Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A few thoughts about some things

I've been thinking about coffee and/or tea. Being a life-long Mormon, I've only had coffee once in my life: I was in high school and we were sitting around a coffee shop that also sold smoothies and I reached down to grab my smoothie but accidentally got my friend's iced coffee-mocha-frappeé-chino-whatever that was in the same sized cup and took a sip. Eww. And until recently, I've never felt the loss of coffee: all through school, I never had trouble waking up early to study or felt the need to give up my precious precious sleep in order to study late at night (I'll just get a B on this test). So, there was a neighborhood block party a few weeks ago, and Lillian made friends with a little girl about her age. I started chatting with her mom, and she gave me her phone number. I haven't called because I have no idea what to do with her if she comes over to my house. On TV, this situation came up and the first mom said, "Why don't you come over tomorrow around 10 and have a cup of coffee?" Coffee! That social lubricant. It's perfect because it's something to do that doesn't take any planning or energy, and the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee is about as long as I want that first visit to be. In Jane Austen books, women are always coming over, drinking a cup of tea, and then leaving. This, obviously, isn't an option for me, (and not just because I don't live in Austen-era England, but because Mormons don't drink coffee or tea) but I can't come up with a good substitute. Hot chocolate seems sort of juvenile, although I wouldn't mind if someone offered me some. Chocolate milk in a frosty mug would also be delicious, but again, that seems not very grown up, and it's winter.

Any ideas?

I probably won't call for a while because we've had a rash of sickness at our house. Lillian woke me up early Sunday morning and had vomit all over her and in her bed. Gross. She threw up a few more times on Sunday, but then felt fine. Tyler stayed home with the kids from church. I was really looking forward to being able to listen to the speakers without having to play the fishing game and sing the hymns without my hymnal being snatched away to be used as a ramp for the micro-machines. I liked it for about 10 minutes... and then it was actually really boring. I kept looking around for something to do. I tried to entice the little boy behind me to come into my pew and share my strawberry newtons with me, but I guess his mom told him not to take food from strange women. Maybe I'm not that pious.

Then on Monday, I threw up, which is not news: I throw up all the time. But, I wasn't hungry, and that is not normal. With my morning sickness, I am starving and I eat and eat, and throw up, and then my body sends me signals that I must replace the food we just gave up so eat Eat EAT! I couldn't make myself eat hardly anything yesterday and I threw up and threw up some more, so I decided I probably had whatever Lillian had.

I'm so sick of being sick.

I woke up this morning and I felt marginally better, but I cracked while I was trying to get Lillian ready for preschool. Background: Lillian doesn't like bananas. It's not just that she doesn't like to eat them, she can't even been the same room as someone who is eating one, or where someone ate a banana an hour ago. Also, although we empty the dishwasher together almost every day, she's convinced that the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty, and the ones in the cupboard are clean; almost like, it's not the dishwasher that cleans them, it's the act of putting them in the cupboard. So, this morning. It was a fight to get her to go to the bathroom and get dressed (because she wanted to keep watching cartoons), then I was trying to get her to sit up to the table and eat a bowl of Kix. First, she didn't want to walk through the kitchen because Nora was eating a banana. She plugged her nose very dramatically and screamed that it smelled like "b-wana" and indicated that she was NOT going to go in there. After I got her sitting, I went to pull a bowl out of the (clean) dishwasher and she freaked out saying it was dirty. She sprung out of her chair and threw herself bodily against the dishwasher door to prevent me from extricating my hand with the offending bowl. I called my mom in tears and told her I was having a hard time. She was very supportive, even if she did laugh a little at Lillian's antics, and made the point that the fight is worth it because then she'll go to preschool and I can take a breather.

It was a good point, but turned out was incorrect because when we showed up, the woman doing preschool this week said she'd heard I was sick and was sorry, and then politely asked me to keep Lillian home.

So, Lillian is watching Hercules for the 5,000th time.

She's named all the muses except that one second from the left. I can't think of a good name for her. And, does it bother anyone else how they call the things Zeus throws "thunder bolts"? That doesn't even make any sense. They are lightning bolts, Disney. If you're going to botch up the whole of Greek mythology, maybe you could at least get one thing right.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Tyler got me Will Shortz's Greatest Hits: 150 New York Times Crossword Puzzles Personally Picked by the Puzzle Master for our anniversary. I love it when he gets me non-traditional quirky things (like a few years ago, he got me this special kind of floss that I really like). Anyway, I'm a little rusty when it comes to crosswords. It's not like riding a bike, and it's not a matter of just being smart. It's its own particular language. I've been doing the Mondays and the Tuesdays in the book (they get progressively harder during the week) to warm up. Today, I thought I'd try a Wednesday. Here is a list of facts that I didn't know that I had to cheat and look up:
  • Sammy Cahn wrote the lyrics to "High Hopes"
  • There's an Italian auto maker named Alfa Romeo
  • Olio is another word for a hodgepodge
  • Dirty Harry worked for the SFPD
  • Jonathan Swift wrote a pamphlet titled "A Modest Proposal" in 1729
  • Bill Cosby was in a TV show called I Spy
  • Gary Lewis and the Playboys sang "This Diamond Ring"
  • Paula Abdul and Stevie Wonder sang a song called "Will You Marry Me" (The puzzle was a marriage proposal for a woman named Emily Mindel, which, if I were her, I would have no idea it was meant for me because these clues and a mention of Emily Dickenson are as specific as it gets.)
  • There's an artist named Paul Klee
  • Cassis is a kind of black current liqueur
  • Stephen Foster wrote a song called "Old Uncle Ned"
  • Sedge is a kind of reed
  • Rollo was a character in an old comic strip called "Nancy"
  • Tyrol is the capital of Innsbruck, which is an Austrian state
  • Yente is the matchmaker on Fiddler on the Roof (I think I did know this at one point)
  • Enero is Spanish for January
So... it doesn't look promising for progressing past Wednesday.

It's Spanish for....

Tornado off Huntington Beach Pier, sent to me by my SIL who lives there (Meghan, did you take this?)

The last time El Niño came around, I was in high school. There was a lot of talk about all the severe weather we were going to have and making sure you had enough flashlights and powdered milk. And then what happened? Nothing. I was on the swim team, and I can remember swimming in the rain, but I think that happened every year.

Then, the first full year we're out of California, El Niño hits again (is it an every 10 year thing?), but this time, it was serious. No messing around. Tornadoes. Hail. Flooding. And, I'm not trying to gloss over all the people who had real damage to their homes or property, but I'm totally jealous. I love severe weather. It's like taking a vacation in your own home: you get to see new sights, smell new smells, be inconvenienced by things out of your control, get awed by natural wonders.

Of course, I can write this from the comfort of my 55˚-partly-cloudy Southern Arizona (we did get a little bit of that last storm... just enough to make everything soggy and get our backyard good and muddy for Daisy to run around in) and my house is in the same place as opposed to being picked up and moved 100 feet away by a mudslide. My family in California is probably thinking that this storm was exactly the opposite of fun and that they wish the next 10-year storm will be a dud like 1999, or whenever it was.

Oh well, at least I have monsoon season to look forward to.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Well, we have done SOME things.

Back in September, we decided how we were going to do up the backyard. That was pretty much all we did about that. Then we got this dog. If it were up to me, the dog would be a 99.9% outside dog. I realize that we do have some extreme temperatures here where we'd have to let her inside, like the 6 months where it's so hot, you want to take off your skin and soak your bones in a bucket of ice water. But, it's a short haired dog... right? This prejudice is probably because my dogs growing up were 99.999% outside and the concept of an inside dog is completely bizarre to me. But, I think Tyler likes the dog to lay at his feet while he watches Dead Like Me (by himself because I'm sleeping). This means that we let her in. Which means she jumps on the counter. And pees on the carpet (although, not anymore). And steals the kids snacks. And jumps on the couch. I have thought about shooting the dog with our shotgun, but I don't know where the shells are. I would use the .57 magnum, but because of my irrational fear of pistols, I don't know how to use it and I'd probably end up killing myself or one of my small charges that I actually like, which would look bad.

Canineicide aside, the dog brings in a lot of dirt into the house during these jumping, stealing, peeing ventures. Dirt from our backyard, that is still dirt.

This dirt grossness was the catalyst for us actually getting in the car and going to the landscaping place to look at pavers. Tyler decided on this pattern, and I think we're going to go with this color which is actually kind of a gray-purple, if you can't tell from the pictures..

I realize that we're still not all that much closer to being done, but it's one small step towards finishing, one giant leap towards getting started. I think the next step is renting a jackhammer to dig up our hard-as-rock dirt. So... that will be fun, not that I'll get to use it. Dumb pregnancy; it ruins all my fun.

Also, this is how Lillian spent all of dinner last night. We had ravioli. She likes ravioli. Usually.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nothing to report

Tyler and Lillian at the Palo Alto Children's Museum over Thanksgiving

My brother Austin told me about the Enigma machine. He explained in great detail all about how it worked and how it was supposed to create codes that were unbreakable (which, incidentally, is what Austin does for a living). It made sense at the time, sort of, but like so many things that my genius brother has explained to me: the theory of relativity, how to "see ahead" in chess, alternating currents, my grasp on it lasted only as long as he was talking. The one thing I solidly remember from our conversation is that they way Team B (Britain?) was able to crack Team A's (Germany?) code is because Team A sent the same message over and over again, which was: Nothing to report.

Such is my life, but without the Enigma machine part. I'm feeling a little better, but I still throw up mostly every day. Aaaaaaaand... that's about all that's happening around here. I just hang out with the kids and the dog (well, mostly I yell at the dog). I get unbelievably tired and/or barfy around 8:00 at night, and I used to just go to bed, but Tyler requested that I at least sleep on the couch until he goes to bed, so we can pretend that we're spending time together.

Um.... what else is news... Lillian has a cold. Nora's getting a tooth. The software on my phone crashed, so I'm incommunicado (by phone) for a few days. And today after storytime, I'm thinking of getting down the mystery box in the garage to see what's in it. It's from our storage shed that we had at our apartment in SLO, so I haven't seen the contents for about a year and a half. I have no idea what's in it. It could be really exciting... or really lame. I'm hoping for exciting.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Meet Daisy

Tyler and I have talked extensively about the day we get a dog. We haven't gotten one before now because we were always moving around and living in small apartments and we knew we wanted a substantial dog that wouldn't fit in a small apartment.

It's our 5-year anniversary on Friday and I wanted to do something special for Tyler. I decided that the time had come, and I wanted it to be a surprise. All week, I looked at the dogs they had online, and I thought about going down there and scoping the place out, but I knew Lillian would totally rat me out and spill the beans to Tyler. Then, on Friday, I was chatting dog adoptions with my sister on the phone, and as soon as I hung up, Lillian piped up, "we're getting a dog for daddy!!!" Crap. I tried to impress upon her young mind how this was a secret and that we weren't going to tell daddy about it. She didn't mention it all day, so I thought she'd forgotten... until Saturday morning and we were getting in the car to go down there and she blabbed all about it to Tyler.

There were two dogs we were considering- Daisy here, and a German Shepherd mix-type dog. I was leaning toward the German Shepherd because that's the dog I had for a large chunk of my childhood, and she was a good dog. Plus, she was all sad and whimpered when we left and my maternal instincts cried out for me to take her home and pet her and let her lick the kids faces after they eat lunch. But, Tyler got final say because, after all, it was his present, and he fell hard for those floppy ears and droopy eyes.

The shelter was run by retired old ladies who were not in a hurry and didn't seem to notice that our kids were both DONE with the adoption process 45 minutes before it was over. We only had to sign two papers, but this somehow took an hour... probably because our adoption specialist had to tell us all the possible ways my children will try to torment the dog and possibly get their face bitten off and/or all the things the dog will possible chew up/pee on. I kept saying, "our kids have been around dogs quite a bit, they know not to try to ride them (pull their ears, pull their tails, jump on them, bite them, stick their hands in her mouth)," and "I've had a few dogs, I know that they chew on things/are territorial." It was way more stressful than having a human child. I didn't have to sign any papers for that and no one threatened to make an unannounced stop at my house to make sure everything was in order.

Daisy is a hound dog mix (of what, they wouldn't tell us, but we think she looks a little labrador-y). She's 1.5 years old and was found out by Elephant Head. She's great with the kids and is Lillian's new best friend. She's not quite house broken and peed in our laundry room where we made her sleep and pood all over our loft this morning (after we had taken our outside 2 or 3 times)... so, that will be fun.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

On Morning Sickness

I would write a Reminiscence, but my brain is broken from all the nausea and vomiting.

I often think about Eddie Izzard while I'm throwing up. You can find several of his shows bootlegged on youtube and I would link to one, but I'm afraid my mother would click on it. You see, Eddie Izzard has a mouth on him. A dirty, British mouth. And, he's a cross-dresser. But, he's so funny that in the days of my youthful rebellion, I couldn't stay away. I was addicted.

Back to why I think about him when vomiting. He does a sort of irreverent bit about God assigning the body parts their functions and he gets to the inner ear and assigns it hearing and vomiting. The inner ear protests saying, "the stomach, surely, should be in charge of vomiting. Stomach, food..?" No, no. Hearing and vomiting. Mr. Izzard goes on to talk about how there's a lot of odd associations in life: like how seals are good with balls. Who figured that one out? How many failed combinations did they try before they got one that worked (lions with banjos?)

No one knows for sure why pregnancy makes women throw up. There are several theories that range from the plausable (hormones that help establish the placenta and prevent early miscarriage) to the crackpot (an evolved defense mechanism against eating plant toxins. (Yeah, like there's any less toxins in the normally disgusting Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits that are oh so good to my nauseous tummy (I don't know why) than in oatmeal which I couldn't choke down if my life depended on it)). I like the placenta establishment idea, but whenever I throw up, I think of God, with Eddie Izzard's voice, assigning the placenta to support the life of an unborn child and cause vomiting. Surely it must have protested saying that the inner ear already had the vomiting position covered. No, no. Life support and vomiting.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Questions and answer

Here's a list of questions people have been asking recently:
  • Why do you sleep so much and/or go to bed at 8:30?
  • Why do you throw up all the time?
  • Why do you never leave your house?
  • Why do you stay in your pajamas until three?
  • Why are you getting so fat?
  • Why do you eat so much and/or do you really think the number of egg-in-the-holes you eat is healthy?
The answer is expected July 18th. Stay tuned.

PS: no one has really asked me any of these questions, except maybe Tyler has complained about the going to bed early thing.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Saturday: FAIL

My dad asked me if I would leave my kids with him, just him, for a week. I said no because we were there for 40 minutes and this is what happened. Granted, it was my brother Andrew who actually gave her that sucker, but I bet my dad was thinking about doing it, or something like it.

Tyler had/took 6 days off for Christmas break, came back and worked 2 days, and then had another 4-day weekend. It's been great up until yesterday.

Tyler's sister gave us a box of Omaha Steaks for Christmas, which meant that we had to buy a new BBQ, I guess. We used to have Tyler's parent's old Weber BBQ, which was probably like 25 years old. We left it out in one too many monsoons and the bottom rusted out. Dang. On our new house, there's a natural gas port in the backyard, so we've (read: Tyler) has wanted to buy a new one since we moved, and I guess this box of steaks was as good a reason as any.

We first went to the Tucson Children's Museum which is always a good time. Lillian likes the jungle room and the veterinarian room. It all started to go south when we left. The tears. Oh, the tears. Disaster 1. And they didn't really let up once we got to Lowe's. Both children were generally irritated while looking at the BBQs. This was our second BBQ buying trip, our first was to Home Depot, but their selection (of BBQs in our price range) was crappy. We found one we liked and Tyler had it on a cart when he asked a sales rep if there was a conversion kit to make it work with natural gas. The sales rep said that the model didn't work with natural gas, and in fact, they didn't carry many models that did, so we just left. Disaster 2.

In the car, both children were starting to fall apart. I was getting really hungry so we (read: I) decided we would drive through McDonald's and get a Hot 'N Spicy Chicken Sandwich and small fry for the kids to tie me over until dinner. This took forever. I don't know if they were harvesting the potatoes or plucking the chickens or what but we waited in line at the drive-thru for at least 10 minutes. I was regretting my decision because I was really really hungry and if we had just gone home, I could have been eating 5 minutes ago. Disaster 3.

I had taken out two of the steaks out of the freezer to cook for dinner on our new BBQ and was kind of looking forward to them, so I looked in the handy recipe book that came with our package how to cook them on the stove/in the oven. You sear them in a pan and then put that pan into the oven and bake them for 5 minutes until they're done. When I took the pan out of the oven, I put it up on the glass cooktop. After I took the steaks and put them on plates, I realized that I had set the pan on the burner that I had just used to make mac and cheese, and it was probably still hot. Without thinking, I grabbed the pan handle to scoot it over. My hand only made contact with it for approximately 0.2 seconds, but that was enough to give me 2nd degree burns on my palm. Disaster 4.

As soon as dinner was over, Lillian said she had to go to the bathroom. Tyler took her as I was languishing on the couch with my hand in some frozen peas. I could hear the argument about whether or not Lillian should go poo. It went on for some time. "I want mom! I want mom!" I got up and for half and hour, I sat on the floor of the bathroom with my hand under running water and coaxed, cheered on, yelled at, and was exasperated with Lillian. Finally, I had to pull out the big guns: the liquid glycerine suppository, which worked in about 30 seconds. Disaster 5.

As we were putting the kids to bed, Tyler said, "man, I'm worn out."
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