31 January 2008

Embellished Burpcloths

I Love Being an Adult...

because this
...can be lunch. Don't you just LOVE Starburst jellybeans??

P.S. Find the recipe for that YUMMY bread here.

28 January 2008

Is That All?

I've been teaching the Beehives for almost one year. I really enjoy it. The girls are really animated and seem to have strong testimonies. They actively participate in the lessons (unless that lesson is about sex, but I understand that) and share stories...related to the topic or not. The only problem I have with this class is that the manual is older than I am. Not one quote in the book comes from a decade since the 1970s. Yes, doctrines and principles stay the same. But why can't we make the stories a little bit more applicable (out with farming and in with texting!).

Next week in Young Women's I get to give this lesson. It's titled, "Preparing to Become an Eternal Companion." My first thought? Blech. Even though I am temple-married (and therefore C's eternal companion), I still struggle with these topics for this reason: shouldn't our young women be striving for something more than this? To me, becoming an eternal companion, while not easy, is not the final step in our progression. Staying worthy of being one, yes. But just becoming one? No. After some thought, I realized that we still have to be prepared for this, whether this happens in this life or in the next. (And don't worry, I'll certainly make this point!) So fine.

Once I came to terms with the actual objective of this lesson, I had another issue. This lesson listed two areas in which we need to prepare to become these eternal companions. First, spiritual preparation and second, homemaking skills. That's it. Just these two. I'm stunned. If I teach this, won't I be woefully underpreparing these girls?

So here's my list of additional areas in which I think anyone (male or female) should be prepared:

  • First, and most importantly: I think we all need to know who we are. This is not simply, "I am a son/daughter of God." This should go far beyond that. It's knowing your likes, your dislikes, your expectations from new mate, the things that drive you crazy, the things that you could do without. These kinds of things.
  • Second, communication. Once you know who you are, you need to be able to communicate these things to your spouse. Your spouse is NOT a mind reader!!! (Possibly the most important thing I've learned since being married.) Tell him/her if you have wants or needs that are not being met. I know it's romantic to hope that he'll magically notice that the garbage is ridiculously full; but realistically, he won't. So ask him, nicely, to take it out. He probably will. Also, if asked the question, "What's wrong?" NEVER answer with "Nothing" if in fact, something is wrong. Practice talking about things, all things: finances, moods, feelings, wants, desires, etc.
  • Third: compromise. In any relationship this is huge. Also important is knowing that compromise isn't relegated strictly to the big things. Rather, I think most spouses agree on big-tickets things; that's probably why you're together. So this includes compromise on the small things.

What am I missing?

25 January 2008

Some Things Should Just Never Be Done

I'm a big fan of Etsy. So big, in fact, that I have my own little shop. I try to support homemade crafters by buying homemade whenever possible. I am also a big fan of pugs. The dogs are just too cute. (As evidenced by this fun link sent to me by A.) However, in a recent Etsy search, I found some things that should never have been created.

I know no pug that would allow this hat to be kept on long enough to have this picture taken. I'm sure it's been Photoshopped. Or the dog was drugged.

I think this would be more scary than cute. Kinda like clowns.

Omy. I don't even know what to say.

22 January 2008

Say It Isn't So...

"In the first formal study of fetal temperament in 1996, DiPietro and her colleagues recorded the heart rate and movements of 31 fetuses six times before birth and compared them to readings taken twice after birth. (They've since extended their study to include 100 more fetuses.) Their findings: fetuses that are very active in the womb tend to be more irritable infants."

Please tell me that they're wrong. Mr. Mullet is so cRaZee active. In fact, last night after waking from another wacky dream (shocker), I was kept awake for over an hour due to his incessant tumblings in utero. While I'm sure I'm not different from all other new moms, something inside of me (more like someone inside of me...) keeps trying to tell me I'm different.

Even my little Beehives got a peek of this Sunday. I'm glad someone is enjoying it.

17 January 2008

I Knew What He Was When I Picked Him Up...

Yes, I knew that C liked playing video games before we got married. And more than that, I didn't mind. I have my own hobbies; who am I to deem his hobby as one beneath mine? Besides, do I really want a husband who likes to sew as much as I do? I think not. But ever since C got his Wii (cough, cough, the day it was first released), there's just something about this machine that I can't get over: it's just embarrassing.

I know this is an internal struggle I've had for some time. I don't like doing things that I know will make me look silly. You'd think at 30 years old, I'd be over this. But I'm not. So when C picked out "Guitar Hero" with his Christmas money, I cringed inside. But he really enjoys it, so what's a girl to do? Take his picture, of course.

But what I can not explain is how he convinced me to play. I had NEVER before even touched his Wii controllers and he somehow got me to play that dumb guitar?!

What I can explain, however, is the outcome. That was pretty much a given.

15 January 2008

Another Update on Mr. Mullet

As the last update was one month ago (when I was 6 months), I thought another (now at 7) would be appropriate.

Things continue to roll along smoothly. Honestly, if not for this completely unfamiliar body, I would forget that I was pregnant most of the time. Still no complications nor sickness, and the fatigue from the first trimester hasn't returned. My pregnancy-induced acne has even started to abate. Believe me, I know how lucky I am because I've seen in some friends how bad it can be.

That doesn't mean that I'm totally enjoying this, however. Just like I knew I wouldn't like being a fiancee, I don't relish being an expectant mother. But it too will pass.

Concerning a name, well, we're closer. I sat C down the other night and made us come to a decision. I felt so bad for this little fetus; being called Mr. Mullet can't be good for anyone's self esteem. We picked one from our list that we both like and we're currently "trying it on for size." We talk to the baby using this name and refer to him with it. If we still like it in 8 weeks, you'll know what it is.

As far as we know, he continues to grow and is healthy. How they can know so much from barely-distinguishable ultrasounds and one little heartbeat is beyond me, but the medical staff seem to believe themselves. From these funny weekly emails I get, I know he's about 16 inches long and weighs slightly more than 3 pounds (about four navel oranges). From the hourly kicks I get, I'd believe he was 13 pounds if they told me that.

His room is really full. Poor baby has to share it, so the storage situation is really tight; I'm still not sure how it's going to come together. We have pretty much most of what we (think) we'll need. What's left is
here. Note: registering for baby gifts was not my idea, but that of a former roommate.

We started our baby class last night. I think it's going to be really good for both of us as it will make us less likely to go into freak out mode when contractions begin. One good idea the instructor had is to have some projects for the "early labor" stage. Since we're not expected to go to the hospital then, she suggested having things to do at home. Items on our "early labor to-do list:" bake bread, walk Bruno and deliver him to the baby sitter's house, and pluck C's eyebrows. After the super-close-ups of last night, I knew there was no way I could go through labor with his unibrow.

Other than that, we're just counting down the weeks and taking all of your advice about living it up! Last weekend: house hunting. This weekend: a trip to Eastern Market!


Mr. Mullet:

11 January 2008

Flashback Friday

I discovered a little gem while going through some junk at my mom's house over Christmas. First the picture, then the explanation.

What in the world are these? Gum people. That's right. People made from gum. They were even found in a box labeled (by me), "Gum People." See, I used to have this bed with posts on the headboard. When I'd go to bed with gum still in my mouth, I'd take out the gum and set it on the posts. As the number of used gums got to be quite plentiful, the stack of gum became quite high. I remember it becoming so high, in fact, that I had to lay down the stack in a shoe box. It then became a gum snake in the shoe box.

What I can't remember, however, is at what point I actually took the used gum, rechewed it, and then shaped it into these beauties.

You will be happy to know that after the picture was taken, they were quickly discarded. Even the spare arms from the poor woman on the left.

09 January 2008

Living up the Last 9 Weeks

As the arrival of Mr. Mullet approaches, I have this sudden desire to get out and do things that will be much harder given his presence. But there are two problems: first, C and I don't usually get out do much (other than taking Bruno to pug group) and second, we're not exactly sure what things will be harder when he comes. So, dear readers, in the nine Saturdays we have until we're finally able to meet this three-pound butternut squash who currently resides in my belly, what should we do?

07 January 2008

My Hatred Grows

That's it. I'm done. I am never again taking Metro, well, at least for non-work trips. Why? They raised fares. It now costs me $7.50 every day to get to and from work. That means in a usual month, it will cost nearly $160 just to commute. (That's nearly $2,000 for just one year.) Thank goodness I have C to drop me off at the kiss and ride, otherwise that $160 would be nearly $260 every month with parking fees (and that's over $3,100 a year).

Yes, yes, I acknowledge receiving my government transit subsidy. I know others are not so lucky. You wouldn't want to see how mad I would get if this were not the case.

Why did Metro do this? They say they have an increase in operating costs. I just don't understand how operating costs can increase when service decreases. When you stop operating trains due to "regular track maintenance" aren't you saving the costs of the running trains? What about those trains that just don't show up? Aren't you saving costs again? And how about never having any officers on any of the trains to enforce your so-called rules? I know you're not spending any money on their salaries.

I think the reason this drives me absolutely bonkers is that no regular business could ever operate in this sort of environment, except for maybe Comcast. You know, the environment where you give crap service but continue to increase rates.

So now I'm done. As the cost for C and me to go downtown on a Saturday is nearly $10 (far more than the cost of driving the two of us) and given the slower service offered by Metro on weekends, you won't find me on it. Which seems like the exact opposite of what Metro wanted to happen.

A trip to Eastern Market for french toast? A trip to the Corcoran to see Ansel Adams? A trip to the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival? Thank goodness for street parking.

04 January 2008

Utah Review

They always say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." (Although I've yet to figure out just who they are, exactly.) I thought quite a bit about this during my ten-day Christmas vacation. When I'm at home in DC, I always dream about returning to Utah. But once I'm there, I find that I ask myself, "Why?" Don't get me wrong; Utah is pretty great. But great enough for me to want to move back there? Doubtful. Here's why:
  • Everyone is the same. I'm sorry for those of you living in Utah, but for the most part, they are. They look like they just graduated from BYU as they tote around their two or three kids to the Cafe Rio. And when I'm in Utah, I fit right in. But here in DC, I'm different!
  • The dining situation. I realize that C and I are no foodies. However, we enjoy a good meal that doesn't necessarily come from a chain restaurant. But while in St. George for our anniversary (which, admittedly was a Sunday night--hey, vacation rules) we ended up eating at Fazoli's for dinner. I actually like this place (they make a mean chicken panino), but for our anniversary? Not my first choice. But seriously, when Fazoli's, Chili's, and Applebees are my only choices, I think that's pretty sad. (Related to this: what's even sadder is that residents of St. George voted Red Lobster "best seafood restaurant." Now that's just embarrassing.)
However, in the spirit of being fair, here are some reasons to move to Utah:
  • Golden Spoon frozen yogurt. This gem was bought by Golden Swirl decades ago, but then erased forever...or so I thought. While in St. George, C and I found one that had just opened. This treat handily beats my beloved McDonald's ice cream cones and even beats the wonderful cones at Maverik gas stations. Saturday night, I had half egg nog and half raspberry cheesecake. C had half cookies and cream and half cake batter (that's right...cake batter). When we returned for more cake batter (quite possibly the yummiest yogurt on the face of the earth) on Sunday, the store was closed. Sigh. And as our plane left early Monday morning, we were out of luck.
  • Moon shadows. Previous to our arrival, Utah received quite a bit of snow. So as we were driving at night during a full moon, it was simply beautiful. The moon was reflecting off the snow, giving enough light that you almost didn't need to turn on your headlights. Amazing.
  • Cowboys. We just don't have them here, at least in my county. But while in Utah, C and I stopped at a random church for a 9 a.m. sacrament meeting. Wearing a leather vest and bolo tie while sporting a funny-looking mustache, the speaker certainly would not have fit in here. Apparently this man had recently been reactivated. At one point, he talked about his mother, which brought tears to his eyes. His reaction to this? "Shoooot, cowboys don't cry." (To be said with thick cowboy drawl.) C and I were shaking with laughter in our seats in the overflow. But then he topped himself with another story. He said that his son had asked him why he didn't attend church. His response? "I guess I'm just lazy and, well, NASCAR is on." AGAIN, you just won't find that in Montgomery County, much to my dismay.

Hmmm...apparently Utah has more pros than cons. Too bad they pay their teachers slightly more than minimum wage.

02 January 2008

Christmas Wrap-Up

Now that I'm back at work (hence the return to blogging), I thought I'd share some of the fun photos of Christmas. (Check em's blog for more pictures of my cute nephews and niece.)

C and I traveled to my parents' new home in Utah. Being there meant actually having a white Christmas, which is always nice. Being there (in a new brand home) also meant great showers, an expansive kitchen, and a garage. Coming home to our crappy apartment was seriously depressing. Getting up at 5:37 EST this morning, which was 3:37 MST, was even more so.

First, it can't be a family Christmas with my mom including non-food items in our Christmas morning breakfast. In our orange julius a few years ago she blended the top of the blender into the drink. The plastic made a kind of warm ice. This year, she included foliage in the cheese braid. That crazy mom! It turned out beautifully, in spite of the added greenery. (Click on the picture to see the totally undoctored picture enlarged.)

And as all three of my parents' children were there with all the grandkids (even if one is still in utero), we opted for a DIY family photo. Not too bad!

And then C and I were lucky enough to have some alone time in St. George for our anniversary. (Thanks for the ride, Dad!) We spent that morning hiking in Zions and the afternoon watching the Redskins make it to the playoffs by beating Dallas. (Guess which one of us picked which activities?) Dinner out was...well a post for another day.

Happy New Year!