Friday, April 29, 2011

Random Thoughts

Which is the better choice for dinner: cold cereal or fast food?

How do you take pills? Chuck thinks I'm nuts because I first fill my mouth with water, then insert pill (note the intentional singular, not plural), swallow, make crazy face. Repeat if necessary. Chuck's pill routine is to put all pills in his mouth first (blech--they stick to your tongue!), fill mouth with water, swallow. No repeat necessary, obviously.

Do you ever send an email and it takes longer than you expected for a response? Or a response never comes? If so, do you worry that you offended the person with something you said? Oh, I do. And then I can't resend email because if they did get the original email and weren't offended, maybe I'd make them with the second email. Sheesh. Email is hard because tone gets totally lost.

How nerdy is it that I wear my (7- or 8-year-old) iPod mini around the house while I do chores (or go shopping)? Sure I have my SoundDock, but if Rhett's napping and I'm moving from upstairs to down, I can't very well have it loud enough to hear it everywhere, now can I? I feel silly wearing it, but man, does it make dusting (and shopping) easier.

Speaking of nerdiness, I experienced my first hangover last weekend. What induced said hangover? Craft night. I was up way too late, talked way too much, and ate too many chips. I could not believe just how bad I felt the next morning. I mean, I'm old, I get it. But really body? Really? It was pathetic. I had to take a nap before 9 a.m. it was that bad. Next time I'm coming in before curfew.

Feeling a baby inside you move is probably the coolest thing about pregnancy...until you don't. I'll go through the day being busy and moving. And as soon as I sit down, I expect to feel Betamax move. When I don't, I get so nervous. Really nervous. Like poking-my-stomach-and-yelling-at-it nervous.

Do you think it's funny when words mean something totally different than what you'd think they mean? For example, "pulchritude." Do you know what it means? I thought I did. I thought it meant something totally yucky, you know, like puke (used in a semi-sentence: "the pulchritude that is Cafe Rio"). Because that's how it sounds: pukey. However, I found out that it means quite the opposite! It means "the quality of appearance that pleases the eye; beauty; comeliness; grace." Who knew?! Did you?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

White House Easter Egg Roll (Warning--Lots of Cute Boy Pictures)

Some of you may not know that I spent my elementary school years in Northern Virginia. Now you do. We frequently took school trips to D.C. and thought it was sooooo boring the entire time. One relic I had from all of this was a wooden egg from a White House Easter Egg Roll. But recently I found out my entire childhood was a sham--I never actually went to said Roll. Instead, our neighbor (who was a high-up man in the Reagan administration) probably just gave it to my family. A lie. My whole life a lie.

Anyway, seeing as though I live in D.C. suburbs again, I thought it would be fun to try to get tickets for rills. In years past, you'd have to wait in line overnight for tickets. But recently, they've gone to an online lottery system. Love it. And this year (the first I tried) we got tickets! Note: I make this sound easy. Apparently more than 200,000 people signed up and only 30,000 were chosen. We luckily made the cut.

It started out with a lot of lines. First the line to wait to get through security (where they took my fancy Mary Kay lip stuff--argh). Then the line to wait just to get in. But through it all Rhett was a champ. Even mastering spit bubbles (see picture 2). The weather was warm (in the 80s...take that you freezing Utahans!), but thankfully humidity dropped from the morning's 90%, so it wasn't miserable. And double thankfully, we remembered sunscreen! Triple thankfully, we didn't bring it with us because they would have taken it too!

Once you get in the event, you basically walk around and see everything they have for you. Of course there's the roll, but there's also random book/TV characters milling about, egg dyeing, egg hunts, music (Willow Smith, anyone?), story time (Geena Davis--we saw her but sadly missed John Lithgow!), food demos (Carla Hall and Spike Mendelsohn!), and free drinks (which is good since they took everything you had before you were allowed in). It was a great time.

You MUST click on this next picture to enlarge it. Then find the arrow. It's pointing to the lady's fingernails. All 12" of them.

And video of the roll. Please know that I didn't know Chuck was making a movie, otherwise I wouldn't have kept posing like an idiot.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Latest Crafting Bonanza

I know I'm ridiculous, but I like when Chuck and Rhett dress similarly for Father's Day. (See the evidence here.) I loved it so much last year, that I wanted to carry on the tradition this year.

But this year I wanted bow ties. I found a cute pattern while I was in Utah, paid too much for it, and drooled over all the cute little boy ties it had. I also found a cute pattern for a little boy hat to accompany the bow tie. After months of looking for the right fabric, I found it and got to work. The bow tie was so satisfying that I made another right then for church the next day. First is my "I-can't-wait-until-Father's-Day-for-Rhett-to-wear-it" bow tie.

And here are both ties (the black one might just turn into an Easter tie) and the matching hat.

Also, for a friend's going-away party/baby shower, I made her a Buttercup bag like the one I made for myself. It was my way of saying, "Hey, you're going to have a baby and that's great, but don't forget that you're still a woman. A dang cool woman. And while it might take time before you and hubby go out sans baby and you wearing clothes with no spit-up, don't worry, it will happen. And here's your reminder." Lame? Maybe. But I still like the bag.

The last time we camped, I dreamed of having most of the kitchen stuff ready to go. So this past week we worked on putting together our camping bucket. It's got all the random junk (trash bags, matches, etc.) that I never seem to remember to bring when we go. Of course I had to put on a cute vinyl sticker (cut by the Silhouette).

And into this camping bucket went a couple of bags into which I put our cooking utensils. I made one for the clean ones and another for the dirty ones. I really wanted to put a silhouette of a cute girl on the "clean" bag and a silhouette of a sexier girl on the "dirty" bag (think trucker mud flaps), but then Chuck reminded me that I'm trying to raise respectable young men. So maybe it was not the best idea. A Google image search of "girl silhouette" was enough to convince me he was correct.

Then, I went a bit crazy and made some totally cute diaper covers. Dana (at her blog Made) does such amazing stuff, including giving such a great tutorial for these covers. Seriously, I love babies' bums (not in a sick-o way; I promise). I think these are such a great non-blanket use for flannel. Plus, I was really inspired by this post over at the Idea Room about newborn photos that I had to have a diaper cover for Betamax all ready. Random fact: the photographer who guest wrote this post...I kinda know her through two channels. First, my sis-in-law really knows her and second, a couple in my previous ward was her sister/SIL. So we're totally friends.

And then, of course, I needed coordinating baby booties for the diaper covers. So I made some of those too. Thanks to Joanna from Stardustshoes for the tutorial.

And just for fun...I had some scraps of Con-Tact paper leftover from another project. I thought making funny faces on Rhett would be a great way to spend the morning. And Rhett? Well he didn't hate it. I highly recommend doing it to your kids, especially the babies.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pet Peeves

My friend Todd recently posted about some pet peeves of his. Seeing as though he's a doctor, a lot of his peeves focused on medical things.

It got me thinking about my mathematical pet peeves. The biggest one I could think of is the misuse of the cent sign. The next time you're at a grocery store, I will bet a lot of money that you'll see a sign for some good priced at "0.50 cents." Hopefully you see a problem with this. If not, let me explain.

Do you see a difference between 0.50 dollars and 0.50 cents? The former represents one-half of a dollar (or 50 cents, no decimal). The latter represents one-half of a cent, or a ha'penny if you wish. So whenever I see something that's being advertised as 0.50 cents, I want to buy it and only it, hand the cashier a penny, and tell them to keep the change. Or just charge them with false advertising. Something tells me I wouldn't win, if only because no one else in court would understand the difference.

And random but here goes: Cafe Rio is a pet peeve. I have met no one who doesn't like it, except for me. I hate ordering in there, and don't really like what they have to order. But I thought I was safe from it, you know, seeing as though I live in Maryland. Turns out I was WRONG. DEAD WRONG. Cafe Rio will soon be expanding east for the first time to...wait for it...Olney (about 10 minutes north of me). I'm dying. At least my parents will have somewhere to eat where they're guaranteed to like the food. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Name Search Continues

First, uh yeah, all of those dreams were real. So were the tears. My dreams have always been pretty strange (inherited from my mom) but pregnancy makes them worse.

Second, we're still on the name hunt for Baby Betamax. It's so bad we went through the alphabet just spouting names that began with each letter, but still, nothing. Because "Zeus" was last, it was the winner. But I look everywhere for names: books, obituaries, movies, other peoples' kids...everywhere. So far, nothing has really hit us the way Rhett did. I think it's because 2% of "illogical me" thinks it's a girl.

Mostly we just spout random names to each other. Sometimes we'll ask Rhett what he thinks. And if it's a name he's never before heard, he'll say, "That's not a name, Mom." Or, "I like it because it's a new name. I don't like old names." What the...?

The worst name I came up with so far? Rex. (Yes, I was serious.) Chuck replied, "Uh, you know we have a son named Rhett?" So then it became a joke with another suggestion of Brett.

Oh and it turns out that many of you aren't familiar with the name Betamax. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you. I'll let you in on the secret anyway. Years and years ago, VHS tapes had a rival: Sony's Betamax (or sometimes just Beta). The quality of the machine and the tapes was superior to the VHS format. But you paid for that in Beta's price, of course. My dad, who was serving in the Marines in Japan at the time Beta came out, saw that Beta was a better product and bought a machine and recorded loads of movies to bring home when he was done (and for a cheaper price since he was already in Japan). Unfortunately, not enough people bought Beta and they soon died out. But I'll tell you, that Beta machine our family had? It lasted until my sister went to college and possibly beyond. What electronic product do you have that has lasted 15-20 years these days? None, I tell you, none.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Multiple Choice Dream Quiz

Which of the following has NOT shown up recently in my dreams:

a) Huge projectile briquettes shaped like white and red blood cells flying through the air that scared me enough to not go running with Rhett for fear that we'd be hit by said flaming briquettes.

b) Horrible gift of jewelry from Chuck to me (bought from a man in a van who met us at a local residential street corner) that was a thick gold chain with weird charms on it. So hideous was this gift that I woke from dream crying (yes, real tears) at the disappointment.

c) Me doing a sculling race around the country, a race that would take months. And I was in my 20-week pregnant state. I was hoping to get out of it, but since I committed and we'd already gone so far (tip of southern Africa maybe?), that I was in 'til the end. But since others were doubting my ability to stay in shape for it, I was hoping that might be my exit.

d) I'm hanging out with Eminem (don't ask) at his house. Eminem leaves, but I remain. The room is disgusting. Not just cluttered, but filthy. My Uncle Bruce (shout out to cousins Natalie, Nicole and Emily and cousin-in-law Becky!) comes in, furious, and tells us all (not even sure if his kids, my cousins, were in the room) to get out and this is disgusting and we shouldn't be in here...blah blah blah. I leave but am kinda mad, because, hey, Eminem's my friend and I can be friends with whomever I want! [Doesn't that just sound like 16-year-old me? Except for the "whomever" part.]

e) All of the above have shown up in recent dreams because I'm crazy.

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Rhett (Forgive Me---Grandparents and Auntie Em Want to Know)

Thanks for the support in telling (or lying to me) that Rhett's behavior is normal. I was prepared by my sister that in fact, it's not the Terrible 2s, but rather the Terrible 3s. I am pretty certain this is going to be the case in our house.

But even through this hard time of crying (and yes, I should have labeled it tantrums, because really, that's what happens), we get some gems.

First the shorter story: While making dinner on Wednesday, I ask Rhett to get a spoon so he can scoop up his macaroni. Rhett retorts, "I'll scoop YOU up!" He grabs his spoon and starts to scoop up my knee and eat it. After about four bites, he says, "I ate too much" and starts pretend puking. Where does he get this?!

Now the longer story: Wednesday is my house is laundry day. I get all the laundering done before nap time and then use nap time to fold (and watch girlie shows like "What Not to Wear" and "Pregnant in Heels"). I really enjoy this two-hour period. I count on it. I need it. So when it's interrupted by a little toddler refusing to nap, I'm not a happy woman.

Once Rhett started waking in the 5 o'clock hour, we knew we had to get a clock for him in his room. He's learned that he can't come out in the morning unless the number on the left is a 6. Of course, he's still learning his numbers and left versus right so this doesn't always work. This past Wednesday, Rhett came down the stairs shortly before 2, even though he knows he needs to stay in his room until "the number on the left is a 3." He swore that was the case, although I'm guessing it was probably 1:53. Anyway, I was not happy. I told him that he needed to get back to napping, which did not make him happy. After some arguing about this, I acquiesced and told him that he could sit in his room and read books because "we need to learn to be alone sometimes."

That lasted for about four minutes. I then hear little feet on the stairs and Rhett crying, "I don't want to learn to be alone!" Sigh. I take him back up there and make sure he knows I mean it. I sit him in his bed and give him 30 pounds of books. I told him he better read these and then I'd come get him when I was ready.

2:15...2:30...2:45...3:00...all go by sound from the little man. Did he fall asleep? He had to have fallen asleep because no way is he still reading, and yet, there's no sound. I go check on him because what could he be doing?! And yep, sure enough, he was reading. (Of course when I say "reading" I mean, flipping through pages.) Not only had he been reading for an hour, but when I told him he could come out, he stayed in there until about 3:40 finishing all the books I gave him. I was laughing so hard. Oh man, I love this boy.

P.S. I leave you with a tasty treat that I can't stop desiring since I made it Wednesday evening: next time you do Rice Krispie treats, why bother pressing them into another pan and letting them cool before eating them? Why not just dump the melted marshmallows into the rice krispies, stir, and then eat? I'll tell you, they're soft, warm, fluffy, and oh-so-delicious. If you have to make a smaller batch because you'll eat the whole thing, then go ahead. But really, the stuff is divine. And just what Betamax ordered.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Update on Nothing

Let's go youngest to oldest, shall we?

Baby Betamax: Still kicking. Everything seems fine with him. Except, of course, he has no name.

Rhett: What to say about this kid. First, he still is in love with signs and is constantly asking us, "What does that sign mean?" And if we drive too quickly by one and can't tell him because the sign is now behind us (who pays attention to signs when you're driving?!), he gets upset.

Let's talk more about him getting upset. Please tell me this is normal for a barely-three-year-old. He's playing with magnets on the fridge and one keeps falling off...crying ensues. He's playing with his blocks and a tower falls...crying ensues. Another child rearranges his toy trains...crying ensues. I'm trying to teach him better ways to respond to disappointment, but for now, while we're still learning, someone please tell me this is normal. Thankfully, it's only about 3% of my day that I'm dealing with this.

Also, he continues to crack me up. I'm trying to teach him that we don't always get what we want and that some times we have to do hard things (you know, like take off your own shirt). The other day when I'm trying to get him to go inside for lunch when he doesn't want to go, I tell him that I'd really like him to get inside. His response? "We don't always get what we want, Mom." Sweet.

Finally, he listens to everything that Chuck and I say. Everything. (Of course, I don't mean to imply that he actually obeys all the time when we ask him things.  Oh no.) This intent listening is fine most of the time, but when Chuck and I are having an adult conversation in the car or while pushing the stroller, he'll keep asking about what all the big words are or what we're talking about. This is only slightly grating. Even more grating is that he's learning that when we spell words ("Do we have any O-R-E-O-s for FHE treat?") he KNOWS that we're trying to talk in such a way that he won't understand. He really does not like this. And I don't like that I can't talk about top-secret things in front of him. Maybe it's time for me to learn Spanish. Or just start conversing with Chuck in pig latin.

Chuck: While not a big reader, he's been reading like crazy these past couple of weeks. It's been really weird for me to see him read! I'll let him share the books in a comment, should he desire. Spring break is coming up next week and he's excited, and I'm excited to have him home for six work days. After that, it's a few weeks until Memorial Day, after which finals (and general ease) begin and then summer! Hooray for a late Easter that makes all of this go by quickly. Also, he just got a new calling in the EQ presidency; wondering if he'll get released from his old one (Gospel Essentials teacher)!

Me: This amplified pregnancy continues. I feel so much bigger than I did with Rhett at this point. I am already starting to complain as if I were seven months, rather than just five. I finished the stocking for Baby Betamax, but of course, can't put in a name. I'm thinking about making a hospital gown for Betamax's delivery. Do you think that's weird?

Maryland: Can't make up its mind whether it's winter or spring. Take the past two weekends. Each Saturday in said weekends was freezing. And I mean down-jacket-wearing freezing. But by the next Monday (only two days later!), it was in the mid-80s. And yesterday was humid to boot. There's a dumb joke about statisticians (Three statisticians went out hunting, and came across a large deer. The first statistician fired, but missed by a meter to the left. The second statistician fired, but missed by a meter to the right. The third statistician didn't fire, but shouted in triumph, "On average we got it!"), and that's I feel now. A couple of days in the 40s, some in the 80s, and on average, we have lovely weather! But that's not how it feels. Please don't skip spring, Maryland. I need you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Like a Kid in a Candy Store

When I was in college I worked at a locally-owned outdoor products store (think small version of REI).  The running joke there was how all the employees worked to buy gear. And sadly, for most of the employees, this was true. I'm sure I managed to save some money, as well as pay for essentials. I did buy a lot of gear, however.

Of course that's not really necessary now. I have a great tent that should last a lifetime, as well as a good backpack and other good stuff. If I returned to a place like that, I'd end up buying a bunch of stuff I don't need. Plus, let's be honest, I'm not camping with the frequency I once was. Nor am I braving all the elements while skiing or snowshoeing, however cold and biting a Maryland winter can be.

But when I walked into the Container Store last Friday, WHOA. Talk about paycheck-blowing. Seriously, if I worked there (and if I still got paper checks), I'm sure I'd just sign my check over immediately. There's very little in that store I couldn't find a use for. Even Rhett loves playing with their trash cans; he can barely resist stepping on those pedals!

Since I can't afford very much without an employee discount, I didn't buy out the place. But I did come home with some lovely things that are already making me happy. Take, for instance, the makeover I did on our medicine cabinet. (Also see how much I had to throw out since it was expired!)

And then look at our "junk drawer." Oh how I hated this drawer. Obviously, I got rid of a bunch of stuff (ward directories, yes plural, from our ward from three years ago?!), but I can actually find stuff now. I love it.

I also bought some shelving to help with my fabric closet, but that's another day (or weekend).

P.S. No government shutdown = I have a job! Of course, the best thing about no shutdown is that people who really really need their government jobs also have them too.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Having a Problem Choosing a Name for Your Baby? Try This

I'll watch pretty much anything Bravo puts in front of me (except Real Housewives--I have some standards, you know). So when I saw they were debuting a new show called "Pregnant in Heels," I added it to the TiVo queue immediately. Because that's totally me, right? Okay, okay you got me. The real reason was that I needed something to watch while I folded laundry, in my big sweatshirt. And sweat socks. Oh yeah, and heels.

But I must admit that the show had me glued. It is about a woman (Rosie Pope) who calls herself a "maternity concierge." Pregnant women hire her and then she does whatever they need. Tuesday's show focused on two women: one who was eight months pregnant and had nothing ready for the baby (okay, maybe a changing table, but the crib was still in its box). Turns out pregnant woman and husband had issues. Surprise, surprise.

But the other couple's story was AWESOME. She and her husband were expecting baby #3, but they couldn't decide on a name (sound like anyone I know? Well, maybe not the baby #3 part). So they did what any sane couple would do: read through 12,000 baby names. Out loud. To each other. You know, so they could see each others' faces and reactions to baby names. Unfortunately nothing struck them. That's when they called Rosie.

What did Rosie do? You could call it her "three-pronged approach." Prong one was to have a think tank (yea, you read that correctly, a think tank) of people that brainstormed suitable names for the clients' baby. These think tankers were people like poets, CEOs, academics, and other people chosen suitable to select a name for the clients. Prong two was to have a focus group of regular people who discussed the top 10 names produced by the think tank. Prong three was a dinner party with friends where the friends gave the expectant couple their reactions to the top three names (as narrowed by the focus group). Oh my. Can you even imagine? The whole thing was so ridiculous that it was ridiculously awesome.

One of the coolest things about it was the three names they came up with: Miles (my sister's eldest), Asher (one of my top names), and Holden (another of my top names). Can my sister and I pick them or what?!

Anyway, gotta run. I have a think tank, focus group, and dinner party to plan. Cheers!

P.S. Fun fact: "queueing" is the only word I know that has five vowels in a row. Cool! Credit a math professor from undergrad who was very, very weird.

P.P.S. The baby namers? They ended up choosing "Bowen Asher." Asher was the winner from the whole process. But nobody but the couple like Bowen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quick Poll

Let's say that marijuana was legalized as medicine in your state. Let's also say that you came down with some sort of illness and your doctor prescribed medical marijuana for your pain. Would you take it?

Thinking points
1. If you get badly hurt now and are prescribed codeine or some other narcotic, you (probably) take it. You'd (probably) not take it without a prescription because you'd feel like you are taking drugs.

2. Also, medical marijuana can be smoked, yes, but it can also be taken in capsule form or even ingested (brownies?).

P.S. Another government shutdown looms. Aiyiyi. On the bright side: I could go to park play day next Tuesday.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Loves Me Some Good Weekend

Oh weekends, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. I love that I got to work on and finish and then use this cute bag. I'm in love with it. I wish I had more places to go that don't require diapers nor my calendar. Thanks, Rae (of made by Rae), for the lovely, free pattern.

2. I (don't) love that my son gets up really early, but I do love it when it's cherry blossom time and an early riser means downtown parking!

3. I love love love Eastern Market french toast.

4. I love spending time with other cool women, doing stuff that Chuck will do, but doesn't like to do. Like, oh let's just say, fabric shopping.

5. I love organizing my crafting binder.

6. I love monkey bread. Seriously.

7. I love pug group. All those silly pugs just make me laugh.

8. I love that since having TiVo, we watched all four sessions of conference during conference weekend. (In the past, we'd record it and spread out the watching.)

9. I (don't) love spending half our tax return on my car repairs, but I love that we can pay for it without getting into debt. Let's just hope this love continues when we pick up Chuck's car today.

10. I love that the woodstove can heat our basement to a temperature in the 80s, and I love that we no longer have any wood sitting in the basement.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Documenting Your Life

I used to be a scrapbooker. Then I moved on to digital scrapbooking...for about one day. Then I turned to "blogging." It was my excuse for not keeping a journal (something I wasn't good at anyway) and for not scrapbooking. Plus, I could share my exploits with family, 90% of whom live far away.

Now I'm wondering just how I should be documenting the doings of my family. Obviously, I have as many digital pictures as the next gal, and they're saved on CD/DVDs that are soon to be housed in a fireproof box. (Speaking of, does anyone use a fireproof box or safe in their house and would like to recommend one to me?) But that's not good enough.

So what does everyone else do? Are you still scrapbooking with paper or maybe digitally? Do you use some online company to compile a book (much like I did here)?

And how do you handle creating these things for your kids? My mom gave me scrapbooks from when I was a kid, but I have nothing like this for Rhett.

One solution would be to keep creating the Shutterfly books, but print them for not only the entire family, but for Rhett and Betamax to take with them through their lives (with a cost of book x 3). What other options do I have?

I'm really just flummoxed as to what the best solution is for me and my family. Help!

P.S. What do you think of this? I'm not entirely happy with our photo wall, but this, I like. Rather than pay the $40 for it from Bed, Bath, and Beyond (it's plastic), I could cut the tree parts out of vinyl and it would look great, right?