Sunday, October 31, 2010

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year again. The famed NaNoWriMo is once again upon us. I'm going for it again this year, although since my baby no longer sleeps all day, I'm not holding my breathe that I'll win this year.

This will be my last post until either I do (miraculously) win, or until December first.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Halloween Tale

Once upon a time there was a Robot Technician named Dr. Pygmalion.

He worked hard every day building robots.

He worked so hard, he never had time for anything else. This made Dr. Pygmalion very lonely.

One day, Dr. Pygmalion had an idea! He would build new robots and program them to be his family! Then he wouldn't be lonely anymore!

Dr. Pygmalion went to work right away.

He worked hard until he had all the pieces ready to assemble. He created Robot Wife-a through Wife-h, none of them worked!

Finally, he made an Wife-i

She was perfect!

So he brought her to life!

She moved, She cooked, She cleaned, she told jokes, she could throw a frisbee and liked to play board games.

Dr. Pygmalion and Wife-i fell in love

Soon, Dr. Pygmalion started on his next creation.

He assembled all the pieces...

And finally created Tot Bot!

At last Dr. Pygmalion had a perfect robot family. And they lived happily ever after.

The end.

The Tot Bot costume is made with an iphone showing this website:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Darling, I love You More Than Life Itself

Today my husband and I have been married for three years, three months, three weeks and three days. I have loved every second of that time. My husband is the best husband ever and I love being married to him.

When I spent a day at Disneyland, Drek took the day of work to take care of Ash. I kind of expected to come home to find the house a mess, Ash running around naked and maybe even porch on fire or something. On the contrary, the house was all cleaned and vacumed, dinner was all made (and delicious) and Ash was not only well cared for, but I think she would much rather spend a day with her daddy than with me. Drek even took her to the park. He is such an amazing dad.

That is my amazing husband. I'm looking forward to the next three decades, three years, three months, three weeks and three days together.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let Me Explain; No, There Is Too Much. Let Me Summarize

Sunday I went to pick up Krisling. There was doom. We partied on Monday. Tuesday we woke up very, very early in the morning. So early, it was still very dark outside. Okay, now that you're all caught up, lets move to the story:

I got dressed in the dark. Drek was sleeping (or trying to sleep) on the bed. I walked out of the bathroom, came around the corner and WHAM!!!!! Ran into a wall. Apparently I cut the corner a little too sharp. It's okay though: my forehead took all the force. How much force? Well, the walls shook, it echoed through the house, and Drek shot out of bed, thinking a bomb had just exploded. Yeah. I had a good sized goose egg all day. Krisling said I looked like a Klingon.

But, we got ready, jumped in the car, and drove a long way to pick up Ali. Then we drove even farther to DISNEYLAND!!!
If you'll remember, at the beginning of the year, Disney did their "Give a Day, Get a Day" thing, which Krisling and I signed up for and completed. We volunteered at the Aquarium, and in return, got free tickets to Disneyland! So today was the day we redeemed those tickets. Hooray!

Here is a tip: If you don't like waiting in long lines, you should go to Disneyland on a Tuesday morning in October, on the same day they are having Micky Mouse's Halloween Party which is a thing they do after six at night. Everyone who is going to Disneyland that day (which is not a lot, since it's a Tuesday in October) wants to go to the party, so they go in the afternoon, not the morning. All morning the lines were five minutes or less. By the end of the day, we had to wait forty minutes for Space Mountain, Ghost Galaxy! which is the normal wait time.

The lines were so short, that by noon we looked around and realized we were done. We had ridden all the essential rides. We stopped for lunch looked at each other and shrugged "Now what?" That is the way to DisneyLand.

We had a wonderful time. Disneyland was decorated for October,
the Haunted Mansion was completely redecorated with Nightmare Before Christmas,
Krisling found a pet Praying Mantis.
We got stuck in an elevator, we watched the Jedi Academy,
we saw the new Tangled attraction, we took pictures of people in awesome Halloween costumes,

and I got to ride on a lot of rides I have never been on before. I also changed my mind about my favorite ride. Before it was Splash Mountain, now it is Space Mountain. Or maybe Big Thunder Railroad. But not Splash Mountain. For one thing: I was too concerned about not getting wet to enjoy it. For another thing, I have never seen Song of the South, so I have no idea what all that animatronic stuff is referencing. All day I tried to figure out how a movie could get banned in the United States, with Freedom of Speech and all. Well the answer is: It's not banned, Disney has simply chosen to never release the full movie on video, ever. So why would you build a whole ride around it? It just doesn't make sense. They should really rename the ride. I recommend turning it into "Kuzco-topia" a log flume ride in which you go through Kuzco's palace, through Pacha's village, and, in the end, down a waterfall with sharp rocks at the bottom. Everyone would love that ride.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Let the Halloween begin!!

Friday we attended a Murder Mystery party. It rocked. It was 1940's Paris and the food menu was quite authentic. Everyone was dressed up in great costumes and surprisingly, the kids were fantastic. Drek was a very handsome British Spy, and I was a gossipy dressmaker. Drek and I had a wonderful time.

Saturday we went to a Halloween party! The decorations were wonderful and look at all this food:

Pumpkin cupcakes, white bean chili, chips, cheese, vegetables, crackers, apple slices with homemade Carmel sauce...delicious!
I was in charge of a drink:
And also the spaghetti:
Okay, so the spaghetti wasn't for eating, it was for a game. We filled a huge bucket/tub full of spaghetti and little plastic bugs. The kids dug through the "worms" and any plastic bugs they found, they got to keep. The game was a hit. The older kids loved looking for the bugs and the younger kids loved the spaghetti.

There were also some grown-up games. Everyone got candy corn to bet on three donut-competitors. Whoever had the most candy corn at the end, won! The donut contests were very entertaining:
It was so much fun. It was a wonderful party. We still have two Halloween parties to go before the 31st! Best month ever!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Little of This. A Little of That.

I signed up for a four-week trial CSA here in my local city. All the food is from a farm nearby and all of it is organic. Today was box/week number three.

I really, really, love CSAs. I love the idea, I love the surprise of the different foods, I love eating with confidence, I love showing off what I got, I love trying new recipes... but I'm not so excited about the price. Sigh.

The first two weeks I got a bag full of orange bell peppers. Orange peppers! What do you do with orange peppers? I didn't want to treat them as any old bell peppers, they were to unique to throw in a stir-fry! But what to do?

The idea came as I was flipping through one of Mandy's Halloween magazines: stuff orange peppers with Spaghetti and cut them up like Jack-O-lanterns. What a cute idea! Alas, way to much work for just a family dinner, and the peppers wouldn't last until the party.

The next day my friend Bon wanted to come up for dinner. I was given about an hour's notice, so no time to plan or go shopping. I immediately thought of the pepper idea. The spaghetti thing couldn't be done but what if...

I improvised. I made up a recipe on the spot. It turned out FANTASTIC! Not only did they look awesome, but they tasted delicious!

7 orange peppers
1 cup brown rice
1 package mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice.
Hollow out and cut peppers like jack-o-lanterns.
In a sauce pan, melt butter. Add onion and cook until clear. Add soy sauce and mushrooms. cook until tender. Turn off heat. Add Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. mix with cooked rice, stuff into peppers. place on baking sheet, cook at 350 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes, until peppers are tender.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

While the Moon Drifts in the Skies. Stay Awake, Don't Close Your Eyes

With Drek away on a business trip, our daily schedule becomes very...loose. An hour after her normal bedtime I finally have Ash in her jammies and ready for bed. We crawl under the covers. Acouchi nestles up by our heads and closes her eyes. I sing Ash a lullaby and close my eyes to set an example.

Ash gets her foot tangles in my hair and starts kicking. I reach out and tickle her under arms, making her giggle. Her giggle makes me giggle. She realizes she made me giggle so she starts fake-laughing, and before you know it we're in a silly-noise-contest which turns into an all-out tickle-fight. Acouchi places her paw on my nose and gives me a look that clearly states: "Now, now. Calm down, children. It's bed time."

At least one of us a responsible adult.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

That's No Moon. It's a Space Station

Ah! October! I love October! I think I love October because it houses one of the only 100% obligation and guilt free holidays. Halloween is totally optional. Want to spend it with your family? Great! Want to spend it alone at a massive party? Great! Want to throw a party? Great! Want to sleep through it? Great! No obligation to anyone, no vital traditions, no day of reflection. It's just fun. I love that.

How much do I love it? A few weeks ago I attended a Relief Society Activity. Since I've only been in the ward two months, I didn't know a lot of the women. I was talking about Halloween with someone and this women said "Oh, yeah. Your husband said Halloween was your favorite Holiday." I looked at her and blinked. "Um. Yes. It is. So...Who are you?" I had never met her. It turns out Drek Home Teaches her family, and the subject came up for some reason. Odd.

I've already started on our costumes. The idea is good, now it all comes down to design... Of course, as all great Halloween costumes should be, it's a surprise. I'll unveil it when it's done.

I'm on the Ward Activity's Committee and we're planning a Ward Halloween party that I am thrilled to be a (small) part of. Better Yet, Mandy is also throwing a Halloween Party and let me plan some of the games. Sqee! I can't wait for that party.

This Halloween will be have another activity. Are you ready for this awesomeness? Krisling and I are meeting in DISNEYLAND!! In OCTOBER!!!! Do you know what that means? Well, besides a day of crazy fun filled rides and such. It means the Haunted Mansion will be turned into Halloween Town!!!! I'm so excited!!!!! (As I'm sure you could tell from the over-use of the exclamation mark)

Yesterday Ash and I went shopping for pumpkins. For Family Home Evening last night we painted them. I think they turned out great:

Ash's first pumpkin!!
My creation. I call it "Pharaoh Pumpkinahmen."
And finally, the one you are excited to see, Drek's creation:

Friday, October 08, 2010

That's Twice This Month You've Slipped Deadly Nightshade into My Tea and Run Off

And it's crunch time.

The marathon I had my sights set on running is in four weeks. Minus one week for the easy run to warm up for the big day, and I am left with three weeks to get my miles up to twenty six. What am I at? Well, I was at fourteen four weeks ago. Meaning, I haven't been running in four weeks. So, I'm at zero I guess.

My big excuse is that I've been sick. Besides that, I just don't have time! Getting up early enough in the morning that I can work out for an hour before Drek has to go to work is hard enough when I'm not getting enough sleep at night (and let's face, I'm just not a morning person) but finding three to five extra hours on Saturday, the only day Drek and I have to play together, just isn't happening.

And so I need to make a decision. I need to figure out what my goal is with regards to running. Is my goal to check of my New Years Resolution to run a marathon? Then I need to buck up, train like mad for the next three weeks, and finish that marathon even if I have to crawl. It's only three Saturdays I'm sacrificing, and after that I'll never have to run again.

But I'm not sure that's my goal. Is my goal to be a long distance runner or to enjoy running? Then I should forget this marathon, start back at six miles, and work on my speed as well as my miles, so my Saturday long runs are squeezed into a time that only increases by a few minutes. I'll still have to get up early on weekdays and find time on Saturdays, but not nearly as much time, and I should be going slow enough that I can spend the rest of the Saturday playing instead of sleeping. I should focus on a schedule that fits me, and only when I'm ready should I look for a marathon that fits into my schedule.

Or is my goal to run to lose weight or stay healthy? In that case, forget the marathon altogether and just do forty five minutes of sprints on Saturdays (in addition to my hour runs during the week). That's the easiest solution.

I'm leaning more and more away from running this marathon. It's not just the training, it's the fact that it's three hours away, so we'd have to get a hotel, and I just don't want to spend the money. The Marathon registration fee isn't cheap, you know. I really don't want to pour all that money into it if I'm going to be crawling across the finish line.

So what do I want? Well, I do love running. I want to run, and I want to keep it fun. I want to run barefoot, because I love running barefoot. I want to see progress, not just pounds lost, but in miles gained. I want to see myself go faster and farther. I want run a marathon barefoot, and I want to enjoy it.

I guess all that points to option two: work on speed and distance, don't worry about a marathon until I'm running twenty miles every Saturday.

Thanks, blogging. Another problem solved thanks to you.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

At This Point Some of You May be Thinking, That’s All Very Fine and Good, But What Does It Have to do With Flying an Airplane?

I've always loved General Conference, even as a child. I've found that more and more, I need General Conference. The talks are so important to my everyday life, especially now that I'm a mother. I've found that General Conference is vital. Even still, I've always had a hard time sitting through four two-hour sessions and then attending the Young Women or Relief Society Broadcast and reading the Priesthood session.

Thus, I really liked the idea of turning on every radio in the house, so no matter what room you were in you could hear the talks, and so were free to wander. I made it a sort of tradition that General Conference was my cue to deep-clean everything. The only disadvantage to this was that I absorbing all I could from Conference, but at least I was listening to every session, and I got the idea of most talks.

Last October after General Conference I decided to take full advantage of the LDS General Conference website. Every day (or almost everyday) I would listen to a conference talk in English, then replay it in Spanish for both my benefit and Ash's benefit. I don't understand all that's being said in Spanish, but it does give me an ear for how Spanish sounds. I think it helps my learning process, and by letting Ash listen at such a young age, I know she'll be able to pick up Spanish easily.

After we listen to the talk in Spanish, I listen to it again in Japanese. Well, I don't really listen, but I make sure Ash listens. I have no hope of ever speaking Japanese but I expect Ash to be fluent.

Besides boosting our language skills, this has the benefit of bringing these wonderful talks into the my home everyday. They bring with them this wonderful peace and hope that I love. It also has the added scholarly benefit that instead of me saying things like "I remember in conference sometime, this one guy said something about..." I can say things like "In the last October Conference, David Bednar gave a talk on being More Diligent and Concerned at Home in which he said..."

In April, when the next General Conference occurred I was even more diligent about listening to the talks. In fact, I zipped through the April conference so fast that I listed to it three times before diving back into older conferences. I've been excited about this session because it will give me new material. It's the first time I've been anxiously awaiting General Conference. I've been looking forward to it as much as I was the release of the Mockingjay book (which I got from the Library the day of our flight. I read it two days. I'm only a month behind everyone else).

Sadly, the circumstances were not ideal. First, we were not home; We were in HomeTown. We went there for Drek's Brother's marriage. This meant I could not clean, I could not turn on all the radios, and I could not move around. This also meant that I was antsy: I was only in HomeTown for the weekend! I had things I wanted to, people I wanted to see! I didn't want to be doing something I could be doing at home.

And then we got sick. Very sick. Ash was throwing up all over the place, Drek became deathly ill and so did Drek's siblings. Gross. I got sick right as we got home.

Also, I discovered that since I knew I would be listening to the talks several times over the next six months, I discovered it made my restlessness worse.

I think I absorbed less of this Conference than any other Conference, ever. I suppose that's an exaggeration, but still. I'm so grateful to have that website at my disposal. The talks are already up an waiting for me. The anticipation is still there, and I am very excited to start listening to them today. I need that peace and hope after such a horrible weekend.