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Showing posts from February, 2008

Happy Leap Day!

I just realized that I'd better write something today, since I won't have an opportunity to post on February 29th for another four years. We celebrated today by going to Costco. It was actually a bad idea since we just got our tax return and I was feeling spendy. Thankfully I really didn't do much damage to the budget; my biggest splurges were an Easter dress for S-Boogie and a new Crock Pot. We've been looking for an Easter dress for a while, so it wasn't an entirely unplanned purchase. I liked it, she liked it, and I didn't want to have to drive all the way back up to Costco next week just to buy a dress. The Crock Pot was also somewhat planned; I had a coupon for ten dollars off and had just planned to look at it. I've been debating replacing our Crock Pot for several years now. It works, but shortly after we got it the knob broke off and it's really difficult to change the setting. Usually I have to get pliers out to grip the little plastic stub on …

I'm still here

I often think "it's been a while since I posted on my blog", and then I go look and realize that it's only been a day or two. I have an entire folder of bookmarked articles labeled "blog fodder" that I hope to someday rant about, but for some reason I never get around to doing it. Instead I dash off random entries when I feeling cranky or excited about something and feel like I never say what I really wanted to.

This entry is another one of those catching-up sort of things. February is almost over; it's not quite spring, but the last two weeks (almost) have been sunny and warmer. Trees and flowers are starting to bloom and the earth is waking up. It will still be cool here for quite a while, but the increased light and green are really helping my brain out.

I'm going to Davis next Thursday and Friday for a visit. I feel really weird--like my first day in the MTC or driving home from the hospital with S-Boogie in the backseat. I have a new label--"…

Transistion to Vegetarianism

When I was about 12 or 13, I spent a lot of time at the library reading magazines. I would go to the library at least once a week, and my routine never varied. First I'd stop off at the young adult fiction shelf and grab four or five books. Then I'd look at the new books shelf to see if anything looked good. After that I'd browse my favorite areas of non-fiction: marine biology, art history, paranormal phenomena, or cookbooks. Finally I'd sit in the back and read a few magazines. For some reason one day I was reading a parenting magazine and there was an article about teenagers becoming vegetarians. I'm easily persuaded, so I decided to become a vegetarian. My desire only lasted a few weeks; I do remember checking this book out from the library and feeling really lost by all of the technical jargon.

I've never really considering being a vegetarian since that point. I did grow up in a house where we ate meat somewhat sparingly and ate lots of fresh vegetables, wh…

Heart of Stone

Shortly after we moved in here I got a phone call from someone soliciting money on behalf of Navy veterans. I agreed to donate twenty-five dollars, since my dad is a Navy veteran and has spent some time overseas before. Apparently that was a bad idea, because despite the fact that each time they call they tell me "we only bug you once a year" it feels like a lot more often than that. Even though they seem to call only once a year for each different cause, I get a new phone call every few weeks for something different. It's obviously some kind of call center, but they don't have very good internal communication. They're very pushy and can't understand why I won't pledge the small amount of twenty-five dollars for their charity. I would, except that if I gave that much every time they called I would go broke fast. Plus I prefer to spend more time thinking about where I'm going to give my money and I'm unlikely to donate to someone on the spur of the…

Food Fight

When S-Boogie started eating solid food I made the decision to let her determine how much she was going to eat. Several books I read and the nutrition class I attended told me the same thing: you decide what they eat, the child decides how much. I feel like I've done a good job offering her regular, healthy meals and snacks. And mostly we have had stress-free eating because sometimes she chooses to eat and sometimes she doesn't. I learned to offer her small portions so I didn't worry about wasting too much food, and we have times that are for eating and times that aren't so that she isn't just snacking all day. The system seems to be working for Little Dude too.

Unfortunately now I have a preschooler. And over the last few months I feel like we've evolved into being the parents I didn't want to be. We find ourselves bargaining over how many bites she has to eat before leaving the table, bribing with the promise of dessert if she'll clean her plate, forci…

Pride

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This is one of the Cherry Cheescake Cupcakes I made for our ward dinner last night. They turned out pretty good and I thought they looked great too. They also got me thinking about pride, because while I was making the cupcakes I kept thinking about how I was making the coolest dessert for the party and that everyone would be talking about how wonderful and unique it was. I will admit that I did think of making the cupcakes because I like cheesecake and they are a festive dessert. But I also wanted to make them because they are impressive and I wanted to be noticed and praised by others. I've done this other times; I've realized that sometimes when I prepare meals for people I try hard to think of something unique and special that will make them think of me as a fabulous cook. My motives are often mixed, and I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way. While I was in the MTC, the mother of one of my companions sent laminated copies of President Benson's talk o…

The wheat of my bread

We had a pretty decent Valentine's day--although I spent most of the day running around feeling like I was half an hour behind. I got up and got ready to go to the gym, but then decided to post something Valentiney for Mr. Fob on my blog. By the time I finished I was ten minutes late for meeting my friend, so I just assumed she had already gone to the gym and headed over there. When she wasn't there I thought that she had decided not to exercise. Then she walked in and I felt dumb for not checking to make sure she was still waiting at her house. After I got home I had a crazy morning with the kids. Mr. Fob was too busy to bathe them on Wednesday night, so I got to do baths and get them ready for the day by myself. Thankfully Little Dude had playgroup and then he took a decent nap so the middle of the day went well. When S-Boogie got home from school she helped me make some sugar cookies to take to my class that night. She was also very sweet and shared her candy with Little Du…

Happy Heart Day

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This picture is just one example of why I love Mr. Fob. It's a decoration he made for our window the other week. S-Boogie wanted him to help her decorate for Valentine's Day; he helped her make some simpler stuff, but of course he whips out the big guns and produces some sort of professsional-level paper cutting. Last night he went to the drugstore to buy Valentines for S-Boogie's class and just couldn't do it. I'm too lazy and would have given in to the commercial fluff. Instead I came home to find him and S-Boogie finishing up making twenty hand-crafted valentines. He's such a good daddy. That's one thing I'm most grateful for--he's a good parent, and especially in the areas where I'm not so great. I feel like we really play off each other's strengths and weaknesses. And I don't just love him because he's a good father; he's a good husband too. Being married isn't always easy, but I know he tries and we have been very happ…

Under Pressure

Since I typed that title I'm going to have the Queen song stuck in my head all day. Just what I need when I'm already stressed out. This morning I got two more emails from UC Davis. The first was inviting me down for a visit. Completely paid for by the department. They want to show me around, have me sit in on classes, and schmooze me. I've never been schmoozed before. Then I got an email from the same person who emailed me last week. I had sent her a short reply indicating that I was flattered by the offer but not yet ready to commit because I was waiting to hear from two more schools. She wanted to let me know that they only admit around six students per year and that they are prepared to support me through my studies with fellowships and teaching assistantships. Oh, and they have an excellent placement rate. I am officially freaking out right now.

I don't know if I should just give in and tell them "yes" to take the pressure off or if I should wait and see …

Enviro-Guilt

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This is a giant plastic bag full of dirty diapers. It smells pretty bad. Every week when I haul the giant bag of plastic diapers wrapped in more plastic out to the trash can I feel terrible. I was blessed to grow up with a mother who was very environmentally conscious. Some of my earliest memories include gathering newspapers to take to the recycling center. Mr. Fob and I also make a big effort to be environmentally friendly. I walk to the grocery store; he walks to school and often takes the bus to run other errands. I probably could take the bus more often but I tend to wimp out when trips involve the kids. I also feel guilty each night as I drive back and forth to work by myself. But we do recycle everything we can and I almost always remember to bring my own grocery bags to the store. So the plastic diapers are one of the major things contributing to my environmental responsibility right now. The truth is, at this point in Little Dude's life it really wouldn't be too hard …

Answers

I feel like I've had a lot of people asking questions about thing in my comments and I haven't been very good about following up on them. So, here goes:

1. I didn't buy either of the things from Eddie Bauer. I really don't need a new dress or new pants right now, and after reevaluating my budget I decided to err on the side of fiscal responsibility. I'd rather have more money for moving later this year than a new dress right now. But, if anyone out there actually needs and can afford new clothes I wanted to let you know since that is an amazing sale.

2. Tonight we had friends over and made the Greek food highlighted here by STM. It was awesome. I bought cucumber sauce from Trader Joe's instead of making it myself, and I didn't make the potatoes, but the rest of the dinner was fabulous. I love gyros, Greek salad, and rice pilaf. Can't wait for lunch tomorrow.

3. Haven't heard anything back from other schools yet (UC Berkeley and U Oregon). Still kind of…

Just Say No

I've discovered that a great way to save money is to never look at catalogs. For several year now I've thrown away catalogs without even looking at them. If you don't see it, you're not going to want it. Unfortunately I've gotten in a bad habit at looking up some of my favorite stores online. I just found out today that this is the last week Eddie Bauer is having their winter stuff on clearance. I bought these pants in brown a few weeks ago and I am in love with them. I'm seriously considering ordering them in gray. Twenty dollars is a great price for quality pants, especially since they come in petite. If any of you need new pants, you should buy them. They are fabulous! Then I found this dress and now I'm really trying to talk myself out of it. Having a job makes it so much easier to justify impulse shopping, although I still can't afford stuff like this. I'm supposed to be saving up for new shoes!

A Surprising Email

I just got an email in my inbox. It was from UC Davis. They are "delighted" to accept me into their program in Comparative Literature, are "impressed by [my] credentials" and are certain that I would "thrive in this environment". I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. For a while I've been really debating about doing the PhD or not, but this makes me feel excited. I still need to hear back from Oregon and Berkeley before I make up my mind, but Davis has a lot of good things going for it.

We were justdoing a little research on the web and it seems like Davis would be a nice place to live. It's a smaller city, has good environmental and transportation options, and decent weather. I'm not a fan of the hot summers, but it apparently has mild winters and at this point we're both tired of freezing to death for six months out of the year. It's also quite a bit closer to our families and to some of our friends (not right next door, unfor…

I need some answers

Little Dude, why have you suddenly decided that 6:30 is a great time to wake up? And why does that make you so cranky? We don't like being awakened in the pitch black early morning by shrieking. It's obviously not working for you either since you spend the rest of the morning whining and acting sleepy.

S-Boogie, why is going to the bathroom such a difficult thing to do? Why is it easier to just wait for hours and hours until you wet your pants? Why did I find the toilet full of pee this morning with no evidence of toilet paper? And why did you freak out when I asked you to go back and flush and wash your hands? I wasn't accusing you of a major crime, just a lack of basic hygiene.

Both of you, why does the fact that Mommy wants a little privacy in the bathroom or a few minutes to eat breakfast induce such angst? Why can't I just blow dry my hair or eat a bowl of cereal without two bawling children clinging to my leg?

The blessings of thriftiness

I don't know if I've mentioned in earlier grocery shopping posts, but one way I save money and have fun while shopping is by using the day-old bakery rack at my store. Not all stores have one, but usually hidden somewhere in the back is a rack with day-old goodies that are half-price. Pastries are sometimes kind of gross by the next day or two, but I usually don't buy them anyway. I love picking up some fun, fancy bread to eat with dinner or a nice loaf of French bread to turn into french toast. Most breads are still fine for a few days after the sell-by date, and if they're getting a bit stale I just butter them and toast them under the broiler. This afternoon I got a loaf of some fabulous rosemary bread from La Brea Bakery. It was so yummy, I could have eaten the whole loaf myself.

Also we had another great experience at Deseret Industries today. I've been meaning to get the kids new coats for a while now since theirs are both starting to get small. I had planned…

Reading Roundup: January

A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

This book shows how something potentially boring--a massive class-action lawsuit that takes years to get through the court system--can be quite interesting if written about well. I have little interest in law or the court system and yet this book managed to keep me awake and reading. I also learned a lot about why lawyers don't always make a lot of money and why big lawsuits don't do much for social change.

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

Truth and Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett

I'm grateful to whoever made the recommendation that I read these books together. They are both beautiful books and their story is heartbreaking. I found Lucy's memoir especially compelling; her writing turns it into something that's not just about surviving cancer. The book seemed to be about so much more, and Ann's story of their friendship filled in the missing pieces and complemented the other story so well.

Longitude by Dava Sobel

This was a …