obsessed with it I can't fall asleep because I'm thinking about it and then I dream about it and then I get up early to do it, like this morning. Seriously, I've got issues. I scoff at so-called SALE prices and Nate just laughs at me. I've been spoiled, ruined, and I can't pay full price for the rest of my life.

I got a ten dollar check for my nine hours of jury summons nightmare time. You are all so jealous.

Nate and I watched the movie Wait Until Dark the other day. Shockingly good for having a cast of about 6 people and practically all done on one tiny set.

It's October now. That always means the year is over. I'll never understand how that happens so quickly.

Next month we go to Vegas to find a place to live. We still don't have it narrowed down to an area at all, how do you choose a place to live in an area you're not familiar with?

8:45. Still asleep. I'm going to go read. A book called The Other Queen, which I find pretty boring, but I have an illness that requires me to finish books and movies to the end, even if I hate them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Genetic Wonders

Notice the child in the picture above? He's mine. And Nate's. I sent some pictures of Grayden to my Mom and she just couldn't get over how blue his eyes are. That reminded me of a blog post I made while I was pregnant, entitled I's. I was gawking at my niece Madi's eyes, and stated it was almost impossible for my unborn child to have blue eyes like that. Behold.

The only thing you can say about our eyes other than brown is maybe calling them hazel, on a good day. The genes coming from my dad and Nate's mom must be super mutant genes, that's all I'm saying. And I'll never hear the end of it from my sister Chandra, who told me from the moment he was born that his eyes would stay blue and I denied it for almost a year. I don't anymore.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jury Summons Equals BORING

When I first arrived at the courthouse, I saw this:

Hundreds of people crowding the doors, but nobody was allowed in. I was supposed to arrive at 8:30 and it was 8:25, so I thought maybe something was up. Most people either had a cup of coffee or a cigarette. I finally got so sick of the smell I turned around to leave, and I saw this:

Four sheriff cars. I didn't think it was all that odd, it being a courthouse and all, but then these guys came out.....

Right, so something was definitely going on. We had all been waiting outside for about 30 minutes, and I was hopeful we would be excused from jury selection. No such luck. But this guy showed up:

I don't think he got any interesting footage. I guess the dogs didn't find anything, but I heard later it was the second bomb threat this month. That's nice. Especially nice, when after three dogs spent a total of 10 minutes in a 12-story building they considered it completely safe and drove us all into the building like cattle.

EIGHT HOURS LATER....... I left the courthouse as one of the rejected ones. Praise the day.

Now, what to do with the 44 cents per mile that they're going to pay me for the day...?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Words

Journaling. Deal with it. Some people scrapbook, I blog.

This week Grayden has been saying multiple new words every day.
He tried to say his own name, "Dayda"
He randomly switched yesterday from calling me Mama to calling me Mimi. We'll see how long that sticks.
HE said rainbow "aybo"
He said ice, a new favorite of his. But he can't/won't say eyes. Go figure.
"Ow" is also still a favorite, but he had never said it before the dreaded doctors appt.
He says cheese now, but it sounds a lot like Jesus which he's been saying for weeks. Whatev.
Peach is "sheesh". So cute.
He's started saying "bock bock" for every animal sound he doesn't know, like giraffe and zebra. But he's good on lion, fish, sheep, dog, horse, snake, monkey, duck, chicken (obviously), elephant, and cow. Cat and bird and frog he just signs instead.
He calls the book Hop on Pop "boppa bop". Close enough.
He stopped saying football. So sad since this would be the perfect week for that one. It was never very well pronounced anyway, but it was consistent. He just signs it now.
Corn dogs, his favorite food, he calls "kaka". Ironic.

Parenting is an enigma, in that it is a unique relationship where you can go from thinking no person ever loved their child as much as you, to being ready and willing to give that child to those other people who love their children. I'll never understand it.

Poor Bellagio

Remember that little water show at the Bellagio? Where water moved around in time with swanky songs like "Big Spender"? Well, that's in the past. I just saw Disney's California Adventure's World of Color show and now the Bellagio is just a faded memory.

If you haven't seen it yet, let me try to help you picture it. You've seen the Bellagio, right? Well, make that space about 4 times bigger.....then add technicolor, lights, lasers, high definition, blu-ray, widescreen, surround sound, 3-D, and Disney. Maybe some pixie dust. Voila! Are you picturing it? Pretty sweet, right? I mean, Buzz and Zurg have an all-out battle that looks so real it makes you feel around for a weapon to protect yourself .....and they do this all with water.

I'm not saying it's in the same league as Fantasmic, a show too dear to my heart to ever have competition. But I was highly entertained.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


What to do? I'm right in the middle of Kane and Abel, a book club book that I'm quite enjoying, but Mockingjay came out yesterday and Nate bought it for many good books! I feel so confused :) If I could only find a babysitter so I could read uninterrupted for an entire day, I could probably get through them both. Any takers???



I guess I'm on my own, then. Two hours of nap time ahead of me, I have to decide quickly.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Toddler's Malice

Grayden had his doctor's appointment today, he is 16 months this week. He did really well, charmed the doctor and stayed about 70th percentile in height and 50th in weight. Then he had to get 4 shots. One in each leg and each arm. The nurse did it as quickly as she could, but as you can imagine, he was very unhappy about it. He cried a minute and then I offered him the fruit snacks I had brought for that exact purpose. It mostly worked and other than a few more whimpers and pointing to his biceps, he recovered.

As I walked out of the room, I saw the nurse there, and remembered that I didn't get the printout of the height and weight charts. I asked her if she would get them for me, and when she looked up and said she would, Grayden, who I was holding at the time, gave her a big scowl and said, "Ow". She laughed at that, but then quickly apologized to him, that she was just doing her job. She left to get the printout and we waited at the door of the room, talking fora few minutes to another aide who was in the hallway. Grayden was all smiles. When she brought it back, Grayden saw her and frowned and again said "Ow". He apparently holds a grudge. And never forgets a face.

I hope these qualities aren't long term.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mommy's Little Helper

It's amazing how tuned in Grayden is. Anytime I need a little assistance, he's right there helping out.

Driving the car:

Clipping coupons:

Mowing the lawn

And assisting me with my bowling game:

(The movie was not sideways when I downloaded it)

I can only imagine what he'll "help" me with tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Today Grayden has....
ripped a page out of Nate's scriptures,
scattered formerly organized coupons all over the kitchen,
cut and bruised the area right between his eyes,
eaten bird poop,
splashed the bathroom into a flooded mess,
taken all the neatly folded clothes out of his drawers,
taken a bite out of a candle,
had three stinky diapers,
and that was all before lunchtime.

Bless me to get through this day.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Yesterday was my 28th birthday. It's a big one, I know :) That was my favorite joke of the day, any time someone asked me how old I was or if I felt different I would say, 28, that's the most important birthday of your life! It's a joke, obviously, because what a pointless age! Is there anything interesting about 28 years of age? Hm. Nope. I say this in a happy, light-hearted manner, but I look forward to be 29. At least that is one year away from being 30, and that's exciting.

Wait, I take most of that back. There is one thing about this age that is interesting. This is the year of my 10 year high school reunion. And that realization had the opposite effect on me than I thought it would......I feel so young when I think that I only graduated from high school ten years ago. I'm such a baby! High school is where punk teenagers go, and I was there only 10 years ago? Young. That makes me feel ridiculously young.

Anyway, back to yesterday. I felt like the weather was a great present, because it was so overcast and about 30 degrees cooler than normal and barely drizzling, so after breakfast I took Grayden outside to play in the backyard, something we haven't been able to do for weeks and weeks, and I sat on a lawn chair and he ran around and it was so, so nice. Happy Birthday to me. Then the day went as normal, we had to sing the birthday song about 150 times because Nate hung up the birthday sign and Grayden knows exactly what it means and wanted to sing the song every time he saw to try to get his mind off of that song I taught him how to play ring around the rosies and he liked it so much we had to do that 150 times. Back to the birthday song.

Nate invited some close family and friends over to the house for some fabulous red velvet cake and good conversation. It was a pleasant day.

NOW, onto the best part. If I'm going to blog, I like to have a picture, so I emailed Nate this morning and asked if he would send me the pictures he took while I blew out the candles. He took out his iphone when he brought the cake out last night, and honestly something like this went through my head:

"Oh, that's nice of him to take some pictures. Since we can't find our camera battery I didn't think there would be pictures, which I normally wouldn't care about, but since we had Grayden we only have pictures of him, so it will be nice to see what I looked like at this time, and not just Grayden."

Then the emails start to come from Nate. Ready for the pics? Be so excited, this is me turning 28! Remember, the most important birthday of your life.

Am I the only one who thinks that is hilarious??? Old habits die hard, I guess. And of course in the one picture of me I am making a goofy face at Grayden. Wow. We are so pitiful.

On a completely unrelated note, how long does a normal dishwasher usually run? We always start ours at night before bed, but we forgot last night and so Nate started it this morning...and it is still's been 4.5 hours. That can't be good.

Monday, July 19, 2010

9 to 5

9 years ago, I met this man:

5 years ago, I married this man:

Today I celebrate my wedding anniversary with these men:

And life is good. Really good. Look at could it not be?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I deserve a medal.

With a big inscription that says, "Bad Mother Award".

Grayden has been sick on and off for two weeks. He's such a happy little guy that sometimes it's hard to tell how sick. He's had a fever coming and going, a rash on his face, some sadder than normal days, but they've all been interspersed with days that he seems to feel fine. Since our health insurance improves dramatically in August, and the kid didn't seem to be getting worse, we've been thinking the culprit is a dumb stubborn virus. Hm. Monday his fever went back up to 103 but then Tuesday he seemed fine.

This morning Grayden woke up crying, screaming, and didn't stop for one hour. He has at least four bruises on his head from throwing himself on the floor in huge fits. The best part? My car that I took in two weeks ago and paid a small fortune to fix the mediocre a/c apparently did not get fixed and officially had NO a/c starting Sunday, so we had to take it back into the stupid shop. (Never, ever, go to Tempe Honda. Ever.) So I have no car and a crazy baby who is in danger of giving himself brain damage. Nate had to come home from work and pick us up, take us to the doctor (finally) where we learn Grayden has strep throat.

Go ahead, say it. I brought this wonderful day upon myself. Yep.

**And I left out the part where Nate got a speeding ticket on the way to the doctor's office. Joy.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Nate!

I never thought I'd love a 30 year old man.

But I do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I don't use a credit card very often. I don't have a good reason, the free flights and Disney dollars are great when I actually do use them, I just have my debit card in my front wallet pocket and it's become a habit to grab and swipe that one. Probably a good thing in the end. Other than big purchases that I know I'll just pay off the next month and get granddaddy size rewards, I'm a debit girl. Anyway, I've been using my Disney card recently because we are planning a trip to D-land in August and I want the bucks. It's nice to not have to pay for food on these trips.

I'm mentioning this because while paying bills I saw that I had a bill from my Disney credit card...a little unusual for us.... and for a moment I forgot I had been using it all month, for groceries and our trip to Vegas. I honestly wondered if someone had stolen my card.....not a great feeling. No worries, I quickly remembered and all is well. But as I opened the bill, I saw an interesting little grid. I hardly ever open my credit statements when they come, I remember what I bought and pay it off, no need to review it. But I am positive this is a relatively new graph they have added to their statements. I don't think I've ever seen it before. Do you know what I'm talking about? It tells you how long it will take to pay the entire balance if you only pay the minimum required payment. It's INSANE.

You may all know this. Surely we've all been warned about consumer debt, but this really did shock me. For a balance of $533.72 it would take me 8 YEARS to pay it off! And if I paid double the minimum balance (whoopee) it would take 3 years! That's a car loan, folks.

So, I paid the full amount, and then I gingerly placed the bill in my "paid" file and made a silent vow to only charge to a credit card what I know I can pay off the next month. Scary stuff.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Workin' at the Car Wash

Just don't tell my sister he's washing a car in the Kenneth Cole outfit she gave him.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mixed Signals.

Nate had to buy Gray a new bib. We left his only one in Washington, then when we bought him a new one we left that one in Vegas. Very responsible of us, I know.

I like to buy him those plastic heavy duty ones that you wipe off and use over and over, so when Nate went to buy him his third bib, that's what he came home with...or so he thought. He actually bought one that is almost a shirt, it has arm holes so the bib covers the shoulders. Whatever, it fulfills it's purpose. Even better, I read the label and it says in big bold letters:

Machine Wash!! That means when it gets really nasty I can just throw it in the washer without having to spend precious minutes scrubbing the thing with steel wool. Or can I? On the back of that very same label, we have the Care Instructions:

I'm confused. Really confused. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but that seems like conflicting reports to me. To use "Machine wash" as a selling point and then instruct people to NOT machine wash? It says the same thing in Spanish, too, so it's not a typo.

Alas. Break out the steel wool.

Monday, June 14, 2010


If you haven't ever played Mall Madness, you are seriously missing out. Nate and I played that game together last night. Three times in a row. We thoroughly enjoyed it!

It was kind of a random Sunday. In addition to playing Mall Madness for the first time, we also made coconut milk together. We got two coconuts in our bountiful basket and turned them into yummy coconut milk for some future Thai recipes. So excited!

I took Grayden to the church meeting formerly known as a farewell for the guy who was my "husband" in the last show I was in. I realized how spoiled I am always having Nate next to me in church to help with Gray. Without him there, I was sweating when the meeting was over. On my mission there was a mother of four kids under the age of 6 whose husband was the bishop, and she had to deal with all of them by herself. I have a new respect for her.

Blogging may take a back seat for a bit. In the next 5 weeks we've got Father's Day, a cousin's wedding reception in Vegas, Nate's birthday, the Fourth, our fifth anniversary, and my birthday. Gotta love July. If I'm really on top of things, I'll blog about all of these events as they happen with excellent pictures to could happen.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


You deserve one.

First, the new title picture was changed to one that more closely represents our life. A picture of me and Nate alone and carefree, laughing on a hike up the mountain certainly doesn't apply quite as well as the little guy terrorizing the house. Much more appropriate.

And the next explanation is to let you all know why we aren't living in Vegas yet, since we were supposed to go in May....then June......then in 2 to 3 months.......and finally, the move is planned for November. Actually, there is not much of an explanation, the company just changed their plans. And ours, by default. I'm betting things will change again in a week or two. We'll keep all interested parties posted, but for now, we're staying in Phoenix for....a bit.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Party Heartily

I never posted Grayden's birthday party pictures. I made two round cakes, one for the adults and one for the birthday boy. He also got Ramen for dinner, his favorite food. Those things plus a balloon and the (Anderson) traditional Happy Birthday sign and box of cereal concluded the festivities.

Most of the pictures show him with one or both hands in the air, because Nate kept trying to teach him to put up one finger when asked how old he is. Also, you can mock me about the number of pictures, but I didn't take them. My sister and her husband were visiting from China and they took them. I may or may not have threatened them with their lives to get a good one, but you can't prove that.

I think it'll be a good year for him.