Monday, April 30, 2007

Relaxing weekend, take one

I'm glad that I can never be a Stake President. And perhaps if Andrew goofs off enough in Elders Quorum, I won't have to worry about being a Stake President's wife, either. It would just make life rather busy. I mean, today I went to our ward from 11-12:30, to 2nd ward's conference from 1-4, had a meeting with the Stake Presidency from 7-8, and a meeting with the Primary Presidency from 8-9:30--and that was pretty short, believe me. We've been known to carry on until 10:30 or 11:00 at night!

It's exhausting, really...but I can't even imagine everything that the Stake President does. I mean, I'm done with busy Sundays until June when we have another ward conference, but the Stake President has meetings all the time with everyone. I'm not really sure how anyone does it.

Anyway, Andrew and I worked uber-hard last week to bank our hours for this week so that we could take time off work and relax. We were planning on going to Grover with his family for a while to get some camping out of the way before I'm so big I have to waddle around.

Unfortunately, we instead dealt with some family issues and ended up staying put. I won't say that I'm not disappointed, because I am... I suppose Andrew and I still could have gone to Grover, but it just wouldn't have been the same. After all, neither of us has hiked Sulfur Creek, and I wasn't about to do Calf Creek being 28 weeks pregnant.

We had great plans for everything we were going to do this weekend. We did accomplish a lot of sleeping in, but we didn't actually do any hiking or anything. We had planned a nice picnic up in Provo Canyon--perhaps recreating our first date, so very long ago.

Things got busy though, and we ended up picnic-ing on BYU campus while running some finals back after Andrew finished grading them. It was still fun, but I wish we could have spent a little more time doing some fun things together. Oh, well...


We had a nice, quiet (but relatively quick) picnic by the fountains at the JFSB, complete with Jell-o cut into little cubes (that we made at midnight the night before).


Perhaps we'll try for another relaxing weekend later on in the summer...not during graduation, somewhere out of town, and before the baby comes. We'll see if and how that works out.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance

This week, David graduated with his BS in Latin American Studies and my cousin, Heather, graduated with her MA in TESOL. I technically graduated with my BA in Linguistics. I, however, walked August of 2005 and then just stuck around waiting for Andrew. I kept delaying graduation--I'm not sure why since I didn't really accomplish anything...

Although I didn't walk this week, I would like to point out that I was in the program 3 times. That's how important I am. Twice with my maiden name and once with my married name. I'm not really sure how that happened, but since I wasn't in the program when I walked in 2005, I like to think that they were just trying to make up for it.

David's convocation was really neat. They had Polynesian music and really good speakers, and...it was short. The humanities' ceremony is just so long (which is why I didn't go again this year) making the Kennedy Center convocation seem a whole lot shorter. I decided that when Andrew graduates, we'll go to his Kennedy Center convocation and not the humanities one. That way we only have to sit through 20 minutes of names, instead of 2 hours...which, in my opinion, is a lot more doable.

We had a lot of family come out, especially since Heather graduated as well. It's always helpful when more than one cousin graduates at a time. That way you're guaranteed that at least someone will come. It was funny because we had so many cameras going: Patrick, Andrew, Auntie Judy, Auntie Colleen, and I all had cameras. That was probably a little excessive considering we all got similar shots. I actually have a shot of our family sitting in our row with all cameras out and snapping. It's a pretty funny picture.
Congratulations, David! Now you get to decide what to do for real! Oh, wait, you're going back to school so you can delay deciding what to do for real. Good plan...that's our plan, too!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Getting ready for baby

On Thursday afternoon, Andrew's mom, Karen took us to pick out a crib. We were really grateful for this offer since now we only have to get a crib mattress!

We chose a nice crib with a dresser/change table combo attached to it. It can also be made into a full sized bed, so we hope that it will last our family a long time.

Assembling the crib was a little more difficult than we thought. Andrew put me in charge of the instructions because he's a man and has figured out that women are simply better at following instructions than men. If I'm following instructions, we typically do things right. If he's the one reading the instructions, they usually end up forgotten about and then we have to do everything all over again with me reading the instructions. (Please see our post about the internet in Jordan. Andrew claims to have followed the instructions, but he didn't.)

The instructions looked easy enough, so we dove in. First we assembled the dresser drawers. This is when I realized that although all the parts were labeled in the instructions none of the physical parts themselves were labeled. So, we spent about twenty minutes holding things at different angles, trying to figure out which piece was which.

I was grateful that they at least labeled the packages that all the screws were in. That would have been a lot less obvious than figuring out the parts of a crib.

After getting all the parts figured out, we assembled the drawers with little difficulty.


Andrew actually did most of that because he's just so much faster than me! I put the knobs on though, and made about 1/2 of one drawer.

Frankly, the very idea of making a crib was overwhelming me...this whole having-a-baby thing is getting more and more real every day! And then there were the instructions. Those were also pretty frustrating.

We were working on putting the mattress support bars together. I made sure to read the instructions completely. So I read them through from start (find the bars) to finish (tighten the screws). It looked complete to me. We went ahead and put it together...

And then I turned the page so we could work on the next part of the crib.

There in bright red letters was a warning, "Before you tighten the screws, be sure to..." I swear I almost tore out some of my hair. That was the only thing they left off the other page. A 2 sentence warning that should have come before the last step (which said to tighten the screws).

Well, that's how our whole afternoon went. Gotta love things translated in China. Don't they know that the best translations are done from a foreign language into your own language--not vise versa?

In the end it seems to have turned out alright. I suppose we won't really know for sure until we put the baby in it. If it falls apart in the middle of the night we'll know that we put part (p) where part (q) was supposed to go...or that we were supposed to use some of those extra parts that we assumed were for converting the crib into a bed.


I like how I look prouder of the crib, even though Andrew did most of the work.
My very favorite part about getting a crib, though, is Andrew. We were getting ready for bed late Thursday evening. I was brushing my teeth when Andrew disappeared. After awhile I went in search of him. I checked all the rooms we normally use: kitchen, living room, bedroom...but Andrew wasn't in any of those rooms. I walked into the baby's room and there's my husband, running his hands across the bars of the crib and staring into it lovingly.

"What are you doing?" I asked, with toothpaste foaming out of my mouth.

"We're going to have a baby..." he said.

It was really cute.




He actually likes to spend a lot of time in the baby's room. Today (which is actually Saturday) while I was preparing a salad for our family party, I went to check on Andrew (I have a habit of that...I can't help it. He's so cute!) and found him, once again, in the baby's room. This time he was practicing the piano...on the baby's bassinet.


I'm glad he's so excited to be a dad!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Idiot Day Girl

Today Andrew opened up my car door for me and said something. What I heard was, "There you go, Idiot Day Girl."

I narrowed my eyes, cocked my head, and said, "What?"

He took a moment to think before answering my question. He knows never to cross an angry pregnant lady. "Ummm...there are 88 days until our due date. Happy 88 Day?"

"Oh," I said, "I thought you called me an idiot for no reason whatsoever."

We had a good laugh about that, especially because I've been pretty good about not being a ditz lately.

That is until this afternoon.

After getting up from our nap, I decided that I would wear shorts since I can't wear shorts to work and I don't have to work for awhile. I got out this really cute pair that I haven't worn for about a year...but for some odd reason, I couldn't get them to do up.

Feeling rather frustrated, I went to Andrew, "My shorts don't fit anymore!" I complained.

"You're six months pregnant." He said.

Oh, yeah...I totally forgot. Is that what that huge pot belly is? Phew.




Andrew and I just got back from our walk. While we were out and about we saw my friend, Heather. We smiled and exchanged the traditional niceties. She was carrying a yoga mat.

That's funny, I thought, Why is she carrying a yoga mat around?

I continued walking only to realize 5 steps later that I, uh, also should have been at yoga because I have yoga every Wednesday at 6:00...Patrick left at 5:30...Andrew and I talked about my going to yoga right after he left. You would think that I could remember that I was supposed to be somewhere for half an hour.

"Oh, no!" I said, rather loudly, "I was supposed to go to yoga, too!"

Heather laughed at me. I really am quite ditzy!

That's okay, though. I just found out Andrew is scared of bees. He's scared of bees like I'm scared of dogs.

I saw a huge bee. "Look at that bee," I said, "It's huge!"

Andrew started flaring his arms around and running in circles shouting, "Where, where?"

5 seconds later he actually saw the bee. "Oh, all the way over there..."

Odd how the bee wants to eat flowers and not Andrew. Actually, I think I knew Andrew was afraid of bees...there is a story in the far reaches of my brain about Andrew at a birthday party and being stung by bees. Yes, yes...he's actually had his share of bad experiences with bees. He wrote a paper in grade 9 entitled, "Insects that hurt me." My favorite part is when he compares wasps and hornets to vultures and tries to explain some of their benefits saying, "this is a very difficult subject to write because they have very painful stings and bites, and they are a very aggressive form of insects."

I suppose we have both earned the title of idiot for today. Me with my forgetfulness and Andrew with his arm flaring.

Happy Weekend

Finals are over and Andrew and I are done working until Monday so we started our weekend early. The past few weeks have been, well, not easy.

I won't take too long to complain, but let's just say I haven't seen hide nor hair of my husband since Sunday night. Here is our schedule Monday-Wednesday of this week:

Monday: Nancy worked from 8 am to 6 pm while Andrew stayed at home and did...something. I'm not sure what. They rendezvoused at 6 pm, getting ice cream with the $4 from selling a textbook back (lame...$4!). Nancy went to have dinner with Emily and Esther, some girls who went to Russia with her (and their husbands). Andrew went to work.

Nancy got home at 8:30 pm and entertained herself until bedtime.

Andrew got home from work shortly after 2 am and didn't wake Nancy up. What a good boy!

Tuesday: Nancy worked from 8 am until 3:30 at which time Andrew picked her up to take her home so that he could work from 4:30...until 2 am. Nancy invited Andrew's younger siblings over for dinner so that she wouldn't have to be alone all evening. They had a night of fun and games, but Nancy was eventually left all alone once again.

Andrew got home at 2 am and accidentally woke Nancy up. That was a mistake because then she talked to him for half and hour.

Wednesday: The alarm went off at 5:30. Andrew groaned. Nancy said that if he was a very good boy and promised to get up right at 6:00 that she would set the alarm for another half hour. True to his word, Andrew got out of bed at 6:00 when the alarm went off for a second time. They left the house at 6:30. Andrew worked from 7 am until 1 pm. Nancy sat with Andrew for his first hour of work while they looked at Adobe tutorials (they are nerds) because nobody was in the computer lab. She then went to work from 8 am until 1 pm.

Then, because Nancy had banked enough hours the previous week to take half a week off this week, and because Andrew had no other hours for the rest of this week, they were able to meet each other in the library lobby and decide that they would try to stay away from campus for the next few days. They rejoiced exceedingly, left the library, drove home and crawled back into bed.

They slept for the next two hours or so, until they were rudely awaken by Nancy's little brother.
And thus they started their marvelously relaxing, and relatively long, weekend.

When Pigs Fly...

I never thought I'd see the day my little brother willingly goes on a date. It must be a sign that he is getting older...oh, and maybe I am, too.

The boy who has said since he was 16 that:
  • girls are gross
  • dates are too expensive
  • there's no one he would ever ask, anyway
  • dancing is dumb
is now asking a girl to, of all things, a dance.

I'm pretty happy about it, and I think he is, too. He actually seems excited about it. It is his Senior Prom, so I suppose it's high time he asked a girl out.

He needed a little help, but who doesn't? After all, the toilet was Karen's idea, not Andrew's (you do know about the toilet, right?)

This afternoon, after rudely awakening us from our mid-afternoon nap, Patrick came over so that we could go to Costco with him (we have a card, and he doesn't). After getting our fair share of free samples, we stormed the candy aisle and chose some kisses.

Then we went to go look at roses. Actually, only I went to look at roses, but I thought that Andrew and Patrick were with me, so it was really embarrassing when I turned to the man standing behind me and said, "What do you think, these or those?" He gave me a blank look and I quickly said, "Oh, I was talking to my brother...where is my brother?"

Luckily Patrick showed up so that I could again say, "These or those?" in front of the man, who I am sure now thinks that I am crazy.

We got home, after a quick stop at the drug store for poster paper, and commenced working on the poster (this was David's idea):


Obviously I wrote that and not Patrick. Hopefully Kendra doesn't think some girl is asking her to prom as a prank. She probably wouldn't think that because who would use 2 dozen roses on a prank? No one that I know of. They are very pretty roses, if I do say so myself.


We then typed up Patrick's name, cut out the letters, opened some kisses and put the letters in them randomly so that she has to figure out who asked her out. Andrew then arranged them arbitrarily on the poster...none of us have any idea where the letters to his name are.

You might have noticed that Patrick's name has 7 letters and there are only 6 kisses. We kind of used a ligature (the ri) as one letter to throw her off his scent. Not that it will do much once she opens the candy and sees all the letters (including the "ri" that is connected), but before she does that she won't think Patrick asked her, see? It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

It was kind of fun to help him ask a girl out to prom. See, here I am mocking him about never asking a girl out and, well, I never asked a boy out in high school... I never experienced the excitement of asking someone out and now I have to live vicariously through my little brother!

I only wish that I could be there to help him set up. He's planning on making a trail of kisses throughout the house, leading to the bathroom. Then he's going to somehow hang the roses in the shower (I'm not sure how that one is working out) and will put the poster on the shower wall.

Oh, well...I should go. I have a date with my husband. We're going for a walk. I did ask him to go on a walk with me, but I didn't make a poster or give him roses or candy. Maybe if I had, asking him would have been more exciting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Green Thumb, continued

Andrew and I finally got a plant last week. It took a lot of thought and careful consideration before we made our $5 purchase. I had to read every single "care instructions" card on every single plant. I finally came across one that gave the following conditions:

1) Bright light preferred
2) Never below 40°F
3) Allow soil to dry between waterings
4) Fertilize in spring or late summer
5) Remove old or yellow fronds

At least with this plant I will be able to complete 2/5 requirements, which really isn't bad. I have no problems not exposing my plant to temperatures below 40 degrees...especially inside my house. And I certainly have no problem allowing the soil to dry between waterings. In fact, I think that I will do pretty good at allowing the soil to dry between waterings.

Here is the newest addition to our household, a Sago Palm, properly known as a Cycas revoluta.


This plant has outlived most dinosaurs, so I'm pretty sure it can survive our house. When we got home, I had to do a little more research just to make sure the plant was well-nigh invincible--otherwise we would have had to take it back to the store!

I found a website that helped me gain the confidence I needed to raise my sweet little Sago. They said that although sagos prefer full sunlight, they can adapt to shade. They can live in a wide range of temperatures. They may need to be watered once a week, or less....

I'm pretty sure that this plant is a survivor. The true test of its longevity will be to see how long it lasts under my care!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Things my child will never know

My brother, David, gave Andrew and me a little table today (that was number 86 on our list of things to do). It has a wood frame with a glass top and is much smaller than our current table, so Andrew and the baby compatibly be in the same room: Andrew doing homework and the baby doing tummy time. There really isn't much room in our living room for a big homework table, all the baby stuff, and my sanity...so we had to downsize. I have this thing about floor space. I like it.

Andrew though, had a little harder time adjusting to the idea of this new table. I couldn't see what was wrong with the table so I asked him to enlighten me.

"It's big enough," he said, "but it's glass topped and painted ugly white. So, the glass top could cause problems."

I wasn't really sure what being painted ugly white had to do with the glass top causing problems. Besides, the table was free, so what's wrong with ugly white? I decided to ignore everything else and focus on what I thought he was seeing as the real issue here. I posed a very succinct question (some might say pithy, others trite--either way, we all get along):

"Why?"

Not to be outdone by my conciseness, Andrew answered,

"Mouse."

And I, not wanting to be caught with too many words, responded aphoristically,

"Pad."

Andrew's excitement then got the better of him and he exclaimed verbosely,

"Oh, yeah - mouse pads! I forgot about those!"

We then reminisced about when, instead of optical sensors, mouses had balls and needed mouse pads. Today mouse pads are rather superfluous. You simply don't need one to function properly anymore.



That's not the only thing my child is going to think is strange when she finds it lying around the house. How about the cassette tapes that I still have, or my CD/tape player. Or my disc man. Or film negatives?

Yes, my dear child, your parents grew up in an age of:
  • Chalk boards
  • Overhead projectors
  • Filmstrip
  • Cassette tapes
  • Worrying about having enough film in your camera
  • Mouse pads
  • VHS tapes and VCRs
  • Lap belts in the back window seats of cars
  • Many other archaic things
Sadly, there are a few things that I bet will be totally outdated before our daughter even gets to be a teenager. I'll bet you CDs will be replaced with something new. The iPod will be so improved that my little Shuffle will look like a t-rex. And I'm sure our child will laugh at the idea of the "mini DV," considering we already have great digital film (it's just a little more expensive at the moment). White boards will probably be on their way out by the time Rachel gets into school. It will all be PowerPoint (only a more advanced, less lame version or something along those lines). She'll probably think our printer is slow, too.

I remember getting an ink jet when I was in grade six. My dad helped me print off some pictures for some assignments. I'm pretty sure it took at least 5 minutes a page (to do a picture--text would obviously be faster). Our printer is much faster than that.

Come to think of it, Rachel...you're making me feel old. Go ask your grandparents what was around in their day (records! BETA! reel-to-reel! Ha!). And if you can't believe all that, ask them how much gas cost when they were young.

Oh, wait...cars probably won't run on gas by the time you ask, so you won't understand that, either. And, no, grandpa did not have to walk to school--uphill both ways--in a snowstorm.

Pregnancy Picture

April 23 (we actually took it on the 22nd late at night because Andrew had to work tonight)

There really is no denying it now--that is a pregnancy belly. It used to be kind of flattering when people would say, "Oh, I just can't believe you're pregnant!" I even had a hard time believing it at first myself. I wasn't really sick. I didn't gain a whole bunch of weight to start out with. I wasn't really showing...at all.

Now when people say, "You don't look pregnant at all!" I kind of give them a quizzical look. Really, is that how people thought I looked before I was pregnant? Come on, people!

Granted, I don't look as big as some other girls in the ward who are about as far along as I am. But to say I don't look pregnant at all? That's kind of a stretch.

And I have gotten so much bigger in the last month, and I mean so much bigger. Here is the picture of me from March 23:


That is a whole lot bigger. And I assure you, baby is bigger, too! She can reach my ribs now which is interesting, especially late at night when I'm lying on my side and she commences to repetitively bounce up and down on my rib cage. I actually don't know what her new fascination is with my rib cage because she should have been able to reach it quite awhile ago--but she really just likes to kick the bottom of my ribs over and over and over and over... It's like she's jogging or something.

She actually moves a whole lot more than she ever used to, especially during the day. At work today I had to move some things, so I was kind of working up a sweat running up and down ladders carrying boxes (not heavy boxes--don't worry). As soon as I got back to my desk, baby Rachel had her own exercise session. I think that when I exercise it gives her energy to move around a bit more.

She had another little "daytime movement session" during dinner. I had walked to my friend's house, just sat down, and then we headed out the door for dinner. Not ten minutes after we were seated at our table, Rachel started up again.

I'm seeing a pattern, because that's exactly what she did at yoga a few weeks ago, too.

We'll have to see if she still has energy to do a big kicking spree tonight or if she tuckered herself out with all her movements during the day.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Random Pictures

I really liked the collages that my sister made of her kids. Unfortunately, we don't have any cute kids to make collages of yet...but when we do, watch out! I did this using InDesign and it was really super easy. I just made a whole bunch of frames on a page and then imported pictures into them and moved them around and resized them until they looked good. Granted, my sister's first collage looks awesome because it's all from one photo shoot and so all the kids are wearing matching clothes...it's just really cute. This one is not quite so cute because I did it at like 1:00 in the morning (while trying to convince my husband to stop doing homework and go to bed) and it doesn't feature any babies, which naturally make everything cuter.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My favowite bwankey

I think I was kind of spoiled as a child. It might have had to do with the fact that I was a teeny, tiny child. It might have had to do with the fact that I had this brilliant high pitched scream. Or, it might have had to do with the fact that I was just too cute... I'm kind of banking on the high pitched scream (and other annoying habits), but it could have been anything.

Whichever way it went, I loved being the baby. I think I slept in the crib longer than my little brother, and he's 4 years younger than me. I know that I slept with my parents longer--I remember my mom talking about it with some other moms on my first day of school. I remember insisting on a bottle, even when I was 4.

Right around when I was 4 and 5, my mom started taking these things away from me. I didn't really like it because, not only had I been replaced as the baby, I was replaced with a boy! Come on, a boy? Like that's even a good replacement... I considered myself much more enjoyable as a baby than a boy.

The first year Patrick came along, I did have to give up the bottle and started sleeping in my own bed (although would use the crib whenever I saw an open opportunity). It took awhile longer to get me out of my parents' bed...

The biggest boon though, was my favorite blankey. I am not sure which grandma gave it to our family because it isn't recorded in my baby book. It was actually given to my older brother, who then relinquished it to me when I was born. Since that day, I have been very reluctant to give it up.

The green side is soft and silky and I liked to rub it in my fingers. The pink side isn't as soft or silky, but it was pink. And pink is good.


I took this blanket with me everywhere. My mom tried to get me to stop taking it to church, but I knew that her slip felt very similar to my blanket, so every time she took my blankey away, my hand would go down her top or up her skirt so that I could rub the silky material. She ended up letting me take the blanket with me everywhere I went until I got embarrassed about carrying it around in front of my friends (which did eventually happen).

Even though I was weened from my blanket in public, I was still very much attached to it in private. Putting me to bed was usually pretty easy. As long as I had my blankey, I was good to go. If I didn't have my blankey though, there were problems resulting in high-pitched screams, which, in turn, usually resulted in the whole household hunting for my blanket so that I could go to bed.

Although I got over this need to have my blanket with me, it still was on my bed until the day that I got married and Andrew took it away from me, called it "nappy," and put it in the closet. How's that for tough love?

Now that we're having a baby, he let me get it out again, but only to put it in the baby's room. He said that I can't use it anymore.

I guess I will finally have to go from being babied to being the babier.

Andrew's harsh actions against my blankey probably stem his own experience with his favorite blankies. Andrew had, not one, but two favorite blankies, and it sounds that he may have been a little more attached to them than I was to my own blankey. His blankies' names, yes, their names, were Dan and Howsey. (I didn't ever name my blanket. It was, after all, just a blanket). Andrew was also very attached to his blankies and took them with him everywhere. I believe that Andrew has made his family turn around on a long trip, just to retrieve a forgotten blanket and I think he even had to have his blankets mailed to him once. I could have the story wrong though.

To punish him, Andrew's dad would take the blankets and put them up high on a door, so that Andrew could see them but not reach them. I would have gone ballistic as a child if this had ever happened to my blankey. Andrew also would react in a very unpleasant manner, which I'm sure his dad thought was very funny.

Alas, Andrew's blankies are no where to be found now. I think his mom made them into a pillow when they started to get too "nappy" to carry around, and Andrew lost that. And now he's taking all his anger out on the wonderful bonds my blanket and I share.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I just completed a baby blanket for our baby.


It took me a week and 4 and a half skeins of yarn to finish. Andrew still wants me to put a border around the edge of it. The only problem with that is that I don't actually know how to crochet, so I'm not sure how to make a border. I can crochet anything that is rectangular in shape: scarves, blankets, dish cloths, etc. But the minute you start branching out into hats, sweaters, or borders around blankets, I have to put down my crochet hook and leave it to someone who knows more stitches than a single, double, and triple.

Anyway, this blanket is so soft that Andrew reminded me, while I was making it, that it was for the baby, and not for me. I told him that I would have no problems there because the only thing better than holding a baby is holding a baby wrapped up in a soft blanket.

I finished the blanket last night, and my poor blankey-starved husband asked me to cover his cold feet with it...because it was so soft. It looks like he, too, may need a reminder about who the blanket is for...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Why my job is entertaining

This post is guaranteed to last 10 minutes (or less). I've been at work all day today, so I decided to take a 10 minute break (again--you can take more than one when you work all day long) and tell you why my job is entertaining.

Granted, if my job really were all that entertaining, I wouldn't have to write this post to keep myself from falling asleep, now would I. Don't get me wrong, my job isn't horrible. I kind of like it, really...but it can get a little slow.

1) I get to put stickers (aka barcodes) all over things
2) I get to then scan the stickers and make cool beeping noises. It's kind of like working in a grocery store (or a library...)
3) I am a supervisor so I get to supervise other people, all of whom are older than me but don't know it
4) I get to play with shelves that move and could possibly squish you. It's like a haunted house that has walls that close in on you, only you have to push a button to make them do it.
5) I get to climb 10 foot ladders everyday. I don't know why they call them 10 foot ladders since they only let you reach 10 feet. They aren't actually 10 feet tall...
6) We have a cement floor so instead of walking we sometimes just wheel around in our chairs
7) I get to glue labels on boxes
8) I have to swipe my ID card to get through every door in the department. Sometimes when I leave the department I forget that I don't have to do this anymore and have caught myself taking out my ID card to use the washroom, get in the elevator, leave the library, go inside my own house...it's a little sad, really.
9) I get to see really old things all the time. Things penned by Brigham Young, letters to Joseph Smith Jr., samauri swords, minutes from university meetings in the 1970s...
10) I get to work with a lot of stuff that I don't really understand: fire suppression systems, climate control chambers, etc., etc., etc.

The best thing that happened to me this week at work was reading the manual for our 2-way radios. I don't really know how they work because I never use them, but I'm supposed to fix them when they have problems so I figured that I should probably learn how to use them.

First of all, radios are kind of scary. They have all these warnings at the beginning of the manual saying that if you mess up you can have too much exposure to "radio frequency elecromagnetic energy." I'm not really sure what this causes, but I'll be sure to keep the radio at least 2.5 centimeters away from my mouth when transmitting!

Now on to my favorite part. This really must be the radio manual for dummies--written especially for me. Unfortunately, no matter how hard they tried to dumb it down, I still don't think that I really understand these radios.

Let me give you some partial quotes from a conversation Andrew and I had about it:
me:I'm reading a radio manual right now."A 'bah-bah-bah-bah-bah' tone ... indicates that all available modes are busy."
"A group of three medium-pitched tones (di-di-dit) indicates that a talkgroup is now available for your previously requested transmission."
Andrew: Does it really say bah bah bah?
me: It's very technical.
Yes, it really, honestly says bah-bah-bah and di-di-dit.
Makes me think of blacksheep and "Here comes the sun..."
I think I feel a blog post coming on.
Andrew: You're a crazy blogger head
:)
me: Well, if you're going to use a term like, "bah-bah-bah-bah..." I think you have it coming.
PTT is the "press to talk" button.
It defines a "short press" as "quickly pressing and releasing"
A long press as "pressing and holding for...a period of time (...1/2 to 16 seconds)
and a "hold down" as pressing and holding down while making adjustments.

7 minutes
me: My favorite part is that it keeps referring to the noises:
"If you hear a busy signal (a low-frequency "bah-bah-bah-bah"), release the PTT button and wait for a call-back tone (sounds like "di-di-dit")."

And there you have it. I can entertain myself at work by reading radio manuals (which are much more entertaining and slightly more understandable than the climate control chamber manuals) and then trying to figure out how to get the radio to do what the manual says.

Unfortunately, my current options are: making schedules, putting stickers on boxes, or mopping the floor...good thing I only have an hour or so left!

My Phoney Promotion

I am a big wig--and I didn't even know it.

First of all, I'm teaching 36 credit hours this semester. Who knew? I recently checked my schedule on AIM and saw that I teach all the InBio thesis and dissertation classes.

I would like to point out that I wasn't assigned as the professor for these classes when I was the secretary, and I certainly shouldn't be now. If you happen to look me up for past semesters, you will notice that I was the instructor for InBio 691R--that is true. Technically I didn't teach-- all I did was arrange for guest speakers to come, took attendance, graded papers and arranged luncheons. But I did assign the final grades, so I really kind of was the "instructor."

I don't even work for Integrative Biology anymore, so I'm not sure where all this is coming from.

Second, I'm now the department chair for Special Collections. See?


It's funny. You would think with all these promotions and hard work that I'm doing I would at least get a pay raise. I haven't seen a penny.

Monday, April 16, 2007

al Hafla (or, the pickle incident)

On Saturday night, we celebrated the end of the semester with Andrew's 101 Arabic class by holding a little hafla at our house. We made kosheri, foul, and falafel while Andrew's class brought vegetables, drinks (mostly orange pop), humus, and pita. We had a pretty good turn out although I was worried at first because only 2 people were there for the first 20 minutes or so.

But they all filed in slowly, which, according to Andrew, is pretty normal for class also.

In the hubbub of getting everything ready to eat, I had forgotten that pickles are essential to any Middle Eastern meal: breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I asked Andrew if he wouldn't mind getting the pickles from the fridge. He complied, whipped open the fridge and grabbed the pickle jar.

Now, a typical female would have taken the jar to the counter, taken out a little dish, and put a few pickles into the dish. Andrew is not a typical female. In fact, he is probably more along the lines of a typical male. He took the whole jar of pickles out of the kitchen with the intent of putting it on the table.

In the hallway he had a little detour. The pickle jar slipped out of his hands and landed, lid-side down, on the floor. Luckily, the lid had only partially screwed off so although a substantial amount of pickle juice spilled all over the floor, we lost no pickle in the accident. I suppose we were pretty lucky that the jar didn't shatter....

I quickly started mopping up the pickle juice with a paper towel. While I was down on the floor, Andrew picked up the jar, set it on the table, and grabbed more paper towels to help me clean up.

One of his students mocked us, "Oh, I remember when my wife and I used to do everything together..."

Really, what was Andrew going to do? Make me clean up by myself? Rude!

Anyway, after eating (and while some of us were eating), we crowded into the living room to watch "West Bank Story," which was hilarious again. The party died out fairly rapidly since some had to work, and others had to write papers...

A few did stick around though...showing their peers their telephone book ripping skills.


That kind of died out quickly, too, though, and soon Andrew and I were left with a rather messy kitchen, but a quiet house. Wow, a party that ended at 8 pm! What could get better? We had a good time and still got to bed at a decent hour (although the kitchen is still relatively in shambles).

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Power Tools and Baby Bottles

Yesterday was a very productive day. Granted, we didn't get done some of the things we had planned to, but we did get quite a few things done.

Andrew's mom came over to help us put in a few extra shelves, meaning that Andrew got a few of "life's lessons on power tools." He stripped two drill bits--not the screws, but the actual drill bits. After that he pretty much got the hang of it.

We put a shelf in our front closet and in the baby's room. Those two shelves alone have given us so much more room. It's quite amazing, actually. I feel a lot more organized now.

Andrew working on the front closet
And on the baby's closet
I must say Karen was quite helpful. After all, she taught Andrew how to find studs, which way to turn the screws (righty tighty, Andrew), and she cut the wood for us. I, on the other hand, was a little less helpful. I did laundry, took some pictures, made fun of Andrew, held the wood while Karen cut it (once), and handed Andrew some tools.

I also made a shopping list. So, when we were finished with the shelves, we went grocery shopping. We also stopped by ShopKo to pick up a "glider." They were 1/2 off the original price, so we figured we may as well grab up the offer while we could. We purchased the chair and then held up the line for a million years while the "out-bound" guy showed up with our chair. He helped us wheel it out to our car and then we spent the next 15 minutes trying to figure out how to get it into our car. It was in a box that was too big to fit in any of our car doors and also wouldn't fit in our trunk. Finally we ended up opening the box and putting the chair, piece by piece into our car. Even then we couldn't close our trunk.

I think I understand why people use trucks to move things now.

After dropping off our chair, we went grocery shopping. We had a whole bunch of coupons for Costco (like $5 off baby wipes, and great things like that), so we went there and spent more than we probably should have...but got a lot of our food storage done! And it really was cheaper than buying things at a regular store for a regular price. About $10 for 832 wipes...that's pretty good (at Albertson's, it's $5.79 for 240, just to give you an idea of how expensive they typically are).

As we were leaving the store, Andrew said, "I love how we gave them little pieces of paper and saved $45! Just for silly pieces of paper."

"What do you think 'money' is?" I asked him, since money is also typically silly little pieces of paper.

"Well," he said, "these were just regular pieces of paper that they gave us. That's almost like robbing them blind. They give us the paper, we give it back to them, and they let us keep $45!"

I see his point, coupons can be pretty cool sometimes...

When we got home I started putting the groceries away while my Mr. Handy Man started assembling the rocking chair. I only had to help him a few times...he did most of it by himself. It looks nice, and is just as comfortable. It reclines, it came with an ottoman, it rocks. Could life get better?

Yes, it can. My husband then swept and mopped the floor for me (while I was relaxing...he's just too nice!). Unfortunately, he mopped himself into a corner. Luckily, I had my camera and caught him in the act of crawling out of the kitchen, balancing on his elbows and knees so he wouldn't leave any prints on the floor. I thought that was the most hilarious thing I had ever seen him do in my whole entire life...


That is, until he sat down in the rocking chair and told me that I had to share because it wasn't just the "mommy chair." Oh, no, it's the "holding/feeding baby chair," which means that he has equal dibs on it. We're planning on breastfeeding, so I asked him how he planned to feed the baby.

"We can give her a bottle sometimes," he said, and then made the following hand gesture:


I'm not really sure what he's doing, but it certainly looks like he's playing the violin. Apparently one hand is holding the baby and the other is holding the bottle. I'm not sure which is doing which job, or what his arm is doing sticking up in the air, but I'm sure he'll get the hang of it once she's here.

The funny part is that I tried to take his picture while he was in his "original" pose...but he noticed and quickly moved, telling me there was no way he was going to repeat that for the camera. But then, I asked him to explain how that hand position equaled "feeding baby" so he did it again while he explained to me the reasoning behind the position. I don't remember what it was...I think I was laughing too hard.

Friday, April 13, 2007

100 days to go

There are only 100 days left until our due date. That said, there probably are 100 days (give or take 10) until we have a baby. That said, there are 90-110 days until our life changes dramatically.

100 used to seem like a big number. I remember celebrating "100 days" in school. We had to bring in 100 items (I brought Cheerios or something) and we made glasses to wear that were in the shape of 100. You know the ones. By the time we had gotten that far into the school year I felt like an old bee. I knew what was going on because I had been in school for forever...

100 doesn't seem that far off now. Not at all.

My auntie Colleen used to sing this song with her kids while they were driving home. Since I spent time with them I was, therefore, also exposed to this song. You have to sing it really slowly so that one verse lasts exactly 1 mile, give or take a few...and you sing it all the way home. I believe there was a certain landmark that was the "when you can legally start sing the song" landmark...otherwise we could have sung for a long, long while. Anyway, it goes to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell" and goes something like this:

We're 5 miles from home, we're 5 miles from home, we'll walk awhile, we'll rest awhile...we're 5 miles from home...

We're 4 miles from home, we're 4 miles from home...

And I think you get the picture. My aunt was really good at making her voice all tired and...I don't know, I just found the whole thing rather entertaining. My guess is that that is why she did it. To entertain children who were bouncing in their seats.

However, now that I'm older, I don't have to sing when we're five miles from home to be able to make it in the car. In fact, I'm perfectly capable of the thought, "Gee, only 20 hours until we get home and I can go to sleep in my own bed." That thought probably would have made me cry when I was 5, but time seems to go by a lot faster now, so waiting a whole day really doesn't bother me anymore.

My perception of time certainly has changed, and boy does it seem to fly by. Let's see...100 days? That's nothing! That's not even one third of the year. To commemorate this new "100 day" and to show how overwhelmed I'm beginning to feel, I've decided to write down a list of 100 things we need to do before Rachel is born:

1) Andrew needs to finish this semester
2) Andrew needs to start and complete Spring semester
3) Andrew needs to start Summer semester
4) We need to get that cabinet thingy from Aunt Nikki so that I can...
5) Arrange the baby's room that is currently still full of office stuff and other random junk
6) I need to go to work at least 70 more days (I take weekends and most Fridays off)
7) I need to somehow convince Andrew that diaper changing isn't that bad
8) I need to make a baby blanket
9) We have to go to the doctor quite a few more times
10) We need to go to Grover
11) We need to go on a date...just the two of us...without a babysitter...or worrying about the baby (We're going to pay for our dates now and save our coupons for when we have the baby so that we only have to pay the sitter, and not for the date)
12) We need to come up with a crib
13) ...a car seat
14) ...a stroller
15) ...a snuggly/front carrier/back carrier/sling thing of some sort
16) ...a collection of Dr. Seuss books (and other great children's stories)
17) ...a list of everything else that we might still need
18) ...a birthing plan
19) We need to pack a bag for the hospital (not for awhile, but soon enough)
20) We need to choose which hospital to go to
21) I need to gain 10 more pounds (or so)
22) Rachel needs to gain 4-6 more pounds
23) Andrew needs to stop gaining weight with me
24) We need to go over our finances to make sure that we really can survive for a year with only Andrew working at a real job
25) I need to help finish planning the family reunion that I probably can't go to because it's the weekend of my due date
26) I need to help plan a Stake Primary Pioneer Day Celebration, which I also probably am going to miss because it is the same weekend as the family reunion
27) I need to go to 4 ward conferences
28) We need to celebrate my birthday
29) We need to celebrate the birthdays of Malachi, Sarah, Emily, Jacob, Reid, and perhaps Billy...we'll see if Rachel comes before or after his. Did I miss anyone's?
30) I need to finish laying out our Jordan book
31) We need to fix our screen door (we're doing that today or tomorrow)
32) We need to have FHE approximately 15 more times
33) We need to go to church approximately 15 more times
34) We should probably change our sheets a few times
35) We will need to do 30 loads of laundry? (That's a stab in the dark)
36) I will have to take a lot of naps
37) We will have to think of 100 things to have for dinner
38) Oh, a baby swing. We want to get one of those, too! (see 12-18)
39) We need to take a birthing class so that Andrew can coach me on mental exercises and breathing techniques
40) We need to go shopping about 7 more times
41) We need to have about 100 bowls of cereal each (Andrew will have only 97 due to fast Sunday). And we might have pancakes or something interesting a few of the days, so it might not be quite 100 for me, either
42) We will do our Friday/Saturday cleaning 15 more times
43) We need to fill up our car 7-8 more times
44) We will pay rent 3 more times (excluding April, which we haven't paid yet, but will very soon)
45) We need to see how much it will cost to add our baby to our current insurance plan and whether it would be worth it to switch to BYU's plan...
46) We need to make the last payment for our "labor and delivery" bill (in May)
47) We will do the dishes (what will seem like) countless times, but will really be only between 15-25. We typically only wash the dishes once or twice a week unless we make something really exciting...which we don't usually do because that uses a lot of dishes!
48) Robby (our pet vacuum) will vacuum the house 15 more times. He's the only pet that doesn't make a mess but cleans up yours!
49) We'll watch 14 or 15 episodes of "The Office"
50) We'll get 7 or 8 more pay checks
51) Andrew has to take the GRE
52) I have to consider taking the GRE
53) We need to apply for grad school
54) I will go to yoga 14 more times
55) We need to return a video to a lady in our stake...ooops! We still have it!
56) We need to become comfortable calling each other "mommy" and "daddy"
57) We need to wash our car (haven't done that for a while, a least since we got it)
58) We will need to mooch a dinner appointment off of either of our parents a few more times
59) We need to celebrate mother's day
60) We need to put some extra shelves in some of our closets
61) We need to fix the towel hook that Andrew broke a few weeks ago
62) I need to bake a whole bunch of cookies (out of the dough that is sitting in my fridge)
63) Not only do I need to gain weight, but I need to fill out my maternity shirts...people are finally starting to notice that I'm gaining weight
64) I need to sift through all of my baby clothes and box them up by size so that I can find them as my baby grows
65) I need to decide where to keep the diapers. Where, oh, where should I put them?
66) We need to get the arm for our mobile from Kelli (and a car seat, please)
67) After finals we need to go for walks hand in hand, enjoying the flowers in the neighbourhood
68) We need to make a whole bunch of Middle Eastern food
69) And have Andrew's 101 class over to devour it
70) We need to choose a pediatrician
71) We need to celebrate Father's Day
72) We need to send my sister's Christmas present up to Canada with someone
73) We need to file all of our papers
74) I need to clean off my computer desk
75) I need to take 100 more prenatal pills
76) We need to play the organ/conduct music in church 5 more times
77) I need to sit by my friend, Kim (not the yoga Kim, a different one) and borrow her babies during RS to practice for my own
78) We need to have dinner with Kim and Taber
79) I need to go swimming with my mom and sister before I can no longer fit in my bathing suit (Andrew can come, too, if he wants)
80) I need to finish the Book of Mormon again
81) We need to change the oil in the car
82) We need to get a rocking chair and then
83) Assemble the rocking chair
84) We need to move the chair that is in the baby's room out
85) We need to get some child-friendly movies (Disney, Baby Einstein, etc.)
86) We need to get a little a table from IKEA for Andrew to do his homework on
87) We need to move the big tables currently in our living room out
87) We need to get some cheap curtains from IKEA
88) We need to get the student version of CS2
89) We also need to get the student version of Microsoft Office
90) Andrew needs to rub my feet
91) We need to organize our storage closet outside
92) And perhaps put some shelves in it
93) We need to "deep clean" the house (getting into the little corners, clean the windows, etc)
94) I need to go through my old baby clothes with my mom
95) We need to get a plant that I won't kill so that our house can be beautiful
96) We need to decide on baby book/baby keepsake traditions
97) We need to figure out the system of getting a Canadian birth certificate
98) I need to go into labor
99) Andrew needs to drive me to the hospital
100) I need to deliver baby (with some help from the doctor and Andrew and perhaps a few other essential moral support agents, like my mom)

Unfortunately, it took me so long to think up all these ideas that now we really only have 99 days left. Thinking up 100 things to do was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I actually feel less overwhelmed after thinking about everything than before because some of the things I put on the list are really quite trivial.

Am I forgetting anything? Is there anything that I need for the baby? Is there anything we should do as a couple before the baby comes? Or anything we need to do more to prepare for the baby?

I really don't know. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what comes our way. For some reason I'm really not stressed out about it at all right now. And that's nice.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Keepin' up the pace

With our dance performances out of the way, I needed to pick up something to keep on some sort of exercise schedule.

One of the sisters in our ward is a part-time yoga instructor, so for one of the "Enrichment Groups" we've started up a yoga class. We're going to meet once a week for about an hour and a half.

Now, I know that you're not supposed to start anything "new" sports-wise when you're pregnant, but I figured, "Hey, I'm a weathered dancer/gymnast/swimmer...how hard can it be?" It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, actually. I'm even kind of sore today from our workout last night.

I think it will be really beneficial though. Kim, our instructor, modified all the movements for me so that I don't strain myself or the baby... The class was pretty basic to begin with, but there are just some poses pregnant ladies aren't supposed to do "properly" so I did them differently. She also said that she has some information specifically about prenatal yoga that she'll get for me and help me learn. Apparently the breathing exercises really help during labor. I'll let you know how if that's true in a few months.

At the very end of our routine we did what is known as the "corpse" pose (the real name is Savasana). During this pose you're supposed to lie flat on your back and slowly relax all the muscles in your body while focusing on your breathing. While I'm trying to relax, Rachel was having a hay-day! She was bouncing off the walls (quite literally) making it rather difficult to focus entirely on my breathing. I don't know if I was feeling her more because I was completely relaxed or if she was moving more because of my workout...either way, it was quite comical. I'm only glad the lights were off while we were doing this because I'm sure she was making my tummy move radically.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Saturday Night Show

And from our Saturday night show as well. That way you can see where we make our mistakes and piece together the whole routine...because we definitely made mistakes both nights!

Foxtrot


Finale



Just a note on the beginning of our finale...we kind of rechoreographed that on Tuesday night because originally we did the "bucket" lift, but I kind of struggled holding myself up with my new center of gravity. For the bucket lift, the man and woman link arms, and the woman then spins around the man with her legs in a stag-like position holding herself up with only one arm linked to the man. It hurt my arm too much so we cut that. So, that is why this isn't as smooth as we'd like...like why I started spinning on the wrong leg and then had to switch up really fast so that we could go into the lift...oops! Anyway...

Friday Night Show

Here are the videos from our Friday night show...

Foxtrot


Finale

Monday, April 09, 2007

Good Boy!

One of our neighbours downstairs has a little boy named Andrew. At times this can be quite humorous. For example, today at church, our neighbour called out in the hallway, "Andrew! Turn around!"

Andrew, looking shocked, and for some reason almost sheepish, dutifully turned around only to hear the mother continue, "We're going to nursery now."

My obedient husband almost hightailed it to the nursery...and then he saw our neighbours.

You would think we would be used to this by now. We often hear random things associated with Andrew's name. At times they are all too ironic:

· On the way out to the car, "Andrew, don't forget your raisins!"
· While getting the mail, "Don't you ever run into the street again, Andrew!"
· While locking up the house, "Andrew, close that door right now!"
· While leaving to go for a walk, "Hey, Andrew! Come back here!"

Pick up your toys, Andrew...Stop screaming, Andrew...Hold my hand, Andrew...Not right now, Andrew...

Each time my Andrew hears anything he always pauses and tries to do what he's told. At times I've had to remind him that he doesn't usually eat raisins for a snack, and that since we're running 10 minutes late he doesn't need to run back in and get some.

or...

Andrew, you're not 2 anymore. People don't typically tell you not to run out into the street. You've had that down for a few years.

Really, Andrew, you're not the only Andrew. There are 4 just on my side of the family alone. You should be used to it by now!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Salt and Pepper and Company, too!

For Easter, we got some new salt and pepper shakers in our shared Easter basket. Most of the candy in the basket is from Halloween, to be honest, but that's because we just aren't very good at eating candy in our house.

We are rather excited at this new addition to our table set. See, our old salt and pepper shakers are rather bulky, to say the least. To be absolutely honest, they are bigger than our cups.


It gets pretty squishy at the table with the plates, cups, and salt and pepper shakers. If we ever have company over, it gets really squishy. We're excited to be able to keep the salt and pepper on the table while company is over instead of having to jump up and run to the kitchen to grab them. Oh, and we'll be able to see our company over the salt and pepper shakers, too. There's nothing worse than having to move the shakers to see your guests.

Don't worry, we won't be casting our old shakers completely off. Instead they have acquired a new title: The Cooking Shakers. They really are excellent for cooking because the salt and pepper comes out in such marvelously abundant quantities so you don't have to shake it a million times to get out a teaspoon-worth of salt or pepper. And, they match the two other shakers in our big stainless steel collection. We're not really sure what the other two are for, but as far as we can guess they are for Parmesan cheese and powdered sugar. You know, for condiments for spaghetti and pancakes respectively.

At any rate, our table is much more open and conducive to proper dinner conversations.

Do Mormons Dance?

Kind of a corny catch phrase for a stake activity, but it was what it was. We had a blast doing this and would gladly do it again...granted, it was rather stressful considering everything else we've had going on, but it was well worth the effort.

Tonight before we danced the finale, Sis. Madsen announced that I was pregnant. The most asked question after we finished was, "How do you keep your balance?" The answer is simple...I don't.

I feel like I didn't dance my best because I felt like I was going to fall over at any minute (good-bye stiletto heels)! I stepped on Andrew yesterday, lost my balance on another move, almost fell over on our final pose tonight and totally botched one of the easiest steps in the whole routine. Luckily we danced smoothly enough that no one noticed, and I'm really not being too hard on myself considering I am 6 months pregnant, so.... Believe me though, if I wasn't pregnant I'd be crying right now.

Now that's a change. I'm not crying because I am pregnant but would be crying if I weren't.

Here are some pictures to appease our video-deprived audience (soon, Abra, soon!). We gave our camera to some friends and asked them to take some pictures of us. What we got:


I suppose we should have clarified that more than one would have been nice. Oh, well.

Instead we posed in our dining room. I didn't put on that much makeup and turn my hair into a helmet just to wash it all out. We had to capture the moment. Enjoy.


I think my love for this dress stems from the fact that I wanted to be the Little Mermaid when I was younger. You know the ending scene when she's coming up out of the water and her father makes her this sparkly red dress? Well it just so happens that that dress comes in blue, too!

Just for the record: when I was in grade three we had pictures taken and I wore a Little Mermaid shirt, Little Mermaid shorts, Little Mermaid socks, Little Mermaid shoes, and a Little Mermaid hair thing. I might just have to dig that photo up. I went all out for it!

Now for our disco/cha cha/west coast pictures. There are no words to describe my feeling for this dress other than that it zipped up over my tummy and wasn't too skimpy. Other than that, it really isn't my favorite. Oh, and the rhinestones are a nice touch...


By the way, that flower in my hair is the one that I meant to take to the Relief Society activity on Wednesday but totally forgot about. On Thursday when we were getting ready to head to the dress rehearsal, I thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a flower in my hair?" and then I saw the flower I had forgotten to take...lucky me. It matched my dress perfectly.

Oh, and our Stake Presidency really liked Andrew's bright pink tie with his neon green shirt. They encouraged him to wear them together more often. It is also one of my mom's favorite shirts on Andrew. It really does bring out the light in his eyes. I'm so glad I married my dance partner!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

What do you want? Colored Eggs! What color?


Mom and Josie came over today bearing 2 1/2 dozen hard boiled eggs and tax information. While Andrew and my mom poured over taxes, Josie and I busied ourselves colouring Easter eggs. I wonder who had a better time?

Today happens to be Josie's 13th birthday, and you know what? I really think she's maturing!

Josie's stunning rendition of the Easter bunny
Then again...maybe not.

You know those egg dipper things they always give you in the boxes of dye? We never use those, so I'm glad that Josie found a good use for them.

In order to dye eggs, we had to use every mug we own except for 2. And then we also used nearly every spoon we own as well (we use those instead of the egg dippers, see?). It was pretty fun, but I definitely need to do some dishes so that we can have cereal in the morning.

Josie and I worked for almost 2 hours straight. We got a lot of talking and laughing done. I decided that the "Question of the Day" will be awarded to Josie.

She held a nice white egg, on which she had drawn nice yellow polka dots with a wax crayon, up to me and posed the question: "If I put this in the yellow, do you think it will turn yellow?"

I'm not really sure how she wanted me to respond to that...



In the end we had many beautifully coloured eggs.


The one with the swirls of color on it is Josie's favorite.
I prefer Humpty Dumpty
After we were done colouring the eggs, I poked my baby until she started kicking so that Josie could feel her moving. She gave us a few weak kicks and then, most probably, turned over and fell back asleep. She prefers to do her big movements late at night, that's for sure.

Next year she'll get to help...or at least watch everyone else...dye eggs.

*****

An explanation of the title:

During spring time, we would play a game called "Coloured Eggs." It's kind of like a suped-up version of "Duck, Duck, Goose."

There is a wolf, who is "it," whatever it is, exactly. The rest of the players are the piglets or bunnies...or whatever it is you want to pretend to be.

The wolf plugs his ears, goes around the corner of the house and has to hum very loudly so that everyone else knows that he is not cheating. Everyone else quickly chooses a colour for their "egg." They have to tell everyone else what colour they chose so that we all know that they don't cheat. Not that I was ever concerned about cheating as a child. But, let's be honest, it's really not fair to cheat.

After everyone has chosen their colour (yes, more than one person can choose the same colour), someone goes to fetch the wolf back.

If you were smart, you would have thought of the course to run before you play the game. If not, you will decide on the course now. We usually had to run from the honey suckle bush in the front yard, around the swing set in the backyard, and then back to the honey suckle. If we were really hyper we would make it so you had to run around the house.

With the course decided, the wolf then proceeds the dialogue of the game with:

"Knock, Knock!" (this should be said in a big, gruff voice)

"Who's there?" the piglets respond.

"The big, bad wolf!"

"Whaddya want?"

"Coloured eggs!"

"What colour?"

The wolf then proceeds to name off colours he thinks the piglets might have chosen.

Most of the time the wolf will be wrong because the piglets are smart and didn't choose pink, green, or orange. No, instead they chose invisible, lilac, rainbow-coloured. The piglets then make buzzer noises, yell "No!" in really obnoxious voices, or, and this is the worst of all, pull menacingly on their ear lobe while saying, "Flush it down the toilet!"

When the wolf finally goes through every possible colour and finally realizes that he's probably working with an invisible or rainbow-coloured egg and he guesses one of those two right, the pigelt owner then takes off around the honey suckle and barrels toward the swing set, wishing that instead of being made of splintery wood that it had those smooth metal poles so that he could grab them and spin around the swing set. Unfortunately, our swing set was made of wood and if you grabbed it going too fast you would most certainly end up in mom's lap with a pair of tweezers...

I suppose you're all wondering how the game ends. Well, I told you. It's just like Duck, Duck, Goose...so, if the pig reaches home first then the wolf remains the wolf. However, if the pig is caught and eaten by the wolf then the wolf becomes a pig and the pig is the new wolf.

We played that game a lot!

Spring Time in the Rockies

The year my Grandma Conrad died, Josie was in kindergarten. It seemed that in that particular year we went to a lot of funerals. I can't really remember how many or who all passed away, but Josie went to a lot of funerals for a girl her age.

One day we were outside playing and somehow our attention turned to the flowers. Josie decided that she would smell one, so she walked up to the flower, put her nose right in it and sniffed a big sniff.

"Ew!" she exclaimed, "These flowers smell like dead people!"

She didn't realize that instead of flowers smelling like dead people, funerals smell like flowers because everyone brings flowers for the family. There are flowers on the pulpit, flowers on the casket, flowers in the isles, flowers at the grave site, flowers at the luncheon...

And then when you go home there are flowers all over the living room, spilling over into the kitchen and hallways and bedrooms...flowers are just everywhere.

Most flowers do smell pretty good. Others, however, simply don't. We have these trees by our walkway that just smell awful. They provide our living room with shade and since we live on the second floor, we are right in the blossoms. I suppose it is kind of like being in a tree house.


Unfortunately, when the breeze blows through our open window, we don't get that nice, fresh apple blossom smell. Instead it is this grossness. I really wish there was some way to capture a smell and just kind of clip it to this post so that you would know what it smells like.

It is a sweet smell, but more like a sweet smell mixed with putrescence. Quite sickening, really.

Josie and I walked to Patrick's volleyball game earlier this week, and these trees were lining the streets. Josie, now knowing that flowers don't smell like dead people, said, "Gross! These smlowers fell bad!" Fortunately the trees on the street alternate between these ones and some plum trees. Even though plum trees are messy, they certainly smell a whole lot better than this kind!

I told Andrew the next day that the blossoms smelled bad. He was suffering from allergies and was still quite stuffed up, having taken his allergy medicine just before we left the house. He insisted that they smelled just fine.

Well, when we came home from work (after his allergy medicine kicked in), he agreed with me that they smelled horrible. We were trying to decide on something to compare the smell to, but couldn't come up with anything until Andrew said, "You know, they kind of smell like dead people."

Now, that is kind of true. They have that sweet flower smell mixed with the smell of rotting something or other. How morbid is that?

At least these trees attract birds. It's kind of nice to wake up to chirping birds outside our window. We always sleep with our windows cracked open to help air out our house (although I'm not sure it counts as "airing out" when it ends up smelling like dead people).

This will be our first summer here together. It's rather nice to hear birds in the morning instead of gas trucks blaring ridiculous Nintendo theme songs, or goat herders yelling at their bleating goats. Come to think of it, I don't think I once heard a bird chirping outside my window in Jordan, so it's kind of a nice change of pace, although I do miss Jordan terribly.

I'm just glad that winter is finally over and we don't have to wear shoes or pants anymore!