Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holy Crappy Day, Batman

You know the days when it all hits the fan? Or the MONTH it all hits the fan. It seems like nothing is going smoothly these days. First-- a house project cost more than we thought. Hey, we build a little extra into the budget for months like this. Then the cars. I was unaware Justin was driving on completely faulty brakes. I thought we were just going in for an oil change. Yeah, $850 later... But we build a little extra into the budget for...whatever. Goodbye Christmas.

Then we had to have a plumber come unhook the sink--long story. $150 for a 20 minute job. Really? No parts, just labor. 5 days later, after we get back from Thanksgiving, our downstair's neighbor's son comes knockin' on the door. 'Dottie's kitchen ceiling is leaking.' Crap. Our water is supposed to be OFF! Well it wasn't. It was slowly dripping its way into her ceiling. And since both of us were out of town, we didn't notice until it was too late. We didn't plan THIS much into the budget. The plumber and the company are giving us the run around, which is to be expected. But in the meantime, Justin hasn't wanted to hook the water back up before they come assess the damage. But that leaves me with no dishwasher and no kitchen sink and an ever increasing pile of dishes on my table. I've admitted to not being the best housekeeper, but for anyone's standards, that is disgusting.

I'd had it last night. And I couldn't fix anything for dinner, every pot and dish was dirty. Then the silver lining. I see my blender and remember Erin's wheat waffles. I grab the recipe and have everything I need, including the one appliance left clean in my kitchen. It made me so happy, I have to post the recipe. Hope you don't mind, Erin.

Whole Wheat Blender Waffles
1 c whole-wheat berries
1 1/2 c milk
2 eggs
2 tsp sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/3 c oil
3/4 tsp salt

Put wheat berries and 1 cup milk into blender. Blend on high for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 c milk and blend additional 2 min. Add remaining ingredients and cook on hot waffle iron.

I was a little nervous about putting wheat berries into my blender but by this point, who cares. They're great. And there's something fulfilling about making whole wheat waffles from scratch.

Justin got home from a 15 hour day at the hospital. He was stressed and extremely tired, but saw the tears in my eyes every time I walked in the kitchen. Part of the tears was feeling overwhelmed, but I think a bigger part was just the smell :) So he quietly grabbed the tools, figured out the pipes, hooked it back up, and helped me load the dishwasher. We've never been so in love.

So today my kitchen is clean and smellin' fine. You can stop being grossed out now. The plumber asked if he could put me on 'hold' this morning. And by hold, I mean he hung up on me then wouldn't pick up the phone when I called back. This may be a problem...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanks Indeed

The Man's Holiday. Justin was in 7th heaven. Football and basketball in the morning, straight to an amazing Thanksgiving meal, more football on TV, games, and Thanksgiving desserts. What could be better?

We headed north to have Thanksgiving with the Ultimate Hostess, Katherine, and family. Boy, do I know how to pick friends. I've never seen someone go to such lengths for a Thanksgiving meal. Isn't the place setting pretty? That's brand spankin' new china, I unpacked it and took the tags off myself. She made everything so special, Thanks Katherine! And her family was in town so we were especially grateful that she even wanted us lurking about.

The family, pre-dinner picture. Well, I guess Abbey is digging in. You don't wanna see post-dinner pictures. I was regretting having put anything in my mouth that day before the big feast because my eyes wanted what the full, aching tummy would not allow. I think three separate people offered to take my plate to the sink. I refused, insisting I could finish it off. Oh, the tragedy of Thanksgiving, I could not. Thanks heavens for leftovers.

And the beautiful apple pie. I loved the pastry leaves on top. Don't tell, but I didn't actually try the apple pie (but was sure to take a picture). I was stuck on the other two desserts all week--pumpkin pie and a fudgy, pepperminty goodness I don't have a name for. I guess we could call them my hips now.
Sweet babes; here's a picture of Abbey leading Sophie in a prayer before reading time. She's all about the prayers these days.

And then the strategic move of sticking around the Thanksgiving home for a few days of leftovers. By today we were growing tired of the leftovers, but never fear. Turkey Salad Sandwiches with Pomegranate and Pineapple. Um, yum! I'm sure Katherine will post the recipe on her blog (now you have to), check it out. Delicious.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dewey Day

So my mom gets gypped. Her birthday falls on or within a few days of Mother's Day every year. I can't speak for my siblings, but I tend to lump them together and call it good. I know, the shame. It's like having your birthday on Christmas. Which our nephew and Grandma do. Unlucky birthdays around here.

I digress. I decided this year something must be done. And so it was born, Dewey Day! Dewey Day, you ask? My dad lovingly refers to my mom, Julie, as 'Dewey' because my 2-yr old self couldn't pronounce Julie. I know, adorable, right? It's basically her own Mother's Day but my dad can take her out to eat because it's not Sunday :)

To inaugurate Dewey Day, I'm posting some pictures of my beautiful mom and telling you why she rocks.

My mom is Home Makeover Extraordinaire. We buy her power tools for Christmas. Right now she's remodeling her bathroom (we're talkin' knocking out walls), recarpeting the house, and repainting the upstairs...and parts of the downstairs, I believe. I don't know, I lose track of the projects. But she loves it. She loves to stay busy. She and Justin had so much fun this summer redoing our house. I felt bad they spent every waking minute of her trip out here working. She insisted she loved it though. I also love that she and Justin get along so well. Neither of them know what to do with nor enjoy spare time, I think. Her projects are meticulous because she doesn't want people to know she did it herself. But then she tells everyone she did it herself :)

I love that she is thrifty. Didn't love it so much growing up, but what an invaluable lesson she taught all those girls. Now that most kids are out of the house, money isn't going to lessons, car insurance, school clothes, etc, her thing right now is 'I can have whatever I want.' And yet she still can not, for the life of her, buy clothes at full price. I think all of us girls have a serious aversion to full-price items as well. I called her this morning to wish her Happy Dewey Day and see what they had planned for the day. My younger sisters came home for the weekend and my dad's taking everyone out to whatever restaurant she chooses. Problem is, Mom wanted to take everyone out for chinese but my dad is insisting she pick somewhere nicer. She just said 'What? I like Chinese.'
I'm thankful my parents valued the right stuff. Some moms spend crazy energy making sure their kids are dressed in name brands and are in with the right friends. My parents didn't care about that stuff. They value our education, our talents, our testimonies, our achievements. She always encouraged us to move away. I guess that sounds mean, but she wanted us to be adventurous and grow up. I think she's eating those words now that all her grandkids live so far away...

She threw the most creative birthday parties and would let us have Back to School parties, Halloween parties; any reason to throw a party. I had carnivals, crazy scavenger hunts all over the city, murder mystery dinners, at some point we had a painting trough (new, of course) full of ice cream sundae fixings. All of us had our hands tied behind our backs and just dug in with our faces. Awesome, huh.

Then, of course, all the things you don't appreciate until you are a mother yourself. Thinking about all the violin, piano and tennis lessons, basketball games, swimming meets, choir and orchestra performances, school projects. Oh, it makes me want to cry. People always would compliment my mom on our violin performances and ask her how she did it. I would be thinking 'Uh, helloooo. I'm the one up there!' Now I get it. Kudos to you, mom, for anything we turned out to be.

I hope your first Dewey Day is memorable and you feel how much we all love and appreciate you. Wish I could be there with you.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Adult Children

This entire post is a not-so-subtle hint for my sister to come visit us. :) Or at least fly her kids up here.

J's preceptor had a conference in DC, so that meant party time for us. We went to City Museum which is anything but a museum. It is a giant playground with caves and giant slides and a 'skateless' park where you slide around on skateboard ramps in your socks. Nothing is off limits, you can climb on everything. And we did.

My favorite part is the caves. It's dark and creepy and there are holes and crazy crevices you don't think you'll fit through. But you try anyway. You'll look 30 feet in the air and there are kids climbing through rebar tunnels above you. It is crazy. Crazy fun.

This picture is quintessential Abbey. You can't tell because of the flash, but it was dark in there. I couldn't believe she took off in that hole. It comes out under a cabin and I really didn't feel like belly crawling after her. Luckily my friends were on the other side and saw her head pop out so I could go around another way.

Silly J--trying to keep up with the kids. He got wedged between the netting and a sprinkler in the ceiling. Hilarious, what a good sport.
Do you like the deer-in-the-headlight look? This is because I had no business climbing down this with a kid. I don't think J realized how slick it was when he handed Abbey down to me. He was like 'Smile!' and I was like 'Grab your child before we slide to our death!'

Oh, Koryn, this is all totally safe. No worries! Send your kids!

Can you see me in the giant slinky? It's a good four or five stories in the air. I got in as a joke but then a pretty determined kid got in behind me so I really had to go through it. And fast. Luckily I'm not a few months further along or they would have had to get the jaws of life.

And then there's sweet Abbey. I felt funny sending her on a train without me. But you had to be 4 ft or shorter, so...what can you do? She had this expression on her face the entire time. Well, I don't know what she did when they disappeared into the dark tunnel. I like to think she laughed and had a great time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Think To Myself

I love mornings when the kid wakes up at the crack of dawn then falls back asleep on my chest for another hour. I can't sleep with the wiggly thing on me, so I just thought. Here was the train of thoughts this morning:

"The Tao of Pooh. I like the idea of Taoism, but is it so wrong to want to gain knowledge. Even if it is just to be wise or appear knowledgeable? Look at Ken Jennings. It's weird my favorite color right now is green. My 5-yr old self would be so upset. Tums. Tum Tum Tum Tums. I love that Tums spelled backwards is smut. 'What's a little boy like you doing with big boy smut like this?' (10 points and a free lunch when we're in the same city to whoever can name that movie first.)

Abbey's skin is like porcelain. Curse those hours spent at the pool working on a good tan to look like those gorgeous Friden girls. The only summer my skin was even close to the same color as them was the year I was a lifeguard. Curse that lifeguard job. I'd give back the $700 I made that whole summer for some porcelain skin.

Geez, she's a sweaty kid. Is that normal? Should I send out Christmas cards this year? Will my Christmas decorations work in our new house? I need to clean my house. I'll do it today. I said that yesterday then went to the park. I'm a horrible housekeeper. But at least that makes me approachable--you know, flaws. I hope people think I'm genuine. But would I genuinely want people to see my house like this? No. I wouldn't even let a repair man witness this mess if my toilet was flooding over."

At some point during this fascinating, introspective thought process, the kid stirred and woke up. Sweaty and confused. With this face. And this hair.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Here Comes the Sun...Again

Today I glanced at Abbey and was taken back for a second. When did she become so irresistable? And when did she start looking and acting like a little girl? Oh, I'm so thankful for this kid. I want to do a big ol' thankful list because I have been anything but grateful the last few months.

I had a huge post written up about how unbearable the last few months have been with this pregnancy. But then, who wants to read that garbage? The jist of it was, I looked at this little face today and was so grateful that I have the chance to be a parent. Period. I have a wicked first tri-mester that ends up in easy deliveries and a beautiful, healthy kid. So that's my trial. And I'm pretty lucky that that is my trial. The past week has been awesome as I got on some new, dramatic medications and am lovin' life. I asked Justin if it would be weird if I bore my testimony about a prescription. I think of love letters to send the makers. I should become a spokesperson, really. Well, a spokesperson for the generic that came out this year so I could afford to be on it... It's actually a drug for chemo patients and the name brand was $650 for 30 pills. Yikes.

We had a gorgeous fall morning here. I feel like I missed out on fall but it stretched long enough for us to enjoy it today. So life is good. We are happy. Go Zofran.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Interpret My Dreams

I've had wacky, intense dreams my whole life. My roommate, Sheena, used to tell me I would laugh all night. I've started documenting some of them over the last few months. What do you think, Freud?

(1) I dreamt I had a baby (baby girl) on April 2nd. But I had her in my sleep and had no idea I'd given birth. I was in my mom's living room and they said "Oh yeah, your baby is in the laundry room, go take a look!" I went in and my baby was on a baking sheet--they had put a caramel glaze on her and stuck her in the oven for a bit. While very disturbing, in my dream this was a normal tradition that didn't hurt the baby. But it did make her look a little...well, glazed and baked. I returned to the living room, without touching or cuddling my brand-new baby, and non-chalantly said "You know, you should probably let me see my baby before you bake her next time." Naturally, everyone agreed.

(2) Golum was chasing me and my new baby (baby boy) through marshes. My baby was born to rule middle earth or something, I don't know. All I know was there was a baby involved and I haven't watched Lord of the Rings in years. I don't know where this stuff comes from.

(3) I was driving home by myself and noticed a guy with an obviously broken down car in a storage shed off the side of the freeway. I stopped to help--you know, super handy with the cars and all. He was on a roadtrip from Alabama and asked if I was headed to Ogden, I was indeed, and wanted a lift. I said "I don't think it would be a good idea to be in a car alone with you." Ah, yes. But hanging out in a storage shed alone was perfectly safe... That's when I noticed a baby crying in his car. He asked if I could nurse the baby. Um, no. Then it hit me. Nobody takes a nursing baby on a roadtrip without the mommy. This kid was kidnapped. It was too sad, so I woke myself up.

(4) Another baby boy. I found him in the kitchen molding beef figurines of Justin and I to cook on the grill. I think it was some sort of voo doo revenge for dream #1.

So what could it mean... Well all that plus this:
and this:
makes me think we're having ourselves a little baby! And that baby is due May 30th :) I know sonogorams are the kind of thing only the mom and dad really enjoy. But isn't this one funny? Abbey crosses her ankles the exact same way when she sits down.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I Must Discuss

For those of you who have already been through the Twilight series, I have another good read for ya. And if you could finish all 754 pages by...Sunday, that would be great. I need a book club discussion!

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

It took me a year to finish it. Not because it is boring. Far from it, my friend. I had to hide it from myself while I needed to be studying other stuff. The night I finished it, I knew it was leading up to the assassination, obviously. I kept hoping and wishing that he wouldn't go to the Ford Theatre. Thousands of history books could have had it wrong, right? Oh shoot. I hope I didn't just ruin it for any of you :)

It's a biography on Lincoln's life and it truly gave me a deep respect and admiration for this man that many consider the greatest president of our country. It talks about all the haps in DC at the time and goes into not only Lincoln's life, but also the lives of his family, some friends, members of his cabinet, and important generals in the Civil War. It was so interesting to read about things that were glazed over in US History classes and understand the background of the people and why they made their decisions. General Grant is a main figure later in the book. His wife grew up in St Louis and they lived here together for many years. There's a large park and museum here on their farm so it's been fun to go see his house and learn more about his family.

So, if you have read it, let me know. We can shoot the breeze on Civil War times or do an online book club somehow.