Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Dissertation: Differences between Male and Female Activity on Pinterest

A couple of weeks ago I noted that Pinterest seems to be inhabited mostly by women. A friend noted that maybe there were men out there, I just wasn't following them. Touche, Natalie, touche. But it turns out she's right! Who knew?!

So I took it upon myself to check out males who are pinning and see what types of things they're pinning compared to the females. I took a totally non-random sample of females to get a general sense of their boards. Then I looked at another totally biased sample of men. (I only know one and he apparently pins only root beers.) Then I did no sort of valid statistical analysis at all yet I will draw statistical inference on what I found because I'm cool like that. Well-designed surveys can stuff it!

Women: Common boards were crafts, recipes, gift ideas, organizing tips, holiday stuff, home decor, travel, and quotes. Not much variation there.

Men: Much more entertaining boards than those of the women. I found one board called "Cuteness" that contained an 18-pound bunny (uh, "cute," really?). Another board titled, "Dear wifey, please make this." And another titled, "Mushy Stuff." Even one called "Manly Stuff." Most common boards were travel, products, books, technology, video game stuff, music, and movies, virtually no overlap with the women's boards. I will add that many of the men I clicked on had only one board with things pinned onto it, and many had no pins whatsoever. Women were definitely NOT that way.

Finally, and somewhat surprisingly, the Pinterest team? It's a small, California-based team made up of 10 people, and only TWO are women!

Conclusion: Like most other arenas, men and women are different. Finis.

(If only this could count for a dissertation, because I did it while the boys were napping and I was watching Biggest Loser. I'm pretty sure real dissertations are a bit more difficult. But just a bit.)

P.S. I must disclose my method for finding the men. I checked baby names from the year I was born (1977) to find the top five boys' names from that year. Then I searched for them on Pinterest and looked at a couple. Totally scientific and valid. It would pass any peer review; I guarantee it.

P.P.S. DUUUUDE. I got a $2 bill in the mail the other day, in the hopes of swaying me to answer an upcoming phone survey! Will I ever! They just bought me a McDonald's ice cream cone--I owe them much more than a phone survey. I'd likely have done it anyway. To think I almost ripped that envelope in two and threw it in the recycling.

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Poor Husband

Things have been a little rough around here lately. Back in August, Chuck was helping a family move when he felt a tweak in his back. It was annoying for weeks until he played some pretty intense racquetball (the only kind he knows). Later, the tweak tweaked harder. It was not good. Then bad turned to worse, and Chuck's been in wicked pain ever since. After a plethora of chiropractic visits, orthopedic visits, more and more pain, and finally an MRI, we found out what was wrong with him: a herniated disc in his back. And not just any herniated disc, the "worst herniated disc" his doctor had ever seen. Yikes.

Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, December 7th, which is about two weeks later than we had hoped. It's apparently not that risky as far as back surgery goes, but still. It's back surgery. That can't make anyone feel 100% comfortable. But we feel like it's the best decision. We're also secretly hoping for a cancellation to get him into the O.R. sooner rather than later.

I know it's hard for Chuck. Obviously. He's in serious, near-constant pain and is frustrated with all the things he can't do, namely, play with his kids (kidS--we have children! not just a child! I still am not used to this), help me with the kids and around the house, and sleep (quite possibly the most frustrating). He feels helpless and powerless and worthless. It's not good for his morale.

But it's also hard for me. We all know how much help I need around the house and not having that help is really wearing on me. If I didn't have a new baby and was getting eight straight hours of sleep, maybe I'd feel better, but it's been ridiculously hard. I'm tired. Like permanent red eye tired. I'm emotional (translation: I'm crying a lot). I'm just spent.

I know, I know. This should be about Chuck. He's the one in pain, pain worse than his kidney stones and more constant. But I've never been good at being a compassionate caretaker. When Chuck had one of his first very bad episodes and was laid out on the floor for awhile, I basically threw his iPad at him and told him to keep himself busy. Pretty loving, right? I love my husband, but this is just not how where I excel in showing it.

So needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), we're looking forward to the 7th. Most patients wake up from the surgery having none of the previous pain, only surgery pain. He'll take off from work for a bit and hopefully he'll recover quickly.

I guess when they say, "For better or worse" in marriage vows, this is what they're talking about. I'm just hoping Chuck will forgive this, my "worse."

Chuck's MRI. Pretty awesome to see, right? Disc oozing into nerve = NOT GOOD.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

What our family is thankful for this year (among other things, of course):

1. The healthy birth of his second son.
2. Good health insurance.

1. Giving birth to Ollie in the way I never knew I wanted.
2. I was going to say Chuck's job, but turns out I used that last year. Dang. I will forever be grateful for it. Okay then. I am grateful for my return to running.

1. Bruno and his sticking out tongue.
2. His Little People.

1. Family.
2. His three favorite foods: his hands, burp cloths, and formula (in that order).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Can you tell that Rhett's shirt is the Mayflower on the ocean? How about now?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making Me Laugh

Because we need a little bit of laughing over here.

This is almost my job!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last One with All Three; I Promise

I don't want to know how Chuck really feels about the matching outfits. But to his credit, he makes me believe that he doesn't hate it. I guess that shows just what a good sport he's been while I insist on making ridiculous matching ties and suspenders for him and his sons. But sadly, now that Rhett has a brother, I will match the two little boys to each other and leave Chuck out of it. I do know that he's very happy about this.

But honestly, is this not great?

Pretty awesome the sock puppet on Rhett's hand, yes? Stake Conference can get a little long for a three-year-old. Does it make it awesomer that he was pretending it was Nag from Rikki-Tikki-Tavi? Yes, I thought so too. And awesomest? Our stake conference was watched from the Visitors' Center for the D.C. temple. Sweet. But least awesome is how OLD I think I look in that picture. Dang.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Random Thoughts

When you open a box of cereal, do you rip the bag all the away across, or just halfway?

Let's say it's not the day after Halloween, but just some random day. You're out walking your dog and see a nice piece of candy (Starbursts, e.g.). It's completely sealed. Do you eat it?

Is there a food that you detest but you're pretty sure most people love? For example, Chuck hates fish. Hates. But I think most people like it. I think I like liver, but I'm pretty sure most Americans hate it.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being totally inappropriate and 10 being totally appropriate), how appropriate is it for you and your significant other to wear a costume made up of: she wears a t-shirt with an electrical outlet on it and he wears a t-shirt with a plug. Does it depend on whether kids will see you? Is it ever appropriate for this?

A friend gave you a meal. In the meal was a small rock (the kind you use to decorate bottoms of vases). You're pretty sure (but not certain) it was a mistake because the friend knows you have a little one for whom this could be a choking hazard. Thankfully an adult found it and no harm done. Do you tell friend or not, because more than likely, it would mortify him/her?

Do you judge Mormon moms' ages by the number of kids she has? As in, "Well, she probably got married when she was 21, had her first kid at 23, and second at 25. Since the younger child is 1, she's probably 26." I know it's hard not to do, but I really dislike it. Probably because my age does not correspond with regular Mormon childbearing ages.

Why is Pinterest populated mostly by women? (Todd--I love how the only things you've pinned are root beers.) I wonder what Chuck would pin? Maybe I should create an account and start pinning for him.

Just for fun...

Monday, November 14, 2011

What I'm Struggling With Now

Because it's always something with me, isn't?!

Life is good. Parenting two children is getting (slightly) easier. I'm figuring out how to get out and do things with Rhett, all while trying my hardest to help Ollie nap. We've worked hard on our morning routine and have that down. I think that I'll even be able to get laundry done with Rhett and Ollie at home (although that's yet to be tested). We've been able to go to this crazy bounce place as well as the park and library, all while Ollie naps. And even if I haven't been running as much as I'd like, I'm getting my exercise done during Ollie's morning nap. Every day I'm feeling better about this mom-of-two thing.

But. There's always a big butt, right? (Name the movie, win a prize.) In the years Before Ollie (B.O.), Rhett and I were able to get our errands run together in the morning. Running, Target, grocery shopping, craft stores...he went with me! Sure, not his favorite thing, but we didn't do it every day so the kid survived. With exercising and errands out of the way, our afternoons were spent together as family: walking Bruno, playing, making dinner. Then, in the joyous hours after Rhett's bedtime (that beautiful three-hour block), Chuck and I did whatever we wanted: church calling stuff, sewing, reading, computering, watching television, whatever. But it was our selfish time. (Do you love how I listed TV last, as if it was a last resort?)

But in the months After Ollie (A.O.), not so much. I can't seem to figure out how to run errands with a boy in a car seat (that takes up an entire shopping cart) who can only stay up for two hours at a time. And when his evening nap coincides with walking the dog, well, what to do? And running? Not happening except on Saturdays because I just can't give up our afternoons and it's just too dark and dangerous to do it while kids are asleep. So I struggle.

For some reason, the idea of dividing and conquering has only recently occurred to me. For us, we've just always done things together. But I think, for a little while at least, I am going to have to reevaluate. It might just have to happen that only Rhett and I go to pug group or walk Bruno in the afternoons while Chuck stays with a napping Ollie. And maybe I have to spend Monday nights at the grocery store, alone, instead of working on my latest Pinterest project. Do I like this? Nope. Does it take hard work to think in this new paradigm? Yep. But it's my little life and I'm just going to have to adjust.

And really, when I have this guy looking at me, it sure does make it a joyful little life.

P.S. I've been to known to complain just the tiniest bit about Maryland's weather. So in order to be fair, I must state that Maryland has delivered the most amazing November ever. I'm not lying. Highs have been in the 50s and 60s and days have been mostly sunny. And the fall foliage! Simply breathtaking. I will always try to give credit when credit is due.

P.P.S. If I'm doling out credit, some must be given to Chuck. In the past week he performed three miracles: (1) picking up the weeks-old cricket carcass that I couldn't make myself do, (2) unloading the dishwasher unasked, and (3) getting a new bar of soap after he used up the last one. Hallelujah!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You Tell Me

I am horrible at saying whether my boys look like me or Chuck. Seriously, I still see neither of us in Rhett and he's quickly approaching four. I am also horrible at knowing whether the boys look like each other. I mean come on, Oliver's still a baby! He looks like a baby! Ollie does have Chuck's unequal-sized nostrils. But I don't think either boy inherited my unequal-sized eyes.

Anyway, maybe you can offer insight. What do you think? Here's Rhett as a baby...

...and here's Ollie just the other day.

Another pair of pictures. First, Rhett...

...and then Ollie.

One last one for kicks. Rhett..


A lot of people have said that my boys look like my father. Maybe that's because my dad just happens to look like a baby? (Kidding, Dad!)

Can I just add that this was one of my most favorite posts ever? I had so much fun picking pictures of Rhett that I wanted to duplicate with Ollie. I have TWO boys! How did this happen?!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things Rhett Says

Rhett: Excuuuuuuuuse me. Do you know why I said it in a long, squiggly voice?
Me: No, I don't; why?
Rhett: Because my fart was long and squiggly.

I'm wearing my hair in a sock bun and Rhett's seeing it for the first time.
Rhett: I like your hair, Mom.
Me: Thanks. Why?
Rhett: Because the back of it looks like a donut!

Rhett's eating lunch before church while Chuck and I are running around getting stuff ready. Out of nowhere, Rhett asks the following:
Rhett: Mom, what kind of woman are you?
When I asked him what I meant, I think he wanted to know what my job is. When I asked him what kind of woman he thought I was, he said, "President."

In the car on the way home from church, we were talking about someone yelling swearwords at a friend of mine. We obviously didn't say the swearwords, nor call them that. I think we referred to them as bad words.

Rhett: What are those bad words, Mom?
Me: Well, I'm not going to tell you!
Rhett: But I want you to tell me so that when you say them, I can tell you to stop saying them!
Rhett often reminds us that "hate" and "stupid" are not allowed.

P.S. My parents got their mission call to Tokyo! How cool is that?!

(Argh. Stupid Silly Blogger. I didn't mean to post this but I guess I have to now.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New Countertops

They're in! We're happy!

Countertops before...

Countertops after...

A close up of the concrete...

I can't wait to just swipe crumbs into that sink. No more lip!

P.S. Everyone saw this funny Jimmy Kimmel video about parents eating their kids' Halloween candy, yes? So funny.

P.P.S. I think those responsible for instituting daylight saving time could not have been directly responsible for the rearing of small children. And to think, "fall back" used to be the one I anticipated!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three Months!

The little man is three months old. And while baby stage is still hard for me, man, I do love this little boy. And I'm finding such a difference between two and three months. He's more baby and less blob--hooray!

What's he into these days? Well, he LOVES his hands. He sucks on them at all times, making them wet which means they're always cold. Poor dude.

And of course, the rolling over. I thought it would come and go, not to be seen again until he was about five months old. But no. The kid is a master roller-over. Oh well.

He's a great daytime napper. I put him down and he falls asleep with minimal to no crying. He'll sleep for quite awhile, unless it's evening time. And at nighttime, well, we could use some straight-sleep nights, but what parents of a new baby don't? He started falling into a routine last week, but then, of course, it totally went kaput Tuesday. Awesome. I remain hopeful, however.

He is such a happy little one. Unless he's sleeping or eating, he's pretty much smiling. Of course, as soon as I pull out the camera, he gets all camera-shy. But some day I'll catch a smile. Oh we love this little guy!

Month 1
Month 2

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween (I'm so original, I know, especially since this is the second time I used this title)

We made it more of a Halloween weekend, rather than just one day. It started with a Halloween party on Thursday night. Fun times were had by all.

After reading about bobbing for apples in one of our favorite Halloween books, Rhett was so excited to try it at the party. He was not as successful as Chuck. I did not try.

There was some pin the nose on the pumpkin...

And cookie decorating...(and eating, of course)

And even mummy-making...

...and mummy breaking.

The whole PacMan family.

Due to a storm that freakishly brought snow, we stayed in on Saturday. We carved pumpkins and make some batches of pumpkin seeds.

Argh. You can't see the snow coming down, but it was...for about a minute. Well, maybe 26 minutes.

We even got Ollie out in his first snow.

I had to add this. Ollie is really starting to watch us, especially Rhett. Here Ollie is straining to see his big bro.

On the way to Rhett's grandparents' house, we listened to some Halloween poems. One of those scares Rhett very much and this is how he deals.

Some of our friends have a much friendlier neighborhood so we went there. We'll go there next year. And the next. And the next. It was such a happy time to be trick-or-treating as most homeowners not only had on their lights but had done awesome decorations. Look at these fun kids! Sadly I cut off baby E's head at the top of the shot.

And the big one doing his thing. He led the pack and just had an awesome time. Ollie stayed in the stroller.

The loot. It is way better this year. The only odd ball candy was this "watermelon with chile:" too wacky to not try, but too wacky to keep in your mouth for too long. Strange.

And a Halloween video only family will watch in entirety; I'm okay with that.

See last year's post here. It's awesome how much Rhett has changed. Although I'm sad that he didn't demand chocolate again this year.

Happy November!