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Showing posts from November, 2006

Homemade Baby Food: Easy as 1-2-3

Any time I mention the fact that I make my own baby food, people tend to be rather impressed. The truth is, I'm not so much ambitious as I am cheap. I actually don't buy organic fruits and veggies and I'm lazy enough that I don't make my own applesauce or baby cereal. With S-Boogie I did make my own cereal, but this time around I don't care. I like the nutritional assurance that comes with fortified commercial cereal, and when I can find it I'm going to buy the whole grain kind. The last time I went to the store they were out of stock. So, the baby food making. All you need is a blender, a few ice cube trays (I have some I bought just for baby food), and freezer bags. Oh, and a marker to write on the bags. It doesn't take that much time or that much money at all. For instance, the other day I bought 3 sweet potatoes. They were on sale for a dollar a pound (probably cheaper in Utah, but that's cheap for here). I took those sweet potatoes home, peeled the…

Six months old!

Little Dude's milestones seem to be marked by unusual weather patterns. His birth was on an unseasonably cold May Sunday, and today Seattle is enjoying freezing cold temperatures and snow. Perhaps for his birthday we'll have a hurricane or something. The last few months have flown by and I find it hard to believe that we're now on the downward slope to one year old. Over the last few weeks Little Dude has really started to look and act like an older baby. He doesn't get as much floor time as he probably should, since he's kind of needy about being held and he has a little sister who likes to express her love by dropping things on him. But, when he does get down on the floor he is getting very good at rolling all over and grabbing things. Lately he's developed an obsession with grabbing anything within his reach, so I have to really be on my toes. I wore him in the snugli to a Thanksgiving potluck, and when I looked down he had grabbed a big chunk of ham off my …

Another thing I am grateful for

The other day my sister sent me an interesting email. She is volunteering with the Peace Corps and was describing some of the difficulties women face in her country. One of their biggest problems is ignorance about women's health issues and access to contraception and proper health care for women. If I lived there, my first birth experience probably would have killed me, and if it hadn't, my second surely would have. I have often thought that I am grateful to live in this time period because of the medical care I've received, but it was sobering to realize that many women who live on the Earth today are not as blessed as I am.

Besides the medical care issue, I am very grateful that I have access to contraception and am able to use it. This issue has been on my mind for a while; a few months ago the New York Times Magazine ran an interesting article about the fact that many evangelicals seem to be jumping on the "anti-contraception" platform that was recently reaff…

Coat Story

I have a new coat.

Do you have a new coat?

I have a new coat.

Yes, this morning we broke our yearly tradition of avoiding stores on the day after Thanksgiving. Master Fob had to take some shoes back to Sears and we had a little cash from the sale of his comic books, so we bought him a new watch, the kids a new diaper bag (our other one bit the dust the other day), and me a new coat. This is really only the fourth or fifth coat I've owned in my life, as far as I can remember. When I was small we lived in San Diego, and I never needed a coat. We moved to Idaho for a few years and I remember owning a puffy pink coat and groovy light blue moonboots. Then we moved back to California and I didn't wear a coat on a very regular basis. At some point during high school I acquired a dark green jacket from Land's End. When we moved to Maryland during my senior year of high school, this coat came in very handy. It accompanied me to Utah and served me well for three years of college. Along…

Happy Thanksgiving

Although I was feeling a bit sad about being far from family, we ended up having a very enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday this year. Master Fob had all day Wednesday off as well as Thursday, so we spent Wednesday cleaning our house, baking pie, and enjoying our new DVD set of Season Eight of the Simpsons ("Bart! Where did you get that shirt?" "I dunno, it just came out of the closet.") Yesterday we cooked up a Thanksgiving feast. Well, the plan was for Master Fob to help, but these days any two person job really means that one of the people will be in charge of supervising the children. So cooking by myself was actually a break from what I usually do all day. I felt kind of silly cooking all that food for just our little family, but it was fun and everything turned out tasty. We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, marshmallow sweet potatoes, sauteed green beans, strawberry jello, rolls, and pumpkin pie. I did take a few shortcuts--the stuffing was Stove T…

5 Reasons I Love Master Fob

These are not the only five, but since today we celebrate five years of marriage I thought I'd pick that number:

1. He's an awesome daddy to our kids.
2. He works hard and makes a good impression at every job he has.
3. He always looks and smells good, even first thing in the morning.
4. He has a great sense of humor; after five years we still haven't used up all of our "your mom" jokes.
5. He supports me in whatever I want to do, whether it's going to grad school or trying out for Jeopardy! or even making chocolate chip cookies three times a week.

Happy Anniversay!

Things I am thankful for this week

Warm apple cake with butter sauce

Cool friends who stop by while they are in town

A working washing machine

Living in Family Housing where they have playgroups and potlucks and other fun things

Nice people at church who hold my baby

My brown corduroy skirt I got at D.I.

Two days in a row without rain

Split pea soup made with the ham bone

The day-old bakery table that has gourmet rolls for half-off

Flowers from Master Fob

Adverbs by Daniel Handler

Baby talk

Toddler giggles

Don't ever wake a sleeping baby...

...or three-year-old. I just went in to put Little Dude down in his crib (yay, he's taking a nap). S-Boogie is actually sleeping in her bed today too. Unfortunately, she's sleeping in a poopy, leaking pull-up. I know it's leaking because she went to sleep without her pants on. So I just carefully put her pants back on to contain the mess, and she kept sleeping. Yeah, I'm a naughty mommy. But she's taking a nap and so is he, and I'll deal with the leaking diaper when she wakes up. Maybe she'll sleep until Master Fob comes home and then he can deal with it. Oh, I am truly evil.

Happiness for $2.99

I have always been a little hesitant to use air fresheners. Sometimes it can be a nice touch in a bathroom, but sometimes instead of covering up the smell you end up with a bad mix of flowers and poop. But when S-Boogie was tiny and I was looking for a nightlight for her room, I happened upon the fabulous Glade Plug-Ins with nightlight. I plugged it in next to the diaper pail and voila--happy smell and pleasant nightlight in one handy package. At some point over the last few years the air freshener migrated to the bathroom and sometimes I manage to remember to get refills for it. The other day in Target I noticed Glade's new "holiday" fragrances and decided I liked the smell of the "Glistening Snow" candle. I bought some refills, came home and plugged them in. Later that day I walked by the bathroom and stopped short. It smelled wonderful! The package states that this particular scent combines the aroma of "fresh-cut wood and warm holiday spices". It …

They definitely have my business

As I might have mentioned before, our apartment is only steps away from a large outdoor shopping center. Most of the stores are way out of our budget (Pottery Barn, Coach, etc.), but they have a big nice grocery store that is just a short jaunt across the parking lot. When I first shopped there I quickly realized that it is probably a little too upscale for starving students. They have a custom sushi bar in the deli section, for instance. We have ended up shopping there most of the time, however, simply for the sake of not having to take our car to go anywhere else. And since I shop with the sales and stock up on some stuff at Costco, it's really not hurting our budget much. A few weeks ago we discovered the biggest reason to shop there: in-store child care. Yes, child care at the grocery store. They have a little "kids club" where kids can hang out for up to an hour while their parents shop. I'd noticed it the first time I was there, but felt weird about using it. T…

Baby clothes with a message

Today Little Dude is wearing a cute, warm outfit that happens to have the following message written across the front: "My Favorite Things: Basketball, Dinosaurs, and Really Fast Cars". He has a lot of clothes that proclaim things about himself, like that he's an "All Star" an "MVP" and even a "Little Lumberjack". I think it's kind of strange how we project our own ideas onto babies like that. Maybe it's because they are so mute and so neutral that we want them to start taking sides. When I went to my conference last month one of the other grad students who went with us brought her baby as well. Her little girl is just a few weeks older than Little Dude, and one day we dressed them both in jeans and matching T-shirts that said "La Vida es Sueno" (the shirts were given to all the grad students with kids by some cool professors of ours). It was funny to see people's reactions--despite the fact that the babies looked exactl…

I never thought poop would be so important in my life

This week we moved S-Boogie from regular diapers into pull-ups (aka "panty diapers"). We still aren't to the official potty training point, because she's realized rather quickly that she can still just pee in her pull-up and it's no different from peeing in a diaper. We're planning on doing "potty boot camp" in a few weeks when Master Fob will be home for a while and can help out. It should go a little better for all of us with Daddy here helping. I mainly switched to the pull-ups because she's been asking more often to go potty and they're easier to deal with than regular diapers. I've been trying to remember to ask her to go potty often during the day, but I haven't been very good about reminding her. We are getting in the habit of sitting on the potty before naptime though. On Tuesday she pooped in the potty for the very first time, right before naptime. Yesterday and Wednesday she simply pooped in her pull-up rather than telling …

Ten Reasons Why I'm Not a Fashionista

1. I don't wear any jewelry besides my wedding ring. Once upon a time I wore earrings and even sometimes necklaces, but I haven't done either for years. I've always hated bracelets.

2. Those tall leather boots with big heels really scare me.

3. Actually, I don't like to wear any shoes with heels. I prefer not to wear shoes at all, so the less shoe the better.

4. I like to wear jumpers. With white cotton knee-highs underneath to keep my legs warm. I don't really like to wear shirt and skirt combos, so I'm counting down until Little Dude stops nursing so I can wear dresses to church again.

5. I hate wearing makeup and I have no idea how to put it on. I will sometimes wear some powder, mascara and lip gloss if I want to be "fancy" and distract people from looking at my zits.

6. I don't like wearing black clothes. I don't like white clothes either, because I'm always afraid of getting them dirty.

7. I hate layering clothes, so I've never gotten …

Book Reviews: The Cone of Memory

In the Name of Salomeby Julia Alvarez

I read Alvarez's other, more famous, book In the Time of the Butterflies a few years ago, and wasn't very impressed. For whatever reason, I just didn't like it very much. I saw this one on the library shelf the other day and grabbed it because it was the only decent-looking choice and I didn't have time to look for a better one. It turns out that I really liked it. Maybe it's because I've learned more about Caribbean history and women's writing; maybe just because it's a good read. I also found the format intriguing: it alternates chapters between the life of a mother and the life of a daughter, with the daughter's chronology running backward and the mother's running forward until they meet up in the end. I liked how anecdotes were alluded to and interwoven throughout the book, creating a full picture of the generations of a family. Sometimes the names and chronology can get a bit confusing, but this seems to…

Surfacing

I hesitate to even say it for fear that it won't last, but lately I'm starting to feel like my brain is stabilizing a bit. I know a lot of my struggles the last few months have been due to hormones and external stressors like having a baby, moving, and dealing with all the upheaval of Master Fob's jobs and school (and my school), etc... Life seems to be evening out a little more; if nothing else, I know we'll be here for a while and so I don't have the terrible anxiety about the future that I was living with for most of this year. Little Dude is still pretty cranky and I often feel kind of trapped by his neediness, but I'm learning to plan my days better and to do a better job of self-evaluation of my thoughts and reactions. S-Boogie's behavior is still a big source of stress, but Master Fob and I are searching for solutions. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour and going walking several times a week are proving surprisingly helpful. I still haven't made…

Today we're happy

Well, I watched myself on camera and I did not die. I sound a lot like my sister, I think. I also didn't look at the camera much, but it was hard to tell where to look when they were filming. I was also relieved that our apartment didn't look too much like a dank little starving student hole (it's really not that bad, but it's kind of small and brown). Overall, I thought both segments were well done and that it was good coverage of this issue. I'm sure the Evergreen bit will be a little controversial--their position is hotly debated among gay Mormons. I like that she ended with words from Dr. Beckstead about how the important thing is to have realistic expectations going into a relationship and to explore all options.

One area of emphasis that I didn't like particularly was the fact that people keep focusing on the fact that we "struggle sometimes with intimacy". Um, which married couples out there don't? Sexual intimacy is a hard thing for partner…

15 more minutes of fame

Get your Tivo or your VCR ready: tomorrow night we're going to be on Fox 13 News at 9. I'm really getting nervous about this. We haven't seen the finished segment, but the taping did go well. The reporter who interviewed us was really nice and seemed genuinely interested in our story. I'm pretty sure it will be a positive segment, especially since she mentioned that already interviewed a man who tried marriage and didn't have it work out well (our section is part of a series about mixed-orientation marriages). I just hope that I didn't mumble too much or that I don't sound totally dopey. I sometimes feel a little uncomfortable because I don't think we have as much drama as people would like us to have. It's a pretty basic story; most of the turmoil has happened on the inside. But, I think that's also part of our point: we're normal people living fairly normal lives. I just hope that comes across on the television.

Happy Birthday Master Fob!

So I feel a little sad that Absent-minded Secretary wrote a better post about my husband than I did, but that doesn't mean I don't love him. He's pretty spectacular. Like for instance, I'm about to head out the door for my morning walk, and even though I know he'd rather sleep in, he's taking care of the other people in our house who have yet to learn the joys of sleeping past 7 AM. Thanks dear! I love you--I'll let you sleep in tomorrow. Happy, Happy Birthday!

The Bitter and the Sweet

My mom still likes chuckle about the fact that when I was four I announced one day "I don't ever want to get married and have babies--it's too much work!". Well, here I am, married and having babies, and it is a lot of work. There are a lot of days where I step back and can't believe that this is my life. I never really thought much about getting married while I was growing up. I found my journal from junior high, and in it I mused often about living alone on a remote island in Alaska studying whale migration patterns. I never babysat as a teenager and generally didn't like little kids very much. The honest truth is that I still only really like kids in small doses and am not a big fan of them, especially the ones who aren't related to me. Matrimony and maternalness weren't really part of my dreams as a youth. I think that part of this aversion to marriage was a defensive strategy; I've known since I was quite young that I'm not the type of pe…