Monday, December 10, 2007

Our New Philosophy

During some lunch-break Christmas shopping today the following was observed:

A mild mormon mom was in the long check out line of a book store trying to keep her two small boys at bay. The older boy, maybe 5 years old, soon spotted the candy display. While the store patrons patiently waited to make their purchases, this tot verbally debated with himself the pros and cons of spending his entire $4 allowance on one large, luscious, chocolate Santa. With sprinkles. Fortunately for the boy the store was understaffed, the line slow moving, and he had plenty of time to think things over. Finally, after a lot of consideration and with determined decisiveness the little one turned to his mom and said
"You know, having chocolate is better than having money. I'm going to get it."

Smart kid. We're going to try to adopt that way of thinking in our home this Christmas Season. We hope you do the same.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Case Study 11-2007

Location: Denver, CO. The Burgoyne Family Thanksgiving of 2007.

Study Testers: Mike and Shaina Burgoyne

Study Participants (Age in years): Madelynne (4), Eli (3), Hannah (2), and Leah (1).

Objective: To observe and note particular behavioral or environmental aspects concerned in the rearing of children in preparation for the testers eventual personal experience of raising offspring, which will occur at an undisclosed future date.

Study Notes:
- Despite the frequency of wiping, a 1 year old's face will never be clean of food, snot and/or drool for more than a 3 second time frame.
- In order to avoid chaos it is vital for the parenting factors to know and remember details such as: the color of each child's sippy cup, asking about hand washing, and whose turn it is next.
- Allowing the elder subjects to skip the afternoon slumber period, even if they are quiet during it, may result subsequently in a tantrum period equal in length to the slumber period missed, but extremely more severe in decibel levels.
- Suggesting to the subjects that they may only pick on someone smaller than them will be taken seriously.(Tester Mike's idea). The result is a domino like visual experience as the biggest pushes the second biggest and so forth until all have fallen.
- Interaction with female subjects will most likely involve princesses and rainbow unicorns and everyone will live happily ever after.
- Interaction with boy subject will always involve violence and destruction and everything being killed. Even the magical snowman.*

Study Results**:
It is wise that the subjects only become more complicated as they grow older and the parenting factors have had more time to expand their understanding of the nature of the rearing process. The testers have decided to move forward with continued studies on these subjects until they are more sufficiently prepared to enter the process themselves.

Foot Notes:
* This observation was reaffirmed when the 9 year olds in church made Christmas ornaments. The girls made sure their ornaments had as much sparkle and glitter as they could. The boys made theirs into daggers.

** May it be noted that despite the cost of preparing for and executing this study (both tester vehicles experiencing repair needs immediately before departure), the testers have agreed that regardless of the study results, this was one of the best Thanksgivings either of them have experienced and would like to thank all involved for the wonderful time.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

TheTerror and Torture of Halloween in Draper Utah

We didn't have extravagant plans for our first Halloween together, but what happened that night was more than unexpected. And for every one's sake, especially our own, we hope that it never happens again.

We had kicked off the our celebration of the haunting holiday innocently enough, by hosting the Second Annual Scary Dinner at the Groves home. This tradition of having a Sunday Family Dinner that resembles an array of weird, creepy and disgusting courses in an incredibly well balanced meal got it's start from a similar event Mike and his roommates would organize "back in the college days". It was well attended with witches, vampires, street punks, greasers, and one particularly strange and indescribable creature. We all at our fill of dead rats (calzones stuffed with sausage and cheese), Werewolf bellybuttons (meatballs), cat guts (baked potatoes), and chicken feet (yeah they really were chicken feet) finished with eyeballs for dessert (cupcakes with lifesavers). Check out the pictures, I'm still learning how to insert them the way I want.
But that was Sunday. Halloween was on Wednesday. Shaina spent the day at her office where the only hint that it was even a holiday was the pumpkin cookies in the breakroom and Shaina's black nail polish. The rest was business as usual. Mike's day at the office did include costumes, a pumpkin contest, and employee's kid's doing some cubicle trick or treating.

When they both got home they were looking forward to fighting off the cold October weather with a warm meal, a good movie, and the usual Halloween festivities.
Maybe it's because Draper is fairly young as far as Salt Lake City suburbs go. Maybe it's because a lot of the people moving into the new developments are out of state transplants, and those Californians are just used to doing things differently. It probably has nothing to do with the fact that the state penitentiary is just a short mile or two up the road, but that's something to think about anyway. Whatever the reason, Halloween this year was different than any other Halloween we have experienced.

Instead of the sweet youngsters knocking on doors asking for candy all night, we heard silence in the streets.

Instead of a spine-chilling thriller to watch in between candy distributing, the only thing we found to watch was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the original movie. (Which neither of us had seen before, now we remember why).
We should have known that something with the main character named Buffy was going to be bad. But we didn't expect the scariest part of a vampire movie to be the 80's formal dresses or Luke Perry's acting.
So this message goes out as a warning to all, that others might not suffer the same fate we did:

- Don't expect kids to come trick or treating to a bunch of cheap apartments when the surrounding neighborhoods are full of really big houses that probably give out full size candy bars.

- Don't rely on cable tv to provide the best selection of movies all the time. Plan ahead. Go to Blockbuster.

And most important of all:
- If you are living in the above mentioned cheap apartments and if you foolishly think that one or two trick or treaters might possibly come to your door, don't ever, ever buy the 5lb bag of your own favorite candy to hand out. It will only lead to genuine terror when you try to put on a pair of jeans the next weekend and real torture in the gym for the next month.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Of Mice and Men and Mike

I know the other Burgoyne Bloggers have fun stories about the cute things their kids do to entertain us. Well, I may not have kids, but I do have Mike to write about. Here is one of the most recent adventures in our house:

For the most part, things in our home have been slowing down and starting to take on a normal pace as we get more and more acclimated to married life. Life has been almost perfect, without a single problem or concern …. Until last week.
One night as we were cleaning up dinner, we noticed something - a sign that we were not as alone in our cozy home as we thought. In the back corner of the bread bag was a hole. Not a hole that had been torn or ripped. One that had been gnawed. And a good section of bread had been gnawed too. A small, evasive, germ carrying rodent was living somewhere in our house.
It was too late to do anything that night, so the vermin was granted another day of mortality as we went to bed. The next day was full of activity as we hurried to work and our regular activities. But it was also the first day of Will’s visit. This extra element of excitement was enough to push thoughts of the creature cohabiting with us to the back of our thoughts for almost the entire day. After work I was by myself, eating a quick dinner before heading to Orem. Then I saw it. It scurried under the table and behind a wall. I was startled and disgusted as the sight of the pest. But that turned to detestation as it mocked me by running past me again a few minutes later in the kitchen.
I bought a couple of traps as soon as I could and when we got home that night Mike helped me set them. I told him and Will that they were responsible for catching and destroying the unwanted guest. The next few days nothing happened except for the disturbed feeling I got thinking about a rodent living in my home. Saturday morning I left to run a few errands. When I got home, I could tell immediately that something had happened.
Mike and Will had been up watching a sports something or other when the creature decided to show off his audacious side to them too. Once the guys had actually seen the rodent, it was more than just setting traps and passively hoping he wanders into one.

Now it was war.
Man against Beast.
Technology versus Nature.
The Burgoyne Brothers standing up against all that is disgusting in the world.

With nothing but shoe boxes and tape they had made bigger and better traps than anything a store could provide. They had tracked the enemy down and located the main entry to its hide out. They weren’t waiting for the mere tablespoon of bait that was in the traps to lure it out, but had a whole quarter cup of Peanut Butter plopped in the middle of the kitchen floor for it to feast upon. I think if there was war paint, loin cloths and spears in the house, they would have used those too. They were men who had to protect their home and their loved ones. They were ready to fight.
The rest of the morning Mike paced through the apartment trying different military tactics to find and destroy the enemy vermin. There was the bait and traps of course, as well as an offensive assault into its headquarters with a broom, and chemical warfare as Febreeze and Windex fumes were misted into its suspected hiding places. Unfortunately, none of them were successful. The enemy had won this battle. But things weren’t over yet.
Well, they did go on pause for a bit. We didn’t spend much time in our apartment that weekend, so the whole war was put on hold. At least that’s what I thought. I think in Mike’s mind we were really using psychology as our next stratagem, convincing the rodent that we weren’t around so much, letting it feel comfortable again and regain some of the boldness it had before. Either way, it worked.
On Monday evening Mike came home to find both of the Home Depot traps had been triggered. In one, the rascal was able to get the bait and escape the trap. But in the second he must not have been as nimble, as Mike found his lifeless body stuck in the snare that was its ultimate doom.
Man had won.

Now life is back to its normal work, school, eat, sleep routine. But stay tuned. You never know what'll happen next!