Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Death to Toasting

Our toaster died today. It had been sick for awhile and today it finally gave up the ghost.

This may or may not have had something to do with me dropping it in the garbage can, which may or may not have been on purpose.

I guess we will just have to get a new one.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's All in the Foot

As a stay-at-home mom, I have very little reason to wear high heels anywhere except to church.  This suits me just fine as I am not much of a high heel wearer as is.  Yesterday, a Saturday, we went to a funeral, so I slipped my lil piddies (as I refer to them when speaking to Jack) into a pair of black peep toe sling backs.  Of all my high heeled shoes (all two pairs of 'em!), these were my favorites - until yesterday that is.

The shoes in question.
After the funeral Lewis, Jack, and I went over to my cousin's house to help her and her husband with their taxes.  Lewis and I each brought a change of clothes so we didn't have to be in our Sunday best all day.  Said change of clothes included a different pair of shoes for me.

As we were preparing to leave I picked up my high heels and was sort of fiddling with them while finishing up a conversation with my cousins.  Whilst this was occurring I happened to glance down at my shoes and something caught my eye.

My shoes were two different sizes.

One was size 9, the other 8 1/2.

Yes, the brand of these shoes are "Mootsies Tooties."  I'm obviously one for shelling out the big bucks for shoes.  I guess I had the size issue coming.
How did I not notice this before?  How did I leave the store when I bought them, nearly two years ago, with shoes that were two different sizes?  Why did the store let me?

Now you might say, "What's the big deal?  You obviously didn't notice before, so why does it matter now?"  And it's true.  I didn't notice.  And at a half-size difference, I doubt anyone else will notice either.

Except this kind of thing really bugs me.  I don't want to call it OCD, but it's pretty darn close.  The mere existence of these shoes in my house is driving me batty.

It also doesn't help that Lewis so kindly mentioned that he always thought I walked funny in those shoes.  Doesn't matter that he was joking.  His words are under my skin (his intention, of course).

Wanna guess which store the shoes came from?  Kohl's.  And my faithful readers will remember that Kohl's and I are not friends anymore.  This incident is not pointing me towards any sort of reconciliation.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Awesome Mom Award

If the past twelve hours have proved anything, it's this: I am one awesome mommy. Especially when it comes to sleep, blood, and poop.


Sleep training Jack went marvelously, thanks for asking. He is a master at going right to sleep, or at least pretending. The only times in the past week that he has had any trouble is when I have rushed him through his bedtime routine, and even then he will usually fall asleep within ten minutes.

Sleeping through the night, however, has been more challenging. For the longest time, Jack would only wake up to eat once at night which, to be quite honest, I kind of enjoyed because he semi-cuddles with me when he's eating. He's not a cuddler, so I take what I can get.

But the past little while he has decided that he needs to get up every one to two hours at night. Not fun, not fun at all.

Last night he might have done lots better. He only woke himself up once, and that wasn't until five! If it hadn't been for my dream, we would have had a dream night...

The only part I remember is me walking down the upstairs hall in our house to show a friend our bedroom. Except when I opened the door, I realized I had gone the wrong way and this was Jack's room. And he woke up as soon as I opened the door. And I was sleep walking, so that actually happened.


If you've ever met Jack, you know that he is something of a wiggler. Getting him to sit still is like getting a hamster to not chew on its cage bars. It's not going to happen.

Due to this delightful characteristic, it is both necessary and extremely difficult to trim his nails frequently. He has learned not to scratch himself, but he still gets Lewis and me all the time. I used to do it while he was asleep, but now that he always rolls himself onto his belly to sleep, that's not an option.

The other day I was trimming his nails while he ate. Jack tends to move slightly less during meals, but only if he is sleepy. While clipping one particular nail, I snagged a bit of his finger in the clippers, and it started to bleed. Jack didn't even notice, so I just dabbed at his finger with a rag while he ate and that was that.

Until today when I was nursing him before his morning nap. I noticed a bit of skin hanging off the finger. It looked like new skin had already grown in to cover the mom-inflicted wound, so I just pulled the little bit off, no harm done.

A few minutes later, though, I noticed some blood in his eyebrow, where he had rubbed it. Fabulous. His finger had started to bleed again. So I once again dabbed at it with a rag and it once again stopped.

Or so I thought! Later when he was napping I went to check on him. He had moved quite a bit before settling down to sleep. And I could see exactly where in his crib he had moved because there were little blood tracks all over his sheet.


I am sure that by saying this I will jinx it, but Jack has never pooped while not wearing a diaper. If poop has ever found its way onto his changing table it's been due to mommy error (or to him reaching down and dragging his hands through it, but that's another story).

Since he is in cloth diapers, I can't just wrap a mess up and throw it away. I have to knock or wipe the solid waste into the toilet, which usually isn't a big deal. Until today.

After undoing it and replacing it with a fresh one, I picked up his diaper to move it so he wouldn't stick his heels in it during all his flailings about (it's been known to happen). Just as I did that, the poop rolled and went Splat! all over the changing table.

So basically I'm a super mommy who doesn't let her baby sleep, makes him bleed, and creates bigger messes than he does. It's amazing he has survived to five months. Tune in in a week and half to see of he makes it to six.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Adventures in Deco-Orangizing

Before I begin, a word to my blog devotees: Blogging will be light for the foreseeable future.  The cord for our laptop broke, and the computer itself doesn't hold a charge well so it is virtually unusable except on nights that Lewis brings his school computer cord home.  As it is, I snuck on Lewis' work laptop to write this while he is at Mutual (sometimes I just need to write, don't judge).  In any case, a replacement cord is a bit pricey, so it may be awhile before we are up and running as normal.

And now, to the blog.

If you ever plan on going to Ikea on Presidents Day, here's a word of advice: don't.  Because everyone goes to Ikea on Presidents Day.  I get it.  Everyone has Presidents Day off, with the obvious exception of the people who actually work at Ikea, but since they work there, they are there too.

With all the fabulous kitchen gadgets and small appliances that we have been collecting we were in desperate need to redo how our kitchen was organized.  Stuff was put where there was a spot for it, rather than in any logical manner.  Drawers were overstuffed.  Select cupboards were not meeting their full potential.  My aprons were hanging from a lamp.  Something had to be done.  And it had to be done in an aesthetically pleasing manner, cause we pretty much live in the kitchen.

So off to Ikea we went, along with the rest of Utah and Salt Lake counties to get our share of Swedish home amenities.  Now I have to give Ikea credit.  They have worked their durndest to make themselves a family-friendly place to be.  They have the play place for kids; family restrooms with free diapers and wipes, plus a chair for nursing if you are like me and prefer to do so in private/have a kid who gets distracted and pulls off the nursing cover at the slightest pin drop; the restaurant is stocked with jars of baby food and bottle warmers if you are trapped there long enough to require a meal.  They have done a very good job at providing excellent amenities for those who are surrounded by younglings.

However, it's also Ikea so it's kind of a requirement for the showroom to be a winding labyrinth of practical space savers, inexpensive furniture, and tacky lighting elements.  And of course Jack had to leak out of his diaper in the corner of the showroom exactly opposite the blessed family restroom.


I'm actually pretty impressed with the people of Utah and Salt Lake counties.  We must have been giving off that "diaper emergency" vibe, cause they parted like the Red Sea as we swam against the current back to the start of the showroom to that wonderful, wonderful family restroom.

We cleaned Jack up and put him in a fresh outfit, and went back out to the chaos that is Ikea on Presidents Day.  And we actually got some pretty cool stuff.  It's still a work in progress, but our kitchen is looking pretty sweet.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Kind of Marriage

Remember that scene in Father of the Bride where the bride calls off the wedding because her fiance gave her a blender as a gift?  And how that is a common no-no in a variety of sitcoms and Shine articles on Yahoo?  And possibly in real life for some people?

Lewis and I are nothing like that.

We celebrated Valentine's Day yesterday.  Sure, I love me some chocolates and flowers are always a welcome thing to get for me.  But Lewis got me a couple of much more personal gifts; two items that I have been wanting and he showed his undying adoration of me by getting them.

He got me a kettle and a tortilla steamer.

Ooh baby, yeah.

I on the other hand was a lot more stereotypical with one of my gifts.  I got him some chocolate turtles.  But that is mostly because I have gotten him chocolate turtles for every Valentine's Day we have spent together.

His real gift was a new kitchen scale.  Something he almost bought for me.

Mmm hmm.

I'm having a difficult time coming up with a holiday since we have been married where I have not gotten something new for my kitchen.  Lewis has hooked me up with a waffle iron, a mixer, two rolling pins (marble and French), a pastry blender, a pastry knife, a bundt pan, and springform pans, among other things.  He has recently rekindled his own love of baking and cooking so gift-giving holidays will be including more kitchen accoutrements for him too.

Next up on our list of things to buy include a tortilla press (available only online as far as we can find, or else I would have gotten that for Valentine's Day), new whisks and spatulas (Mothers and Fathers Days?).  I also want a proper set of sauce and frying pans.

We may not have much, but we have a pretty darn awesome kitchen.

Someday our kitchen will look as awesome as the food that comes out of it tastes.

Now if we could just avoid getting fat off of all this deliciousness...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Papa Lewis Pizza

Over the past couple of months, Lewis has worked hard to develop the ideal homemade pizza.  He researched on the Interweb to learn the tips and tricks of the trade (how to move it from the countertop to the pizza stone, how to make sure the middle gets cooked, etc.).  He found a decent crust recipe and a okay sauce recipe, then experimented with both until they were perfect.

Now that he's got a fabulous basic pizza under his belt, he is ready to experiment with variations.  A couple of weeks ago we bought a 45-pound tub of wheat to grind in our blender.  Lewis is hoping to figure out a top-notch whole wheat pizza crust.  We tried it once and it was pretty darn good, but there is room for improvement.

Last night, however, Lewis' grand pizza experiment was a stuffed crust.  This was an especially worth undertaking because there is always leftover sauce, and we could dip the crust in that.

He started out by making a recipe of crust.  This recipe will make two pizzas, but he used all but a little of it for this so he would have enough to fold over the cheese.  We cut string cheese in half, lengthwise and widthwise for the stuffing (this was my single contribution to the meal).

Lewis then folded the crust over the top of the cheese.  He anticipated that as it cooked, it would bubble through the crust so he was very careful to seal it as best he could.

Next came the sauce and the shredded cheese for on top.

We normally do veggie or chicken pizzas, but Lewis decided to do pepperoni for this one.  Pepperoni tends to be really greasy, though, and we prefer it crispy, so Lewis also learned how to fix that.  It involved soaking the grease out through paper towels in the microwave.  It didn't get all the grease, but it definitely helped.  I'd never enjoyed a pepperoni pizza before this one.

Brushing the crust with olive oil, for good measure.  It's not perfectly symmetrical, but it's not bad for a first attempt!

Ready to put the pizza in the oven.  Lewis makes his pizzas on parchment paper so they slide from the pizza peel to the pizza stone without any fuss.

Lewis also put two cookie sheets on the bottom rack to catch any cheese that bubbled out of the crust.  He's a smartie.

Pretty good looking pizza, huh?  It was still greasier than usual, but thank goodness it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Looks good enough to eat!  Good thing we did.  Oh my, it was so good.  I never thought I would like a stuffed-crust pizza before, but Lewis changed all that with this treat.

All in all, it was an epic pizza success.  I couldn't help but have seconds, which was bad news bears since we had just returned from a dessert contest when he made the pizza.  I felt fit to bursting when dinner was over.  Worth it.  I only feel bad for Jack cause he's too little to have any.

Anyone who is anyone is invited over to try Lewis' pizza.  He'll whip one up for you in no time at all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oops, He Did It Again

Apparently Jack has simply determined that he is going to spit up some time between four and five PM every day.

At least it didn't get on my face this time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When the Stars Align

I was very blessed to get a baby that does not spit up very often.  For the first five months of his life he only spit up, at best, occasionally.  Very rarely did he spit up on us.

The past couple of weeks, however, he has spit up quite a bit more than usual.  My suspicion is that it's because he is teething.  It hasn't been a big deal, we've just been careful to have lots of washcloths handy to clean up any messes.  Plus he usually gives a warning before he does it.

But not today.

I was lying on the couch when it happened.  I held Jack horizontal and flew him over my head when - SPLAT!  Spit up, spit up everywhere.

It was all over his pants and onesie.  It was all over the front of my shirt and cardigan sleeve.  But most disgustingly, it was all over my face.

Thank goodness my mouth was closed.

After recovering from the shock, I held Jack at arms length and raced to the kitchen to assess the damage.  Jack sat in his Bumbo while I wiped down my face and dabbed at our clothes.  But the smell and stickiness on my face lingered.  A shower was in order.

Since Jack got the grossness on his clothes, and I didn't want transfer any from me to his new clothes, he got to hang out in just his diaper while I showered.

When I was all clean and spit up free, I pulled back the shower curtain to discover a tiny detail I had failed to observe in my haste - it's Wednesday.

I wash our towels on Wednesday.

And they were still in the dryer.

Jack spits up rarely.  I wash the towels once a week.  The fates had it out for me on this one.

So I dripped my way through the bathroom, into our bedroom, out to the hall, and into the laundry room only to discover that the towels were still damp.  So as I continued to drip, I went back out to the hall and into Jack's bathroom to get a fresh towel out of the linen closet.  Finally able to dry myself, I made my way back to my bathroom to get Jack who may or may not have been a bit chilled in his clothe-less state.  I dressed each of us in fresh clothes, and all was well.

He tends to be proud of his shenanigans.

In other news, Jack went straight to sleep when I put him in bed tonight.  Word.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lime Green Love

I love Valentine's Day.  I always have, even when I was a moody teenager and wore black on February the 14th to commiserate my lonely existence.  I mostly did that to be "edgy' or something, but I probably looked pretty lame.  Let's face it, I could never be edgy.

My mom always taught us that Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate all kinds of love - not just romantic love.  On Valentine's Day we should celebrate the love we have for our families, friends, teachers, colleagues, and anyone and everyone else.  True, I'm not going to out and buy each of you a new kkkkkkk sssss like I did for Lewis, but that has more to do with a lack of funding than anything else.  I still love all of you, and I celebrate that love today.

With that in mind, let me tell you a funny story.

A tradition we had when I was growing up (one that I hope to continue with my children) was to host a Valentine's Day breakfast for people in our lives that we love.  Each of us would invite one person to dine with us.  The person we invited had to be an adult, like a teacher or family friend, and someone who was special to us.  I think one year I wanted to invite the old man who ran a newsstand outside of a London tube station that we frequented, and who always called me "Sweetheart" and gave me free candy, but my mom wouldn't let me.

My senior year in high school, my mom was our seminary teacher, so she decided to host this breakfast for our class.  She had each of us pick three people (two back ups, in case of scheduling conflicts) and she sent out formal invitations.

Something you should understand is that a lot happened for my family in 2004.  I was getting ready to graduate and move out to Utah for college.  Andrew was preparing to go on a mission.  Later that year, my sister got engaged.  My dad had just gotten is new assignment with the Foreign Service - Romania - and he and my mom planned on selling our house before they left.

The housing market was up in 2004, it's true, but my parents still wanted to fix up our house a bit before they put the "For Sale" signs up.  This included redoing the carpet, updating the fake wood panelling in the basement, stripping off the abundance of paper that covered the walls, and painting them a nice, neutral white.  Or maybe eggshell or something.

Something else you should understand is that we had some pretty high-brow guests coming to this Valentine's Day breakfast.  One girl had someone flying in from Arizona.  Another was bringing the principal of our high school.  Kind of a big deal.

The night before the breakfast, my parents decided we were going to strip the wallpaper off the walls in the living room, where the breakfast would be held.  We wouldn't have time to paint the walls, but it would be dark outside and the lights would be fairly dim, so it shouldn't be a big deal.  No one would (hopefully) be able to notice the wallpaper goop we missed.

And they were probably right.  No one would have noticed, had the walls underneath been a lovely, normal shade of white.  Or even taupe.

Lime green was a little more noticeable.

And it's not like you could just put the wallpaper back.

So we all pulled together and worked all night to get the wallpaper and leftover goop removed, and then painted right over that garish hue.

The breakfast was a hit and love was felt by all.  And the walls looked lovely.

Happy Valentine's Day, readers.  I love you.

I made these for Lewis to give to his fourth graders today.  Another Valentine's Day tradition from my great mom.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


When I was in fourth grade, I attended a small, private school in London.  And when I say small, I mean small.  There were two kindergarten classes, one first grade class, one class for second and third grade, and one for fourth and fifth.  Each of the classes was probably under twenty students.

Anyway, this school had a lot of money.  Which meant that we got to go on numerous super awesome field trips.  On these field trips, my teacher, Mrs. Whitlock, would always remind us to keep our arms and other such appendages inside the bus at all times.

I have a vivid memory of her explanation for why this was so essential.  She told a story of a time that she was traveling in a vehicle behind a school bus.  One little boy was hanging his arm out his window.  As the bus rounded a corner, his arm got stuck between the wall of a building and the bus and was ripped clean off.

Gruesome, right?

It wasn't until today that I realized that this story probably was not true.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It Sucks

When we learned that a sizable chunk of money was coming our way in the form of a tax return, we decided to spend a portion of it on a new vacuum cleaner.

Our old vacuum (which was given to us for free when we got married) recently decided to give up the ghost.  This came at an inopportune time: Jack has recently decided that it is his dearest wish to roll from our back door to our front, picking up and attempting to eat whatever he encounters along the way.

Research was done, advice was solicited, prices were compared.  We ended up purchasing a Shark Navigator from the Costco.

An immediate and heavenly difference was noted in our home as soon as our dear new vacuum produced its first suck.  Jack's rolling aspirations were suddenly more acceptable.

I feel it necessary to point out that this is one of those fancy-schmancy vacuums with a canister for the sucked muck, instead of a bag.


Fast forward to yesterday.

My newly created chore charts indicate that on Mondays I am to dust and vacuum the master bedroom.  Before vacuuming, I realized that the vacuum canister needed to be emptied.  Lewis made it look so easy to remove the canister when he first learned the ins and outs of our new Shark, so I felt confident I could figure out how to do it without looking it up in the manual.  I was wrong.  I fiddled around with a few buttons for a couple of minutes, but nothing happened, so I decided to leave it for when Lewis got home.

Lewis, being the dear that he is, was perfectly willing to show me how to empty the canister.  I was very grateful for his assistance, even if he did ridicule me the whole way up to the bedroom and was somewhat condescending when he pointed out the maybe a little bit obvious release button.  He pushed it, pulled the canister from where it sits

and dumped all the grossness out onto the floor and my foot.

Apparently when I was fiddling with it to figure out how to remove the canister I had flipped the buckle that keeps it closed at the bottom.


Luckily our Shop-Vac came to the rescue.  Lewis' dad found it on sale at Lowe's a year or so back.  The deal was too good to pass up apparently, but since he already had one, he gave it to us.  Thank goodness.  It cleaned all the disgustingness from the floor and my foot right up, and even sucked all the residual grime from off of the Shark as well.

Crisis averted.

Monday, February 6, 2012

No Sleep for Me

Jack seems to think that he doesn't need sleep.

But I do, so he has to.  We've been working hard on developing a consistent routine so that he will get the idea that when we do this (the routine), it's time to go to sleep.

After trying out an abundance of methods for getting him to fall asleep on his own, and discovering that none of them work, this is what we are left with as Jack's bedtime routine:

-Story with Dad
-Nursing and a song from Mom

Jack will then proceed to cry and cry and cry.  We let him go for a set time period (we tried intervals of comfort, but he would just get riled up again whenever we came in the room) and then I'll go back up and rock him.  Usually he is so tired out from all the crying that he will go right to sleep.

I am so committed to being consistent with this routine that I even left watching the Super Bowl at halftime to take him home and put him to bed.  That's love.

I have to say, I am quite impressed with Jack's stamina.  There's no way I could wail for as long as he does without just falling asleep from exhaustion.

The funny thing is that if Jack just went right to sleep and then woke up a short while later (or even was quiet so we thought he was asleep), I would probably go in an rock him right when he woke up/I heard him again.  Then he would get what he wanted a lot quicker.

Silly baby.  He's so illogical.

Friday, February 3, 2012

House Wifery

Know what I did this week?  I created daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly chore checklists.

Was this needed?  Sure.  Our house stays relatively clean, but a little organization was more than warranted.

Was I proud of this accomplishment?  Yes, absolutely.  It's organized in a binder.  With pocket protectors.

A little too proud, perhaps to the point that I'm a little embarrassed that this was my big thing this week?  Probably.  Yeah.

I think I need a hobby.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

All Growed Up

(I am typing this post while my almost five-month-old is in my lap alternating between watching/helping me type and trying to latch on to my nose.  In other words, I'm awesome.)

My big project for the day was to de-clutter the top of our desk.  But because I am just that cool, that project has evolved into me cleaning out the inside of the desk, as well as our coffee table which was used to house important files and documents before we got the desk.  As I was sorting our various bits of paperwork into piles (keep, throw away, and shred) it hit me.

I'm an adult.

In every sense of the word.

Legally I've been an adult for over seven years.  Physically I've probably only been an adult for about five (that's when people started guessing that my sister was younger than me.  She's four years older).

Emotionally I've been an adult for maybe two years.  And I've no doubt that I've regressed here and there - one step back for every two steps forward, amiright?

But as I was sorting through the mountains of paperwork in my house (whatever happened to a digital world?) I realized that I am now economically an adult too.

I have a mortgage.  And a car payment.  And student loan payments.  And utilities - I have to pay for ALL of them.  And a kid who provided a nice little tax break.

I have users manuals that I actually have to keep because I wouldn't know how to operate certain appliances without them.  I have a receipt for our couch that I have to hang on to for SEVEN YEARS because that is how long RC Willey will insure it for stain protection.

Today I created a file to hold all of our retirement documents.  I don't even have a job to retire from, but I still have this folder!

I also made a folder for essential documents like social security cards and birth certificates.  Plus one to hold all of Jack's medical paperwork.  That file is surprisingly full considering he's a very healthy five-month-old.

Another folder holds various documents for FOUR cars.  And I only own two!

Don't even get me started on our income tax binder.

All this adult nonsense makes me want to do something irresponsible.  But I can't.  Cause I've also been an adult parentally for nearly five months.  Gosh!

My point is, if you are ever wondering what it is that makes you as adultish as it is possible to be, it's when you have a filing drawer filled to the brim with all the papers that you just can't throw away.  And it's a drawer that will soon turn into an entire cabinet and beyond.

Or maybe not.  I'm still pretty immature.

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