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Showing posts from November, 2009

Almost made it!

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo, and I almost made it except for totally forgetting yesterday. Oops. I'm sure no one minded; it's been a long month and it will probably be nice to get a little break from my ranting and raving. By the way, if anyone knows of a good therapist in Utah County and would like to recommend someone, write a comment or shoot me an email. I'm starting to feel a little pre-partum craziness and think I should get on board before baby gets here and I'm too paralyzed by hormones to fix myself.

I also think part of the problem I'm having is sleep deprivation. Every time I sit down on my couch I fall asleep. And then my children go nuts and I wake up grouchy and disoriented. Not fun. I feel much more fatigued this pregnancy than I did with the other two; thankfully I haven't had quite so much hip pain this time around.

The good news for today is that I am now 30 weeks pregnant. I like this because I'm not going to make it to 40, so it'…

Reading Roundup: November 2009

Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color by Philip Ball

I have long been interested in art and so I found this book to be quite interesting. It was a bit difficult to read at times because it got very technical, so if you have more exposure to science it would probably be more readable for you. It is also a book that requires a lot of close attention and I don't have that opportunity much these days. Nevertheless, it was a good read and full of fun tidbits about paints and painting.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it is very well-written and I can see why it is generating so much buzz. I had a hard time putting it down once I started reading it, and the three main characters that tell the story are all well-written and very compelling. On the other hand, I always feel a little discomfort reading black dialect written by contemporary white women. I felt the same way about The Secret Life of Bees; it was a good story but a little…

Not So Black Friday

Despite the fact that we spent most of the summer travelling, I will admit to feeling a bit of the urge to go somewhere else for Thanksgiving this year. My aunt was hosting my extended family at her home in Wyoming, and my parents happen to live somewhere warmer than here--both good candidates for a road trip. But other people's illnesses, as well as 30 weeks of pregnancy, convinced me to stay home this year. Thankfully it's still been a fun holiday. Yesterday we had a small (but yummy) dinner with Mr. Fob's sister and her family. Then this morning we drove up to see some old friends who are here in Utah for the week; we had a fun few hours visiting with them while the kids played. After that we drove back to my sister-in-law's house for more leftovers. On the way we decided to stop at Ikea because we wanted lunch and because I was hoping to pick up a few things. We generally try to avoid stores on "Black Friday" but they didn't seem excessively busy and …

Thankful for:

Cranberry Sauce

Turkey and gravy

Rolls

Pecan pie

Antacid

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Letter A

Here's a rundown on what we did this last month for countries starting with the letter A. I discovered that the main Crayola site has a coloring page with the flag of each country, so I've been printing them off for the kids and they love coloring them.

Afghanistan: We looked at a book from the library about the country and I printed off a few coloring pages from here. The kids especially liked the rug one. We ate kabobs with rice, naan, and some vegetables. The kids thought the kabobs were 'spicy' but Mr. Fob and I both liked them a lot; next time I would bake them in the oven or grill them because frying on the stove was messy and made them shrink a lot.

Armenia: We also looked through a book from the library (they only had one), colored the flag, and found it on the globe. Mr. Fob and I really liked the food and would make it again: yogurt chicken, pilaf, Greek salad, and stewed apricots (dried apricots cooked in water with a cinnamon stick until plump).

Australia: W…

The Crib Thing

We have a decent crib that we've used for two kids now. Ever since I found out I was pregnant, though, I've been debating replacing it. That's mostly due to this particular problem. We did end up putting some contact paper over the damaged parts, but Little Dude either chewed through it or pulled a lot of it off. So it doesn't look so hot anymore. For the last few months I've had an internal debate between my aesthetic sense and my frugal sense. I made up my mind to go ahead and sand down the crib and refinish it. That is the best thing to do, really, and probably won't be that hard. Especially once we end up in our new house with a garage. The baby will sleep in a bassinet for the first few months anyways so we have leeway. But then I've been reading stories about this recall, and even though that is not the brand of our crib, the stupid picture of the baby doll with his head trapped in the broken side will not get out of my paranoid pregnant brain. Our cr…

Memes are fun!

i borrowed this one from Blue

1. What time did you get up this morning?

A little after 7; that's the usual time around here, at least for another 10 weeks. After that I don't want to think about it....

2. Diamonds or pearls?

I prefer pearls, but I don't really wear jewelry.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

Um, probably the latest Harry Potter. I only make it out to the movies about once or twice a year.

4. What is your favorite TV show?

I always say Jeopardy! although I haven't watched it for a while because it isn't on at a good time. Lately I've been enjoying 30 Rock quite a bit as well, and the new season of Heroes has been pretty good so far.

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?

Cereal; sometimes oatmeal or Cream of Wheat, usually something low-sugar and high fiber

6. What is your middle name?

Wouldn't you like to know? It's my paternal grandmother's name.

7. What food do you dislike?

Any kinds of strong cheese. And seaweed; theref…

The never-ending dinner appointment

Tonight Mr. Fob and I watched a fun, sweet little movie called The Errand of Angels. It's about a sister missionary serving in Austria (we checked it out because we did Austria this week). I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I expected too; the plot is a little sparse but I thought the understatement was certainly better than overstatement could have been. We also laughed quite a bit as we recognized things that were familiar from our mission: falling asleep while saying prayers, 'companionship inventories' that are really passive-aggressive (or aggressive) disagreements, people who enthusiastically invite you in only to kick you out after realizing who you are, tracting an entire apartment building with every door slammed in your face, eating meals in small apartments crowded with stuffed animals and weird knick-knacks, and of course the odd food. Not just the food, but the enthusiastic members who seem to assume that missionaries have massive appetites. There was a brief …

We should do this more often

Mr. Fob and I celebrated our anniversary today with a real, live date. I think we should do that more often (well, not quite as expensive as today's, but something where we actually leave the house). I guess I need to be more proactive about making some sort of regular babysitting arrangements. In California we worked out a nice exchange with two other couples and had a regular date night for a while; it was great.

Today we went to see the musical Children of Eden at BYU. I'd never heard of it before, but it was written by Stephen Schwartz, who is more famous for Godspell and Wicked. I was pleasantly surprised by the production; the story and music were great and I thought the performers did a fantastic job. The costuming and staging were really cool too; I can see how it could be a big show, but they took a more minimalist approach that worked well. After that we decided to try out our trendiness by eating at Pizzeria 712 here in Orem. I like food quite a bit, but confess to …

The Real Sexiest Man Alive

Image
Eight years, six moves, five degrees, two (and a half) kids, and countless containers of ice cream later--still sexy! Happy Anniversary!

Hospitality

This evening I vacuumed my living room for the first time in about two weeks. I did it partly because the clutter on the floor was bothering me, and partly because my visiting teachers were supposed to come (they ended up cancelling due to illness). As I was vacuuming, I thought about the fact that they would probably come in and tell me that my home looks nice, and that I would probably be embarrassed and deflect the complement. This got me thinking about the fact that I (and other women I know) tend to have a conflicted relationship with keeping nice homes. On the one hand, you don't want to be terribly messy, but on the other hand there seems to be something wrong in taking too much time to have your home look nice. I realized tonight that I shouldn't feel embarrassed if people realize that I took time to clean for them. They are my guests. On my mission I visited with many people from many different countries in their homes. Most other cultures have fairly elaborate protoc…

I agree!

I think People magazine is right on the money with this year's pick for Sexiest Man Alive. I've had a crush on him ever since my mom gave us some money and dropped us off at the theater one afternoon to watch Edward Scissorhands. I don't know what's wierder: that I think Edward Scissorhands is sexy or that Johnny Depp is 46.

28 Weeks

For the record, today was slightly better than yesterday. I managed to keep my positive attitude despite not receiving the anticipated phone call from the bank. If we're not in our bigger house with a dishwasher before Thanksgiving we might just go ahead and have pizza for dinner that day. With paper plates. Anyways, today only had a few rough spots. I'm sure that part of the problem with Little Dude lately is his lack of sleep; he woke up again freaking out in the middle of the night. Tonight he confided in me that he doesn't like his bed and he wants to sleep in mommy and daddy's room all night (yeah right!). It's weird because last week when we were talking about what we're thankful for he specifically mentioned his fire truck bed. He talks about it all the time, but apparently sleeping in it is not OK.

Today I had another checkup at the doctor's office. The good news is that baby is growing well, my blood pressure is nice and low, and I've gained les…

At least the ending was good

Today was not a great day. I was determined to have a good day and woke up with a positive attitude (I'm trying the 'power of positive thinking' approach on the people at the bank). This morning I even cleaned out the fridge and tidied up the kitchen. Then I had to run errands with Little Dude; stopping at three different places means getting in and out of the car six different times. Each of those times involves a struggle over adjusting the car seat, buckling the car seat, reminding him once again that he should not get in the car and lock his door, or play around, and so on. Shopping with him is exhausting because he won't ride in the cart anymore, and he's really too big for me to put in there anyways. Generally he's fairly well-behaved, but my brain gets so tired of keeping track of him, maneuvering the cart, following my list, calculating prices on things, and so on. Plus it was cold outside and my coat won't zip up anymore. I don't like Mondays b…

Steadfast and Immovable: Today's Talk

Today I gave a talk in sacrament meeting; it was an interesting experience. I have not given a talk for a few years and I actually didn't really feel like it. Pregnancy hormones also leave me feeling kind of vulnerable and insecure and so I just didn't feel like public speaking. But I'm glad I did it because I learned a lot while writing and researching the talk. I was third on the program after two other women from the ward, both in the 'young mother' category like me. The first one immediately burst into tears and proceeded to cry off and on throughout the rest of her talk, the second one was also quite emotional during hers. I actually felt pretty self-conscious because not only did I not cry during my talk (yes pregnancy makes me weepy, but I try really hard not to be weepy in public because I get embarrassed by it), but I also took a more analytical, scripture-based approach to the topic. That's just the way I do things. I don't usually write out my en…

What do you do all day?

I'm feeling a little cynical tonight (it was a long day with tired children and a bored mommy), but I ask the question genuinely. For those of you who are stay-at-home moms, and those of you who aren't, what kinds of things fill your time? I've been feeling a little bored lately, and after reading three books in three days I'm trying to figure out what else I could be doing with myself. Most mornings I wake up, help the kids get ready and get myself ready, and get S-Boogie off to school. Then I usually spend about an hour washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen and most days start some laundry. After that, I tend to spend the next five or six hours until S-Boogie gets home reading a book and trying to keep Little Dude from driving us both crazy. Sometimes he'll play with toys; lately he really likes to do art projects, play with Play Doh, or do puzzles. After S-Boogie gets home from school we have some snacks, sometimes she has homework, and I cook dinner while the…

I can't stop laughing

I was going to post this on the kids' blog, but I figure that I need a post for today. It also made me realize that I don't spend enough time just laughing and enjoying myself. I used to do it a lot and now I have a hard time relaxing. Little Dude has been particularly difficult lately, but thankfully he made us laugh at least two times. I still laugh thinking about the one from lunch.

Lunchtime:

LD: "Daddy, can I watch Mission to Mars after lunch?" [it's a Backyardigans DVD that he loves]

Daddy: "Sorry, but I took it back to the library."

Mr. Fob to me: "Featuring the voice of Alicia Keys" [quoting the annoying preview we've seen a billion times]

LD: "What! I don't even like Alicia Keys! I don't like broccoli, or carrots, or tomatoes either. Or salad!"

Dinnertime:

LD: "Knock, knock"

Me: "Who's there?"

LD: "Children with glue in their eyes"

Me: "Children with glue in their eyes, who?"

LD: …

Exhibit A: Irrational Obsession

Remember how I asked if pregnancy makes you crazy? I'm glad so many other people understand where I'm coming from; for the record, PMS tends to do the same thing to me too. I generally have a few days each month where I cry over everything and get frustrated easily by little things. Like some of my irrational obsessions that take hold of me now and then.

This morning I headed over to Target to get a few things that we need. Yesterday I found a coupon online to try new gingerbread Pop Tarts. I'm not usually a big fan of Pop Tarts, but I love gingerbread and though they'd be a fun treat. Sadly, Target had no gingerbread ones anywhere. I ended up in a bad mood because they were also clean out of several other things that I had planned on buying. I really hate it when I go to a store and they don't have what I'm looking for in stock. It's been happening way too much to me lately. Even though I had Little Dude with me I decided to go to Walgreens since I needed …

Remembrance Day

During the summer before my senior year of high school my family moved to Maryland. Shortly after we arrived, the stake had youth conference. Our service project took us to Arlington National Cemetery to clean areas that were covered in leaves and dead branches. The area I was in had acres of graves from soldiers that had died in the Civil War. Many of them didn't even have a name, just "unknown" and sometimes an indication of which state they came from. The experience was sobering, knowing that in just one day thousands of people died at one time. Many of their families never saw them again and never knew what happened to them. The same thing has happened in countless wars since. Even though technology has changed and many more soldiers who now die are accounted for, every death is still a tragedy. Though I truly believe that those who die are never lost to God and will see their families again some day, I also look forward to a day when no one will have to die in war a…

Home Sweet Home (Almost?) (Maybe?)

This afternoon Mr. Fob and I spent several hours hanging around our new home (we hope) with the home inspector and the real estate agent. The inspection went well, and though the home is a bit old it doesn't have any major problems. It gave me some time to really get a feel for the place and I noticed that it's easier to notice flaws when you're spending more time than a quick walk-through with an agent. For the first little while I did feel a little worried about the things I didn't like; we've moved so much during the last few years that I'll admit I've developed a habit of focusing on all the negative aspects of our homes in an effort to not repeat those mistakes. After a while of hanging around and visualizing where everything will go in my new kitchen I realized that I do like the place even if it isn't perfect. Not only that, but it will be ours and we can change some of the little things we don't like. Now we just have to get the bank to get …

I am thankful for the library

Tonight for Family Home Evening we talked about Thanksgiving and made a little 'gratitude turkey' where we wrote on the feathers which things we were thankful for. Little Dude even did his feathers without any help by drawing his fire truck bed, his special rock box, and his family. He also mentioned that he was thankful for the library. Then while we were brushing teeth S-Boogie told us that at school today she wrote that when she grows up she wants to be a librarian because she loves books and she loves the library. I'm sure part of this was prompted by the fact that Monday is library day for the kids, and their dad is a librarian (even though he's not working there full-time right now). But I'm glad my children love the library even though neither of them can read on their own yet. I can't wait until they start picking out their own books to read all by themselves.

I can also say that I'm truly grateful for libraries. I've spent countless hours there …

Uninspired

I didn't realize how difficult it would be to post every day here on the blog. Hopefully next week I'll start thinking of interesting things to say. Part of the problem is that Little Dude has been having sleep issues. He keeps waking up in the middle of the night completely freaked out and screaming. It takes forever to get him back to sleep. Not fun. And I'm just tired of being pregnant right now. Hosting Mr. Fob's big birthday bash was a lot of fun, but it really wiped me out. I'm still exhausted today and my hands keep swelling (if I'm still feeling weird tomorrow then I'll go into the doc and have them check things out; swelling is not something that usually happens when I'm pregnant).

So hopefully tomorrow I'll have more interesting things to say. Next Sunday I have to give a talk about being 'steadfast and immovable', so if anyone has good ideas I could use some inspiration. For right now I'm just going to get myself to bed.

Three Realizations For Today

1. I really like hosting parties and cooking for people, even when it does take me all day. I'm really looking forward to having a home with a better kitchen that is more equipped for entertaining.

2. Hosting a party when you're almost 7 months pregnant isn't really the best idea. I kept going through the day, but now I'm exhausted and my hands and feet are swelling up. Looks like I might have to put off some of my bigger holiday plans until next year.

3. My brain is divided into two parts: irrational and rational. The rational part believes my doctor and the ultrasounds and trusts that chances of something bad happening again are slim. The irrational part freaks out about every little twinge and pain. It could be a long twelve weeks from here on out.

Does pregnancy make you crazy?

Last night we watched The Office, and I realized that one of the jokes being brought up lately is the fact that Pam is crazy because she is pregnant. I asked Mr. Fob if I should be insulted or if I should laugh, because it is unfortunately true. This time around it's been nice to experience pregnancy without the added stress of school, but we still have had the endless rounds of sickness and issues with buying a house. Not to mention the fact that I'm beginning to have trouble sleeping anytime except during the middle of the day when my children need me. I think those things alone give me the right to be a little crabby, but I've also noticed that in general my emotions seem to be a little 'off' lately. I just feel a little off-kilter. If you've been pregnant, did it make you crazy too?

Learning How to Parent

There are a few girls in S-Boogie's class that have started stopping by after school almost every day to ask if she can come play with them. Up until now I have always put them off with excuses (and we've been busy or sick a lot for the last few weeks). Today, however, we were outside playing in the driveway when they stopped by so she finally got to play with her friends. The ironic thing is, she hasn't been at school for the past two days because she has been running a fever. This afternoon her fever was mostly down and the weather was nice so I thought it would be fine for her and Little Dude to get outside for a while. I'm glad that it turned out that we could have her friends play too.

I don't know why I feel so socially awkward with a bunch of six-year-old girls. I'm not comfortable with S-Boogie running around and playing with them, but I'm not sure why. I think it's because I have some self-doubt; am I the only one who doesn't want her first-…

Searching, Searching

I use sitemeter to keep track of visits to my blog, and one of the more interesting things to look at is searches that people use to get here. It provides an interesting snapshot of what people are thinking about, and what my blog is about. Not surprisingly a number of them are either looking for something to do with the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" and another significant portion are looking for some sort of wallpaper in general (I've even seen a search for 'poop wallpaper'; not sure what that's about). Some recent ones that have led people to my blog include:

"shouldn't have gone to grad school"

"Gentlemen Without Weapons" (wow, someone else has heard of them!)

"I left my heart in San Diego"

"how never to shop at WalMart again"

"music is my life wallpaper"

"what's a soapbox"

Now I'm not the only thirty-something around here

Today is Mr. Fob's big birthday: three decades old! I celebrated by being cranky all day and the kids celebrated by making a giant mess that involved throwing all of their clothing down the basement stairs ("why?" you ask--because they are children and do these kinds of things). To be fair, I did make a small cake and I took the kids to Target to buy him some small gifts (bubble bath and action figures). His sister also took him to the movies. We're having a big party on Saturday so I will make a real cake then and try to make an effort not to be too cranky. I realized today that the pressure I put on myself to have birthdays feel 'special' usually ends up resulting in my not doing anything because I feel stressed about perfection. I think Mr. Fob had a good day anyways so that's what counts. I've tried to think of thirty reasons why he is so awesome, but I'd rather spend my time watching Heroes and eating cake, so here are a few things I've t…

Give it Time

Today at the library I ran into someone from our former ward here in Orem. We lived there for three years, and I was the primary president for much of that time, so we knew quite a few people there. I've actually run into several people since moving back and it's fun to see them, especially since their children all seem so huge to me (and mine do to them also). I realized as I was driving home that my calling made a difference in how involved I felt in that ward, not to mention the fact that it was about half the size of this one.

For the last month or so I've been feeling frustrated with going to church. I still have a strong testimony, but adjusting to a new ward has been rough. I have trouble remembering people's names; I'm also tired and crabby and have spent too much time focusing on what other people aren't doing (introducing themselves to me) and not enough time focusing on what I could be doing (introducing myself to them). As things have moved toward bu…

It's NaBloPoMo Again!

November is National Blog Posting Month (or NaBloPoMo). I did this last year and managed to post nearly every day, so I decided to try it again this year. Lately I've been worried about how much time I waste on silly things, particularly time online, but I feel that blogging can be a productive part of my life so I'm still going to commit time to it. Now I need to cut out the stupid, time-wasting stuff like researching cruise lines for the vacation we hope to take five years from now. Today I posted a book review on Northern Lights so I'm going to let that count as my 'real' post for today (this is just filler). We'll see what this month brings: we've got Mr. Fob's big three-decade birthday, our anniversary, Thanksgiving, and hopefully buying a house and moving. Should be interesting.