Saturday, December 11, 2010

Greek Movie

This video was done by my brother-in-law as part of a history project. He says it is "a tribute to the Greeks and shows how they influence us still today." It is entertaining. I especially love his facial expressions!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Four Tech Shopping Tips

When it comes to buying technology and new gadgets I don’t have much experience. Most of my computers, stereos, gadgets, and software have been hand-me-downs. While that gives me a lot of experience with different brands, it doesn’t help me know what to look for when I’m at the counter looking at shiny new tech stuff.

When I need to buy something technological, I talk to someone who is an expert on the gadget I’m shopping for. For example, Lost Boy knows a lot about digital cameras, so I let him tell me which models are the best.

One thing I've learned in college is that in order to write a good paper, produce a good map, or get a good grade on a project you have to know what characteristics your end result needs to have. This principle applies to shopping for technology too. I figure out what features are most important to me, like having a silent mode on my cell phone, then I ignore everything that doesn't have my top three or four most important features. This is a good technique for not getting derailed by salespeople and for not getting overwhelmed by the number of options available.

I learned the hard way that it is important to evaluate future costs of a gadget based on supplemental purchases such as extra cords, ink, or headsets. I bought a Dell printer without realizing how hard and expensive it would be to get ink for it. (Dell does not sell ink, or ink refills, at office stores!) Do some research and find out how much specialty cords, cables, memory cards, and other specialty add-ons will cost. One model may be more cost effective than another in the long run. Or one model may not have the add on functionality you want your gadget to have.

A lot of stores or brands offer special rebates that make the product you’re buying significantly cheaper than it would otherwise be. Those rebates are great, but only if you use them! I got all excited about my $50 printer but it turned out to be $100 because I never sent in the rebate form. If you buy a product with a rebate, fill out the form and put it in the mail as soon as you get home! Mark in you planner when you should get the rebate back and who to contact if you don’t (you might want to keep a copy of the form you sent in) and keep it all where you can find it easily. Follow through on your rebates!
As I said earlier, I don’t have a lot of experience shopping for technology. For example, I’ve never bought a flat screen TV or an X-box (and probably never will). But I figure shopping for technology is a lot like shopping for anything else. You see lots of stuff you want, but hardly anything you actually need. My favorite rule is: If you still want it after three weeks, then it might be worth buying.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ladybug vs. Cow

Last month I posted a poll to ask everyone what this is. Twenty four people voted. Two voted that it is a cow (8%) and twenty two voted that it is a lady bug (91%).

I think I didn't explain Lost Boy's reasoning behind it being a cow very well. Lost Boy argues that a cow has spots, horns, and four legs. This little pillow pal has spots, horns (arguably), and four legs. When I argue that it's a ladybug because it is red, and has antennae (not horns), Lost Boy points out that it does not have six legs as lady bugs do.

Edit: Originally, the post didn't have it
in color. But I think it needed it.
The general consensus it that this is a lady bug. But if you ever hear us referring to a cow, you'll know what we're really talking about!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Writing Challenges

I've had so many ideas for blog posts lately! I've even written several  ...in my head. Now that I'm done with college I feel like I can focus on my writing goals. But I haven't been producing the writing that I know I could. Part of it is just getting myself to sit down and write, but another part of it is being a stay-at-home-mom. When I get a few minutes and a little energy together at the same time I ask myself what I should do. Write? Scrub the bathroom that's been neglected for the past month? Pick up the living room? Sort baby clothes? Read the book I'm trying to finish? Or scratch everything and cuddle my baby?

Sometimes I feel like writing, but Baby Two Flowers wants to be held or fed and I have a hard time typing with one hand. I have a notebook that I'm writing in (except when the baby is latched on and I left the notebook on the other side of the room) but I'm having a hard time getting what I do have written onto the computer. Someone recently suggested that I talk into a voice recorder and type things up later. I got my recorder ready so I can do that, but the problem is still getting it typed up and onto the Internet.

Lost Boy has Dragon, a voice recognition software, and has agreed to set it up on our desktop computer so I can use it. I'm excited to try it out, but it may take a while to get it up and running. Theoretically, I'll be able to talk to the computer (like the voice recorder), but instead of having to type up my pieces later the computer will convert them to text while I dictate. Then I'll just have to edit and post!

I'm excited about my writing goals. Even with the obstacles I find myself facing I feel like I can figure out how to overcome them!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tips for Newcomers to New Babyland

We brought Baby Two Flowers home from the hospital two and half months ago. It was quite an adventure! Here are some things I learned about bringing home a new baby:
  1. Make sure you have the car seat installed before the nurse walks you to your car to discharge you. We had it all set up, but had to un-install it so I could ride in the back on the way to the hospital and we never got around to re-installing it.
  2. Have a breast pump and storage bags ready for relieving all that extra milk you're going to make. My mom bought me a Medella hand pump after I came home from the hospital. It is pretty small and easy to store so even if you aren’t planning to breastfeed for long it is a good option for a little bit of relief.
  3. Before you use them for the first time, sanitize pump pieces, bottles, nipples, and pacifiers by putting them in boiling water for two minutes. I occasionally re-sanitize things this way even though most of the time I put them through the dishwasher.
  4. I'm cool with visitors. But anyone with a cold should stay away from the baby until they are better. When people want to hold the new baby, ask them to wash their hands. An anti-bacterial rub can work in a pinch but I prefer non-anti-bacterial soap, warm water, and rubbing the germs off to the tune of the alphabet song.
  5. Stock up on cotton balls or cotton squares. You'll go through a ton of them during those first baths until the umbilical cord falls off. Baby Two Flowers’ cord fell off during her first week home, but she had a blocked tear duct (aka the Goopy Eye) for a month and a half and that is where many of my cotton squares went.
  6. Don’t put a lot of effort into staying dry at night if you have overactive letdown, like me. At first I tried to wear nursing pads, but I always ended up having to change my night shirt. I finally figured out that sleeping on a folded towel with no shirt on was the easiest way to stay dry. Your husband and baby won’t mind, and it reduces laundry and unnecessary middle of the night activities.
  7. If you are using disposable products, arrange for someone to take the trash out frequently, especially during the first few weeks. Lost Boy and I were amazed at how much we threw out during the first month. I’m relieved to say that we make less trash now, but it took a while to get used to all the new body functions.
  8. Stock up on good reading material or movies for when you’re recovering from delivery, but don’t expect yourself to get through all of it. If you’re tired, sleep.
  9. You’ll get a lot of congratulations, compliments, advice, and gifts. Remember that a gracious thank you, even when you’re tired or moody can make the giver feel accepted and included in your special experience.
  10. Trust that your husband can take care of the baby without your supervision and let him have Daddy Time while you sleep, clean, shower, or focus on something besides the baby.
Bringing Baby Two Flowers home wasn’t as crazy and stressful as I heard it would be. I had a lot of help and support from my family, and I discovered that I’m a pretty laid back mom (so far). I think the most surprising thing about having a baby was discovering how desperately I needed nursing pads and a pump.

What surprised you most about bringing your baby home?


I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What do you think it is?

Lost Boy and I saw this thing at Fry's Electronics one day. We don't agree on what it is. I thought I knew what it was, but Lost Boy argues that since it has four legs and spots it is something else. Will you please take a look at it and tell me what you think it is? Thanks!

Look for the picture and a poll at the top of my sidebar at

The poll closes November 15th so vote soon!


Friday, October 29, 2010

10 Handy Things you can do with Vaseline

What can you do with Vaseline? Lots of things really. Vaseline is mainly used as a lubricant or to relieve chapped skin, but you'd be surprised at what it can be used for. Here is my take on the uses of Vaseline (with input from Lost Boy, Papa, and Nika):
  1. When Baby Two Flowers had a cold a few weeks ago I rubbed Vaseline on her nose and lip to keep her skin from getting sore after all the nose wiping I did.
  2. When you're fixing your bike, use some Vaseline to lubricate your bike chain.
  3. Lost Boy says that Vaseline is useful for lubricating the air cylinder of a Nerf Gun. Just don't ask me where the air cylinder is, or why it needs to be lubricated.
  4. Vaseline makes great lip gloss. It soothes chapped lips better than other glosses. But don't expect much in the way of tint and flavor.
  5. I've heard that marathon runners rub Vaseline into their skin beneath their running shorts and bras to keep their clothes from chaffing. When I get up the determination to run a marathon I'll let you know if it works.
  6. If you've run out of WD40 (or know that it is really a water displacer, not a lubricant) you can smear Vaseline on a key and put it into a squeaky or sticky lock to loosen things up a bit.
  7. When you change your car battery, smear Vaseline on the contacts before you secure it to reduce sparking.
  8. You can use Vaseline to waterproof leather shoes. Nika says she used it on her combat boots when she was in the military.
  9. If you are in a beauty pageant you can use Vaseline to grease your teeth so your lips don't get stuck to them. It makes it easier to smile. I've never tried it.
  10. If you have a certain kind of mustache you can use a bit of Vaseline to Evil it. That's when you twist the ends up at the corners of your mouth. (Lost Boy is currently growing his mustache out so can Evil it.)

What do you do with Vaseline?


I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Vaseline blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

We made it!

So after I went for my long walk I hurt pretty bad. But I was surprised to find that it was the stuff under my incision that hurt, not my legs! I've been practicing with shorter walks since then but the other day I walked farther than I had on my long walk and I didn't even realize it! So today I decided to go for my goal.

Except I changed my goal slightly. I learned that you don't have to buy something to connect to the internet at Starbucks anymore, and there is a Starbucks slightly closer to me than the La Bou (but only slightly).

So we made it to Starbucks and the internet! But now the sun is going down earlier so we can't stay for more than ten minutes. I'll have to start my walks sooner...

Monday, October 04, 2010

How old do you have to be to wear suspenders?

My grandpa is having back surgery this week. He has had increasing pain all year. I'm not sure what the details are, but some of the disks in his spine are causing the pain. His doctor said that's what comes with getting old (Grandpa is somewhere in his seventies).

To help manage the pain he sometimes wears a back brace, but he says it makes his hips disappear, which are kind of important for holding up pants and things. Grandpa is not into the skater sagging look, so I thought I'd offer a suggestion to help him out. This was our conversation:

"Have you thought about wearing suspenders?"

"Get out of here! Only old men wear suspenders!"

"Hey!" Cried Lost Boy, "I wear suspenders!"


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cherry Red!

For all of my adult life I haven't been that interested in having painted finger or toe nails. I always kept clear fingernail polish on hand for stopping runs in my stockings. I certainly never used bright colors. But when I was six months pregnant my sister offered to paint my toe nails and I decided to be brave and try her dark red. To my surprise I really liked seeing my red toe nails!

Eventually, I bought my own red nail polish, but I picked cherry red because I wasn't sure about the sparkles in the darker red. It is awfully bright, but I still like it. I found myself painting my toenails at midnight a few weeks ago. Huh. Then, when I was touching up my toes last night I suddenly decided to paint my fingernails. Bright red! That is very unlike me! What is going on?

I hope I don't start wearing nail polish all the time, but I think part of the reason I've been wearing it lately is that I no longer get dressed up everyday to go to school and work. I still don't fit into most of my nice clothes, so I wear yoga pants a lot. Almost none of my shirts fit, so I'm wearing t-shirts that used to be too big. I do go out often, but I only get dressed up all pretty once in a while. I think the red finger and toe nails make me feel pretty when I'm home all day and have milk and baby spitup on my clothes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Overheard

"Do you know what you did? You made a mommy! Before you came she was just an aunt. An aunt and a wife. You upgraded her to a mommy!"

Friday, September 10, 2010

The First Two Miles

My discharge papers advised me to walk every day to help me recover from my cesarean. Sometimes it is hard for me even to get out of the house. I've spent several days just sleeping all day. Lost Boy is very patient. When LR and I sleep so much, he has no one to play with. For the most part I've been feeling a little bit better every day. Unless I push myself too far one day, then it takes a few days to recover. We try to go for walks whenever I have energy and it isn't too hot outside. In addition to helping me recover from surgery, I have some walking goals to help me accomplish my writing goals.

One of my writing goals is to walk to a nearby La Bou that has free wi-fi at least once a week (eventually) to get on the internet and do internet stuff like post to my blog. We don't have internet at home right now. I stopped working around the time I got pregnant so our budget is a bit smaller and internet is a luxury now that I'm not in school and is therefore expendable. But posting to my blog weekly is one of my main writing goals. So I have a goal to be able to walk to La Bou.

I believe in breaking big goals down into smaller goals and yesterday I set a goal for myself to walk from our house to M-- Avenue, which is about two thirds of the way to La Bou. I think the distance is about a mile. Maybe it's a mile and half. I was thinking that making it to La Bou (and back) would take several weeks, and this morning I was thinking that making it to M-- Ave. would take at least two weeks. I got LR and myself out of the house this evening and to my surprise and pleasure we made it all the way! (to M-- Ave. that is, not La Bou.)

After looking at my map, I think I walked almost two miles today. I know that isn't a lot by some standards (for example Lost Boy can go for 100  mile hikes just fine), but I feel pretty tired right now. My back aches and my legs are tired. But I also feel productive and successful. And I promised myself a nap. I don't think I'll try to get that far again tomorrow. But I'll do it again soon.

Maybe I can do more than I think.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

What to Call the Baby?

When I read other blogs, I love the code names given to members of the family. Like Ouro Branco, Little Hen, Firecracker, Little Prince, and NBC. Now I have a new member of my family and I'm sure I'll be referring to her quite often. I want to give her a code name too, but I can't decide what to call her!

One of my brothers-in-law calls her 'Baby Two Flowers', but I don't know. She still gets called 'Lieutenant' occasionally. Maybe I could call her 'Lieutenant Lirio'? Or, going with the flower theme, 'Flower Girl'? 'Lieutenant Danger'? 'Twinkle' (Star Baby)? What do you think?

Ouro Branco, Little Prince, and NBC are from Pensievity.
Little Hen and Firecracker are from Lark Song Knits.

Fudge and Truffles

I'm still trying to process my birth experience, so I'm going to skip over it for a bit and write about something completely unrelated.

Lost Boy had the day off yesterday, so we went to Apple Hill to spend the day together as a family (we took the baby, of course). There is a little fudge shop up there that has all sorts of fudge flavors. I like their Apple Cider Fudge so we went in to get some. We also got a square of Rocky Road fudge (Rocky Road is my favorite way to eat chocolate) and a Milk Chocolate Mint Cup (very minty). But all of this added up to less than five dollars, which is the minimum amount they will let you use a debit/credit card for (which we were using). So Lost Boy said, "We'll take one of those Rasberry Truffles" to take us over five dollars. Then we rushed down to Boa Vista Orchards to buy peaches before they closed.

Later that night, when we were home and resting, we got ready to savor our fudge. We had a discussion about the value of marshmallows in fudge. We commented on the mintiness in the Mint Cup. Then we considered how best to eat the truffle. We are accustomed to truffles having a certain level of solidness all the way through, but I had a feeling that this one would drip stickiness like a jelly filled donut. It did. I was feeding the baby so Lost Boy heaped some chocolate shell and rasberry filling onto a spoon and put it in my mouth. I've been craving sweets lately, but the sweetness of this truffle exceeded all the sweetness I've ever tasted. It wasn't artificial and it didn't taste like a flavor. It was stronger than pure sugar; it was elemental. It gave me an ache in my head, like a brain freeze. At first I couldn't think of anyway to describe it except as 200% sugar. We discussed the intensity if the sweetness and concluded that it wasn't worth as much as we'd paid for it. Next time we'll get more Mint Cups.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Baby Came

The baby is here! She came on August 11th at 12:36 am.

Just a few quick stats: she was 7 lbs. 11 oz. and 21 inches long (very tall!).

I have lots of new experiences, opinions, and perspectives that I want to write about now...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sacred Fireworks

Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 2)

Lost Boy doesn’t work on Sundays, so we were able to spend the Fourth of July evening together. I had been looking forward to watching a big fireworks show with him. I like the big thunderings that come with some of the explosions, like a giant drum corp. But when I realized that the Fourth was on the Sabbath and felt that a fireworks show was not reverent, I was a little disappointed. I wanted to do something special because it was a holiday and we were together!

After some thought we settled on a special, reverent, patriotic activity for the evening: we decided to take a picnic blanket to Temple Hill and sit in the grass on the temple grounds. We would be in a sacred place, a place we could have and freely visit because of our country’s independence and freedoms, and from there we could watch the firework shows from a distance. Temple Hill overlooks several communities in our area, from the river in the west almost to the foothills in the east.

We watched at least five of the big firework shows in our area. The explosions weren’t thunderingly loud, but we were in quiet, sacred place far from the rowdy crowds. Together. I thought maybe we would read some scriptures while we were there, like the part about Captain Moroni, the Standard of Liberty, and the conflict between the free-men and the king-men. But we didn’t read scriptures – it was too dark and we were watching for where on the horizon the next firework would appear. We sang a hymn together and talked. There were only two or three other couples scattered on the hill. We didn’t stay late; the Groundskeeper was ready to lock the gate soon after the last firework. There were no crowds and no traffic to interrupt our peaceful mood. It was the most reverent and reflective Fourth of July I’ve ever had.


Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 1)
Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 2)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sabbath Independence Day

Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 1)

This year the Fourth of July fell on a Sunday. Lost Boy and I had a few conversations about how we were going to spend the day.

Traditionally, Lost Boy’s family helps set up and take down the road blocks for the local parade. Service is a good Sabbath activity, but some of the family (the moms and the little kids) usually watch the parade instead of trail it. Lost Boy and I decided not to spend the morning apart.

I haven’t been able to watch fireworks with Lost Boy since we were dating in 2006 because he works as a security guard in the evenings, including (especially) holidays. But is the bustle, noise, and frenetic excitement of going to a community fireworks show, or of setting off fireworks in your driveway, really a reverent Sabbath activity? Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but we felt that our answer was no.

As we were sitting in testimony meeting* at church a sister mentioned that she was sad the local parade was being held on the Fourth – on the Sabbath – instead of on Saturday. I was a little sad too, because I had been looking forward to going to the parade with my nieces and nephews. I considered the decision we made to not attend the parade and I started to wonder if the normal parade attendance was lower because of people going to church instead of going to the parade. I don’t know. I kind of hope so because  what better way is there to observe and celebrate independence day than to take advantage of one of the freedoms the founders of our country fought for: the freedom of religion – to worship where, when, and how we choose? At first I thought that it would be unpatriotic to not go the parade or to have fireworks, but then I thought, how can it be unpatriotic to take advantage of religious freedom by worshiping God and observing the Sabbath? It felt pretty good to realize that by practicing my religion in the way that I feel is best I am being a patriotic citizen and respecting the sacrifices that were made to make my country free.


*In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, one Sunday a month the congregation fasts together and during that Sacrament Meeting there are no assigned speakers; the pulpit is open to anyone in the congregation who feels impressed to get up and share their testimony – their witness of Jesus Christ, his gospel, or any aspect thereof that is particularly important to them at the time.

Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 1)
Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 2)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Secret Weapon

My secret weapon is Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson. Shall we say inspiration? Reference manual? Encouragement? Cheryl Mendelson has a “passion for domesticity,” something she kept secret for many years until she decided to write a book about “how a home works, not how it looks.” This book doesn’t have craft projects in it, or  suggestions for interior design. It is an 884 page manual on how to house-keep with sensible directions and scientific and historical background presented with  the wit of someone who knows  that not everyone likes to do housework and who understands that there is more than one  right way to do things.

Last week I was reading Chapter 2, “Easing into a Routine,” (which I’ve never read before despite  having owned the book for almost ten years now). Reading is an excellent way to avoid  doing things you’re not sure you want to do (or are intimidated by, e.g. chores that have been put off for several weeks). But as I finished the chapter I discovered that I felt absolutely inspired and motivated. Cheryl describes the exact experience I’ve been having since I stopped doing housework routinely three semesters ago!

An increasing number of households do housework without any system,  schedule, or routine,   more or less reacting to each situation as it  arises. This makes things harder, not easier. ... In  nonsystematic  housekeeping, chores are tended to only when the resources of one of the  household’s systems are exhausted: ... when it is the dinner  hour and the cabinet is bare; when    dirt and disorder are beyond  tolerating. When you keep house like this, domestic frustrations and  discomfort begin to be felt long before you reach the point where you  decide to do   something about them. ... Moreover, the amount of work  is more than it would have been had   there been daily tending to chores; everything has become worse than it would have been. And worst of all, the only time you get to experience anything like a well-kept house is immediately after the emergency response measures are taken.”

She also described what I have been struggling with since I finished  school and no longer have homework as a priority:

Cleaning, laundry, and other chores are far harder after you have let them go  for two weeks; the energy you must summon to tackle them becomes greater the longer you have procrastinated...

And she offered hope:

But a tired working person is often able to do things that are routine and habitual. No thinking is required; minimal inertia must be overcome.”

She so precisely described my situation and experience that I am amazed! What I particularly love is that she makes it seem feasible to get back into the routine of “systematic housekeeping” and explains how doing chores can be easy and satisfying. You must get the book (at least check it out from the library) and read the first two chapters, I think there would be copyright problems if I tried to quote them in their entirety here.

I started to implement some of her suggestions. After only three days I  can already feel (and see) the difference. Up until a couple weeks  ago I would do whatever chore seemed to need it most each day (depending on my level of energy and motivation). But I often ran into a problem. “If you have no system, you have to reinvent your housekeeping or debate what to do first every time you do it, and the required mental effort is a major obstacle, especially when you are tired.” After I read Chapter 2 I made a schedule for myself with a list of daily chores (e.g. straighten the bathroom, wipe counters) and a list of which larger chores I’ll do on each weekday (e.g. Wednesday is take-out-all-the-trashes day because that is the day we need to remember to take the trash can out to the street. And Thursday is pick up the house day so that Friday can be vacuum-the-house day.)

I haven’t scheduled all of the chores yet, and I am severely intimidated at the prospect of dusting, but the bathroom and the kitchen have looked pretty good for the past three days. I am starting to think the tub needs to be scrubbed, but instead of spending energy trying to decide if I should spend my energy cleaning the tub or vacuuming, I already know what my priorities are. Yay!

I love my secret weapon. It is one of the best Christmas presents I ever got.

Mendelson, Cheryl. Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House. Scribner: New York (1999). ISBN: 0-684-81465-X. All quotes from page 20.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Finding purpose

Now that I have graduated from college I am going through a transition. Normally a college graduate’s transition involves looking for a job. But that isn’t what I’m doing. I’m working on redefining myself as a Stay-At-Home-Wife (SAHW) in her third trimester. (This isn’t to say that I don’t think I should be looking for a job, I just don’t have a good sense of what my employment priorities and parameters are yet.)

One of the things I’ve been struggling with is how to be a productive person and a contributing member of the family while I stay home all day. My husband spends more than forty hours a week working to bring home money to pay our bills and to feed me (the hungry, but picky pregnant lady). And he cooks. What am I doing? How do I make valuable contributions with my time too?

Lost Boy often points out that I’m growing him a friend. So one of my main focuses is taking care of myself so that our baby will be as healthy as possible. This is sometimes a major challenge. Eating enough food is often more than I can handle, though I am confident that the food I eat is nutritionally smart. (Lost Boy helps out a lot; he makes me smoothies regularly.) But, let’s not talk about my pre-natal vitamins. I am quite sure I get plenty of sleep, but I know I need to increase my level of activity. Lost Boy and I go for walks, but not every day. This past week I assembled a swim suit and got a community pool schedule so that I can go to the pool (cool water + buoyancy = happy pregnant lady) to stay cool and practice swimming. I still want to incorporate yoga into my activity schedule, but community yoga is expensive and I haven’t found my yoga-at-home niche yet. I’m making progress, but still have a lot to work on.

 Aside from taking care of myself-and-baby, some of my SAHW efforts go toward taking care of Lost Boy. I like to make sure he has clean clothes (especially clean work clothes). I haven’t started ironing his clothes yet, but I sometimes think I should. For example, when I don’t fold the clothes right away and his shirts get all wrinkly... When he is at home (and I’m awake) I try to spend as much time with him as possible (Quality Time is his love language). Now that school is out we are reading books together again. When he is at work he likes it when I call him to read to him or to chat (I need to work on that one). And I try to kiss him often, even when I’m feeling nauseous.

Another way that I am seeking to find purpose is through house work. This goal easily breaks down into chores, but what I really mean is home care. Care of the home. For Lost Boy, a house is just a place to sleep unless I’m there. But for me a place needs to be taken care of (by me) in order for me to feel at home. I haven’t done chores regularly for three semesters now. While my grades were better when I didn’t do chores, I really missed the orderliness that comes from regular housekeeping. I’ve discovered that when you aren’t in the routine of keeping house, the prospect of getting into the routine can be rather intimidating. But it seems like now is a good time to get back into the routine of doing chores. Fortunately, I have a secret weapon...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Less clicking. More Finding.


Lost Boy and I got to be the Official Photographers at my bro- and sis-in law's wedding a little while ago. We took HUNDREDS of pictures. I wouldn't be surprised if we took 1000 pictures. Have you ever tried to sort through that many pictures and decide which ones to post, which ones you like best, which ones to print, and which ones to send to family members? It can be overwhelming.

We've been trying to sort them into some semblance of manageable order, but what we were ending up with were folders within folders containing files with a mixture of useless names like "IMG_348" and "camera2_495." Dividing the pictures into folders labeled "vows," "guests at wedding," "guests at reception," and "cake cutting" helped combine similar pictures into easy-to-find places, but the random file names were bugging me. So was the fact that once we combined images from three different flash cards the numbering system on the files wasn't helpful anymore.

I did a Google search on "how to change multiple files names at once" and discovered that there is a way to rename lots of files in Windows XP all at once. But there are some limitations. I dug a little further and found something wonderful!


Alex Fauland's easy-to-use file renaming program.

I installed it and opened the program side by side with the folder all the wedding pictures are in (right-click on the taskbar and select 'Tile Windows Vertically). I looked at the pictures in thumbnail format so I could see what was in them and then I just dragged and dropped the pictures I wanted to rename into the A.F.5 program window. Then I renamed them useful things like "Bride's Feet in the Grass_01" through "Bride's Feet in the Grass_14", or "Rings_01" through "Rings_11." So now, instead of having three to five folders in the Feet, Shoes, and Rings folder we just have about 50 images, clearly labeled. Sorting by name now puts all the similar ones together.

Less clicking, more finding.


Wonderful.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I graduated.

I was very, very good. I stayed away from Facebook, Google Reader, my blog, and the internet in general for a month and half. With lots of support from and encouragement from Lost Boy and others I finished and turned in ALL of my assignments for school. I passed English. I didn't fail any classes.

After 16 semesters and 11 years I finally earned my Bachelor's degree.

I finished my Associates in 7 semesters (6 years: Fall '99 to Spring '05) with a two and a half year break to prepare for and serve a mission.

I finished my upper division work in 9 semesters (5 years: Fall '05 to Spring '10) with a one semester break to prepare for my wedding.

I almost dropped out in Fall '06 because I couldn't handle full time work and a part time course load. But M.R. sponsored an on-campus internship that gave me the flexibility I needed to meet my financial aid unit requirements, take the one class I needed to qualify for a GIS internship, and continue working at my high-stress full time job for just one more semester.

Rent is expensive. I lived with my dad. I lived with three roommates in a two bedroom apartment to save on rent. I lived with my grandma. And, of course, I lived with Lost Boy.

I failed about one out of every four classes once I started my upper division course work. I failed a required English course (College Composition) twice. I turned in at least half of my assignments late. I never had 100% (or even 90%) perfect attendance. Once I missed a final because I was late for my train and arrived at school 40 minutes late.

It was really long and really hard. If you think you can't do it. Think again. I did it. And so did <-- my sister.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spiffy Blogger Templates

I just discovered some extra blogger capabilities (draft.blogger.com)! Blogger Draft has a new template designer that lets you switch to a three or four column template! Hallelujah! I played around with it some. I don't know if you can use layouts from the Cutest Blog on the Block or Leelou Blogs, but Blogger has some nifty customization options that you can use without having to know html.

Come see the changes I made to my blog! They are closer to the changes I have been wanting, but there are still some problems (i.e. it's terribly cluttered). Changing the template eliminated my previous background, but I still have the stars in my header (need to work on that again). Please note the watermark in upper right hand corner. I just couldn't pass it up!

What do you think?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Price of Significance

"When you want to accomplish something significant, there is always a price, and for me, the price was sleep."
-- Julie Berry, author

Hmmm....

From an interview with Julie Berry at Store & Style. March 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Library Lottery

Lost Boy and I went on a date to the library today ♥. I was hoping to find Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones because we just watched the movie and I want to know all the details that get left out of movies. But our local library is very small and has a limited selection. I'm going to have to request it.

Despite the unlikelihood of our library branch having what I want (I rarely find what I'm looking for at this particular branch), I won the lottery with The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Book One in Percy Jackson & The Olympians... yes, the one that is in the movie theaters right now.) When I checked the catalog there were up to 44 holds on some of the copies.

Now, to give you some perspective, there were upwards of 150-200 holds on all the copies of Twilight in the regional public library system in 2007 and today's visit to the library was the first time I'd ever seen Twilight on any library bookshelves (but none of Meyer's other books). Admittedly, Percy Jackson appeals to a younger audience with less spending power and ability to get access to the latest books (though I suspect the movie producers aged him a little to make him more attractive to the mid-teen audience), so I probably wouldn't have had to wait two years or more to get a hold of a library copy, but the book was on my reading list before the movie previews came out and I didn't want to wait for the fad to pass, or to buy it myself, before I got to read it.

Apparently there weren't any holds on this particular copy, which happened to be at my not-so-well-stocked library, because the librarian checked it out to me without any problems (I expected something like: "Um, there is a line of people waiting to read this book, we need to put it on hold for the person at the top of the line."). Miraculous.

Just so you know, I really am grateful for this little library branch. It is close enough for Lost Boy and I to walk to so we can have nice walk/library dates. The library system is very good about filling requests, so I can have books I want to read sent to this branch and I can pick them up at my convenience. This branch is two or three times as big as it was fifteen years ago and has at least twenty times the selection it did when I was in junior high. And this branch has a piece of property where it will someday have it's own facility (it has been in a strip mall for over decade).


So even though I seem frustrated by the lack of selection at this branch, my life really is enriched by it. I just particularly like the feeling of being lost in the stacks; completely alone in a world of books and shelves where very few other humans venture. You can't get that feeling in small libraries. Even medium sized libraries have a hard time perpetuating that feeling. And it is always a bummer to find only one book in a series you want to read and it isn't the first one (or the one you are ready to read next), which is what has been happening to me at this branch consistently since I was twelve. It is good that this branch is growing. And it is very cool that I actually found the first book in a series that I wanted to read, especially when that series is a hot library-request/hold item.

Saturday Stuff To Do

To Do List:
*Get ready for the Sabbath
*Finish studying the Sunday School lesson
*Go to bed ten hours before 8:00 am
Take Vitamins and Medscheck
Go to the library with Lost Boycheck
Go outside for a whilecheck
Don't scratch any skinfail
Write (preferable English assignment)
Work on geography homework (data project ♥)
Wash some dishes
Hang laundry on the linecheck

Not on the To Do List:
Read The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson etc.)check


It looks like I still have a lot to do to make headway on my priorities (and before 10:00 pm)! Hmm...

Friday, March 05, 2010

Baby Bump - 16 Weeks



Before

16 Weeks

Dear Baby,

Dear Baby,

I'm amazed at how fast you're growing! I think you are bigger than the average fetus your age. Your daddy is really worried about us because I'm not eating very much. Please try to make quality growth a priority over quantity growth. I have no doubt that you will be taller than me (and most of your aunts!) when you are a teenager, so there is no need to rush right now.

I have been trying to eat high nutrient-high calorie foods, like Ensure Plus, Carnation Breakfast drink with whole milk, and avocados. Your daddy hates avocados, but he buys them for us anyways. He loves us a lot! I can't tell what nutrients you need because I haven't been craving anything lately. If you could please let me know what you want I might be able to eat it for you.

I love you and I worry about you. Please let me feel you soon so I know you're doing alright.

Love,
Mom

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Week in Highlights

I'm feeling pretty good about some of the things that happened this week. A lot of them, though not all, are things I accomplished! Here is the happy rundown (in no order whatsoever):
  1. My Green Bag Lady bag came today.
  2. I sewed a messenger bag (though it's still kind of in progress).
  3. I drank a gallon of milk in four days.
  4. I wrote the first draft for an English essay a whole week in advance!
  5. I did some dishes.
  6. Lost Boy let me take care of him (a little) while he was sick.
  7. I took the Census Exam to apply to work for the 2010 Census.
There are still three days left in the week! I wonder what nice things might happen?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Feeling a little better.


I've been feeling better this week! There may be various reasons:
  • I've been in to see my doctor and we increased my depression meds.
  • I'm entering the Second Trimester and actually spending some time out of bed! I did a couple of chores (dishes, sweeping, cleaning the bathtub) for the first time in a long time and I felt productive!
  • The sun came out a few times.
  • I've been going to bed earlier (meaning Lights Out and No Flashlight). I turned out the light by 10:30 pm THREE CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS!!! (Okay, the third night it was actually 10:35 pm). My goal is seven consecutive nights, but three is a personal record.
During my visit my doctor berated me for not taking my vitamins. I had been taking my prenatal, iron, and folate diligently for over ten months, but once I suspected my vitamins of making me throw up I stopped taking them. After all, I'm quite sure I'm not eating close to 2000 calories a day. If taking my vitamins causes me to lose half of the calories I did eat, then what's the use? However, after my previously mentioned berating I started taking the folate again (diligently!) and I bought Flintstones chewable vitamins (which my doctor says aren't as good as a prenatal, but are better than nothing).

My friend, Liz, suggested the Flintstones. She told me they absorb so fast you haven't got a chance to throw them up. Good thing! She observed that she eventually had to stop buying them because she would discover the jar empty and have to call poison control after identifying which kid was the culprit. I laughed when she told me that, but then I ate one...

My lab tests came back and my doctor called me to tell me that I'm anemic. AGAIN. No wonder I just want to lay around all day! There is a prescription waiting for me at the pharmacy, but meanwhile I have hesitantly (and bravely!) started taking iron again. Lost Boy suggested cutting the tablet in half to see if that made me feel less nauseous than the whole dose. Smart boy! It does! So my plan is to take two halves of my iron until we get over to the pharmacy.

In the long term, I wonder if cutting my prenatal in half will reduce how nauseous it makes me feel. I will have to try it, although I really like eating the Flintstone vitamins...

P.S. They have sour flavored Flintstones too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Unsuccessful and Despondent

I've been wanting to change things on my blog for some time. Last semester I was busy with school, and then we had a whole bunch of adventures from November to January. Today I spent some time trying to make the changes I wanted, but I have not been successful.

I want to have two gadget columns to the right of my post column, and I found a tutorial on how to edit the html myself, but I just couldn't get it right. I created three columns, but I couldn't get more than one gadget in the column I added to my Blogger template. Sigh. So I still have the same layout as before.

I have been wanting a pretty and unique banner, but my attempts at graphic design over the summer were only marginally successful, and I dropped them once school got going. I tried my hand at some digital scrapbooking with a free download from digitalscrapbookingfreebies.com. I really like the gold stars, but the overall effect it isn't entirely what I want.

Sigh. Maybe it is just the depression. I feel really disinterested in everything. I wasn't even remotely nervous about the first day of classes yesterday (or maybe that is because this is my eighth semester at this campus). Is this likely to last my whole pregnancy?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Disneyland Adventure

Things have been pretty exciting for the past two months. Lost Boy and I went to Disneyland with my family at Thanksgiving. My family was coming from Utah, but Lost Boy and I are in Central California, so we took a leisurely drive down Highway 101 and camped at Sunset Beach to break up the drive. We explored a couple of beaches and stopped in a few small towns. It was lovely.

We met up with my family in LA and ten of us shared two rooms. It worked out pretty well, my parents got a suite with a hide-a-bed couch for my brother and everyone else got a bed except Rach, who we put in a sleeping bag on a pile of couch pillows.

The rides were mostly good. They always seem so short compared to how long you waited to get onto them. I discovered that the most important thing to pack when you're going to a theme park is a couple (or nine) people who you enjoy hanging out with. We played "What Disney character am I?" (Everyone has to figure out who you are by asking yes/no questions) in the line for California Soaring and Nimo's Submarine Adventure (we also played it while we were stuck underwater in the submarine while the ride had some trouble).

I liked Space Mountain, Star Tours, and California Soaring, but I'm not sure how I felt about the Screamer ride. I avoided the rides that take you up high and then drop you, I already know I don't like those. (Yes, I did try them out once, that's how I know!) The Toy Story Arcade ride is fun - it is interactive and it's aim is very generous (I was amazed at how many targets I hit!). The best ride was Buzz Lightyear's Mission to defeat Zurg (I don't know what it was really called). You get to shoot at Zurg and his minions with lazer blasters and it is like a live video game. They take pictures of you, like most rides do, but this one lets you email it to yourself for free! That's nice of them. The boys went on this ride many many times (I don't know how many) and got tips from the staff so they could score better.

We saw the Disney Christmas parade and since we were behind a lot of people Lost Boy put me on his shoulders for half of the parade. Six feet off the ground is quite a ways up there and I could probably see better than the people at the front! I wasn't sure how to get down though, and I didn't follow Lost Boy's lead, so I nearly fell off of him on the way down. We also saw the California Adventure parade with all the Pixar characters and that was cooler than the Disney parade. (Although I did like the princesses!)

We saw, ate, bought, and experienced a lot of other stuff, but there are more adventures to catch up on.

Next time: Car crash on the way home. (If you were delayed going north on the Grapevine the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we probably contributed to your travel time. Sorry.)

Disqus for a home for my heart