Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Regular Night!

Oh, I mean Happy New Year! It's a holiday, right? A reason for celebration? An excuse to sport the new clothes you got for Christmas, put on some lip gloss, and party with friends until 2 AM, when you drive home on high alert, being sure to avoid any drivers who seem to be unable to commit to a lane...

Well, instead of watching the ball drop, I plan to be in bed. Of course, I'll be up about an hour later to feed the punk. He likes to snack at 1 am. But before that, we will spend his awake time watching him make faces. It's one of our favorite pastimes. 

We call this one Duck Lips:

He also likes to do things with his hands, like give high fives.

If he has his hand in a fist and we stroke his skin, he'll slowly open up his hand so we can play with his long fingers. He's very grabby. When I went to cut the umbilical cord, he surprised me by reaching up and grabbing the scissors! He'll be a great pianist. Or maybe a cellist! Yeah, that's it, a cellist!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A New Kind of Holiday

This year, Christmas felt different. And I bet you're expecting me to say that it felt more magical, more exciting, more special with a baby in the house. Well, that's not exactly how it felt. It felt more... tedious. 

Maybe it's because the little man didn't get the memo that he was supposed to sleep in. Sleep deprivation does tend to hang a cloud over any occasion. (By sleep deprivation, I mean mine. Not his.) Or maybe it's because I underestimated the number of diapers the punk would go through, especially if the snowstorm forced us to stay the night in Salt Lake, and was therefore preoccupied with thoughts about my child's excrement instead of letting myself relax and enjoy the frivolity of the holiday. (We didn't have to spend the night, but it did take us 90 minutes to get home instead of 45.) But whatever the reason, I have a feeling Christmas - and other holidays, vacations, and friendly gatherings - will never be the same again. I am now a parent, and therefore, a responsible party. I no longer get to stuff my face and play with my siblings (and sibs-in-law) without wondering if my little dude is hungry, messy, cold, or safe from the curious dog.

Interesting how life changes in an instant. Before getting married, I vowed to never become a boring fuddy-duddy who goes to bed early - or worse - stays in on the weekends! And before having a child, I wondered why parents tend to plan their entire lives around their kids. As in, "We had better take off. Junior absolutely must take his afternoon nap at three o'clock sharp." Aren't the parents in charge? The answer is no. The parents are not in charge. Parents exist only to serve their children. To make sure they are warm, safe, satiated, clean, and devoid of air in the digestive tract. And these things need the same amount of attention on Christmas as on any other day. 

I guess it's time for me to grow up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leopard Genes

Last year, I bravely ordered a pricey leopard print swim suit from Victoria's Secret. It was a one-piece, retro-fit suit. You know, kind of like how Marilyn Monroe wore hers. But when I put it on at home, I knew I just couldn't pull it off. There are certain times when it's okay to step outside one's comfort zone for fashion. Swim time is not one of them. So I sent it back.

I am now looking through some old photos of my grandparents, and look what I found! The first is a picture of my gorgeous Grandma Carter, and the second is a picture of my sassy Great-Grandma Bell.

It's no wonder why I was drawn to that swim suit! It's in my genes! Maybe if I would have had a gold arm bracelet and leopard peep-toes, I would have been able to pull it off... What do you think?

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Birds

I don't know where they came from or where they're going. I don't even know what they are. But they visited us in large quantities this morning. They swooped over and around us for hours! It was an Alfred Hitchcock experience. Or it would have been if we had ventured out into the snow. We were safe inside our warm abode.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rub A Dub Dub

The little man doesn't enjoy bath time as much as his mama does.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Calvin Timothy

I have heard your call for pictures. Here are some photos from the hospital. I haven't taken many since returning home. The little dude seems to prefer eating, sleeping and pooping to smiling for the camera.

This is my cousin and BFF Brooke with her 2 kids and my Aunt Cindy. I included this one because I think it's funny that I accidentally focused on my pedicure instead of the peeps holding the baby.

Aunt Rachel: The Protector

My bros took a while to discuss how to transfer the baby from David to Michael.

The happiest grandma in the world

His long, wrinkly feet. Don't worry - they're not purple anymore.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

He's Here!

Calvin made his grand entrance at 2:52 am this morning. He weighs 7 lbs. 7 oz. and is 19 inches long. I went from a 1 to a 10 in about 2 hours, and only had to push through 3 contractions. He's already proving to be a well-content baby, and Tim and I have to fight each other for cuddle time. I'm loving this. I will try to post some pictures in a day or two. I think he looks like his papa.

And by the way, the inventor of the epidural is my new best friend. Three cheers for modern medicine!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Less Boring Update

We've been told to go in at 7 pm, unless the hospital calls us before then. Maybe I'll just accidentally turn off my phone so they can't reach us if they try to call. Think that'll work?

This means we'll probably be pulling an all-nighter. Oh boy...

Boring Update

So far, it's been an uneventful day. We were scheduled to be induced at 6:30 am. It is now after 1:00 pm, and there's still no room for us at the inn.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am going to the hospital tomorrow morning to be talked into giving birth (induced, if you will). As ready as I am to be done being pregnant, I think I'm going to need some coaxing tomorrow. Hopefully, that's where the drugs will come in. 

It reminds me of when I went skydiving with my good friend Jake during college. First, he had to talk me into agreeing to go with him in the first place. And then when we were up in the tin can they call a plane, I wouldn't have been able to bring myself to jump out the door without the mustachioed tandem guy strapped to my back, rolling me out the door. I'm thinking childbirth will be something like that.

For our last night as a couple sans offspring, I did what any perfect housewife would do. I made a roast turkey for my man.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Hairball in the Christmas Tree

This is Little Sis.

This is Little Sis's hair.

I shall now take you back to a special Christmas many years ago when said hair was violently eaten by a hungry Christmas tree. 

Little Sis was about 5 years old. She and her older brothers were having some fun in the front room. We must have been pretty bored because the entire family happened to be congregated in the front room, watching the fun. Each brother held an arm and a leg, and they were swinging Little Sis, "one, two, three!" and launching her onto the couch. It happened to be Christmastime, and the tree stood proudly in front of the window, across from the couch.

As the fun escalated, so did the pendulum's reach - Little Sis being the pendulum. The boys swung her one last time: "One... two... three!" And in one motion, Little Sis was flung onto the couch, the tree had inexplicably landed on top of her, and she was screaming her tiny head off! We thought the tree had just scraped her up a little bit, or that the ordeal had scared her. As we lifted the tree and put it back in its place, we noticed a substantial tuft of blonde hair sitting innocently on a branch. Sure enough, when we examined Little Sis, there was a nickel-size bald spot in the middle of her scalp.

We never miss the opportunity to warn Little Sis to stay away from rogue Christmas trees.

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Find Friday: CarolinaCottage on Etsy

Bonjour faithful readers! 'Tis the season to spend needless amounts of money on your loved ones, people you kind of like, and that weird cousin who you'd rather avoid for the rest of your life, but whose name you drew at Thanksgiving dinner.

But have you found yourself sneaking in purchases for yourself as well? I have! And I'm not ashamed. Look what I found on Etsy:

It's a 4-piece coaster set from CarolinaCottage. I never thought I'd be in the market for coasters. I'm just not that fancy. But, as an avid water drinker, I have found that my condensation-covered water bottle often leaves rings on select pieces of furniture around the house. So, as a new convert to the world of Etsy, I started searching for a coaster set that warms my soul. This one spoke to me; it was love at first click. It's simple and stylish, and it will add a little suh-um suh-um to a side table without distracting the eye from other important things in the room, like the TV.

What have you bought for yourself while Christmas shopping?

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Baby and The Bird

Brace yourself. Irritable 9-month pregnant lady typing...

During my first year at the University of Utah, I did not own a car. I was at the mercy of public transportation, and it wasn't pretty. Each day, I had to catch the bus in Taylorsville, take it to the Trax station in Murray, ride Trax downtown, and catch another bus up to the U. This took me an hour and a half each way, which meant 3 hours among Salt Lake's elite every day. You might be surprised how much Salt Lake's elite smells like B.O.

One day, I spent an extra-long time waiting at the bus stop at the end of my street; I must have missed my bus, and therefore, had to spend 30 minutes waiting for the next one. I was wearing this skirt from Express, still one of my favorite pieces: 

I had bought it for $40, which was a large purchase for a poor college student, but I loved it too much to pass it up. Anyway, as I waited, I heard someone honk at me. This was known to happen on occasion, and I chalked it up to looking extra nice that day. About 60 seconds later, someone else honked. "Wow," I thought. "I am on fire today!" Then another honk. And another! After 4 honks, I was no longer flattered - I was annoyed. Is that really how to impress a girl? Honk! Honk! They were coming every 2 minutes by now. By the 8th honk, I was completely fed up and pissed off, and I felt like a piece of meat. So for honk #9, I gave the driver the finger. Oh yes. Sweet little Mormon girl had had enough. I finally counted 11 honks and/or cat calls that morning. By the time I boarded the bus, I was so angry, I could have punched anyone in the face for looking at me the wrong way.

And now to the point of this story... The first time someone asked me if I'm excited about having this baby, I was touched. It was nice to know that someone was interested in my life. Momentous occasions like weddings, babies, and spelling bees tend to bring the masses together in celebration. Everyone is interested. Everyone is thrilled for the happy couple, the new parents, or the kid who can spell appogglatura. But here's the problem - everyone asks the same question: "Are you excited?"


I find myself avoiding eye contact with people (who aren't really looking at my eyes anyway - they're gazing at the watermelon in my shirt) just so I don't have to answer the same question over and over again. I am tempted to send an email out at work with these three sentences:

I am due next week. Yes I am excited. Don't talk to me.

Like I said, the first time was nice. The 11th time may cause certain fingers to fly on their own.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mexican Fetus

Am I digesting Mexican food, or do I have a fetus in there? Perhaps it's a Mexican fetus.

Is there anything weirder than feeling a person moving around inside your belly? I love it. However, I do not love it when he has the hiccups. It's reminiscent of someone tapping you on the shoulder repeatedly until you finally crack and turn around.

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Find Friday: Rachelli

One of my besties gave me a beautiful onesie last week.

Tangent: The term "besties" comes from Little Sis, who uses this word frequently to describe her best friends. Every time I see it in type, my mind says "beasties," and I wonder why she is friends with a bunch of hags.

Anyway, this onesie made me happy. It is art on cloth. An expression of creativity stitched onto what would otherwise be a mundane piece of apparel.

Take a look at the rest of Rachelli's collection here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ice Cream in the Bubble Bath

At least once every day, I may be seen with a spill or a collection of crumbs down the front of my shirt. It's really quite becoming. I have two shelves where I store my leftover food. The lower shelf is slightly larger than the top shelf these days. I miss the days of only one shelf. Am I being too ambiguous, or do you catch my drift?

Did you know that it is possible to spill food on yourself while attempting to bathe? It is. Last night, I found myself with a generous glob of chocolate ice cream on my bare belly while enjoying a soothing bubble bath. Oh yes. I am talented. Try not to be jealous of this gift.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Find Friday: Everyday Chic

I am loving these "hostess aprons" from Everyday Chic. They are modern and retro at once. I know if I had one, I would be able to channel the '50s in all their casserole glory. Maybe I would even cook dinner more than twice a month!

Do you wear an apron when you cook? Do you cook?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.
It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.
Arthur C. Clarke

On Monday, I noticed a can of pop sitting on top of the Coke machine in the break room at work.

I walked over to investigate, and saw this.

What do you think? Would you have taken the time to write a note on a napkin to the "Coke Delivery Person," or would you have considered a free can of Diet Dr. Pepper karma's way of rewarding you for refraining from rear-ending that annoying cell-phone-talking-mini-van-driving-all-over-the-road-non-blinker-using-lady on the way to work?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kissy Kissy

As I walked into Wendy's for lunch today (don't judge me - the baby wanted fries), my eye went immediately to the couple at the end of the line. He was giving her a sweet, respectful kiss. And I thought to myself, "Awwww... Love is in the air." How nice that they feel comfortable enough with each other to show affection in public.
I took my place behind them and opened my book. As I was trying to enjoy some Steinbeck, I couldn't help but get distracted. He couldn't keep his hands off her! He was not only holding her hand, but massaging it. He rubbed each individual finger, and then kissed each one, making a juicy, smacking noise each time. Then his hand wandered to her shoulder, down her back, and landed right on her bootie. As they walked forward in line, they did the obnoxious junior high walk where his front is glued to her back, his arms around her waist, and steps are made in sync. What started out as admiration quickly turned into disgust. I just wanted to order my junior bacon cheeseburger without hearing slurping noises.

How do you feel about PDA? Sweet... or vomit-inducing?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Like Pickles

When you order a sandwich at Great Harvest, they give you a pickle with it. Last time I went, I didn't order a sandwich - I ordered a cup of soup. But the pickles were calling my name. So I asked if I could have a couple. The guy gave me a funny look, but then gave me 2 pickles. Jackpot! And this isn't just a pregnancy thing. I could eat a whole jar of pickles anytime. How do you feel about them? Love them, hate them, drink the juice like my crazy mother?
P.S. Sketch by Suzanne Buchanan. Her blog is supercool. Yes, that's one word, and it's pronounced with a French accent.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

4 Generations

The secret to a long life? Add plenty of salt to everything. It's a preservative for the body. My brother David and I took our Great-Grandma Bell out to a Chinese restaurant a couple years ago. Chinese restaurants don't have salt shakers on the table, so Grandma made me go up to the cooks and ask for salt. They raised their eyebrows, and then gave me a small bowl of coarse salt. After pouring the whole thing all over her tiny portion, Grandma was ready to eat.

In the words of Grandma, "by golly," I love that woman. I'm so lucky to have her in my life, and I'm excited to introduce her to her great-great-grandson in a few weeks.

In the picture: Little Sis, me, my mom, her mom, and her mom - at my baby shower.

Friday, October 31, 2008

New Find Friday: Seraph Stationery

I have recently become a very big fan of greeting cards. I love the heavy texture of letterpress cards, and the feeling of holding one in my hand. Sometimes an email just can't replace a real, live card with a stamp. I am discovering so many companies who make unique, playful, stylish cards, and I find myself wanting to stock up on millions of them just in case! One such business is called Seraph Stationery. It is a local company out of Draper, and the owner is a friend of my designer friend Dave.

I LOVE these comic cards. I mean, is there a better word in the English language than Shazaam!?
And these vintage cards are just so deliciously girly! I have a few of them, just waiting for the right occasion.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


My man surprised me with this diamond to show me how much he loves me after 5 blissful years of marriage!

Actually, I bought this cubic zirconium since my fingers are too fat to host my actual wedding ring. In the words of Little Sis, I bought the ring so people don't think I'm an adultress.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Today at church, I learned what little boys are made of. 

We were favored with the annual primary program during sacrament meeting today. This means that after the blessing and passing of the sacrament, chaos ensues as all the children under 12 sit up on the stand and enthrall (or embarrass) their parents with song and speech. 

On the front row, sitting directly in front of the bishopric, was the 4 year-old class. There were three boys sandwiched in between two girls. The girls were well-behaved the entire time. They stood up when prompted, sat down when prompted, gave their one-line talks like champs, sang all the words to their songs, and sat reverently when not singing. The boys were a different story. They could not sit still! One boy kept moving his head from side to side, which would make him lose his balance and knock into the little lady sitting next to him (who seemed not to notice). The other two repeatedly hoisted themselves up onto the podium wall so they were balancing on their little tummies on the wooden ledge. The members of the bishopric had to pull them down by their little britches about 17 times.

One other little boy (probably 5) was so enthusiastic about singing the primary songs that he projected his tiny little voice louder than everyone else. It wasn't hard to figure out who was singing so loudly because his normally pale face was beet-red!

My man teaches the 11 year-old boys. As we walked from the chapel to our classrooms, he noticed that the door to his classroom was closed, and said to me, "Oh great. The door is closed. That means something bad is happening." Sure enough, after church, he told me what he had found when he opened the door. One boy was writing on the chalkboard: "George is a..." and that's when Tim walked in. The kid jumped so high that he dropped the chalk. He then meekly finished the sentence with, "... cool guy." (Names were changed to protect the innocent.)

Finally, my friend E shared a little tidbit with me about her 2 year-old son. He entertained the families around him in sacrament meeting by shouting a single word over and over: booger! No context, no real reason. He just likes the sound of it, I guess. And really, can you name a male who doesn't?

Friday, October 24, 2008

New Find Friday: Petunia Pickle Bottom

I have found my calling in life. It is to become the kind of woman who is worthy of carrying this.

I was introduced to this ultra-chic, swanky, stylish brand of baby gear called Petunia Pickle Bottom by my very fashionable friend JaKie. We were sitting up on the stand at church one day because I was tickling the ivories on the organ and she was leading the congregation in glorious song, and I noticed her fabulous diaper bag:

...and asked her where she got it. Little did I know that one tiny question would change the course of my life forever. A few weeks later, I was in the area, so I paid a visit to Babinski's on Foothill in Salt Lake. Glory, glory, hallelujia! I had found my happy place.

Isn't it incredible how one piece of fabric can make a person feel so alive?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bajingos and Mustaches

The way one handles a stressful situation is very telling. It can reveal the type of person you truly are, deep inside.

My man and I exposed our true character today in a Childbirth Preparation class. While others were listening intently, taking notes and asking questions, we were the couple making inappropriate comments under our breath. During part of the class, one husband was even massaging his wife's foot, which was propped up on his lap. Adversely, Tim and I poked each other in the ribs as we joked.

Our level of discomfort was pushed over the top with all the videos of scary bajingos and talk about needles, incisions & bodily fluids. (At one point, the instructor asked Tim if he needed oxygen. Seriously.) So what did we do to compensate? We made fun of the facial expressions on the poor, laboring mothers and the Chester mustaches on their husbands and doctors.

We're going to be fantastic parents.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Find Friday: Design*Sponge

Do you ever imagine yourself living a totally different life? Do you wonder if you could just overhaul your entire environment and start somewhere else? I'm not talking about becoming a different person. I'm talking about doing and seeing and creating things that are nothing like what you do and see and create in your current life. 

If I were to do this, I would choose to live in a small, old flat (you can't call it an apartment because it's too chic) in a big city where the moldings and the wood floors are original and the electric and plumbing are brand spanking new. Of course, the stove would be retro in appearance, yet modern in function, and the kitchen counters would be a combination of concrete and old-school butcher block. I would have elaborate wallpaper only in small quantities in small corners of the house. I would have a sofa like this (I would normally say "couch," not "sofa," but you can't call this a couch. Again, too chic):

My man and I would eat breakfast at our favorite corner coffee shop every morning because in my dream, my man loves hot chocolate and croissants almost as much as I do. We would visit libraries and museums on crisp, fall weekend days, wrapped snugly in our scarves and long jackets.

On that note...

I visit three blogs daily. One of them is a recent discovery, and it fills me with creative energy every time I visit. Design*Sponge rocks my world.

One of my favorite segments of the site is called DIY Wednesdays. Will I ever actually execute any of these projects? Probably not. But it's fun to dream. Some of the DIY projects are waaay too cheesy and "crafty" for my taste, but check this out. It's a picture frame tray! 

How perfect would this be to hold my steaming mug of rich hot chocolate and buttery croissant while I read Jane Austen on my fabulous red sofa?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Bend and Snap

Apparently, I am now too large to pick up my own shoes and put them away. However, I am not too large to lie down on the ground to get a good (albeit crooked) picture for this caption.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nina, Pinta & Santa Maria

I have the day off work today (thanks, Mr. Columbus!) so I took a jaunt downtown to run some errands and go out to lunch with a dear friend with foot-long eyelashes. (That has nothing to do with anything, other than she has supercool eyelashes.)

I love downtown Salt Lake City. I miss it. Tim and I lived there during our first year of wedded bliss. I love the black coats, briefcases, brisk walkers, Asians, crazy scary drunks... It's so "big city," just like New York. Okay, it's nothing like New York. But it's a lot more New York than the 'burbs, where I currently reside. It's a good thing I was wearing a scarf today. All true big city folk wear scarves on chilly days. If I just would have tried a little harder with my footwear! I wore black socks with brown shoes, so the city banished me back to Clearfield.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To Everything, There is a Season

Brace yourself. I'm about to wax philosophical.

Hey! Stop laughing. I might have some insightful things to say...

Okay, probably not, but just smile and nod, okay? Word.

I've been thinking lately about the different stages in life. Don't ask me how this topic landed itself in my consciousness (hint: the topic seems to have landed itself in the baby bump I've been sporting). How did I come to be where I am right now? I remember being a child. How is it that I think I have the right to have a child?

I remember a conversation I had with my mom at one point. I think it was when I was getting ready to move out of the home I had known since kindergarten and into a house with 10 other teenage girls, under the pretense of attending college classes. She mused that the reason why teenagers are so horrible to live with is so that both parent and child may prepare themselves to separate from each other. By the time a person graduates from high school, parents and children are so sick of living with each other that they can't wait to move on to a living situation that is completely new, and might be scary, if it weren't so liberating for both parties.

I find this to be true in many, if not all, of the big steps we take in life. 
  • A mother is excited, even anxious, for her daughter to begin kindergarten, so she can finally have a few hours of quiet during the day. The daughter has grown tired of having Mom as her only daily companion; it's time to meet new friends and learn her ABCs.
  • By the time a son turns 16, his dad is just about begging him to get his own driver's license so Dad doesn't have to take him to early-morning swim practice anymore. The son is just as anxious to get his license so he has some more freedom. Not to mention the back-seat make out sessions.
  • A daughter agrees to marry the man she loves because she wants to build a life with this magnificent person. Her parents are thrilled to finally get her off their insurance.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was torn about the job situation. I have always planned to stay home with my kids, just like my mom did for me. But I love my marketing job, and I worried that it would be too hard to leave. Now that I am training my replacement, I feel myself letting go. I'm moving on. I'm ready for the next step. I guess this is why it takes 9 months to grow this little person. I needed that time to get used to the idea of creating a new life for myself and my family.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Find Friday: Strawberries with Sour Cream & Brown Sugar!

Technically, this isn't a new find, but I just recently rediscovered how yummy it is. My friend Stephanie introduced it to me a few years ago. As soon as you try it, you'll be hooked too! Just wash a bunch of strawberries, and put a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of brown sugar on a plate, right next to each other. First dip the berry in the sour cream, and then in the brown sugar. I love how you can taste both the tart creaminess and the crunchy sweetness separately and together.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Drip... Drip

Doesn't this just make you want to curl up with a blanket...

...a cup of hot chocolate...

...and a good book?

I don't know if life gets any better than October weekend rainstorms.
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