Friday, April 29, 2011

Princess Bride

I just finished watching the Royal Wedding (could I truly call myself a woman if I hadn't?). I didn't get up at 5am for it or anything, but it was just starting when I turned on the TV after breakfast, perfect timing.

I have to say, I LOVED Kate's dress and I truly hope this sets off a new trend to put sleeves back on wedding dresses. I watch the show Say Yes To the Dress religiously, and the one complaint I have about 99% of the dresses is THEY ARE ALL STRAPLESS! And I can't tell you how many times I've heard a bride on that show say, "I want to look sexy on my wedding day." First of all, looking sexy is not what weddings are about. It's the one day of your life you should at least try to look pure. Also, by "sexy," those girls really mean "trashy," because having your boobs hang out on your wedding day is trashy, ladies, I hate to tell you. Three cheers for Kate Middleton for showing that you can look absolutely stunning, set off your amazing figure, and still look classy and elegant. Bravo!!!

Other comments:

I found the ceremony quite spiritual and touching. A lot of really great messages in there. I wonder how much anyone, including the bride and groom, internalized them in that largely un-religious country. I wonder if Charles was internalizing them when he said "I will" to Diana whilst having an affair with Camilla. I surely hope the fact that William and Kate have dated for 7 years already means they really do love each other and intend to be faithful.

I felt sad for a minute at the end of the ceremony that Diana couldn't be there. And sad for her boys that that homewrecker, Camilla, got to walk down the aisle after the bridal couple. Does Charles have no shame?

I wonder what Elton John was thinking through all that talk about marriage being between a man and a woman. Did he feel like walking out? And, for a professional singer, he sure didn't look like he was singing with much gusto. Way to give it a D+ performance, Elton.

What is with the uni-color lady-suits with matching hats? Hasn't anyone ever heard of mix and match colors or patterns??? (Although I was happy to see all the hats. I really wish hats would come back into fashion.)

Is the Queen supposed to sing "God Save The Queen?" It IS the national anthem, after all. But kind of self-promoting if she does sing it, huh?

I called Daphne over to the TV so I could show her a REAL princess and prince getting married. She looked at Kate getting walked down the aisle by her dad, just behind the Dean of Westminster, and said, "I wouldn't want to marry THAT prince!" I said, "That's her dad." "No, THAT guy," she said, pointing to the Dean. "No, that is the priest who marries them," I said. "You mean the one who tells them they can kiss?" she asked. "Yes," I clarified.

A few minutes later, they showed William and Harry walking towards the front and I told her those were the two princes. She asked which one the bride was going to marry, and I told her the one in red. "Well, I wouldn't want to marry him either!" she told me. "But I WOULD like to marry the one in the blue and gold. He's so HANDSOME," she said, curling her hands under her chin and batting her eyelashes at Prince Harry. Oh geez, I'm in trouble.

Any thoughts about the Royal Wedding?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Bluest Eye

We are a brown eyed family. By "we" I mean my mom, dad, brother, sister, and me. All of us. My dad's eyes seemed to have grown greener his whole life, and my sister's eyes are definitely at the golden end of the brown spectrum. But my mom, brother, and I all have just plain brown eyes. Dark brown.

Then my brother, sister, and I all married blue-eyed spouses. So there is this kind of running competition in our family to see who can produce a blue-eyed child. The background is this:

My maternal grandparents had eyes like this:

My paternal grandparents had eyes like this:

So on both sides of our family tree, we have one brown-eyed grandparent (B = dominant) and one blue/green-eyed grandparent (b = recessive). So if you remember your 9th grade biology class, the genetics chart for my own parents looks like this IF they both inherited that recessive gene from their light-eyed parent:

So they technically had a 1:2 chance of having blue or green eyed kids. None of us did. But that recessive gene could have showed up with further children or not at all. The question is, did they CARRY the recessive gene? Yes. (The evidence is below). But do my siblings and I? That remains to be seen.

Our own genetic charts (me, Jennie, Ben, together with our spouses) look like this if we carry the recessive gene from those light-eyed grandparents: That would mean I would, in theory, have a 1:2 chance of having a light-eyed child.

But if I didn't inherit that recessive gene from my light-eyed grandparents, my genetic chart would look like this: Meaning, if I don't carry that recessive gene, it doesn't matter that I married a blue-eyed man. My kids will have zero chance of having blue or green eyes.

Why does it matter? I guess it doesn't. Only, I'd like some variety. Roughly 9/10 of the world or more has brown eyes. They're just so...redundant. And in my case, the color is so static. I love that light-eyed people--be it green, blue, grey or hazel--have such variety to their eye color, such depth. Me? Just straight, plain, poop brown. So for the sake of interest, as well as the sake of phenotypical variety, (I just love finally using words I learned in junior high and have had zero use for until now), I'd really like a blue eyed child.

So, here is how the eye color for our family has turned out so far:

My Sister Jennie - brown, becoming more golden with time. This picture doesn't really show it.
Mr. Jennie - blue
Their kids...
India - brown
York - brown
Finn - the greenest of the brown-eyed grandkids. Would you even call his eyes brown? Or green? Hazel?
Arabella - brown
Adelaide - blue!
Jasper - Brown

My Brother Ben - brown
Nicki - blue
Their kids...
James - brown, but definitely greenish
Avery - brown
Briella - brown


Me - brown
Big Daddy - blue
Our Kids...
Daphne - golden brown
Beck - brown
# 3 ????


Did you catch it in there??? The ONE AND ONLY blue eyed child? My sister Jennie's 5th child, Adelaide, has blue eyes. So Jennie for sure has that recessive gene. Which means one or both of my brown-eyed parents carried it and passed it on. Did my brother get it? Did I? I don't know. But it should be noted that Briella's and James's eyes--my brother's kids--were both very blue for quite a long time when they were small. You'd have sworn they would end up being blue-eyed kids. My daughter Daphne also had very green eyes until she was 2 or 3 and now they're golden-ish brown. I wonder if this hints to there being a recessive gene for both of us?

There is only one way to know. And it rests in the eyes of the child I carry. If her eyes are blue or green, I will know my gene is a Bb. If not, I will never know, because I'm pretty sure she will be our last child. So if you believe in God, PRAY. Pray with all your might for the eyes of my child to be blue. If you don't believe in variety or interest, at least do it for the sake of my curiosity.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April Miscellaneous

1. Triumph is when your spell checker doesn't correct your spelling of the word "miscellaneous." (It only took me 30 years to get that one right.)

2. I am enjoying this beautiful spring weather more than you can imagine. The smell is heavenly. The sunshine is amazing. The warmth is stirring. It makes my soul feel alive.

3. It also makes me want to garden. But gardening requires bending over.

4. I cannot bend over. You can't bend at the waist when there is a human beach ball trapped inside you.

5. Speaking of said human beach ball, I am 37 weeks 1 day today. I had Daphne at 36 weeks 5 days and Beck at 38 weeks. ANY DAY NOW!

6. I could go to my due date. That IS a possibility I'm forced to consider. VERY reluctantly.

7. I will NOT consider the possibility of going over my due date. No. That cannot happen. WILL NOT HAPPEN!!

8. My doctor is out of town until next Monday. Evidently he thought it was more important to take his family to the So.Cal theme parks than to sit around here waiting for the possibility that my baby might come early. Jerk.

9. I guess I'll try to wait 5 more days to have this baby so I can accommodate his schedule.

10. Dr Smith, I'm only kidding! If you ever read this and thought I was actually mad, I would kill myself. I love you! Not in a crazy rabbit-boiling kind of way. Just in a you-are-my-favorite-doctor-EVER way!

11. The left click button on my laptop is broken. Sometimes it won't work at all, sometimes it works if you push really hard on the far end of it. It is driving me NUTS. Whenever I want to highlight something, I can't. If I need to hold it down to drag and drop, good luck! This is the crappiest laptop EVER. I don't care if Consumer Reports gave it a fantastic rating, the Sony Viao is GARBAGE. Pretty much every part of it has broken at some point during the last 2 years. But the left click, is that a pain!

12. I have just been going through my photos folder and I realized how many pictures I have taken that I meant to blog about but never did. So I think maybe I'll make the rest of this random post a random photos post. Enjoy. Or not. Depending on how much you like to see random pictures of my kids. And depending on how much you like looking at photos taken on an iPhone in bad lighting. What can I say? I was between cameras.

13. I'll start off with something totally disgusting: Cankles.
I took this picture in Texas. Evidently traveling from 3500 feet to sea level does not improve water retention in very pregnant women. The good news is that they have resumed their semi-cankle status now that I'm back at high elevation.

14. Getting a new 7 inches off haircut while you're super pregnant and enormous is not a good idea. Because you will hate your hair no matter what it looks like simply because you hate your body. Or maybe because you realize too late that the haircut you picked doesn't actually suit YOU. But here it is.

15. The Baby Bump. This was at about 32 weeks I think. The one and only picture of my belly this time around. Boy, this third child is already getting the shaft. I hate to be so predictable!

16. Gelato. Usually I'm not much of an ice cream fan. But the Gelato at SetteBello in downtown SLC is UH-MAZE-ING. My favorite? 1/2 Pistachio, 1/2 Nutella. This time I noticed a new flavor, the second one from the left on the top:

Can you guess what it is? My guess was sweet cream with chocolate sauce. Uh, NOT EVEN CLOSE.
The sign below says "Ricotta with Balsamic Reduction." EWWWW!!! That is just sick and wrong! Someone needs to be committed for that travesty against dessert.

17. While getting some frozen custard (I know I'm not convincing you here that I don't like ice cream-ish treats, but I really don't!) at Coney's, I saw this description for a hot dog: "Topped with caramelized onions, bacon, pinto beans, melted cheese, fresh hand-cut salsa, guacamole, cilantro cream sauce and cilantro." On a HOT DOG. Does that seem bizarre to anyone else? I laughed while asking the cashier if anyone ever ordered it. His response was, "Yeah. The guy in front of you just did. It's our most popular hot dog!" I guess it's just me whose crazy. What do you think?

18. Crazy Hair Day at School. I'm pretty sure Daphne won.

19. Do you ever make recipes that require melting caramels? I make one or two, and it is a pain to unwrap each individual caramel and then wait for it to slowly melt. I recently discovered this product and I will never buy wrapped caramels again!

20. And finally, I have really enjoyed my new bakery discovery "The Chocolate." That is the name of the establishment, not an item there. Although the best items there are all chocolate baked goods, of course. Here are a few pics of my kids enjoying their sweets. (Out of 26 shots of Daphne, already spastic from sugar, the only one where she held still enough to be in focus was, well, you'll see...)

I sent this last one to Big Daddy via MMS and his only response was, "You took our kids out with no shoes???" And then later, "I love how the Mona Lisa on the wall is like 10x bigger than the real thing." Nothing about how picturesque his little boy was with the light from the window and the fresh flowers in the background. Men! Sigh... (In my defense, it was an impulse stop. I hadn't planned on feeling the overwhelming need for cake until I passed The Chocolate. But chocolate overrides bare feet every day of the week. Sorry for being so white trash, Hon.)


Monday, April 18, 2011

Babee Nayms Too Dye Fir

You all know my opinions on baby names, right? RIGHT? Well, then you'll appreciate this wonderful blog post I read today that talks about the "wonderful" names people in Rexburg, Idaho have named their kids in the last year. Be sure to read the comments--they add some that are at least as good as the blog post itself!

Click HERE


Friday, April 15, 2011

Back In the Saddle?

Today I read 12 different blogs. Not posts, blogs. Probably 25 or so posts, with comments. And that's after going literally 3 weeks without opening my google reader at all. And it's been more weeks or even months since I read my favorite blogs regularly. So getting back into it felt GOOD.

I don't know what happened. Burn out? Morning sickness followed by nesting followed by rib pain followed by the onset of gigantism? At any rate, my usual list of 190~ unread posts climbed to over 500. And I didn't even think about reading blogs that whole time. Can you say self-absorbed?? Well, maybe partially self, partially baby-absorbed. It's hard not to be when she stomps your bladder and punches your lungs on a minute-to-minute basis. It kind of puts her on your mind, you know?

I also don't know what has suddenly changed to make me start blogging and reading blogs again. I'd like to think it's that it's springtime and I'm feeling an inner awakening. Or that I magically got my blogging mojo back. But when I think about it and allow reality to filter into my thought process (something I generally try to avoid), I think it has been an exchange of time--I used to clean the house and make dinner and play with the kids instead of blogging. Now I am too big and fat and uncomfortable to do any of those things, so the house stays messy, we eat pizza a lot, and the kids have been playing an awful lot of Poisson Rouge.

The upside? You might actually get a comment from me in the next couple of weeks. But after that, once Miss Mustbefedconstantly arrives, all bets are off. I might actually have to trade blogging for Beef Stroganoff again.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Parenting For Lazy People

You know how every birthday and Christmas you try to have one big, awesome present to top all the rest? A pièce de résistance, if you will? Well, last Christmas, it was bunnies. Real, live, baby bunnies. Nothing could top that, we knew. But we also knew that Beck would most likely be terrified of the bunnies (he was, uh, still is) and that Daphne would be so infatuated with them that we'd have to limit her 1 on 1 time with them in order to preserve their lives (we've already had at least one incident that ended with bunny blood being spilt). So we wanted to provide some other super fun gift that would not lose its novelty so fast and which might actually provide some educational value. Racking my brain, a few days before Christmas I came across the Leapfrog Tag system. Quickly, and without reading any reviews (shame on me!), I ordered a Leapfrog Tag Reading System from Amazon that came with 12 different books. I ordered it fast mail for $12 extra dollars so the kids could have it in time for Christmas.

On Christmas, the Leapfrog Tag reading system was not under the tree. It arrived FOUR DAYS after Christmas, even though the cat drinking fountain filters I ordered 2 days before Christmas, not for Flossie's Christmas present, and not with expedited shipping, arrived Christmas Eve. Boo hisss!

But seeing as how most of the presents on Christmas morning tend to blend into one mad, chaotic scene and lose their potency, I figured having the kids open this present a few days later wouldn't be such a bad thing. Plus, it would give the bunnies a few day to take center stage and then be forgotten (yep).

Well, flash forward four months....That leapfrog system gets even less play than the now rather large bunnies. It is the stupidest invention ever! Let me give you my mock commercial for this device:

"Parents, want to avoid spending any time with your kids at all while pretending they're learning how to read? Then get the Leapfrog Tag System! The included electronic pen will allow your kids to touch all the pictures in the page to hear their sound effects over and over until you want to shoot yourself, or let them push the "read" button so the text is read allowed by a sterile mechanical voice, while ensuring that they never push the tiny diamond at the end of the text that lets them sound out the words or hear the letter sounds. So you will never have to read to your kids again AND they will never get any closer to learning how to read. Perfect!"

Ya, that pretty much sums it up. So let me make a recommendation for any of you with young children for the next birthday or Christmas: Don't get the Leapfrog Tag System. Get them cat drinking fountain filters. They'll be much more useful and 99% less guilt-inducing when you toss them in the nearest trash.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blame It All On the Fetus

I think it's safe to say I've nearly lost the will to live. I certainly have lost the will to get up. And my will to cook meals that take longer than 45 seconds in the microwave left a long time ago. That's why my kids had cereal for breakfast, cheesy roll-ups from Taco Bell for lunch, and are about to be served Papa Johns pizza for dinner (I WILL put some lettuce and Ranch on the table because, you know, I want it to be a balanced meal.)

And posting, poor posting, sigh...I remember when I actually used to post. When I had things to say that didn't consist of whining and whinging. And I remember a very distant time when I was clever and witty in saying them. But alas, most of my brain is now taken up with forming complaints about my body and fighting the urge to punch my baby back when she places a left hook firmly on my liver. So for now I'm going to re-post a super hilarious post my sister sent me that hits home in a way only those of you who have had children come out of your hoo-ha can relate to. From the blog Scary Mommy I give you: The Six Week Post-Partum Check Up:

The six week post partum check up
I’m not great with dates. I can never remember minutiae like Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November or that New Years Day is exactly one week after Christmas. The individuals who know when Harvest Moons and Daylight Saving Time occur must be calendar makers or descendants of Nostradamus. If it weren’t for computerized alerts, I’d never be aware of birthdays, anniversaries, or the days Oprah is giving away gold-coated Maytags and half-sisters. The one date I can always remember – after three pregnancies in as many years – is the one that falls six weeks after delivery: The six week postpartum checkup. It’s the appointment in which the OB will stare at your nethers under the glare of a strobe light mounted to a hardhat as she asks leading questions to discern how many times you’ve fallen down the stairs in a fit of delirium and how closely you identify with the movie The Omen. As you gently hint at the likelihood of getting a script for Tylenol PM for Infants, your doctor will smile at you, offer congratulations for your bundle of colic, and will utter the one sentence you are – no matter what her speculum says – entirely unprepared to hear:

"You can resume sexual activity now."

Your Gone Fishin’ sign was just yanked right off your vagina. Mayan Year 2010 hit your private parts. If this visit follows the birth of your first baby, your husband is likely standing beside the table as this news is delivered. The grin to spread across his face will outstretch the one you saw when he was first handed his newborn child. The smile fades as he witnesses your descent through The Five Stages of Grief, all of which occur in dramatic flair with your knees still touching opposite coastlines.

Denial. “I think you have the wrong file. I just delivered a baby. A human. See, that’s her right there. That was inside of my body until she tore her way through it, like a goddamn Trojan Horse. Are you certain you went to medical school?”

Anger. “Why did you ask me here? I was told by a woman I work with that you were going to give me happy pills at this appointment, not tell me I need to be having sex with… (unsubtle head tilt in partner’s direction). And I would like my underwear back now.”

Bargaining. “Listen, I may have overreacted. Let’s find some middle ground. You pop a couple of those episiotomy stitches down there and I’ll tell all of my friends with yeast infections to come see you. Deal?”

Depression. The utterance of words during the passage through this phase ceases altogether as you consider that the only moments your day permits for a shower and a status update on Facebook have been stolen.

Acceptance. You nod slowly, shifting your eyes from the doctor, to the baby, to your husband, understanding that all are working in chorus to destroy your personal anatomy and your DVR queue.

You exit the physician’s office, quite possibly still wearing the oversized Maxi pads you absconded with from the hospital, with a slow and wearied gate. Dead Vagina Walking. Your husband, on the other hand, has a buoyancy to his step and is already suggestively whistling something by Marvin Gaye.

This is when the calendar floats into your consciousness again. Whatever day this 6 week postpartum check falls on – a Tuesday, a Friday, May, December – is the day that will be listed on your tombstone. This is the day you’re going to die. Your friends and family will eulogize your life with somber nods, “She endured too much. Sleeplessness, poor oral hygiene, elasticized waistbands, a diet of fistfuls of cereal. Despite this, her doctor told her she was ready for exercise and sex. It was too much to bear.”

Too much is exactly what it is. A nurse once whispered in my ear, upon walking out the door with my firstborn child, to be wary of the six week post-delivery time as this is the period babies present colic, when postpartum depression rears its vicious head, and – tragically – when the help and casseroles from those around you disappear. The weight of these stressors only compounds when your husband starts in with the bedroom eyes. It’s not that you don’t appreciate those eyes. May God grant Sainthood to the man who can see beyond the facade of sagging skin and stretch marks to the woman he was attracted to once before. It’s not that you don’t love your husband. It has very little to do with him actually. Your body has been hijacked by hormones, your erogenous zones assassinated by nursing, and your ability to lay prone in the dark without falling comatose has been lost. And you’re a bit terrified because your lady innards still feel a lot like Hiroshima must have looked after the A-bomb.

However, he will start dry humping your leg like an un-neutered Jack Russell Terrier if you continue to cite ‘funky stuff you don’t want to even know about down there’ as your reason for celibacy. He will start to suspect you’re stretching the truth when you say you’re considering a Divine calling to join a Roman convent. Even you understand, with the small portion of brain matter you’ve got left, that reuniting may make you begin to feel more like your old self. You’ve weathered pregnancy and delivery together without any casualties, thus there must be hope for the same outcome in the bedroom. After all, isn’t marriage about compromise and leaps of faith?

But it’s completely fair to say you’re not taking your sweatpants off.

Oh man, the joys that still await me. In the meantime I'll try to put together at least two original posts. They might even include some humor. But don't quote me.