Friday, March 28, 2008

17 Months! Woot woot!

Today is Vessel's 17 month birthday. So here's a little update on the Shipster. These days he's all about climbing, climbing, climbing. He loves to climb onto the kitchen chairs and then onto the table to sit there and play. Unfortunately, he forgets how to get down though. He loves to climb onto the couch and look out window. He loves to move his footstool or the chairs above the lightswitches so he can turn them on and off. He loves to climb onto the bed and onto the toilet seat so he can play in the bathroom sink. He loves to climb onto the endtables and he LOVES to climb up the stairs by himself. Mr. monkey is what we like to call him. Some of Vessel's new words include brush (as in toothbrush,) bath (he says "bash,") Go, bird, pants, and the word "more." I'm trying to teach him the word "please" when he wants something, but so far no luck. And although he can't say it, he knows the word "circle" and if I ask him to go in circles he'll giggle and spin around and around. He likes to "talk" when he's playing with his toys, and make sound effects. It was really weird to me to hear him make the sounds of a car when he was rolling it along the floor. (you know, like "vroom vroom.") I don't remember teaching him that, but maybe I said it unknowingly and he picked up on it once. He likes to feed himself with a spoon and fork. He doesn't like the sippy cup though. He is still very attached to his bottle. I want to get him off the bottle and start drinking out of a cup, but he hates the cup. If I ever give him one he just dumps the contents out all over the tray. Any suggestions on how to transition from a bottle to a cup? Anyone, anyone? Hmmm, what else? Oh, he can take off his own clothes now. Well, I have to help him pull his arms out of the shirt holes and then he'll pull the shirt off over his head. And he can take off his pants and knows that when he does, it means it's time for a bath. He likes to dig in the sand and get all dirty, which then leads to the bath. He starting cutting more teeth last week. Last Wednesday he woke up screaming in the middle of the night (about 3 a.m.) with snot and drool running down his face. I thought he must've had a nightmare or something. He had a hard time going back to sleep that night and then the next day he was so miserable and fussy and just wasn't his happy, active self. I thought, "Oh great, he's getting sick." But then I noticed he kept putting his fingers in his mouth and he was drooling rather excessively. So I looked in there and saw 2 white blisters on his gums. So he's getting his "vampire" teeth. (that's what we used to call them as kids.) The first few days are the worst, but then he seems to go right back to being his sweet self. He loves books more than ever. He loves the mechanics and the inner workings of things. He loves to take things apart and reassemble them. He's been learning a lot more about cause and effect. Like the lightswitches are a good example. "If I flip this switch the light goes on," "If I pull this lever the water in this big bowl goes down the hole," etc., etc. He's also starting to get more jealous. I tended my friend's little girl for a couple of hours last Tuesday, and Vessel was so upset when I tried to sit her on my lap and read a book. He'd try to push her out of the way and sit on my lap instead. Every book I tried to read he'd grab it out of my hands. If I held her, he wanted to be held too. He wanted to eat everything she ate and when I started giving her a bottle that's when crap really hit the fan. He gave me this look like, "How DARE you give another baby a bottle!?! That's MY bottle!" Ah, he's very possessive of his parents and their attention towards him I guess. He enjoys going to feed the birds at the park now. And he's really become quite the independent little guy, always leading the way when were at the park or someplace else. Next month he gets to go to nursery and then maybe Mike and I will be able to get something from church finally! He really is a joyful kid to have around though. I mean, as hard as it is to keep up with him and make sure he's not killing himself by falling off the table or chasing him around the church on Sundays or waking up at some unfathomable time of night, I really, truly do love being a mom. It's one of the greatest things I've been able to experience during my life. When Vessie throws his arms out and gives me a big, slobbery kiss it makes all the difficulties of parenting seem totally worth it. :)

I Miss My Sugar

Mike has been at a finance conference in Ohio since Wednesday morning. He doesn't get back until Saturday night. I know, it's only four days, but I miss him like crazy. I guess it just seems we haven't seen each other for a long, long time because last weekend I went to Idaho without him and then with our school schedules we hardly saw each other Monday or Tuesday, and then he left Wednesday morning. And he rarely gets to call me during the day since he's so busy. It's been rough. Luckily a friend of mine was able to watch Vessel for me Wednesday so I could go to class, and then Thursday I hired a babysitter for practically the whole day so I could go to class. I normally would have just skipped it, but I had to turn in an assignment and I also had to perform my scene in acting class with my partner. It went really great by the way. But anyhoo, I didn't realize just how much I rely on Mike until this week when I haven't had his help everyday. During a regular week, he watches Vessel while working from his home office while I'm off expanding my mind. He helps out with so many things that I just don't know what I'd do without him. And Vessel misses him so much too. For instance, yesterday morning I put him in bed with me and he was searching under the sheets and pillows saying, "Dad? Dad?" I tried to explain that Dad wasn't here, but he just kept asking for him. And every time he heard footsteps or voices outside he would run to the door and say, "Dad? Dad?" Mike is everything to that kid. I'm amazed at all the single parents out there because I KNOW I couldn't do it. I couldn't take care of this child all by myself. I mean, I could do it because that's what I'd have to do, but really it would be so difficult and demanding and I think I'd go crazy. Not because I hate being a mother or hate taking care of my child, or any of that. It's just hard to maintain a certain level of sanity without the help of others. So I am very grateful to those who have helped me this week. :) Vessie and I are really looking forward to having Mike with us again!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The End of Spring Break (boo hoo) and Easter

How glorious was spring break! It was a well needed rest from school. I got some of the things accomplished that I wanted to do. Not everything....but that's life.
My cousin who lives in Salt Lake called and told me she was heading up to Idaho for Easter weekend and asked me if I'd like to catch a ride with her. I thought it would be a good idea since I wasn't sure when the next chance I'd have to see my family would come around. Mike didn't end up coming with us because he had a lot of work to do on his thesis, and basically, he hates me. Well, not really that last part. :) So we kind of celebrated Easter together on Friday (the 21st) knowing that we weren't going to see each other on Sunday. As a kid, my parents always got us Easter presents (or should I say the Easter bunny did.) I wanted to continue the tradition with Vessel so we got him a few things and put them in a basket full of easter grass. Basically, I just love any excuse to get him stuff and surprise him. Some might think he's spoiled, but I don't think so. :) Mike and I have colored and hidden eggs from each other in the past, but this year we didn't get around to it. For one thing, we don't eat eggs anymore (egg yolks anyway) and for another we didn't have a lot of time. But I got him some weights for working out, so he better appreciate them! Happy Easter, babe. Anyhoo, that night my cousin picked me and Vessie up and we headed up to Idaho. It was really good to catch up with my cousin and talk about stuff. And we made great time! I stayed with her family that night and Vessie and I shared a room. Guys, it was rough. I CANNOT sleep in the same room as my kid. He is SO loud. He's always tossing and turning and talking in his sleep. He never fusses or anything, he's just really noisy. Saturday my sister picked me up from my Uncle's and we went and got some flowers to put on mom's grave since it was her birthday about a week prior. Then we visited grandma and grandpa because they rarely get to see their great-grandson Vessel. They got Vessel an Easter basket full of little treats and toys. And grandma made me the cutest Easter bag that you can view here. They fed us lunch and then we went further north to visit my dad and his girlfriend. Grandpa had fun with Vessel and we got to visit for awhile. Chris made us a good dinner and then unfortunately we had to leave. Steph drove me back to my Uncle's house and ended up staying the night there with me. The next day we attended sacrament meeting and and heard some great talks about the resurrection and what Easter really means. Back at my Uncle's we visited and had dinner. My aunt made Easter pies (a tradition in their house) and Easter bread and lots of other wonderful food. Eventually we had to drive back home. It was so great to see Mike again! Vessel and I really missed him.

Here are some pictures from Easter weekend


Vessel's Easter gifts. A new pant and shirt combo, a book, sidewalk chalk, a wooden toy, a spinning rabbit, bubbles, a ball, plastic eggs, and one of those magnetic doodling boards. I thought he would love that drawing board, and sure enough, I was right! Now he can satisfy his need for drawing stuff without getting marks all over the house!

He loved this new wooden toy. You're supposed to put the shapes on the appropriate pegs. It teaches kids how to sort by numbers, colors and shapes.

It was a nice day so we got to play outside with the bubbles and sidewalk chalk.

Mommy had more fun with the chalk than Vessel did. Since he loves to draw so much I thought he'd love it, but he just tried to eat the chalk instead.

For some reason he likes to spin around in circles. I make circles with his train track pieces sometimes and he likes to step inside of them and go around and around. So I drew a circle on the sidewalk and he did the same thing. It's really entertaining.


Grandma and Grandpa just got a new Yorkshire Terrier puppy that wanted to play with Vessel. She constantly jumped on him and licked his face. Vessel wasn't a big fan.

While we were in the area, my sister and I drove to the Rexburg temple that recently opened in February and got some pictures of it. It is very beautiful!



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Easter!

After checking out at the grocery store last week we noticed they were taking free photos of people's kids and the Easter Bunny. So we thought, "Why not?" The kid in front of us was so afraid that she was screaming and bawling her head off until her mother took her away. I'm sure that made for a lovely photo. So when it was Vessel's turn I went and stood him on the bench next to Mr. Easter Bunny and he turned into a rock. I'm not sure if he was afraid or just really confused by the big headed furry creature. You have to admit, it is a little creepy. Vessel literally froze. He was petrified. And the look on his face was classic. He DID NOT want to be touched by this thing. I was laughing so hard! The photographer took a couple of different shots, but this was by far the best one. I'm so happy that my little boy can make me laugh! Anyway, hope you enjoy this picture and hope you all have a happy Easter!

(click on the picture to enlarge)



Monday, March 17, 2008

Green Day and a Very Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, yesterday (St. Patrick's Day) was the big 2 - 6 for me. Overall it was a really great day from start to finish. Probably one of the better birthdays. Mike took care of Vessel in the morning and let me sleep in until 8:30. Yes folks, sleeping until 8:30 is like a dream come true! So that was really nice. Then I got up and opened some birthday presents. Mike got me a Tempurpedic pillow because I've had some neck issues the past couple of years and no pillow ever seems to satisfy. I tried it out last night and it felt great. Though, I'll give it a few weeks before giving it my whole hearted stamp of approval. My sister got me a children's book that I wanted. Gotta love the children's books. My grandparents gave me some moolah to do with as I please. And my dad gave me a gift certificate to Sego Lily Spa in Midvale. I also got some handmade jewelry from friends in Japan. Oh, and the night before, Mike's parents made me dinner and a birthday cake (which was the best excuse for splurging on my diet) that I enjoyed eating along with some ice cream. (can't have one without the other, am I right?) They also gave me a couple of books. After opening my cards and gifts, Mike and I worked out and then had a light breakfast. We got ready for the day and went to Fairmont Park in Sugarhouse to feed the birds (ducks, geese, pigeons, seagulls.) It was a sunny, beautiful day, just perfect for going to the park. It was nice to spend time with my boys (my 2 favorite peeps in the world!) And I was cracking up so hard about Vessel's little experience with the birds. We've gone and fed them once before with no problem, but yesterday Vessel was especially nervous and apprehensive around them. I got some good video footage of him looking pretty scared. His facial expressions were just cracking me up! Later that day Mike watched Vessel so I could go to Sego Lily and be totally pampered. I have never been to a spa before so I didn't know what to expect. Can I just say, "HOLY FREAKIN' CRAP", it was like heaven. Pure heaven. I was treated like royalty in that place. To start, the inside is just gorgeous. I walked in and someone was ready to help me right away. They asked for my shoe size and gave me a pair of slippers. Then they escorted me to the women's locker room. This isn't your standard locker room. Don't picture junior high locker rooms people, okay? The first thing I saw was a beautiful vanity area with all the soaps, lotions and other toiletries I could ever ask for. The lockers were all made of solid wood and there were leather ottomans for sitting on. The lady who escorted me to my locker gave me this luxurious robe and then told me to go sit in the meditation room after I was finished getting undressed and put my robe on. The place wasn't crowded at all. There was only one other person in there while I was. So I took all my clothes and jewelry off and put on that soft, heavy robe and slippers and walked into the meditation room. That place was amazing. There was soft music playing and a fireplace. And there were huge, cushy chairs to sit on. And off to the side was a place for refreshments. So I went over there to see what was available. They had an assortment of teas and tonics and health bars. Plus, hot and cold water, water with lemon, and water with other things in it. So I got a cup with hot water and tried one of the mix ins from the Elixir brand. I think it was for relaxation. It tasted fabulous. So there I was sitting with my cup and saucer next to the fireplace in an enormous cushy, comfy chair waiting for my masseuse to come get me. I just thought "this is the life!" After enjoying my drink for a bit my masseuse finally came in. She had the softest, sweetest voice and was very friendly. She led me to the room we would be in and then left so I could disrobe and get on the massaging table/bed face down with some sheets over me. The bed was heated and very comfortable. The sheets were so soft against my skin. The room had soft lighting and soft tribal music playing. I could smell a variety of aromatherapy oils. My masseuse was amazing. She didn't try to talk to me or ask me a bunch of questions. She just did her thing and let me relax. I could just focus on that instead of trying to make conversation with this stranger, ya know? Oh, so when I called to make my appointment, the lady asked me if I wanted a man or a woman masseuse. I thought a man might have stronger hands (I like hard pressure massages) but I felt less uncomfortable having a woman touching my bare skin than some guy. So I was worried that she might not have strong enough hands for the massage I was hoping for, but I WAS WRONG. She was very well trained. So she asked me if I had any problem areas and I told her I was having a little shoulder and neck pain. So she worked on those, then all over my back, my legs and feet, arms and hands, neck again, and then my scalp. I swear I had died and gone to heaven. It was the coolest experience! I can't even describe it in a way that could possibly justify the awesomeness of it. So after an hour of that she asked me if I would like anything to drink and I told her I'd like a glass of water. As soon as I got my robe and slippers back on she was waiting for me on the other side of the door with a nice cold glass of lemon water. She escorted me back to the locker room and mentioned that there was a sauna and a steam room I could use if I would like. So the first thing I did was go wash off all the oil in their state of the art showers. They were completely private (not that it mattered since I was the only one there it seemed) and the walls looked like beautiful stone. There were only all-natural organic shampoos, conditioners and body washes. And huge white terry cloth towels. I could've wrapped myself up in one of them twice! So then I decided to try out the steam room. Holy hannah banana, did that feel good. I just sat there and let the steam work it's magic. Eventually I knew I had to leave this wonderful retreat, but I swear, I never wanted to leave! I think I could live there! Once I had gotten dressed again I went into the vanity area and applied several kinds of organic moisturizers and smell good potions. There was also a place to fill up on more Elixir, so I tried the energy kind that time. I felt relaxed and clean and warm and like a whole new person! If you've never gone to a spa, I highly recommend one! I can't wait for the next time I get to do something like that. I listened to Chill 35 on Sirius the whole drive home because I didn't want the vibe to go away.
At around 5:30 Mike and I dropped Vessel off at a babysitter since we had 6:00 dinner reservations at Tiburon. Some of you may remember Mike's post about his first experience there, but if not or if you'd just like a recap, click here. I was really stoked about eating there ever since Mike told me about it. The service was excellent and we had our own little private table secluded from everyone else. I brought my camera to take pictures of the food, but since I'm not real good at snapping photos, I'm don't think I'll post all of them because it would ruin the way the food ACTUALLY looked. They have an extensive wine menu but, alas, we could not partake of it, so we moved right on to the appetizers. We ordered baked Camembert that came with carameled onions and thin apple slices drizzled with some kind of fruity, tart sauce. We also got baguette style bread and some sort of topping-I don't even know-that tasted like it had fruit pieces in it. It was delicious. I think I could live in France just for the cheese and bread! I ordered pineapple juice which tasted really good with cheese. The salad was a spring mix with Braeburn apples, a slice of gourmet cheese, a roasted tomato and a spicy chili dressing. It was really unique, but very tasty. Then they brought out homemade lemon and raspberry sorbets for us to cleanse our palates. Then came the main course. Mike ordered New Zealand elk tenderloin and I got the Filet Mignon with some kind of wine sauce and mushrooms (sorry kids, no foie gras on mine.) It was melt in your mouth good. It also came with garlic mashed potatoes, spaghetti squash, asparagus and carrots. Then for dessert I got the Creme Brulee and Mike got the chocolate mouse. Both were incredibly rich and delectable. The whole experience was excellent from the food to the service to the candle-lit table to the conversation. And the meal was so filling I couldn't even eat cake and ice cream later that night for my birthday! We went and got Vessel and he fell asleep right when we got him home and in his pajamas. So Mike and I had some time to just hang out and talk and be together before calling it a day. It was such a good birthday and Mike made sure I felt really special the whole day. I didn't have to touch one dirty diaper or worry about anything the entire day. And thanks to all who called to wish me a happy day!

Here are a few pictures of our afternoon at the park. The big fat goose had it's eye on Vessel the whole time and ended up being in like every photo I took.



Some of the birds, including fatty here, came right up and ate out of our hands.




Mike enjoying a glass of cranberry juice at Tiburon.


Chocolate mousse.


Creme Brulee with a birthday candle. How sweet...


My sweet husband and myself taken by our awesome waiter.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Am I Just Kidding Myself?

Spring break has officially started for us. We aren't going on any grand trips (I envy those of you who are!) or doing anything remotely exciting. But I hope to use these next 9 days to my advantage. I have a list of things I'd like to accomplish. First, I have homework that needs completed. Homework on spring break? Have I ever done homework during spring break before? Not likely. But as painfully boring and ridiculous as it might be to have homework during spring break it HAS to be done. For my drawing class I must have my self-portrait completed by next Monday. I must type a paper for my acting class and rehearse my lines for Brighton Beach Memoirs. And I have a dreaded assignment in Statistics. Shoot me now. Hopefully I can get those all done early in the week so I have time to work on some personal projects. One of those projects is that I hope to finish crocheting a white carrier to hold my temple clothes in. I would also like to get a few pages of my scrapbook finished. I have a plethora of magazines I need to read. See, Mike and I had a bunch of flyer miles that were going to expire so we just traded them in for a bazillion magazine subscriptions. So I will be going through issues of Redbook, Body + Soul, Blender, Time, Newsweek, Babytalk, and Rolling Stone while Mike will be reading Forbes and several other investment type magazines. We wouldn't want them to go to waste ya know. I would also like to organize all the music on our computer and burn a bunch of cds. I also hope to do some major spring cleaning. I want to rearrange the furniture and deep clean the closets, cupboards and drawers to get rid of any unused items. I would also like to watch a few movies and go longboarding, workout, and play at the park with Vessel. Oh, and clean out the cars (especially the trunks,) catch up on the laundry, and maybe scrub the bathtub (ugh.) There's plenty that needs to be done. But I have a feeling that, even though I don't have to go to school or crossing this week, I won't be close to getting all the stuff done that I need/want to do. That's life when you have kids. :)

I Need to Express My Individuality

There have been many a day that I would come home to find this:

Crayon and colored pencil scribbles all over the door

Several pieces of paper lying around the floor with pen ink drawings on them

And self made tattoos on Vessel's arms and legs.


Mike just defends our boy by saying (in the voice we use for Vessel) "I Need to Express My Individuality!" Then I just laugh.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would have been my mother's 45th birthday. Two years ago we had driven up to Idaho to celebrate with her and my sister. It was so nice to visit with them. I said we should give mom her birthday presents right away. The last gift I gave her was a bib that read "I Love My Grandma." That's how I broke the news to her that I was pregnant. She was so happy and excited that she started crying. She wanted to be a grandma more than anything. I'll always remember that day. I didn't think that 3 months later she would be gone. I found the bib among the things in her room after she died and now it sits in my cedar chest. I still miss her terribly. I wish I could just pick up the phone and call her and tell her about life and tell her about her grandson. I wish I could have one more conversation with her. I wish I could wish her a happy birthday. It's like a heartache that never goes away. Most days it's mild. Other days like today, I feel very downhearted. I don't believe a day goes by that I don't think of her at least once. She is so missed. But today, on her birthday, I have tried really hard to remember the many good things about her life. And I think I even smiled.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Our Letters

A few weeks ago Mike and I bought some binders and sheet protectors and finally organized all of our letters to each other! We even put them in chronological order by date and with my letter first, then his response and then my response and so forth. It was really fun to read our past love letters to each other and it will be cool for our kids to read someday too! Er...maybe..... if they can handle the mushy gushy-ness of it all. The one thing I really regret though, is not printing off all the emails we sent to each other during the beginning of our courtship. I kept them in a folder and then one day my email account got too big and it just deleted everything I had saved! Sad times...but at least we've got all these, not to mention tapes, cards, pictures and all kinds of other memorabilia that will forever rest in the Mike and Jamie files.


Still Bringin' It....Slightly

Wow, we've already made it to "recovery" week. Don't let the name fool you... it doesn't mean it's gonna be easy. This week is full of core synergistics, kenpo, and yoga. Oh, dreaded yoga....I can't begin to tell you how much I dislike doing yoga. So when I found out that we would be doing it multiple times this week rather than ONCE, I was a bit disappointed. The second time we played the video I fell asleep while doing one of the stretches and slept until the video was over. Granted, it was about 11 pm so I was already sleepy anyway. But falling asleep during a work-out? Come on! Some of the stretches in yoga can be very relaxing, but for the most part I find it very boring. I'm more of a cardio girl. I love doing upbeat exercises that get my heart rate up like aerobics, step, or dancing. But somehow I'll find a way to make it through the (what seems like a million) downward dog positions.
Last night instead of doing yoga I broke out my old Tae-Bo tape just for fun. After doing P90X for 3 weeks, this Tae-Bo business was like a piece of cake. I mean, 25 minutes versus an hour+ is a dramatic difference. Plus, the Tae-Bo moves just felt a little too easy for me. It's nothing now.
So far I haven't seen an enormous difference, although I can definitely FEEL a change in my body. Yes, I am getting toned under that layer of fat. :) I feel stronger and more energetic. So that's good. I think if I was sticking to my diet better I'd see more physical results. Okay, let's be honest here. I love food and I hate depriving myself, especially when it comes to sweets. I truly have been eating better, but there have been a few days of overindulgence. Two weeks ago...chocolate fountain at the baby shower ring a bell? But seriously, how can I NOT have a little dip when there's a chocolate fountain in front of me? Then there was the IHOP incident where all of Mike's family got together before Danny's MTC drop-off. You're not going to find anything healthy on that menu, am I right? And in a moment of weakness I ate a flauta Bajio salad. Ah.... it was good though! I've been keeping a food journal and it has been helpful. It's kind of a pain to write everything down but in the end I get to see just what I'm putting into my body. Before this diet I was kind of oblivious to what I consumed. And I was also totally unaware of how much the little things could add up. A tablespoon of butter on toast, a few tablespoons of salad dressing, a handful of chocolate chips, a few tablespoons of oil in my stir-fry.... those little things add up fast. Mike and I have been eating SO much better though. More vegetables, fish instead of red meat, more soy, whole grain breads, skim milk, fat-free cheeses, egg whites without yolks, less sugar, and drinking more water. I feel better than I have in a long time and that's what I've got to remember every time I feel like eating a Krispy Kreme or a handful of M&Ms. As the saying on Sheldon and Michelle's fridge used to read: "More control, lose the roll." I better keep that in mind!

Theater

Top Girls

Last Friday night Mike and I went to see Top Girls at Studio 115 on campus. I was a little skeptical at first because I didn’t know if I would enjoy it. Mike was also wary about going to a “feminist” play. But in the end we both looked at each other and said, “That was good!”

The play is about a career driven woman named Marlene who works for an employment agency called Top Girls. The play starts out with a dream like sequence where Marlene is having dinner with five historical “top girls” who are supposedly there to congratulate her on her promotion in the company. Throughout the dream the five women get progressively more drunk and emotional as they each discuss their pasts and the different experiences they have had. Although the women have accomplished much during their lifetimes and hold famous status for one reason or another, it is soon revealed that each of them has also suffered in various ways.

After the dream sequence ends the play jumps into the present day, which is actually the early 1980’s. Marlene is at a desk interviewing women for work in the highly competitive job field full of men. After this scene, the story of Angie begins as she and her friend Kit hide from Angie’s mother Joyce. We learn that Angie hates her mother and fantasizes about killing her. She is a troubled teenager who has dropped out of school and does not have any friends her own age. She looks up to her Aunt Marlene and wants to be around her as much as she can. Later in the story it is discovered that Marlene is actually Angie’s mother and her sister Joyce has been taking care of Angie all these years as her own daughter. Marlene and her sister Joyce are at odds with each other during the play and eventually have an argument which allows them to get things off their minds that they had been bottling up. The play continues and we start to realize that, although Marlene might be a successful business woman, she had to give up her daughter and cut ties with many of her other family members just to achieve it.

The tone of the play seemed a bit dark and the attitude was one of struggling to find happiness, or just to survive in the world. I think the intention of the play was to make the audience question the abilities of working women. Can they be aggressive, cutthroat, successful career women and also have a family life with loving, nurturing, and kind attributes? I also think the intention was to show that sometimes getting what you want in life requires that you sacrifice something else that may also be very important.

I was impressed with the acting abilities of the cast because they made the show very realistic and I found myself caught up in the story line and sitting on the edge of my seat. Since the play was set in London, the cast was required to take on British/English accents. I thought that was interesting, and maybe even a little hard to do, especially being unfamiliar with talking that way or using words not necessarily a part of everyday American vocabulary. I was also amazed at the way they could focus on their lines with as much overlapping dialogue that there was. But the one thing that really impressed me is the way the cast didn’t let little mistakes affect the rest of their performance. If someone made a slip-up, they moved on with their lines as if it did not happen. For instance, there was one instance where Angie and Kit were supposed to spit on their hands and then shake each other’s hands to make a pact. I don’t think they were really supposed to spit, but Angie actually did. This could have made Kit start laughing or get distracted or grossed out, but she went with it and made it seem like it was supposed to happen. She merely wiped the drop of saliva that landed on Angie’s chin and stayed in character. Also, at one point Marlene seemed to have had a tickle in her throat and it appeared as though she was going to have a coughing fit. Luckily during the scene there was actual water on the table she could drink as though it was part of the play and napkin on the table she could use to wipe her dripping nose. It seemed like it could have been rehearsed, but it wasn’t. The last thing that amazed me is that the characters didn’t get out of their “zone” even when the fire alarm went off. The play had just begun and then all of a sudden a loud, abrasive alarm and flashing lights went off. Everyone in the building (cast and crew included) was ushered outside into the cold night where we had to wait for nearly 40 minutes until the alarm could get turned off. This could have been a huge irritation or distraction for the cast, but when the play eventually started again, they continued strong and didn’t let the instance affect them at all. I felt like the characters really “lived their parts” and maintained a certain degree of “spiritual concentration.”

The stage that the cast performed on was very simple. Studio 115 is a small room fit for a small audience. The props mostly consisted of black boxes and flat, black boards used for tabletops. The lighting was very simple as well. The most extreme use of light was when a spotlight was needed and another time when there was some flashing that resembled lighting. The sound of the play was great and I enjoyed the music they used, which was 1980’s song renditions to fit each character and scene. The costumes were also fairly basic but I highly enjoyed how each character from the dinner scene changed their clothes in front of the audience and became a new character. To me this kind of signified that the characters were parallel in some way. It was interesting that they essentially used the same attire from the first scene to create an entirely different costume for the following scenes. The production elements were not extravagant in any way compared to other plays that I have seen. But I honestly didn’t think it mattered much as long as the acting was well done, which, in this case it was.

Overall I think the play was well done and Mike and I were both happy we went to see it. Watching the performers made me want to become a better actress for the scenes we are working on in my acting class. I also felt inspired to go watch more plays! I think there is something to be said about live theater that just does not compare to watching a movie. If a play can capture my complete attention and draw me into the story and impact me in a way that makes me think about myself and my life with a different perspective, then it has accomplished something. And I feel like this particular play did just that.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Think I'm on Mars, Baby

Wonderful March

I love March. March is birthday month in my family. Me, my dad, grandpa, my cousin, and my mom all have March birthdays so I think it just reminds me of happy times with my family. Maybe it's the fact that winter seems to be melting away. The thought of March just brings happy feelings and I've got spring fever so much I can hardly stand it. I broke out the longboard the other day and went cruising down Wilson Avenue, one of my favorite streets to board on. Mike was nice enough to follow me and take me back up the hill so I could have another run. I'm pretty sad that we weren't able to make it up the canyons and go snowboarding this winter, but being able to longboard is the 2nd best thing so I won't complain too much. Just being able to get out and smell the clean air and feel the wind go past me took my mind off of school, which has been been making me want to rip my hair out. I am so burned out and I can't wait to graduate. I get pretty bad anxiety just thinking about my statistics class. I am actually making this post to procrastinate studying for my test this week. ah.... I guess I better stop daydreaming and blogging and get cracking on my homework. *sigh*

Cute Boy

video

Mike got a cute video of Vessel eating with a fork. He's been able to do it for awhile, but I rarely let him use a fork because most of the stuff I feed him doesn't require one. But he certainly likes it. He was stabbing food like a pro for about 10 minutes until I finally told Mike he better grab the camera. So here he is eating some coleslaw we made for our "diet."

P90X Coleslaw



I'm a big fan of coleslaw so I was excited and curious to taste this recipe since it is uniquely different than a traditional coleslaw recipe. We modified it a little bit which is shown in parentheses. I actually liked the way this slaw turned out. The only problem for me is that it seemed too onion-y, so I would use less red onion, but that's just me.


Ingredients:

3 cups green cabbage, shredded

1 cup red cabbage, shredded


1 cup
jicama, julienned (Jicama can be found in most grocery stores near the potatoes and onions. That's exactly what it tastes like to me too: a mix of potato, onion, and apple. It gives this salad more crunch.)

1/2 red onion, finely chopped


2 Red Delicious apples, finely diced
(We used Cameo apples, which Mike and I agree are superior to all the other apples.)

1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
(We used regular mayo here. I don't much like the after-taste of fat-free foods. And you know, if they take out the fat they've got to replace it with something else anyway. So, if I'm going to eat something like mayo, or ice cream, or a cookie, I'd rather eat the real deal in a smaller portion than a lot of the fake stuff. But again, that's just me. This recipe is designed for people trying to lose weight, so you make the call.)

1/3 cup white vinegar


2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fructose
(We just used regular sugar.)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard


1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seed


1/4 teaspoon salt


pinch white pepper



1. Combine the vegetables and apples in a large bowl and mix well.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to make dressing.
3. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss until evenly coated. Cover tightly and chill before serving.

Serves 12