1.30.2007

being pregnant again is

...having dominant and outstanding olfactory senses
...different side effects unlike before
...reading the book all over again
...calling friends with newborns to remember what's 'normal'
...jeans by day, sweat pants by afternoon
...getting back what was lost forever. welcome back, great bosoms!
...emotional peaks and valleys at predictable moments
...food (texture) aversions, dammit.
...omyrockness let's find some good biscuits and gravy already
...eventually submitting to the inevitability that is maternity clothes
...letting the toddler grow up a little faster than I normally would
...cramming regular meals into my body until it explodes 3 weeks later.
..or finally poops. which ever comes first.
...the inability to cut raw steak
...the ability to eat cooked steak with pleasure.
...the new kid saying NO to onion, broccoli, hot dogs,
and refreid beans at all costs.
...ordering nacho bell grande minus the refried beans with head hung low in sadness.



Being pregnant again is praying to God
every moment I breathe
that the tiniest heart keeps beating.

i just can't get enough

1.29.2007

bird

Some people are classy enough to have plastic pink flamingos in their yard. I would like to have real ones in my front yard someday. It would really brighten up the place. I wonder if they would cuddle with the lemon bush or fancy bird bath.
click photo to enlarge

1.25.2007

little drummer girl

Jason and Nigel. These are the saints whom agree to allow me to try and play songs with them each week with my good-for-a-newbie drum kit. They invited me back after the first night playing at the rehearsal space and it has gone swimmingly every since. Until I went out of town and bruised my ribs coughing, so I have held them up for a few weeks. I wonder slightly if the idea of a new drummer has crossed their minds.

They are patient and easy going fellows, I truly enjoy their company. I am in debt with gratitude for their musical guidance and the comfort I have screwing up songs only to get a cheer from all three of us once I finally get it right. Jazzed about the gift of encouraging words as I fumble around trying to figure out how to be part of a three piece band.

I know there will be a day I will play live. It may not be imminent. Not just because I would look ridiculous with a giant belly, but I don't think the following several months will allow my body the fire and energy in me to get to where I want to be to proudly perform in public. I also do not know if we are a group of musicians that can collectively create original music others need to hear.

I am realizing the importance of having similar interest in music genre. When we play the New Order song Jason comes to life like a shooting star. It is visible, his love for music and his guitar. The same goes for Nigel when we play the Social D song. Of the songs we know or plan to play, none seem to hit that chord with all of us equally. I keep hoping I will email that one perfect song (unwritten law perhaps?! please.) and they will go nuts with excitement, it will be that one common-interest-link of sound for us to follow and work from.

I have been thinking of what my staple sounds are that really make me want to be a certain kind of drummer, who my heroes are and connecting those dots. When I find other people who have that same alignment I think it will be...I dunno...nothing comes to mind but perfect. But that word somehow takes away the momentum of what I am trying to say.

Learning to be in a band with these guys is what I was looking for and what I need for my level of skill in the now. I don't think we have the combined potential to be dazzling, but dazzling comes later. Much later.

After the sleepless nights of nursing the next kid are faded memories.

1.23.2007

a dream

I had a dream I had a baby girl and insisted her name would be Penelope. We would call her Penny.

The name has been vetoed by the baby daddy.

I thought maybe if I typed it here I would stop thinking about it.

And if anyone else remembered that claymation cartoon short of a little girl named Penny that had pennies for eyes during Saturday morning cartoons.

i smell a rat

okay, okay. he took one for the team and not only did a photo shoot with the dead rat for me, but posted it on his blog.

here's to husbands with stronger stomachs.

1.22.2007

leisurewear

There is a scene in the movie Trainspotting when Renton (Ewan McGregor) is coming off heroin. He locks himself into a room with: ice cream, milk of magnesia, water, a television set, Valium, porn magazines, and three buckets (one each for urine, feces, and vomit). He lines up the products on a table and proceeds to pull apart the boards he carefully nailed to the door so he can go out and have his last hit.

Gathering needed items for the first trimester of pregnancy is a lot like this scene. Minus the porn....and heroin.

shea butter
lemon drops
water
crackers
biggie fries
tylenol
7-up

high fiber cereal
access to treadmill

prenatal vitamins
diet coke for my last hit

1.19.2007

Mexican Lasagna

This is an easy gluten-free meal I made tonight and I couldn't eat enough of it!

_______________

Mexican Lasagna

1 package corn tortillas
1 jar salsa
1 can corn (drained)
½ cup sour cream
½ onion diced
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese grated
a big bowl of miscellaneous cut veggies- use whatever you have - I used green and red pepper, asparagus, broccoli, green onion, cilantro, black olives, and tomatoes

Grease a 9"X13" pan. Slice stack of tortillas in half. Place about 5 tortilla halves in bottom of pan with straight side against pan. Layer veggies, then a layer of sour cream, a little cheese, and a little salsa. Continue layering (Like Lasagna) and top with salsa. Bake about ½ hour at 350F. Top with cheese and bake until golden brown.
_____________

For veggies I just used black olives, green pepper, onion and added it to browned beef with taco seasoning. I didn't have corn and it was still yummy.

update: my toddler ate THREE helpings of this!

Odds are high you are going to be reading about food more often around here.

1.18.2007

brag with a drag

The evenings have been in the 20's and our neighbors that steal from the lemon tree out front are begging us to cover it with cloth at night. Ah the life of renters. What little power we hold to give two shytes about the lemon tree is very liberating.

You can imagine my joy when today's weather report put these two lovely words together:
Abundant Sunshine.
A day beginning with such a forecast holds so much promise. I don't know who comes up with these reports, but today's worker bee gets a swift football-style slap on the rear. What a great way to begin my day; with ABUNDANT happiness.

The drag is we caught a roof rat in the garage. It's dead in the trap waiting for the pest control man to come and get him. Quick show of hands- how any people want to see a picture of this dead rat? I won't stomach the shot unless at least 20 people want it.

1.17.2007

or send him to trader joe's

My husband has been so kind as to take on the weekly grocery shopping duties. He does this for several reasons:

1) Because he knows it's one less thing I have to do
2) He actually enjoys grocery shopping
3) He is better at looking for sales (sans toddler makes a big difference)
4) He saves us a lot of money (not an impulse shopper)
5) Number 4 is probably the main reason he does it

He has been in charge of this task for a few months now. I have to admit I admire his ability to be frugally-minded. It is a true talent I do not posess. Although, there are times I assist with unloading the grocery bags and find myself shaking my head and thinking, "Generic bologna? I get the food budget idea, but we aren't on welfare". I think we both know we can spring for the extra 15 cents to get high quality Oscar Meyer Bologna.

So here's to my sexy Director of Household Inventory. My gentle suggestions and plea for supporting brand loyalty. Items that really should not be purchased as generic unless absolutely necessary.

hairspray
paper towels
ketchup
lunch meat
salad dressing
garbage bags
dishwashing detergent
syrup
peanut butter
salsa
soap
ice cream
diapers
cereal
spaghetti sauce
chicken without bones, please
soda
pancake mix
plastic wrap
bacon

1.15.2007

Fast Food Roundup

Wendy's: biggie fries (dipped in nacho cheese), spicy chicken sandwich

Mountain Mike's Pizza: hot wings extra crispy

Sonic: orange cream slush

KFC: biscuits and gravy, potato wedges with gravy

McDonald's: cheeseburger, vanilla ice cream cone

Burger King: whopper, sometimes breaded chicken sandwich

Dairy Queen: heath bar blizzard

Taco Bell: nacho bell grande (did i even need to type it?)

Jack in the Box: oreo cookie shake

Arby's: curly fries

White Castle: cheese burger

Subway: turkey and provolone on white (mayo, L, Tom, pickles)

Chinese Food: general tso's chicken

space invader

I love the shows on the Discovery Channel that tell of the various ways the world is going to come to an end. Last night's feature on the asteroid obliteration was my favorite.

Naturally, it got me thinking of the realistic and tentatively imminent methods of human extinction. Even though I am certain the worst way to die would be in a plane crash (mechanical failure and terrorism alike), starving to death would probably be next.

Each morning I get out of the shower and see my son trying to wear all 3 empty backpacks stored in my closet. Sadly, they are waiting to be filled with food and water for 72 hour survival kits. Something I vow to do each year, but never have. Must move this to the top of my To Do list.

Only this year will be different.
This year I will vow to fill FOUR backpacks.










1.12.2007

no valley fever. life is good.

My husband used to come home from work with outrageous stories about odd fantasies and experiences of other people he read about from a column in
The Village Voice. I sometimes wished he would stop reading it, although some stories made our relationship better.

I used to be pissed off when I would get into the shower after him and find a tiny sliver of soap left. What happened to the common courtesy of soap replenishment from our newlywed years?

But now, as I replenish the soap myself, I smile. I am grateful I am not married to the strange man who admitted to the Village Voice that he likes to poo in the shower and squish it down the drain with his toes.

1.08.2007

at least everyone loves chocolate bunnies

Sharing my love for my religion is something I don't do very often. It is something very precious to me and it is not something I want to be taken lightly. I usually keep it close to my heart unless I feel the strong urge to share it with someone I connect with on a very personal level and may have interest.

One of my favorite moments in 2006 was when I left a Book of Mormon with a dear neighbor. I included a touching letter of how my faith has been a big part of my life and I couldn't think of any other gift I could give her that would measure closely to what I value it to be. It was well recieved and by far the best goodbye present I felt would be appropriate for the frienship we developed and trials in her life.

It went a lot more smoothly and naturally, say, than my experience in Brooklyn several years prior. I made Easter baskets with candy and plastic green grass- even hollow chocolate easter bunnies! I felt an overwhelming urge to share my joy for The Savior's resurrection. Not a feeling I have often enough. I was not satisfied sitting on this feeling, I had to share it. I typed up a cute little poem about my love for Christ, rolled it up and tied a pretty ribbon around it. I put one in each basket along with a Book of Mormon. I decided my neighbors above me and below me would get the baskets and thought nothing more of it after leaving them at their front doors.

Days passed and I told Mike what I had done. He smirked and held in his secret curiousity of how it would all go down when we passed our neighbors in the hall. It wasn't until I read his face that I remembered the girls living above us were lesbians and the girl below us was Jewish.

1.06.2007

ripping up my feet over broken glass

The geeky nurse at urgent care got a haircut this week. I got pneumonia. The most unusual part is the left side of my torso feels like it has been used for a punching bag for approximately 13 hours.

I visit a lab where I provide some blood work for Valley Fever testing. The best is this life-size Halloween decoration on the wall of a vampire holding a margarita glass filled with red liquid. The drink stirrer has an eye ball stuck on it. I grin for at least 5 minutes. I think Arizona should change the state motto. Valley Fever: because life isn't exciting enough.

I am glad when I hand over my ID, that it doesn't say NY anymore. I have had too many conversations that begin with "So what's it like living there? Are people rude? Is it just like Sex in the City?"

Racing through the mall to meet a friend I pass a Hispanic man and his toddler in a photo booth taking pictures. This also makes me smile for a good amount of time. I hope their pictures turn out.

Then the Rainforest Cafe appears and I get the feeling I am on a boat with circus music playing and bats attacking me. I pick up the pace and ignore the chills that fly down my back and the flips in my stomach. The mall is really nothing short of what I imagine a cruise boat to be like. And The Wonder Stuff video for Size of a Cow.

1.03.2007

orange cream slush

All three of us have an upper respiratory infection. Illness while traveling lends itself to opportunity to visit Urgent Care. Basically, it's when you need to see a doctor on a holiday or weekend, but do not need the services of the emergency room.

I find it's always a strange assortment of characters that staff Urgent Care. I am pretty sure the sourcing initiative begins at the DMV.

Let's see, who should we select for the front desk? How about the woman chewing gum the loudest and who punches me in the face when I accidentally bump into her giant purse as I walk past. She somehow she has a gaggle of 13 children with her, all under the age of 5 and one more on the way. She would be best.

Now for the nurse. The geeky, pimpled out guy with the smallest shred of interpersonal skills will do just fine. Let's make sure if anyone asks about side effects to medication he only replies with "all medicine has side effects" perfected with a look that indicates he cannot be bothered with questions. He so cannot wait to get off work and watch star trek and play computer video games.

As for the doctor. Let's for sure go with the odd man pacing in the corner with the bright orange denim jacket. His constant half smile and akward mannerisms make him a perfect candidate. Tell him to always pause at the door for 5 minutes with that shifty smile when he introduces himself to the patients, like a posessed pervert.

I just hope I will no longer be coughing up my eyeballs tomorrow morning. While those cats at urgent care are fun and all, I would much rather spend my time going to Sonic. In the meantime I have infected about 3 dozen family and friends we have visited with in the past week.

Um, sorry. We didn't know. You can swear at me, I won't mind.

1.01.2007

blather

It's a funny thing, this whole parenting experience. We have learned how to do it away from our family in terms of geography; albeit we always learn through virtual and past viewed example. I had moments in social groups where I figured out the importance of being firm in my parenting style, even if it's much different than those around me. Wearing the parenting coat that makes sense and feels right for me and my family with the knowledge my husband and I gather and seek. It might not be fully right and it may not be mostly wrong. But I will question and I will doubt and I will research and I will watch and I will listen and I will hope. Most importantly I will love. Knowing that we have unconditional love for our child and always wanting to do our very best at raising him, I imagine we can't be doing too bad of a job. But who creates that measuring stick? The people sitting in the room after I leave? If we are doing our best with the knowledge within and at our reach, with interest in always improving and not feeling complacent then that will be my measuring stick for success for my family unit.

The brief 2.5 years I have been a mother have taught me a lot about judgment and viewing others, especially parental decisions. I have learned to be better at respecting and asking questions about the why's behind family dynamics/ decisions and love what I learn about the insides of people dear to me. And if it's something that sounds crazy to me, I try to put that thought in my pocket and tell myself "but it's working for THEM and that's their success!" Or maybe things aren't working, but it's a journey that family needs to grow through to find what will. And I get to learn next to them, cheering them on! I know we have little journeys like that all the time. Research or peer survey leading to success or trial and error. It's like every family is a mini test unit, only the margin of error is taken a lot more seriously.

So living on our little island away from people who love and know us has allowed for some more confident parenting. Throw us into great grandma's house with breakable nick-knacks left and right and see my son shoot like a superball from china cabinet to mirror to French door. My confidence slithers into a pile of sand at the entry way. My son no longer comprehends the English language. Bits of empathy about boys at this age barely cover the specks of unsolicited advice on how to handle him. Mike and I take turns pulling his hands away from things and repeating 'no' and redirecting him to the point that we are both exhausted. We are the first to leave. I don't recall a conversation that lasted more than 2 minutes. I cannot count the number of times we pried his fingers off of the deadbolt, which he unlocked repeatedly. I am pretty sure he would run through a brick wall if we didn't watch him closely enough.

I leave with my tail between my legs. I have been defeated by my toddler in front of family members I see once a year. Somehow all that parenting that 'works well for us' back home doesn't translate to the new time zone. Why does this happen? I imagine my family might not have thought once about our parenting, but why do I worry so much about how I am doing these two weeks out of a year with people that I love and miss dearly?

Maybe next year for Christmas Santa can bring me a badge of confidence that will work in every time zone.
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