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Showing posts from November, 2008

One Month of Blogging

Today is the last month of November, and I managed to write a post nearly every day this month. I'm trying to figure out if forcing myself to blog every day is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, I did produce a lot of content and got more practice in writing. On the other, I felt like many posts were rushed and created simply to fill a quota. I still have many post ideas rattling around in my head and have yet to sit down to put them on paper. And we'll still have to wait because the end of the quarter is here and I have serious work I need to get done. So I'm going to try and avoid frivolous uses of the computer for the next two weeks in hopes of getting my papers written. We'll see how well this works out.

Eating all the way

I meant to post a picture of our Thanksgiving feast, but I haven't had a chance to get it off the camera first. Plus the pictures are kind of boring because the food was kind of boring. It tasted good, but this year I went for traditional food over creative food. We had turkey, stuffing (from a box), mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes with streusel topping, cranberry sauce (from a can), rolls, and spinach salad with orange-poppy seed dressing. And I made pumpkin cake for dessert. It was good, but don't believe the recipe when it says it makes 6-8 servings; it's more like 16 to 18. We've been enjoying it for a few days now.

My parents got to town on Thursday afternoon right before dinner and we haven't stopped eating since. Friday morning we got up and went to a nearby Christmas tree farm to cut down a tree; they had free popcorn and cider. Then we went out for lunch at a very tasty burger place here in town. Thankfully we went for a little walk in the arboretum …

Today I'm Thankful For

Beautiful almond orchards

Fun Christmas tree farms with free popcorn and fun "sleigh" rides

California weather

My dad and his excellent photography skills

My generous mom who bought me a new nativity set, a bunch of Bath and Body Works soap, and is now taking my daughter out to see The Nutcracker tonight

A real Christmas tree--my room smells heavenly

Pumpkin cake for dessert (again) tonight

My stomach is going to explode

Thanksgiving went well; my parents got here on time, the turkey was tasty, and Little Dude ate only cranberry sauce for dinner. He was very cute asking everyone at the table, "can I have some cranberry sauce?" We've had a good day and now it's late, so I'd better get to bed and let things digest.

Christmas Meme

Is it just me, or are you all looking at the calendar and saying "holy crap, it's almost Christmas!" too? Thanksgiving is so late this year that I feel like December is creeping up on me. My mom sent this meme to me through email so I thought I'd put it on my blog:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Bags, because I'm terrible at wrapping

2. Real tree or artificial? Definitely real for the feel and smell

3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever we have time; depends on our vacation plans

4. When do you take the tree down? We've been trying to leave it up through Jan 6 (Three Kings Day), but that depends on when we get it. It usually needs to stay up through January 1

5. Do you like eggnog? It's OK--I like eggnog ice cream best.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmm, hard to remember just one specific gift. I liked getting a bike and I remember getting My Little Ponies at various times.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Two: a small one I bought at the BY…

The Letter of the Law

I'm tired and going to bed. That is all.

Egg Milk and Gingerbreadman Cake

During the last week I seem to have been bitten by the baking bug. It's probably a way to avoid thinking about my homework and it's definitely influenced by the sale items at the grocery store. Last Friday we made pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing that were absolutely divine. Then tonight for FHE treat we had gingerbread, with eggnog to drink. Although both kids liked the gingerbread, they didn't like the eggnog. Little Dude was delighted by the snowman on the carton, but they both thought it was 'spicy'.

The Thanksgiving menu is in place and my fridge is about ready to burst. Can't wait to cook that turkey and get it out of my fridge. Mr. Fob and I are also feeling the urge to make tasty appetizers like shrimp cocktail and cheese ball, but realize that this is foolish for a small family gathering. Then I had rememberd that my family tradition is to have a party for trimming the tree, so we'll probably do that on Saturday night. I'm already getting e…

Seeing the Future

This is something I've been thinking about for several months but have hesitated to put on my blog. I'm still not sure if I want to open it up for discussion, but I've talked to enough people in real life about the issue that it's time to come clean. I'm thinking about quitting grad school. Walking away from it all, and probably not going back. I actually started thinking about it this summer when I realized that I didn't feel all that excited about going. At the time I was unsure about whether it was just the discomfort of a new experience or if something deeper was going on. I've nearly finished one quarter and I still don't feel very excited about it.

Part of it is the adjustments in my life; I don't get to sit around and lazily read books all the time like I used to. I have to do a lot of schedule adjustments to deal with my school schedule and Mr. Fob's work schedule. It's been tricky for all of us. It's not really a money thing, sin…

Another Fun Saturday

We had absolutely nothing scheduled for today, though I had planned to do some cleaning and then possibly get some homework done as well. Then I woke up feeling really lazy, and since everyone else always wakes up feeling lazy we were just sitting around watching TV by 9:30. I remembered a fun place that someone had told me about and looked it up on the internet. At first I wasn't sure if we should go because it's an hour away. But it turns out that Mr. Fob was feeling spontaneous too, so we headed out for another fun family adventure.

We drove out to an area called Apple Hill, which is in the foothills of the Sierras. There are a bunch of apple orchards and other small farms in one spot and they promote themselves as a tourist destination. It turns out that October is really the better time to go because there weren't any apples left to pick by ourselves, but we still managed to have some fun. The first place we went to had a bakery that smelled heavenly. We got some tasty…

Actual Conversation I'm Hearing Right Now

The kids are in the bathtub:

S-Boogie: That's your penis. It's like a vagina, but it's longer.

Little Dude: No, that's my bum!

S-Boogie: No, your bum is in back.

And now they're back to fighting over a washcloth...

I love this picture!

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Happy seven years sweetie!

"Grocery Wise and Cable Foolish"

That's a phrase from this NY Times article about stupid things people do in an attempt to save money. I think we're actually both grocery wise and cable wise, especially since we just have the very basic cable package, but it really is difficult to make good money choices. The article brings up the example of grocery shopping, which really will tie your brain in knots if you let it. Take, for example, my recent turkey shopping expedition. We haven't bought meat for a few months and are trying to transition to a mostly vegetarian diet. Ideally we would like to put our money towards buying meat that has been raised in a humane, environmentally friendly way. However, I found out today that my subconscious only responds to monetary concerns, not my ethical ones.

In shopping around I found a few turkey options. Our local groovy co-op grocery store has turkeys for sale that were raised on a farm 100 miles away from here. They've been allowed to range freely, eating a "v…

We are Language Nerds

Mr. Fob and I have both studied languages, though more literature than linguistics. However, we still often discuss various nuances of language and find ourselves running to the OED for assistance. Here's a sample of today's dinnertime conversation:

FoxyJ: So is N a nasalized sound and M is not?

Mr. Fob: No, both M and N are nasalized, but N is velar.

FoxyJ: Oh, so S-Boogie says "nilk" because her tongue is already moving back in her mouth in anticipation of the liquid "l" sound, right?

Mr. Fob: Yeah, "l" and "k" are both in the back of the mouth.

(Sorry I have no idea how to do APA on blogger) Then S-Boogie went on to ask about how to say her teacher's name, which includes a strong Spanish R. So we discussed how to pronounce the "R" sound, but S-Boogie is struggling with it. Then we had a discussion of how mistress evolved into "Mrs". And then I realized that we really are nerds.

PS--Little Dude has been listening to …

Blah Blah, School, Blah Blah

The school I'm attending right now is on the quarter system, which means that the year is divided into three quarters: fall, winter, and spring. This has been adjustment after attending a school with only two semesters for so long. Quarters are shorter, and even though there are only three weeks left in Fall I still feel like I just started. I'm also trying to register for Winter classes and am trying to decide what to do next. In order to finish my degree requirements I need a certain number of graduate credits. I also have to take at least 12 credits a quarter to keep my fellowship, a number that generally translates into three classes. This quarter all three of my classes are graduate level, which means they will count towards my degree. Talking to my adviser the other day I realized that I could feasibly get all the required credits out of the way in two years if I only took graduate-level classes. But they give you three years to get all the classes out of the way so you …

Extreme Sacrament Meeting

Every week for the last few years we've taken S-Boogie's little pink backpack to church with us. Last week for some reason we forgot to bring it home. This morning I was unsure if I should plan on finding it there or not, but felt reasonably confident that it would be sitting in the lost and found. It wasn't. Thankfully I'd had each kid grab a book on the way out the door, and I had a blank piece of paper and a pen in my bag. I was still dreading sacrament meeting, but it turned out to not be any worse than other weeks. A kind friend in front of me loaned Little Dude a car to play with, and S-Boogie spent most of the time drawing on her paper. Little Dude usually ignores most of the things we bring anyways so he didn't seem to miss the church bag. I don't think I could do this every week, but I'm grateful we survived today as minimalists. And maybe I will think of cutting down some of the stuff we bring. It's a lot easier to keep track of one pen instea…

Saturday is a special day

This morning I woke up feeling grumpy and I worried that it was going to be a bad day. We didn't have much planned and the kids got us up bright and early at seven o'clock. But then Mr. Fob made some yummy french toast with blueberries for breakfast, and after breakfast we cleaned the house. Then we thought we'd use today as a "date day" with the kids and have each of us take one of them out for some fun. Turns out that both kids wanted to go to McDonalds (food and a playground, who wouldn't want to go there?). We haven't had fast food for a few months so it seemed like a fun family outing. We decided to turn it into a bike ride to get some exercise and to take advantage of the lovely weather (72 degrees and sunny!). McDonalds is about three miles across town, but there's a pretty bike path that takes us all the way there and back. The kids had fun eating and playing, and then Little Dude fell asleep in the trailer on the way home. He stayed asleep wh…

Sigh

We have an enclosed patio on our new apartment, so I've taken to letting the kids play out there since they can have fun outside without running off anywhere. There's also a water spigot and a patch of dirt, which means the fun they have usually isn't the clean kind. This afternoon they wanted to play outside for a while before we left to take S-Boogie to a birthday party. I told them they could as long as they didn't turn on the water, since we didn't have a lot of time for cleaning up. Things were going well and I didn't hear any water. Then I heard S-Boogie ask "Hey Mom, what are these black rocks?" They'd gotten into the bag of charcoal we'd had stored out there and were playing with it.

And then later tonight I was finishing up the black bean soup I'd cooked for the missionaries. I thought I'd add a bit more cumin, and so unscrewed the lid and started shaking some in. Then I looked down and realized it was the jar without a shaker …

Works for Me

Long-time readers of my blog are probably wondering what happened to all of my disgusting posts about poop and various other topics that were certainly TMI. My body has actually been pretty normal for the last six months or so. However, since I'm desperately trying to come with something interesting to say each day for an entire month, it's time to have a little bit of overshare.

Actually I don't think that this topic is really all that gross, just a little personal. A few months before we got married I started taking birth control pills. At the time they were one of the most fabulous things that had ever happened in my life. Suddenly I wasn't debilitated by excessive bleeding or by massive craziness for half the month. My life felt great. They worked well until I decided to get pregnant with S-Boogie. My relationship with contraception since then has been rocky; I guess your hormones really do change as you age and after you have children. But I'm still thankful to…

A Good Way to Avoid Homework

One of the ways I've been avoiding my homework this week is investigating Thanksgiving recipes online. The big day is only two weeks away and I'm working on solidifying my menu. Apparently writing my ten-page essay for next Tuesday is not as important as deciding which side dishes to serve. Mr. Fob and I decided that we're willing to buy turkey and are exploring our options to see if we can find something that will be both environmentally friendly and not break our budget. Thankfully we don't need a very big bird for our little group (my parents are coming), especially since I'm not a huge fan of turkey. Even though I haven't bought meat for about two months now, we both agree that you just can't have tofurky or Quorn for Thanksgiving. We're more into eating meat sparingly than not at all.

And even though I think it's weird to have so many starches with one meal, we'll still have the traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and roll…

Dora Redeems Herself, Kind Of

Last year I blogged about my ambivalent attitude towards Dora the Explorer. It's been over a year and we're still watching Dora. S-Boogie has transferred some of her affections to the Backyardigans, Clifford, and Super Why, but Little Dude is a die-hard Dora fan. One of his favorite shows is the fairy tale adventure where Dora becomes a princess and saves Boots. I actually don't mind that episode as much as I thought I would, since Dora has to go on a quest to become a princess. Since that episode they've come out with a few other special Dora titles in which she saves the mermaids or saves the Snow Princess. I was really getting tired of the obvious pandering to the Disney market with the whole "princess" theme.

And then the other day Mr. Fob and I were at Target and noticed a new Dora title: Dora Saves Three Kings' Day. We checked it out from the library and it's pretty cool. One thing I do like about the show is how it effortlessly integrates Hispan…

Memes are great for NaBloPoMo!

Thanks Vanessa, Emily, and Anna-Lisa!


*FOODOLOGY*

What is your salad dressing of choice? Often just olive oil and vinegar. With salt and pepper.

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? I have a few. Burgers Supreme in Provo (does that count?) Thai Chili Gardens, California Pizza Kitchen. Not Olive Garden

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? oatmeal with half and half and peaches; or cheese and fruit

What are your pizza toppings of choice? lots of veggies: olives, green peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, fresh tomatoes, etc.

What do you like to put on your toast? real butter and homemade peach or cherry jam



*TECHNOLOGY*

What is your wallpaper on your computer? a picture of the kids at the pumpkin patch

How many televisions are in your house? 1 and we'll never have more than that. Ever.

What color cell phone do you have? silver



*BIOLOGY*

Are you right-handed or left-handed? right

Have you ever had anything removed from your body? my tonsils, four wisdom teet…

Proving Contraries

I realized today that it has been a while since I've written a svithe. Thinking about recent events and other things going on in my life, the following thought came to my mind: "by proving contraries, truth is made manifest." I knew it was from Joseph Smith, but I first encountered it in an essay by Eugene England. In this essay, England discusses Joseph Smith as an archetypal tragic hero (in the literary sense of the phrase). To quote England: "Tragic man, the subject of our greatest literature, unwilling to rest with simplistic and thus secure conceptions of the universe, pushes at the paradoxes his mind and experience uncover." I found a rereading of this essay comforting. Recently I keep finding myself wanting to retreat into some sort of fantasy world where everything is neatly laid out for me. Where good and evil are obvious and where my choices would not only be clear, they wouldn't hurt anyone I love. A place where people speak in love and understan…

Big Spender

I have a confession to make: I'm bad at managing money. It's true that I'm good at finding bargains and I'm good at finding discounts and sales. The problem is that I'm also really good at spending money. I have a "budget" and keep track of where every penny goes. My checkbook is always balanced and I usually have no credit card debt. The problem is that I spend everything I get. Looking at my budget for this year, I've spent my entire income each month, and usually even a little bit more than that. I have little in savings, and when we get extra money we tend to spend it instead of saving it.

There are some legitimate issues we have as far as budgeting. For most of our marriage our income has really fluctuated. We've often had periods of lower cash flow, like this summer when I wasn't employed. Those are problematic because what we tend to do is to build up savings during good times and then blow it during lean times. Or, even worse, use the c…

Being That Mom

You know that mom who has a five-year-old who disrupts sacrament meeting by fighting with her brother, playing with the window curtains, and arguing loudly during the closing prayer about the fact that she physically cannot close her eyes?

That's me.

You know that mom whose two-year-old goes around shoving little babies at playgroup and on the playground?

That's me.

You know that mom whose children run wild in the little farm market, fingering all the produce and grabbing bags of candy left and right? And that mom who can't seem to control them and choose vegetables, and is trying to answer her cell phone?

That's me.

You know that mom who is hiding in her house because her children turn into uncontrollable hooligans in public?

That's me.

Hopefully things can start looking up around here. Can someone call Super Nanny for me?

Fourth Foto

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So there's a meme going around that asks you to post the fourth photo in the fourth folder of your pictures on your computer. I'm posting two because the folder arrangement was different each time I looked at it. And the first one is boring. Here goes:
May 2004. Luckily this actually is a random photo without people in it. I don't know why we have this, but it's from before we had our digital camera so I guess I didn't realize I'd taken four pictures of the floor. This is our hideously ugly apartment in Orem that had brown paneling, brown carpet, brown drapes, and brown doors. And it was semi-basement. I don't miss it at all.
June 2001: this is me fudging a little because the fourth picture in my "old pictures" file had people in it that I'm not sure want to be put online. Especially old photos of them from 1997. This was shortly after we got engaged and were showing off the ring. Remember when I used to wear contacts? That was so five years ag…

NaBloPoMo?

November is NaBloPoMo, which stands for "National Blog Post Month". The challenge is to write one post a day for the entire month. Despite the fact that this is a very busy month for me, I've been toying with the idea. I always like a good challenge, plus it might be nice to get my writing groove back. They don't have to be very long or meaty posts either.

So tonight I leave you with a very funny moment in toddler linguistics. Little Dude pronounces the word "corn" with a "p" sound at the beginning for some reason. So you can imagine how funny it was when he saw the giant display of clearance candy at Target today and shouted excitedly: "candy corn!"

PS--This month I will be guest posting on Wednesdays over at Segullah.