Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Ever since I announced my pregnancy, my Dad has been calling our baby "tiebreaker." The reason for this is that so far, including my sister's forthcoming baby boy, there are two grandsons and two granddaughters. Well, now the boys are taking a lead! We're having a baby boy! Hooray!

Here's a dirty picture to prove it:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chaos in the Kitchen

Amazingly enough, I have made dinner five nights in a row. This never happens. More commonly, however, the last five dinners I've made have been very substandard.

Sunday dinner menu: Steak and Potatoes; problem: got the cheap kind of meat, they were tough. I also made the mistake of reading the ingredients on the steak sauce we had on hand (Lee & Perrins) and discovered it has anchovies in it. That was just enough to make me not want any, not that I could even tell you what anchovies taste like. The potatoes were good though, but we could have used some gravy.

Monday dinner menu: Beef Stroganoff; problem: meat was tough, sauce didn't taste like Mom's. I've had this problem before.

Tuesday dinner menu: Bean soup; problem: lack of taste. Seriously, it didn't taste like anything! It had 1/4 of a ham, an entire onion and several carrots.

Wednesday dinner menu: Pork chops and stove top. Okay, I'll admit this one wasn't too bad because I used the thick juicy pork chops I get from Sam's, I just didn't have an appetitite for it.

Thursday dinner menu: Chicken pot pie; problem: not enough sauce, too many potatoes and they were undercooked. Seriously, how do you screw up a Bisquik recipe?

Peripheral cooking: Today I finally made that loaf of banana bread that I auctioned off in June. Problem: I forgot to put in the eggs. By the time I was mixing in the flour and thinking that the batter was more like dough, I realized that I had missed the eggs step. I hastily added them in at this point, but in a double batch, do you really think I mixed them in well enough? We'll find out in a few minutes if they taste alright, since of course I'm still hungry after that miserable dinner.

I must admit that even though I feel that my cooking is very inadequate, Leah continues to grow and Chris continues to scarf down his food and have second helpings on a regular basis. What a comforting thing to know that my husband will eat anything!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Exclusive Interview with Superdad

I had the pleasant experience last night of sitting down one-on-one with a Mr. Chris, Superdad himself. We had (miracle of miracles) a sitter for the evening and stayed out until (*gasp*) 9:30 having some good old-fashioned together time. We ate out, thanks to the luxury of a gift card (thanks Lola!), stopped by the petstore to play with puppies (they don't have puppies at PetSmart!) and then took a tour of Macy's and played Clint and Stacy in the clothes departments.

I was priviledged to hear a run-down of a day in the life of Superdad. He awakes at the crack of dawn, purges the bad blood by lifting weights or taking a quick jog, transforms in the shower booth and is out the door by 7:45 for his home away from the home, the office. Several days a week he comes home midday for rejuvenation, only to be called back by the cries of desperate people who only he can aid. He is always available to swiftly return to home base at a moment's notice should Supermom, his counterpart, crash and burn back on the homefront. After another brief rejuvenation at dinner-time, he sequesteres himself in favor of self-improvement and training at the Fortress of Solitude (or the University of Phoenix, depending on the day of the week).

In those brief but valuable moments when his presence graces the cabin, he is all eyes and all ears to his wife and child. His young one instantly greets him with a smile and begs for a special daddy-daughter game, including but not limited to vertical child-tossing and inverted ceiling ambulation. The weekends are blissful retreats when Superdad wakes up with the child and takes her on long wagon-rides, makes meals, and even changes diapers! He is hero to many, husband to one, and father to...well, one and a half.

Not surprisingly, Superdad-in all his humility-does not consider himself super. He feels he does not spend enough time with the young one or contribute enough in his dwelling. I assured him, his contribution as bacon-bringer is well received (and well spent!) and that I would not have him contributing in any other way. I simply encouraged him, and he agreed, to make the most of the time we all have together. Thanks for all you do, Superdad!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Residual Hero

I think I must be feeling better, because I spontaneously did another do-it-yourself project today. I was at Home Depot getting Weed & Feed and a fly swatter (owing to the holes in the back screen door) when I decided to pick up a new screen and the tools to replace the screen. A few months ago I happened upon a morning talk show that had a DIY demo (sponsored by Home Depot, no less) for replacing a screen, and I made a mental note of what was required. So tonight I came home and set to work!

While Chris has been at class, I've successfully replaced the screen and even managed to put it on the track. Now we can open the back door and vent our swamp cooler through the house properly, although I have to admit the screen is not very tight. At least it has no holes!

Total time for this project: 70 Minutes
Total number of websites consulted: One
Total cost: $13.35 (will likely be reimbursed by landlord, too!)
Total satisfaction: 80%

I also ran the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, trimmed the grass edges, potted and watered plants, put Leah to bed, and am now exhausted, waiting anxiously for when Chris comes home and tells me I deserve a bowl of ice cream. To be honest, I haven't felt like this in 6 months! Why can't I have such motivation and satisfaction from cleaning bathrooms?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Magical Me

One of our favorite assets is a really great street bike that we won in a drawing at the Provo Freedom Festival in 2004. (Never underestimate the power to fill out a million drawing entry forms...you may just win one!) We just wish we had two!

Chris has the luxury of working just 2 miles from home, so he frequently rides the bike to work so that he can get some exercise and I can have the car. Unfortunately, we get pinch flats all the time. We are both kind of clueless about this kind of thing, evidence being that our little tire pump is supremely inadequate and probably only fills our tires to about 20 psi. (If you know anything about bikes, this is not enough) Our good friends David and Michal are seasoned cyclists and gave me the ten minute low-down on how to fix a flat. Then for Chris's birthday I spent $20 at Walmart getting a tube repair kit and a decent floor pump with a pressure gauge.

Today I decided to venture out into the unknown to attempt to repair the tube myself. I have to say, I must have looked pretty goofy as I tried to figure out how to take the tire off the axle and as I puzzled over how to remove the tube from the tire. Picture me on my front porch bending over a tire with my pregnant belly, nicely combed hair, and with unusually dirty fingers scratching my head every 30 seconds. The repair kit came with patches, a metal buffer, and these goofy little hooks that I had no idea what they were for. I would just ignore them until it was absolutely necessary to use them for something. Sure enough, you definatley need the hook-thingy to get the tire off the wheel.

Then, I pumped up the tube a little to see where the air was leaking out. It was not hard to find. I followed the only two instructions on the repair kit, which were to buff the area around the hole and then apply the patch. So far so good. Then I faced the challenge of reinserting the tube into the tire, which I accomplished in only five minutes (half as long as it took me to remove the tube), and easily put the tire back on the bike, pumped it up as much as I could with my weak little arms (about 65 psi...), and rode around my parking lot beaming like a little kid on Christmas. I fixed a flat tire all my myself! I feel like superwoman!

Total time for this project: 30 Minutes
Total number of lifeline calls: Zero!
Total cost: $20
Total satisfaction: 100%

Now as a disclaimer, I will not post on my blog if the tire is somehow flat again tomorrow, and I have no idea what to do about brakes or those annoying chains that sometimes fall off...that's for me to learn in another life, and in this life, we'll have David fix for us. But come on, give me some credit here for getting my hands dirty and doing it by myself, no matter how much you want to laugh at me, oh wise bicycle sage!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Recent Discoveries

I've recently become familiar with the following things and I think they are pretty cool:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (this one's a given!)
Google Reader (thanks to Sarah)
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (Liz got this for me for my birthday)
Endless Pools (I'm expecting one for my next birthday...)
Our new Honda Civic (Thanks to Becky and Mom!)

Although not fresh discoveries, I still think these ones are fabulous:

Michael Buble (He's really good looking in addition to being a fabulous musician!)
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Digital cameras
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (I know I'm 24, but I never outgrew this one...)

What am I missing?

Produce injustice

Grocery store. Produce section. Someone once told me that you only have to refrigerate the things that are refrigerated at the grocery store. Tomatoes for example are traditionally not refrigerated at the store, so technically, does this mean you're not supposed to refrigerate them when you get home? I picked up a bag of tasty, sweet, purple grapes on Monday and noticed that it was on a display that was not refrigerated. So I put them in my fruit bowl on the counter and forgot about them. Today I helped myself to some grapes and they're furry! Ewww! I guess I should have refrigerated them after all! How are you supposed to know? This is an outrage!