Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Key to Everything is Patience. You Get the Chicken by Hatching the Egg, Not By Smashing It.

In the summer Drek and I took some baby chicks down to his parent's house to they could have fresh eggs. Since then, the family built an amazing chicken coup and the chicks have grown up into egg-laying chickens. Yesterday Drek and I went to visit his parents. No one had collected the eggs that day so Drek and I volunteered. We trudged through the deep snow (and it was still snowing) up to the chicken coup. The chickens were warm and dry inside with their heat lamps and their sturdy built house. We undid the side panel and there, in a little nest, were three eggs nestled together. Apparently all the chickens lay their eggs in the same nest. I was so excited. I'd never collected fresh eggs before! Squee! I can't wait to have chickens of my own!

Anyway, we took them back to the house (they made safely, no small feat in the slippery snow) and Drek's mom said we could keep them! She even gave us three more eggs to take home. One of the eggs was enormous. It was larger than jumbo eggs. We couldn't close the lid on the large egg carton. It looked more like a duck egg, rather than a chicken egg. Apparently some chicken lay double-yolk eggs. We haven't cracked it open yet, but I will keep you updated.




Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Goodnight

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Christmas eve was a lot of fun. We went with Drek's family to do the annual trip of sledding behind the van. It was SO MUCH FUN!! I took Mei-mei and she was a pro. I don't think she ever fell off.

It was also Ash's first year but being only three months old, she just stayed in the van and didn't get any sledding time. I did, though. I got in my sled and we started going and someone in the front of the pack starting throwing snow at all of us behind him and in a few seconds my face was the coldest it has ever been, EVER! The next few times I went I made sure I was in the front so that wouldn't happen again. It was so much fun!

Christmas morning Drek, Ash, Acouchi and I woke up and opened out stockings. Acouchi only got food this year, no toys. That was mainly because her present was her toy;

video
We got Acouchi two fish for Christmas. They are still alive. Acouchi will look at them, but doesn't seem all that interested in eating them.

When we were done with stockings, Drek, Ash and I drove down to my parent's house. On the way was the most amazing sun burst;


You can't really tell from the picture, but there was this glowing pillar of fire under the sun. It was so beautiful.

The rest of Christmas was spent playing eating, openening presents and playing games. We had a wonderful time.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Don't Care How Poor a Man Is; If He Has Family, He's Rich

Drek and Ash and I just got back from a wonderful family reunion! Drek's family has ten children with five of the ten married and no longer living at home. That makes seventeen adults (including Drek's parents) and seven grandchildren. Drek's parents decided that this year all the siblings should make an effort to get together so they had their first official family reunion. Of the twenty-four people, only four (one family) was missing.

So twenty of us drove up to a cabin in the middle of snow and pine trees and more snow and also snow. There was a lot of snow. The cabin was amazing. It had five bedrooms, each with a full-size bed and a loft with two full-size beds. There were three bathrooms, one on each level, and a hot-tub! There was plenty of room for all of us. Drek and Ash and I had a room all to ourselves! We arrived on Friday and stayed until Monday. We started out the reunion by opening a mission call! Drek's brother is going to the Philippines! He leaves in March. I am so proud of him!

We played a lot of board games (The best way to spend vacations) but we also went out and played in the snow and soaked in the hot tub. We had a family family talent show, family sing-alongs and a family testimony meeting. We played a "How well do you know your partner?" game that was so much fun (Drek and I go second place, first place went to his parents). We ate a lot of yummy food and got to talk to each other a lot.

It was wonderful to be able to spend time together. It will be a while before we have that many people together again; Once brother goes on his mission in March and another brother won't be far behind. That makes it at least two years until we'll all be together again. We a wonderful time and are looking forward to next year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Don't Panic!

Wednesday I was visiting my sister when Drek called:
"So, the carbon Monoxide alarm just went off." Oh, the thrills. I had Ash with me so she was safe. I drove home, packed Acouchi in her carrier, put her carrier in the car, grabbed her 72 hour kit (yes, I have a 72-hour kit for my cat. It contains dry food, canned food, tuna, a can opener, water, and a collapsible plastic water bowl) and the three of us became refugees (Drek waited at the house for the repair guy to come). Krisling took us in and it was actually fun. I got to see how well prepared I was. It got me thinking about how I would handle other emergencies, like having no water or no power.

Anyway, so as it turns out our water heater was giving off the high levels of carbon monoxide, so they turned off our water heater. No hot water for us. The next morning the guy came to replace it and turns off our water. Just like that my first predication came true. Having no water wasn't a big deal, we have a lot of water in food storage. Drek even made me oatmeal using our water storage. Aw, he is so sweet. Anyway, by noon we had water and a new water heater.

Yesterday we were up visiting Ben's sister. The lights flickered and went dead. The whole city suddenly in a black out. As it turns out, a power station exploded. Huh. So, no power. Prediction number two came true. Maybe I shouldn't think about emergencies anymore.

We were fine. Ben's amazing sister had candles, flashlights and kerosene lamps. I need to get some kerosene lamps. We played Dominion by lamplight. It was so much fun. The power came back on a little while later. We survived with no injuries. Phew!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thank You

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with gratitude today. I think I'll post some thank-yous.

Thank you to Kara, whose blanket is AMAZING! and warm, and soft, and beautiful. Thank you for the card that came with it. I love you and I miss you.

Thank you to my mom and dad, who are always to willing and cheerful about watching Ash. I'm so glad you love her as much as I do.

Thank you especially to Krisling, who saved my sorry refugee self no less than four times yesterday. Acouchi thanks you too. You are amazing. Thank you for being my friend.

Thank you to Ash, for being the best little baby in the whole wide world.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Have an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Whew! I am done Christmas shopping! Well, almost. I cannot buy Acouchi's present until Christmas eve, so I don't have that done, but besides that, I'm done! I think this is the soonest I have ever finished. I made my last run today and I am all set! In fact, most of the presents are already wrapped and delivered/mailed! Drek's stocking is all stuffed, Ash's stocking is all stuffed...Hooray!

Besides getting done early, I did two things differently this year;
One, I made a lot of the presents. I'm not usually one for homemade gifts (lack of talent mostly) but this year I made quite a few. In fact, I am still working on three homemade gifts.
Two, I wanted the wrapping of gifts to be as un-deadly-to-trees as possible. I have always despised wrapping paper. Not only because it's like wrapping your presents up in death, but also because I have to pay for wrapping paper. Seriously? You want me to spend money on paper? No thanks. So usually in December I get paper bags instead of plastic and cut them up to make my own wrapping paper (I got this idea from the Sound of Music. Brown paper packages tied up with strings is now one of my favorite things). This year, however, I've been using cloth bags for my shopping so I didn't have the abundance of brown bags. One of the packages I ordered used a huge piece of brown paper, rather than packing peanuts so some presents were wrapped in that. Mostly my presents are wrapped in Christmas boxes. On Freecycle I found a women who was giving away old Christmas boxes, so I picked them up. She had a HUGE bag full of Christmas boxes! Between that and the Christmas gift bags left over from last year, I didn't use a single scrap of wrapping paper! Merry Christmas trees!

I think my presents look quite festive:

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Well That was Weird

One day, when I was in middle school, I had a dark spot on my vision. It was like I had looked at a bright light, but it wouldn't go away. In fact, it grew bigger and bigger until I was blind. It was then I called my mom to have her pick me up from school. I was very nauseous and as soon as she arrived to pick me up I threw up in the parking lot. I then spent the rest of the day in bed with my very first migraine. I remember it all so well because the pain was excruciating and I'm always afraid it will happen again. I have had the blindness happen again, but never the migraine. Well, until today.

Last night I went to bed late. I got very little sleep as my poor baby has a cold and is having a hard time breathing. And yet, this morning I was wide awake and full of energy. I also couldn't see out of my right eye due to a blind spot on my vision. I had a hunch of what was coming.

As the morning went on my vision became worse, I became exhausted and finally I started to get a headache. I went to lay down, but found myself too nauseous to sleep. I spent about ten minutes in the bathroom, heaving my guts out and shaking on the floor, before I took some alka seltzer and fell asleep back in my bed. Oh the pain. THE PAIN!! I'm quite surprised my head is still in tact. It really felt like it was shattering into a million pieces. Anyway, so I slept and slept and slept. When I woke up, I was fine. I was tired, but I was ok. So I cleaned the house and played games with Noble and Kim. Kim is leaving on a mission to Korea in a week. A WEEK!! So this was probably the last time I get to see her for a while. I'll miss you, Kim! Have a wonderful mission!

It's now eleven at night, I am still tired, I am dizzy, but, otherwise, I am ok. It has been a very strange day.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Biggest Word You Ever Heard And This Is How It Goes

For Drek's birthday my parents got us tickets to an Egyptian themed date night. They even provided babysitting! We went Friday night and had a blast.

The event started with "Mummy Wrapping" which consisted of each couple getting two rolls of toilet paper. One person had to wrap their date up like a mummy. The couple who did it the fastest won. Drek wrapped me super-fast! I spun in a circle to make it even faster. We used our rolls up first, but, apparently, that wasn't the gaol. The couple who won wrapped up their date and called it good, they didn't finish their second roll. They won, but we had a lot of fun!

The next game was the best; Egyptian Balderdash. As you can imagine, Drek and I rocked that game. With my knowledge or the correct meaning of the words and Drek's imaginative and very convincing wrong definitions, we won.

For the next game they gave us pictures of Egyptian Gods and a list of their names and told us to match the names with the pictures. So, here's an odd story; I have all these useless facts I acquire that I keep memorized because I know that one day, there will be a moment where I can use that knowledge and win! That moment only comes once so I must be prepared. I realized this my senior year of high school. I was in my favorite Creative Writing class with my favorite teacher when he said "Don't kill the messenger" and turned around, pointed at me and asked where that quote was from. I stammered. I stuttered. I knew the quote was from Oedipus Rex, but I was too scared of being wrong to say it, so I didn't say anything. He was disappointed. He asked the class if anyone else knew, no one else did. He called the class illiterate. It was a sad day for me. I vowed that next time one of useless pieces of knowledge had their moment, I would be ready! There have only been a small handful of these moments in my life so far. This was one of them. I had those exact pictures decorating the locker I shared with Rissy senior year. This was it! That moment where I can show off my knowledge and WIN! Alas, I did not. I had forgotten which picture matches which god. I did not rock that game. Another moment lost. Sad. We did get eighteen out of twenty though, so not bad.

Then came Pyramid, where I had to get Drek to say the words on the cards I held in my hand as fast as possible. We also rocked that game. We finished first.

The last three games were grouped as one giant game. To win the giant game you had to score the most points in the three little game. Drek and I had the most points so we won two free ice creams!

The last activity was to paint your on hieroglyphics. This was Drek's. Any guesses on what it says?
They also had pita bread and olives and grapes for authentic snacks. For dessert they had Hershey's caramel kisses and Toblerones. I imagine they chose those because they were shaped like pyramids.

Afterwards Drek and I went and got our ice cream. We had a wonderful night! Happy Birthday, Drek! And Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Oh, and Drek's hieroglyphics read "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"


Sunday, December 06, 2009

This Isn't a Veterinary Hospital. Zing!

I went to visit the hospital on Wednesday. I picked my one-year-old niece. It was then I learned the hospital had changed their "No children under fourteen allowed" rule. When I went back to the hospital that same say, I took my baby. They let her in, but put a sticker on the sling to "make sure you leave with the same baby you came in with." Do people really think you can upgrade babies? Huh.

Anyway. On Thursday I go back to the hospital. I have my baby in a ring sling in one arm and my niece in the other arm. I am in a great mood. I love my baby, I love my niece. Having them both means nothing can ruin my good mood. I carry them across the parking lot and into the building. I walk across the lobby and enter the elevator. In the elevator is a women with an ID badge. If I was observant, I would be able to tell you her name and what department she works for. Alas, I am not. The only thing that I observed was that she works for the hospital.

She looks at me out of the corner of her eye.
"What floor?" She asks. I pause, The buttons have already been pushed, we are already moving and I am closer to the buttons anyway.
"Um, four." I say, not sure why she is asking. She runs her tongue over her front teeth under tight lips and shakes her head.
"Nope." She says. Again, I pause. Am I supposed to argue with her? She continues; "They won't let you on that floor with those." The "those" She is referring to are the two children I am carrying. I know she is referring to the "No children under fourteen allowed" rule, which I know has been repealed. I also know I brought both children to the fourth floor the day before with no problems. I think about explaining all this to her, but all I say is;
"Yes they will." I smile. I am happy, and it seems pointless to argue with her. We ride in silence. The doors open. I get off the elevator and walk to the phone where you have to call the desk and give the code to be allowed through the doors onto the floor.
"I'll ask." She says. She walks around me as I juggle holding two children and a phone. She swipes her badge, the doors open and she walks in. Meanwhile, I am waiting for the nurse to answer the phone. I have one knee raised to support my niece and am balancing on one foot. She finally answers, I give the code and go through the doors. I walk two feet to the desk where I am supposed to get the stickers. The nurse is talking to the lady from the elevator.
"Yeah, It's allowed now. I don't think it's a good idea, but, whatever." She turns to me. I smile. She glares at the two children I am carrying. "I don't think it's a good idea." She repeats. I nod.
"I need stickers." I say. She gives them to me.

I found it amusing.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

And Many More...

This week is my wonderful husband's birthweek. Yes, he gets a whole week, not just a day. He is that wonderful. It also might be partly due to the fact that I am lazy. I made his birthday breakfast (Cherry cream french toast) today instead of yesterday and will make his cake tomorrow. Hooray for birthday week!

My husband is so great. I'm so thankful for everything he does. Yesterday I was especially thankful he was so supportive of my homebirth. My sister-in-law had her baby yesterday and I went to visit her and my new nephew in the hospital. All I can say is, Wow. Hospital births are not for me or my babies. Thank goodness Ash never had to go through that. Wow.

My nephew was born on Drek's birthday. Happy Birthday; you have a nephew! You have four nieces (soon to be seven) and now you have two nephews! He is five pounds something. He is so small. I thought Ash was small, but when I changed his diaper today, he was so light it was like I wasn't holding him. He is adorable! And perfectly healthy, BTW.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Acouchi!!

Here is some Birthday Tuna for you.



And I shall blog about Acouchi's continuing saga;

She had her RIT treatment and her thyroid levels came down, way down. When we took her in for her next scheduled RIT treatment, it had gone down even further, so her doctor wanted to wait to see if they would go down even more. In October I received several phone calls saying we had waited long enough and needed to schedule Acouchi for another treatment. I was hesitant (since now I was not concerned with me and a fetus, I was concerned with a little darling baby) and decided to wait a bit. In November we scheduled her blood test, the same day as Ash's last visit with the midwife.

I'm really not sure how people with two children handle life. I cannot handle an infant and a cat. I put Ash in her car seat and Acouchi in her carrier and drove to the vet. Now the problem was getting them out of the car. I couldn't carry both at the same time (I suppose I could have used a sling, but I didn't think about it) so I carried Acouchi in first, leaving Ash in her carseat in the car. I prayed the whole ten seconds that Ash wouldn't get stolen. Then I left Acouchi on the bench at the vet and ran back to get Ash, praying the whole time that Acouchi wouldn't get stolen. Neither did, BTW.

I signed Acouchi in and asked if I could leave her there for thirty minutes. The girl was confused, saying I could just wait in the waiting room; it only took a few minutes to do draw blood, but I had to get to a well-baby visit and didn't want Acouchi in the car during the visit with the midwife. So I left Acouchi at the vet and drove Ash to her appointment. Everything went great and I went back to the vet (the buildings are only a few blocks away from each other. Also, the hospital I would have given birth at had I not been able to have a home birth is across the street from the vet. Weird.) I left Ash in the car, thinking I would rush in, grab Acouchi and leave, but once I got inside Acouchi was no where to be seen. It took two minutes for a receptionist to come out to the front desk and another two minutes for her to leave to go get my cat. After another two minutes she came out with Acouchi. I grabbed her and ran. Ash slept through the whole thing.

Anyway, we had Acouchi scheduled for RIT the following Monday. On Monday her doctor called and said Acouchi's levels had continued to drop! She is now at seven, down from thirty-six! So, we wait. We'll do it again in January, hopefully her levels will be down to zero, which is where they are supposed to be.

She is our miracle. She looks healthy, has gained weight back to were a cat her size should be and doesn't have any symptoms. Her kidneys are still healthy and she has a regular heartbeat (Hyperthyroidism usually ruins the kidneys and can cause arrhythmia). We are very blessed.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We'll All Sing Out Iiiiiit's Christmas Time! Hee Hee Hee Hee

November is almost over! I'm done with NaNoWrimo (though, my novel is only halfway complete; ninety pages and counting!) So I can post on my blog again. Here's the developments in November:

I have the best husband ever. I love him so much.

I love my baby. She is the most beautiful, most precious thing ever.

Anxiety. Lots of Anxiety in November. I'm not sure if this is because I am now a mom, or if it's because I know I'm in for a another dreaded winter, but I am almost always on the brink of a panic attack.

I finished knitting another baby blanket! This one was my best one yet! I gave to my soon-to-be niece, who is due in January.

Thanksgiving was great. The day after Thanksgiving was also great.

My celebration of Black Friday was thus; Sleep in, drive to parent's house. Use parent's computer to buy Black Friday item online. Done.
I've had my eye on this device that sterilizes water using light. It;s called a Steri-pen and with all the accessories it's around $140. It was on sale for $79 online as well as in the store. I had $50 in gift cards so it cost me $35. I still had to pay tax, but I thought it was an excellent Black Friday purchase.

I am almost done Christmas shopping! In fact, I think I will be all done by the fifth, and have everything wrapped by the sixth!

I am so excited for Christmas this year!




Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bwhahahahaha!

You Won!

You did it, writer.

Pitted against a merciless deadline and battling hordes of distractions—including the most tempting fall TV season that's been unleashed upon novelists in decades—you kept at it.

Now you've arrived at a place that very few NaNoWriMo participants ever see: The winner's circle. Overhead, the November sky is bursting with fireworks celebrating your victory, and the entire NaNoWriMo staff joins me in applauding your creative achievement.

You did something amazing this month, novelist. We couldn't be prouder.

Aw, how sweet. Thanks, Chris Batey. You brought a tear to me eye.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sometimes Fear Is the Appopriate Response

Happy Halloween!


For Halloween our little family went to visit Drek's sister and Brother-in-law. We had so much fun! We played a lot of games, ate very yummy food (I love her cooking, it is amazing!) carved pumpkins, made root-beer, met some family I had never met before, made a Halloween costume for my Brother-in-law and played a lot with dry ice.




I made our costumes this year. It was quite the adventure. Before you look at the pictures, make sure you have either seen the movie 9, or at least watched the trailer.


Did you watch the trailer? Are you sure?


ok! Here are the pictures!




No time to post in November; Be back in December.

Enjoy National Novel Writing Month.

Friday, October 30, 2009

That Cake Could Feed Fifty. You Guys Don't Even Eat.

Allow me to start out this post with a picture;
Yeah.

" I Crev Edward with Cold Mint" and "I Crev Jacob with Warm Raspberry."

I had no idea you could base candy on characters from novels. Well, now that I think about it, there is Wonka, but still.

So here is a random childhood memory;

When I was in first or second grade I had missed a day of school because I was sick. My sister brought me my homework assignment, which was a sheet of paper instructing me to make-up a candy bar and write a page describing it. What a delightful assignment for children!! Who knows more about candy than kids?!

Anyway, I still remember it vividly, I decided I wanted a sort of KitKat, with chocolate on the outside covering a wafer, which had fudge and mint sandwiched inside. I still think that would be delicious...

At school the next day I turned my paper in, and the day after the teacher announced that we had all failed, because all of us had written about a candy bar we invented and the assignment was to write about what the candy bar would DO. Apparently the candy bar was supposed to give us a super-power and we were supposed to write about what super-power the candy bar would give us, not what the candy bar was made out of.

Yeah, if we all failed, I think that might have been because the paper didn't say anything about super-powers, and that's the teacher's fault.

Seeing the Twilight candy bars reminded me of my imaginary candy bar. That teacher could have told us to invent a candy bar based a character from a novel...that would be interesting.

The Kurt Vonnegut Bar; a German-Chocolate candy bar with green alien goo (mint? Maybe colored strawberry filling)on the inside and a bombing of strawberry pieces on the outside that comes in packs of millions so you can eat one whenever you want to and there is always another one and it's like you never ate the one before. So it goes.

Or maybe these Twilight bars' ingredients aren't based on the characters, but the super-powers you get if the you eat it are based on the novel. I wonder if the Edward bar gives you the super-power of a vampire and the Jacob bar gives you the super-power of a werewolf. Only one way to find out! Yummy!

Edit; Edward tastes better. Eward still wins.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Manflesh

For FHE last night we learned about temples. Naturally, the activity was pumpkin painting. Here are our awesome designs!

Drek also made chocolate chip cookies. They were so good!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cheating is Often More Efficient

My goal is efficiency. In some aspects I completely lack in this regard, but in other aspects I am highly officiant. I am slightly obsessive with efficiency in these aspects.

I consider my grocery shopping skills to be highly efficient. So much so, that it bothers me if something spontaneous pops up to interrupt my well laid plans. Allow me to give you an example;

On Saturday I did my grocery shopping. I went to one store and then needed two items from the other store; Cottage cheese for our dinner on Wednesday (I plan all meals two weeks ahead and buy the items for them one week ahead), and coconut milk, which was on sale (For ten cents less then the other store's sale price. Also, coconut milk is rarely on sale so I needed to buy five cans to stock up for future meals). Drek dropped me off at the door and waited outside with the baby. I estimated the trip would take five to seven minutes, depending on the check-out line. I went and knew exactly where to go, since I had planned out my route using a detailed floor plan. When I walked in I saw a sign that said they needed toilet paper at the food bank. I quickly calculated this fact in my head; I should buy toilet paper. I should drop it in the donation bin on my way out. But! My plan! My efficiency! That's an impulse buy! I didn't research toilet paper! I don't know which store has the best price! Could I get it cheaper online? I don't have it on my list! I didn't figure the cost into my calculations! Does the food bank want small packs or economy packs? I can't buy it until I am sure! And then reason kicks in and I realize I am insane. It's toilet paper. Relax.

Ok, I will buy it, now I need to adjust my route. It fits so nicely into the floor plan! I can grab it last, on my way back from the cottage cheese, which puts me on the far side of the check-out lines, which is best because then I can walk toward the exit while looking for a short line. I execute my plan, congratulating myself on how adaptable I am while still being efficient. I have my items in less than two minutes. I spot a short check-out line. While I qualify for the "10 items or less" line (Which should read; "10 items or fewer" BTW), I decide that that the two people waiting in that line, will take more time that the one person in this line who is almost done. I line up my items on the conveyor belt; re-usable bag first (so the clerk will see it first and not ask me if I want paper or plastic, an inefficient question) then caned goods (to put at the bottom of the bag) then the cottage cheese and last, the toilet paper. I will have to grab it before they can bag it so I just drop it in the bin on my way out.

I should point out that the most effective way to get people through a line is to set it up as one single line that moves through the next available clerk, like the Post Office or the DMV, except you actually have to have the clerks working. I despise the way grocery store check-out lines are set up; as a guessing game instead of the most efficient way to move people through the process. But I digress.

The customers in front of me in line are a middle-aged couple. By the time my items are loaded on the conveyor belt, theirs are all scanned. They are arguing with the clerk about the price of BBQ sauce. Apparently it was on sale, but the clerk won't give them the sale price because they grabbed the wrong size. After some debate, the husband goes back to return the wrong size and grab the correct on-sale size. I sigh. This is not efficient.

The couple's food is still being bagged (plastic). Their cart is already bursting, that must be why they have two. I wonder why they would need that much food for the week. Then again, maybe it's not just for the week. I ponder this for a few minutes.

A college girl gets in line behind me. She unloads her basket. The man comes back. He asks the clerk what isle the BBQ sauce is on. She tells him and he leaves again. Sigh.

The girl behind me has finished unloading her groceries. The couple's groceries have been bagged. The clerk and the women are discussing why they gabbed the wrong size.

The man comes back! He hands the clerk the bottle. She scans it and gives the couple their total. The women pauses and then says "Oh!" and hands the clerk an envelope stuffed full of coupons. Really. There there were fourteen coupons inside. I counted. I had plenty of time to count because the clerk had to take them out one by one, find the item the coupon was for, and then type the code in by hand.

She finally finishes and tells the couple their new total. The women takes out her purse and starts looking for her wallet (She couldn't have had her card ready? You know, you can swipe your card as soon as they start scanning your items, that way when they finish you just sign your name and you're done with no time wasted). She finds her wallet, opens it up and pulls out cash. Cash. Who pays for $300 worth of groceries in cash? And not in big bills, in 10's, 5's, and 1's. She painstakingly counts out the correct amount and hands it to the clerk, who now has to count it. She then has to sort it into the register and count change. She hands the change to the women, who now has to count the change. Shoot me.

And then the clerk hands the women her turkey vouchers. She counts them and then argues that she earned more than what the clerk gave her. At this point, my eyes have popped out of my head. My internal alarm is blaring "Inefficient!" so loud I'm surprised it's not setting off the car alarms in the parking lot. I know I have a knack for picking lines that take the longest, but this is ridiculous. The women finally convinces the clerk of her error and the clerk writes up more turkey vouchers while saying things like "how silly of me." and "I'm so glad you caught that."

Finally, finally, they are done and the couple leaves. I take my place in front of the clerk with my credit card in hand, waiting for the first item to be scanned. She does not scan it. She smiles at me, says "I'm so hot! I need to take of my jacket!" And then proceeds to take off her jacket.

That was it. I was about scream, or at least gape in horror that this clerk still has a job, but the college girl behind me, who has been waiting just as long as I have, land is still waiting, laughs. She laughs a polite laugh, like the clerk's comment was meant to be funny. It stops me dead in my tracks. If that girl can laugh and be polite, so can I. I smile back at the clerk, ask her about her day while she is checking out my groceries, and then wish her well when I leave.

I drop the toilet paper in the donation bin on my way out of the store, load the groceries into my trunk and jump into the car. Fifteen minutes. Huh, it seemed a lot longer than that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time is an Illusion, Lunchtime: Doubly So.

This always happens. Every year September and August drag by as if they are not months, but three month pretending to be one month. I can finish anything in August an September because they never end. Then, finally, it's October 1st. Hooray! Time for all my projects to start! And then, the next day, WHAM! October is over let's move on. How does this happen? My Halloween costumes aren't even close to being finished, but October sure is.

On Saturday we had a Halloween board game night. We played Clue (my favorite!) and Pirates Dice, but the best game was one we had rented. It's called Shadow Hunters and not only was it the perfect Halloween game, but it was super-fun.

One of our guests, Noble, started asked me if I was doing NaNoWriMo this year. We started talking about it but I thought that it was odd that she was asking me about it so far in advance. And then it hit me. HOLY CRAP NaNoWriMo STARTS IN THREE WEEKS!!!! I was thinking I still had months. But I will not get flustered! I will not worry! I will do NaNoWriMo in November and I will FINISH! This year will be the year I complete my novel!

Noble is actually my hero in this aspect. Last year not only did she do NaNoWriMo, she finished it. Not only did she finish it, she finished her novel. Not only did she finish her novel, but as her prize her novel was put into paper-back book form. She is amazing.

I will do that this year! I will be amazing this year and write my required word count every day! I will finish my novel in November, edit it in December/January, and have it published in February, and be on the best sellers list in April. Seriously, you just watch. I just have to finish my Halloween costumes first...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It took five phone calls over two weeks (could someone from the ward just return a call?) but the baby blessing has finally been scheduled for November 22. It is the same day as the primary program. How nice.

Why am I posting this at 5am? Because for the last three nights my baby has decided that 3am-6am is playtime! Yay!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Save It For a Rainy Day

Last year for Christmas, Drek and I asked our families for food storage. We received a very generous amount and I estimated that we had about two years of food storage. Apparently that is not true.

According to the Emergency Essentials Online Food Storage Analyzer, we only have about 228.98 days. Ouch. This might be partly due to the fact that this analyser doesn't have Costco food storage options and partly due to the fact that I added a baby to this equation, and it has the baby eating 1000 calories of the food storage per day, but I think it's fairly accurate. I guess I really need to amp up my food storage. The thing I really like about the analyzer is that it tells me where I need to improve my food storage. For instance, I need way more food with vitamin C and Calcium, but am doing surprisingly well on foods containing iron. How handy. Even more handy is that I can add food storage I want to buy, and it will tell me if that is enough Calcium or if I am still lacking. The program makes food storage less of a "buckets of wheat stashed in the garage" thing and more of a "we will actually eat this stuff to let's make sure it's real food" thing.

Of course, this analyzer has no options for Acouchi, so I have no idea how much cat food I need to buy, but she is such a good hunter that I'm sure she'll survive if we run out of food for her. Besides, I already have her 72 hour kit all packed. That plus a few extra bags of cat food and tuna cans should be enough, don't you think?

Anyway, this is me encouraging the world to be prepared. Check out this analyzer and get stocked. It might save your life, it might not. But if you post a review of the Food Storage Analyzer on your blog you'll get $10 towards stocking up.

Gift Card Giveaway

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Can You Sleep At a Time Like This?

Did you know that the most a newborn can sleep straight through is five hours? If you have a newborn that sleeps a straight five hours at night, you have a newborn that "sleeps through the night."

Ash slept through the night starting the day she was born. I, however, did not know that was the best I could hope for and tried to get her to sleep eight hours. It did not work. Finally I read a few books on the subject and found out I was extremely lucky. It was that night Ash stopped sleeping five hours at a time and switched to sleeping seventy minutes at a time. She was two weeks old.

Now, two weeks later, I am so very tired. She wakes up and wants to be fed, but she won't nurse laying down, or even semi-reclined. I have to sit up, arrange pillows, turn on a light and then feed her. She will nurse anywhere from ten minutes to an hour before falling asleep. I then have to lay her down and then lay down myself. Sometimes she will stay asleep, sometimes she will wait until I am laying down before waking up and crying. That is her favorite trick.

The worst was Thursday night, when she wouldn't let me sleep at all. I was up all night and on Friday I had a fever. It was a horrible day full of trying to sleep but not being able to and feeling like I had the flu and being very frustrated. Finally she stayed asleep when I put her down. I laid down and slept for fifteen minutes before she woke up. Drek stepped in to save me. He took her out of the room to entertain her so I could sleep. Usually when he does this he'll have her for thirty minutes max before she is hungry Drek has to wake me up. This time, I woke up three hours later.

I was shocked when I looked at the clock. It turns out Drek had put her in the car and driven around listening to classical music. She fell asleep and was still asleep when I woke up. He is so amazing.

We went to bed early that night and I was able to snatch little bits of sleep. My fever broke my Saturday morning and I was generally feeling better, but not so much better that I was able to handle Sunday morning.

On Sunday we had a voice message from the ward clerk, asking me to come into church twenty minutes early.

Um...no. I will not come in early, or on time, or late for that matter. I have a three week old baby. Why would you think I would bring that baby to church, especially in a stake where Swine Flu has been reported? She wants to eat when she is awake, which, like I said, at least every seventy minutes. Usually its all day every day. If this is exhausting at home, where I don't have to wear a shirt, I can't imagine how much of a nightmare it would be when I have to wear nice clothes and stay covered up. Yeah...I'll see you in January if you are lucky.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

If the Knitter is Weary the Baby Will Have No New Bonnet

During my third trimester I decided to knit a baby blanket for my baby. I didn't know if the baby was a boy or a girl so I got enough yarn for two blankets; one for a boy and one for girl. I made the boy one first. I finished the first week in September and got started right away on the girl blanket. I just finished it! I think I'm getting the hang of this knitting thing!


Sunday, October 04, 2009

What Do Ye Say to Three Shillings, and We Forget the Name?

This is the very first year I've been able to put up Halloween decorations. What do ye think?



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Family Moment

Last night was a perfect moment. I was on one side of the beanbag, holding my little baby daughter in my arms. Drek was on the other side, mostly in the same position, holding Acouchi in his arms.

Aw, I love my family.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Never Lupus

A few days after I found out I was pregnant, I found out my dad had cancer. It was hard time, made harder by the fact that I couldn't tell anyone I was pregnant (except Drek, of course). I was so tired and so nauseous but my dad was even more tired, and even more nauseous.

My dad is better now. He still has cancer, but it is the uncurable kind that works very, very slowly, so the doctors are not concerned. They were concered about the other cancer he had, which was fast-acting and also curable. The chemo was for that cancer. The chemo appears to have worked. He will have to go get tested every three months to make sure it stays that way, but for right now everything looks good. I am no longer tired and nauseous, and neither is my dad.

So, crisis; Over! New crisis; Begin!

I called my mother to tell her we had finally named the baby (it only took four days. I thought it would take a year, we are so quick with this naming thing!). She told me she had been having terrible leg pain for the last two weeks. We talked about it and I came to the conclusion she had; blood clot. So that same day she went into the hospital and yes, she has a blood clot in her leg. Oh! And in her lungs, although that one took another day and another hospital trip to find.

It's ok, she is on medication and will be for the next six months (this sounds familiar) with frequent monitoring, but the doctors are hopeful (very familiar).

Now my legs hurt. This is not new, they hurt all through my pregnancy, but now they REALLY hurt. It's like they are atrophying. I need to go running again!

I wonder if it's coincidence, or if the baby and my parents are somehow linked in a bizarre way. If so, I'm scared to see what happens when she turns sixteen and gets her driver's licence.

Monday, September 21, 2009

You’re Not Going to Eat Any Pork? Yes. Bacon? Yes. Ham? Dad All Those Meats Come From the Same Animal. Right Lisa, Some Wonderful, Magical Animal.

It is my opinion that the average person living in my state and probably mt country does not know what an ovo lacto vegetarian is, let alone what they eat. In fact, when I first decided to go veg, I was thrust into a world of despair and desperation; "I can't eat ANYTHING! I'll starve! EVERYTHING has meat in it! I can't just live on salads and apple juice!" But then, as I calmed down, I began to see that the possible food choices are endless and since then have enjoyed hundreds of dinners that are vegetarian specific, and hundreds more that just didn't get the meat added to them.

I blame the initial mind block on that catchy piece of music "Hoe-Down" from Aaron Copland's "Rodeo". Better known as the music in the "Beef; It's What's For Dinner" commercial. That, and the fact that I remember when the meat industry funded government health ads. You remember it too; that was when there were only four food groups (Fruits&Vegetables, Meat, Dairy, and Grain), not a whole pyramid, and you needed equal amounts of all four to be healthy. Let's face it, most people think that "meat" means main dish. if there is no meat, you don't have a dinner, you have appetizers.

In Doctrine and Covenants it says;
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
(Doctrine and Covenants 89:12 and 13)

And yet, I would still say that the average Mormon has the same mentality as above. You would think that if we "eat meat sparingly" it would mean "not for EVERY dinner," but I dare you to find an average Mormon who can come up with a dinner that does not involve meat. The above scripture is usually skipped over, it's just not a big deal. I think we can all agree that there are more important aspects to focus on, like service and family and not killing people.

What is the point of all this? The point is this;
A few days ago, before I had my baby, my visiting teacher (I have a visiting teacher!) called and said she would arrange to have meals brought to our home after the baby was born. She talked excitedly about how nice it was to have a parade of dinners brought in night after night for the first few weeks of her child's life, and then I told her that I was vegetarian. I felt bad, telling her, I hate making it an issue and I hate that she wants to do something nice but I am making it difficult, but I felt it was a fact she needed to know. I pointed out that Drek is not vegetarian, and that my main concern was feeding him. She listened to this and then answered "Well, we can a few snacks brought over, at least."

Sigh. I know, I'm difficult.

But she did better than that. The first night she came by with dinner. Dinner was...any guesses? Meatloaf. No, I am not kidding. She brought meatloaf. I find this hilarious, and actually, logical. When someone says something as a fact, you automatically think of things to prove that fact wrong. You think up opposites. She asked herself what vegetarians eat and her answer was "not meat". When she tried to think of a vegetarian dinner, all she could think of was what she couldn't make, and the ultimate opposite of a vegetarian meal is meatloaf. So she brought over an entire meatloaf. Drek was delighted.

She also brought a bowl of zucchini soup for me, as well as rolls and fruit. The fruit was inspired. I devoured that fruit. It was the only thing I wanted the day after the birth.

The next night the compassionate service leader brought dinner. She brought chicken. An entire chicken breast. The meal was a vegetable medley, and the chicken was supposed to go in the medley, but since I was vegetarian, she wrapped up the chicken separately. Again, this makes sense if you think about it logically; What do vegetarians eat? Vegetables. I know a dish with a lot of vegetables! I'll just hold the meat. She also brought over cake with fresh peaches. It was delicious. Frek and I ate the cake first and then ate the dinner. He didn't bother to add the chicken to his medley, he just ate the chicken. I ate the medley, and you know what? It was AMAZING! So delicious and filling it is now on my list of favorite vegetarian dinners (I'll ignore the chicken entirely). I just need the recipe.

The last of the dinners (I guess they could only find three volunteers to feed the difficult vegetarian) was brought over by by my other visiting teacher (I have two visiting teachers!) She came to the door, handed Drek two boxes and said "I don't know what vegetarians eat, so I let Stoufer's do the work." She had brought two personal-sized microwave dinners, one meat lasagna, and one vegetable lasagna. Despite her lack of cooking, I was impressed. Not only did she actually bring a true vegetarian dinner, but it is one of my favorites, and one that I don't buy very often, since it is so expensive. I was touched that she would spend so much money on me.

So, what do vegetarians eat? Well, Krisling made me Curry. All Indian food (food from India) is a great place for vegi ideas, since most Indians are vegetarians and only add meat to their dishes to get Americans to buy them. I also love Mexican food (most authentic Mexican food doesn't have meat, since meat is so expensive and considered a luxury) and just substitute Taco TVP instead of ground beef. Most Thai food uses tofu instead of meat (I love tofu!). I can eat most pastas; Italian food is great for vegetarians. In fact, my sister brought me Basil Pesto Pasta. That was delicious. I frequently eat Chinese food, and seafood. So what can't I eat? Well, American food. Go figure.

One day, I will live in a world where I am considered "normal" and not "difficult". One day. . .


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Born at 2:09am in the Year 2009

We have a baby. The baby is perfect. Drek is perfect. Life is wonderful.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sparks are Igniting. Flames are Spreading. And the Capitol Wants Revenge.

A while back, I read a wonderful book called "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. I very much enjoyed the book and looked forward to reading the sequel: "Catching Fire" which wouldn't be released until September. I put it on hold at my local library and was surprised to find out that I was 153rd in line to read this book. Keep in mind this was MONTHS before the book was even released.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got an email from my local library on Friday telling me that "Catching Fire" was on hold for me. That was super fast. Either 153 people are super fast readers, or they ordered a lot of copies of this book. I'll go with the latter, since the library system is set up for my county which has about fifteen different libraries.

On Monday I went in to the Library to get this much coveted book. I found it on the hold shelves and was excited to see that it was in pristine condition. It looks like I am the very first person to read this copy. Glee!!

I took the book to the self-checkout and searched through my purse to find my library card. I searched, and searched, and searched. No card. Panic! I can't borrow someone else's card, this book is on hold for ME, no one else's card will work! I can't tell them I forgot my card, they don't let you forget your card at this library! What will I do? I HAVE to have this book today or it goes to the next person in line! If I have to wait for this book again I will be waiting for months! I let the next person in line go ahead of me and dump out my purse. My card is just not in my purse. I have no idea where my card could possibly be.

And then I had an idea. The self-checkout system asks for either your card, or your card number. Obviously, I have not memorized my library card number (I mean, come on. It took me almost a year of being married to Drek to memorize his cell phone number) and I do not have it written down anywhere, but...

I called Drek. I asked him to get on my laptop and go to the Library's website. I use the Library's website all the time to search for books and to place books on hold, so I think my library card number is saved on the log-in screen. It is!! Drek gives me the number over the phone and I am successfully logged in to the self check-out system! Huzzah!

I place the book on the scanner. The system hesitates. There is no magical bell-ringing-check-out-successful sound. Instead it tells me there is a security hold on my book. I try again. Same thing. I remove the book from the scanner, wait, and put it back on. Same thing. I try again, same thing. It seems the Library does not want this book to leave their shelves. I frown. I press a few buttons on the screen, place the book back on the scanner and hold my breath. Success! That magical bell-ringing-check-out-successful sound dings and the title goes green.

I walk out of the Library with my book. Bwhahahaha!! Now to devour the pages...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today Drek and I were released from our calling as Primary Teachers. We gave our last lesson today. They wanted to give us some time off so we can take care of our baby once it decides to be born.

Our last lesson went great, Primary was great...It was a good note to end on. To make it even better, at the start of Sacrament Meeting a women came up to me and asked when I was due, how I was feeling etc. She asked me who my visiting teachers were. I told her I wasn't aware I had any. She nodded and asked who my home teachers were. I told her I wasn't aware I had any. She looked concerned. She asked how long I had lived in the ward. I told her we had moved in March 1st.

"And you've never had home or visiting teachers?" I shook my head. She told me to call her when I had my baby and she would see I was taken care of. It made me so happy. This whole time I've been feeling really hurt, but she made it all better.

And, in fact, after Sacrament meeting the Relief Society president came up to me and said I had new visiting teachers. After Primary my new visiting teacher came up to me and introduced herself. Wow. Talk about getting it down to the wire, but I am so grateful our ward is finally offering to help us out.

Friday, September 11, 2009

If You Don't Like Them We Can Take Them Back. All Right, I Don't Like Them. You'll Get Used to Them.

My big project was to take an old dining room set (one table with two leaves, eight chairs and one china cabinet) and make it look awesome. I have never worked with wood before. I will never work with wood again.

The table turned out good despite me. I was surprised at how good it looks. The cabinet, well, could be better, but it looks fine. The chairs...What a disaster. I will post pictures and details when I am actually finished, but right now I am three days into the disaster and see no hope of being done anytime soon. Anyway, here is my new dining room:


After I got everything moved I rearranged every cupboard in my kitchen. I also rearranged all the pictures on the first level since the cabinet took the place of a picture I have to have hanging up all the time. I took in this whole project to clean out the garage, which is now (almost) clean and has Jasmine sleeping soundly, happily, and safely inside.

To recap; in the last two weeks I have rearranged the garage, the kitchen, the dining room, the bedroom, Drek's office, the laundry room, the linen closet, my closet (four times) the spare room (three times) and the master bedroom (twice). The only rooms I have not completely reorganized are the bathrooms and the living room.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I'm The Money. Every Penny Of It.

I went into the credit union closest to our house. I needed to open up an account for my now profitable business. I did not use he bank I am currently with, because it is in another town. I wanted something local. I went in, sat down, waited for the "new accounts" guy, talked to him, filled out paperwork, answered questions, showed ID, blah blah blah.

The guy asked for a beneficiary. I, of course, told him my husband, Drek. I then gave him Drek's information. He did a little more fiddling on the computer and then said; "You know you already have an account here?" I give him a blank look.

"I'm pretty sure I don't have an account here."

"Drek has an account here; he put you on it."

I am puzzled. "Here? Drek has an account here?"

Now he is puzzled. "Yes, and you are on it. It is a joint account." I am searching through my brain trying to figure out what this guy is talking about. Drek has a secret bank account? Why wouldn't he have told me? Do I know about this? Am I supposed to know about this? Why would he have another account?

The banker guy is intimidated by my blank stare. "Well, let me make sure..."

He types a little. "K la. Right?"

"Yes. He better not have anyone else on his secret account." He reads the address. It is my old address. I confirm it. He looks at the screen nervously. He pauses, and looks back at me.

"Did you not know he had an account here?"

"No, I did not. How much is in it?

"Around $*,***" I must looked shocked. He glances back at his computer. "Yeah. K La and Drek Lastname."

And then it clicks.

"Oh. Drek Lastname is not my husband. Drek Lastname is my old boyfriend (I know, I know. What can I say? I have a thing for the name). He did have an account here, he put me on it before he went on his mission. I got married before he got back."

The poor banker guy. He now realizes he has made a huge mistake. He tries to figure out if I am a vengeful ex. He tries to back peddle, realizing he should not have told me the amount in the account.

I am highly amused.

I ask him if I can take myself off the account. He looks relieved. He informs me I cannot, the main person on the account has to. I thank him, finish setting up MY account and leave.

And yes, I did email my old boyfriend. Not that it bothers me that my name is on the account, but I think he should know.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

E-I-E-I-O

On Monday we took a trip to the petting farm! It was the perfect time to go, there was only one other family (that we saw) there, and all the animals had babies! All the animals were also super-friendly. Most would come right up to the fence to be petted!













This last guy is an alpaca. He cracked me up.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I'm so excited! Today I taught an infant massage class and my business in now, officially, "in the black!"

The best part was that Drek came to the class. He did such a great job massaging our niece!

Squee!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Give a Man a Fire and You'll Keep Him Warm For A Day. Set A Man on Fire and You'll Keep Him Warm For The Rest Of His LIfe

Rissy gave her farewell talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday. She talked on service and did a fantastic job. At the end she bore her testimony in Japanese. Everyone was quite impressed.

Afterwards we went to a party at her house. We had the most delicious curry and chutney. I need to figure out how to make chutney.

Anyway, she leaves on September 9th. She will be a fantastic missionary.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do without her.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Didn't Your Mother Ever Tell You Not To Play With Your Food?

Today I was sitting on my bed, singing songs and making exaggerated facial expressions (nine-month-olds are so much fun!!) when Drek comes upstairs and says "There is a mouse in the downstairs bathroom. It ran under the cupboard."

What?! Like a real mouse? Like a live mouse? Like a real live mouse? In our house? It took me a while to understand. Finally, Drek got it through my head that he saw a mouse in our downstairs bathroom and when the mouse saw Drek, it ran under the cupboard and got away.

Now this is a conundrum. I don't want to use a mousetrap; it might work and we don't want that! Should we call the landlord? We can't just let the mouse stay, can we? Maybe we could cohabit in peace?

Acouchi had a better idea. All those weeks of grasshopper-hunting were just getting her warmed up! This is the cupboard the mouse was hiding under:
Acouchi spent all afternoon guarding it:

In a flash of movement Acouchi has the mouse in her mouth! The game begins!
Acouchi is a fantastic mouser. She cornered the mouse and Drek was able to grab the mouse by its tail and we put it outside. Great job, Acouchi! You deserve a nap:

video