Thursday, July 31, 2008

Something bit me

We went to the park last night, and only at one point did I feel something bite my leg. Turns out it happened 21 times on my left leg and 38 times on my right leg. They don't show up very well in the pictures. (Perhaps my legs on the whole did not photograph well...) Neither Tyler nor Lillian have any bites, those jerks.

This is a lovely room of death

Last weekend, we tried to go to the zoo, but accidentally stopped too early at the museum of natural history. Lillian was freaking out because she didn't want to be in the car anymore, so we decided to go there instead. It was mostly all taxidermied animals. They were all posed very realistically and it scared Lillian. Mostly, I wouldn't recommend this stop. It reminded me of that scene in Ace Ventura 2 where he walks in to the bad guys trophy room and there's all these stuffed game animals and he comments, "My, this is a lovely room of death."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Things I did and didn't expect

Things I expected about Tucson, which are true:
  • It's hot. This past week, the high has been over 100 or about there every day. While it's true that doesn't quite feel 102 degrees because it's "a dry heat," it just means it feels like 95 degrees.
  • It's very spread out. "Sprawling" is the word they use around here. This is very different than San Luis where I walked everywhere I wanted to go. Here, everything is 10 miles away and I've driven more in the past two weeks than I have in the past two months.
  • Gas is cheap. Without all the California taxes, gas is about a dollar or so less per gallon than I'm used to paying.
Things I didn't expect:
  • The surprising number of people who could be nominated for TLC's "What Not to Wear." Now, I've never really considered myself all that fashion forward, and I've never really been one to care all that much about what people wear, but, I have seen more people in sweatpants and oversized shirts at the grocery store than I care to count. We took Lillian to the library this morning where a lady from the zoo brought some animals and a woman was there in boxer shorts. Really? Boxer shorts? (I didn't stare too much because the boxer shorts outfit may or may not have been the only outfit she owned. However, I wouldn't have been surprised it she owned many like outfits and wore them all the time.)
  • Various unexpected sequelae resulting from living in "a red state." People who lived here told us the state was very conservative. I assumed that meant that people here didn't want the government to fluoridate their water. What they actually meant, I assume, was that it is almost requisite that one gets a prominent tattoo, smoke, and not recycle. In my apartment complex, I can't even choose not to recycle... they just don't have the service.
  • Not to be too harsh on the Tucsonians, I'll mention the spectacular sunsets they have here. I mean, I knew that desert sunsets were famously beautiful, but night after night, they are simply breathtaking.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


As you may remember, Lillian hates the bath. So, we (meaning Tyler as he's in charge of baths around here) are always trying to come up with new ways to make Lillian like getting her head wet.

I think she was more shocked than amused.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cayucos Beach

Since Tonya couldn't come to our graduation party, she came out with her kids the weekend before. We went out to Cayucos beach and later went to the Sea Shanty for some ice cream.

It was freezing cold (as is the tradition in Cayucos) and those Fresno kids had a hard time adjusting.

Lillian and Aiden had a good time collecting rocks though.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Flying Saucer

We've finally got our desktop computer all set up and I've found the cord that connects the camera to the computer. I've about a month's worth of pictures and things to post, so I'll try to post them in chronological order.

This video is from June, probably, and it takes place in our apartment in SLO. She got this chair when she was very small (like 3 months old) to help her sit upright. I put it away in the closet when she could sit up on her own. Then, when she could walk, she kept dragging it out of the closet, so it just stayed out. Right before this video was taken, Tyler had put her in the chair and was lifting it up and making her fly around. After he tired out, Lillian wanted the game to continue, so she put that shoe in there and was making it fly around. Please note the flying sound effects.

The "bug, spider" comment at the end comes from a few days previous when we were at the bank. The teller reached down and pulled a tiny bug from Lillian's hair. Lillian freaked out. For the next week, she was convinced she was covered in bugs and that every freckle on my arms was a spider. Tyler has a small mole on one of his temples and Lillian found it and called him Bugface for a few days, a name which Tyler did not appreciate.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Peppered Pork Medallions in Tangy Mushroom Sauce

I'm always looking for easy/fast/healthy recipes and I got this one from "The Best Life Diet" cookbook. Super good and super fast.

1 pork tenderloin (1-1 1/4 lb), cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used pork chops because the only pork tenderloin I could find at the grocery store was teriyaki flavored)
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
8 oz fresh quartered mushrooms (I tried to quarter my mushrooms while the meat was cooking, and I was a little frazzled because the meat cooks so fast... so do this ahead of time)

(If serving over brown rice, get that going first. I always forget to start the rice and then we end up eating white rice because it cooks faster.)
1. Sprinkle both sides of pork slices with pepper and salt. In 10-in skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over med heat. Add pork; cook 3-5 minutes, turning once, until browned.
2. In a small bowl, mix broth and flour until smooth. Add vinegar. Add broth mixture to skillet with mushrooms and thyme. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes or until pork is no longer pink in center and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Serve over brown rice.

This fed me (and I am definitely eating for two) , Tyler, and Lillian who, surprisingly, ate a whole pork chop (she doesn't like meat) with enough for me to eat for lunch today. The cookbook says that one serving is only 200 calories with 60 calories from fat (that's for Allison). That 200 calories probably doesn't include the rice. So yummy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Going Away Party

I know our graduation/going away party was almost a full month ago... but I've been busy, OK? These are some pictures that my talented and lovely ex-roommate Vivian took. I asked her if Jack had something in his eye or if he was pretending to be a pirate. She wasn't sure.

Bocce ball. I only got to play a few rounds then I had to tend to... whatever.

I've been trying to convince Tyler to buy a bocce ball set for three years now. He was always skeptical of the game; he couldn't see how it could be fun. We played with Myriah's set, and BAM! he was converted.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


We're here in Arizona! I'll upload pictures as I find the cord that connects the camera to the computer. Our townhouse is really nice and almost twice the size of our apartment in San Luis Obispo. We got in yesterday and since then have been putting away and organizing. After working all day today, it's just now starting to resemble something livable.

It's monsoon season here, so it hasn't been too hot. Today, it topped out at 95 with 50% humidity. The storm is supposed to pass and it will be back up in the 100s by mid-week. Our apartment has air conditioning and there are three pools in the complex, so we'll do our best to keep cool.

The move has been hard on Lillian. First, the transition to staying at Grandma Marti's house without Tyler (who stayed in San Luis Obispo to finish up his thesis work). After being there almost two weeks, she was really beginning to get used to the place, especially with so many cousins to play with. Then we come here, and she freaked out all over again. "Freaked out" is not really an overstatement: there were many tears, much screaming, and many "hold you" requests.

As the dust is settling, we found our new ward and Tyler mapped out his route to work on Monday. So far it has been an adventure.

Monday, July 07, 2008

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