Friday, December 24, 2010

Bad Mom Cards - Christmas Edition

Have you heard about Bad Mom Cards?  They're a group of cartoons from the New Yorker, with depictions of bad moms and an explanation of the deed they did that was so terrible to merit a collectible card.  One says "#35 Martina F.: Didn't put up St. Patrick cards one year."  Another says "#61 Deborah Z: Has never even tried to make Play-Dough from scratch."  My personal favorite is #89 - I don't want to spoil it so you have to click over and look at it.  The illustrations are hilarious, too.

I love them because it's a good way to get rid of mom guilt.  All moms make mistakes, and the things we do that we feel the most guilty about are probably not a big deal.  When I do something worthy of a bad mom card, I remember those cards, have a laugh about it, and try to do better next time.

So here's mine:  "#96 Dorothy W.: Did not get child a stocking for Christmas."

I feel so bad about it I kind of want to cry.  I really meant to get her a stocking.  I planned on getting her a really cute one and ironing on a pretty "S" and filling it with cool candies and little toys and fruits and nuts.  But I didn't like any of the ones I saw when I went shopping for one a couple of days after Thanksgiving.  Then I contemplated sewing one myself (I've never really sewed anything in my life and I don't have a sewing machine, so who knows why I thought that might be an option).  Then, these past couple of days, I planned on doing it for sure.  But Nathaniel needed the car to get to school to work on his paper, and by the time he got home it was dark and cold and snowy outside and who wants to go to Walmart then?  So today, I thought I'd get one after we got to Nathaniel's parent's house.  But by the time we got to Farmington, ate Christmas Eve bread and cheese dinner, and filled up the gas tank, Walmart was closed.  It was 9:20 PM on Christmas Eve, so I wasn't surprised.  I just drove through the parking lot, feeling tears well up in my eyes, imagining my daughter who has been a model child this past year waking up on Christmas morning to see everyone else joyfully dump out the contents of their stockings and then realizing there wasn't one for her.

So I went to 711.  I figured that even if Summer couldn't have the beautiful stocking I'd envisioned, she could at least have some good candy.  I bought her Pop Tarts, Pringles, Nerds, honey roasted peanuts,  Ritter Sport chocolates (okay, those were at least partially for me), TicTacs, and some of those dumb plastic bracelets that change shape.  I went home and put it into a plastic Christmas bag we used to transport my homemade crackers.  So lame.

As I wrapped Summer's Pop Tarts, I thought what a bad mom I was and remembered the Bad Mom Cards.  Okay, so it's really lame I didn't get it together enough to get Summer a freaking stocking.  But when I ask Summer what Christmas is, she says, "Jesus burfday."  When I ask Summer what song she wants me to sing her, she says, "Jesus Christmas music."  She likes the trees and the ornaments and the lights, but I think I've done a good job teaching her that the reason behind Christmas is the Savior, and it doesn't matter if her stocking is a used plastic bag.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brown-Eyed Girl

Summer is constantly sleep-deprived, and she has the tired-looking eyes too prove it.  Today, I told Nathaniel she took a three-hour nap (turns out I was wrong, but that's irrelevant).  Nathaniel came home and after playing with her for a bit, said, "Let me look at your eyes, Summer."

Summer obediently turned toward Nathaniel and said, "They're brown."

Like, "Dad, don't waste your time.  I know this."

She's really cute.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Patronizing Emails

When we moved into our apartment, the walls had not been patched or painted and looked pretty ugly. The carpets had not been cleaned and looked awful. I sent an email to the landlady letting her know that we thought the apartment was junk and she never responded. Four months later (yesterday), I got an email from my landlady's local "manager" (i.e. the person who gets cheaper rent because he's willing to deal with disgruntled tenants so that the landlady doesn't have to). I've been debating how to respond. I can write back the little helper and tell him this is ridiculous. I can write the landlady and tell her this is ridiculous. Or, I could post the email on our blog and tell all of you that this is ridiculous. I think I might do all three, but here's to the last option:


Hello Fantastic Tenants,

    Just got off the line with [landlady] today. There are some units that are lacking extra paint to match the current walls, and as such, lack the ability to cover up any needed cover-ups! As such, she felt it most efficacious to have any of you who are need of paint take a small one or two inch section of paint from an unobtrusive spot in your unit to the nearest paint matching store (Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc...) and buy a quart of matching paint. Then, send your receipt to her with your next months rent and she will reimburse you by taking off that money from your NEXT months rent. She feels this will be a better process than having a paint shop have to come out and get a sample form each unit and then provide the paint, as that would be MUCH more expensive! Let me know if any of you have any questions. Thanks for being so great, and have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas indeed. I can't wait to spend it scraping paint samples off the wall, matching it at Lowes, and painting our piece of crap walls with it. At least this alternative is MUCH cheaper for the landlady!

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Story of My Life

It's very easy, if you are a stay-at-home mom, to completely forget how to talk to people who are not parents.  My life has exhilarating moments, heartbreaking moments, hilarious moments, and tenderly sweet moments.  And nearly all of them revolve around my daughter.  If I'm not careful, here is what a conversation with a non-parent looks like:

Me: Summer did the cutest thing today!  She picked up a stick and said, 'Question mark.' I looked at it and it totally looked like a question mark.

Non-parent: Oh, cute.

Me: Oh, and today I started singing Christmas music to her, and she looked at me and stuck her fingers in both ears.

Non-parent: Ha, that's hilarious.

Me: I know, right?  She loves Christmas music, though, and she loves it when I sing it to her at night.  When I'm putting her to bed, she always wants me to sing to her in the chair in her room.  So I sit down and ask her what song she wants me to sing.  Tonight, she said, "Jesus," so I started singing her a Primary song about Jesus, but then she interrupted me and said, "Christmas."  So I sang Away in a Manger and Silent Night, and she loved it.

Non-parent: That's so sweet.

Me: Oh, she can say so many things!  When we read No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Summer always supplies all the 'No more monkeys jumping on the bed' parts.  And, when I was singing the Dora theme song, after I sang, 'Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping!' she said, 'Oh, man!'  I hadn't even sung that with her before!  It was soooo cute!

Non-parent: Awesome.

Me: But being a parent can be rough.  Today, as I was putting her down for a nap, she grabbed both of these huge, ridiculous earrings I was wearing and pulled as hard as she could.  I yelled at her to stop, but she didn't and just yanked them out of my ears.

Non-parent: (horrified) Oh, gosh!

Me: Oh, it wasn't that bad.  She didn't rip a hole in my ear or anything.  And she's usually really sweet.  She is teething right now, and it's unusually rough on her.  She's getting three of her smaller molars.  All at once.

Non-parent: Oh.

Me:  But she pooped in the toilet, so that's good!  Before she refused to sit on it, but I guess all she needed was a Dora potty seat cover, 'cause now she wants to sit on it all the time!

Non-parent:  Huh.

Me: So, yeah, being a mom is great.  Um, so, how is school going?

I know that reciting all the goings-on with Summer does little to foster a relationship with another person.  I used to be good at making friends and conversation, but I am so rusty I fear I've lost the art.  The sad thing is that it was a talent I had to work for.  In middle school I had a reputation for being stuck-up, but the truth was I was deeply insecure and scared to talk to people I didn't already know, and when I did talk to people I knew I pretty much only talked about myself, because that's what insecure people do.  I got better at that, but now I'm afraid my social skills are the same as they were when I was thirteen and I got a boyfriend and broke up with him the same day.  I hope to get better at it, but it's easier to say nothing, so that's usually what I wind up doing.  That or talk about Summer's Dora potty.

Blogging is sort of similar.  I haven't done it as much lately because I've been insanely busy with work and raising a kid (and baking mini banana cream pies).  I feel bad that Summer is progressing so much and I have done so little to document it, but I'm not too interested in writing a milestone blog, because I know they can be uninteresting to read if the kid isn't related to you.  And while I can turn Summer's funny/sad/cute stories into something funny and worth reading, I don't have the time.  (I have to make mini banana cream pies!  And eat all of them even though I made them for the ladies in my ward whom I visit teach!)

So that pretty much sums up my life: hanging out with Summer which is awesome (except for today when she was awful because of her teething), working, and baking.  Hopefully soon I'll get the guts and find the time to make new friends and write awesome blog posts, too.  Or maybe I'll get the guts to write the posts I want to write and not worry about what people will think.  Or maybe I'll just realize that the internet is a colossal waste of my time and I'll disconnect it and live a very happy life.  Who knows?



P.S.  I represented a client in court for the first time yesterday.  It was....okay.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Creepy Jimmy Wales

Every year when Wikipedia asks me to donate money I get creeped out by Jimmy Wales and his personal appeals. What's with his super intense pictures? Am I supposed to be so awed by his image that I'll want to donate to Wikipedia? Feels like a lame attempt at a personality cult.  Or it could be Big Brother watching me read Wikipedia articles. Creepy.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Playing In the Leaves

This is a very Summeresque picture: super pensive.








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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Healthy Food Ideas

I'm usually a pretty healthy eater.  Some of my in-laws may laugh at this statement, because I do have a sweet tooth.  But generally, I try to pick fruits and veggies over bacon cheeseburgers and hot dogs.  


This time of the year, though, it gets hard.  I eat low-fat, minimally sweetened yogurt with frozen blueberries and it makes me so cold I want some hot chocolate to wash it down.  Last year I ate a lot of pot roasts and roasted chicken, and while those are awesome, I'm looking for some healthier ideas.  Anyone got any ideas for warm healthy food?  It'd be great to have both quick little meals and recipes.  I aim to eat one fruit, one vegetable, and one protein at every meal, so anything that helps with that goal will be cherished forever. 

In case you're curious, here are some thing I've been eating:
  • Baked sweet potatoes (although regular baked potatoes are awesome and I still eat them)
  • Red peppers at breakfast
  • A healthy version of cole slaw to go with soups
  • Lots of homemade soups - lentil, tomato, African peanut...yeah, kinda sick of soup.
  • Frozen veggies sautéed with some grana padano
  • Boiled eggs (trying not to think of that one office episode...)
  • Roasted acorn squash
  • Whole-wheat pasta with a quick homemade tomato sauce and fancy Kraft parmesan in the green shakey can.  
I also have big plans to make these crust-less quiche/frittata thingies and freeze them.  

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Adoption

I didn’t give up a baby for adoption.  I probably won’t adopt any kids.  But adoption is such an important part of my life that I can’t imagine where or who I’d be without it.

I know very little about my biological grandmother.  I know her last name.  I know she had red hair.  I know she passed away many years ago.  I know that she was in a mental hospital around the time my dad was adopted.   And I know that she made what I can only imagine was an unspeakably difficult decision: the decision to give my father up for adoption. 

My dad never shared my curiosity about his birth mother.  To him, he has a mom and a dad who both had brown hair, who were (and are) good strong Mormons of pioneer stock, who were poor but gave more love than I can fathom.  My grandmother adored children and took in those who needed her love and care.  My dad was one of those kids and was so blessed to be adopted by Elmer and Tressa Hatch, of Springville Utah.  Grandma and Grandpa Hatch gave my dad the blessing of being a Mormon, of examples of hard work and sacrifice, of love and kindness, of a happy childhood, of unwavering support and confidence, of adoring brothers and sisters, and, later, loving grandparents to his children.   They gave me the blessing of the opportunity to learn about the LDS Church, the blessing of their examples, my pioneer ancestry, and their love.  Because of them my dad is the amazing dad he is.  I can’t imagine what my dad’s life would have been like had he not been adopted.  I thank God for the red-haired woman who let my dad be raised by grandma and grandpa.

My mom did not have such a happy childhood.  When she was nineteen, she found herself pregnant and unmarried, with no chance to marry the father of the child she was carrying.  There was a woman - a kind and loving source of strength to my mother since she was a child -  who was LDS and who suggested my mom give the baby up for adoption through LDS Adoption Services.  My mother should really be telling this story.  Anyway, the point is that my mom started going to church to see how her baby would be raised.  Later, she was baptized.

I am so grateful to be a Mormon.  It is because of my faith that I have everything that is dear to me, and it is because of adoption that I have my faith.  So thank goodness for adoption.  

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Study Music

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Rules

In our house, we have rules.  They're not too strict, and they're not written in stone - or even written down, until now - but they exist.  And here they are.

The Rules:

1. Hot dogs, canned pasta, and boxed mac and cheese are not consumed here.  But ice cream, cookies, apple crisp, pie, etc. are encouraged.  By Dorothy and Summer.

2. No Disney.  Veggie Tales, Sesame Street, and Teletubbies are acceptable.

3. You may not mix up there, their, and there.  The punishment for breaking this rule is merciless teasing.
UPDATE:  I thought I fixed the theres, but apparently I didn't.  Feel free to tease me.

4.  Back up your argument with sound reasoning.  Logical fallacies, formal or informal are not tolerated. This includes the appeal to emotion.

5.  No eating outside the kitchen if you're under three feet tall.  There is no punishment for breaking this rule.

6.  No legalese or otherwise pretentious language.

7.  You may not exit the shower without drying off first.

8.  Be nice.  To everyone.  (We're working on this, especially in the contexts of driving and nursery.)

9.  Get the amount of sleep appropriate for your age group.

10.  Work hard, unless your name is Summer or you're having a bad day.

It's been so interesting to watch our little family culture develop.  There are so many rules I'd like to be there but are not, like "read lots and lots of books" or "never leave crap out on the kitchen counter."  I want to do a lot of things better and keep improving our family and develop great traditions.  But I like us, as imperfect as we are.  And, as silly as some of our rules are, I like them, too.

I'm curious - what are your family rules?

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Off

Summer read her first word today.  She was sitting on a chair playing with a CD case for Microsoft Home and Office saying "off...off...off...on off, on off."  Dorothy got really excited when she realized that Summer was was pointing at the word "office" while she was saying this.  I wasn't sure if this was for real, so I got out the "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" book (apparently this is where she learned to read the word "off" in the first place) and made Summer point to "off."  She did it!  So, little Summer can read "off."

We reenacted part of the event for you:

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nathaniel's Weekly Update -- Installment 2 (last one was a year ago)

This was supposed to be the coolest week ever, and it ended up being super poopy.  Let me tell you about it.  


I didn't have any classes this week.  Sweet, right?  Yeah, should have been sweet.  Last Sunday night Dorothy and I, in our "weekly" planning session (that happens more like once every four months), decided that I would spend the whole day at school Monday through Thursday.  This would give me plenty of time to get caught up in my classes and maybe give me a fighting chance to pass my finals.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all going to be spent chilling with some of our favorite friends in California.  Seems like a great plan, doesn't it?  Work really hard for the first half of the week, play really hard for the second half.

Well, Monday I spent pretending to be a research assistant by trying to do some research (I figured that was a pretty good way to pretend).  I figured I had about 10 hours worth of work to get done and that I could be finished with it by the end of Monday.  Well, plot spoiler, it's 8 pm on Saturday night and I'm still sitting in the law library trying to divine a better method for pretending to be a research assistant.  So, what happened in between?

Dorothy got strep throat on Tuesday.  Yeah, I thought only little kids got that.  Turns out (according to the doctor), kids Summer's age almost never get it but adults are fair game.  Unfortunately, Summer, while protected from the awful hell Dorothy has been going through, got something that is apparently not strep throat but that causes a fever, coughing, runny nose, ear infection and tonsil swelling.  So, I spent the bulk of Tuesday through Thursday taking care of my girls.  When I wasn't doing that, I pretended to be a research assistant again.  

We cancelled our would-have-been-awesome trip to California.  Instead, I spent all of Friday in the library playing pretend.  Friday night, Dorothy and I went and watched the Social Network, which I 100%ly recommend.  And today (Saturday), I've been alone with my self in the library.  Over the last couple of hours I've noticed this nagging pain in my throat.  Can't wait to get diagnosed on Monday.  Oh, and not only have I not got caught up on my classes, I haven't done any of the reading for Monday.  

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Exciting News! - for people who care where Nathaniel is going to work next summer

Nathaniel accepted an offer with Jones Day in DC!  Nathaniel loved the firm and is excited to spend ten weeks there next summer.  The interviewing process, from what I could tell, was a lot like dating.  The law students check out the firms and the firms check out the law students, while both sides do their best to impress.  Of course, unlike dating, the firms have significantly greater bargaining power.  Or maybe that is like dating if you're dating out of your league?Anyway, if they like his work as a summer associate, they'll ask him to come back after he graduates.  If not, we're in trouble!  But we won't worry about that right now.  We're just grateful everything worked out and we're excited to go back to DC this summer.  

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Muzzle






Ready for some random thoughts?  Let’s do this.
Yesterday in WalMart, Summer wiggled out of her lap belt.  I slowly stopped the cart as she stood up.  I told her to sit down.  She promptly sat down on the back rest, out of my reach.  As I was walking around the cart to pick her up, she fell back into the main part of the cart.  Her screams were deafening.  I counted about five people who saw the whole thing.  As  I consoled Summer, I wondered how it was possible that I am allowed to be a parent.  As in, shouldn’t they have a class on how to properly strap your child into a shopping cart before you can be allowed to have complete responsibility for a human being?
Summer was fine.
I didn’t get a job I really wanted.  I’m okay with that for two reasons: first, there were 73 applicants, so they didn’t even look at people like me who don’t have bar results yet.  Even if I really wanted to take the rejection personally, I couldn't.  Second, though the hours would be flexible, it was full-time, which would have been rough.   Staying home is great in a lot of ways, especially now that Nathaniel decided to take it a little easier at school and give me a break from  Summer for a couple of hours every day.  I have the best husband in the world.  Sorry, TAMN.  It’s true.
You know how people who cook fall into two categories, bakers and, um, cooks?  Well, they do, and I decided I’m a baker.  Cooking is great because I can eat whatever I want and it provides a fantastic sense of accomplishment.  But when I measure baking powder and sift flour, when I create the perfect pastry cream or crust, when I pop something into the oven and then check it for that golden-brown color, all the craziness of life just fizzles away and my mind is clear and I am calm.  Way less stressful than, say, making lasagna. 
Speaking of suspect self-classifications, I love this article from the New York Times.  I remember in junior high trying to decide if I was right- or left-brained, and thinking that I was a little bit of both.  I think I was the only one in my class who said that.  The teacher even tried to teach to our supposed right- and left-brained tendencies.  Same for a high-school physics teacher who gave us a quiz to figure out what our learning styles were.  I just decided that I would be different from everyone else in my group and be auditory. 
We are sort of decorating our apartment, and it definitely looks better than any other apartment we’ve been in.  Of course, that’s not saying much.  I don’t have a color scheme or a theme or any words on the walls, but we do have a filing cabinet that we’re using as a side table, and I did make an ottoman.  With Velcro.  It’s ghetto.  I want to take a picture of our little living area and post it, but I want it to be “finished” before I do, and considering our moving history and how often I have days in which I do pretty much nothing, finished will never happen.  But here is a link to the sofa we bought, if you’re interested.  We paid 1/7th of the price.  And there was a big rip in the middle seam but Nathaniel bought heavy-duty thread and an upholstery needle and sewed it up perfectly and it looks awesome.  See?  I really do have the best husband in the world. 
I still like the Smashing Pumpkins.  Muzzle is my favorite song.  It has been since I was in eighth grade.  I also still wear t-shirts, jeans, and converse like I did in the eighth grade.   Luckily, I don't live in Vernal, Utah anymore.  So things do change for the better.  

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Um, What's a Blog?

So in the past few months, I've flown to Utah, taken the bar, flown back to DC, driven to Utah, moved into an apartment, and supported a husband in his first week of law review.  During that time, I've completely forgotten how to live my life.  Today I made crappy no-bakes.  I haven't cooked dinner in a week.  And I haven't blogged.  What kind of SAHM am I?

So here is a Summer update.  She's basically the cutest, sweetest, funnest (yes, that's a word), smartest, and all around bestest (also a word) little girl in the whole world.  We just adore her.  She says everything now, which makes communicating with Nathaniel difficult.  We have to spell words like outside and chalk and trailer (we got a bike trailer for her).  Her favorite things are trash, trucks, birds, dolls, and ice cream.  I had no idea a fifteen-month old girl could be so obsessed with trucks.  We put hers in her crib, along with all her stuffed animals, and I swear she just plays with it for half an hour before she wakes up.  And if she's in her carseat and can see trucks, she's happy.

Here are a few pictures.  Please don't make fun of her hair.  It's a sensitive subject for me.  I don't know what to do with it.  Any ideas would be appreciated.



My brother bought a drum set for his daughter and Summer had a go:


Summer really loves the bunny:





For the first time ever, Summer ran away from the camera rather than trying to grab it.  But it's okay.  She came back.






Yep, we're keeping her.  

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Slightly Disappointed

Ever since Summer was teeny tiny, I have desperately wanted to know what she was thinking.  So I did everything I could to encourage her to talk as soon as possible.  I read to her all the time.  I talked to her even when she was a blob and she had no idea that my voice was in any way distinguishable from the sound of a vacuum cleaner.  I took Omega 3 supplements.

And  I got lucky.  Summer talks.  All the time.  And do you want to know what's going on in the head of this little girl?

"Button.  Light.  Flower.  Button.  Hi.  Ouch.  No.  Eyes.  Ice.  Clock.  Dot.  Button.  Bug.  Ball.  Ball.  Ball.  Pool.  Dog.  Kitty kitty.  Trees.  Shoes.  Daddy.  Dance.  Block.  Button.  Light.  Yes.  Ball.  Dog.  Danny (the Schaerr's son).  Eat.  Apa.  Baby.  Down.  Up.  Button.  Toes.  Poo.  Bye.  Out.  Dot.  Book.  Door.  Moon.  Dirt.  Hat.  Hair.  Earring.  Nose. Button..."

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

I don't know what I was expecting.  Maybe, "Mommy, I love you.  You are so good at doing what you do and I really appreciate it."  Or "A couple of years ago, I was living with Our Father in Heaven and He said..." Or even, "Mama."

But random nouns and prepositions are cool, too.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Neglect

Dear Blog,

I've been a bad blogger as of late.  I've been neglecting you.  I'm sorry.

I have a good excuse, though.  I'm studying for the bar.  It's really hard because I'm doing it my myself, instead of paying thousands of dollars for a class.  And if I don't pass, I'll die of shame.  So I won't really be spending much time with you until after I take it, which happens the last week of July.

Don't feel bad.  You're certainly not the only area of my life that I've been neglecting.  I haven't exercised for months.  The only pants I can wear have holes or were made for doing yoga.

So don't feel bad.

Love,  Dorothy

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

13 Months

Summer is 13 months old today.  Martha, the woman we're staying with, told Nathaniel that little Summer has grown a ton this past month.  I didn't realize it before, but now I can see it.  Here is a sampling of her milestones:

Walking.  This girl is walking pretty well.  When we got here, it was a few toddles and lots of falls.  Now, her falls are more rare, and therefore funnier.  She can also go pretty fast, which is great for those "I'm going to get you" games.

Talking.  Summer talks.  The cutest thing is the talking that just sounds like she's speaking her own foreign language, complete with lots of different sounds and voice inflections.  But she also says several words, including ball, tree, "what's that?" eyes, button, dog, eat, book, dot, no, yes, clock, and apa (water in Romanian).  She understands plenty of words and phrases as well, like "give mommy the _______", "turn around," fingers, toes, chair, tongue, "where do you want to go?" "give ________ a kiss," "where's Summer?" (after which she covers her face with her hands" and "I'm going to get you."  It's fun stuff to see her grow.

Um, I don't know what other milestones there are besides mobility and speech.

Anyways, this girl loves to move.  People always says stuff like, "wow, she's a wiggly one," or "I don't think I've ever seen her still."  We use Nathaniel's big leather belt to strap her into her high chair, which sometimes keeps her from getting one leg out of the high chair or attempting to crawl onto the kitchen table.  Now that she can walk, there is a lot of moving going around.  I don't really mind it, except during Church.  I think we're going to start to lay down the law.  I feel really bad for anyone who wanted a pleasant Sacrament Meeting.

She loves books.  I frequently find her just sitting down, flipping the pages and pointing at the pictures, while talking to herself in that special language of hers.

This girl is adorable.  She just has the sweetest smile that brightens everyone's day.  Summer is a joy.

Pictures Later.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Chair



Isn't this chair awesome?  Martha, the woman we're staying with, received it from her grandmother.



This is Summer's favorite spot.

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Lunch with John Paul Stevens

I'm leaving for a cross-country road-trip with my Mom tomorrow.  She's helping us drive our car to DC, and Nathaniel is going to fly out next Tuesday with Summer.  So we're super busy with packing and getting things ready, and what better time to blog?


During placement break my 1L year, I took a trip with my grandma to meet John Paul Stevens.  Well, to have lunch with him.  The first time I met him I was in high school.  He took me in his office and I informed him I wanted to go into politics and that I was really impressed with the big books in his office.  I'm sure I made a great impression.

The next time was better.  I got to hear oral arguments in two cases: one was Microsoft v. AT&T and the other was a Fifth Amendment case.  Justices Alito and John Roberts looked straight at me, probably wondering what I was doing in Ms. Stevens' seat.  

We sat next to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Brazil.  My mom informed her that men in Brazil treat women poorly.  The Chief Justice heartily agreed.  

After oral arguments in the Microsoft v. AT&T case, my grandma, my mom, and I went to Justice Stevens' chambers for lunch (my mom calls him John Paul, but since I'm sure he wouldn't recognize me if I said hi to him on the street, I call him Justice Stevens).   We ate BLT sandwiches and potato chips with soda.  Justice Stevens ate saltine crackers and cottage cheese with water.  

He asked my grandma about their family members on the west coast, where she lives.  He asked my mom about her job, and he asked me about school.  

"In class, do you see anyone play spider solitaire?"  

"Yes," I answered.

"Do you ever play?"

"Yes," I said, embarrassed.  I decided against explaining to him that spider solitaire helped me focus on the lecture, especially when I sat far away from the professor.

"How many different suits do you play with?"

"Two," I said.

"Next time, try four.  That's what I do and I'm have a ten percent win rate."

I'm so sad that Justice Stevens is retiring.  I have loved reading his recent interviews and news articles published for his retirement.  I don't agree with all his opinions, but his legal mind is unparalleled and I don't think we'll ever see another Supreme Court justice that's as good as he.  And that's my completely unbiased opinion.  

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Summer's First Birthday Party



Summer had her first birthday party yesterday.



She won't turn one for another four days, but on the second I'll be with my mom driving through Kansas. So we did a little something yesterday.


I spend all my time making food and decorations and didn't get around to making Summer's mop of hair look good. Sorry, little girl.


After eating, we sang happy birthday to Summer and let her go at a cupcake. She really liked the frosting...



Finally, she figured out she cold eat the whole thing and gladly did so:


Then the dress went back on and we opened presents.




So that was Summer's first birthday party, and I think it's going to be her last. I don't like throwing parties. When people leave it's such a bummer because I don't feel like I really got the chance to talk to anyone, even when the party is small. In the future, we'll just have several separate birthday dinners with good friends, because making food and eating it with friends is awesome.

Okay, here are some recipes for those interested.

We ate Asian pasta salad:

Dressing:
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. oil (part sesame oil, part salad oil)
3 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt & pepper
1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds

Bowtie Pasta
red & yellow peppers, sliced
baby spinach
cilantro
chicken
almonds

Bean Dip with Chips:
I forgot about the pita chips, so we just had them with tortilla chips. They would have been better with the pita chips.

We also had sliced strawberries. I have decided that, in the future, I'm always getting my fruit from costco unless I can sneak a sample before buying. Fruit at Costco is more expensive, but they've never sold me bad fruit.

For dessert, we had sugar cookies and strawberry vanilla cupcakes.

When I decided to make cupcakes, my only goal was to make a cupcake that Nathaniel liked. Nathaniel is not a sweets person. He enjoys them on occasion, but he could probably go his whole life without eating anything sweet and would be fine. Okay, well, I suppose most of us would be fine in that scenario, but you know what I mean.

Nathaniel is more than indifferent when it comes to cake. He's actively opposed to cake. When he is served cake, he usually refuses. Sometimes he accepts, though, and then is reminded why he usually refuses in the first place. So, if I was going to make cupcakes, I wanted them to be so good that Nathaniel would actually eat one. Why? I don't know. But that was my goal.

A while ago, I saw a today show clip and Giada made cupcakes topped with a strawberry glaze, which was just strawberry puree and powdered sugar. I thought a strawberry glaze sounded brilliant and so I decided to use that as my frosting. Then I decided on this recipe for the cupcakes:
It turns out that recipe is ridiculously complicated. I spent all day making the dumb things. It probably would take most people less time, but I kept forgetting to buy ingredients and I had to go to the store to get them.

So then I made the strawberry glaze, which just tasted like powdered sugar (I used fresh, not frozen strawberries, btw). So I added 2/3 of a stick of butter, a little vanilla, and a little lemon juice, and much more powdered sugar. Sorry, that's all I know about that frosting.

Anyway, the cupcakes were a big hit. Nathaniel ate, like, three. But if you're going to do that cupcake recipe, I would skip the vanilla bean. The strawberry frosting (which was really incredible) will atone for any sins of the cupcakes.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For the love, please help!

Friends, please help me. Summer can get out of her high chair. I turn my back for three seconds and she is standing up, one leg out, attempting to get down. Either that or baby suicide. I don't know.


So I've been feeding her on the floor. I put some food on a plate, put it on the floor, and sit her in front of it. Once, when Summer was heavily distracted by an open refrigerator, I whistled to get her attention. Nathaniel promptly chastised me.

By the way, is there a real Mother of the Year award? Because I'm planning on nominating myself if there is.

Anyway, it turns out that feeding a child who is not strapped into a chair has significant disadvantages. When Summer got distracted in her high chair, it was no big deal, because the food was right in front of her and it always caught her attention again if she was hungry. But now? Now she can crawl away in the middle of a meal. And she does. She crawls everywhere. I've tried setting her on my lap and feeding her, but she'll eat a bite or two and then blow me off.
I'm going crazy trying to get this girl to eat. I used to think babies would eat if they needed it. If this were true, it would relieve a lot of stress in my life right now. Unfortunately, this thinking got me in trouble with the pediatrician.

So do y'all have any advice? Should I try rigging a belt that's stronger in place of the one she can get out of? Should I make sure she's starving before I try feeding her (I kind of think I'm doing that already, though). Should I feed her a diet of pizza and chicken nuggets? Help.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Ghost of Facebook Past

I deleted my Facebook account when Nathaniel and I were dating. I decided I didn't want to waste time on it anymore. But then my family members joined and I had a hard time keeping in touch with friends, so I tried to get back into my account after I got married. For whatever reason, I couldn't and so I created a new account, which is what I've been using since.

But a couple of days ago, I accidentally logged into my old facebook account. It was pretty fun to see my messages from way back when-especially my banter with Nathaniel from our dating days. Oh, and there are some people who have blocked me or de-friended me. But only the new me. Not the old me. So now, I can rest easy knowing that I can see more Facebook walls than ever before.

The pictures I have on there are ones I haven't seen in a long time. Some I love. Like this one:


I took it when I went to visit my dad on a business trip to Chicago. It's actually a giant, reflective bean in the middle of the city. So cool. It brings back memories of the Chicago heat and Greek food with my dad and exciting city lights.


I also love this one:


No, I'm not gay. I just wanted to get a picture with a law school buddy and someone told us to be goofy. So I decided to give my friend a kiss on the cheek (we were already hugging), and then I started falling over right as someone took the picture. And I like it that there's a couple in the back of us, and my hair is almost the color of that girl's dress. That was a fun dance. It was the only time I've actually used the few belly dancing moves I learned.


I don't really get this one:


It was a profile picture. I remember when was getting over Robby and was sad about it I googled "cute animals" and I would look at pictures until I felt better. But why I decided to use a monkey as a profile picture, I don't know.


Please don't think less of me for this one:

I was an insecure kid. Cut me some slack.


With this one, feel free to think less of me:


The caption says, "What I do in criminal law." Okay, how embarrassing is that? I always think it's kind of funny when people take random, low quality pictures of themselves, pick the best one, and post it on the internet, when they already have a perfectly appropriate, recent, profile picture. Like, oh my gosh, I'm insecure, and so I want someone to tell me I look decent, and so I'll dress up for no reason, take 100 pictures, pick the best one, and sit back and wait for people to comment on it and tell me I'm attractive so I'll get a buzz off the superficial confidence boost. And yeah, guess what this picture is? But, not only did I do that, but I did it in criminal law. What was I looking at? I don't know, but it wasn't the professor and it wasn't the computer. Minus ten points for me.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The roller coaster ride continues

And now I'm at the top. This reminds me of my journals from my early college years: I only wrote when things were either amazing (a boy liked me) or terrible (said boy didn't actually like me). Sorry about that.

Conference was good. I feel a bit inadequate as a parent because of all the parenting talks (um, nurturing is supposed to come naturally to me?), but overall it was very reassuring and helpful and awesome. Plus, now that Summer is FINALLY getting over her sickness, I have been able to see other people and it rocks. I am so lucky to have such thoughtful, intelligent friends. Too bad I'm moving to DC in a month and neither of them will be here next year.
But there is something I need to change. From the comments y'all wonderful people left on my post, I think my problem is that I'm a bit one-dimensional. It's funny, even though I've wanted to be a stay-at-home mom for a long time, and even though the church I love and believe in preaches that it's the most important job ever, a day spent doing just stay-at-home mom stuff is not fulfilling. No matter how many smiles I bring to my daughter's face, no matter what new milestones I have helped her reach, no matter how good my cooking is or clean our apartment is, a day of doing just that leaves me feeling, well, not good. That's so weird to me.

I think that in order for mothers to be the best they can be, they need to spend a little time doing non-mom stuff. For me, it'll be studying for the bar (awesome, right?). It's hard because Summer never lets me focus on anything except her, unless we're in a new place. She'll play by herself, as long as I'm paying attention to her. If she catches me looking at my computer screen she starts bawling. So I have to study during naps (which, by the way, have gotten lots better - two 1.5 hour naps a day. Thank you, God, for answering my prayers).

I love my baby so much, but frankly, I get tired of her. It's the same with Nathaniel: I love him more than I thought possible, but I don't want to be around him all the time. When we are together, our time is special and meaningful. And when Nathaniel takes Summer and I get a break from her, when I come back, I fall in love with her all over again and she is the sweetest, most precious being on the face of this earth.

So I'm going to study for the bar. Right now I'll have to suck it up and just study during Summer's nap time, but when we go to DC, we'll get a babysitter for a couple of hours a day so I can do what it takes to pass this sucker. I'm not using a bar prep course, but I have gotten what seems like good advice from some people I know who've studied on their own. I think I can do it. I have to do it. And then, I'll be a real life attorney. I plan on practicing here in Provo when that happens and the thought thrills me.

Oh, and about cream of condensed soups: they're fine. I've eaten many a good meal with cream of condensed soup. I don't use them because only once have I cooked something containing a cream soup that was actually edible. Since then, I've found a better way to make that particular thing. But if you offer me funeral potatoes, I will jump for joy.

Oh my goodness, could this post get any more random? Of course it could. And it will. Here are some pictures:



Summer likes cords.


And she can throw a fit when she doesn't get her way.


Nathaniel got second place in the 1L moot court competition. This makes me happy, but also annoys me because unlike Nathaniel, I actually tried to do really well and I was only a quarter-finalist. But I still love my husband.



She points.


And she's really cute.

The end.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Well, Crap

For six months I've been looking forward to my mission reunion, only to realize that I missed it. I thought it was tomorrow. It was tonight.

I wanted so badly to go. I wanted so badly to connect with amazing people I met on my mission. I wanted a break from my present routine.

Life as a mom is nothing if not a roller coaster. Some days I think I'm the luckiest person in the world because I get to stay home with my little Summer. Other days, I just think of ways that I can get out of my present situation.

I remember so well reading a talk that was maybe from General Conference. It was some time ago, and I can't find the text, so we'll just have to go with my hazy memory here. Whoever was speaking at General Conference met some young mothers in the park. They all had at least a bachelor's degree and maybe some had more education. She asked them how it was that they were able to turn their backs on careers be so happy being mothers. The response? "We know who we are and we know our purpose."

I always thought of this tableau when I contemplated motherhood. I thought I would just talk with my friends outside on a blanket while our babies played sweetly and the sun shined warmly. It seemed much better than working eight hour days in an office where people who don't really care about you order you around.

But that quaint scene is not my reality. Summer has been sick for three weeks now and so, even if I had a group of friends who basked outside in the sun with their babies, and even if Utah got basking appropriate weather, I couldn't go. And what did I think these women were talking about anyway? Sorry, but I can only talk about diapers and coupons and dinners that involve cream of condensed soups for so long before I go crazy.

Sorry if that was mean. But I have had such a hard time connecting with people since I've had a baby. I feel lonely. When you're working in an office, you work with other people. I'm a social person and I'm sure that even if I didn't like work, I'd get the social interaction I need. It's hard with a husband who is gone all the time and a little baby who demands most of your time and attention.

I understand that Nathaniel needs to be gone. We have a frightening amount of student loan debt that needs to be paid off and the legal market is tough. So I basically want him to be away from 7 in the morning to nine at night. I want him to get great grades so we don't have to declare bankruptcy.

So as Nathaniel is gone, I hang out with Summer. I meet our basic needs. I feel like I just survive.

It's so easy to isolate myself. It's so easy to fill my days with stroller rides and patty-cake and feedings and grocery shopping and a little facebook and some blogs here and there. It's so easy to pass weeks and barely speak to another soul aside from Summer and Nathaniel. It gets easier when, in the course of interacting with someone, I realize that my social skills have atrophied along with my belly-dancing muscles and I am now one of the more awkward people I know.

I do have friends, some of whom are mothers, and for that I am grateful. I actually have a basking friend who is really cool. I just need to take the initiative more. I know. And I know this post underestimates mommy groups. I'm probably just too cynical and proud and I haven't tried hard enough to make more friends. I probably just need to figure out who I am and what my purpose is.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

For Leslie


Thanks for the clothes!!!
Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yay for Husbands

This might be my favorite thing about motherhood:



I was in the middle of doing something when I looked out our front window and saw Nathaniel outside with Summer. He had plopped her down in the grass and she didn't look too sure about it. I could hear him encouraging her, but she didn't go for it and just climbed onto his lap. Unfortunately, this is the best picture I got of that little moment.





Why is it just the sweetest thing in the world to see the man you love more than anyone play with the baby you'd do anything for?

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Part Seven

Yeah, I'm still doing this.



You know that feeling that you get when there's someone in your life? When you find someone who makes you happy and who likes you, too? Your heart seems to beat a bit faster. Food looses its appeal. Sleep becomes an unwelcome intrusion and thoughts of that special someone take its place.

After Nathaniel and I became a couple I just couldn't shake that giddy feeling. I didn't want to feel like that. I wanted to stay on top of my emotions and ensure that reason prevailed. But I guess I didn't want that badly enough because I abandoned myself to the excitement. I let myself smile like a fool whenever I thought of Nathaniel and our moments together. I couldn't help but stay awake into the night, re-playing our every interaction until sleep finally took over. At the GAL's office I could do little else but stare at the file I was supposed to summarize and daydream.

Nathaniel was, as far as I could tell, as close to perfect as anyone I had met. He could see the heart of the issue in every conversation we had. When he knew what he thought on the subject, he never hesitated to voice his well-reasoned opinion. When he didn't know, he unabashedly stated so. But his rationality was tempered with a generous dose of empathy. Nathaniel always tried to look at a situation from someone else's point of view and really tried to understand others. I had never in my dating life encountered someone who could be so logical and yet so caring and dang it, that was sexy.

I was so amused by the things he got excited about. Nathaniel doesn't care for candy bars, but when, at work, they gave out candy bars as a reward, he was determined to get as many as he could. He said he wanted to get enough candy bars to have a drawer full. I told him I thought it was silly. He agreed and abandoned the idea. I wish I hand't said that. How fun it would have been to see him reach his goal and have a drawer full of candy.

Oh, and about work, Nathaniel's abilities to do it bordered on superhuman. He had one of the worst jobs I could imagine: he cold-called people and asked them abut their finances. He hated it, but he willingly worked eight-hour days and more when he could. His attitude was nothing new: he worked on a paper route when he was young and had held a job ever since, including a grueling stint in an asphalt refinery.

I don't think it has every occurred to Nathaniel that there was something he couldn't do. Except, maybe, fly. Or nurse Summer.

I wanted to go into how much I loved talking to Nathaniel about the gospel, but I need to get to the point. The point is this: for a few blessed weeks, I went along as Nathaniel's girlfriend, thinking he was so rational and amazing and wonderful and then, suddenly, he shattered that image during a fight we had about Dryer's Slow-Churned Double Fudge Brownie Ice Cream.

When on a double date, we were given the task of getting some ice cream from the store. As we walked down the ice cream isle, looking at all the tantalizing frozen delights behind the glass doors, Nathaniel said sweetly, as any good boyfriend would, "Pick whatever kind you want."

My last boyfriend and I stumbled on what we believed was the most amazing ice cream ever: Double Fudge Brownie. I quickly fell in love with the creamy vanilla ice cream with chocolate swirls and toothsome chunks of brownie. It wasn't until we ate several bowls that we discovered it was low-fat. But we didn't let that stop us and we ate the entire carton way too fast.

I found the correct carton and picked it up. Nathaniel looked at the carton and immediately saw the "1/2 the fat!" logo. "Low fat?" he asked skeptically.

"Yeah, but it's really good. I don't want it because it's low fat. I just like it."

"Wouldn't you rather have something..." Nathaniel stared at the endless alternatives, not finishing his sentence. I waited.

"I hate low fat," he finally said. "If you want to loose weight, just eat less."

"Have you ever tried losing weight?" I asked.

"Yes, and I didn't eat low fat crap." I had forgotten I was talking to a former intense high school wrestler.

After we discussed it a bit more, I said, "Well, whatever. We can get a different one, but this would be my pick." What a brat I was. But he had, after all, said I could pick the ice cream.

He bought it. Looking back, I can't imagine many things Nathaniel would rather NOT do than spend his heard-earned money on low-fat ice cream. He was pretty upset.

"Why are you so against low-fat ice cream?" I asked him on the way to his friend's house.

"Because! It's not real!" He said this as though he was explaining to me why it's wrong to kill people. "It's mixed in with a bunch of chemicals that supposedly makes it taste better. Why do you want to eat chemicals when you can have the real thing?"

"Well, me, I just happen to like this ice cream a lot. But some people, when they want to loose weight, low-fat options are good because then they can eat as much as they usually do and still loose weight."

"That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I'm pretty sure full fat ice cream is healthier than chemicals. If you want to loose weight, just eat less. It's not. that. hard." His tone of voice told me that we were having our first real argument.

I laughed. "I can't believe you're getting so worked up over low fat ice cream. If people want to eat it, who cares?"

If I'm upset and someone asks me why I'm getting so worked up about it, well, let's just say it's not a good idea. Don't do it.

But Nathaniel smiled. "I don't know. But I hate it."

I don't remember when we got over our little argument. But it wasn't on the way home. I think we just didn't bring it up the next day and went on our merry way, being sure not to bring up Double Fudge Brownie.


By the way, I've read a lot of food blogs since then, and now I think Nathaniel was totally right. No extra chemicals in my ice cream, thank you very much.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ten Months

I'm pretty sure we have the cutest ten-month old ever. And that is a purely objective opinion, I assure you. I would take a picture to prove it, but our camera is somewhere not here. But, really, a camera isn't necessary because it's not just Summer's looks that make her so irresistible. It's not just her sweet brown eyes, her dimples, or her four new teeth. It's not just her generous mane of hair (that's hopefully not red or Nathaniel will freak out) or the way her body looks so teeny-tiny.


Summer is the cutest ten-month old ever because, when she's in a room full of people who start clapping, she stops whatever she's doing and claps along with them. Because when we're in church and during a quiet moment, she lets out a good, long toot and then cracks up with everyone else. Because of her adorable "ba ba bee da, ma ma ba" noises she makes as she crawls around, usually carrying something in her fist like toy or a pair of earrings, or, in today's case, a hammer.

I love this girl so much. When I was younger, I always thought it amazing that of all the people in the world, I was me. It's even more amazing that Summer is her own little person, sent to us from heaven. I feel so lucky to have her and to get to really know her. And yay, she's ten months old.

P.S. We had another weight check. She gained 4 oz in the past month. Not so good. So we're going back in a week to check her weight again. In the meantime, we're working extra hard to fatten her up. I made roast chicken for dinner tonight and Nathaniel and I gave Summer (among other foods) bits of bread smeared with butter and then slathered in chicken juices. She loved it.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

I left our camera in California

A few thoughts:


A while back, I took a logic class from this awesome hippie teacher: Chris Foster. He said that he was so annoyed when Americans acted as though the world owed us gold medals. He pointed out that in small countries, people dance on the streets when they win a medal. The United States already has enough going for it. We don't need to win the most gold medals. So I'm glad Canada won tonight's hockey match. It was their Olympics and their turn to shine.

I kind of hate Russia. I love their ballet, but the Kremlin scares me. I'm sad the Olympics is going to be there next time. I hope the US kicks their trash.

Summer now has four teeth, all of which have come in in the past two weeks. And to celebrate, Summer decided she needs to grind them together. Just the thought of that noise gives me the heebie jeebies, or however you spell that. If anyone has any tips on how to prevent babies from grinding their teeth together, pretty please let me know. (The internet basically says not to worry, it probably won't hurt her teeth. But I worry not for her teeth, but for myself and my sanity.)

People have been requesting pictures with Summer's teeth. I really don't think Summer is just going to smile and show the world her teeth when I take a picture, but when we get our camera back, I'll try.

When I was at Ikea a few days ago, I noticed that the rocking horse that Summer was playing with was not, in fact, a horse, but instead a moose. An employee walked by and I almost asked him, "So, you guys have a lot of Moose in Sweden?" Am I alone in thinking that all the employees of Ikea are Swedish?

What is the plural of moose? Moose? Mooses? Moosen?

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

What we did last weekend.

This is what we did last weekend.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How To Lose Weight


From the time I was about six to the time I was 22 or 23, I was considered a chubby person. I don't think of myself as a lean mean machine now, but back then it was pretty bad. At one point as an undergrad, my BMI was 26, which is well into the "overweight" arena. This would be fine if I worked out and ate healthy, but I didn't. I remember buying a bag on mini twix, planning on sharing them with my friends and eating a few myself. An hour later I was staring at an empty bag in the library. My behavior was a hazard to my health, also. A friend had to do some body assessments for a class, and my blood pressure and heart rate had tipped into the unhealthy range.

I felt awful about my body. I wanted so badly to be skinny. I tried various diets and though they did have some effects, I always fell off the wagon and started eating like before. I felt like I had no willpower and no self-control.

I even tried diet pills. Yeah, soooo pathetic, I know. One time I bought some at Wal-Mart from the self check out line because I was so embarrassed about it. It totally backfired because in order to buy diet pills you have to show that you're over 18. The self check out guy came over to me when my register beeped and said, "I'm pretty sure you're 18, but I don't understand why you want to buy diet pills." I glanced at the people behind me in line who were, of course, staring at me. I got out of there fast, leaving my receipt behind. Naturally, I was carrying something that made the anti-theft alarm beep as I was leaving the store. When the octogenarian security guard made a huge (and loud) fuss of everything, I wanted to die. So that was my last time buying diet pills.

But that's not the point. The point is this: eventually I lost weight. I didn't do it by going on some diet. I did it by changing the person I was and refusing to allow a number on the scale to dictate whether or not I felt good about myself. The changes came after I broke off my engagement and without realizing it, I starting following the recommendations in this book:



It is awesome. I decided to write this post because I've been telling so many people about it. Really, I think everyone should know about it. Here are the 10 principles taken directly from their website:

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.

2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.

3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.

4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud "NO" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating under 1000 calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.

5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry. Observe the signs that show that you're comfortably full. Pause in the middle of a meal or food and ask yourself how the food tastes, and what is your current fullness level?

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence--the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you've had "enough".

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food. Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Each has its own trigger, and each has its own appeasement. Food won't fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won't solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emotional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run. You'll ultimately have to deal with the source of the emotion, as well as the discomfort of overeating.

8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It's hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.

9. Exercise--Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it's usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time.

10 Honor Your Health--Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don't have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It's what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.

Wow, that was a really long quote. Sorry.

Anyway, get the book. You can get it for, like, five bucks on amazon.com.

Man, it's so hard to write a good blog post when you've got a baby yanking on the laptop screen.

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