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;

" 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


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. 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?