Sunday, December 30, 2007

Books, Books and More Books

Well, Braden's over there talking about Holden Caulfield, and Carolyn had a post about recent books she read, so I'm in the mood to share a few of my latest finds.

I've recently been on a travelogue/travel writing kick, so I picked up the following two books:

Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles to Timbuktu - Kira Salak
This was a really interesting book. The author sets off down the the Niger River alone in an inflatable raft. The encounters she has with the natives are truly eye-opening. I must admit, I got so annoyed with the people who, immediately upon catching sight of her, a white woman, would scream and rant at her for "Un cadeau, madame!!! UN CADEAU!!!" ("A gift", but really they were demanding money). Some men actually chased her down in their own canoes several times with the intent of robbing her, and one group actually caught her and grabbed hold of her raft--it was only her quick thinking that allowed her to escape. I know that here in the U.S, generally speaking, we are much better off than a lot of the world...but that doesn't mean that you can scream at me for money. As I was reading, I was trying to be sensitive to their situation, but those parts really bothered me, and there were a lot of incidences of that happening. Not everyone was like that, of course. Anyway, a great read.

Es Cuba: Life and Love on an Illegal Island - Lea Aschkenas
I loved the little bits and pieces you pick up from this book about life in it really is, and not from an impersonal travel guidebook. You learn a lot about how most Cubans have their little "negocios" ("businesses") going on illegally, to make a few extra dollars (instead of pesos, which aren't worth much). A lot of Cubans will end their workday at 3pm, so they can go do their "negocio", such as running a restaurant out of their home, renting a room by the hour (or minute, even) for young couples, or allowing someone to access email from their house. Blackouts, and we're talking complete darkness, happen semi-randomly on Mondays, because Fidel has declared that they need to conserve energy, and that's the best way to do it. Dollars will get you anything you want. There is a lot of racism still going on, too. A couple comprised of a Cuban and a foreigner is not allowed to rent a room for the night, or the owners face a stiff fine.
And much more. It was very interesting to me to read about what daily life is like in a Latin American country.

Moving on to a different genre...
I would really recommend the author Shannon Hale. I just finished reading The Goose Girl and Princess Academy. The former was absolutely excellent. I read the latter because I enjoyed The Goose Girl so much, but in all honesty, it wasn't as good. It was still an entertainly read, though, and I recommend it as well. I've requested her other books from the library, so let's hope they're awesome, too.

More to come, since I'm always getting out an astounding number of books from the library...

Here There Be RNs

Two, actually. In the extended family o' Braden.

That's right, folks. Braden done passed this here NCLEX RN exam and done got hisself a liiiiiicense. YEEHAW!

What are the odds of having two nurses among four male siblings?

Sorry for the slowness of getting the news out, but things got a little holiday-ey around here, as usually happens this time of year.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Good Reason Why You Should Probably Just Admit You Don't Care For Chocolate Truffles

Yes, these are my pants. No, that's not poop. Unless I can do amazing feats of contortionism...which I can't. Really, that is my pocket, and my pocket only.

The back story: I was over at the in-laws and got some chocolate truffles thrown at me while I was sitting on the couch. I don't like chocolate truffles. However, instead of saying so, I did what I usually do when I get something I don't like thrown at me, ASSUMING THAT IT'S WRAPPED. I put them in my pocket, thinking, oh, I'll give this to hub later on, because he might like them. Now, it did occur to me that I mustn't forget that they were in there. Fast forward an hour or two. I fell asleep reading on said couch, woke up, got the Schmenna ready to go back home, drove home, walked into the kitchen, PUT MY HAND IN MY POCKET.

Hmmmm, it feels...kind of...sticky.

So did I mention I also had some other items in this pocket? Yeah, I did. MY CELL PHONE AND SIXTEEN DOLLARS IN CASH. Yummy. The gooey mess even soaked through onto my leg.

Yeah, I don't think this experience endeared me to chocolate truffles any. Next time I'll put them in *Braden's* pocket.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Testing, Testing

I was feeding the Schmenna in the dining room (which is really only a dining room because we finally set up a table and chairs in the main room), and I asked Braden to go get me a wipe for her green bean-y face. He went to oblige me, and all of a sudden I hear what sounds like a gasp/moan/sharp intake of breath, followed by silence. Since hub's been in pain for a few days, I started to get a little worried, thinking he might be in kidney stone labor, so I called out, "BRADEN?? BRADEN??", a la Twilight Zone ('Grandma? Grandma?'). He literally ran out a minute later, exclaiming excitedly, "I got my authorization to test!!"

That's right, folks. Braden may well be a fully licensed RN by the first of the year. Suddenly the jump in salary seems much closer. The fact that he already has his application approved is a shock, albeit a pleasant one, since we weren't expecting it to happen for another month or two. Usually these things take a lot longer.

Hub thinks this is an excuse to shirk his date night planning duties, since "I'm busy applying for this job." Pthhbbbbbttth. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How to Remove Unwanted Santa Hats: A Step by Step

1. Discover that you are indeed wearing a Santa hat. Determine to rectify the situation immediately.

2. Begin pulling with an upwards motion one-handed.

3. Get angry and frantic about it, all the while continuing to pull with an upwards motion one-handed.

4. Pause for dramatic effect. Exude cuteness.

5. Pose like the shameless ham that you are.

6. Once offending article of clothing is removed once and for all, make a face like you've just experienced your first atomic wedgie.

7. Celebrate for a few minutes by doing what you do with anything you get your hands on: Wave that thang around like there's no tomorrow, baby.

And finally...

8. Toss the offending article of clothing on the floor where it belongs.

Never mind that you'll be wearing that Santa hat again and again and again over the next few days! Mwahahahahaha!!!

Ruminations on Enchanted

It is the in-laws 35th anniversary today! Happy Anniversary! I've been told that they were going to go see the movie Enchanted, which we saw a couple of weeks ago and liked a lot. It's one of those movies that we'll probably get, because the kiddo will really like it in a few years, but it wasn't like fantastic or anything. It was entertaining, but it had parts that dragged a bit. There was also a very clear ending spot...and the movie didn't end. It went on for another 20-25 minutes after that. And what's up with the supposedly spontaneous yet somehow expertly choreographed song and dance routine in Central Park?

Amy Adams was excellent, though, and really made the movie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12/2/07 – Festival of Choirs

A couple of weeks ago, we had a "Festival of Choirs", which is an annual church event. We hear a bunch of choirs sing Christmas songs, and then everyone stays afterwards to hear a Christmas devotional.

So Jenna is a starer. The lady two seats down from us was like, “she doesn’t even blink!” Said lady made the mistake of encouraging Jenna by looking back at her and smiling. This meant that Jenna felt free to stare at her THE WHOLE TIME. After a while, the lady said, "You're going to get a crick in your neck!"

Finally, Jenna fell asleep and was sleeping in her carseat throughout much of the Christmas Devotional, and then...BOOM SHAKALAKALAKA!!! Thomas S. Monson, one of the speakers, loudly began his remarks and scared the POOP out of Jenna. She was wide awake from that point on. She didn't think it was funny, but we couldn't stop laughing at her expression.

The token embarrassing moment as a parent was when I was taking Jenna out of her carseat shortly after her rude awakening. The carseat fell off the chair and crashed to the floor sooo loudly.

I also discovered that when you become a parent, at some point you will find yourself thinking, “What do I do with this booger??”

Random quotes during the event:

“I wonder how many conductors had to fall backward before they put a bar behind them.” - Braden, while watching the MoTab conductor
“I just wanna take that sticker off her!!” - Ker, about a lady two rows in front of us who had a random bell knitted on the back of her sweater, and it so looked like someone had planted a sticker on her without her noticing

Parents are Funny

Recently, I was thinking about the weird/funny things we do when we become parents. I'm talking about the funny rhymes, nicknames and phrases we come up with out of the blue when we start communicating with our children, especially when they are very small. Here are a few of mine:

Song "Parodies"

"Ohhhhhhh, ohhhhhhhh, I'm a poopy girl!! Poopy, poopy, poopy, poopy, poopy girl!" - to the tune of "Happy Girl" by Martina McBride. I seldom get through the second sentence without laughing. I sing this to Jenna when I'm changing a messy diaper, obviously. :) Sometimes I change the "I'm" to "you're".

"I love my Jennnna! I love her boooooooty. She is my baaaaaaby. Jenna, I love yoooooooouuuuu, yeah, yeah!!" To the tune of "I Got My Baby" by Faith Hill.

"Oooooh, I love my little giiiiiiirrl!" From "There Goes My Life" by Kenny Chesney.

Random Phrases

"Look at this little booty, look at this little booty!!!" - I don't know where I got this from, but it's really fun to do! Poor Jenna. :)


Jenna Bear, Jenna Bo, the Schmenna. The last one is as in, "I'm gonna go get the Schmenna up."

I know I have others, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head. I may add stuff as I think of it.

I like to sing Anne Murray songs to Jenna, too. I love the ones from the Sesame Street album she did waaaaaaaay back in 1979. Good times.

"Sleep, child, and when you do, dream a dream to drift you through the night, that lingers through the day. Tonight, if dreams are few, I'll sing this lullaby for you. Sleep, child, for dreams always come true."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Value Village Adventures

"Hi. My name is Ker, and I'm a 99 cent Monday Value Village addict."

"Hi, Ker."

Hmmmmm. These pants might be a little iffy, and I know I can't try them on, because I have my daughter with me, and where the heck would I put her in the dressing "stall" anyway, since I barely have room to turn around in there *myself*...BUT THEY'RE 99 CENTS.

I'm a sucker for cheap stuff.

I actually have a sort of master plan of what aisles I hit first. Skip the sweaters, because they're the obvious first choice, so everyone goes there first. I do look at the dresses, and every once in a while I find something I would actually wear, but whoah. WHOAH. I have never seen hideousness dressified so many times as in the dress aisle at my local Value Village. Who was on the dress concept commission, people???!!

Jenna is a big hit there, and several of the employees recognize me now. A week ago, one of the employees asked, "Where's baby?", and was disappointed when I said she was with her daddah.

I will now show you how Jenna amuses herself on these trips:

I've Got Dreeeeeeeams, Dreeeeeeeams To Remember...

So this post got me in the writing about dreams mood.

I have a recurring dream with a similar theme. It's never exactly the same, but there are always certain elements in there. Usually, I'm in high school or some sort of school setting. It seems high school-ish, because sometimes I have to go to some kind of office and ask for my schedule. When I ask for it, people are milling all about on their way to the first day of class. I'm panicked, because I know I have a full schedule, but I never know what it is, or where I'm supposed to be. And I always know that I’m taking a history class, and what's funny about these dreams is that they seem to revolve around this supposed history class: I’ve either never been to it, or I’ve only been a handful of times, so I know I have to talk with the teacher and figure out how to still get an A in the class. Also, there’s always a huge paper due in a few days, and I never know exactly when it’s due or what it’s on, and I put it off and put it off. I've never actually spoken with the teacher in my dreams, so I always have this sense of "YOU'RE GOING TO FAIL THIS CLASS...AAAAAAHHHHH!!!" I end up running around the hallways knowing that I'm supposed to be in class, but never knowing where or when. For those of you who went to my HS, in my dream somehow I know that the history class is on the second floor at the back of the school, which is where I had all four of my history classes.

Now, you may be asking yourself, what does this mean? I don't know, except that I think it's odd that a history class seems to be central in these dreams. I like history, sure, but I'm not a history buff by any means. I like art and languages more. So, I dunno.

I've also had a couple of dreams where I feel like I'm falling, and I sit bolt upright, suddenly awake and breathing really hard, like I've really fallen off a cliff or something. But it's been awhile since I've had one of those. Anyone else got any weird and/or recurring dreams?


Friday, December 14, 2007

Fun at the Mall

Trips to the mall are always fun, now that Jenna is with us. She gets so excited! Actually, we can take her pretty much anywhere, and she's thrilled, because, hey, the house gets boring after awhile, what can I say? I get bored, too. :)

Okay, so honestly, folks. What is the following picture talking about, at first glance? Caption: "Turn these shoppers into buyers". Maybe the close-up of a woman's chest wasn't the right picture to go with for this particular ad campaign. Just sayin'.

Living Hand to Mouth

Reasons why letting J get close to ANYTHING is hazardous

Every single time I glance at this store's name, I read "Thai Kitchen Shop". EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Mmm, Mmm Good Stroller

Clickiness O' Linkage

"Cat Man Do", below, is a pretty funny animation short of a cat trying to wake up its owner:

I can't believe something like this ever happened.

A mom whose kids begged to get pet rats came up with this "rat pledge" that they had to sign before getting the pets. That's a smart woman.

Google is expanding its services once again.

Reasons Why My Husband Considers My Editing Expertise Invaluable

These are some excerpts from B-dawg's final paper, followed by my *invaluable* comments:

B: Yoder-Wise (2007) has stated that “consumers of health care have a right to know and a need to know how to care for their own health needs” (p. 447).

K: Wise *is* Yoda.

B: Vogelsmeier & Scott-Cawiezell (2007) taught that...

K: Don’t forget Jim Caviezel.

B: Venes (2005) says that “vaccine side effects such as fevers, muscle aches, and injection site pain are common but generally mild."

K: And Venus was her name….AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

B: Chen, R. T., Glasser, J. W., Rhodes, P. H., Davis, R. L., Barlow, W. E., Thompson, R. S. et al. (1997) point out that...

K: Wow, I wish I could have found more articles like this for my thesis! How about a few more contributors??

B: When the nurse leader is able to comfort fellow staff members and patients in regards to safety issues and concerns about immunizations...

K: “It’s okay, sweetie; it really didn’t hurt thaaat bad, did it? Awww, com’ere, sweetums.”

B: A nurse who is anxiously engaged in the good cause of promoting wellness and eschewing disease...

K: Your little Mormon booty!!!!

Now, I did actually give some helpful advice, but I had much more fun writing the above comments, of course. :) Braden's teacher didn't like the "anxiously engaged" sentence and put alternatives like "positively inclined?" and something else we can't remember. I was like, "You can't rewrite scripture!!" What would she think of the D&C? :)

He Done Gradjee-ated

That's right, folks! You heard it here first...unless I already told you over the phone, or you were actually there to witness it, in which case you're probably *so* over it. But no! You mustn't be. For I have pictorial goodness to share. And I shall have more to show should my brother-in-law and father-in-law be so kind as to share those they have taken with non-sucky cameras.

Braden walking down the aisle, so to speak:

Jenna's cousin Amy going in for the kill..uh, kiss:

Jenna preparing to maul her fortune cookie:

Jenna: 1 Fortune Cookie: 0

Jenna and Daddy posin':

Gorgeous dress compliments of Vicki...thanks, Vicki! I bet you didn't know you bought it, but I happened to actually remember I had Jenna's gift card when I went to Target. :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Recent Quotes

K: “You’re awfully picky for a crappy thank you note!”
B: (fake sharp intake of breath) “You just called me a crappy thank you note!!!”
- I meant to say "about"; Braden insisted on having a homemade thank you note printed again, because the first one came out bluish due to lack of color ink. *I* thought it looked cool. :)

“I shortened her crotchal booty.” – Ker, on trying to put Jenna into an outfit that was just a little bit on the small side. Here it is:

J looks awfully happy for having her crotchal booty shortened. Needless to say, this is the last time she'll wear this outfit!

Taste of Asian Food

My mother-in-law was kind enough to watch J while I escaped to a cultural feasting event a couple of weeks ago. It was called "Taste of Cultures", but it really should have been called "Taste of Asian Food", since almost everything there was Asian. Then again, we are in the Pacific Northwest, so I guess that's to be expected. What was I thinking??

When we got there (Braden's dad works at the university where it was held), there were national flags up all along the walls, so I headed straight for Mexico. I get to the table, and I'm trying in vain to figure out what the crap is in front of me, so I finally given in and ask, "Um, what is this?" The kid standing there says, "Oh, that's [insert gross Americanized food here]." Mmkay, thanks...zoooomm down the table. Come to find out that the flags behind each table do not correspond in any way to the food in front of them. Silly me! Besides, how many Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, or Korean flags could you put up, really?

I went to the other side of the gym, and, I kid you not, everything was Asian, all the way down to the end of the line. Good thing I've learned to like some of it, otherwise I would have been out of luck! It was pretty good stuff. I felt bad, because I have this problem called "FREE FOOD...MUST GET AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, OR I WILL EXPIRE HERE AND NOW...oops, i'm full." So I had two plates literally piled up, plus a couple of little cups of soup. Another problem was that it took so long to get everything that by the time I sat down to eat, most of my food was cold. I cowboyed up, though, you better believe it. I shoveled as much food down as I humanly could...which, okay, let's be honest here, was really not all that much. I really do have every intention to eat what I've put on my plate at the time I get it, I promise!! :)

In the middle of eating, we see that someone in full African tribal clothing is making her way around the room, asking who is brave enough to have a headdress tied on her/him. And, oh, oh, my friends, I was brave enough. Little did I know *why* bravery came into the equation: she tied it on so tightly that I think my head exploded. I actually think I'm politely saying, "Um, it's a little tight..." in this picture:

Me smiling in spite of my massive migraine


"I'm not doing *anything*, Mommy"

"I'm not...Ooooh, what's this?"

Anyone seen Dirty Dancing? "No one puts Baby in a corner"

So of course, I had to do this:

Too cute not to post

Political Parody

- Rudy Giuliani parody ad. This had Braden and I laughing out loud, especially at the very end. Funny stuff

Friday, November 30, 2007


Okay, so I didn't post for 30 consecutive days. BUT, I now have, with this post, 31 posts for November!! Yay MEEEEEE.

And now I just got the silent indication that hub is zonked and it is therefore time to go to bed. Until tomorrow, then, folks. GOOD NIGHT, EVERYBODY!!

Clickiness O' Linkage

These tend to build up if I don't post for a few days. Suerie. Feel free to not click on any should you be pressed for time or not in the "clickiness o' linkage" mood.

Memorable moments from past Presidential debates

How to eavesdrop from a distance

Real-life superheroes

Frugal billionaires

How sports owners made their money (This one's for you, Braden and Dan)

3 socks - Too bad they're hideously ugly of ugliness and ugly-ation

Top 10 Useless Talents

A very interesting link on different theories of intelligence

Fun cat game

The Thanksgiving Post...Over a Week Later

Okay, let me admit something right up front: I wasn't very excited about Thanksgiving. Heck, I didn't even feel like going to Thanksgiving dinner. Braden was working, and Thanksgiving's never been that much of a to-do in my family. However, the holiday season does bring back memories of family, and it is for that reason that I always miss my family the most this time of year. That said, I'm really glad I went and hung out with the in-laws, in spite of my initial reluctance. I had fun, and so did Jenna. Braden came and joined us around 6pm, and we all played The Dilbert Game.
Here are some pictures from the event:

Before we begin, I would just like to point out that this is what happens when a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup is on crack. Thank you.

Candy (Braden's cousin by marriage) hamming it up with Braden's dad

Thanksgiving Dinner

Jenna relegated to the corner during Thanksgiving dinner, and, from the looks of it, seems ready to take it out on that bug rattle!

My beautimous and bootilicious Banana Cream Pudding Pie (Jenna doesn't seem to be at all interested, though)

My beautimous Reese's Cup Pie

J-Dawg showing some mean tongue action

The purposely overly-complicated Dilbert Game

Braden's cousin Kyle roughhousing with his little cousins

Toward the end of The Dilbert Game, I was banished to sit underneath the nearest table. I consoled myself by taking really crappy pictures, of which this is most obviously one

I hope you all enjoyed this Thanksgiving post. Further bulletins as events warrant.

Didja Miss Us?

I know I said I had a plethora of posts in me, but then other stuff got to happenin', dontcha know.

Current Jenna Milestones:
11/28/07 - Jenna sat up from a crawling position all by herself for the first time! Braden looked up, and there she was sitting up.

11/30/07 - (Pssst..that's today) Jenna has been experimenting with the "Dada" sound ALL DAY. It's so cute. "AdadadaDA!"

Recent Jenna pics I deem worthy to share:
(She sometimes has her glasses on, and sometimes it's time to take them away from her because she's banging them on the floor. It so happens that all of these pics are without glasses)

We went for a walk around the neighborhood. I looooove that little hat!

11/25 Sunday photo

Cute lil' jacket

Jenna feeding herself

Monday, November 26, 2007

For Your Viewing Pleasure

11/21/07 - Jenna Crawling

Jenna After My Desk Chair

11/21 - Jenna Crawling Some More

Jenna Crawling Even More

Jenna Laughing

Saturday, November 24, 2007

An Ode to Straps, Belts and Tags of Any Kind, Ever

Goo goo ga
Ga goo waa
Goo Belt ga
Ga Strap waa
Goo goo Tag.

Now that Jenna has expressed her love for all things strap, belt and tag, let me tell you a little bit more. Jenna LOVES straps, belts and tags of any kind, ever. She gets *so* excited when she sees anything remotely related. We're talking high-pitched squeals and frantic movement toward said object. Who needs *real* toys when an old belt will do? I can sit her up right by her diaper backpack, and she is good to go for MINUTES on end. Mmmm, strap.

The Love of J-Dawg's Life

Notice how she goes right for the tag...

...and into the mouth

Taggies sure got it right! Thanks for the blanket, Carolyn and Dan!

Jenna as Santa and Other Photo Opportunities

We dressed Jenna up as Santa this past Wednesday and took her out to WalMart. We get a lot of stares these days no matter where we go, but this time it was partly because hey, she was in a little Santa suit!

We also took Christmas family photos yesterday, also at WalMart. Jenna did pretty well, although she kept sticking out her tongue. Pretty funny stuff. We had the "Hey Pumpkin" lady as our photographer again. As in "Hey, Pumpkin, hey, pumpkin, hey, pumpkin" over and over to try and get Jenna to smile. We were all in different shades of maroon, but it was the best we could do. We'll have to plan that better next time.
Jenna had some really cute photos! I can't wait to get them, but they won't be ready until the 12th. That's longer than it usually takes, but it *is* the holiday season after all.


Going to WalMart is tiring