Monday, December 29, 2008

Consider Yourself Carded

This is the Christmas card I whipped up and was going to have printed and mailed out. Then it was the attachment I was going to email to everyone with a "Perry Newsletter". Now it's posted on my blog four days after Christmas. Such is my life right now.

Our Christmas updates are coming soon, but I can't promise you when.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Need More Arms

I was telling Steve the other night that I wished I had another set of arms. And that I wished they were "Go-Go Gadget" arms that would stretch really far. I could think of a hundred uses for them right now.

Like when you're home alone trying to get a picture of yourself with a ragdoll newborn and a squirmy toddler. This is the best I could get:

Oh, and remember how I commented about Ivy spitting up a LOT? I'm pretty sure chocolate is the culprit. It's a sad day at the Perry house. (But maybe this will make it easier to lose 40 lbs. Yes, 40. I'm shooting for my "deployment" weight. You'll be the first to know if I get there.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Passing Down Memories

I know I'm a little heavy on the videos, but Sophie has had some great material lately. (Trying to draw the attention that she lost to Ivy back to herself again?) These two clips might be a little more meaningful to my side of the family because of old memories.

When we were little, my mom made most of the bread we ate in the bread machine. If you've ever used one, you'll recognize the rhythmic sound the dough paddle makes when you first turn it on. My mom would move her hips to the beat of the bread machine, trying to get us to do it with her, and thus the "Bread Dance" was born. Because I do about a loaf of bread each week, Sophie has started to recognize it when she hears it. Of course, I taught her the bread dance, but I'm not sure where she got her little robot moves from.

Popcorn is also connected to a lot of childhood memories. Making popcorn with my grandpa (my dad's dad), is one of the few memories I have of him since he passed away when I was 12. My dad loves popcorn, too, so we popped some almost every Sunday night that I can remember. Back in the day we used an air popper, but my dad has since moved on to microwave. Over the last few months I've been wanting to get an air popper because seriously, no microwave popcorn I've tried has come close to air-popped-drizzled-with-real-butter popcorn. (Air poppers are kind of hard to find if it's not Christmastime. Interesting.) My mom brought me one when they were here last month and Sophie, who's always liked popcorn, has taken a special interest in it now. She asks for it everyday.

And by the way. . . Yes, I do dress Sophie. These two clips just happen to be taken in the morning.

Here's a pic of Ivy. I'm trying to give her equal blog time, but seriously. . . this is what she does all day:

She's already changing and getting bigger. *sniff*

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Video Debut, Dance Moves, and Serious Denial

Since I kind of made fun of Ivy in my last post, I thought I'd make it up to her by posting a little clip. (Not to mention appeasing long-distant family members who may or may not have seen her yet.) To me, she really is entertaining. I could stare at her little face all day. When I look at her, it reminds me of when Sophie was a newborn, and I realize that I forgot how little she was, how tiny her fingers were and all the funny noises and faces she made. It makes me sad because I know I'll forget those things about Ivy, too. Sure, pictures and video are wonderful, but they'll never be that small in your arms again. I better stop before I need to grab a tissue.

And now the latest from Sophie...

In addition to Sophie's wicked dance moves, you'll notice a giant, crocheted sock monkey which was made by and sent to her by my wonderfully talented cousin, Sarah. Sarah got married in Idaho last Saturday, and I was really, really, REALLY disappointed I couldn't be there. I heard everything was beautiful, though. Congrats you guys :)

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Sophie obviously needs a nap and is heading into her "two's".

Friday, December 12, 2008


This week was better. Steve had finals so he was home earlier than usual on some days. On one of those days (I don't remember which day. They all run together now.) I jetted out the door within minutes after he walked in so I could finish up some Christmas shopping with ONE child. Of course I took the easy one with me. How I feel while shopping with a newborn now is like how I felt while shopping alone when Sophie was a newborn. Does that make sense? Ivy just sleeps! I didn't have to entertain her, throw goldfish at her or worry that she'd try to climb out of the cart or throw a fit. I forgot how easy newborns are. Well, mine anyway. I lucked out with these two. Although Ivy seems to spit up a LOT. The only time she doesn't smell like barf is about 5 minutes after her bath. Gross, I know. My gratitude for having a washer and dryer is constantly renewed.

I've also come to understand why the second child doesn't get nearly the photos and video as the first -- besides the obvious reason of having a toddler to take care of and not having the luxury of staring at Ivy all day and taking pictures of her. We don't love her any less, and although I love the squinty-eyed newborn phase, she just isn't as entertaining as Sophie is.

Here's a good example:

Ivy's trick: Smiling (but not really because it's just a twitch, still)
Sophie's trick: Handing me Christmas ornaments to hang on her ears

Or this example:

Ivy's trick: Barfing on me twice now since I've been typing this post.
Sophie's trick: Climbing in the bouncer seat with a book and turning on the vibrator. Very cozy.

See? I don't even have pictures of Ivy's tricks. Barfing wouldn't be so lovely, especially since it comes out of her nose sometimes. Poor thing.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


The girls and I made it through our first week by ourselves at home. Barely. Besides the obvious goals of making sure the kiddos were fed and somewhat clean, my only goal for Monday was to take a shower. Once I'd reached my goal I settled in, not wanting to overexert myself, and watched several hours of Food Network while keeping Sophie's tornado-like destruction to one room. I learned from Steve's deployment that watching a lot of TV does nothing for my morale. That lesson also applies to the hormonal, postpartum version of me. I'm a lot more emotional this time around. Add that to not getting enough sleep and Sophie's jealous tantrums and whining and you get a very irritable mom.

So, for Tuesday, I decided that I needed something more productive as my goal because watching that much TV makes me more emotional and cranky. Even when I'm watching food. My goal for Tuesday was to put up Christmas decorations. Still some rough spots, but overall better than Monday.

Somehow photos never do Christmas trees justice. OK, my camera doesn't do it justice.

Some of my favorite ornaments.

Each day got a little better after that. I managed to get a shower every day and got a few things done around the house. A few ladies from the ward brought meals last week, which was a total lifesaver. Thank you!! Around 4-5ish was when Sophie and I were our crankiest and it would have been almost impossible to spend more than 10 minutes in the kitchen making dinner.

Friday I decided that we needed a quick trip somewhere because we were going nutso from being inside all week. After tackling Target and a quickie in the grocery store, I decided that I need to rethink how I do my grocery shopping. I put Ivy's carrier in the front, Sophie and my diaper bag in the cart, and had enough room for one gallon of milk and a can of baking powder, which Sophie tried to open for several minutes. I put the produce in the front because I didn't trust her alone with a bunch of bananas. I'm not sure how I would have managed had this been a "real" grocery store trip. At Target I took Ivy out of her carrier, wrapped her in a fleece blanket and put her in my Bjorn carrier while Sophie sat in the front of the cart. That worked OK except Ivy is still ragdoll-like and kept sliding down the carrier all bunched up. Plus the fleece blanket was making me sweat. Taking her out of the carrier and wrapping her in a blanket is a pain, too, in the parking lot, and what happens when it drops below 60 degrees? And the option of having Sophie walk beside the cart is definitely out. Unfortunately, she's a runner, and I really don't want to resort to putting a leash on her. She would probably throw a fit if I tried. Ugh. I have some thinking to do.

Ivy, on the other hand, is an angel baby -- kind of like Sophie was before she decided she could have an opinion about things. Luckily Sophie's jealousy is directed more at me than at Ivy. She adores Ivy. The first word out of her mouth when she wakes up for the day, or even from a nap, is "AHH-vee!" She's always right next to me when I change Ivy's diaper or bathe her, but when I nurse her, Sophie decides that she wants to jump in my lap and read a book RIGHT THEN. I spend as much time as I can with Sophie, which helps, and I think she's realizing that Ivy's a permanent fixture in our home now.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ivy: The Details

It's almost been a week since Ivy was born, and I'm beginning to see how having more than one child affects the frequency of blog posts . . . and I haven't even been left alone with them yet. OK, here's what happened last week:

My water broke on Sunday at the church when I stood up to go home after ward choir. No one there noticed, and luckily it wasn't a complete gush. We hurried home, called the doctor, finished packing my bag (which I'd only started to pack the night before), packed an overnight bag for Sophie, who we left with a friend, and made it to the hospital in about an hour and a half. I'd had contractions at home 5 minutes apart and was getting somewhat uncomfortable, but when we got to the hospital, they slowed to about 8-10 minutes apart, and then almost stopped completely.

Here I am in the triage, which was this weird place they put you right when you get to the hospital. It was basically a bunch of beds separated by a bunch of curtains with a bunch of nurses sitting right outside. I thought I'd have to deliver the baby here, but luckily I didn't. Oh, and I was showing off a pathetic little contraction I'd just had, hoping for more.

This was kind of a repeat of the beginning of Sophie's birth with my water breaking and then not going into labor. In Provo, they only let me wait three hours before inducing me. Here they were a lot more liberal. (We were in Berkeley, what do you expect? :)) I was grateful because I really wanted my body to do this on its own. Unfortunately it didn't. After 14 hours of little or no progress, we started a Pitocin drip at about 7 AM the next morning.

All week I've been comparing Ivy's birth with Sophie's (as well as the recovery) and although my epidural was extremely spotty and almost non-existent toward the end (Gee, I'm glad my leg was numb when she came out. That helped a lot.), this time around has been easier by far. I feel really good. Not exactly ready for a walk around the mall -- or even the grocery store -- yet, but I feel fine doing simple things around the house and taking care of the girls. Nursing has been a breeze, and I don't know if it's because I just weaned Sophie six months ago or that I know what I'm doing this time around, but the girls don't hurt that much. And boy, am I glad to have them back. Seriously.

Having lots of help this week has also made things lots easier. Steve's mom, Judi, drove over from Sacramento the night Ivy was born and stayed until Wednesday. My parents, who had originally planned to fly out Dec 18th, jumped in their car and drove 14 hours to be here on Thanksgiving. It had been a long time since I'd had a T-day dinner cooked by my mom -- complete with mashed potatoes made from real, still caked with Idaho dirt, potatoes that they brought with them. Judi made a couple of pumpkin pies while she was here, and my mom made a pineapple pie -- a favorite of mine that my grandma makes. (And mom, I had a piece for breakfast and it tastes just like Grandma's.) We've got leftovers and pie coming out of our ears, but what's not to love about that?

Sophie on the left & Ivy on the right.

Enough about pie, I'm supposed to be telling you about Ivy. My not-quite-six-pound bundle is probably the smallest baby I've ever held. We've had to get her preemie diapers and clothes and most of those still fall off of her. The first night she was home, she screamed most of the night and having previously been spoiled by Sophie's calm nature, Steve and I wondered, "Is this what it's like to have a normal baby?" Luckily her nights have gone more smoothly and everyone is getting more sleep. I think her temperament is like Sophie's after all. Whew. She's adorable, too, and we think she looks more like Steve then Sophie did. She managed to get my crooked pinky fingers and weird toes, though. Looking back at Sophie's newborn pictures, you can definitely tell they're sisters. We decided, about a day after she was born (and about 15 minutes before the birth certificate office closed), to name her Ivy Lena. Lena, after Steve's paternal grandmother. We like it, and we think it fits her.

I love the newborn "o" face.

Speaking of Sophie, I think she likes having Ivy around. She was pretty moody the first couple of days after we came home, but she's fine now. She likes to point out Ivy's facial features and body parts (which includes sticking her finger in her eye, but that was no surprise to me), and loves to bring her a binky or a diaper. She can even say her name, "AH-vee".

Sophie and Ivy meet at the hospital.

Extra little tidbits that didn't fit into the rest:
  • I only gained 35 lbs this time instead of 60. And my weight right now is where I was three months after Sophie was born. I may actually put on a swimsuit next summer.
  • Ivy's initals are ILP. A few of you may find that amusing. (ILP is the program that took me to Russia, where I ended up meeting Steve.) It didn't happen on purpose.
  • If you by chance have a giant sack of potatoes in your car when you come into California, don't be scared when they ask you at the state line if you have produce. Potatoes are OK to bring in.
  • Steve probably isn't going to Utah, so if I can just get through the next two weeks until finals are over, we'll have three weeks at home together to adjust. (BIG WHEW)
  • Some of you commented about me blogging while I was in labor. Ya, that does seems weird, but it's not like I was doing lamaze breathing, trying not to scream while I was typing. The contractions I was having weren't any stronger than the ones I'd been having all week. And during the half hour that the epidural was working, I didn't feel anything at all. Plus I'd just gotten lots of sleep (that's how weak the contractions were). I'd also gotten lots of texts asking how things were going. For the most part, I hate texting. I am the slowest texter ever. I'd rather just post it to my blog or send out an email, that way everyone knows the same stuff.
Major snaps go to Ivy for coming last week. Most of my pregnancy dreams came true, too. How many women get to sneak out of the last two, painfully uncomfortable weeks of pregnancy with an early baby? And not only an early baby, but right before a major holiday that enabled extra help of family members. I'm grateful that it was Thanksgiving so Steve wouldn't have to miss as much school. I'm grateful for all of the wonderful friends and family who have stopped by or helped out, too. I'm really glad we live here with such great, supportive friends. I'm grateful for the Spirit that accompanies a newborn into the world. Once again, we're reminded of the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Name Pending

About two hours after I posted last, the little stinker finally decided she wanted out of the empty pool. She weighed 5 lbs 13 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. A few of you asked about my due date, which was December 10th. Two weeks early made me a little nervous, but she's perfectly healthy. Both of us are doing great. I'll give you the play-by-play later.

She looks a lot like Sophie did as a newborn in this picture, but we think this one looks more like Steve. I think her eyes and mouth are going to take up most of her face.

Name? Um. We'll get back to you on that, too.

Monday, November 24, 2008


So . . .

My water broke yesterday.

I've been in the hospital for 19 hours.

I still don't have a baby.

I'm sorta bored.

And yes, I got an epidural about 90 minutes ago which is why I'm blogging.

Hospitals with wi-fi rock.

Did I mention that I was bored?

I think we'll watch more Scrubs, now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Definitely Female

Sophie has always been fascinated by make-up. A couple of months ago we had a routine where I would grab my make-up bag and walk into my bedroom. If Sophie saw me, she would sit by my mirror and wait for me to sit down in front of it. There we sat for 5-10 minutes -- me putting my face on and Sophie playing beside me, scattering compacts, tubes, and bottles all over the floor.

This was two weeks ago -- around the time she started opening all those. Luckily I caught her with a giant mascara smudge on her chin and not in her mouth. Ugh.

A couple of weeks ago she started opening eyeshadow compacts and mascara tubes, so I've had to do my make-up in the bathroom with all the goodies out of reach. Sophie hates it. As a consolation, I give her the lid to my powder case with a little powder inside and hand her a brush. She walks happily out of the bathroom, sits down in front of the mirror in my bedroom and primps away.

I don't know why she thinks she needs make-up anyway. She's got perfect skin. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Dear Sam & Patti,

I hope Chicago is treating you well. I just wanted to tell you that I didn't realize what great neighbors you were until you left this summer. You were both so friendly and, well, quiet. That's what I miss the most. The hourly chiming clock didn't even bother me that much. I'd take that any day over giggly girls who have no other volume to their voices other than shouting, elephants running up and down the stairs, and blaring mariachi music. I guess living away from home for the first time means you can be loud ALL THE TIME. Instead of waking mom up, they wake up the cranky pregnant lady instead.

I loved the comment Patti made about how you loved hearing Sophie through the walls -- even the crying. While I tried to console her quicker as to not disturb you two, now I find myself inching her closer to the upstairs heater when she's upset. Remember how that thing is like an intercom between our units? And after an exceptionally loud evening, I sometimes run the vacuum at 8 AM and make sure every speck of dust is sucked up near the wall that we share. That's not very neighborly of me, I know. I can't help being facetious sometimes.

The only consolation I have is that the guy next door is a plumber. I guess the pipes in our building were a little backed up last night, and he got right in there and cleaned them out. Actually it's not really the guy that bugs me. He's nice. It's his fiance and sister, who are 19 and 21, and the guys that come visit them that get on my nerves. They should be in school. Or have jobs. Or something.

Is there any way we can convince you to come back? The weather is nice right now and supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow. I'm sure you miss that. And Sam, I'd make you sweets all the time if you decided to move back in. You name it, and I'd have it on your doorstep in no time.

Lots of love,
The Perrys

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

If you think that this picture has nothing to do with Veterans Day, squint a little.

Still don't know? Here's a hint:

Happy Veterans Day!

Sidenote: The bread didn't turn out like that on purpose. I let it rise for too long, then when it baked it sorta slumped over to one side. I took one look at it and though, "Ahhh . . . the National Guard beret."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Whining & A Couple of Needles

I moved my baby ticker back to the top of the page. I'd like to point out that the "month 9" graphic is enlarged, and as of today I have 30 days left. Hopefully it's a little less than that, though. I'm due in the middle of Steve's finals week, plus he has to leave the week afterward to work in Utah. I'm hoping for a punctual, if not an early, child and a superhuman recovery.

One of my friends left a comment a few minutes ago about how she was not jealous of my physical situation right now. Honey, I wouldn't be, either. Feeling like you've been run over by a bus when you scootch out of bed in the morning, and then feeling like a 90-year-old the rest of the day isn't something to be jealous of. Luckily I haven't been run over by a bus. And I'm not 90, either, and in a couple of months I'll be feeling more like myself. A tired version of myself, but I'd take tired over the bus any day.

On a lighter note, I took Sophie in for her 18-month check up. Like the last three appointments, she's average height and between the 5th and 10th percentile for weight. She's growing at a normal rate, though, so no one's worried that she's so little.

They wanted me to have her blood checked again for iron and lead. When I took her in 9 months ago for the same blood draw, she was amazingly calm. She didn't make a peep and just watched the needle go in and out. I, on the other hand, couldn't watch. I was worried that because she was older this time, she'd cry, but she didn't. Even though her arm got bumped (ahem, by me . . . I feel awful) , the needle slid out of the vein, and they had to poke her in the other arm to finish. Still no crying, whimpering, or even a quivering lip.

Sophie demonstrating her lizard tongue, which goes in and out of her mouth kinda fast.

She did fuss a little when I put her in the car and she realized she couldn't bend her arms all the way because of the tape wrapped around her elbows. She's such a trooper. I couldn't believe it. I was proud of her, so we shared a piece of cheesecake after lunch.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Someone's Been Sleeping in My Bed

And she's still there!

Ok, not really. Sophie has never slept in our bed. (Except for a handful of times when she was a newborn and I was too lazy to put her back in her bed after nursing in the wee hours of the morning.) In fact, she won't even go to sleep if someone else is in the same room. Works fantastic at home, but a little troublesome if we're traveling.

Usually I get up when she gets up (and Steve has already left), but on the weekends when neither of us want to get up, we go get her and then the three of us chill in our bed until she gets antsy and climbs off (she can do it by herself now).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Relief and Gratitude

It was such a relief this morning when Steve (Who got up at six because "my body told me to." Gee, I wish mine would do that.) told me that Proposition 8 had passed. Despite all the efforts we as members of the Church, as well as many other supporters of traditional marriage, made to educate people about this and warn them of the repercussions of it not passing, I was still surprised that we won. Barely. I think it passed by 52%, with a large number of absentee ballots yet to be counted. I think because of our proximity to San Francisco, I was a bit pessimistic about the likelihood of success, but our efforts weren't in vain.

I was thinking about this as I was reading a conference talk this afternoon. I'd been reading them in order the last couple of weeks, and I got to M. Russell Ballard's talk today about the work of the Lord moving forth. He talked a lot about the early development of the Church, how it overcame struggle after struggle and how its members sacrificed for their faith. He compared they're trials to ours and he made a comment that I thought was appropriate for today.

"Of course, our challenges are different today, but they are no less demanding. . . . Instead of families being uprooted and torn from their homes, we see the institution of the family, including the divine institution of marriage, under attach as groups and individuals seek to define away the prominent and divine role of the family in society."

I'm just really grateful right now.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Little Foodie

In the afternoons I sometimes watch a little Food Network to relax before Steve gets home and I have to start dinner. Television has never been able to catch Sophie's attention for more than 5 minutes (probably because I rarely turn it on before 4PM), but she likes FN. Particularly Giada de Laurentiis (Everyday Italian), Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and Paula Deen. Atta girl.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Freaky Day is Fun Again

Since I stopped trick-or-treating as a teen, I've never had much of an interest in Halloween. I hate scary movies, creepy decorations, and dressing up is only fun if I have a good costume. (Most of the time it's more work than its worth, in my opinion.) Now that I have Sophie to dress up and that she's starting to understand more and do more hands-on things with us, I think Halloween might become fun again.

Despite my bah-humbug feelings about Halloween, I have always liked pumpkin carving.

What was I thinking? White shirt on pumpkin carving day? Ack!

We got one of those kits that has patterns and little carving knives the first Halloween after we got married. Somehow, I've managed to save it (putting it under the silverware holder is a good idea) every year and now we're getting down to the complex ones. (We're bound to get the full $3.87 worth out of it. Ha.) I did the trick-or-treat ghosts and Steve did the skull guy. They turned out better than I thought they would. I was afraid my pumpkin was so thick that the light wouldn't shine through the little holes. Guess not...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Part Two of the Tutu Saga

Those of you who saw Sophie have a fit the first time I put a tutu on her were probably surprised to see her wearing it at the Halloween carnival tonight. I was determined to get her into it, so every couple of days since then I'd tried to put it on her for a couple minutes at a time. The third time, she didn't even pull at it and kept it on for 15 minutes. Tutus aren't scary after all.

I wasn't sure what the official name of her costume was going to be -- all I knew is that I wanted her to wear a tutu. Because she rips everything off of her head, I couldn't put a crown or flowers or anything cute in her hair except pigtails (which she miraculously kept in for a couple of hours). I probably would have crossed the line trying to make her wear wings, so I made her a "wand" and dolled up a plain black onesie this afternoon and called it good. Someone at the carnival called her the "Perry Fairy", so I guess that's what she was.

I told her to say "cheese" and this is what she did. She probably thought I was going to give her some actual cheese.

They had a little hoop set up for the kids, and Steve tried to teacher how to throw the ball in. She usually turned around and threw it in the opposite direction. Hmm. Not a lot of athletic intuition there. Probably from her mother.

Sophie and Asher have sort of a love-hate relationship. They seem to play well together, but every five minutes or so someone gets on someone's nerves. Sophie doesn't like it when Asher gets too close to her and Asher doesn't like it when Sophie sings to herself. They're funny to watch.

She's getting better about getting Asher's hugs, though. This time she actually put her head on his chest. Aww.

After the games, we took her out in the parking lot for the Trunk-or-Treat. It didn't take her too long to figure out what to do. Halfway through, she decided she'd rather start eating the candy she already had instead of getting more.

No, Steve and I didn't dress up. Steve came straight from school and I, well . . . didn't feel like it. So I went as a pregnant lady. No need for pictures. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happier Times

If you noticed my lack of response in the previous post when Sophie started to cry it's because we have meltdowns like that at least a dozen times a day. That girl is getting so sensitive lately. And clingy. I wonder if she senses that she won't have all the attention to herself for much longer.

In between the meltdowns, she's pretty happy. And so am I.

It doesn't take a lot of humidity for my hair to frizz, which is why I went most of the week in curly-mode. Sophie's in curly-mode every day. She's back to pulling pigtails out again most days. Sigh.

Steve was sitting on the kitchen floor eating a piece of bread one day (no idea why he sat on the floor), and Sophie walked over to sit next to him. She also crouches next to me when I crouch in front of the fridge and dig through the produce drawers.

I think I need to get Sophie more toys to play with outside. She loves being out there with her favorite ball, though. I just wish we had a fenced-in yard because she's getting increasingly faster at running down the sidewalk. And I'm getting increasingly slower.

Here she's brushing her hands together (like when you have dirt on them) to tell me that she sees the flower bed. And that she's going over there to throw dirt around even though I'm shaking my head and telling her "no". Speaking of "no", Sophie started saying it this week. "No, no, no," just like I tell her. She also sings songs about "no" and says, "bye, bye, no!"

Yay! A good smile!

Here's something else she loves to do. (I take out the sharp knives.) So far we haven't had any casualties.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tutu for Next Year

I've been itching to put a tutu on Sophie for months and thought Halloween was a good excuse to dress her up in one. I googled for a while until I found some instructions on how to make one -- without using my sewing machine. It was brilliant! I picked up some pink and black tulle from the fabric shop this week and put it together in under and hour.

Um, Sophie wasn't as enthusiastic as I'd hoped she'd be. (This was the first time she'd seen it and the first time I tried to put it on her.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

One More Oldie

When I was looking through old pictures last week, I ran across this one:

Sort of reminds me of this little face here:

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Should Have Been a Locksmith

One more thing, Dad. Thanks for bailing me out all those times I locked my keys in my car in high school. Especially that time I was clear out at piano lessons.

I've been really good the past few years about not locking my keys in my car. Until today. And I happened to be about 20 minutes from home. Steve drives a scooter to school and doesn't take it on the freeway (although he could if he was in a pinch). Our house was locked, so I couldn't call anyone to bring me a key. I'd feel bad doing that anyway because I was so far from home. Steve and I decided that I should probably call a locksmith.

For the first time in my unlucky-with-car-keys life, I had to pay someone to open my car. I hate paying for stupid things. (like interest, shipping, whatever fees people like tacking on to things) I especially hate paying a lot of money for stupid things because I feel like I'm getting ripped off. Locksmithing has now been added to my "stupid things" list.

It seemed, from searching a phone book inside a store I was stuck at, that one locksmithing place pretty much dominated the entire area. I would have been calling forever trying to find another place that serviced the area I was in, would get here quickly, and wouldn't require my first born child as payment.

The lady on the phone told me it would be $39 just for the guy to come out to my car and depending on what kind of locks I had and what tools he had to use, it was another fee, starting around $15, to open the car. I figured my car wouldn't be much more than $15. It's a 10-year-old Accord with no alarm system and no keyless entry. It's not like he'd be cracking open the Batmobile.

The guy arrived about 15 minutes later and inspected the car for a minute. After writing up a quote on his pad of paper, he pushed it over to me for my signature. This is what he wrote:

Service fee 39
Lockout 110

My first thought was, "Oh, the 1 and the 3 are lined up, but he must have forgotten the decimal. Uh, and the other zero, because there's no way that could be $110."

Here's how our conversation went:

Me: "Is that $110?"

Locksmith Guy: "Ya."

Me: "So is that the total?"

LG: "No. They're added together."

Me: "It's $110 just to open my car?"

LG: "Yes. With the service fee it's about $150"

Me: "Are you serious?"

LG: "It's our company policy."

Me: "The lady on the phone said that the lockout fees start at $15. I don't even have a nice car."

LG: "They range from $15 to $150."

Me: "Do you have some kind of military discount or pregnant lady discount or something? Because that is RIDICULOUS."

LG: "Well, I could knock off the service fee, so it would be $110."

Since I had almost no other option at that point, I signed the paper. Wow, what a deal. How does that guy sleep at night?

What I really want to know is what kind of car do they charge $15 to open? A scooter? A rusted out car with the window knocked out? Accords are one of the most stolen cars in America. If any bozo off the street can rip off my car, then why is it so hard for Mr. Locksmith Guy to get it open with his fancy tools?

I'd have gladly given you the $110 instead, Dad.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Since today is my Dad's birthday, and I tend to be hit-and-miss with greeting cards, (Uh. . . this year was a miss, if you catch my drift.) I thought I'd do a blog post instead.

My supply of old pictures here in Cali is limited, and trying to find an older picture of my dad without me (or any of my siblings) in it is like trying to find one of Steve without Sophie in it. Children sure take over your life - and your photo albums - don't they?

Dad, thanks for spending so much time with us as kids. Some of my best memories from growing up are vacations we went on, boating days, and camping trips. (Yes, camping. Thanks to my mom we always went in the camper.) I know there was a phase I went through where I was reluctant to go, but it always meant a lot to me that you put up a fuss when I opted out. I learned that it was important to spend time together as a family.

Thanks for teaching us to take school seriously. You always emphasized the importance of working hard and doing our best. I remember one particular report card I brought home that had all A's with one A -. You pointed at the A- and said, "what happened there?". A little harsh, maybe, but I know you were just trying to prove a point. I learned to set my standards high from that.

Speaking of work, I'm glad that you (and mom) taught us how to work. All those years of mowing the lawn because "Dad has allergies" made me wonder if you were just faking it because you didn't want to mow the lawn yourself. I was sort of a punk, I know. I'm not glad you had allergies, but I'm glad you made me work. . . . at least long enough for Devin to grow tall enough to see over the lawn mower handle. I made him do it as soon as he was strong enough to push it.

Thank you for taking pictures of us as kids, although I loathed it (as you can see above). I still don't like it, but I try to be patient because I know having photos and keeping records is important. Photos of backsides, mom's morning hair, and mouths full of food are ones we'll especially treasure. Seriously.

Thank you for teaching me how to handle money, pick out a good car, and drive a stick shift. And thank you for teaching me how to pick a man, too. If you (and mom) gave me a thumbs up, I knew I really picked a good one.

Thank you also for teaching us by example to take Church responsibilities seriously, to do what's right, and blessing our home with the Priesthood. Our home was always a place of refuge from life, and I hope to make my own home that way for my family.

I love you Dad! Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pickin' Punkins

Saturday we went with some friends over to Half Moon Bay and picked out some pumpkins from a huge pumpkin patch. It sure beat going to the grocery store.

First ride in a wheel barrow. I think she liked it. She didn't cry, at least.

Lots of roundness in this picture. I told Heather we should paint our stomachs like jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.

This is me and my friend, Heather. Heather and I have a lot in common. We're both from Idaho Falls, both served missions, both have a little girl, we live in the same neighborhood, and our hubbies go to the same school. We're both on the taller side (Heather's got me by three inches, though) and we're both about the same age . . . gestational age, too. Our due dates are only about a week apart. We also have the same doctor, so we book our appointments at the same time and drive together. The doctor and the nurses there think it's pretty funny.

Here's Sophie and Hallie, Heather's little girl. Hallie's almost exactly a year older than Soph. It's fun to watch the things she says and does because that will be my little girl in a year.

We picked out three big pumpkins and one small one. I decided that I'm going to cook a couple of them down and freeze it for baking. I've never used fresh pumpkin before. I've also never made a pie from scratch before. (Yes, grandma, it's true. Sorry if that's disappointing.) I think I'll whip one up, while I still have time to be ambitious. And maybe eat it all myself, while I'm still OK with looking a bit pudgy. (FYI, I can totally afford the calories. I weigh 20 lbs less than I did during month 8 of my last pregnancy. Go me.)