Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I don't know if yesterday and today were totally "perfect days", especially since we didn't go anywhere spectacular, but they sure were nice. Last night we went camping with Mr. Fob's brother and his wife and baby, and Mr. Fob's sister and her daughter and neighbor (does that make sense?). We've never taken our kids camping and don't own any equipment, but my brother-in-law is a master camper and took charge of selecting a site, cooking, and building the fire. Thanks a lot! S-Boogie thought her first camping trip was fabulous, and it actually went really well. We got up there around dinner time, spent some time getting things set up and eating, went for a short hike to watch the sun set behind the mountains, came back and put on warm jammies, built a big fire, put Little Dude to bed (he was very tired and dangerous around the fire), ate smores, put the other kids to bed, and played cards until midnight. Then I actually went to bed and slept until 7:30 this morning. The kids (except my baby niece) all slept peacefully all night. It was great. Then we ate breakfast, packed up our stuff, and came home. Just a quick little camping trip, but it was fun and now we're feeling inspired to get some stuff and try some camping in California.
Then this afternoon we had the kids both nap after lunch. They were exhausted from a busy week and both crashed. It was so nice to have a little break. After they woke up we headed over to the swimming pool with Mr. Fob's sister (and her daughter and their neighbor). I was worried when we first got there that the afternoon would be a bust, since Little Dude didn't even want to get in the water. Thankfully we coaxed him into the pool and he turned out to love it. Then we found out that kids could go on the waterslide with an adult, and Little Dude was in heaven. We thought he'd be scared, but every time he came down the slide he'd immediately start asking for "more pay-groun!" (more playground=more slide). We all got tired of taking him up the big stairs and down the slide. S-Boogie had a great time on the slide too, and we started teaching her how to jump off the side of the pool. She needs to take some swimming lessons.
After our great time at the pool we came home, had baths, ate some macaroni and cheese, and then put the kids to bed on time (for the first time in a week). I'm feeling pretty worn out, but we've had some fun days in a row so it's nice to be exhausted because of having fun for once.
Oh, and our Pioneer Day dinner was made even better by making these brownies for dessert. You should try them, they were super delicious!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
My day has also been fabulous because we met up with the McCullochs in the park today, and Jenny is such an awesome friend that she made me chocolate croissants. I feel so special! They were fabulous, and S-Boogie was so happy to have a friend to play with. We're going to get together again next Monday.
Speaking of getting together, I think that some time during the next two weeks I want to have a picnic with my Utah friends and blog readers. I'm kind of thinking Kiwanis Park in Provo, just because it makes me feel all nostalgic (we got engaged there). I'll bring some of my addicting bean dip and chips and maybe some drinks or something. If anyone brings mint brownies from BYU I will love you forever. Is there a day that a picnic works better for everyone, or should I just pick a day?
Monday, July 14, 2008
I'm sure all this would be slightly more humorous without the ragged edge of sleep deprivation. After our marathon night a week ago my body seems to have decided that it never needs to sleep again, and after a week I'm feeling stressed out. Then a few days ago Little Dude discovered how to climb out of his playpen and we've been in hell ever since. Last night was the worst--he got out of the room at least three or four times each hour, all night long. None of us, S-Boogie included, got any sleep. Even though he's still incredibly cute, we're all starting to dislike him a bit. Especially since his latest tricks include things like opening Tutu's front door and running out into the street and trying to jump off the chairs in the front room. Hopefully in a month we'll still all want to move to California together.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
1. Dove clinical strength deodorant
I've always had serious sweating issues, but when they recently introduced more powerful deodorant I was reluctant to try it due to cost reasons. Sweating while in Seattle hasn't been too much of a problem for me, but since we've made a move to the desert I decided to spend the money on it. And I can say that for me it really works. Today we spent a few hours out in the sun at a picnic and exploring Wheeler Farm and I still ended up with a wet shirt, but that was the first time this whole trip and the rest of me was incredibly sweaty too. Other than that, it's been great.
2. Natural Cheetos
I was also completely skeptical about "natural" chips, and I still think they're a marketing ploy, but these taste delicious. Little Dude is also in love with them. Their flavor is a lot like Pirate Booty, but I like the texture better. And they don't turn your fingers orange!
3. Removable shower head
We've actually had one for years, but now that we're visiting someone without one I'm really missing it. Sure the hose part isn't elegant, but it's the simplest way to clean your tub and we love using it for rinsing the kids off quickly after a bath.
4. LL Bean Summer Sneakers
These are lightweight, comfortable, and cover up your toes. I've been getting lots of compliments on them for the past few months, so now you know where you can get some of your very own.
Monday, July 07, 2008
I think reality caught up to me sometime around two this morning while driving through Boise. We had a lovely Fourth of July, which included a very short local parade (one fire truck and a few random people), a pancake breakfast, and a barbecue with friends. It also included a whole lot of frantic packing, continued on Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon we had a bunch of guys from church show up and empty our apartment in less than half an hour. Then we realized that our stuff wasn't all going to fit into our moving cubes. About two hours later we finally made it fit by giving up our bed. It was either getting rid of it or a bunch of smaller things, and I figured the bed would be the easiest to replace. Then we had to spend Saturday night cleaning and Sunday morning entertaining children in a barren apartment. After church some sweet friends had us over for lunch and we finally left Seattle at about four in the afternoon. Mr. Fob and I were feeling daring and decided to drive straight through to Utah this time. I don't think it was the best decision, since none of us slept well in the car and Little Dude produced some of the most spectacular tantrums I've seen yet. We finally showed up here at about eight-thirty this morning, and I am now exhausted. I have a lot of mixed feelings now about this move and what is in store for our future, but I think that right now is not the time to discuss them. We'll talk more after I've had a decent night's sleep. In a bed. In my pajamas. It's such a luxury.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
So tomorrow we're going to spend the holiday enjoying a parade, pancake breakfast, and barbecue with friends. Then Saturday we'll hopefully farm our kids out to friends and spend the day packing like mad. Sunday Mr. Fob will clean the apartment while I'm at church, and then we'll come home, eat lunch, and take off into the desert. Hopefully we'll be in Utah Monday night with our sanity still intact.
As you will notice, in contrast to this last move, I'm actually not falling apart right now. I've discovered that moving while you're not in the throes of post-partum depression is not all that difficult (the last two times we moved were way too close to having children). Lately I've been really noticing the fact that my brain feels good--way better than it did last summer or the year before that. It's so nice to be able to think straight again, but I hate the fact that you don't realize how depressed you are until you can look back and notice the difference. Next time I will do a better job being more proactive about getting help so the problem doesn't last so long. And I'm never going to move within six months of having a baby ever again.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
I tried to describe this book to someone, and failed. The plot is easy: the book alternates between past and present as a retired historian researches his grandmother's life. I found myself liking the narrative in the past more than the frame story, but they work together well. It took me a long time to read it, and nearly a month later I'm still digesting it. It's a long, slow book, but the writing is fabulous and the story compelling.
Long After Dark by Todd Robert Petersen
After reading Theric's review, I remembered that I had read a few stories from this collection over the last few years and decided to buy it for myself. I actually didn't like the novella that much, although the quoted section and the theme were powerful. I mainly found myself not liking the characters all that much, though I'm not sure why. Also, as much as I like Mormon fiction, it's so refreshing to read fiction that's just about Mormons and not about "fifth-generation Mormons dealing with growing up in small-town Utah". Mormon culture has many facets and I like to hear about them, especially those people we would probably rather not label as Mormon in our families or congregations.
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwige Danticat
The writing in this book is beautiful and I thought the characters were well-written and interesting. But the story seemed a little heavy with too many deep topics and I thought the ending of the book felt rushed. I would like to read more by Danticat, but I'm not sure this is her best book.
Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen
I got a lot of good ideas from this book, and I felt like it was well-written. At the same time, though, I thought he replied way too often on his own example and could have used more examples of how parents can integrate their own personalities into his ideas about play and parenting.
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
I struggled with this book; I thought the story was interesting and especially liked the division of the book into three sections with different narrators. But I really never liked the main character, and it's hard to read three hundred pages about someone you don't like or understand.
Maus by Art Spiegelman
We read this for book club this month, and though I had read it a number of years ago I had forgotten about how powerful it was. Also, at this point in my life, I noticed much more the story about learning about our parents and dealing with our relationship with them. As the author points out, this is a family story, not a political one. It's not just technically brilliant, it's a fascinating story about family and love.
Bound on Earth by Angela Hallstrom
Yesterday evening our power went out, so I got the opportunity to sit and read this entire book straight through (by candlelight!). It's a beautiful book--simply written, but powerful and deep. Hallstrom explores the idea of how we are "bound" to those we love, in negative ways as well as positive. I like the fact that she takes for granted the idea that we are bound, and then goes on from there. So many other things I read seem to explore whether or not we are, but when we become involved in the lives of others we become bound together. One scene that really touched me was when a young man who has been struggling with mental illness talks to his mother-in-law; he expresses the fact that there is no option for him that will not hurt his wife--he could leave, stay, or die, and she would be affected. This felt very real to me; so often we try so hard to find solutions to our problems with people by trying to escape, but I think we should work harder on accepting our realities and facing our issues. This book feels very real to my experiences; we are all imperfect people trying to figure out how to love, how to connect, and how to live with each other. I definitely think you should buy a copy and read it.
This was a beautiful movie and the acting is brilliant. I liked a lot of the technical aspects, like the editing and the music. But ultimately it seemed jumpy and flat, and I mostly felt like I wanted to reread the book to figure out what I was missing.
Into the Wild
Another pleasant surprise for me. The first little bit of the movie felt like an episode of Law and Order, and the plot is just like most other police thrillers. But the acting and directing are excellent and make this movie just a little bit better than you'd expect.
I think this review of the movie captures it well; the production values are excellent and the tone manages to find the middle ground between outrage and sentimentality. The film is a documentary about three Sudanese men who are resettled in the United States after living in a refugee camp for nearly ten years. It really brought home to me the immigrant experience and the vast imbalance that exists between societies in this world. At the same time, though, it gave me hope because the three men portrayed in the movie were so resilient.After watching this one so close to the new musical version, I actually found myself liking this version better. The story is simpler and I like most of the actors better. I thought the music worked more subtly instead of blaring like so much of the other music did.
We watched this because we thought it would be fun to see everything that Christopher Nolan has directed. This was one of his first films, and is a bit shorter than regular movies. I also thought it was kind of boring for most of the picture, until suddenly something shifted and I was totally confused for the rest of it. In the end I liked it.
Across the Universe
This movie is really, really weird. Weirder than I was expecting, but we still enjoyed it. I loved the music and I liked noticing all the little references throughout the movie. Because of the episodic format and the stylization it's hard to really connect with the characters, but it's still a cool movie.