Sunday, December 31, 2006
Highlights: Norah, Neil and Diana's wedding, Ryan and Jessica's wedding, Milo, Owen, Truman, Sophia, paid off student loan, Steve's big case settled, home improvements, pottytraining of Isaac, Norah sleeping through the night, excellent babysitting/grandmothering service from Nana, new blogging friends, in-laws home from mission
Lowlights: dilatation and curretage, bad trip on Stadol, throwing away life documents, tithing check bounced (not our fault), pottytraining of Isaac
Elliot: getting good on piano; a zillion questions about Harry Potter; newfound independence
Aaron: learning to read; "I can't believe my mom doesn't let us have guns and we have a gun."
Isaac: "Do you like Norah? I like you. You're my best friend. Does this back massage make you happy?"
Books I read: Girl With a Pearl Earring, 1776, The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio, A Heart Like His, Twilight, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Perfect Day, Mountains Beyond Mountains
What did Steve ever do before: iPod, Saturn Vue, Survival Friday
Movies I saw: Da Vinci Code, Akeelah and the Bee, Nanny McPhee, Ice Age: The Meltdown, The Wild, Tony Takitani, National Treasure, Pride and Prejudice, Walk the Line, Hotel Rwanda, High School Musical, New York Doll, Ice Age, Because of Winn-Dixie, Shrek, Shrek 2, Hoodwinked, Racing Stripes
Favorite quote (as spoken by the on-call OB/GYN who had too many foreign metal objects at her disposal as I lay, post-partum, hemorrhaging, drifting into a drugged and hellish stupor): "You have beautiful vaginal walls."
Favorite person who will be disgusted by that last quote: Mark H.
Biggest accomplishment: drug-free childbirth
Regret: Not digging out anti-Bush signs out of garbage at NYC rally and taking a picture for good times
Favorite TV shows: The Office, Cash Cab, Scrubs
be on time*never have call waiting*understand the scriptures *visit every temple in the world*not be ethnocentric*not yell at my kids*cook well*teach people to manage money*avoid debt*be a reader*know how to do my hair*take a risk with my hair*have a clean house*laugh*attend the temple frequently*be good at Scrabble*not be jealous*have a good relationship with my family*have a good relationship with Steve's family*not be offended easily*not offend*organize my life*document my children's lives*stay abreast of current affairs and world events and politics*establish confidence in my children*support my husband's ambitions*not get mad at my husband when the house is a mess and there are no groceries and he invites someone to dinner with 30 minutes notice*travel everywhere*exercise*eat healthily*play the piano*be productive*vote*know current music*have a fuel-efficient vehicle*not criticize*not be taken advantage of*love people who are difficult to love*share the gospel*serve selflessly*be financially literate*have some decorating skills*try difficult things*give gifts generously*receive gifts and service graciously*have faith*not be controlling*make close friends*not label myself*hike*follow the NBA*stand up for myself*stand up to racist people*garden*dress well*find good deals*seek the Spirit*slow down*play games*facilitate relationships for my children with their grandparents and cousins*be honest*be bold*be original*have original thought*not care what people think*live abroad*be independent with tools and technological things*go to concerts and plays*be accessible*teach reverence by example*be in a book club*have eclectic style*take classes*do family history*not compare myself to anyone
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Not that you care, but to make me feel good about accomplishing something; or, More free blog therapy for the holidays
-- Holiday Shop at school
-- Present for football coaches
-- PTSA meeting minutes and signature card at bank
-- Cub scouts
-- Book club gifts put together and book read
-- Birthday gifts for Steve
-- Gifts purchased (I'm finally done! Not another trip to the store for me)
-- Christmas cards out, better late than never
-- Host baby shower
-- Resurrect pink maternity bridesmaid dress for firm party (and no one was the wiser)
-- Spend rest of medical flexible spending money, so as not to lose it
-- Miserable trip to the pediatrician for flu shots for the boys and 2-month shots for the girl
-- Attendance at: Primary activity day, tithing settlement, football games, football team party, piano recital in the mall (Go Frosty!), PTSA meeting, friend's birthday luncheon, book club, ward Christmas party, very nice birthday dinner with a man who arranged for the babysitter and made reservations (lots of points for that, Steve), Christmas party of some friends, Enrichment, kindergarten holiday concert
DECEMBER DO-IT LIST:
-- Wrap gifts
-- Deliver a few more neighber/friends gifts
-- Accompany Olivia to the Spanish branch
-- Make an appetizer
-- Plan trip to Legoland (shhh!)
-- Check brakes, change oil and wash car
-- Enjoy the slower pace of the rest of the month
Hooray, hooray. The hectic days are behind me.
Monday, December 18, 2006
1. economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: a frugal manager.
1. liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish: a generous patron of the arts; a generous gift.
2. free from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.
Is it possible to be both?
(In my vision of an ideal world, the answer is a resounding YES.)
Please weigh in.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Nutty Norse whaling allusions continue to haunt my every waking thought. Never mind that my brother called it bullcrap. It doesn't matter that some might say, "Henspig Trace? Crap gent, he is." I know you must know what you're talking about. I think you are a phat yap hybrid.
When my husband wanted to know the origins of a word--voile!--you delivered. I was intrigued by your vivid analysis of the battle between Germanic barbarians and Roman legionaries. I've actually studied that battle a bit, and it is fascinating--even, flabbergasting, if you will--that the bitter north won. Bring gassy, moldering whale carcasses into the equation, and we have one fine bit of etymology on our hands.
So thank you for your input, for livening up my humble, run-of-the-mill blog. Of you a father could surely say, "You are a damn dear son." I can confidently presume that you are a cool gamer, icily answering the perplexing questions of bloggers the world over.
Dr. Trace, you remain an international man of mystery. I'll be seeing you on Wikipedia!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Not only does she make heavenly baby quilts, but she also designed a fabulous Christmas card/baby announcement for me. Because I asked her to. Because I didn't want to do it. And because she's really good at everything design. Thank you, Sarah!
I have another cute sister, too. She lives in Utah, and I don't see her nearly enough. I am very much looking forward to seeing her and her plays-with-my-kids wonderful husband and her walking-already! adorable son Milo when they come in a few weeks.
Two very beautescent sisters-in-law, a very young looking, attractive mom, two cuter-than-cute nieces and a babe-alicious daughter round out the female contingency on my side of the fam.
Watch for us on Family Feud. It's a little dream of mine. Oh yes.
Friday, December 08, 2006
1. Rotate doing something fun one-on-one with one child a week. Leave other children and nursing babies at home, even if you have to get a babysitter.
2. Start at age 3.
3. Give child options of possible activities to choose from, but be flexible if he has his own suggestion.
4. Turn off the car radio and talk.
5. No criticizing or nagging during this time.
6. Don't cancel if it's a busy day. Make time, even if it's short.
7. Do not threaten to cancel Special Mommy Day for bad behavior. It is not to become a tool for punishment/reward.
8. Special Daddy Day is cool, too.
9. Once in a while, include the entire family and do something fun you would not ordinarily do.
Friday, December 01, 2006
It took a lot of energy and made me tired. Being angry and hurt, that is. (But also the project.)
She called and apologized and I felt a little better.
I decided to forgive her and let it go, but apparently I haven't achieved such, because I am blogging (whining) about it, so everyone can know that I was (am) right, and she should trust my capability. (Because I'm fairly capable.)
I think when I wake up in the morning, I will have let it go.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
My inquisitive neighbor, who is herself not a fastidious housecleaner, just came over, looked at my kitchen, and asked, "Did you have a party?" You know it's time to clean up when....
Elliot, age 7, who has been playing Frosty the Snowman on the piano for weeks and weeks, who loves this song, who has it memorized, plays it for everyone, does not complain about practicing the piano because he gets to play Frosty the Snowman, and who is going to perform it at the mall on Saturday for all the festive shoppers to hear, has just announced that he no longer wants to play Frosty the Snowman, because it is too babyish. I am flabbergasted sometimes at this motherhood thing.
Did I mention that I think Cub/Boy Scouts is a major bureaucracy? I just went to the Scout shop to get a Bobcat badge for the newest member of our den. To become a Bobcat takes your average 8-year-old about 4 minutes to accomplish. He has to learn the Scout motto, handshake, uniform, etc. It is not hard. To purchase the little $1.40 badge, so the scout's mom can have it hanging over her head for months and months that she needs to sew the badge on her son's uniform, I had to fill out paperwork saying that this scout had "advanced" in rank. Probably the man hours involved in filing the proper paperwork exceed the actual time to earn the badge tenfold. I am flabbergasted sometimes by this scouting thing (although the actual job of working with the boys is easy and fun).
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
A superdope homeboy from the Oaktown.
Fresh new kicks and pants, you got it like that now you know wanna dance.
So wave your hands in the air, bust a few moves, run your fingers through your hair.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Did anybody see the new game show hosted by William Shatner Tuesday night called "Show Me the Money"? Anyone? C'mon, Suzie, I know you watched it, you Star Trek fanatic. I want to discuss this game show with somebody, for its sheer awesomeness. It's impossible to lose (except for the guy who did), girls in bad dresses do really bad dancing into the commercial breaks...fantastic!! Let's discuss.
Alyssa is brilliant, kind, nurturing, about to turn 30, fashionable, tall, well-read, talented, and really good at, oh, everything. She does a mean Gwen Stefani. And now she blogs!!! Visit her often and leave lots of encouraging comments.
Amy, on the left, is amazing, too, but she has to wait until her blog is up and running before I extol her virtues.
Matt W. read my blog!! Steve and I both think fondly of Matt, and not just because he pulled a Joey Tribiani and married Diana and Neil. Shall we say, performed the marriage of. Good to hear from you.
Go to this cool blog and make any comment to enter the give-away-a-day contest. Cool stuff!!! Don't look at the past posts too closely if you are on my Christmas list (N and D) because you just may be getting some of the stuff she has on there.
It is unnatural!!! for me to use so many exclamation marks!!!!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Governor Napolitano and Norah Belle, just after Janet had used a non-word ("recept") to describe what all the people at the party should do, and just before a little baby tug-of-war ensued between me, who went to grab my baby out of her arms, and Janet, who wasn't ready to let her go. I won the tug-of-war. She won the election. Everyone's happy (except my conservative friend Nancy.)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
PS -- If I were famous, I would be absolutely PETRIFIED to get married. What is the success rate for celebrity marriages? Zero? Oh yeah, that's right.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Some highlights from yesterday's meeting:
We played Two Truths and a Lie as an introduction game. The first boy to go gave us these options to choose from. "I am a genius. I am dumb. I am cool." Hmm, which could be the lie? (Jami, that was your son, by the way. So full of confidence!)
During the closing prayer, I twisted up my face every which way and bit my cheeks and lips to keep from erupting in laughter when the 10-year-old earnestly prayed for help "as we strive to become celestial warriors." That was something he created on the spot. His parents didn't teach him that.
This isn't related to Scouts, but Aaron later made me laugh. At school it has been Drug-free Week, and the kids brought home little wristbands that proclaim that they are drug free. Aaron was looking for his and he asked, "Where is that thing I got at school that says 'Free Drugs' ?" I'm not sure the school's message is hitting home with this kindergartner.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Steve works at a law firm where his bosses are pretty (ok, extremely) well-connected. They know everybody. Politicos, big-money, you name it. So it didn't seem that strange to us when Steve came home from work one day with two unusual, hobnobby invitations. The first was to his boss' house for a "little party" for the law firm with special guest Governor Janet Napolitano. That's tonight. We're still invited to that and I'll report back on how it goes.
The second invitation was to celebrate the renaming of ASU's College of Law in honor of Sandra Day O'Connor. Steve's boss has some thick ties to ASU, so we figured he must have gotten all his attorneys invited to this "private dinner" with Mrs. Nancy Reagan, the president of ASU, and Justice O'Connor.
"Oh, that's nice," I said, "but we can't bring a baby to a big affair like that. We'll have to decline."
"Well, let me ask around about it first," Steve said. He asked all his colleagues, and no one else had been invited. Not even the ASU alums nor the girl who is in tight with the law school dean. Hmmm. He thought about asking his boss, but worried that perhaps his boss hadn't even been invited, and how would that look? It was becoming clear that this invitation had arrived with Steve's name on it erroneously. And that made us start to think we really wanted to go! What a great story we could tell! "Did you hear about the time we showed up at an intimate dinner affair with Nancy Reagan and Sandra Day O'Connor--with our baby in tow--and security tried to usher us out, but we said, 'Oh no, we were invited!' and sat down to eat while they stared at us blankly."
Steve called the Dean's Office at ASU and explained that he didn't understand why he received this invitation. They asked, "Didn't you clerk for Justice O'Connor?" "Uh, no, that wasn't me." "Isn't your wife's name Betty?" "Negative." "Ohhhh. We're really sorry, but that invitation was intended for someone else with your same name."
And Steve replied indignantly, "Oh, that's interesting. Well, we'd like to RSVP. We'll have the fish."
Monday, October 23, 2006
We could walk around in circles in our bare feet. We could sit on the floor to play Scrabble or Nerts or Mental Juditsu. You could wrestle with any or all of my three rambunctious boys (I'll watch). We could take turns vacuuming and watching the "clean" button light up on my vacuum cleaner. We could lie down and make carpet angels. If you have a baby, you could let him free to crawl whithersoever he pleased. There are so many, many ways to enjoy our new carpet. Really, you must come.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
While other teenagers were building volunteer hours as candystripers at the local hospital, or studying to try to get good grades on the AP History test (whatever!) or developing their talents or SOMETHING, I was spending many an hour perfecting the art of the mix tape. Rewind, fast forward, rewind, record, find the next song, oops, went too far, rewind, perfect! Laborious, I tell you. A time sucker-upper. And I was great at it. (Diana was super great at it, the best, the queen of mixes. Credit where credit is due.)
I was really quite against the transition into CDs. My future husband told me once, "I am thinking about converting my music collection to CDs." My reaction: "Why on earth would you want to do that? What a waste of money! Each CD costs at least $15, and that's ridiculous to spend that much money when you already have what you want on tape. Plus, do you really think that when you're older you are going to want the entire libraries of Def Leppard, Yes, Rush, and the Ocean Blue---on CD!?" Secretly, I was unwilling to accept that my mix tapes would become obsolete and my number one time waster would become invalid, and then I would have to do something conventional like...study for the AP History Exam, or something. And in case you were wondering, he did buy all those CDs. (Steve Craig is sooo rich! He has a job, and he never even cashes the paychecks! They are all sitting in his drawer. He doesn't even need the money. His house has 8 bathrooms!!) When we're feeling crazy, we put on Def Leppard and dance, dance, dance! Don't we, Steve?
Well, here we are 14 years later, and I have never burned a CD of any sort, I have never purchased a single song online, I have never owned an iPod. It seems much too easy. What a monster that Al Gore has created! Everything is too accessible. Like last night, when I wanted to know where water chestnuts come from, I asked Steve and when he told me, I immediately didn't believe him and so I did a google search that took 1.3 seconds, and was humbled because he was right like he usually is. End of story. No asking around, no hitting the old encyclopedia volumes, no digging through the card catalog system at the local library, under T for Tubers. It's like that with music. What were the lyrics to It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)? Let's listen individually to try to figure it out, then meet to hash it out over Eggs Over MiHammy at Denny's. Not anymore, my friend. Just go online. Easy peezy. No more poring through your father's tape collection--which he scored painstakingly at the $1 promotional table at the newspaper where he works, even though he works the night shift and doesn't get there in time for first dibs on the good music--looking for just the right song to put after I'm Sticking With You by the Velvet Underground.
ANYWAY, as I was washing the dishes just now, I put in one of those fabulous mixes that I made in the late 80s/early 90s--it's hard to tell when, as the songs weren't terribly current even then. AND, I got nostalgic and thought, Dang, this is a good mix. So I wanted to share with ya'll.
Here is my current playlist:
Stand By My Woman. Lenny Kravitz
Beds are Burning. Midnight Oil
Very First Lie. Material Issue
Dark Globe. Syd Barrett
Wonderful World. Louis Armstrong
Hairspray. Hairspray Soundtrack
Red Rain. Peter Gabriel
I Melt With You. Modern English
The Promise. When in Rome
Boys Don't Cry. The Cure
Never Tear Us Apart. INXS (Naturally, this song gets cut off in the middle, as it's at the end of the side.)
Nothing Compares 2U. Sinead
With or Without You. U2
Roxanne. The Police
Another Brick in the Wall Part II. Pink Floyd
Knowledge. Green Day (Before Green Day was cool, thank you!)
October. U2 (That's for you, Amy)
Big in Japan. Alphaville
Walking on the Moon. The Police
An Innocent Man. Billy Joel
The Longest Time. Billy Joel
The Greatest Love. Whitney Houston (Okay, there was a minor breakdown in coolness near the end of side B. I don't know how to explain it.)
Gloria. Manhattan Transfer (Coolness factor is restored. Whew!)
There it is! If anyone wants a copy, I can totally dub one for you. Do they still sell blank tapes at Walgreens?
Sunday, October 15, 2006
This is Steve. Probably if you are reading this (SarahDianaAlyssaAliceMomJocelynAngelaPepperCourtney) you already know that. Steve has been in New York City for six days and--HOORAY, HOORAY, HOORAY--he comes home tomorrow. HOORAY!
Here are a few of the things that I missed while he was gone:
--> Him never criticizing me, just pure love, support and encouragement. How did I get so lucky?
--> Him reading The Hobbit to the boys for a long, long time before bed (because he wants to read it as much as they do) and saying, "Remember the rules? No questions, no comments, no interruptions until we're done."
--> Help getting the kids ready for school.
--> His great, clean smell after he showers after riding his bike home from work.
--> Doing "family" things (i.e., dinner, prayer, family home evening) as a complete family unit.
Here are a few things that he missed out on while he was gone:
--> One third of his daughter's life.
--> Aaron, upon being asked where he wants to serve his mission, saying, "Wherever the prophet wants me to go."
--> Numerous barfing episodes and about 1000 dirty diapers/accidents. (Have I mentioned that already?) And lots of laundry. (Thanks for the help, mom.)
--> Elliot's earnest attempts to dig a tunnel in the backyard.
--> Norah's umbilical cord falling off.
--> Norah's first words and first steps. (Seems like he's been gone for a really, really long time!)
--> Hugs and kisses from five adoring family members.
HOORAY for coming home tomorrow and HOORAY for New York being three hours ahead of us, so it seems like he is that much closer to being on his way.
*It's not. . . this time.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Milk and vomit and pee and poop and water and apple juice and Sprite and blood and tears. Up to my eyeballs. I think that about covers it.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
We have a son named Isaac who dirties our house every day of the week. (As I write this, Isaac is taking orange highlighter to the green couch.) Isaac is lovely. Isaac's English is understandable to some, but not so much to the lovely Olivia from Mexico, who understands precious little English, even when it is clear-spoken and well-articulated.
Each time Olivia comes, Isaac follows her from room to room and talks to her incessantly as she washes the windows and sweeps the floors. He doesn't care that there is a Great Communication Divide.
Every two weeks, I can count on being cheered by a clean house, and a delightful and entertaining exchange of two lovely people who haven't the foggiest what the other is talking about.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
. . .honed his domestic skills: loading the dishwasher, making a delicious lunch of pulled pork with rice and a green salad, shopping at Sprouts, cooking sundry rices and grains for future use.
. . .played football with Da Boys.
. . .planned how he will fill his days and nights with adventure and quietude during his impending trip to the Big Apple sans wife and children.
Elliot. . .
. . .continued his love affair with his football mouthguard.
. . .spent two hours on a chore that should have taken him, oh, about ten minutes.
. . .caused his mother to reflect for the first time about a certain condition called ADD and caused his father to prescribe a diet of no processed foods, just in case.
Aaron. . .
. . .hammed it up for the camera.
. . .didn't care that he is the only boy in his Broadway "Showstoppers" singing and dancing class.
. . .asked if he could take a permanent marker and draw the Nike insignia on some of his white socks that don't have anything on them.
Isaac. . .
. . .belted out a song about Power Rangers while listening to classical music on the iPod.
. . .gave his sister about 300 kisses, when he wasn't throwing her blanket in her face.
. . .bit his brother. Or was that yesterday? It's all such a blur.
Norah. . .
. . .looked very cute in the outfit she got to wear for about half an hour, before throwing up on it.
. . .looked very cute in the next outfit she got to wear for the rest of the day.
. . .slept the day peacefully away after a long, fitful night of gassy stomach issues.
Emily. . .
. . .and Norah were the grateful recipients of this beautiful and oh-so-luxuriously-soft blanket from friends from Steve's work.
. . .took blurry pictures of members of her family.
. . .was very excited to learn that Molly, Grace, Jonah, and Owen have a brand new cousin.
What did you do?
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Norah finally came into the world on Tuesday, September 26th. She is perfect in every way. Steve tells people that "everything went really well" in the hospital, but I have a slightly different take on that. For me, it was a bit on the traumatic side. But she is so worth it! More pictures to follow....someday soon.
(Thanks, Bek, for sharing the name with us.)
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Furthermore, if you are a stranger in the grocery store, ask me to turn around so you can see my butt so you can determine if I am right that I really am having a girl, even though you think I'm having a boy by the shape of my pregnant torso, and you can usually tell just by looking. HEAVENS NO, I won't do it. Ask me to elaborate to you in the bathroom at Sprouts about how far dilated I am. Um, NO. Discussion of my cervix is stictly off limits to strangers.
No, no, no! It feels pretty good.
And now, I give unto you an opportunity to say no. If anyone would like to visit me post-baby, and bring a little something special, let me just put it out there that I have really been craving brownies. Mmmm, brownies. Please? I'll be your best friend.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
But mostly I just wanted to give you a visual on the amniotic sac (which Steve will be eating, natch)
rupture of membranes
Patricia Kennedy Lawford
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I went in his room--he wasn't there. So I started looking for him, calling out his name, in all the rooms in the house. Our house just isn't that big, so I quickly discovered that he wasn't in any of the rooms in our house. I checked outside, even though all doors leading outside were locked. I checked closets, under beds, under blankets and bedding. I looked in the garage. I checked everywhere again, and a third time. I even opened the dryer door, in a desperate attempt to find my child. By this time, I was imagining the worst and getting upset and praying and playing out in my mind the call to Stephen at work that I lost our son and he needed to come home. I was about to enlist the neighbor's help.
ISAAC!!! Where are you?
About 10 minutes of this horror passed before I pushed aside the shirts in my closet and saw two beautiful little feet behind them. He had fallen asleep behind my clothes in my closet, something he has NEVER even come close to doing before. I grabbed him and gave him a big hug and held him close, and moved him out onto the couch.
He's still sleeping peacefully, through it all.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I splurged on the second best rated destination spa in the world, according to last year's Travel and Leisure Mag. Guess what? It wasn't worth it, but oh well, now I know. So, what special Sedona-ish treatment did I opt for, you ask? Was it the "Hands Off" guidance session connecting me spiritually to my baby's energy? Was it the $135 per hour journaling experience, in which someone coaches me in recording my inner ambitions and desires? The 60-minute Walk and Talk treatment? No, none of the above, although they were certainly available for the taking. No, I got the Arizona Sun Pedicure and Manicure combo. The 90-minute treatment that was more like 70 minutes. And no foot or hand massage. And lukewarm water to soak my feet in. And the ambience was lame, and the manicurist was extraordinarily chatty and a little vulgar, and the Asians do just as good a job, for a whole lot less money. But my fingernails are buffed, and my toenails looked good....for a few hours, until the right toe polish smudged. Alas.
Irregardless of the disappointing spa experience (I know it's not a word---don't hate me because I used a nonexistant word on purpose just to be obnoxious), Sedona was great: great weather, great meals, great company, great luxury at no cost to us.
I came home to learn that Norah, a top name contender, is my second son's name backward, if spelled slightly differently. Noraa. Thank you, Ryan. Everyone should run potential names for their kids past my brother before the actual naming occurs. He's very smart and will catch, for example, that Eliott, spelled as such, is an anagram for ''toilet". A critical discovery, if you ask me. A fortuitous catch.
I have been anxious for this child of mine to arrive, but now I'm just fine with waiting until at least Tuesday. A September 11th birthday would kind of be the pits.
Oh, and one more item of interest and excitement. I am a Den Leader. The day I've dreaded since the birth of my first son has arrived. I guess it's not so bad.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
There's a new color invading these parts.
This blue and green Gap girl, mother of boys, is a little overwhelmed by it all.
Thank you, Sarah and Jami for the loveliest of showers. And thank you, dear friends--who may or may not read this blog but almost assuredly never make comments--for making me feel so loved and for your beautiful and generous and thoughtful gifts.
And also for throwing me head first into Pink.
I can't wait.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
If your marriage has been a particularly happy one and your spouse is especially wonderful in every way, I suggest you order a dessert that parallels your marital bliss in greatness. If your years together have been really very quite good, please accept this humble recommendation: get the banana split at the Roaring Fork in Scottsdale, Arizona. Oh, man. It is the best EVER. It's so good that out of 85 blog posts, I've dedicated two to shouting its praises from the mountaintops.
And if you're not married, or your spouse is a bum, call me and I will go there with you. Did I mention the banana split is excellent?
Stephen is excellent, too. I'm sorry you can't all be married to him. He's the best. Happy anniversary, babe. I love you.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
It was Samuel L. Jackson.
Here's what he had to say:
Now you may know me from my roles in movies like Pulp Fiction, Star Wars and The Incredibles. But I'm here today to make sure you go see a movie that holds a special place in my heart. That's right! I'm talking about Snakes on a Plane.
I know that sounds crazy, but I don't give a damn, because Snakes on a Plane just might be the best motion picture ever made. It's that good! So, listen up. On August 18th, forget about your regular job, doing all those household chores, and stop wasting all your free time obsessing over your kids! And for go[sh] sake, quit repainting your fingernails!! Just hop in that tin can you call a car, go get your brother Neil and go see Snakes on a Plane, the one summer blockbuster that will take a big nasty bite out of your butt. It's simple. Do as I say, and you live. You don't wanna mess with me on this one because I will come after you. You hear me?
I'd like to return his call, but he didn't leave a number. Does anyone have it?
Saturday, August 12, 2006
We knew the family has a history of being late, so we didn't leave the house until 4:17. We arrived at the (hot, hot) park at 4:40.
We walked around the whole gigantic park in the (hot, hot) heat looking for the party.
We found no birthday party, but did run into a few other guests, so decided to play on the (hot, hot) playground for a few minutes and wait for the hosts/guest of honor to arrive.
They arrived at 5:40, One Hour And Forty Minutes After They Told Me To Arrive.
We stayed for another (hot, hot) hour to be gracious guests, then said something to the effect of being used to bithday parties that don't last much longer than 2 hours and we had to get home to Steve.
The pinata and cake had still not arrived.
Now, I know some Hispanic people like the all night celebratory affairs, and they all probably know that a party that starts at 4 o'clock doesn't really mean that people should show up at, heaven forbid, 4 o'clock. So is it culturally insensitive of me to be irritated? 'Cause I'm ALL ABOUT being culturally sensitive, but I just can't help thinking that this situation was just RUDE.
Tell me what you think.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
When the body shop took off the fender to replace it, they found extensive damage from an accident that occurred oh-so-long ago, before we bought the van. Three working days turned into three weeks. Or was it four? I lose track. We were real pioneer-like for that month. We shared a car for the duration. We endured extra fighting from the backseat because the kids had to sit side by side. At one particular point, our second vehicle was out of commission and we paid a pretty penny for a few days of a rental. How excited I was to get the call on Tuesday of this week that the van was finally ready to be picked up!
Our car, which operated beautifully B.B.S. (that's Before Body Shop), now has a couple of issues.
1. Dead battery.
2. Non-functioning air conditioning.
3. Leaking gas tank.
All of which are problems.
I love that story.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
This girl on the internet saw him a month previous in Toronto, but our impressions of the concert were similar: "On September 12th, 1997, my boyfriend and I saw Morrissey at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada. This was the very first time either one of us had seen him live, sat on the third tier overlooking the stage. We're fans but not fanatical. We were both mezmerized but Brian more than I, every time I looked over at him, he had this silly grin on his face. Most of the songs were from his new album and unknown to us. It didn't matter that we couldn't sing along, we were watching a man we'd grown up with, we'd listened to, connected with in our own way and loved. After a 1/2 song encore when fans jumped on stage and grabbed him, the thugs rushed him off the stage lest he be injured afterwhich massive booing resounded, we went to the nearest pub which had Guiness on tap." Except for the Guiness part.
The M played for all of about 45 minutes. We didn't know all the songs, but the vibe was hot. Morrissey did some funky things with the microphone. He did some funky Morrissey-ish dance moves. A few fans jumped onstage and were escorted off by the security guards. Then, Morrissey reached out and grabbed a fan and pulled him onstage, and the security guards escorted Morrissey off, and the lights came on. Wha-? It was way too short. We felt pretty gypped. And no Halloween candy that year.
We just signed up for Netflix. Our first DVD: New York Doll.
Morrissey is so cool.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
9. I was really, really counting on Coronado/San Diego to be COOL this weekend, as in temperature-wise. Oh, but it was not.
8. My brother references South Park as a springboard for an earnest discussion on Mormonism.
7. We were guests in the home of a person with whom my husband has a very unusual relationship...his boss.
6. An airline can make two pieces of checked baggage disappear into thin air, even on a 45-minute direct flight. Truly amazing.
5. I had no idea how lost I would feel getting ready for church this morning without a brush, blow dryer, single piece of make-up, eyeglasses, favorite bra, Shade Clothing tees in assorted colors, cute black dress I bought in a boutique in Portland, contact case, nail clippers... I could go on. And on. And on. I had no choice but to curse the incompetence of the airline employees, and then cry.
4. When I parked our car at the airport on Thursday ==> half tank of gas. When we got in it to drive home Saturday ==> almost completely empty. Were we the victims of a senseless siphoning crime?
3. Apparently people knowingly sign themselves up to work and live on aircraft carriers. Excuse me, but I toured one yesterday and it is the pits. Noooooooo, thank you. Uh-uh.
2. My nieces start school tomorrow and their school is not on a year-round schedule. (Or is it?) (Good luck on your first day of kindergarten, Gracie! Try not to focus too much on the fact that it's still the middle of JULY.)
1. Valuable tip I picked up from the most lavishly wealthy person I have ever met: buy bags of ice at Sonic.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Jumping on an offer this weekend for a spontaneous, all-expense-paid trip to gorgeous Coronado, California, where the average high temperature in July is 73 degrees. Forecast in Phoenix this weekend: 111 degrees. Ahh, how I will not miss those 37 degrees. Going to walk on some beautiful beaches, maybe shop at some chichi shops, read some 1776, and eat some good food, whilst my husband is anxiously embroiled in a new case for work.
Alas, it will not all be effortless and carefree: I will be staying at someone's house with whom I am not entirely at ease and hanging out with older, richer women whom I do not know. (Ought I to give a gift to the hostess for her hospitality? What is the expectation for business trips? What do I get for the most lavishly wealthy person I have ever met??)
Anyway, did I mention 37 degrees cooler? Nice restaurants? The beach?
It was a tough decision.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Other things I thought were boring: Sea World, zoos, New Year's Eve, the Grand Canyon. I've only started to like these things since I've had kids who could get excited about them. But they don't; they take after their mom. They'd rather be playing strategic board games with their dad.
Just like I would. I'm so proud.
Post script: We recently spent a week in which we went to wedding festivities, swam in the hotel pool, spent a day at the beach, went to Disneyland and California Adventure, played with cousins, et cetera. "Aaron, what was your favorite part of our trip?" Without hesitation: "At the hotel, when the couch pulled out into a bed. That was so awesome!"
Monday, June 26, 2006
|You Are Bobby Brady|
Ultra competitive, you will do almost anything to win. From pull ups to pool sharking, you're very talented.
And while everyone is aware of your victories, they still (affectionately) consider you to be a little brat!
Diverse and adaptable
You enjoy the full buffet of life
It's hard to you play favorites with friends... or flavors
There's very little that you dislike!
|You Are Not Scary|
Everyone loves you. Isn't that sweet?
|You Are Austin|
A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.
Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick
|Your Extroversion Profile:|
|Excitement Seeking: Medium|
|Activity Level: Low|
|Your Scholastic Strength Is Developing Ideas|
You can take a spark of inspiration and turn it into a full fledged concept.
You are talented at brainstorming, visualizing, organizing, and independent thinking.
You should major in:
|You Are Ernie|
Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.
You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained
You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.
How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!
|Maroon 5 Shares Your Taste in Music|
See their whole playlist here (iTunes required)
|You Are Chinese Food|
Exotic yet ordinary.
People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.
|All American Kid|
Popular but not plastic. Athletic but not a jock. Smart but not a brain.
You were well rounded and well liked in high school.
All right, so now that I'm a cross between Bobby Brady and Ernie, I must confess that I pretty much loathe personality tests. But it was a good waster of time, and I like those. Thanks, Carina, for the link.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
"Hooray! I want Souper Salad." (Groans and smirks from the parents. Cheers of great joy from elder brother, Elliot.) "Wait, no, I want to go to that place where you can make your own pizza, where we went with Jamie and Mark that one time."
"Tucchetti? Um, okay, we'll go there." I respond quickly, the faster to get Souper Salad out of that crazy little shaved head of his.
A little history: we've eaten at Souper Salad maybe twice before. For Elliot, it is just a taste of heaven on earth. You can get as much food as you want and you don't even have to pay for more! They have goldfish! They have pizza! They have ice cream with sprinkles! You can pick whatever you want to eat, and even go back for more! Watermelon? As much as you want. Pepperoni that you can eat plain just because it's there? They have it, and so much more. It's a picky seven-year-old eater's paradise. For mom and dad, our last experience there was of the variety that makes your stomach turn whenever you recall it. We sat at a booth--which is kind of gross because who knows what's down in the crevices--but this particular booth had a giant rip in the yellow vinyl seat, and our kids, more than once, were sticking their arms down it, finding treasures untold. Steve's germophobic tendencies were in overdrive and the kids were dragged multiple times to the bathroom to wash their hands. Plus we were grossed out by the food. So, needless to say, Souper Salad just doesn't do it for Steve and me.
Well, as I was saying, today I was quick to affirm Aaron's second choice of restaurant as a lovely selection. Yes, Tucchetti would be pleasant enough. Aaron could make his own pizza, and perhaps the kids might even eat free on Monday nights.
And so the brotherly manipulation began.
Elliot, desperately seeing his grand opportunity to eat at an all-you-can-eat buffet (with goldfish and pizza!) vanish before his eyes began panic-stricken bartering. Then reasoning. Then begging. Then threatening.
"Aaron, if you change your mind and pick Souper Salad, I'll clean up all the rooms, and you won't have to." (This one almost worked, until I caught wind of it. There'll be none of that.)
"Aaron, wouldn't you rather go to a place where you can still get pizza, and also get other stuff? And you don't even have to pay to go back and get more?"
"Aaron, if we don't go to Souper Salad, I'm not going to be your brother anymore! Humph!"
"Aaron, fine then. I'm going to buy the video game with my own money, and you won't be able to use it. Ever!"
Of course, I was all, "Sorry, Elliot. Aaron made up his mind, and if he wants to go to Tucchetti, then that's where we'll go. Please," (please!) "don't try to change his mind."
And so we set off for Tucchetti, a bit of a drive, but what the heck! It's not Souper Salad! Steve and I didn't mind the distance. As we pulled into the shopping center, Steve pointed in horror at the restaurant right in front of us. There, coincidentally, was, of all things, a Souper Salad. Yikes, don't let Elliot see that, I telecommunicate to Steve. We pull around. Tucchetti: empty parking lot, locked door!! They may have gone out of business, or at the very least are very much closed on Mondays. Steve and I exchange glances.
"Aaron, honey, the make your own pizza place isn't open anymore. Why don't you pick something else? We could go to California Pizza Kitchen. Or get some yummy Mexican food. Do you want chips and salsa? Mmm, Mexican food. Or....." I try to disguise it as well as possible. ".....salad??"
"I want Souper Salad!!" Oh no! He picked it. He hates salad and he saw right through my trick.
"O-kay.....if that's what you really want. There happens to be one right here."
And so the motherly manipulation began.
"Elliot, I know I told you that you could pick the next restaurant that we go to as a family, but since we're eating at Souper Salad tonight, how about we just count this choice for both you and Aaron? Would that be okay?"
Elliot agreed, truly beaming from ear to ear.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
I will mail a prize to anyone who can help me.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Hospitality: Pepper and Linda wrote the book, OR How To Shower Your Out-of-State Friends With Love and Affection
Chapter Two -- Entertain their children in Sacrament Meeting.
Chapter Three -- Invite them to your house for lunch and fill them with delightful grilled salmon, steamed broccoli, baked zucchini with parmesan, two varieties of potatoes, and Texas sheet cake with really good frosting.
Chapter Four -- Entertain their children again, this time with your spectacular toy collection.
Chapter Five -- Send them on their way with a bag full of snacks for the car, including that expensive bag of yummy Peanut Roca you just bought at Costco. While you're at it, mention to the pregnant one that she's not fat, thus making her feel okay about consuming said bag of Peanut Roca.
Chapter Six -- GIve them directions home, as well as plenty of cash just in case the toll roads won't make change for their $20.
Early Reviews of the Book:
"The Huges [sic] Family really knows how to put on a good lunch." Stephen, food connoisseur and frequenter of fancy Scottsdale eateries
"The fabled and exclusive Club 33 had impeccable food and service." The Arizona Republic, Sunday, June 4, 2006
"Did Pepper really walk away from her son's stroller and it rolled down the hill and he fell over on his face?" Elliot, curious listener of stories
"Marvelous! Five stars! Any guest would be lucky to have Pepper and Michael and Linda as hosts. Would read this book again and again. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Emily, grateful friend and indebted recipient of service described in book
Monday, May 22, 2006
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
That's what Emily has become. The most popular girls' name in America for 10 flippin years.
The 2005 names are out and I am discouraged, oh so discouraged.
Ava has made the top 10. In 1990, it was ranked 952. Thank you, Reese Witherspoon.
How did my children's names fare in the popularity contest? Elliot, in 1999, number 501. Aaron, in 2001, came in at 42. Isaac, 2003? Forty-eight.
If you live in Arizona and you have a boy, it is cool to name your child Angel. If you are having twin girls, name them Hope and Faith. Everybody's doing it.
To my siblings: Ginger peaked in 1971. Gover has never made the top 1000, ever. But Grover peaked in 1918, the year everyone died of the flu. If Sarah would ever tell me what names she liked, I would look them up. But she's being all secretive, like I would steal her names. As if.
To my sister-in-law: Congratulations on birthing my nephew today. I am excited to meet him, the little football player. Truman peaked in popularity in 1945, and made a brief re-entry into the top 1000 in 2003 and 2004. Your child has an original name, which I adore.
Which reminds me that I don't really want to name my daughter one of the top 10 names in America, do I? As much as I love the name Ava, we need some originality. Especially since her mother will have the same name as every girl in her graduating class. (Everyone who isn't a twin, that is.)
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
"Mom, I know where you can go to get some more money."
"You can sing a song on American Idol. Do you know any songs?"
"Well, I don't sing. Why do you want me to get more money?"
"So next time when we go to Old Navy, I can get one of those balls out of the machine."