Sunday, May 31, 2015


How is it that even when baby girl is sick and sad she still gets up before 6:30?! And wakes up 2-3 times during the night!!

Staying home from church, and it's been a more productive day already than most: everybody's ready and I even gave a haircut before 9AM.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hey You Guys

Peeps I showed up at a wedding for some ward members this morning. I brought my camera. Because I was outside a gorgeous temple in the spring! Also because I had a twinge of thinking that this couple might not have a photographer. Not that I wanted to volunteer. I just wanted them to have pictures.

Well, the pictures were being taken on a camera that my parents might have owned in 1999, and an iPad.

So yeah.

I took some pictures and made asked politely that the couple walk around with me on the grounds.

And guess what folks, they don't look half bad! They don't look half awesome though, either....focus on the positive...

I'm thinking I'll burn the images to a CD and give them to the couple. I didn't get them a wedding gift yet because I am awesome like that. I'm also assuming that they might not have any pictures up yet in their home, so I'm thinking I'll print whichever picture they like the most and frame it for them. As my gift.

I'm wondering if any of my readers who know how to edit might be willing to edit one picture for me? As a total service? Whichever picture they want to frame? Because I have no skills in the editing department.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Contemplating Crawling and Green Smoothies

A couple days ago Caleb made a green smoothie. The texture of this particular smoothie was too much for me, so there was green smoothie in abundance. Naturally, Caleb decided to share with Claire. She loved it.

She got excited over the deliciousness of it all and grabbed the cup and poured it all over Caleb. Hehe. Lessons in high chair necessity.

I was mean and took great delight in not picking up Claire so that Caleb could get cleaned up. Instead I let her poke and play with the green smoothie, getting it as much over herself as she could stand.

The second part of our series today involves trying to encourage Claire to crawl or move toward her toys, or anything, really.

You can see how well it's going.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sad Fact

My current student loan debt balance = Caleb's current student loan interest balance

Two more blessed years to add to that total.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Flip Flop

I haven't figured out whether or not I will miss hearing everyone's dirty laundry on the street from within my house when we leave in 2 years.

On the one hand, I've learned all the possible ways to curse, and heard many horrific fights and arguments: whether fighting on the phone, with someone in the street, or alone.

On the other hand, I've been introduced to a lot of different music and shameless talent, and heard wildly entertaining stories. I've got the accent down and can sometimes predict what will be said next.

So hard to decide.

Literally right now as I'm typing I'm hearing someone walking down the street on his phone, in a high-pitched whine:

"Why you keep FUSSIN?!  I didn say keep fussin!"


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

8 Months

Baby girl is getting big. I can tell she is starting to think about crawling, but let's be honest: she is not the most motivated baby. I need to find ways to inspire her. She is quite content to sit in the same spot. If she wants something to change, she'll just cry and scream until someone picks her up. She's getting better though, most recently becoming more interested in reaching for her toys this week. I've placed her next to a basket of toys. After she dumps them out, she pushes them away and then dives to retrieve them. She'll get there.

Red hair is definitely happening!
She still fits comfortably into her 6-9 month clothing, but could easily wear the 9 month clothing, I think. We'll transition before we make our summer trip out to UTAH!
Changes: the eyes have changed over to brown, I am almost certain. No teeth, no bum scooching. She loves fruit, and loves smoothies, especially the green variety!

Babble Babble

Friday, May 15, 2015

Revisiting the Clutter

Caleb and I did a lot of work today and while it isn't completely finished, we have rearranged down to this:

A lot more space for us to walk around in than last week.

All the clothes on the table are maternity clothes I bought for a great deal on a yard sale website. No I'm not pregnant. I did, however, pay less than $2 for each of those pieces.


Math TEDx Talk at USU

This guy, Dr. Brown, was a professor for an analysis class I took. No textbook, no exams. He passed out the material he had typed up each day as class started. For any who actually watch this, I apologize if there is any colorful language. This video is a good reminder to me that I majored in math for a reason. Sometimes I forget and wonder what I was thinking. But the subject was suited to me, and I do believe in the general message that Dr. Brown is giving.

If you only want to watch a little bit of it, make sure you see the beginning and the end.

The Crib

Naps and nighttime sleeping are finally taking place in the crib regularly.

Claire hated the crib, and who could blame her? Her rocker/bassinet was like a warm hug.

We knew there would come a time when she would be able to sit up and get out of the bassinet, so we tried for months to get her to sleep in her crib. We started trying in November, but once I went back to work, it was so hard to even function with the little sleep I was getting that it seemed out of reach to get even less sleep by forcing her to sleep in her crib. Just making it through each day, performing my job functions, and not falling asleep at work was so hard. Then we moved in February, right after I quit, and she got her own room.

Sleeping by herself in her room was something she was not ok with, and it's taken until the last 3 weeks or so for her to be somewhat ok with falling asleep in her crib, or not waking up and screaming bloody murder when we put her down in her crib.

She still gets up 2-3 times each night, which is really wearing on both Caleb and I. Yesterday Caleb put her on the bed while he went and got ready for a final and I slept while she sat next to me and played with some toys. I had absolutely no idea she was awake and next to me.

Lucky for us, her new comfortable and non-stinkified crib should be here on Monday (shipping was more than 2 weeks....what the?). Here's to hoping she doesn't freak out again with a change in her sleeping situation.

She really loves sleeping with a blanket to hold onto.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Pet Peeve

When I ask people if they saw something on the news last night, or mention a show that I like, and they say:

Oh, I don't have cable.

{with a light tone of thrifty haughtiness}

Guess what folks!!!!

Cable is not the end of the world.

Also, I don't have cable either. It's called a digital antenna. FREE TV, people.

So even if you do look down on people who pay for television, realize that not all television is paid for.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Goodbye Ikea Shelf, My Good Friend

We came to Baltimore with no furniture. We had an over-stuffed CRV filled with kitchen supplies and clothes. And scrapbooks. And a lot of unnecessary stuff. Our fellow ward members think we're crazy.

We slept on the floor for 3 weeks before we bought a mattress, and had only a mattress and a dresser for the first 3 months. I remember the handyman coming in to check on an electrical problem and asking us if we were actually living at the house or not.

We bought few things new, and most off of Craigslist. We even found an item or two on the street with a "Free" sign attached. The Ikea shelf pictured above was something a ward member gave us when they moved to a new home.

This new apartment we're in is just right for us, but the living spaces are so much smaller. The picture above shows a very cluttered house because 1. I am still not organized after our move and 2. I have been rearranging furniture and getting rid of furniture.

You see the kitchen table on the left side of the picture? Until yesterday, that was a foot closer to the couch (burnt orange, pictured in middle and right side of photo). I got rid of a wood shelf we found on the street and had used as a pantry. And right in front of the table there used to be an Ikea lounge chair that we found on Craigslist. I sold that a month ago, and we were able to walk over to the computer/office area rather than squeeze between the couch, chair and table.

The Ikea shelf was something I coveted. When we moved here, all the fellow student families told us "Buy all your furniture at Ikea! It's so cheap and cute and affordable and great and life-changing!" Caleb and I went to this so-called heaven and found that we indeed could not afford to furnish our house with Ikea furniture while I was working full-time at Walmart and living in the city. So imagine my delight when my friend and ward member offered to deliver their no-longer-needed shelf to whoever could use it in the ward. YES!

Then we moved in to our newest (and final...) apartment, and I realized there was only one wall in the entire house where it would fit. So that's where it went.

Now I realize it must go. I have to be able to use my table. The table will go to where the shelf currently is, and my apartment will look like humans inhabit it instead of use it as a storage unit. In the meantime, all the things that were on the shelf (books upon books upon books....) have to find new homes as well. We just can't keep unnecessary things right now.

Plus when Caleb gets his residency in Hawaii in 2 years I'll be throwing everything away anyway and surfing over with just my swimsuit and beach towel.

To heck with all the stuff.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Kari Visited

First we hit up the National Zoo (Smithsonian) in D.C. It was really cold, and baby girl wasn't interested in any animal except one small rodent-like mammal that was crawling right next to the glass. The pandas were pretty awesome. And Kari LOVES zoos.

I'm pretty sure my baby could be a headphone model. If the whole rocket scientist thing doesn't work out.

Next up: NYC. Caleb came along for the trip, which is always nice. The more adults the better! 

As a last-minute decision, we decided to drive to Jersey City Friday evening, rather than wake up at 4AM on Saturday to get to the city in time for our first timed tickets.

As an FYI, it is indeed possible to get to NYC from Baltimore without paying a single toll. It takes about 60-90 minutes longer (it's supposed to be 3 - 3 1/2 hours without traffic), but when the tolls are more than $30 one way, it was worth it for us. Might not be worth it every time. Also the baby slept the entire drive, which was nice, and also jaw-droppingly astonishing.

 On Saturday morning, we took the PATH train over to the World Trade Center, and got in line for our 10 AM tickets to visit the 9/11 museum. It was a neat experience, and interesting as I had not realized that Kari had no recollection of that day. Most of it was new information to her, and details she had not grown up just "knowing".

We spent about 3 hours in the museum, then grabbed lunch at the first Burger King we found. It was an awful experience, and I feel bad for any employee that works there. I hope they get paid more than the average Burger King employee. But at least we had a place to sit while we ate, rather than standing on the curb while eating street food. 

We hopped on the subway, and took it up to Central Park. It's a shame these guys didn't hop on our train:

We walked through the southern 1/4 - 1/3 of the park. We saw the so-called famous Gapstow Bridge:

(from The Devil Wears Prada)

(from Enchanted)

And, well, it's probably in a bunch of other movies too. I just heard it was famous.

We also saw Bethesda Terrace, which apparently is in a bunch of movies as well.

After seeing a few more sights in Central Park, we walked the 10ish blocks down to Times Square. We picked up dinner from a street vendor, chicken gyros, delicious.

We had tickets to go to the top of the Rockefeller Center, so we walked a couple blocks over and waited until our scheduled time was up.

Claire made a lot of friends on this whole trip, but none more than at the Rock. The entire staff knew her name and were saying hello to us at every turn. Unfortunately, it did not lead to any jump in elevator lines, free pretzels, or to meeting Jimmy Fallon.

By the time we got down to the ground again, it was almost 10 o'clock. So we walked the 15 blocks to the PATH station and got back to our hotel by 11.

The next day we drove to Liberty State Park in Jersey City and took the ferry over. 

Being a frequent tourist of the many places around here, and being no stranger to airports, I have gone through many security checks in the last few years. The security agents at the checkpoint prior to boarding the ferry made me want to swear and call the news. They made Caleb take off a sleeping baby from her wrap, and then made him take off the wrap. After making everyone remove any sweaters that had zippers. I was just so irritated, because if he had to take off a piece of fabric, shouldn't everyone have to remove all clothing down to their T-shirts and boxers?!! Who knows what we're hiding under all our layers?!!

Anyway. We stopped at Ellis Island first, pictured above, and took the audio tour and walked around for maybe 2 hours. Then we took the second leg of the ferry over to the Liberty Island.

We got home Sunday evening after making a stop in Philadelphia. We drove by the construction of the temple, the outside of the Liberty Bell so Kari could get a glimpse, and pointed out Independence Hall before getting back on the freeway. We are such locals.

We relaxed on Monday, shopping at my local thrift store and attempting to put together a pantry I ordered online. Then Tuesday and Wednesday we hit up the National Mall! We went to the national museum of American history, and then walked to all the major monuments (Washington, WWII, Lincoln, Vietnam War, Korean War, Martin Luther King, FDR, and Jefferson). That made for a full day.

Wednesday we went to the Holocaust Memorial museum and the natural history museum. Thursday was spent at Cafe Rio, colonial Annapolis, and duckpin bowling. We were rebels on Friday and went to the Inner Harbor to get lunch and some souvenirs, surrounded by National Guardsmen and police from all over Maryland. 

Parting shot:

Don't you want to come visit us now? We really do know how to party!