Friday, March 30, 2007

Evidence of our crazy household

I just did the dishes:

5 cups
2 plates
8 bowls
2 tupperware containers that were used for cereal
2 small plates
1 pot
1 colander
Random bits of silverware and a pasta scoop

That is all we used the whole week! We haven't been home to even make a mess in our kitchen. It was virtually clean. Our living room and bedroom really took the brunt of this week. One is covered in paper and the other was (I just finished the laundry) covered in clothes. Can you guess which room had which mess?

If you guessed that the living room is covered in paper and the bedroom covered in clothes, you were right.

Andrew had a 10 page paper due this week and he has two 10 page papers due next week. So, our living room is absolutely covered in papers and books. He's also behind in his Arabic grading, so we have a billion quizzes in stacks around our living room. And my primary stuff from last night has joined the ranks of the papers revolting against us.

The clothes thing is really just embarrassing. In our laundry basket: 2 shirts and a pair of socks (all mine). On our floor: everything else we wore this week. Disgusting, I know! But it's all clean now, and sitting on our bed waiting ever so patiently to be folded.

Other than that our house is pretty clean. I need to do the bathrooms, but...I might put that off until tomorrow.

See, we just haven't been home all week. On Monday we didn't get home until around 8:00. Tuesday we got home around 5:00, but then Andrew had to go back to work until midnight. Wednesday we didn't come home until after 10:00. And Thursday...I was pretty much gone until 10:00, while Andrew got home at 9:00. Today we are looking forward to actually making dinner and eating at our table together, alone. That will be the first time since Sunday.

We are going to be having Mexican food. I did make that shopping list, but I did it in a hurry after I got back from visiting teaching and Andrew was rushing me. I didn't check my list against of inventory (ie: I didn't look in any fridge, freezer, cupboard, or under the bed to see what food we had). When we got home and started putting what I bought away we realized that I had basically duplicated the list from last time we went shopping--remembering things that we had forgotten to get a month ago, and then bought two weeks ago...and totally forgetting about the things we forgot two weeks ago and needed to get this week.

So, we have tortillas up the wazoo. We get them at Costco because they are cheaper there. They come with 8 packages of 10. We bought one today. And we already have one in our freezer at home. They've been there for 2 weeks.

We also bought another package of lentils, only to discover that we have a whole package in our cupboard already. And we only know how to make 1 recipe with lentils! Food storage, right? It's all good.

Thank goodness Mom asked me to raid their cupboards. Perhaps we can get things we actually need from my parents because my shopping list plan failed us.

Hopefully this coming week will give us some good weather and relaxing moments and perhaps, if we're really lucky, some together time that doesn't involve me analyzing Andrew's papers.

Alas, extended hours in the library start this week, so instead of working until midnight, Andrew will work until 2 am. We have a dress rehearsal on Thursday and performances on Friday and Saturday. We have a doctor's appointment on Monday. I have a Relief Society activity for which I am being in a play and am in charge of a musical number for. And I think (I hope) that's all we have coming up.

At least we'll be together when we're dancing!

Oh, and we won't have internet for the next week: they are coming to install it on Friday--an hour before we have to perform. I don't know what we're going to do about that because we have to be early...

Anyway, good luck with your week.

Folk Dance Ensemble

Wednesday night was David's last performance on his folk dance team. He did a great job, although apparently they couldn't hear the music very well on stage so they were rushing it. I don't think the audience noticed though. Everyone clapped. His coach did get on the microphone in the middle of their performance and scream, "Slow down!" but not even Mom noticed that, so I'm sure hardly anyone did.

Here's a short clip of him dancing. It's a Romanian dance...he's on the left-hand side, the second from the back. It's not a very close shot, but at least we sat on the right side of the stage! We usually aren't able to see him at all!




And now for a picture that you'll actually be able to see (one that they posed for).


It was pretty difficult to get pictures of the dancers. They move just a little too fast for our camera to be able to catch them. My friend Garrett also danced and I tried to get some pictures of him, but all the good ones are of his back. Every single one that I tried to take ended up looking like this:


That's Garrett, doing the kicks on his side. If you zoom in on the picture you'll notice that his face is completely blurred. Oh, well!

It was a really good show. It's kind of a shame David won't be dancing in any more shows. I really like them. I suppose I can still go, but it's just cooler to go to a show when you know people in it than when you don't.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What a week!

I woke up Wednesday morning and it was not a happy experience. Andrew had to work late last night and I couldn't sleep without him because I was scared. So I fell asleep on the couch waiting for him to come home from work, which means that I didn't actually go to bed until 12:30 or so.

And wouldn't you know it...I look out the window and see this:


Yuck! March came in like a lion, so it should be going out like a lamb. Of course, I think there's a warning in the scriptures about people who try to predict the weather by silly little sayings instead of focusing on more important issues, so maybe I'll just let the whole weather thing go and accept it as it comes...

Work was okay on Wednesday, but we have this big Conference that we've been setting up for all week and I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. People have been coming into my office saying, "I need ________." My job is then to get that for them. The problem is that I haven't known what ______ was all week. I always say, "I don't know where it is off the top of my head, but I can look for it." And then they say something like, "I need it in the next five minutes."

That is almost an impossible task. It takes five minutes to walk from one side of the stacks to the other, let alone search for something that I am not even sure what it is.

Finally my day ended and I was able to go home...with my mom. Andrew had a group project meeting on Wednesday at 5:00, then he had a play performance at 6:30, and then he had to work from 7-10.

After eating dinner at my mom's house, Mom, Josie, and I left to head back to BYU to watch David's last folk dance recital. We stopped by my house so that I could grab the camera and some food for Andrew. I was so prepared that I even grabbed extra batteries for the camera.

We got to BYU just in the nick of time, booked it to the library (hehe, booked it it...to the library), and gave Andrew his food right in front of a patron he was helping (it was Sister Elder, so I wasn't too concerned). Then we rushed to the Wilk to go to David's performance.

We chose our seats and sat down and I turned on the camera to check the status of the batteries, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a plain white screen and no pictures to cheer. I, of course, lost my composure (my mom said that gets easier to control with each pregnancy). I did everything I could think of to get the display screen to work. I took the batteries out and put them back in and nothing happened. I put in the new batteries and nothing happened. I replaced the memory card and nothing happened. I turned it off and on in various settings and nothing happened. I took a few pictures and, well, those actually worked, but they look horrible...

Luckily there was a band giving a concert at the beginning so I didn't feel guilty walking out. My mom suggested that I go see Andrew because he just has this "magic" touch that fixes things. I knew it would be futile. We'd have to get a new camera. I wouldn't get any pictures of David. And my whole life was ruined.

Josie and I ran over to the library. I gave the camera to Andrew and blubbered, "It's broken."

He turned it on. The same white screen appeared. "Interesting..." he mused.

He took out the memory card. Turned on the camera. Turned off the camera. Replaced the memory card. Turned on the camera. It worked.

Josie laughed. I was happy that Andrew fixed the camera, but honestly...I tried that. I tried everything. And then he looks at the camera and it fixes itself. "I hate techies..." I muttered.

"You're welcome," Andrew said, "Stop crying now."

After cheering me up enough that I could actually be grateful that he fixed the camera, Josie and I ran back to the Wilk. The dancers still hadn't come on stage so we were able to enjoy a wonderful evening of music and dance, capturing my brother's final moments on his folk dance team.

Andrew and I headed home at 10:00 pm after having been on campus since before 8:00 am. And then it was homework time. So I didn't see my husband all day, except at lunch. I ran into him in the lunchroom (yay)!

Thursday wasn't much better.

We did school and work from 8 am until 4:30 pm. Since we were actually home before 8:00 (that would be the first time this week), I took a nap. Andrew forgot to wake me up and so I didn't wake up myself until 5:50, which would have been fine except that I had to be at the church at 6:15 to get ready for the Stake Primary Leadership Training...that I had to help organize.

Really, I feel insecure in my calling, often. Hello, everybody, I'm 21 and am expecting my first child. Let me help you learn how to teach these children. I suppose I was a nursery teacher for a few months, and I taught CTR 6...but here I am teaching Primary Presidencies who all have at least 5 children and some of whom have been in primary for, no joke, 17 years! I was 17 only 4 years ago.

Giving my part of the presentation was a little intimidating. Good thing it wasn't all me up there. I definitely had some help. I suppose a lot of people are intimidated by their callings: Moses, Brigham Young, etc., etc., etc. So I'm normal, I suppose.

After finishing my part of the presentation, I left early with Andrew (shame on me) to go pick up our costumes from our high school ballroom coach, Alison. We then headed back to the church so I could help clean up. I got home about 9:40 and called all the people in a musical group that I had to arrange and remind them that we were practicing Friday at 4:00.

Then I made a list of everything I have to do today (blogging is on that list, trust me). I made the list on the white board (so that I wouldn't lose it) and read over it. On my list I have, "Make a shopping list." I am so frazzled this week that I put "make a list" on my list of things to do. How sad is that?

Luckily it's General Conference weekend so I don't have to talk in church, I don't have to go to any ward conferences, I don't have to sing or lead music or substitute in primary. I can just sit back and listen, and then dive right back into my busy schedule on Monday.

I have to get cracking on my list of things to do now, but I will return to fill you in on a few more things that happened this week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

UFO: Unidentified Fidgity Object

The first time I felt the baby move I was lying on my stomach reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting," or some other pregnancy book. All was calm. And then the baby moved and I jumped up and dropped my book. It was the strangest thing I had ever felt in my life.

I've gotten used to those movements though. I still like feeling them, but it hasn't startled me for a long time.

Last night we were talking in bed and I was lying on my left side with my tummy resting on my right hand. All was calm and then the baby kicked my hand and I could actually feel her body part (foot or hand, I don't know). She kicked so hard that it scared me and I jumped, scaring Andrew.

Sure, I've felt her before but it's always been a big blob, so I'm assuming that what I was feeling would have been her head or her back or her behind.

This was an honest-to-goodness limb. It was the strangest thing I've ever felt in my whole entire life.

Andrew wanted to know why I jumped, so I told him. He said that was silly because the baby's been moving for awhile now so I should be used to it.

She was still pretty active and was picking on my left hip, so I put Andrew's hand on my tummy where she had kicked me before.

Pretty soon she delivered a whopping kick (she seems to kick back at anything that gives her the slightest pressure--like the ultrasound probe or Andrew's hand).

Andrew squirmed and said, "That was like, a leg or something!"

Yes, yes, it was. That is why I jumped.

*****

When my friend, Alicia, was pregnant with her second child she said, "I feel like there's an alien living inside of me." I think I'm starting to feel like that, too.

Nice, very nice!

We got new neighbours across the hall awhile back. They're pretty cool, except that I'm not sure how they all fit in the house. They have two little boys and a little girl. One of the boys is in school but the other two kids are home all day. As far as I can figure, they must have all the kids in the master bedroom and have the smaller bedroom to themselves. Otherwise, I don't know where they would put all their kids. Not that three children is a lot of children, just that three children who are all talking and walking in a house this size is a lot.

Andrew and I were coming home from school today and just as we were going into our apartment, they were coming out to play--in the rain. The little girl looked up at me and said to her mother, "She's nice."

Andrew kind of pouted and said, "I'm nice, too."

"Yes," said her mother, "He's nice, too."

The little girl didn't fall for it. She shook her head slightly, pointed to me, and emphasized to her mother, "She's very nice."

And there we have it. The results are in. It's unanimous. There is no way I'm going to demand a recount.

Andrew wasn't very happy though. In fact, he was kind of offended. He kept bringing things up while we were having dinner, like the fact that he always makes funny faces at her at church.

I pointed out to him that that could be the reason she's not so fond of him. His funny faces can be pretty scary. He has this habit of making little girls scared of him, but after awhile they get used to him. Case(s) in point: Lexi, Savannah, Piper, etc.

They all were pretty wary of him at first (because of the funny faces, I'm sure) but warmed up to him. It just took 24 hours of endless contact before they realized that he was not scary. And then they became his new best friend.

Give it time, Andrew, we can't all be naturals.

Monday, March 26, 2007

My husband, the thespian

Amid the papers to write, books to read, websites to design, and classes to both attend and teach, Andrew's Italian teacher asked him to take part in a play. Knowing Andrew, this wasn't merely an "asking." This was a "requiring politely."

Andrew, although absolutely hilarious and a major goofball, claims that he can't act. I think he would be a fine actor if he would actually get in character instead of acting like he's acting. Then again, it is kind of hard to get into character when you learn you're going to be in a play on Thursday, practice once in class, memorize your lines on Friday night and Saturday morning and then rehearse Saturday afternoon 1 hour before you perform. With that kind of preparation, it was a smashing performance.

The College of Humanities randomly decided to host a college-wide theater festival. The theme was "All the College is a Stage" and it involved every language and every department in the college.

Some of the departments were uber-prepared. Like the Spanish Department that apparently has professionally designed costumes sitting around and undiscovered directors in their midst.

Yes, the Italian department was a little slow getting things together. Even the Arabic department had a rather extensive production all lined up.

But Andrew did a great job, and delivered his lines well. Oh, and he looked very royal, indeed, in his golden robes.

Andrew played the part of Currado in Boccaccio's Decameron, more precisely in Ser Cepparello & Chichibio, a scene from one of the many parts of Decameron. He didn't even make it into the program, though. Some other kid is listed where Andrew should be. Oh, well. He was a great Currado--I think he had a lot of fun on his high horse.

Andrew in the opening scene


There's another performance on Wednesday, which is rather unfortunate because I really don't know when he's going to write his 10-page paper...I'm not sure who's stressing about it more: me or him!

Andrew is the one in the very middle. The picture is blurry because I took it. That, and I wasn't using any flash, so...

Friday, March 23, 2007

My growing tummy

Rachel is starting to kick more and more. We can even see her moving from 'the outside.' It's pretty funny, really--I want to catch it on film.

Anyway, I really, really, am getting quite a bit bigger. This is my tummy today:

I realize that it looks a lot like the picture I took back in February:

February 23
And although I am holding my t-shirt tight, I am not pushing my tummy out in today's picture. So, that's a natural bump that I have now.

Just for a reference point, here is a picture of me with my mom's tummy (aka: Josie) at her baby shower. We can all ignore the fact that I'm wearing a super-cool troll watch, a super-cool tie dye t-shirt tucked into my super-cool sweatpants. It was the 90s--I can't help how I look. I was a slave to fashion. And I'm not really holding my mom's shirt to emphasize her tummy. I'm just being really shy. I think I spent the whole night attached to her, and I'm quite sure that I didn't say anything, either.

Feeling cluttered (ie: random thoughts)

I go through these phases where I feel way too cluttered. Today was one of those days. I had to throw something away so I started going through piles of s-t-u-f-f. I didn't succeed in throwing very much away, but I feel better having selected a few items to meet the trash can. That much less stuff I have to worry about.

Today I went through some old photos. I'm really planning on just scanning all the negatives of my photos one day and making a scrapbook and just getting rid of all the bad prints of pictures. I have this terrible habit of taking years of exposures on one roll of film. For instance, I had pictures of a girl's camp in Canada, a girl's camp in Utah, Josie's baptism, David's pre-mission pictures, and some Russia pictures all on one roll of film. To give you the time frame, we moved from Canada when I was 15 and I left for Russia when I was 18 so...that's at least 3 years of pictures on one roll of film.

Digital pictures are so nice because it records the date the picture was taken right when you take it, and then you can load it onto your computer, tag it, title it, file it, blog it, print it out...pretty much whatever you want. It's just a lot more convenient.

As I was going through old pictures I was quizzing Andrew about who people were...these pictures are really quite old...and he kept mixing up two particular people. I would never had seen it had he not pointed it out. He can't tell Josie and Piper apart under the age of three.

Piper making the same face Josie
Josie's always been a cute girl, so I guess Piper will always be, too.

Speaking of Josie, Crystal's blog reminded me how awful I can be with children. After reading her post, I spent all day thinking of the multiple times I dropped Josie when she was little. There was the time when she was a little baby that I slipped and fell down the stairs--holding Josie. I don't think that she got hurt that time, but I was fairly shaken up.

I suppose it could have to do with our size...

Josie's not a big girl, not at all. It's just that I was smaller. At every age I was simply smaller... Here she is at 3 or 4 wearing shorts that I wore when I was 9 or 10.

The better story happens when I was about 11 and Josie was about 2. I carried her around even though she was probably a little too big for me to be carrying around. To make matters more complex, Josie already viewed me as a 'big kid' and saw no difference between me and my 17 year old sister, Abra. Josie liked to flip upside down when people carried her, which was really no problem if one of the older kids was carrying her. It always made me a little tipsy though. So, we were at a swim club party and I was carrying Josie down a gravel path when she suddenly threw herself backwards to hang from her legs on my arms. Instead of hanging she tumbled right out of my arms and I tumbled right on top of her.

She started screaming and I started screaming and I picked her up and ran to my mom with blood flowing out of Josie's head.

Dr. Jensen, one of the swim dads, saw all the commotion and ran over. He looked Josie over and, after deciding she didn't have too bad of a concussion, washed out the wound and then tied her hair around the wound like stitches. He said it would work just as well if we didn't wash her hair until it healed.

In five minutes, Josie was all fixed up and running around, good as new. I, on the other hand, took a while to get over the shock of dropping my baby sister headfirst onto a bunch of rocks!

So, if anyone notices anything terribly wrong with Josie down the road, this is probably why.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Happy National Frozen Foods Month

I witnessed a tiff in the library break room today between what I decided must have been an engaged couple: she had a ring on and he didn't, and apparently they aren't very familiar with the other's eating habits.

Man reaches into backpack and brings out two (still cold but thawed out) frozen foodstuffs.
Woman audibly gasps and looks really offended.
Man, rather timidly: I thought I'd bring you lunch today?
Woman, rather outraged: You didn't put them in the fridge!?!
Man shrugs: No, it's just a pizza pocket.
Woman, completely aghast: Well, don't you think it says, 'Keep Refrigerated' for a reason?
Man: It's just like unthawing it [sic].
Woman: It's a pretty clear warning that you're supposed to keep it refrigerated. And you are supposed to unthaw [sic] things in the fridge, not your backpack.
Man, walking to the microwave: Well, I guess I'll just go zap all those nasty little germs away.
Woman, scoffing, walks over to the vending machine and buys a fresh pizza pocket.
Man, back from his 1 minute microwave trip: Aren't you going to have one of mine?
Woman: I don't think so.

Aren't frozen foods marvelous, I mean really, lunch in 1 minute. What could get better?

However, the big--and audible--fuss the woman was putting up made me look down at what I was eating: a pizza pocket that had once been frozen but had thawed out in my bag along with my Gogurt, also once frozen and now just nicely cold.


I didn't see anything wrong with it. I mean, it was still cold when I took it out of my bag--cold enough to have come out of the fridge. The Gogurt box even suggests that you freeze it so that it will thaw out while you wait for lunch. No refrigeration!

I ate lunch guilt free.

When I lived in Russia we kept our eggs and yogurt on the counter, and a chicken on the stove. We kept milk in the fridge, but only after boiling it. If we ran out of room in the fridge the milk sat in the window. Juice was also kept on the counter because not a lot of Russians believe in drinking cold beverages, not even milk. Believe me, boiled milk in "cold" cereal is not very appetizing. And although they have this strong dislike toward cold beverages they love ice cream. We didn't have a freezer though so we rarely had ice cream.

I suppose I am pretty grateful for frozen foods. What would I do without ice cream? Or frozen lunch foods? Or frozen vegetables? Or instant meals?

But really, what are we celebrating with Frozen Foods Month? The food, the freezer, or the instant gratification?

Personally, I appreciate all three, but I'm not sure that I need a whole month dedicated to it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Joys of Having a Pregnant Wife

I've never had a pregnant wife, but I've been a pregnant wife. To put it more exactly, I'm being a pregnant wife.

I thought I was doing pretty well before. Not a lot of morning sickness. Not a lot of sleepless nights. Not a lot of tears. Not a lot of complaining. Of course there were some complaints but I tried really hard to be tough. Unless I wanted Andrew to do something for me, but that's another story.

That is not the case anymore. Sure, I don't feel sick at all... Really, I've been lucky.

But I have been so stressed out. I really need to just stop. I'm sure it's not good for the baby, even though she's the cause of my stress. I know that all pregnant ladies worry about their babies and I always worried before, but not like this.

The last few weeks have been torture.

Recently I've taken to crying for no reason whatsoever. Before it would be because I couldn't get my sweater on because one arm was inside out. Or because Andrew made the wrong thing for dinner. Or because my cake turned ugly. Now I just start crying for no apparent reason.

I was folding laundry on Saturday and I just lost it. Andrew went through every possible reason he could think of and after determining that I wasn't mad at him and that there really was no good reason for my emotional outburst he just held me until it passed. Held me while reading his assignments, that is...

Yesterday at work I had to IM Andrew to arrange for him to take me home. It was 9:30 in the morning. I had only been at work for an hour, fought back tears once, and then lost it about half an hour later. At 11:00 he took me home and put me down for a nap. I slept until he got home from school (at 5:00).

For some reason I have no problem sleeping during the day any more. It's at night that I struggle.

I think it's because I can usually keep myself busy enough during the day to keep my mind off my baby. I don't feel her kick because I am moving around so much that it would be impossible to notice her tiny movements. And it doesn't bother me because I'm thinking about other things.

But late at night when I wake up, all I can think of is my baby...and I can't fall asleep again until I feel her move. She always does, but sometimes I'm up just about all night waking up, waiting for her to move, falling asleep...only to wake up and wait for her to move again. It's a vicious cycle.

Now that I'm not sleeping though, it's harder to concentrate during the day, which means that I have more emotional slips, which means that Andrew gets to play hero more often than he probably would like to.

On a happier note, I think that we've finally decided on a name for our baby girl.

Rachel Annelise.

We both really like the name Rachel, and it has an Arabic equivalent so we won't run into the same problems we would if her first name was Annelise. We decided that we'd tell Rachel that her name means "innocence and gentility of a rose" and "ewe," emphasis on the innocence and gentility of a rose part. Plus, she'll have a great biblical role model if no one else.

Annelise is kind of a family name. It's a little bit of a stretch. I really wanted a family name for the middle name, but we couldn't think of one that went well. Andrew insisted that it would be alright if it wasn't a family name because it would become a family name in future generations. Annelise still works for a family name though because Nancy is a nickname for 'Anne,' both meaning grace. So, we'll share the same little root in our name. Isn't that just sweet? Okay, so that really isn't like a family name at all but it will have to do.

Annelise is the German spelling of the name, so it's a little counterintuitive to English speakers, but it really is pronounced Anna + Lisa, which means 'graceful light,' which is also a nice meaning. It's better as a middle name though because I like the German spelling better but if we spelled her first name like that no one would ever say it correctly.

So there you have it: one set of parents slowly losing their sanity, and one baby girl gaining a name.

More Free Dinner

One of Andrew's teachers is the Dean over the Honor's program. Today was the Honor's Banquet and they were selling tickets for $15 each. Apparently college students can't afford that (ya think?) so Andrew's teacher bought about 100 of them and sold them to students for $4 each. That's a pretty good deal if you think about it.

So Andrew and I went to the Honor's Banquet today. As did half of Andrew's Italian class.

The dress was business casual, so we had to come home after school so that Andrew could change. I live my life in business casual, but Andrew is still in the jeans and t-shirt stage of his life.

He looks so good when he dresses up though! He wore his nice maroon shirt that I got him for Christmas and I picked out a yellow tie for him to wear.

Little did I know, Andrew and one of his little buddies from his mission had planned on wearing their matching maroon shirts. The last time I did anything like that was in, oh, let me check my calendar...oh, yeah...it was grade five! Eleven years ago.

So Andrew shows up wearing his maroon shirt and yellow tie and there's his mission buddy wearing a maroon shirt and a black tie. Apparently he had desperately hunted around for his yellow tie but couldn't find it.

He sure does keep my life interesting...

We went to a "break-out" session on financial planning. There's this cool course online to help you get your finances on track. We're definitely going to look into that more.

After that, we went through the Beholding Salvation exhibit at the MOA. We're definitely going to look into that more as well. There's only so much you can cover in half an hour.

And now we're home. I was hoping to take a picture of Andrew to prove to the world that a maroon shirt and a yellow tie really do look good together (he even did his hair!) but if any of you know Andrew at all you know that he's currently in shorts and a t-shirt...

Not that I can really talk. I came home and immediately put on my pyjamas.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Andrew and I saw an advertisement for a clover-shaped pizza at Papa Murphy's. After seeing their trick for shaping the dough for the heart-shaped pizzas, we just didn't think it was worth the money to pay for a pizza with half of it cut off.

So instead we made our own clover-shaped pizzas. Mine was barbecue chicken and Andrew's was meat-lovers: sausage and ham. I shaped the dough this time because Andrew ruined our Valentine's Day pizza last year and was a little apprehensive about making the clovers. The trick is to just roll out the dough and then cut it out instead of trying to shape the dough into the shape you want.

Here is Andrew decorating his pizza:


He chose to be unfestive this year and didn't wear any green (I definitely pinched him). So I chose a shirt to compliment his: it's yellow but it has green on it. I figured if I was wearing yellow and Andrew was wearing blue that would count as us both wearing green.


Our pizzas turned out beautifully. Andrew's is on the left, mine is on the right.


Andrew also had the brilliant idea of making a dessert pizza. While I made the dough, Andrew made an apple/walnut/cinnamon mixture to put on top. It turned out beautifully. It definitely tastes better than it looks. The topping ended up melting all over the pan and we had to scrape it off and put it back on...but it really does taste delicious.


To use up the rest of our dough we made a pot of gold. You can't really make a cut-out with left-over dough because then you would still have left-overs. The pineapple is the gold, and the cheese is supposed to be the pot.


So, in between homework, work, going for a walk and running into a kid from Andrew's mission, and having Sarah coming over to help us dance, that was our St. Patrick's Day. I wish every holiday tasted this good.

...with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers...

Perhaps "They're coming to take me away" isn't an entirely appropriate title for this post, but it does involve flowers and basket weavers, among other things.

My cousin, Eric, I assume, is taking flower arranging. Yesterday he surprised my mom by leaving a beautiful flower arrangement on her desk, just for her. She thought that perhaps he meant to leave it there for her to look at it all day and then take it away to give to some girl, but no, he really just meant it to be for her. It is quite beautiful.

She invited Andrew and I over to see it/have dinner. Andrew had a fun time playing with the settings on our camera. It's really quite fun to have a digital camera because then you can take virtually as many pictures you want of something without having to worry about wasting money on film or developing pictures.



When we went over to my parent's house for David's birthday we also took some pictures of my dad's baskets. While Eric is busy learning how to arrange flowers, my dad is, seriously, taking a basket weaving class at BYU. Instead of calling it "Basket Weaving 101," they chose to call it, "Problems in Art 495R" or something like that. I suppose it is so students would take the class a little more seriously.

Dad is currently working on his last basket, so once he's finished, we plan on taking a few more pictures to share with you. I believe the one stained darker is called a "cat's head" basket. Yuck. He also made a melon basket, and one other, and now he's working on an egg basket. I never knew there were so many kinds of baskets.

And while we're into art, I have a few more pictures of projects that family members are quite pleased with.

This is Josie's piece of artwork that she made with clay. It is really very, very tiny, so I'm impressed that she got that much detail into her work. She shaped every pea individually, made little tines on her forks, and the cork comes off the bottle. Amazing, no? There's even a napkin ring.

Last, I have a picture that Andrew took while we were playing triominos. He really likes how he even captured the reflection of the triominoes on the table...


I am just surrounded by talented folks! What can I say?

Dwight?

We were heading to the grocery store yesterday: Macey's. We have this strange loyalty to Macey's, even though to get to Macey's we technically pass Albertson's, Smith's, and depending on the way we drive, Harmon's. I suppose it has to do with the fact that both sets of parents typically shop at Macey's. We're familiar with their layout. They have better prices than Albertson's or Smith's or Harmon's.

Do all grocery stores in Utah belong to someone? We also have Allen's and Sam's Club. I can't think of one that doesn't have an apostrophe in it. In Alberta we had IGA (which is now called something else, I don't remember what), The Great Canadian Superstore, Sav-on Foods, and a few others that really didn't belong to anyone. I suppose that's what you get for living in a socialist country. Just kidding.

Anyway, we were heading to Macey's and we were stopped at a red light. I looked out the window and happened to see Dwight, from the Office. Andrew saw him, too. He was ever so carefully spray painted onto a utility box with, get this, a stencil.

This made me have flash backs to Europe where a whole lot of graffiti is done with stencils. They don't do this free-hand stuff. They stencil their gang names, they stencil Disney characters, they stencil...just graffiti. But only in the really uptight countries.

I first noticed this phenomenon when I went on a trip to the Baltics from Russia. Russia was rather dirty. They had street sweepers to clean up trash but no one really cared about keeping the streets clean so there was always plenty of trash abounding (not that Americans should talk. Look at the grossness in the above picture). We stepped out of the train in Latvia. Wow. To us it looked spotless. Well cared for. Pristine. Then we got to Sweden. Now that was a clean, well-organized country.

But we did notice, in both of these places...stenciled graffiti. Now, that's got to make you feel tough, doesn't it?

Gang member #1: What did you do last night?
Gang member #2: I did some wicked graffiti.
GM #1: Oh, let's see!
Both gang members walk to where the heinous crime has taken place. On an otherwise spotless brick wall is a newly stenciled mickey mouse done in bright yellow, with the gang name stenciled beneath it.
GM#1: Oh, isn't that just precious. Nice work. I really like the detail on the ears.
Both gang members emit some evil laughter, but then they hear the sirens...
GM#2: Let's beat it!

Oh, yeah. That's the epitome of rebellion.

I wonder if the person who spray painted Dwight on the utility box got the same kick out of it!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Female?

I just put on my innocent wouldn't-you-just-do-anything-for-me voice and asked Andrew to get the mail.

I looked at him, batted my eyes, and said, "Mail?"

He looked at me and said, "Female."

I said, "I don't know. Fii mail?"

We had a good laugh about that. Fii in Arabic means yest in Russian or che in Italian. In English, we really just don't have a good word for that. We do have a few phrases, though. Some that come to mind are, "Is there any _____?" or "Does _____ exist?" Needless to say, it is so much cooler to say "Fii mail?" or "Che mail?" than "Does the mail exist?" or "Is there any mail."

I asked Andrew how you say mail in Arabic (all in Arabic, by the way). The word is "burrita" kind of like a female version of burrito. I thought that was pretty funny.

In case you were wondering the outcome of our mail situation, maa fii. No mail is existing.

To make myself feel better about this I checked my email. No emails were addressed to me, but I did have 10 pieces of junk mail which I deleted without looking at. Had we had any snail mail, that's probably what we would have done with the majority of it, too. I suppose it is better that we had no mail...at least we didn't have to throw anything away.

Twinkle Toes

Andrew and I have been, as our dear coach Alison said last night, "found out." Once you're found out, there's no going back. Our secret has been publicized. It's not really our fault, see. We are home teachers to a woman on the activities committee. We're newly weds. Naturally, she asked how we met. Naturally, we told the truth.

We met in a ballroom class in high school. We danced on the team. We were competition partners. Andrew dropped me in front of the entire high school doing a really simple lift. The next day he took me to the Homecoming dance and for the "day date" we went hiking. I could hardly move my leg because my knee was an awful color of black and swollen up the wazoo. It was love at first sight, really...


And so, at church a few weeks ago, I was talking to my friend Maria when who should run up to talk to us but home-teaching-lady. She handed us a schedule. We were told to bring our husbands and that the first practice would be February 15th. We were now dancers for our Stake "Can Mormons Dance?" Activity.

Contrary to what Andrew thinks, I didn't "volunteer." I was accosted. I just happened to be happier about it than he was.

So, we went. We signed up for foxtrot because no one really had signed up for that dance...no one signed up for polka either, but really...who wants to polka around the dance floor while six months pregnant? Fox trot is one thing. Cha cha is another. But when you move into swing or polka...there's just no way I'm going to bounce around that much.

Andrew was pretty embarrassed the first practice because we hadn't really danced in a while and he felt a little rusty. However, the dances started coming back quicker than he thought and he's quite confident teaching the men the dance moves. (Our teacher doesn't have a partner and it's a little difficult to teach both genders in such a short amount of time).

After coming home from practice, Andrew said to me, "I forgot how much fun this is!" I agreed with him that it was fun, but inside I was rejoicing because I have been trying to get him to take me dancing for a long time. We hadn't been since last Valentine's day!

So, here's a sneak preview of the dance we'll be doing. You might be able to notice my expanding stomach at this point. A few people have noticed...not that many though. Please be aware that we still are rather rusty and really, I am 5 1/2 months pregnant so my balance simply isn't what it used to be.



We'll be sure to film the real performance for you. It will be cooler because it will involve more than just us dancing around the room. We will be in cool costumes. And there will be music instead of us shouting out the names of the steps (which is why I'm not turning my head in the first go of the routine--I'm reading a piece of paper...)

Green Thumb

I have the daffodil bulbs that I got last year for Easter. They've been in my fridge for a while looking less-than-pretty. Don't even try to make me feel better. They're completely dead (well, hibernating, or whatever it is plants do) and look brown and gross. They've been that way since last April.


A while back I repotted them, watered them, and put them in my fridge to "show 'em winter" just like Sister Banta said I should. I watered them quasi-religiously (okay, I usually forgot to). Nothing was happening, except that I was developing a case of mold, and it was taking up room in our fridge, so about a week ago I decided to take them out and "show 'em spring."

I told Andrew once that people in our family are good at killing plants. It's strange. My Grandma and Grandpa C. could make anything grow. My grandma had plants all over her house, her flower gardens were beautiful and her vegetable gardens were lush. She had enough strawberries and raspberries to freeze them and keep her grandchildren happy all year long with a nice bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with fruit. It was the best in the summers when we would go and visit and she would have us help her pick berries. I didn't really like weeding that much but picking berries sure was fun.

And then their trees. They are nothing like the trees we have in my backyard (read: parent's back yard). We have water scouts going up all over the place and the trees are reaching way higher than they should be. We do have fruitful years but that's sheer nature. It's no skill on our part.

My grandpa had apple trees. He would prune them and care for them and even mix and match to create new varieties of apples. And he was a farmer, of course, so he made his whole living by making plants grow.

They were just good at it. My family though, kills plants. We forget to water or over water or place them in a draft or... I could go on, but I don't think I need to. In short, we get plants and they die.

Andrew and I went to the store and I was looking at plants. He said that he'd get me one and I could take care of it and if it survived for a month, then we could get a baby. I told him that that wouldn't work because a) we're already getting a baby and b) the plant would die. Plus, I'm not seven anymore. He should probably try that on our children though--not for a baby, and certainly not for a puppy, but perhaps for a cat. Instead of keeping a plant alive though it could be like this: Keep your room clean and do the dishes everyday for a month and we can get a cat.

Maybe longer than a month.

I'm not sure that keeping a plant alive is really the best gauge for whether or not I'll make a good mother anyway. I mean, it's rather easy to forget to feed a plant, but babies are a little better at letting you know that they want to be fed.

Today as I was getting breakfast, I looked at my plant. The soil was completely dry. I realized that I had probably neglected my plant for the better part of the week. I felt bad so I got it some water. As I was pouring the water on my plant, I noticed this:


That, my fine friends, is a little baby daffodil poking its head up out of the ground. It's not even a centimeter high and I don't even want to guess on the diameter, but it's just pushing up through the old foliage and if all goes well we should have a baby daffodil in a little while. That is, if I can remember to water it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Paper Route

I had a paper route once, before I started seminary. Who wants to deliver an early morning paper before early morning seminary? Not me. When I started seminary I passed the route to my friend's younger siblings. Interestingly enough, I inherited the route from my friend, Lexa, when she started seminary who in turn got the route from my brother, David, when he started seminary. So, we all had the route for about a year.

Not that it isn't impossible to do a paper route before seminary: our seminary teacher and her children did a huge route every morning. My family substituted for them sometimes when they were out of town. It wasn't a lot of fun having to get up that early.

Especially in Canada in the winter when it's negative whatever and icy and dark.

Nope, no fun at all.

Rolling papers and getting your hands all black, and, if it was wet outside, bagging the papers. Ugh. Biking around the neighbourhood greeting all my paper route friends: Luke and the Rowbottom children.

Really, as far as jobs go, it simply isn't very glamorous. And although it pays, it doesn't pay well.

Today we had, for the second time, a kid come try to sell us papers. The deal is that we get it for "free" Monday through Thursday and then have to pay for the weekends. The kids aren't very clear on how the pricing works.

The kid today--who, thankfully, looked like a Jr. High student instead of a college-bound kid like last time--said this:

"It's only like a dollar and two cents or something, so it works out to be three dollars or something. And if you get the whole deal then I get twenty dollars a week or month or something to go to my education. If you get the half deal then I only get like ten dollars or something."

I was utterly confused. He used way too many numbers and not enough context for my poor little brain to grasp. Besides, we don't want the newspaper anyway because, let's face it, by the time you read it in the paper it's old news. We have this thing called the internet and the news is broadcast live time. They write articles as things happen and you can read it all. For free.

"That wastes your energy bill," The kid argued.

"Ahh," I said, "But your way wastes trees."

Oddly enough, I don't think anyone had used that line on him before. He kind of cocked his head to the side and, looking a little confused, said, "Oh...well...have a good day."

Poor kid. I hate selling things. I don't have the skills. The only reason I had a paper route is because I didn't have to establish it myself. Had I been required to go out and convince people to buy the paper, my route would have been very short. So short, in fact, that I probably wouldn't have had to get up at all.

Coincidence? I think not!

Two rather interesting things happened this week, which may have been coincidence, but I think might be a little bit more.

The first was that we found out that the Office is on hiatus for the next little while, which is great because we really like the Office but it has recently become really hard to catch because we have dance practice on Thursdays during the Office. The week the next show comes out (they've been playing reruns) just happens to be the very week after our performance. Now, that might just be a coincidence, but it is kind of really cool.

The second is that on Sunday I was still kind of worried about my baby. Not that I'm done being worried. I don't think I ever will be. My mom still worries about us. Her mom worried about her until the day she died. So, I'm pretty much just going to worry the rest of my life away. I'll be sure to enjoy it, too, but I will certainly worry about things. Anyway, my sister, Abra, told me that if I wanted to talk I could phone her. She has a lot of experience with grieving over babies (even though I really have no reason to grieve, I certainly was gravely concerned). I thought about phoning her, but I didn't.

On Friday night shortly before 10 o'clock my sister called me.

"Hey, Nanny!" she greeted me. After exchanging the regular niceties we both waited for the other to start the conversation. Since she was the one initiating the phone call, I was thinking it would be pragmatically correct for her to also initiate the conversation. She had other ideas. After sitting in silence for a few moments she finally broke the ice,

"So, you called..." she said.

"No," I corrected her, "You called."

"Nan," she said, "You called me first. My phone has your number in my display saying that you called at 9 PM so I hit the button to dial your number and got you, so obviously..."

"Okay, that's really weird because I didn't call."

After covering some more grim topics, we had a great conversation about swimming and lifeguarding. Abra read me these lists (the swimming one is almost the exact one, although I think she edited the content for me) of how to know if you are a swimmer/lifeguard. I simply can't find the lifeguarding one, but they are both so funny because they are so true. Really, the worst is when you sweat chlorine...

I was reading the list to Andrew and he didn't get it until I got to the one about your wardrobe being "held together by knots or torn and see through." He got that one, alright. He made me throw away 7 bathing suits after we got married. What a waste! If only you could have seen them though...they worked if I wore 2-4 at any given time.

Anyway, Abbi helped me relax and think about something other than my baby, which was a really nice change.

So, although the TV show thing might be a mere coincidence, I don't think my sister's phone call was. That was more of a blessing.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Symposium Humanitatum 2007

One of Andrew's teachers nominated him to speak at this year's "Symposium Humanitatum." It's really quite a small event but a fairly high honor to speak at. His paper was titled, "Inferno XXVIII: Orientalism and Oedipus Meet Dante and Mohammed," and as Karen said, it is not the easiest paper to digest. However, because I spent all semester talking with Andrew about Dante, especially the Inferno and the influence of Islam in it...and because I edited his paper a million times last semester, I understood more than most there.

I also spent all this week helping Andrew shrink down his paper.

He had to turn in his paper for a peer review back in January and he didn't hear back and didn't hear back and didn't hear back. He had decided that he probably just didn't get selected. Then they started advertising for it about two weeks ago. He came home all bummed out one day because he really had wanted to do it...but apparently they hadn't chosen him.

Then last Saturday evening Andrew got an email asking him to be ready for the next Saturday. He had to cut his paper down to 7 pages from 11, and get all prepared to give his speech. He was pretty stoked, but also had a ton of things due last week so that meant that I played editor and cut his paper down to size.

Yesterday he presented his paper. He really wanted me to film it but he didn't want me to bring the camera and tripod and make a big deal out of it, so instead he phoned his mom and asked her to bring their tiny digital camera...she did a wonderful job filming and posted his presentation on her blog (which I then stole and put it on our blog):



Courtesy of The Real Heiss blog

I don't blame you if you don't want to listen to it all. It really is rather intense: a comparative literature paper in three languages? No thanks. You should watch the first few seconds though because he flashes his "nervous" smile at his family right before he starts speaking. He did a good job though. I don't think he said, "Ummm..." and he made an effort to look up, even though he was nervous--not that he really had need to since the audience was comprised of his parents, my mom, Josie, me, the family of another speaker, a few random people (like 2), and the assistant dean of the college. That is all.

After he was done, we (Andrew and I) were invited to a catered lunch at the Museum of Art Cafe. Andrew opted out instead, to go to J Dawgs, a little hot dog stand just south of campus, with his parents. J Dawgs has become a favorite of Andrew's dad. They sell really big hot dogs with a "secret sauce" and a bunch of other toppings. It was really pretty good, as far as hot dogs go!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Babies make my brain hurt

Andrew has been complaining that I only ever tell funny stories about him in our blog. Let's be honest, who really wants to tell funny (and most importantly, embarrassing) stories about themselves. It's a little cocky and really just sounds funnier coming from someone else. Plus, I try not to widely advertise the fact that I'm really a major ditz.

I told Andrew that I did write the story of my amazement that Ryan and his mission companion had served in the same mission. Andrew said that was good, and that we need more embarrassing stories about me to prove to future generations that I am just as blond as Andrew (which isn't possible because I have brown hair).

Fortunately for Andrew, my pregnancy brain is making my ditzy moments come closer and closer together. They should perhaps now be called ditzy "spells" because that denotes a longer period of time than simply a moment does.

As it stands, here is Andrew's favorite story of my ditziness for the week:

We do the same routine every morning. We get ready to go...say family prayer...and then Andrew opens the door and holds the screen open for me while I turn out the light, lock the door and close it tight (that rhymed)!

Our door has 3 locks: a child lock, a deadbolt, and a handle lock.

The child lock can't be easily unlocked from the outside and is next to impossible to lock once you are on the other side, so we always leave that one unlocked if we are gone.

The handle lock is one of those twisty ones that you can lock and then close the door and it will stay locked.

The deadbolt is a deadbolt. It doesn't do anything special. There are no special tricks. I've been using them for years and they all work pretty much the same. If you are on the outside, you have to lock it from the outside.

Andrew usually does the locking from the outside because he has his keys out to start the car.

I usually lock the handle lock before I close the door. That is how it always works. We have the system down to a T.

Well, the other day, I thought, for some odd reason, that it would save time if I locked both the handle and deadbolt and then closed the door. So I did...and then walked away.

As I walked away, I was all happy with myself and said, "Why didn't I think of that before?"

Andrew said, "Think of what? Did you know you just locked the deadbolt before closing the door?"

"Yeah," I said, "It'll save time."

"No," Andrew said, "You can't lock it before you close it. We have to do it from the outside."

"What do you mean?" I asked innocently...and then it all clicked.

I had actually locked the deadbolt and then closed the door, which means that it just bounced right on open again--that would be the reason why I didn't think of it before. It just doesn't work.

*****

I would like to say that these things only happen when I'm pregnant, but it's just not true. They happened before, too, occasionally... Now that I'm pregnant they just happen like, 3 or more times each day. I'm afraid that it will keep increasing in frequency until I function on ditziness entirely.

Poor Andrew...I hear it doesn't get better postpartum, either.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst

Overall the ultrasound was really fun. It was neat to see that there actually was a baby inside me wriggling all over the place. It was fun to see her hands and feet and face, and even finding out the gender was pretty fun, too, although she didn't cooperate until towards the end (she's a very modest baby, apparently). She was really active the whole time, moving away from the probe and kicking at it (I don't think she enjoyed the experience too much).

Everything was happy until the last 10 seconds or so of our ultrasound. That's when the doctor showed us this:


This, if you can't tell, is our baby's brain. On it she has what is called a choroid plexus cyst, which is basically just a little pocket full of fluid. If you look in the middle of the red circle (really closely) you will notice a really dark black part. That's it. It's kind of hard to see.

As this website says, this feature is loosely linked to Trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder similar to Down's syndrome, only on the 18th chromosome instead of the 21st. Most babies with Trisomy 18, though, die either in the womb or shortly after birth. That was not exactly what I wanted to hear about my baby. At all.

However, the doctor assured us that it was probably just an isolated choroid plexus cyst since he couldn't find any other abnormalities (the cyst itself isn't even abnormal, it just is linked to Trisomy 18). Some of the other things that they look for, according to OBfocus, are: cleft lip/palate, small jaw, low set ears, club feet, clenched fists (undeveloped fingers), growth restriction, single umbilical artery, extra amniotic fluid, kidney problems, and heart defects. They also look at the size of the uterus because even though these babies are usually small the uterus is abnormally large.


Before the doctors told us about the cyst, they showed us the heart, that it was shaped properly, that all its ventricles were working correctly, that it had a steady heartbeat, and they turned on the color so they could watch the blood pump through all four chambers. Not that I understood what I was seeing on the screen, but they said she had no holes in her heart and everything was normal there.

They also checked out her umbilical cord to see if it was "branching" correctly (no, Andrew, this does not mean it branches out into multiple cords). They used the color for that, too, to look at the blood flow.

They took some good shots of her face and profile to make sure that everything was in the right spot: ears, nose, lips, eyes, jaw. They actually said she had a very nice, well-defined nose (it's probably Andrew's).

They took some good shots of her hands and feet to make sure that they weren't clubbed or malformed in anyway, and she looks perfect. 10 fingers, 10 toes.

Footprint
They showed us her kidneys. They were both fine. They showed us her tummy and bladder, which were both full of fluid, a good sign that they are working fine. They also showed me my bladder, which happens to be Baby's favorite resting spot...

They said she had a fine amount of amniotic fluid, and her growth is right on for her fetal age. My uterus is also pretty much exactly at my belly button, so it looks like we're in the green.

The doctor was so confident that he didn't order a second ultrasound or anything. Had he seen anything other sign of T18, he would have, but he didn't, so he simply told us there is a chance that our baby could have T18 and could die shortly after birth and not to worry about it.

He asked if we had any questions. We'd never heard of T18, so we said no...and the doctor left.

And I became OCD for, well, really up until now. I read everything I could find about it (don't, most websites are horribly pessimistic). I cried. I almost lost my mind.

But, I've decided that it's okay. I mean, really, the doctor said she was most likely fine. Andrew gave me a blessing and said everything would be fine. I know that everything will be fine. And I try very hard to convince myself of this, but...

I come from a family of worriers. It's what we do best. As my mom said, "You try and try to convince yourself that everything is fine and think you've succeeded until you wake up in the middle of the night worried." Which I did, on more than one occassion last night...and then spent all morning crying at work...

I emailed my mom and she made me feel a lot better. We went for a walk at lunch and talked some more. I felt a lot better after that. My mom always makes me feel better. (Andrew is good at it, too, it's just that he was busy all day and my mom could take an hour off to talk some reason into me).

I decided that my baby is most likely fine...but if she's not, that's okay, too. She needs a body and so I can give that to her, even if she only needs it for a few hours. I'd prefer to keep her around for a few years (like my whole lifetime), but if not, I can get over it. After all, virtually everyone in my family has lost a baby--all for different reasons--but they all went through it and all came out okay.

I ended up going back to work with a song stuck in my head that we used to sing in Young Women's:

As I ponder on my life and who I am,
I think of God and His eternal plan.
The spirit guides my thoughts and I know
In my heart that His way is true...

Or something like that. Anyway, that's the only verse I had stuck in my head and it really helped me get through the rest of my day.

So, on a happier note, here's my baby sucking on her hand. I'm going to have quite the time trying to get her to give up that nasty little habit once I'm able to confront her about it. Although, she'll have been doing it for 6 months inside of me and will lose interest in it after a year out, so what's the point in even trying to break the habit?

I suppose that would be my best case scenario: having a baby who sucks on her hands.

I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Umbilical Cord--the Only Cord

The baby and I had quite a time laughing at Andrew today. Once I started laughing, the baby started too. It was really cute, but the more I laughed the more distorted the image got, which made me laugh even more. It took me a few minutes to regain my composure.

Why, you might ask, were the baby and I (not to mention both doctors) busting a gut over Andrew?

Because he was being himself. Now, don't get me wrong. I love my husband dearly, he's sometimes just so innocent it's scary. He's very bright. He gets good grades. He can just be so...naive. (Not that I can't be, it's just that I notice it more when it's his naivety and not mine).

You will notice in the ultrasound movie, Andrew labeled the umbilical cord. That was for him, in all his wisdom. (It pops up on the screen at 1:40, in case you're looking for it).


We had the doctor in and the student doctor in and the doctor was explaining things to the intern. He was doing the 4-D image--which is simply a "live" 3-D image. I suppose they count movement as the fourth dimension or something--so that we could get a good look at the baby's face. And so he could show the intern all the different programs (I think we went through 4 programs and like 2 or 3 probes...I was beginning to feel a bit like a guinea pig).

Well, Andrew looks at this shot and says, with great wonder, "What's that?" And he points on the screen to where (what I thought was obviously) the umbilical cord was hanging over the baby's shoulder.

The doctor, sensing a little concern, said, "Oh, it's nothing to worry about. It's just draped over her shoulder by her neck. It isn't wrapped around it. Babies just like to tug on it, play with it..."

"But," Andrew asked, "What is it?"

"It's the cord." The doctor said.

"What cord?" Andrew asked.

The doctor paused, gave Andrew a quizzical look and said shortly, "The umbilical cord."

I started to giggle. The doctor then knew that at least I knew what it was and he muttered, "The only cord."

With that I totally lost it. When I did, the baby reacted positively and if you look really closely (and kind of use your imagination--this is an ultrasound, after all), her mouth spreads into a wide grin and it looks like she, too, is having a good chuckle. The doctor pointed this out and that made me laugh harder which made my poor baby get all distorted on the screen.

"That's not the baby--that's you. Don't worry." The doctor informed me.

It looked so terribly funny that I really got into an uncontrollable laughing fit...meanwhile poor Andrew, the target of everyone's laughter (including the two doctors, and our baby), was turning red.

*****

I tried to explain to him after that there is only one cord and since he is linguistically informed, and the doctor said, "the cord," he could very well assume that there was only one cord, and thus the umbilical cord.

He said there was no way he could know for sure there was only one cord.

I thought very hard about asking him how many belly buttons he had, but thought better of it since he had already been the source of so much ridicule today. Maybe I'll ask him that tomorrow.

*****

Oh, and he would like to point out that he can't even spell umbilical cord correctly (see label on above picture). So how is he supposed to know where it is or what it does or how many of them there are?

Which kind of brings me back to a lovely memory about my dear brother David, who dared to show off his naivety just before my nephew, Deklan, was born. Abra and Billy were over and we were all talking about how excited we were for their baby. We were guessing which features of the two parents were going to be portrayed in Deklan, and overall having a good time. Would the baby have blue eyes, or brown? Would he have freckles? Would he have dark hair?

When they were preparing to go home (all the way to next door), David asked, "So, Billy...is its belly button going to be an innie or an outie?"

We all stopped and stared at David (who will probably deny that this ever happened--back me up, Abra). Without missing a beat, Billy said, "Oh, it's going to be an outie. Definitely! It's going to be way out there. When he comes out, I'm tying the knot like this..." and he held his hands in a fist over his belly button.

David didn't get it right away. We had to explain that the belly button isn't an inherited trait. It's just the scar that stays after the umbilical cord falls off. He felt pretty sheepish, I'm sure.

*****

So you see, Andrew, it's okay. You're not the only one to get a little confused over these things!

The Ultrasound!

Here are the highlights of our ultrasound today. I'll let Nancy do the descriptive part of the post, since she's good at writing creative blog posts. I have to go research a whole bunch of stuff now.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Belated Birthday Party

Now that we've passed Grandma Layton's birthday, and little Andrew's birthday, and are fast approaching Katherine's birthday, we decided it was high time to celebrate David's birthday. We're not too far behind the times...his birthday was only six days ago. That's not even a week. By my calculations, that's pretty good.

Josie and I were going to make a cake together, but it was fast Sunday and she decided she had better not tempt herself with cake batter. So I was left to make the cake by myself. That was easy enough, and I knew exactly how to decorate it, too.

In case you were unaware, David is obsessed with yellow and smiley faces. He, himself, has what he calls a "perma-grin." He smiles even when he's upset. His background image for his MySpace page is this:


So naturally, I made his cake into a smiley face. Unfortunately I thought of this after I put the cake in the oven so it was a rectangular smiley face instead of a circular one. It took me quite a while to decide how best to make the icky grey color that I got instead of black. I didn't want to use too much dye because, let's face it, food coloring just doesn't taste very good. But I found out that if you use just red and green together, you'll get just as good of a black as if you used all four colors mixed together...it's because they're complimentary colors so they clash, making black. Or something like that.


So there's my pristine and happy cake. We don't have one of those cool icing kits so to draw his face on I put the icing in a ziplock baggie and cut a corner off and squirted it on using that. The only problem with this cake is that it rose a little too much in the middle making it a little too tall to put the lid on.

Being pregnant, I whined to my husband (this is becoming common case...I'm starting to expect him to fix everything for me, right now! or I'm bound to cry. It's a little embarrassing but harder to control than I expected). He and Josie both insisted that the lid would fit just fine, so they put it on and we went for dinner at Andrew's parent's house, leaving the cake in our car.

*****

When we got to my parent's house and I took the lid off of the cake to show it to David, my smiley dude's face came off on the lid.

Being pregnant, and unable to cope with the situation, I whined to my husband, "It's ugly..." He calmly shook the icing off the lid and did some reconstructive surgery on my smiley dude to avert my fast-approaching tears.


I'm glad that Andrew fixed it, but really, I don't know why I cared so much because after he fixed it and I showed it to David, we just cut up the cake and ate it, further destroying smiley dude's face. I do believe I am guilty of having his lower left-hand side of his smile in my stomach at this very moment.


We all ended up enjoying the cake, whether or not his face was pristine (which it wouldn't have been anyway because I cut it up). We also all got to chat with Abra for a while. She phoned from Canada to join in the birthday cheer. But she didn't try my cake--how rude!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Three's a charm


It all started when Josie was knitting her third hat with three strands of yarn. Andrew had finished programming Yahtzee and was busy making the third side of the die he was making in Illustrator. Nancy was playing Sherlock and had just graduated down to having only 3 handicaps instead of four.

Josie said, "Man, three is hard."

"Yeah, it is!" agreed Andrew.

"Yeah...hey...she wasn't talking about you she was talking about...herself..." I said.

It was then that we realized we were all being selfish, thinking about ourselves and our respective number threes. Josie with her yarn, Andrew with his die, and me with my clues. She could have been talking about either one of us.

After this moment the time grew late and we all got a little hyper together. Josie started it. She knitted herself silly!

We realized that we were all wearing BYU T-shirts...and we happened to represent the HBLL rather well, if you ask me. So, randomly we decided to really learn why we have a digital camera (so we wouldn't waste a whole roll of film just being goofy) and we also decided to break out the tri-pod that we got for Christmas and see what magic we could work with it.

I'm wearing the shirt from 2004-2005, Josie has on 2005-2006, and Andrew has on 2006-2007.

And because we had the tri-pod out, we couldn't just take normal shots, now could we? It was a little difficult to get the following shots in because our house really isn't that big. That, and we couldn't see the pictures so were just guessing about where we were on the ground. It is much easier to take pictures like this if you have someone telling you where to go. That's why we have professional photographers, I guess, so things like this don't happen.

Our lop-sided, unsymmetrical picture
We would also like to point out Andrew's immense skill in finding nearly the exact same pose after jumping up, running across the room, setting the camera, and joining us back on the ground. It's pretty amazing, actually...



And to celebrate our new-found love of the number three, we played Triominoes. What else? Our goal was to only play three rounds and have each of us win, but it took us four rounds because Andrew won twice, throwing everything off.

So, it's now past midnight and Josie has asked to be excused so she can go to bed. I guess we wore her out today. I never thought I'd see the day when she would beg to go to bed--usually she's asking to stay up!