Monday, February 26, 2007

We've got ourselves a kicker

I finally announced in Relief Society that we're having a baby. I kind of had this unconscious goal to not tell until someone noticed. I've been noticing for a while, but that's because I really am quite a bit larger than I was a few months ago and because sometimes the baby gets rather hyper-active.

For about a week, I've been feeling little "things" here and there and assumed that they were they baby starting to move. For the past few days, I've been getting poked and prodded quite a bit--I'm not even sure I'll be able to take it when the baby is bigger. Usually it's pretty good, but sometimes it just goes to town and jabs me multiple times in a row. It's hard to believe that the baby is big enough to be able to kick that hard because I'm really not that big yet either.


Today in Sunday School, the baby was having a hard time being reverent and somehow managed to squeeze itself really far over on my left side and commenced to do some kicking. After a few minutes, I had had enough of a massage right in that spot, so I kind of gave the baby a little push. It moved away (I really don't know how it does this, it's kind of like a fish in a fish tank--if you tap the glass, it moves away) and settled down for a while.

Apparently the lady beside me noticed. Unfortunately, I don't know her name, but she asked me at the beginning of Relief Society, "As little and young as you are, you aren't pregnant, are you?" I said, "Yes, I am." She said, "I can't really tell, it's just the way you looked at your stomach when you touched it today." Well, she did notice, so I did announce it. Everyone was shocked because the girls in our ward have this habit of making their announcement as soon as they find out. We usually know when people are between 6-8 weeks along. We're 19 weeks along so people were pretty shocked.

I'm not sure when I'll "really" start showing, but here's a good "pretend showing" shot.


We go in for an ultrasound next week. We're pretty sure that we're going to find out what it is. As one lady in our ward said, "It's a surprise sooner or later..."

By the way, we're pretty sure it's a boy...just for the record.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Hi, my name is...

We've been trying to think of a girl's name. The boy's name was easy. We agreed on a name quickly and without much effort: Steven Conrad. The girl's name, however...well, we haven't been able to think of anything that we both really liked, so last night while I was at a Relief Society dinner, I was making a list of girl's names, trying to remember all the ones that Andrew and I discussed. We both like Rachel, but Kristi and Ryan named their baby Rachel and...they're in our ward, so that could be weird, even though Rachel will be almost 2 when our baby is born.

So, last night I came up with the name Annalyse. That's one of the names that Andrew and I had discussed and we both liked. It happened like this: I liked Lisa and he liked Anna and so we just said, "How about Annalyse?" Last night I was thinking of middle names and I thought that Annalyse Pearl would sound alright (I know, both Conrad and Pearl are family names on my side--we'll work on Andrew's side with the next one).

I decided that I really liked that. But then I started thinking...if we did happen to relocate to the Middle East sometime, things could get really confusing. See, Anna is very similar to the Arabic word for "I." Most people that I met in the Middle East were extremely interested in children. The instant anyone found out we were married, they wanted to know how many kids we had. We didn't have any, so they would then ask if I was expecting. We weren't, so they would ask when we were planning on having children and how many. That might be considered a little nosy here, but over there it is perfectly normal.

If we happened to be out with the Slades or Palmers, everyone would croon over their blond children, kiss their cheeks, ask to hold them, and take their pictures.

So, naturally, if we moved back to the Middle East, I'd have to do quite a few introductions. I kept playing the scenario over in my head and it always went something like this:

Stranger: Oh, how cute! What's her name?
Me: Annalyse.
Stranger: Nice to meet you, Lisa...but your baby. What's her name?
Me: Annalyse.
Stranger (mumbling to a counterpart): This lady doesn't speak Arabic well at all.
Stranger (slowly, to me): What's her name?
Me: Her name is Annalyse.
Stranger (chuckling to a counterpart): She just said, "Her name...me Lisa." That doesn't make any sense.
Me (clarifying): No, my name is Nancy, like Nancy Ajram. The baby's name is Annalyse.
Stranger: So, is your name Nancy or Lisa?
Me: I'm Nancy. The baby is...Lisa.
Stranger (cooing): Hello, Lisa...
Me (rolling my eyes and thinking to myself): Probably shouldn't have named her Annalyse.

And thus we see that it should just be a boy because Annalyse is the only name we've agreed on for a girl thus far and it could prove to be problematic down the road.

In like a Lion, out like a Lamb

I realize that that is the "saying" for March. I like to think of the end of February as March because March is closer to spring. Plus, it's been so nice lately, I've been wearing sandals so it's kind of hard for me to believe that it's still winter.

In my mind it is already spring, so when all that good stuff is taken away from me, I feel a little confused. When I woke up this morning, it was nice and bright outside, so I opened the curtains:

Not exactly what I wanted to see, but I suppose it will have to do for today...as long as it is gone soon. Snow simply isn't very welcome in my life. I mean, we live by the mountains. Why doesn't it stay up there? I don't care if the mountains are cold and snowy.

Anyway, our confusion about months doesn't end there. For some reason, Andrew and I were talking about the "sayings" for months. We had just finished March and were moving on to April and May (which have to share a saying). Andrew said, "April flowers bring May...wait a minute. What do April flowers bring in May?"

I think he's also hoping for an early spring. I had to dash his dreams by clarifying that April showers bring May flowers. Bummer deal, I know...

Some places in the world have flowers all year long and, oh, how I long to live in a place like that!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ra! Ra! Ra-Ra-Ra!

The bookstore was giving away free basketball tickets if you spent $10. I got 2 tickets with BYU money (sweet deal! I had to buy some things for work), and then 1 more when I got the Valentine's gift for Andrew/Birthday present for Karen. I knew what we could do with 2 tickets (go together), but what would we do with 3?

We went through our options:
-Inviting a couple in our ward (we only have 3 tickets, not 4)
-Inviting (a) parent(s) (again, we only had 3 tickets and inviting only one parent would have been a little odd)
-Josie (into Bollywood, not basketball)
-Emily (she's in pep band in high school, but only to flirt with boys)
-Sarah (I think she's going to be too cool to really hang out with us until I'm visibly pregnant)
-Jacob (available...but we still have other options)
-Patrick (too involved with volleyball. The game started at 8:00 and he gets up at 4 am)
-David (if we were taking him to a basketball game, we'd at least want it to be a double date)
-Throw it away (hello! it's a free ticket! no way!)

So, Jacob won...we invited Jacob to come along. He gladly accepted.

We headed to the game. Jacob wasn't in such a great mood to join us that evening. He wanted $5 to take with him to Idaho. I told him that if he came over and did the dishes everyday for a year that I would give him $5. He changed his mood toward us and settled on just being upset at his "parental units." I'm so glad we'll have 15 years before our child is 15...

BYU started the game off right and scored a few baskets as a crowd-starter. That got Jacob excited.

They scored a goal-basket-unit
And the game pretty much just went on from there. I was really glad that it wasn't a football game. Those are so long! I mean, basketball periods are only 20 minutes. I can totally sit through, and pretend to be excited for, 20 minutes. The most exciting moment of the game for me, though, was when the silly kids on a date behind us decided to get up and get snack food.

One of the girls was pretending to hiccup. And it was really getting on my nerves. She would get all into a conversation and decide not to hiccup anymore but the minute the conversation was over, "Hic...hic...hic...hic...hic..." while her date crooned, "Oh, you hiccup so cutely." I almost turned around and said, "Don't encourage her!" or "Oh, Sweetie, do you need some help getting a drink for those?" or simply yelling, "Boo!"

I also had to endure a conversation about lip smacker:

Boy: Oh, you use lip smackers?!?
Girl: Yeah, why?
Boy: I love the taste of lip smackers. Ever since junior high, I just have loved lip smackers.
Girl: Really?
Boy: Yeah, what kind is that?
Girl: Gives him the chap stick, when all he really wanted to do was pull some moves.
Boy: That's one of my favorite kinds.

Awwwww...how cute. Too bad he's only 18 and will be going on a mission soon. Yuck.

Believe me, I tried to ignore them the best I could...but it was all so pathetic...

Right before the half-time show, Jacob got up to get a drink. He was gone for not even a minute. He gets back and I was like, "That was fast. Did you even get that drink?" Jacob said, "Oh, I got bored and stopped looking." Ri-ight...later he asked Andrew what I said and clarified that he really did get a drink.

Us during half-time
(one of the better self portraits of about 10)
All in all it was a pretty fun hour and a half. Our team stayed ahead the whole time, but not so ahead that it was boring...it was just right.

Here's some of the action (if you can see it--I told you: the tickets were free):


Half-time show

With four minutes and thirty-five seconds left in the game, the we got up and walked out of the Marriott center. It took us less than two minutes to speed-walk to our car and beat all the traffic off campus. We already knew our team would win...and so it wasn't a surprise when Andrew turned on the radio and it announced that BYU won 76-67.

So, we all had a great time together, bonded, and earned bragging rights. Jacob even warmed up and forgot to mention us giving him $5 when we dropped him off at home (we didn't give him $5...ha, ha).

Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Pancakes

We celebrated the eve of lent with a nice batch of pancakes. It took us awhile to get the pancakes since IHOP was offering free pancakes in honor of "National Pancake Day," which we actually celebrate twice: once 40 days before Easter and once sometime in September. Anyway, not a lot of people can resist free pancakes and after waiting in line for an hour we decided that we could just go home and make our own pancakes.

So, that's what we did.

We had pancakes, homemade syrup, and bananas. Yum.

Andrew pretending he's going to eat all those pancakes
Andrew has even already started to spoil the baby...he made two little baby pancakes just for the baby, which I had to eat, of course.

Note the semi-small one, and then the little speck. I ate those. And more.
Andrew and I also discussed everything we know about pancakes, Catholics, Anglicans, and Russian Orthodox, which boiled down to be "not a lot." Anglicans eat them as a last hurrah before they start their fast, during which eggs, sugar, anything fancy is out. Russians however, only eat pancakes during lent...unless they are like the family that I lived with, in which case they are probably quite un-orthodox Orthodox.

Ahhh...pancakes, sour cream, and granulated sugar. If you were lucky: sweetened condensed milk. But oh, so many types of pancakes: blin, crepes, olaties...pure yumminess!

When I was in Russia, I also got to go to a hxram, a Russian Orthodox Temple, with some missionaries for a traditional Easter celebration. I've never been around so many people passing around candles before in my life. Anyway, at a certain time (I think it was around midnight), the priests/everyone who thought to bring Easter bread with them takes it out signaling the end of the fast (because the bread is leaven...which you aren't supposed to eat during the fast).

The bread, kulich, is pretty good, I guess...I mean, the leftovers got old, but leftovers tend to do that. It's kind of like hot-cross buns, only a little different. Just a dry bread, sometimes with raisins, sometimes without, and it has a glaze on top.

So, hurray for pancakes! Hurray for Easter--which is really coming up a whole lot faster than I've been expecting it to, which I'm really glad for since that means spring is coming, too!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Jake's Corner and the Pussy Cat

For Family Home Evening on Monday, Andrew and I joined my family in going to a local theater to see a local play written by a local, that my Uncle Bruce (who resides locally) starred in. I suppose you could say it's a local thing.

My family has been going to the Valley Center Playhouse for a while, ever since I was a little girl. We'd come down to visit in the summers and Uncle Bruce would always be acting in one play or another at the good ol' VCP. So, we'd go and watch him in the play.

Anyway, before the play, we had dinner at my parent's house. Josie wanted me to see something on her computer so we went downstairs, and what should I see on her computer monitor but Lahki taking a nap (hurray for those old box-type monitors).

I just thought it was so cute that I had to take some pictures (Josie was quick to point out that there is already a picture of Lahki on the monitor on her MySpace page, but I haven't really looked at her page that much. It's an orange typeface on a pink background. Yuck!)


Another one of Lahki's favorite places to sit is on the heater vent. She's a woman after my own heart, although I would draw the line at sitting on the monitor. That's just a little bit strange for a full grown woman, but I do so enjoy the heater vents.

Zzzzzzz....
Anyway, Uncle Bruce's play, Jake's Corner, was really pretty good with quite a bit of audience participation. Andrew even got hit on by one of the flappers (she wiggled her feather boa in his face while singing), who wasn't even scared off that his wife was sitting next to him holding his hand.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Smooth Move

This is a virtual tour of the Periodicals Room in the Harold B. Lee Library, level 2. If you rotate around so that you are facing a row of chairs lined up along a glass wall, you can see just how big the panes of glass are. They're pretty much huge.

Today one of those shattered and rained down on us in Special Collections (we're on level 1).

There was glass everywhere. I'm not even sure how it is possible for it to shatter since the glass is super thick--kind of makes me nervous about airplanes. I mean, this glass was a good 1/2 inch thick or more and there were no sudden altitude/cabin pressure/turbulance changes in the library to force the glass to do this. Must have been a faulty pane or something.

So, there's caution tape up all over the place and people scurrying around to clean up the glass. It's pretty cool, I guess.

Unfortunately, I missed all the excitement because I'm stuck in the back with all the books. Apparently it just shattered, but stayed in tact, so the custodial crew came and made a "controlled" mess in our area so that it didn't explode all over the place.

Pretty cool. I'm sure we'll read about it in the Daily Universe in the next few days.

Monday, February 19, 2007

K-I-S-S-somethin'-somethin'-T!

My cousin Elizabeth is leaving on Thursday to go teach English in China. This is what I did in Voronezh, Russia, and what our cousin Heather did in both Perm and St. Pete's. It's kind of a family thing.

Anyway, Elizabeth came over at the behest of my dear cousin Andrew, who we saw at Wal-Mart putting away shopping carts. We weren't putting away shopping carts. He was. He works there. So we chatted with him for a bit and I mentioned that I've been meaning to drop by and see Elizabeth before she leaves. He then mentioned that she'd probably like that plus, her fiance was in town for the weekend so it would be a good time to see if he was good enough for her.

On our drive home from Wales, who should phone, but Elizabeth. She said that Andrew (her brother, not my husband) had told her that I wanted to get together before she left, and since her fiance was in town, I could meet him! I said that was a great idea. So, we made plans for them to come over to our house (since I would be doing the fireside thing until 8:30).

*****

I've been thinking all day about how weird it is that she is old enough to do all these things. I mean, she's attending BYU-I, she's going to China all by herself, and she's engaged. Quite impossible considering we played Barbies together.

Then I thought how I'm graduated from BYU, went to Russia all by myself, got married, and am now on my way to motherhood and I thought how quite impossible it is that I'm old enough to have done all that considering I used to play Barbies with Elizabeth.

Anyway, Elizabeth and her fiance, Cody, came over this evening around 9:00. We chatted, played some games, and sized Cody up. We decided that he's pretty cool. We gave them our blessing (for all that it's worth).

I also took their picture so that everyone in our family who hasn't met Cody can see him. They are going to be engaged for awhile and I don't think wedding announcements will be going out until after Elizabeth returns from China (in June), so that means no engagement shots yet, but at least you can get a good look at him.

Elizabeth and Cody sitting in a tree K-I-S-S.....
Here's the low-down on Cody:
-Studying Criminal Justice
-Wants to become a Police Officer, aspires to work for the Federal Government with Homeland Security intimidating people like Andrew
-Served in Texas (Houston?)
-Didn't apostatize when Lord of the Rings came out of his mission and he was forced to walk past a movie theater showing LotR every day without ever watching it
-From Kentucky
-Has relatives in Kaysville, UT, or somewhere (Elizabeth met those relatives, and his father who came out for Christmas)
-Likes fortune cookies

They only stayed for like an hour, so I'm sure that there's a lot more to know about him, but that's pretty much what I know. He seems really cool though. I'm glad that Elizabeth found someone for her.

The History of Italian food in Wales

After staying up until midnight talking to my sister on the phone, and then finishing up a few things around the house, Andrew and I went to bed with a deep, dark cloud looming over our heads. That deep, dark cloud was that we had to get up early in the morning but were going to bed so late (not a good way to become healthy, wealthy, or wise).

At 6:21 am, the alarm clock went off. Ugh...Andrew hit snooze. Our snooze button lasts for 9 minutes before it goes off again, which is why our clock was set to 6:21. That allows 1 snooze before we absolutely must get out of bed. But, that 1 snooze was not quite enough, so Andrew hit it again at 6:30. And then again at 6:39.

I am always paranoid that he is going to turn off the alarm instead of hitting snooze and that we'll both fall asleep again and not be able to get our day started so I can't really sleep during the snooze time. But this morning I kind of dozed off...when I woke up again, I could see that dawn was approaching, which is good since that means that spring is coming, but also bad because it meant that I had slept long enough for the darkness to become light-ish.

I rolled over to see what time it was (it was 6:47), and just as I rolled over, Andrew burst out laughing.

"What?" I asked, a little grumpy that he wouldn't get out of bed and shower. I didn't have to get out of bed, see, because I had showered on Saturday, the day we get ready for Sunday.

"You're so stupid!" Andrew replied.

"Excuse me?" I demanded.

"Yeah..." he said and then started snickering again.

"Andrew," I said, "I think you're still sleeping."

"No," he insisted, "We're not. You just asked me to do the stupidest thing."

"No, Andrew," I insisted firmer than he did, "We've been sleeping and apparently you've been dreaming."

"No," Andrew clarified, "We've been talking. You just asked me to research the history of Italian food in Wales. That's so stupid. They don't have Italian food in Wales. Wales is a Welsh towning community."

With that last sentence, I knew that Andrew was still asleep.

"Andrew!" I said, while shaking him, "Think about what you just said."

"What? Huh? Stop. What?" He asked, confused.

"You just said, 'Wales is a Welsh towning community.' That makes no sense."

"Oh," he said, "That was weird. I dreamt that we were laying in bed talking and you asked me to research the history of Italian food in Wales. That's so stupid. They don't have..."

"I know, Andrew," I said, "You were talking in your sleep."

And with that marvelous start to our day, we proceeded to get ready to depart for...Wales, actually. His dream kind of made sense since we were going to Wales for a family party at his Aunt Dorothy's place because his cousin Michelle is leaving for England for a mission. And, since all I crave is tomato-based foods, it makes sense that he would dream about me researching the history of Italian food in Wales, right?

Probably not.

Anyway, we were right ready to go by 7:30 am and, after his family met us at our house so we could take Emily in our car so that there would be room for both Richard and Diana in the van, we followed them through booming Sanpete County, which isn't really booming, really. I am pretty sure they have more cows than people. It's still a nice county, there's just no one there.

*****

So, we get to Aunt Dorothy's house and I immediately get attacked by a vicious and ferocious puppy. It was muddy and I was wearing a white skirt so this really was quite a dilemma. Luckily, I fended it off with my purse until Katherine came to rescue me (Andrew was carrying a big cooler into the house so he was excused). Oh, by the way, we later found out (after the dog, who is the neighbor's, followed someone into the house) that it has a biting problem, so it really was vicious and ferocious.

Anyway, then we walked to church and I collected enough burning barrel smoke in my hair to make me feel embarrassed, even though I'm sure everyone else smelled exactly the same way.

Michelle gave a good talk about preparing to be a missionary...

After church we went back over to Aunt Dorothy's (Andrew and I ran all the way home trying to race the van, carrying a sick Sarah, and almost got attacked by that puppy again. Luckily the puppy was too distracted by everyone else that he didn't notice me and my white skirt).

We had a wonderful lunch and some nice visits...and I held Andrew's cousin's baby who is only a month old and is just an angel. It's official. We want one.

*****

After I surrendered the baby (the stars are there because a long period of time elapsed before I would let the baby out of my arms), Andrew and I herded all the "kids" into the mini-van and drove home, leaving our car for Karen so that she could visit with her sisters without the "kids," the youngest being 15 and the oldest being 22, so I'm not sure they are really "kids" anymore.

We would have pictures to put up because we actually got the camera all ready to go this morning. Unfortunately when we came home it was waiting on the couch, looking rather dejected, if you ask me.

Luckily, Aunt Lynnea had her camera and was snapping away so the event was recorded digitally...oh, and Andrew also took quite a few pictures with Sarah's cell phone (mostly of his tongue).

*****

As soon as we got home, we settled in for a long afternoon's nap. We didn't wake up until Karen came to the door to exchange keys with us. It's a good thing she came to the door, too, because we were both so tired we would have slept clear until tomorrow.

Instead I got up with enough time to eat a little something and then run over to the stake center and prepare for a primary "Faith in God" fireside. I think it went over fairly well. Man, I was tired afterwards though.

For a treat we had brownies which meant that there were smashed crumbs all over the gym floor (luckily it's hardwood!) so we had to scrape it all off. Even though I'm not that much bigger than I used to be, it definitely was not very much fun to be bending over doing that for an hour (yes, an hour) while being 4.5 months pregnant and wearing a skirt. I was glad when we all agreed the floor was clean. Sunday, a day of rest?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Why is it still there?

Andrew and I like to go for walks around our neighborhood and critique the houses and decide what features we want to have in our dream home. This is even more fun when it's spring and all the lovely flowers are out. We're just starting spring now (I hope), so while I was airing out our house, Andrew and I went for a walk with a specific purpose in mind:

To capture on film (or in our case, memory card) the biggest wasp nest in our neighbourhood. It has been up in that tree the whole time that we've lived here. Every winter (the whole 2 of them) when the wasp nest becomes clearly visible, I think to myself, Surely, they are going to take that down this year! It's huge!


I mean, you can't see it after the leaves open up for the year...not at all. But that's when it's the most dangerous. I mean, here are unsuspecting pedestrians walking underneath the tree when all of a sudden they get attacked by an angry swarm of wasps.

It really is at least as big as a volleyball. I was going to try to get some better shots, but the family (who we don't know) were all out on the lawn and we didn't want to draw too much attention to ourselves. Maybe I'll get some better pictures later on...

Triominoes Trial

To celebrate our newly clean fridge, and to cheer me up from watching Cast Away (my mom, sister, and brother came over to watch it), Andrew and I broke out Triominoes. We had a pretty fun time. I won two rounds pretty easily...but then Andrew caught on. He won one game and then we decided to play just one more.

This last game went on for quite a long while. We each had just one piece that we couldn't get rid of the entire game. It was rather frustrating. Andrew had to think hard.

Traditional Thinking Pose #2
In the end we decided to call it a draw--we both had two pieces and neither of us could play either one--so we counted up our points. I won by 1 point (I had the 4-2-5 and 4-4-4. Andrew had the 4-4-1 and 5-5-5).


After looking at each other's pieces for a while, we still couldn't see anywhere they fit on the board. We decided it was time to go to bed (it is after midnight, after all), so Andrew's in the kitchen tidying up (old habits die hard--he still is in the "Nancy won't enter kitchen" mode) and I am passing the challenge on to you.

Spring Cleaning (take one)

For the past, oh, I don't know, two months or so, I have been complaining to Andrew about a smell in our kitchen. For about a week I would not even enter the kitchen. Andrew would bring me cereal in the morning and make my lunch for me. When we came home from work he would make dinner and then do the dishes because I just couldn't stand to be in there.

He chalked it up to my "pregnancy nose." He chalks just about anything up to "pregnancy" something or other. Pregnancy brain, pregnancy mood, pregnancy hair, pregnancy fingernails, pregnancy eyeballs, pregnancy feet...anything I complain about he blames on the baby. Poor little thing. The nose thing though is actually kind of my sister Kelli's doing. The first thing she asked me when we announced our pregnancy was if my sense of smell had sharpened.

Apparently it has...and the smell in the kitchen was too much for me. Eventually Andrew got sick and tired of doing everything for me.

"Honey, I'm thirsty...will you get me some water?"
"Honey, it would be really great to have some ketchup with this..."
"Honey, will you pretty, pretty please make me a snack in the wee hours of the morning when I wake up starving and you don't? Please...oh, come on..."

So, a while ago, he did a thorough cleaning of the kitchen. He even used wood polish on the cabinets. When he was done, everything smelled of wood polish for a while (orange scent!) so I could venture into the kitchen again...but that only lasted for so long.

About a week ago, I started complaining about the smell again. But since Andrew thought I was crazy and no one else seemed to be able to smell it, I just chalked it up to "pregnancy nose" and decided not to be a wimp about it anymore.

*****

Yesterday, though, I realized what that horrible smell was.

On Wednesday, Andrew and I decorated cupcakes in order to take them over to the ladies we home teach. Unfortunately, it was too late by the time we got around to that and decided that a post-Valentine's Day treat is better than no Valentine's Day treat at all...so we went to bed. I left Andrew in the kitchen to clean up (as I am still prone to do because I really can't stand to be in there...it almost makes me gag).

Andrew cleaned up, and put the cupcakes in the fridge but didn't cover them up.

When we got home from work the next day (that would be yesterday), I checked the cupcakes. They were kind of dried out...so they weren't really suitable to deliver as gifts. I started to decorate some fresher ones so that we could take those over, and while doing this popped one of the dry, crusty ones into my mouth.

Mistake!

I ran into the living room with the half-chewed cupcake still in my mouth, "Mhis mamse mike muh smwew!" I kind of sprayed some cupcakes out on that last "s."

"What?" Andrew, rightly, asked (speaking with your mouth full is rather rude).

I ran back into the kitchen and spat the cupcake out.

"This tastes like the smell!" I hollered back, "It tastes like the fridge. Try one!"

Andrew tried one. He had the same reaction I did, only he didn't try to communicate before spitting it out. (Why people do that, I'll never know... "Hey, this is truly disgusting. Try one!" "Yeah, okay! Pass them over!")

The smell that had been haunting me was, as Andrew calls it, "the traditional 'old fridge' smell."

I went over to the fridge right away and started rooting around. I found an orange in a grocery bag that had...well...just too gross. I promptly emptied it, and the cupcakes, and a few other fruits that were past their prime into the garbage can and put it outside.

*****

Today after we were done with all our errands, we cleaned the fridge! Sadly, that is about as exciting as my life gets--but I have never been so excited to clean a fridge! I think that the smell is really going away...

All our food on the counter (including the Martinelli we forgot to drink for V-day)
Andrew scrubbed the shelves and drawers...
While I scrubbed down the interior (what team work!)
Oh, how it sparkles
And then we put all of our food back in
So, now you all know exactly what we eat: yogurt, pickles, eggs, milk, apples, jam, cheese, tortilla shells and potatoes. That's pretty much all we have in our fridge.

You also know what we no longer have in our fridge: rotten oranges, cupcakes tasting of "old fridge," and a putrid smell.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not like mom's...

I did end up getting Andrew a present. Triominos! I have great memories of playing that as a child, so of course when I saw it I thought that Andrew would like playing it, too. It's kind of like dominoes, only triangles.

That got Andrew and I to talking: we really do want everything to be just like in the house we grew up in. We're just lucky that we grew up in homes with mis-matched furniture, otherwise we'd be one of those ridiculous couples who think that we need brand new furniture the minute we're married. We're really okay with hand-me-downs. It's more the small things. Like triominos.

I really like my can opener because it's just like the one we had for all those years while I was growing up (until it was replaced by one of the same brand because someone left the originals too close--on is too close--to the stove burner. But I won't name any names: *cough* David *cough*).

And Andrew likes to keep the sheets in storage bins under the bed, which is really a great idea because it frees up so much shelf room and, really, how often do you need to get sheets out? Once a month or so? Not really worth it to have in the closet for all that time when it could be under the bed not using up useful space.

We like to just do little things just like mommy and daddy. Which is kind of funny because so many people spend their whole teenage years rebelling against how mom and dad do things.

I'm sure that Andrew and I had rebellious years, but I think our rebellious years were fairly mild compared to some. It just makes me wonder if people who really "didn't like" their parents way of doing things grow up to crave that life style?

We always tell Sarah that she's going to be just like her parents and it just about makes her throw up. I'm pretty sure she will wake up one day and realize that she just punished her child in the same punishment she had gotten when she did the exact same thing in her childhood. But I guess I'll never know that.

***

Anyway, today was Karen's birthday, so Andrew gave me the assignment of buying her a gift while I was looking for his gift. This proved more difficult than I first thought. I discussed it at lunch (a Valentine's Day Potluck) with my mom and Cyndee, Andrew's boss: the "mother-in-law gift dilemma."

We all decided that a CD would be a good choice, but Andrew's family already has a large collection of music and I am not so familiar with it that I know for sure what they already have. We thought we would go with Enoch Train, a group that my mom's boss's husband (Daron) plays in. We went to their concert together last year (me, my mom, Josie, Andrew, and his mom).

I couldn't figure out how the CDs were arranged in the bookstore and they were playing really annoying and loud music in that section of the store so I couldn't handle it. I gave up on finding their CD.

I went to plan B: a book. I browsed through row upon row of books but I just couldn't think of a book that Karen wouldn't have.

I looked at art prints. I looked at games. I looked at clothes. I could settle on nothing and was beginning to begrudge the fact that Andrew had dared to give me this assignment. What was he thinking? I can't even shop for him, let alone myself. How did he expect me to come up with a good present for his mother?

I stumbled upon a sickly sentimental series of gifts called, "Eat your peas." I looked at a book that they had...it was disgusting. Curly handwriting scrawling across page after page in this book saying things like, "I love you!"; "You mean the world to me!"; "You're great!"; and "Don't forget to take time for yourself." This went on for 200 pages or so.

Not only was I getting dizzy from reading the poorly designed book, I was starting to gag from reading all the fluffy sentimental statements. I mean, had they been real quotes I think I might have been able to take it, but, "The first thing I thought of this morning was you!" and "I'm so lucky that you're my mother!"--give me a break!

I settled on a magnet made by the same company with one of their slightly less sentimental sayings (after all, no one likes peas that much anyway, so I thought a spoonful would be better than a plateful) and bought a card to put it in.

Still a little cutesy, but a mile less cuter than that book *shudder*.

*****

I'm sure in 15 years, Andrew will get me the same magnet because it reminds him of his mother's house. That's okay though because it has one of those quotes that makes you feel good about yourself.

Happy Valentine's Day

Andrew had to work late again last night which meant that I was home alone. I got a bit of work done, but being home alone is really pretty boring. Before I went to bed though, I drew Andrew a picture.


I'm not very good at these holiday things. I didn't know what to get Andrew for our anniversary. He got me the perfect gift. I didn't know what to get Andrew for Christmas. He got me the perfect gift. I didn't know what to get Andrew for Valentine's Day, so I just drew him a picture to welcome him home. Lame, I know, but nothing like a home-made picture, right? Truthfully, I was feeling bad because he told me that my present was "coming" and I didn't have the foggiest idea of what to get him.

Luckily he's not a girl so he doesn't care.

When I walked into the kitchen this morning, there were flowers waiting for me, but not those silly kind that are all cut up--real flowers in dirt.


They're daffodils--the same flowers that I got last year for Easter that are currently in my fridge pretending that it is winter so that perhaps they will grow. I think they're really pretty. Andrew picked them up on his way home from work. Considering he got off work at midnight, I'd say he was pretty thoughtful.

For dinner we went to Papa Murphy's and got a heart-shaped pizza. It's a tradition that Andrew would like to continue--not necessarily the Papa Murphy's, but the heart-shaped pizza. He tried it last year but failed miserably and ended up just going for a regular square pizza, which was fine, but not festive.


This year the pizza worked out a lot better, but that's because we realized that they just made a round blob of dough and then cut out the heart instead of trying to shape the heart out of a blob of dough. No matter what you think as a child, pizza dough is just not as easy to work with as play dough. I used to make very creative foods out of play dough. Real dough is just a bit tougher. Those play dough spaghetti makers, a cinch to operate. A real spaghetti maker, not so simple.

Now that we know Papa Murphy's secret, perhaps we'll be able to make a pizza from scratch next year...

After dinner, I decorated cupcakes while Andrew did homework. The cupcakes really did turn out alright in the end.


I had to phone mom to get the recipe for the icing. See, I know the general idea of making icing, but I'm just not very good at making it off the top of my head. I tend to end up frosting only half a cake, or I won't get the ratio of liquids to solids right and end up using 2 bags of powdered sugar and a 1/2 jug of milk and have a year's supply of icing.

There is a particular recipe of icing that I like to follow--it's the Betty Crocker one. I have a CD, but that recipe wasn't on it, so I phoned home to get it.

Josie answered. I was very specific with what I wanted, "Can you get me the recipe for icing from the Betty Crocker Cook Book--that's the big red binder up with the other cook books that says, "Betty Crocker" on it."

"Sure," she says, "Mo-om!"

An unheard conversation about what I want takes place.

"Mom has that recipe memorized. She'll just tell it to you."

That would be fine, except that I know that mom has the recipe memorized how I memorize recipes (and scriptures). I know exactly what ingredients went in to the recipe and I know how the recipe turns out (so I can quote scriptures), but I have no clue what amount of what went in (and I have trouble remembering references).

Mom comes on the phone, "When I make icing, I just use some butter and mix in some powdered sugar and a little bit of milk, and some vanilla flavoring."

"I know, mom," I reply, "But I make icing like grandpa makes grits. What I want is just the recipe from the Betty Crocker Cook Book."

"Oh," mom says and immediately asks Josie to get the cook book (so she probably should have just done that in the first place).

In the end I got my recipe. Andrew was curious though, "You make icing like your grandpa makes grits? How does your grandpa make grits?"

Let's just say that grandpa's not a southern boy.

My grandma is from Florida and therefore she makes delicious southern food. Grandpa is from Utah, which I used to think was pretty far south, but my perception has changed a bit now that I've moved here myself--it's really not the south, believe me there is a lot more south to go from here.

Well, when they were a young married couple, grandma was either sick or grandpa was making her breakfast in bed or she'd just had a baby. I don't remember how the story goes. Anyway, grandpa decided that he'd make her grits, so he put some water on the stove, brought it to a boil and then added grits like he had seen grandma do so many times before.

The problem was that he didn't measure, so it was still a little runny. He added more grits. It got to be too thick, so he heated up some more water and added that to the grits. It was now too runny, so he added more grits. That made it a little too thick so he added some more water to it which then made it too thin so he added more grits.

This he continued until he used every pot and all the grits in the house, or so the story goes.

And that is why I absolutely need recipes for some things--it would be completely disastrous otherwise. I do like to experiment in the kitchen but some things have already been worked out perfectly so no more experimentation needs to be done.

Plus, this icing actually tastes like the stuff that you buy in the stores in the plastic containers, which I happen to find delicious.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Don't trifle with dessert

Due to my fantastically brilliant sister, I have saved dessert. Who would ever have thought up something to do with 4 1/2 dozen (ruined) cupcakes? Not me, that's for sure. But my sister could.


See how happy it made Andrew?

Here's my latest recipe:

Take 4 (and a half) dozen mini cupcakes that have completely fallen apart.
Add 1 package of pre-prepared instant vanilla pudding
Dig around your cupboards to find fruit that isn't peaches or pears because that just didn't sound like a good combo (we found some cherries, yum...and festive)

Layer the cupcake remains, pudding, and fruit until you have a beautiful trifle of sorts.

Present it to your husband for a FHE treat and then decide not to have any for yourself because you're pregnant and really can't stand many desserts.

Half an hour later, decide that you really want some even if baby doesn't and then regret it until it has moved through your system.

Overall, not a bad dessert. (And, no, I did not allow Andrew to eat it all in one sitting...there is definitely more left over for tomorrow.)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cupcake, anyone?


I am planning on writing a book about all the mishaps we've had in our kitchen since being married (and perhaps including a few stories pre-marriage). Today we created another one.

After going home teaching together (yes, we go home teaching together. I am Andrew's companion), we decided that we should make some Valentine's Day treats for the ladies we teach. Two are widowed and one is divorced and goodness knows they get lonely because they need to talk. Let's just say we try not to schedule one particular lady with any less time than one hour. She just needs someone to talk to.

In addition to making them Valentines, there were a few other people in our ward that we wanted to hit up, so we would need a few more treats than just three.

I made some mini-cupcakes (cherry-chip, mmmm), but that really didn't look like enough for all the people we were going to deliver treats to, so we decided to make another batch.


In an effort to make it super-Valentinesque, we used a white cake mix with cherry Jello mixed in. Aside from being neon red, they really aren't too shabby, except that what you see in the picture is all that survived. There should be about equal parts white and red cupcakes, but...I failed miserably at trying to take them out and broke cupcake after cupcake in half.


Andrew took over for me (he's the one who got all the whole ones out), but even he didn't do too great.


We completely destroyed well over 4/5 of them. They just didn't pop out as well as the cherry-chip ones. I'm not sure if it was the Jello, or the fact that we used a white cake mix, which is a little more delicate than other cakes (it doesn't call for oil or egg yokes).


Andrew says that the crumbled cupcakes mixed in with a little milk turns into a pudding-like substance that is actually pretty good. I'm not too sure about that, but I've been sneaking into the kitchen to eat the cupcake tops...

Brazilian Fiesta

On Thursday night, Andrew and I were actually socialites. We went to a party with a bunch of people we didn't know, and we had a good time, too!

See, I have this friend Angela, who is from Brazil. She is also friends with David, although we met at different times and she didn't even know that we were related when she met me. David met her in a dance class and I met her in Italian class. She's a great girl and we became good friends.

So, on Thursday night, she invited Andrew and I over for a nice Brazilian dinner. Also invited were a bunch of people who served in Brazil (like my brother), as well as some of her Brazilian friends, and their friends.

For dinner we had beans and rice. What else? There was also lasagna for the people unwilling to try beans and rice, like it's that exotic (jeepers, Andrew...beans and rice...that's all). But it was a traditional Brazilian meal, so what else would there be but beans and rice, or rice and beans.

Interestingly enough, Andrew and I were among the youngest there but were the longest-married couple. It was kind of strange to not be considered newly weds. That's probably the first time that's ever happened in our whole married lives. I'm sure it will continue to happen as we are married longer.

The highlight of the evening for me, though, was rediscovering one of my favorite groups. When David came home from his mission he brought home this CD that I absolutely fell in love with and listened to virtually every day for a very long time. Well, when that group came blasting over the stereo, I couldn't help but force Andrew to get up and dance with me (what's the point of marrying your dance partner if you have to force them to dance? I mean, come on!).

The lowlight was probably that I don't speak Portuguese so felt a little bit out of it. Because we were so linguistically challenged at this party Andrew and I had to speak Italian together just to feel a little less left out. Andrew and David also discovered that they carry on a rather lengthy, albeit pointless, conversation with Andrew speaking Italian and David speaking Portuguese.

I believe their conversation went something like this:

David (in Portuguese): "Hey, I can understand what you're saying."
Andrew (in Italian): "I can understand you, too."
David (in Portuguese): "Cool."
Andrew (in Italian): "Yeah, will you get me some juice?"
David (in Portuguese): "Sure, which kind?"
Andrew (in Italian): "Grape."
David (in Portuguese): "This one?"
Andrew (in Italian): "No, that one."
David (in Portuguese): "This one?"
Andrew (in Italian): "No, that one."
David (in Portuguese): "This one?"
Andrew (in English): "Grape!"
David (in a lot of languages): "Oh."

And thus we see that there were some communication problems at the party.

My favorite was when Angela went up to her husband and asked, "We need plates and what else is it you eat with?" "Silverware?" he offered. "Yes," she said, "the plastic kind."

Ahhh...I love being surrounded by language barriers. Somehow it makes me feel secure.

Mother Bear

I think that I am turning into somewhat of a "mother bear." You know, the protective mother who mauls anyone who comes in the way of her baby? That kind of mother bear.

Everything I look at in the house, I think, "Is that baby-safe?" Like, how I made Andrew fix the blinds, or how I constantly worry about where we're going to put the crib (that we don't have), or how I am trying to baby proof our house (even though our baby isn't yet born, let alone mobile).

I have also been reminiscing a lot more, which is something I thought happened when people got older, much older. Apparently I'm in the much older category because I keep thinking of all the stories I have to tell. Well, either that or I'm just supposed to tell stories. Perhaps it's a little bit of both.

This story is also kind of inspired by Bridget's blog post, but also by the comment made by Shaille, who said that women are just naturally more cautious. It is part of the "mother bear" (aka. nurturing instinct) inherent within us.

This story happens one Friday night when I was 15, a sophomore (grade 10) in high school. David and I had had a party and because the magic hour of midnight was approaching, our guests were on their way out the door in order to beat curfew.

Joy and Matt were the last two to be leaving. The four of us were at the door joking around a bit which meant that Joy was laughing wildly and Matt was talking in his bass voice. My parents were already in bed, but if anyone knows my mom well, they know that she is a light sleeper (as am I). She heard the wild laughter of Joy, which, if you are just coming out of a stupor of sleep, could sound like a young girl screaming and gasping. She heard the bass voice of Matt, which, if you already thought you heard a young girl screaming, could sound like a vicious attacker.

My mom of course, instantly began to panic for my safety. She poked my dad. He grunted. She poked him harder. He rolled over. She shook him awake. He said, "What?"

"Nancy is being kidnapped!" she yelled in a whisper.

"No, she's not." dad replied calmly.

"Yes, she is! I can hear screaming!" my mom said.

"It's just their friends leaving." said my dad and rolled over to go back to sleep.

With that last bit of apathy from my dad, my mom jumped out of bed and ran down the hallway...

Only to run into me and David and Joy and Matt at the entry way.

She smiled at us, said goodnight, and went back to bed.

After Joy and Matt finally left, mom came out of her room again and told me the now-funny story of her thinking I was being abducted. We had a good laugh and went to bed.

*****

The next night (Saturday), our friends got together again, this time at someone else's house (I think it was Becky's). That night, Matt asked me, "What was up with your mom last night?"

"Oh," I said, "She just thought someone was kidnapping me..." and I told him the story. He laughed. After all, it's a funny story.

Isn't it nice, though, to have a mother who cares about me so much that she would risk her life in the middle of the night to save mine? I think so.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Inspired by Bridget's Blog

After reading Bridget's most recent post, I was reminded of a something that happened to us before we left for Jordan.

*****

It was a dark and stormy night. Andrew and I had stayed up late playing games or watching a movie. I can't actually remember why we were up so late. It could just be that it really was a dark and stormy night and the power kept going off, making our printer turn off and on again...making me freak out. Every time the printer reset itself, you know, how the cartridge moves around, I would think it was someone jiggling the handle to our front door.

I would then make Andrew get up and check the house.

After doing this two times, he finally unplugged the printer and told me to go to sleep.

I didn't.

Instead I listened to the wind howling and the branches hitting our window. Suddenly I heard all these banging noises. I was scared stiff.

I shook Andrew awake.

"Listen," I hissed, "Do you hear that?"

"No. Go to sleep." Andrew said.

"No, really!" I insisted, "There are crashing noises, and I think I hear screaming."

"It's just the wind." Andrew said.

"No, really!" I continued, "I think someone is screaming for help."

"You're beginning to creep me out." Andrew said.

"I'm beginning to creep you out?" I asked, shocked, "I'm scared solid!"

"Just go to sleep." Andrew said. Like that was even an option.

I lay awake for most of the night, listening to the wind...

*****

Within that week, our neighbours downstairs and across the hallway put their condo up for sale. At church that Sunday we heard people talking about why they were moving. We stopped and joined the conversation.

As it turns out, their next door neighbours (who were really pretty scary people, really) had had their brother (who was even more scary than they were) over. One night he decided he was going to kill them all, and then commit suicide, so he attempted to do so.

He was trying to scare them first so he was running around the apartment like a maniac stabbing holes in the wall (thus, our neighbours put their condo up for sale) and then coming after them.

The female resident went around banging on people's doors, trying to wake them up so she could call the police. It was like 2 am, so no one was awake. She tried all the doors downstairs, and then ran upstairs.

Our next door neighbours were up watching a show, so they heard her at their door and let her in.

She used the phone, called the cops. They came, arrested the knife-wielding man, and left.

The neighbours who put their condo up for sale moved within 2 weeks. The scary couple moved shortly after we left for Jordan.

*****

And thus we see that crimes can happen anywhere. Even in Happy Valley, USA.

Oh, and, Andrew has been a lot more careful before dismissing my thoughts regarding checking the front door, looking in closets, etc...even at 2 am. Mostly because he knows that I wasn't just hearing things--I actually was hearing things.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Working out at work

Just to let you know, I am currently pushing 11 hours of work today. Not that it's really anything to brag about. I had a four hour "retreat" at work today, which means that I got to listen to interesting people speak and eat good food instead of being trapped in the "dungeon." (The "dungeon" is the nickname for Special Collections in the library--it's 50 feet below ground and there are no windows. It's one big cement block).

After walking back to the library from the Conference Center (no, that wasn't my workout), I noticed that the AC/Vent guy was there working on the Cold Vault. The CV, as we affectionately call it, has been acting up lately. It's supposed to be a micro-environment for photographs to help preserve them, but recently the humidity has been sky-rocketing.

Sometimes I feel that not a lot of people take me seriously. The last few days I have phoned or emailed the AC/Vent guy at least 2 times a day telling him how the humidity is going up and up. Finally this morning he told me that he'd come and look at it.

*****

Apparently he's now fixed the problem. Before he left he warned me: The alarm will go off as it normalizes. Just switch it off and then it will sound again to let you know it's been reset. Switch it back on.

I thought I could handle that. I did, but his statement was the understatement of the year.

Soon after he left, the alarm went off, just about scaring me out of my wits! I got up from my desk and went to the alarm. I switched it off. I waited for it to sound again and then switched it back on. There, I thought, that's that. And I walked back to my desk.

No sooner had I sat down then the alarm went off again. I walked back over to the alarm, and repeated the same procedure as before, except when I turn it back on, the alarm immediately sounded again. I turned it off, it beeped. I turned it on, it beeped. I turned it off and on and off and on. Finally, I thought it had settled down a little.

I started walking back to my desk. It went off again. Annoyed, I stood by the alarm for more than 5 minutes turning it on and off, on and off, on and off. Finally, a student walked in and I asked her to stand there and flip the switch whenever it sounded while I phoned the AC/Vent guy to be sure this was normal.

She did, but do you know what? That crafty little alarm didn't go off at all the whole time she was there. The AC/Vent guy said that that was normal and to just continue flipping the switch.

I sat down in my desk, thanked the girl and got back to work. No sooner had she left than the alarm went off.

I got up from my desk and walked over to the alarm, turned it off, waited for it to beep and then turned it back on. I waited for a few minutes, but it was silent so I went back to my desk and sat down. And then it beeped.

I got up and turned it off, waited for it to beep and turned it back on. I waited for a few minutes, went back to my desk and sat down.

One of my students came into work. Amazingly enough, the alarm didn't go off the whole time he was in the room. I kept glancing at the alarm to make sure the gauges were reading correctly and waiting for the alarm to go off. It didn't.

My student left the room...I was sure the alarm was going to go off as soon as he left. I looked up at the alarm. It didn't go off. I looked back at my screen...and the alarm went off.

I walked over, turned it off. Waited, turned it on. Waited, walked back to my desk. Waited, walked back to the alarm...and repeated that about twenty times before my student came back into the room.

By this time the alarm was going through one of its crazy fits of constantly turning off and on so when my student walked back in he got to witness the little relationship the alarm and I were having. I was glad because I was starting to think I was crazy.

At this point it became more of a game. Who could get up to turn the alarm off faster?

The alarm would go off. He'd be up by the cabinet and reach over and turn it off.

The alarm would go off again. I would already be up out of my desk at the sink and could turn it off.

The alarm would go off again. We were both at our desks. Who would get to the alarm first?

I started losing it, and by "it" I mean everything: concentration, sense of humor, reason, etc.

I don't think I have ever been happier for 5:00 to roll around. As I closed up for the day, I turned the alarm off one last time, waited for it to reset and then turned it back on, turned off the lights and closed the door.

I'm sure that a nice high-pitched screeching noise will be the first thing to greet me in the morning, but I should look on the bright side: at least I got my exercise quota for the day!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Matthew's Baptism

Yesterday was Matthew's baptism. He turned 8 on December 29th and yesterday was his lucky day. Uncle Andrew got to baptize Matthew, which was really exciting for him since this was Uncle Andrew's first time to do this. Uncle Andrew had to memorize the words in English. He had already completed this task in Italian (just in case).

Uncle David thought that Matthew and Uncle Andrew were lucky because we have water heaters in America and therefore the water would be warm instead of freezing cold. Uncle David was wrong. The water, according to Andrew, was freezing cold and, unfortunately, only just above his knees, so it took a bit of acrobats to get Matthew all the way under. The cold water shocked Matthew and he came up sputtering.

That reminds me of my baptism when the water was also freezing cold. I wrote in my journal later that day: The water was so could! [sic].

Since there were two little boys who turned eight right around the same time, Matthew got to share his baptism day with a boy in his ward named Lilo. Lilo's grandfather gave a talk on baptism and then I led everyone in singing a song that my Grandma Conrad wrote about baptism. It's become somewhat of a favorite among my family, especially since her passing.

After the baptisms, Uncle David gave a talk on receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He did a great job at putting it in words that an eight year old could understand. He compared the Holy Ghost to a bicycle that you don't own. Your goal is to get home as fast as possible so a friend loans you the bike for a while so that you can go a little faster...but eventually you have to give the bike back. This continues on for a while, with your friend lending you his bike whenever you're too tired, or need an extra pick up.

Then one day, the friend said, "Why don't you keep the bike? I think you're ready for it."

That's like when we get the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We can use it forever, as long as we take care of it. Just like a bike won't work if you pop its tire on glass, or get its wheels tangled in weeds, the Holy Ghost won't work if you don't heed its promptings and go down paths you shouldn't.

After David finished his talk, Uncle Andrew got to confirm Matthew a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. Andrew was unaware that he was going to do this, so the Bishopric had to do a quick re-cap of the proper words in English.

All in all, it went over well. The spirit was strong, and it was fun to see the family members that came.

After the baptism, we left to go home so that Andrew could do homework (he wrote a nine page paper yesterday) while everyone else left to have lunch at a restaurant. Apparently there were mishaps in that department involving the wrong restaurant name and people getting lost, but I wasn't there so I can't be sure.

While we were on the freeway however, we had a mishap of our own. Andrew was telling my why he and Matthew had taken so long to get out of the dressing room after the baptism (I think it involves Matthew not wanting to get dressed and face the crowd). All of a sudden he groans, "I left my wet clothes in the dressing room..." So, although it wasn't a terrible mishap, it did cost us quite a few minutes of our time.

Kelli, if you are missing a pair of Matthew's underwear, they are most likely still in the men's dressing room soaking wet. Andrew didn't see them in there, so maybe you were more on top of things that we were!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Oh, the irony!

Last night we went to TGI Friday's with my mom and dad and Andrew's mom and dad. My dad won a free dinner there...and the dinner was really good. But as with most free things, there was a little bit of a cost. This time we had to listen to a "fire safety presentation." The presentation really wasn't so bad to sit through. I learned a lot of things that I didn't know before. Living on your own is kind of strange. Neither Andrew nor I knew how often you needed to change your furnace filter or that you should vacuum out your lint hose... You learn something new everyday.

I have to admit that, as bad as this sounds, my favorite part of the presentation was the article about the fire station burning down in Draper, UT. The fire alarms in the station never went off and all the firemen were sound asleep inside...I just thought it was too ironic that a brand new fire station that is completely up to code would burn down as the firemen were sleeping.

After dinner, Andrew's parents came over so that his mom could help us fix our blinds. We are slowly getting our spare room ready for baby and noticed that the blinds had so many extra slats in them that it could have reached all the way down to the floor and the pull cord was so long and knoted in multiple places creating quite the strangling hazard for a baby. The other blinds in our house are fine, but the one in the child's room--a complete mess. That's the same room that the previous owners had their 2 year old son in. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Anyway, Andrew's mom, being the good mom that she is, tried to teach Andrew how to fix them instead of fixing them for us. Now, I think Andrew is pretty amazing, but sometimes he struggles with things: like fixing blinds. Basically he had to do the same steps 6 times, but each time he did it, he had to ask his mom how to do it again...

They then moved onto the furnace room to replace our filter and check on our lint hose (which had come completely off our dryer and was spewing lint all over the place. If that's not a fire hazard, I don't know what is).

While Andrew is struggling with the furnace filter, Piper phoned. She and Abra had been online looking at their elf names (aka: what their names would be if they were one of Santa's little helpers). My name was not too bad, Twinkle Stocking Stuffer. But Andrew's name was just too funny (and dare I say, suiting), Ditsy Helper. The kids voted on it and decided that his name was the funniest so he won a phone call from Piper, absolutely free, except for the teasing that he'll get for his name, of course.

*****

Now I should finish up our fire safety catch: we "had" to write a time to meet with our representative so he could give us an estimate on what it would cost to install smoke detectors in our home. We scheduled our time for 9 am this morning...not that we really wanted a salesman in our home, but because we figured if we didn't schedule a time we'd be getting a phone call.

He came. Stayed for 10 minutes and left. See, the average package for these systems is $2000-3000, because they "actually work." After trying to scare us into purchasing their system last night by using a lot of statistics for their benefit, I did a little research on the internet and am no longer completely convinced of their superiority. I know that the internet isn't always a reliable source for information, but since when is a salesman?

We simply told him that we didn't have $2000 to put into a smoke detector. He told us we could purchase one unit for $400--that it would be an investment. We told him we didn't have that kind of money to invest in a smoke detector. He told us we could purchase a similar model at Lowe's for $25, but that their instruction manual states that it "is not a lifesaving device."

Although this company claims that their smoke detector is a life saving device, I'm not sure I would put my life in its hands. After all, if it goes off in the middle of the night, and I get out of bed, but my foot gets all tangled in the sheets and I sprain my ankle in the process, is it going to jump off the ceiling and carry me out of the house. I don't think it will.

As a lifeguard/swim instructor I would teach my students the saying, "Swim with a buddy in a supervised area." We would then discuss what a "buddy" is. A "buddy" is a mommy or daddy or other grown up that will swim with you to help you if you get in trouble. A "buddy" is not a rubber ducky or even a life jacket because they can't save your life.

I think that a smoke detector is a great thing to have, but under no conditions will it search the house for me if I am already unconscious. It won't carry me out if I break my leg. It won't run back in and get my baby. No, I think my family, friends, and neighborhood fire department would qualify as a "buddy" in this case.

And, by the way, we do have a smoke detector.