Monday, January 28, 2008

The Crapiest of all Crap Days

Could the day get any worse? I’m sure it could. But right now the glass is pretty much looking half empty. The morning started out semi-okay. The wind was howling this morning but luckily it didn’t snow like the weather forecast predicted. I got up at 6:00 to go to my aerobics class. The bus took forever long and when it finally reached 400 South I realized I had just missed the TRAX by a few seconds. That’s never a good feeling, especially when you have to wait another 15 minutes in the bitter, howling wind for the next train to come. The morning trains are always packed, so by the time it gets to my stop (the stop right before campus) it’s virtually impossible to find a place to sit down. That’s usually okay, but today there was hardly even a place to stand or hold onto when the train started moving. It makes for an uncomfortable trip up that steep slope, that’s for sure. After aerobics I headed to my drawing class. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and it seemed like a beautiful day, except for the wind, and even that wasn’t too unbearable. So I got to class, and that’s where the day started to go downhill. We’ve been working on these charcoal drawings, and it’s a hard medium for me to work with. Plus, my professor is pretty critical of me. Well, all of us really. Probably because we’re not art majors. But anyway, sometimes it’s hard to take constructive criticism when it’s given in front of the whole class, am I right? In the middle of our latest assignment, I glanced out the window only to see that the blue sky had turned sickly gray and it had begun to snow heavily. When class ended it was pretty much a white out. I started walking to the train, but my attempts proved futile with the wind pushing against my body and flinging shards of icy snow into my face. Mike called and said he was on his way to pick me up because he didn’t want me to wait at the bus stop in the blizzard. I thought that was really thoughtful of him. However, it probably took him twice as long to get to campus because of the slick roads and multiple wrecks and slide offs. I was worried about him and Vessel making it there safely. About 5 minutes before he arrived I started walking down to the intersection where I told him I’d meet him. On my way down I slipped and fell on the sidewalk while carrying all of my art supplies. Besides getting my backside completely wet, I also hurt my ankle. To top it off, nobody seemed to give a rat’s. Nobody asked me if I was okay or anything. Man, I’ve seen lots of people fall this year while on campus, and I ALWAYS ask to see if they’re okay, or at least try to make them feel less embarrassed by laughing about it with them. I’m not saying I’m a saint, but c’mon people! Is it too much to ask someone if they’re hurt when they fall on the icy pavement? I just feel like there are so many uncaring people out there. So Mike drove up sometime after that awkward incident and off we went. He was driving the Cavalier and since the crappy heater/defrost broke within the last week we had to drive with the windows cracked to keep them from fogging up. It was quite scary to be honest, because we could barely see a thing anyway, and the snow was coming into our car and getting us all wet just to make matters worse. Mike suggested that we take the Cavalier into the auto shop to get the heater looked at. So after getting home, I followed him in Burple (the Lancer) to the shop on the corner. Mike also asked them to check the steering and alignment because it had been acting funny. On our way back home, I got a call from my nurse midwife’s assistant telling me that she FINALLY called in my prescription and I would be able to pick it up at the pharmacy. I thought, “It’s about time” because I had only been hounding her for a week and a half. That story goes like this: about 2 weeks ago I noticed I needed a refill on my Levothyroxine (the medicine that stabilizes my thyroid hormone levels) so I left a message with my CNM’s assistant to call it in, as she always does. A few days later (a Friday) I went into the pharmacy, got my meds and left, unaware that they had given me the wrong dose. The next day I went to take my medicine and saw that the dose was 150 mcgs instead of 100 like I had been taking. Not really having a choice, I cut a third of the pill off, (which amounted to me basically crushing the pill into powder) and decided I’d just have to call back Monday to get it fixed. I called the pharmacy and told them they botched up my regular dose and they informed me that someone had written down 100mcgs and then scribbled it out and wrote 150mcgs. I told them to just change it to 100 and I’d be on my merry way. Well, they weren’t about to let that happen without authority from my doctor. First of all, why would I lie about something like that? It’s not a drug that I could abuse to get high or something. And if it was, why would I be so adamant about getting the smaller dose? Secondly, if they checked my history they’d see that I’ve always been on 100mcg and that the person taking the message must’ve just made a mistake, obviously, since it had been scribbled out. Conveniently the person who took the message wasn’t there to explain and they couldn’t get a hold of my doctor for permission. So I called her assistant, and of course she’s never available, so I had no other option but to leave another voicemail. For a week and a half I got no response and I continually went back to the pharmacy to see if it was ever called in, and it never was. I left about 5 messages with my nurse midwife’s assistant and she NEVER called it in. Hello lady, it’s not like this is a medication that I can just stop taking for a day or two. So, I talked to the pharmacist and he asked me “Why can’t you just cut the pills that you have?” Okay genius, I’ll do that. How accurate is it going to be to cut my pills into thirds? And really, how convenient for me, right? Some pharmacist he was. So, let’s get to the point. After some amount of calling and hounding on my part, my CNM’s assistant finally called back today and said she took care of it and that I could go pick up my prescription. And the best part is that when she called me back, she gave ME attitude! What, because I left so many messages asking her to do her job? And what makes me angrier is that neither the assistant nor pharmacy will confess to making the mistake, because they’re only out to save their own butts. Okay, so back to my original story…

We drove to the pharmacy today and the clerk said there wasn’t a prescription there for me. I told them it had to be there because my CNM assistant just called and told me it was. They said maybe the call she made was still on their machine but they wouldn't be able to get to it for at least another 30 minutes because they were all going to lunch. What a joke. So Mike suggested we go get some lunch across the street and wait for them to get back and fill my freakin’ prescription that I have already waited a decade for. At the restaurant the waitress was a real ball of fire, let me tell ya. I asked for a sandwich and it was supposed to come with fries, but I didn’t want fries so I asked to get a pancake instead (so I could give it to Vessel.) I figured it would be okay since the price of one pancake and a side of French fries is the same price. The waitress told me that it would be a dollar more. It seems trivial right? But, I was about to blow up. Why would it be a dollar more to order a pancake when it is the same price as fries and I’m not getting fries anyway? Instead of fighting her about it, I just got a side of mashed potatoes instead, and somehow those aren’t extra, but a pancake is. Go figure. At the end of lunch I called the pharmacy, and yup, still hadn’t gotten around to filling my prescription. By this time I was pretty frustrated. Mike tried to calm me down and said he’d go get it tonight before his class and we got in the car to drive home. About 2 blocks away from our house we were stopped at a red light with about 5-6 cars in front of us. And then all of a sudden…BAM! We got rear ended…HARD. I was pretty much in shock from the impact and then Vessel started SCREAMING and all I could think was “Is my baby okay? Is my baby okay?” We ended up pulling off to the side of the road and the lady behind us followed. We all got out of our cars to assess the damage. Unfortunately the lady didn’t speak English and all she asked was, “Ok? Ok?” and then was about to get back in her car and drive away until Mike stopped her. Uh…no, no, no lady, you’re not going anywhere. I call the police and explained what happened. They got to the scene about 10 minutes later. While we were waiting, Mike tried to calm Vessel down and I just sat there hoping and praying that he didn’t have a neck injury or something. The lady must’ve hit us going about 40 mph (at least) and why she was driving that fast with the roads the way they were is beyond me. The police officer showed up and got all our information which took forever. That was pretty unfortunate since Mike had a homework assignment to complete before his class which was to start within the next couple of hours. The cop got our info and then turned to the other lady to get hers and she didn’t understand anything he was saying. It turned out that she didn’t even have a license. I just wanted to scream at her! I mean, what if because of her stupid lack of judgment, Vessel or any one of us got hurt? I can already feel my back and neck getting stiff. I wonder how it will feel tomorrow. It jolted us pretty bad, so I hope it doesn’t cause us back and neck problems down the road. It just really blows since I already have problems with my neck and back from past injuries. It just seems so weird how it all happened and I can't help but think if my doctor would’ve just called in my prescription correctly the first time, or at least been prompt about fixing the problem, we wouldn’t have had to go into the pharmacy today and wouldn’t have been on the road and wouldn’t have gotten hit by another car! And if we hadn’t taken our white car into the auto shop today we wouldn’t have been driving the beautiful blue car!!! The timing is just so great, isn’t it?

After all that crap, we got home and Mike received a call from the auto shop with an estimate for our white car. $100 just to LOOK at the heater and who knows how much more to fix it. And $700 to fix the steering because the rack-and-pinion (whatever that is) is broken. I don’t know how we’re going to pay for it. We’ll most likely have to use Mike’s scholarship money to get it repaired. And that reminds me of another upsetting dilemma. I was awarded a scholarship for the 07/08 school year, and I just found out about a week after school started that the financial aid department withdrew my scholarship because I didn’t attend school during the Fall semester. I didn’t think it would be an issue since I was awarded a scholarship the year before and took the Fall off to, ya know, have a baby. They told me I’d have to write a letter of appeal to the scholarship committee which is exactly what I did. And they denied my letter!!!! I need that money! I’m just asking for my Spring portion, which I should be entitled to. I called in August to let them know I wouldn’t be attending, and nobody ever informed me that by doing so I would be relinquishing my scholarship money for the Spring semester. And ironically, they have no record of me ever calling to let them know I was taking the Fall semester off. I’m still going to try and fight it, but it sounds like it’s a losing battle. It’s very exasperating. In addition to all of this stuff I am also having some personal struggles right now. Why does it seem like the crap in life gets handed to us all at once? I know, I know, it really could be worse. I guess groaning and mumbling about it isn’t going to make anything better. And here I am complaining to you all when I should be studying for my statistics test. *sigh*

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Stuff I Love

Have you ever had a pair of pants that you absolutely loved? I have. And here they are. I have a hard time finding pants that fit me well in every area while still making me look somewhat fashionable and non-fat. It seems like the pant makers of the world think that if you have a larger waist, you must have longer legs. Well, let me tell you folks, that ain't true. Almost every pair of pants I have are too long and drag on the ground. So I either have raggedy bottoms from the sidewalks or I have to cut them and they become frayed anyway. But not these pants. These are the perfect length. Not high-waters but not dragging on the ground either. The waist fits perfectly. Not riding low on my hip but not up to my belly button either. I don't have to wear long shirts to hide my undies with these pants. No plumbers crack here. Nice fit all around and they make me look slimmer than I really am. I think the pockets are cute and the color is the perfect blue. Ahhh, I love these pants. I wish I had 100 more pairs just like 'em. Thank you Mr. Klein.

Good-bye Prophet Dear

We just heard about President Gordon B. Hinckley passing away tonight. It shouldn't be too surprising, I mean, the man was 97 years old. But the news is still shocking. I don't really have any memories of another prophet during my lifetime. It is so sad to see him go.... He truly was one of the world's wonderful people.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chocoholic

Vessel found the hot cocoa mix. Naughty, naughty. I suppose chocoholism runs in our family. ahhhhh, what a mess.



Architect or Artist?

A few days ago when I got home from class, I walked in the door and there was Vessel in the kitchen building a tower out of cans he found in the lazy susan. I called to Mike who was in the other room and asked him if he had helped Vessel and he said "no." So Mike grabbed the camera and snapped some photos of our little architect. He was occupied with this activity for at least an hour. It was so cute. And then a few days ago while I was doing my homework, Vessel saw me taking notes on a piece of paper and decided he wanted to do it too. So I let him hold the pen and practice writing. He's wanted to do that everyday since. So today we got him his own doodling pad, coloring book and crayons to color his little heart out. We just have to supervise our little artist to make sure he doesn't color all over the house or attempt to eat the crayons.





Yes, I'm one of those moms who posts their kids art on the fridge. Here's Vessel's first masterpiece!


A short clip of Vessel working on a second picture.

video

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spot Me

When we work-out it's a family event. Vessel really likes to participate. He bounces around and tries to copy the moves or he'll sit on Daddy's lap while he's on the rowing machine. And when I'm doing crunches (or at least pretending to) he'll come over and sit on my tummy. This time when he came over and sat on me I picked him up and started bench pressing him. Yah, he didn't seem all that happy about it.

video

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Oh My

I was looking through old pictures today and I couldn't believe how much Vessel has changed. Check it out.


Just a couple weeks old

About 6 weeks old

About 2 months old

About 6 months

About 7 months *what a chunk!*

Around 8 months

Look at those legs! They're like pillars.
Almost 15 months

Stuffed Steak with Cheesy Brocolli and Potatoes


So, I found a new recipe. If you think it looks good, you should try it. Just follow these easy steps

Step 1: Get in your car.
Step 2: Drive to Harmon's grocery store approx. 3300 S. 1300 E.
Step 3: Head straight back to the meat department. Ask for the pre-made steak stuffed with feta cheese, spinach, and black olives.
Step 4: Proceed to the frozen food section. Put a bag of Green Giant roasted potatoes with broccoli and cheese sauce in your cart.
Step 5: Pay for the food and go to your car.
Step 6: Upon arriving home, heat oven 350 degrees and place meat in a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. While that's cooking, heat vegetables in microwave for 12-15 minutes.
Step 7: Eat! (and bask in the fact that you did little to no work to make this fine meal)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dear January

Dear January,

Oh, how I detest you. You’re a month that has nothing to offer. No jingle bells, no good will towards men, and resolutions that don’t last. The holidays are over now and I am left with an empty feeling and an empty bank account. Because of you the gas bill has never been higher. January, you weigh me down. Physically, I feel the added winter pounds pulling on my bones making me so sluggish. Emotionally, I feel a heaviness in my heart. Your days are short and bleak. Your darkness seems to consume me. You bring biting cold and salt covered sidewalks. The bottoms of my pants drag along dirty, slushy paths, leaving my ankles cold and wet all day. Barren tree branches tremble in the whipping wind like they’re shivering, just as I do while waiting at the bus stop. January, I think you’re out to get me. Remember 2 years ago when you hurled me down the side of the mountain? I thought for sure that my snowboard, my skull or both had busted in half. And how can I forget the exceptionally harsh way you treated me last year….practically keeping me hostage in my own bed while I lay there continually sick and emotionally exhausted. Every year you come around I pray for some way to remove you from the calendar. I long for green grass, sno-cones and sprinklers, water parks and sandals. So January, I’m begging you, just this once, to silently disappear and let spring make its way here.

Affectionately yours,

Jamie

Books

Blankets by Craig Thompson

I had seen reviews for this book in an old edition of SPIN and people were raving about it. So I thought about checking it out for myself. Last week a package came in the mail in Mike's name. I figured it was a textbook for school, but he had gotten this book for me as a surprise! I couldn't find it at Barnes & Noble (it was either misplaced or sold out) and the library didn't have a copy. I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend 30 bucks on something I couldn't see firsthand, but before I even had a chance to look at it, my sweet husband already purchased it (secondhand, luckily!)

I wouldn't call myself a comic book junkie or anything. I have a few comics and I don't mind reading them. But anything with lots of artwork and illustrations usually wins me over. This graphic novel is a whopping 582 pages, but it only took me a couple of days to get through it (reading on and off, and really taking in the artwork.) The book is based on the author's personal experiences ranging from childhood to adulthood. Mostly the book focuses on his adolescence with flashbacks of childhood memories. The subject matter is all about Craig's upbringing in a strict Christian home. Throughout the pages you get to see how he tosses Christian ideas and beliefs around in his head (heaven, God, the Bible, etc.) and tries to figure things out for himself. The book follows him through experiences of first "love" and heartache of knowing it's not going to last. Basically, the story isn't anything that hasn't been done before, but it was still a good read. I don't know what it was, but I felt like crying after I finished the last page. I think I must've just been really emotional or something. I think I was just sad to see the changes take place in Craig's life. And I had different expectations for him and Raina (his girlfriend) and different expectations for his religious pursuits. The title "Blankets" seems fitting as he reminisces about sharing a bed with his brother, the blanket that Raina makes him, the blanket of religion, the blanket covering his youthful eyes, etc. etc. Overall I thought the book was okay. Not spectacular, but worth reading. The only problem I had was regarding some of the language and a few inappropriate sketches. I'm not a big fan of those things, so I give it just an "OK." But it seemed to be a true and sincere representation of the author's life, so I can't really expect him to convey it any differently than he did. A good book if you're into comics or graphic novels. To read parts of Craig's book, click here. Or go to amazon.com to see some pages as well.

Stuff I Love

I just fell in love with this chocolate bar. Who thought chilies & cherries would make dark chocolate actually taste good?! The chilies give this chocolate a little heat, which is interesting and the cherries make it nice and sweet. Check out Chocolove to see what other delectable flavors they have!

Baked Butternut Squash Stuffed with Sausage and Apples


I know this probably sounds weird, and maybe a little gross, but it actually turned out really well. While visiting Mardene, she went down in her basement (where she keeps most of the harvest from her garden) and brought up a butternut squash for me to take home. I think squash is good as-is, but I wanted to try a using it in a recipe, so I found this in the Joy of Cooking cookbook.


Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the squash. Halve lengthwise and remove the seeds and strings from:
2 butternut squash (about 1 pound each.)
Arrange the squash cut side up in the baking dish and brush lightly with:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil.
Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake until almost tender, 30-40 minutes. keep the oven on. Meanwhile, crumble into a skillet and cook over medium heat until no longer pink:
1 cup well-seasoned fresh bulk sausage (about 8 ounces.)
Without draining off the fat, add:
1 large tart green apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Cook, stirring, for several minutes, just until crisp-tender. Remove from the heat. When the squash is cooked, let it cool slightly, then scoop out most of the flesh, leaving /8-inch-thick shells. Lightly mix the squash pulp into the sausage mixture, breaking up the squash as little as possible. Mix in:
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Pile the stuffing into the squash halves. Dot with:
1 Tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces.
1 Tablespoon packed dark brown sugar.
Bake, uncovered, until piping hot and brown and crusty on top, 20-25 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before serving.

And you're done! Since I only had one squash, I just cut the recipe in half. I served this with seasoned rice. I'd also like to apologize for the picture. I don't think it gives an accurate representation of the finished product. I wish I could take better pictures of my food. I guess if I was using a camera I couldn't afford and buying food I couldn't afford, it might look different.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mike's Favorite Things of 2007 (Finally)

1. My fourth year with my talented, fun, beautiful, and infinitely patient wife.

2. Watching our son grow and learn and be happy.

3. Living close to family and seeing them often.

4. Hanging out with Dan at our pad, the CRCC, the Union, watching him open his mission call and knowing he'll be the BEST MISSIONARY EVER!

5. Making new friends and strengthening old friendships.

6. Learning how to love more, due to the first 5 items listed.

7. Being invited to participate in the student managed investment fund.

8. Earned a good internship that will open doors to future careers.

9. I beat anorexia.

9. I beat anorexia.

Sad realization

Today I think I finally realized the major changes that will take place this year. Mike and I will graduate from the U of U, our lease will end in May and we will be moving on. We're still not sure where we'll be moving to in 4 months. That all depends on Mike and the job he chooses to accept. He can continue at the hedge fund here in Salt Lake or take another job depending on what he gets offered and how it compares to his current benefits and such. In either scenario we will be in the market for a house. We are ready for this step in our lives mentally and financially and I couldn't be happier to get away from renting an apartment. The month of May will be a very exciting time in our lives. We'll each have a degree under our belts. Even though that seems to be the norm nowadays rather than the exception, it will still be awesome to say we graduated and accomplished something like that while juggling marriage, family, jobs, etc. We'll finally have a house to call our own. Mike will have a job he loves (hopefully.) I will have more time to do the things I want to do. So, I was thinking about how bright the future seems right now and then stopped short. With all things good there is usually a downside. We have had some really great memories here at Arbor Lane (minus the multiple criminal activities in recent months :)) We have made so many friends in our complex and in our neighborhood and in the ward. It will be sad to leave those relationships behind. I've gotten to know many wonderful people who have impacted my life in such a positive way. I have finally expanded my social circle after being such an introvert for so long. I love my calling in the Young Women program and I love the leaders I serve with and the girls themselves. I will miss family (if it comes down to us moving out of the state.) I will miss the little things like taking the 209 to school or walking around the university campus. I will miss ventriloquist man, H-Vea, Joe, Dwight/Vicki, the twins, and several other regular public transportation folks. (That one's for Mike :))
In all seriousness though, I will miss a lot of things I've grown accustomed to while living, working, and going to school here. I have gotten used to the area and know my way around and feel pretty comfortable. Change is such a scary thing for me. New house, new ward, new relationships to invest in, new everything. It might even be good change, but it still makes me feel very nervous. I wish I could just be brave and face life head on without fear! Life is an adventure afterall. *sigh* The only thing that matters I guess is that Mike and I and our kids will all be in it together. That gives me comfort.

Shuistrology

I've been learning a little bit about feng shui recently, and while doing some research online I stumbled upon this.

Here is the shuistrology (a combination of feng shui and astrology) for Pisces by Ellen Whitehurst. It sounds like I'll have a pretty outstanding 2008. Woot woot!

Your Stars:
For a sign that embodies the epitome of all things “hopes, wishes and dreams”, to have Jupiter, the ever expansive planet of everything lucky and wonderful, traveling through your Eleventh House of (now, listen up) ‘hopes, wishes and dreams’ is about as hopeful, wish-fulfilling and dreamy as it gets. Truly both your soul AND your psyche expand this year in ways you never could have hoped for , nor would you have even thought to wish for, but that you have been dreaming about for years and years. Let’s face it, we already know that Jupiter, the benevolent giver of gifts, as a planet, is considered very lucky when it transits through any given House. But Jupiter and Uranus teaming up together tells you that all the good fortune and luck that will be invading all your hopes and wishes and dreams will be doing so due to the kindness of strangers, and, well, the not so strange too. Almost every wonderful thing that happens to you this year (and there will be lots!) is facilitated by someone outside yourself, but, and this is the irony, almost every good thing they do for you will be something that you have hoped for, wished for or dreamed about and kept it to yourself. This is a terrific and tremendous year for you with opportunities appearing out of nowhere but always leaving you with potential for easy and blessed self transformation before making way for the next wave of wonder. Please, PLEASE, take advantage of these energies. You won’t have another year quite like this one for quite some time, so, go ahead and HOPE, and WISH and DREAM. And don’t bother to try and wake yourself up, you already are!

Your Shui:
MONEY…This is a money year for you as there are many planets lining up to bring you possibilities to expand and increase your available funds. You are always so generous and giving to everyone all around you that now it’s time for you to reap those Karmic and cold, hard cash rewards. But those rewards are sure to come from your faith and belief in another around you, perhaps an investment you made in someone’s business or even from a loan long forgotten that you will unexpectedly be paid back. One way or the other increase is the order of the day and largesse is the word of the year. Well, that and, of course, hopes and wishes and dreams. Especially where money is concerned. Find any symbol of a sailing ship and position it exactly inside your front (or office) do that it appears to be sailing straight towards you. This symbolizes a major source of income flowing towards you and all you have to do, once again, is ride the proverbial wave. Hang ten Pisces, you are equally at home in the water and in the deposit line at the bank!

LOVE:
This promises to be a big year for romance either by finally finding that perfect partner or by deepening your commitment with an existing one. Since you are such a romantic by nature, you love the magical qualities associated with relationships that seem almost serendipitous to you. To attract love that will give you wings and help you to soar closer and closer to your hopes, wishes and dreams, you should place any symbol (remember even a downloaded image from the internet will do) of a pair of lovebirds or even better, a pair of magpies, into the ‘Romance/Relationship’ area of your house (farthest back right-hand corner of home or bedroom.) This will give you love a lift and and a happily ever after ending!

FAMILY:
You are a strong but sometimes too silent nurturer and that can certainly be because often times you are more in your head than in your heart where your family is concerned. This year gives you an opportunity to stop trying to fix everyone else around you and to fix YOU! Remember what most aggravates you about the ones who spend the most time around you is probably mirroring something that you’d like to change about, guess who…..YOU! So, give a gift to your family and figure out what annoys you most about them. Then, work on that tendency in yourself and you will have traversed that line from the intellectual and ventured over to the emotional where you will stay. I know you don’t get to visit with family on a regular basis and that you need to widen your social circle if you are to take complete and confident advantage of all the great energies this year has to offer. Speaking of people being mirrors for you, let’s use one to bring better energies into your space that will benefit all your friends and family. Get one special mirror to use for this one special event once a month. Starting at the front door, walk all through your space in a clockwise manner, holding the reflective side of the mirror up to each corner you encounter. Concentrate on dark areas of spaces that are seldom used. When you are done walking through and “mirroring” the whole house then soak the mirror in salt water for three days and return it to some place where it will wait to be pulled out again the following month to cleanse and clear your space again. Do this the whole year to keep your interior open for hopes and wishes and dreams to come calling!

YOUR PISCES AFFIRMATION FOR 2008: “I believe in the good that every people, place and thing around me brings to my life.”

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

a little happiness

A new year. A time of resolutions. This year I didn't really make any. Well, of course I have some personal goals for this year that I'd like to achieve, and what's wrong with trying to better one's life anyway? Nothing. I'm just trying to make improvements throughout the course of the year instead of a ton of resolutions at the beginning that won't last. One thing that I am really proud of is that I am finally starting to live for myself. Not for anyone else, (except God of course.) It feels so good to get over something/someone, that has been nagging at me for months. I don't need to be "something" to them. I don't need to mold my life to fit their ideals. And it feels great because I have practically banished them from my life for good. What a relief. Last year taught me who my true friends are. It is time for a new chapter of my life to start, free from negative influences and people who judge me. It is time for me to realize the many wonderful people in my life and hold onto their friendships instead of focusing on the bad people whose only goal in life is to be cynical and drag anyone they can down with them. So good-bye to you, negative people and influences. You will not be missed.

Vessel Update


Our Vessel is growing up. It was inevitable. He is now a little over 14 months old. Nobody told me how fast time would go by once I had a kid. Okay, so everybody told me...I just didn't believe them until I experienced it for myself. Lately Vessel has been testing his limits, not to mention my patience. A good example of this is a few days ago when I was loading the dishwasher and he, being the big helper that he is, wanted to participate. I started to load the silverware and he immediately went for it. Yah, sharp knives + kids = boo boo. So I calmly but firmly said "No Vessel, don't touch please." He knows the word "no" and I think he likes to test me to see if I'll actually stop him. So he looked at me in a sly way and then slowly started moving his hand towards the silverware again. I said, "No, that will hurt you. Don't touch." And he stopped his hand before it reached his objective then looked at me to see if I was being serious. He attempted again, so I said "No" and pushed his hand away. He tried to do it several times, always looking at me and testing me and sometimes laughing like its a little game to him. Finally I scooped him up and put him in his playpen in his room and he was none to pleased with that. After several minutes of begging me to come get him, I gave in and brought him back out to the kitchen with me. Thinking he learned his lesson, I set him down on the floor assuming he would play with the toys I brought into the kitchen. But no, he went right for the knives again, and AGAIN I said "NO" and when he slowly started moving his hand toward them (while giggling, mind you) I scooped him up and put him right back in his playpen and shut the door behind me. Now, that really got him going. So, it continued...I go back to get him after a few minutes, assume he realizes the consequences by now, put him on the floor and go back to loading the dishwasher. Any guesses what happened next? Come on, anyone, anyone? Well, you'd be right on the mark if you guessed that he tried to touch the darn silverware once again. That was it. I took him right back to his room, put him in his bed, turned off the light and shut the door. "That will teach him" I thought. I felt like the Grinch waiting for the Whos down in Who-ville to start crying before becoming utterly baffled when they don't. There I was waiting for a burst of howling, but strangely Vessel just piped right down. After feeling a bit guilty, I went and got him just as I was finishing up and put him on the kitchen floor. Out of curiosity I left the dishwasher open to see what he would do. He looked at it, started walking towards it, stopped himself, then turned around and picked up his toy car. Ha! He is learning afterall! It is fabulous to watch him grasp something. I think his receptive language skills are pretty good. Even though he can only say a few words, I know he understands many words that we use when talking to him.
He is really loving books more than ever now, and it is such a sweet thing when he brings a book over to one of us and crawls into our laps to read a story. Another thing he loves is pillows. Whenever I am making the bed I pull off the pillows (all 6 of them) and he laughs and throws himself on top of them over and over again. He hates it when I eventually put them back on the bed. Pillows are seriously one of his favorite things. It's so odd. Also, he is still a big fan of music, and loves to be sung to. He loves it when I play "this little piggy" with his toes. And speaking of music, if he's having a hard time going down for a nap, we can get him to fall asleep to pretty much any music video by Guns N Roses 99.9% of the time. Interesting eh?
Vessel is becoming quite independent. He enjoys feeding himself with a spoon or a fork and he attempts to drink from a cup on a regular basis. One thing that Mike and I have noticed while watching Vessel feed himself is that he always uses his left hand. We've tried to put the spoon in his right hand and he will just switch it back to the left. Maybe he'll be left handed. Who knows, he's still pretty young to know for sure. A really cute thing that he started doing is blowing on his food. He must have seen us do it to our own hot food while sitting at the table with us, and now he blows on all his food, hot or cold. It 's really funny to see him hesitate before putting something into his mouth so he can blow on it first. Also, if he's trying to feed himself with a spoon and the food falls off, he will pick it back up and try to put it back on the spoon before putting it into his mouth. He's just learning lots of new things and it is so fun to watch. I really love this age, but it is also very exhausting. He is constantly getting into something he shouldn't be playing with, even though I feel like we have a pretty baby proof house. About a week ago Vessel wandered off into his bedroom to play. After a few minutes of silence I went to check on him and he had found the big tub of Vaseline sitting among the baby powder, wipes and diapers. He managed to take the lid off and dig both hands into the greasy substance and wiped it all over the carpet, his clothes, his face (it looked like he had tried to eat some of it), and basically anywhere within reaching distance. That was fun to clean up.
Another thing is that Vessel likes to "hide" things from us. I will find his toys in drawers, in the garbage cans, in the bathtub, under the couch, behind my dresser, etc. There are several of his toys missing right now because I suppose he has hidden them in some secret spot unbeknownst to me.
One thing we're working on right now is the whole potty training thing. My grandma gave us a potty training book for Christmas so we are reading it and have some plans in the works. I know that he is still young, but we want to introduce the idea to him and get him a baby "potty" for him to sit on. Obviously it will be unsuccessful until he has control of his bladder and sphincter, and of course he'll have to be ready mentally. We're not going to try to force anything, but I would LOVE for him to be potty trained by age two. So that is our goal as long as he cooperates with us. :)
That's about the gist of what's going on with Vessel these days. Each day brings a new adventure and I'm excited for the many changes to come over the next few months, as tiring and trying as they may be. Kids are great, can I get an amen?

Some more cute pics of my cutie patootie

Vessel blowing on his food before he eats it. Sooooo cute!

So during breakfast, Mike and I left the room for a minute to find that Vessel had grabbed his bowl and spoon from the table and started feeding himself.

Monday, January 7, 2008

"Get your sexy on"

I've been wanting to cut my hair for awhile, so what better time than the start of a new year? My friend Amelia came by today and gave it a little snip snip. I asked for an A-line cut so its longer in the front and shorter towards the back with some layers. So far I'm really digging it.

***Updated pictures below as requested by the Roes



Pile o' hair


more haircut

"Get your sexy on" continued.....

The Roes requested a better picture of the haircut...so here ya go.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Is This Better?

Apparently a few of you thought Mike was looking incoherent in that last picture, so I decided I'd post this one.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Cousins

Yesterday Mike and I got to babysit our little nephew AJ. Here's a moment of peace when the two boys finally went down for a nap. Look at AJ sucking his thumb. Cute! And I love how Vessel sleeps with his rump up in the air.



Uncle Mike chillin' with his homeboys.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Hate January....

But it can also be so beautiful.



Icicles outside of Vessel's window.