Sunday, April 27, 2008


If you're a Franklin Boy you like firetrucks, police cars, and ambulances. The kids were in heaven this weekend at Kidfest where the entire convocation center and surrounding parking lot was full of fun activities for kids and neat things to see. We spent most of our time outside trying out the seats in the firetrucks and trying on Highway Patrol hats. The basketball hoop-shoot was a hit too, along with the pirate hats and the marching band. Fun!

Dead Ringer

I make it a point to keep my relationships with electronics on acquaintance status. I don't profess love for gadgets or screens. I have appreciated the steady reliability of one electronic friend though, my alarm clock. He came to me on my birthday just before 6th grade at which point it became my responsibility to get up on time. In seventh grade I awoke to River of Dreams and felt like I was walking in my sleep every time he woke me up in High School. He came with me to college, where I often chose the buzzer over the radio, just to make sure I actually got up. He broad casted the news of 9/11 into my bedroom as I got ready for class. He took a sabbatical in storage while I traded him for a traveling young whipper-snapper to study in London. He felt at home on the nightstand of our new queen bed when we were married, and continued faithful in Japan while running on slightly less electricity. He told me it was 2am or 3 or 4 when I up feeding and changing babies crying babies. But he finally succumbed to the hard hard floor of our current apartment when an offspring of his master tossed him carelessly off the bed. The comforting green glow is no more. "Morning" cannot bring him back. He will be missed and not easily replaced by red-glowing evil cousins. So long friend and kind servant. Rest in recycling.

Chocolate Buddies

This is from a while ago but it's cute. The Monkey and his friend are exactly a month apart and they can say each others names (even though the Monkey rarely even says Mama!) They're in nursery together now and as friendly as 18 month olds can be.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Guerrilla Philanthropy

The Queen Bee and I watched an episode of Oprah's Big Give online the other day and--wait, wait, back up, I've got to start earlier--a few days before that I was talking on the phone with my brother Jason and he was telling me how "compelling" some reality TV is. He went on and on about Flip This House, and Survivor and I told him how much I HATE reality TV, and how I can't stand to watch badly scripted "reality" played out between narcissistic "cast members," in various stages of either "undress" or "distress," or "please don't open your mouth again, I'm just a viewer and I'm completely embarrassed."

It doesn't matter if they're remodeling a home, swapping wives, trying to "survive" on a tropical island (since when have "less-than-Bikini" swimsuits been adequate survival gear anyway?), raising 16 kids, getting plastic surgery, going on a blind date, trying to win the heart of a bachelor, or Singing out a lung for a panel of b-list celebrity judges, I can't stand reality television. Its my worst nightmare come true: Superficial television world meets superficial real world!--Okay, let's get back to Mel and me and Oprah--So we were watching Big Give the other night and I got completely sucked in. What drama! Who will be the biggest giver? It's like The Apprentice, but instead of a Bobble-headed Donald Trump training minions of future Tycoons, a People-Minded Oprah is sending out an elite force of guerrilla philanthropists! And the conflict--genius! Teams of philanthropic lethal weapons competing head-to-head, trying to be more creative, more charismatic, more caring, more (dare I say?) Christlike? Now that's an angle Reality TV hasn't really taken. Shocking! Exciting! Intriguing! Yes, even "compelling!" (you got me Jason). So I'm hooked, but hooked too late. The show is nearing its exciting conclusion, and I've only seen the first episode. Alas, the one reality TV show that might have won me over, is well, just about over. Maybe next season.1

1. Yes, I am aware of the irony here--that while I hate reality TV for its incessant glamorization of superficial people looking for their fifteen minutes of fame and the chance at some cash, I am writing about it on a blog-- a genre that itself celebrates the representation of "reality" as seen through the eyes of the "average joe" (average joe's like me who have stooped so low as to allow Google ad space on their blog in hopes that a few clicks a day might bring in a little cash). So does blogging then become, at least in part, a Reality TV outlet for the pseudo-intellectual, "I'm too good for Television" crowd? Is this blog just a "text-only" version of all those awful shows I can't stand? Yikes!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Only in Oregon....

would a pet store employee being slowly eaten by a 12-foot snake plead with her would-be-rescuer to not harm the snake.

Ahhh, Oregon. How do we miss thee? let me count the ways...

Some day, we will be back in Oregon where apparently we can hug snakes as well as trees!

Another Beginning in an Already Lengthy Journey

Summer of 2003 was one of the hottest summers on record in Provo. "You picked a great summer to be pregnant" said my doctor while we baked in our swamp-coolered house. I was puffy and wide but very happy to be having my first baby boy in September. We also attended two hours of birthing classes every Saturday morning in anticipation of a drug-free labor. Our instructor, Melissa Chapell, inspired me to be an educated birthing woman, in-tune with my body, and my baby's needs. We learned about coping techniques, birth plans, doulas and ourselves. At the end of the 8 weeks I expressed interest in certifying as a Birth Educator and she encouraged me pursue it. Mr. Baseball was born soon after, and then came more classes for my degree, then graduation, and teaching in Japan for a year. While in Japan I visited the idea again and even had my in-laws drag two 25lb maternity and birth books with them when they came to visit. I read and read and planned and prepared but when the waves of nausea hit when I found out the Monkey was on his way, reading about birthing was the last thing I wanted to do. So I brought the books home with me to Utah, and along with the other birthing books I had acquired, shifted them from shelves to stacks and back to the shelves and only opened them when I had a question about my own pregnancy or our newborn. After hauling the books here to Ohio I shared them with a pregnant friend and then tried to find them a home in our dorm... er apartment.

Now, I know all this talk about birth and pregnancy is going to make you think I have an announcement to make. And I do, but it's not what you might be expecting.
I started my Childbirth Educator certification and registered for a training conference the first weekend in May! Nearly 5 years later I've finally made a decision about it and it feels great. It's a good thing other big decisions in my life haven't taken this long. Last night when The Writer walked in the door I was feeling stressed and this decision topped the list. After some Divine assistance I felt completely peaceful and ready to move forward. Today when BirthWorks returned my call I happily gave them my information and payed the bill (thank you IRS!). I'm looking forward to attending the training conference in Cincinnati in a few weeks.

And one last note: the ironic part about all this is that the gargantuan books aren't even on the list of required reading at BirthWorks. At least they'll fit in when I make room for a Childbirth Educator Shelf.

P.S. The answer is no, if after all this you're still wondering about the expecting part.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Book Tag: Round Two

So Sarah left her "book tag" open to anyone, so I'm considering myself tagged.

A recap of the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (with at least 123 pages)
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag 3 people.

book: Letters Written in France, by Helen Maria Williams, published 1790.

"The Poor, he believed, were only born to suffering, and he determined, as far as in him lay, not to deprive them of their natural inheritance. on the whole , if it were the great purpose of human life to be hated, perhaps no person ever attained that end more completely than the Baron Du F----. His son discovered early a taste for literature, and received an education suitable for literature, and received an education suitable to his rank and fortune."
A little light reading on the French Revolution from my "Romanticism and War" class. The book is really more fun than this clip suggests. But I guess you'll have to take my word for it.

Groooover, Dinty, and Special K, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shameless photo post for oogling grandparents and other biased relatives

A few more pictures from the week

Our Bobcat

A young woman in town was nice enough to help rearrange our rear bumper last week. And this week her insurance company was nice enough to accept responsibility for it.

We're glad everything, including the bumper, will all soon be ironed out.

Mr. Baseball andthe Monkey, this morning, playing trains together. The Superman pajamas use to belong to Mr. Baseball. Yikes! What happened?

Bad Breakfast idea #234: Protein Cheerio Shake.

I got out of the shower this morning at 8:40. I teach at 9:10. Granted I only live three minutes from my building, but I still had to get dressed, help a bit with the kids, get some breakfast, finalize a few things for my lesson plan, and get out the door--In short, I was feeling a little rushed. I got dressed and poured myself a bowl of Cheerios, but as I reached in the fridge for the milk I remembered that I was scheduled to donate plasma at noon and realized that cereal probably wouldn't be enough to keep me coherent during the donation process. So I set the cereal down and pulled out the chocolate protein powder. After whipping up a glass of 100% whey protein chocolaty goodness I took another look at the bowl of still-dry cheerios on the counter. I looked at the protein shake in my hand, and back at the cheerios, and then at the milk jug on the counter, and without giving it another thought, poured the protein shake over the cheerios. It really wasn't that bad--just kind of thick, and well, everything tasted a bit like sawdust. I wouldn't recommend it. What did you have for breakfast?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Two kinds of Book Tag

1) I'm applying toothpaste to Mr. Baseball's new toothbrush (the maintenance guys had to haul our toilet out to the front lawn to retrieve the last one!) when he runs in to tell me he threw a book in the Monkey's face and the Monkey laughed. Hmm... brotherly love? At least he's honest about it.

2) Shiloh tagged us, but not in the face.
It just so happens I'm reading an excellent book called Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. The book was in my lap when I read your post Shiloh! It made me laugh.

Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (with at least 123 pages)
2. Turn to page 123.
3. Find the 5th sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag 3 people.

Here it is then:
' "He slipped me a bill roll of rupees," McCown says, "and asked me to act like a big boss from America. So I hammed it up. I walked around like a chief, paying everyone their wages, telling them they were doing a great job, and to really throw themselves into it, and finish as fast as they could." '

I think this book has hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List (nonfiction paperback) and I'm thrilled, I think it's a great book about a great cause and I hope more people read it.

I tag Brooke, the Buchanans, and Mom Fitzgerald/Nana

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More pictures from the Easter Trip

moving the basketball hoop up to the play structure meant Dad didn't have to pick up the monkey every time he wanted to make a shot. He just took a shot, and then slid down the slide to get the ball again.

Meanwhile, Mr. Baseball and his cousin built a "log cabin" out of a stack of firewood and old branches.

Our first day at Nana and Papa's house Nana helped the Monkey try out a little bike that belonged to Aunt Amy when she was little. I guess that makes this a vintage ride (those are genuine handlebar streamers, not replicas).

Self-tinting lenses: one of the great marvels of modern optometry. How do they do that?

The rope swing at Jason's is not for the faint of heart.

"Ba! Ba Ba! Ba!"

The spoils of the hunt didn't last long (especially because parents have access to easter baskets)

The monkey has just recently started saying "Da Da Da!" when he sees me. He's turned into quite a dada's boy.

Pa made a special recording to go along with this book--a gift for Mr. Baseball.

We fed the horses several times while we were there. Mr. Baseball wanted each horse to get his fair share.

The queen bee doesn't like to drive. But after a week behind the wheel of this 2007 Mustang, she started saying things like, "I could like a little red sports car to drive on my own." We reserved a compact car for the week, but the one the rental company offered us smelled like cigarette smoke, so the QB asked for a replacement, and this is all they had. Fun for a week. The designers were decidedly not thinking about small children when they planned the back seat.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

And a few pictures...

A bunch of smart cookies eating ice cream at Smart Cookie in Provo. The best ice cream deal in town. Two amazing cookies of your choice with Dryers ice cream in the middle. Pa couldn't come so we got some cookies to go for him to have later.

Amy really wants to go back out into the mission field.

The Monkey got his first Book of Mormon for Easter.

Mr. Baseball with the April fools "Cupcakes" and "sushi." He was so excited to eat frosted cupcakes for dinner. He did eat the meatloaf willingly, but his heart wasn't in it. Good thing we had the rice crispy treats.
A close-up of our fine meal.

It's been really sunny the past few days and on Monday and today, Mr. Baseball and the Monkey and I have spent a long time on the swings.

The Monkey never wants to get off. Even if he's looking a little dizzy and I try to take him out to give him a break, he arches his back and fusses and lets me know that he wants to stay right where he is.

After our chocolate cake feast with the Petersons last Sunday the Monkey was so messy that there wasn't much to do except undress him in the bathroom sink and put him in the bath. Imagine if we'd given him an entire piece.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A few tidbits from the week so far

We made Pupusas with the friends and they brought amazing chocolate cake (read:bundt cake with devil's food mix + extra pudding mix+ half carton of sour cream + fudge frosting + about five pieces in my stomach)

Mr. Baseball flushed his toothbrush down the toilet

Montezuma had a short little revenge on all four of us (perhaps in retaliation for Sunday's feast)

The Monkey unrolled the toilet paper twice in order to blow his nose

The Queen Bee made rice crispy treat sushi along with "cupcakes" made of meatloaf and mashed potatoes for April Fool's Day

The Student started Spring quarter: Romanticism and War, Chicanos and Neocolonialism, and, of course, Freshman composition.