Tonight was our big Trunk or Treat at church. Can you believe that this was my first time to a Trunk or Treat? I've just always chosen not to go in the past.
First of all, I had to go early to set up a game, so what a pleasant surprise when Erik walked in with Luke wearing his giraffe costume. I couldn't believe it! He kept it on all night like it was no big deal. You'll notice that he's wearing it over a bright orange shirt with a monster on it. That was the back-up in case the giraffe didn't work.
Well, HOLY MOLY, did Luke have a good time! He could care less about the candy. People kept trying to hand it to him, but he was too interested in the jack o'lanterns to notice or care. This car in particular was his favorite because it had music and a huge jack o'lantern. He kept running back to it and would dance like crazy in front of their car. He had everyone laughing, it was great. People kept passing by him dancing (which looks like a crazy person running in place) and saying, "Whoa, how much candy did that kid have??" And I was like "NONE! This is how he always is."
The missionaries had the back of their truck decorated. They handed out candy attached to pass-a-long cards. The middle pumpkin is the story of the iron rod from the Book of Mormon. Notice the "great and spacious building" behind it. I thought that was hilarious.
Another favorite of Luke's - the big scary inflatable thing that went in and out of the tombstone. He would wave hi at it each time it came up.
Don't be scared, it's just the ninja and professional diaper changer. I know, we're way cool. The great part about covering our faces is that we didn't have to smile for pictures or make pointless conversation at Halloween parties. It did make eating rather difficult though.
Tonight was our big Trunk or Treat at church. Can you believe that this was my first time to a Trunk or Treat? I've just always chosen not to go in the past.
Posted by Cristin at 10:16 PM
I read in Time Magazine last week that out of 171 countries, the United States ranks 41 for women who die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. The U.S. death rate is 1 in 4,800, while the European death rate is far lower at 1 in 16,400. (In case you are wondering, the worst is Niger, where one out of seven mothers dies. That is really sad.)
What's the deal? Why is the maternal death rate lower in countries like Bosnia and Ireland? The United States is supposed to have "great" health care (I'm not touching the insurance topic here, only talking about the quality of care), and we all know how "medicalized" childbirth has become. I'm trying to figure this out. Is it because we, as Americans, are more overweight than Europeans? What is wrong with us? Why aren't we the best at everything? Is this statistic accurate? Barring any old pioneer novels, does anyone actually know someone who died from childbirth (or pregnancy complications) post-1970?
I hate hearing stuff like this. Not because I want more European mothers to die, but because it scares me. The reason I am afraid of things like dogs, roller coasters, and old food, is because those things can cause death. On the other hand, as far as I know, no one has ever died from the pain caused by childbirth. This was the one thing that got me through labor last time. I kept thinking, "The pain isn't going to kill me. It will all be over soon." It did end soon, and I didn't die. BUT, what if you can die from pain in childbirth now too?? What am I going to cling to during labor this next time?
So, it now appears that a country like France not only has better food and a 35 hour work week, but a dang good mortality rate for mothers too. Ugh. Stupid French. (60-40)
Posted by Cristin at 2:09 PM
Here's an excerpt from Shel Silverstein's "Hector the Collector":
Loved these things with all his soul
Loved them more than shining diamonds,
Loved them more than glistenin' gold.
Hector called to all the people,
"Come and share my treasure trunk!"
And all the silly sightless people
Came and looked...and called it junk.
Erik likes free and cheap stuff. I love him to death, but he really is the guy that can't say no. He calls his stuff "projects." I was always super embarrassed when as poor college students in Utah, we took up at least 6 parking spots with all our old cars, boats, and motorcycles. Even now, people see the boat parked in our side yard and excitedly say, "Wow, you have a boat!" I'm always like, "Um, it's not what you think." This stuff was all free or really cheap. I was starting to think we would be able to live like normal people because we were down to only 4 cars, one boat and one motorcycle.
This past week was very exciting because Erik finished one of his "projects" and sold it. Here is a picture of the motorcycle that he got for free, fixed up, and sold! YAY!
Anytime he actually finishes a "project," he gets very excited. Like this week he told me he thought we should get rid of all his "projects," so that we could move into an apartment and have cheaper rent. The thought of getting rid of all that stuff, got me really excited. I was also able to park my car in the garage for one whole day, which never happens.
I guess he forgot about getting rid of his junk, because then he decided to take some of the money from the sale of the motorcycle and buy this (any guesses as to what this is?):
Okay, give up? This is THIS:
ERIK BOUGHT AN AIRPLANE KIT! You know, to build an airplane in our garage, like normal people do. This tops every "project" he has ever purchased. I am still in awe that I have 85% of an airplane sitting in my garage. I'm making him sign a contract with me that he will just flip it and not build it, but you know he's trying to butter me up so I'll let him build it. So, our current inventory is:
One Really Old Car (the 1941 Oldsmobile that he wants to be buried in)
One Soon to Be Vegetable Oil Car (the 1991 Benz)
One Old Car with No Air Conditioning (the 1995 Explorer)
One Not New Car (the 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage)
One Old Motorcycle
One Deep Sea Fishing Boat (the Winner)
and an Airplane Kit (a Long EZ)!
And Hector the Collector, I mean, ERIK, actually said to me last night that he feels like we're really de-junking.
Posted by Cristin at 11:55 AM
Erik refuses to play games with me when it is just the two of us, except on rare occasions. He says it's because I'm "competitive and cocky." WHATEVER. Well, last night we went to a fun Halloween party and played a few games, which reminded me of how much I love playing some games, and hate playing others.
We played this last night. This game is so sexist in that its makers assume that women know nothing about cars and sports, and that men know nothing about cooking or fashion. With that being said, I hate this game because I know nothing about cars and sports.
Posted by Cristin at 7:08 PM
Luke fell out of his crib again yesterday - hard. As most of you know, this is not the first time, so I don't need comments (MOM) like, "You need to get rid of that thing." or "I told you so." Let's just say, it is a bad situation. His bedroom door doesn't shut, so we'll need to move him to a different room in the house, probably just put his mattress on the floor for the time being, anchor his dresser to the wall, and make the rest of his room ultra-safe. He was bleeding so badly and crying so hard, that I started crying. Then a few hours after the incident and LOTS of crying, we both took a nap on my bed for nearly three hours! It's weird though, despite his diaper rash and endless stream of injuries, I thought a lot yesterday about how grateful I am to be taking care of him myself and not working while Luke is in daycare. I still want to be the one putting diaper rash cream on him while he screams in agony and lay down with him when he's sad.
The good news is that with his new scar he could be Harry Potter for Halloween. The bad news is that he probably wouldn't keep the glasses on and besides, that costume is like so 4 years ago.
Posted by Cristin at 7:38 AM
Today I was at the Dollar Tree and had an epiphany of what to be for Halloween:
I can't believe I never thought of this before! It will be so easy. I'm going to wear my all black yoga pants and a black shirt. To spice up the outfit, I bought the kids Ninja costume from the Dollar Tree. While it is too small for me, there are still selected items I can use from the 8 piece costume set (the hood, a couple scarves).
To complete the costume I also picked up these nunchaku and cool plastic sword! At first I thought nunchaku was misspelled or a case of bad English on a product made in China, but according to Wikipedia, nunchaku is the correct way to say "numchucks." Interesting...
Other cool things about being a ninja:
1. If it is lame, I just cover my face and no one knows it is me.
2. I can do lots of kicks and punches with my plastic sword and nunchaku.
3. I have found an excuse to wear the only non-maternity pants I own that are comfortable.
Posted by Cristin at 10:31 PM
Hi, my name is Cristin and I am obsessed with natural disasters.
Really, I think I have a problem. The news coverage of these fires in Southern California has overtaken my life. If I could, I would sit for hours and watch as the news crew stakes out a house they know is going to burn and then wait for it to go up in flames. Doesn't it sound sick and wrong that I get excited about watching someone's house burn? It was the same with Hurricane Katrina, I was like, "Oh yeah, four more people just broke through their roof and are waiting for a helicopter!" I still love watching videos of people climbing into trees to avoid the tsunami in Indonesia from a few years ago.
The strangest thing is that we live just over an hour away from a bad fire in Santa Clarita and you wouldn't know it here. The air is clean, fresh, and I can't see any smoke in the distance. In contrast, there was a fire further away near Santa Barbara this summer and we could hardly breathe! Must be the way the wind blows. In fact, yesterday at playgroup, these women were talking about vacationing near Lake Arrowhead, and no one said, "Not a good idea to go there right now." I don't even know if half the people here know what is going on. (I'm sure they do, but no one says anything about it.)
I have never been in a natural disaster, so I know that my fascination is going to come back and bite me some day. Until then, I'll just continue to live in my little isolated bubble that is Tehachapi, breathe my clean air, and watch all the horrible suffering from the comfort of my living room. Not to be pessimistic, but someone once reminded me that Tehachapi only has three ways out of town, all of which they close on a regular basis due to wind or snow. So, I'm sure my day will come.
Posted by Cristin at 8:52 AM
I know you are all too cool for Dancing with the Stars, but you must know that you missed some really good television tonight! Marie Osmond fainted! Is it just me, or does she seem drunk right before she falls?
Posted by Cristin at 9:44 PM
I love the part in Mean Girls when all the girls dress up in lingerie with bunny ears, and Lindsey Lohan is dressed up in an unattractive vampire costume. I can totally relate because I hate going to Halloween parties where all the women take this holiday as an opportunity to dress really sleazy. Then again, I am really torn because we've been invited to a Halloween party and I don't exactly want to be socializing while dressed up as the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man or in a Yoda mask.
Although I love Halloween, I am the world's biggest procrastinator when it comes to putting together a Halloween costume. You know your costume is lame when you have to wear a name tag telling people who you are. The years I didn't tell people who I was, people asked me if I was a hooker (I was a Spice Girl), a little kid (I was Punky Brewster), and not in costume (I was a Gap employee). So, I have one really hectic and busy week to think of a good costume which won't require a name tag. Erik wants to be an Arab guy riding a camel. Same costume he's done for the past five years, but hey, if it's not broken, don't fix it.
As for Luke, I thought I was in the clear. I picked up this great (and cheap) giraffe costume at Target the day after Halloween 4 or 5 years ago, just waiting for the chance to have a kid old enough to wear it. Well, that day has come and Luke can't stand the costume! I don't know what to do.
Posted by Cristin at 9:28 PM
Here's the dealio: I have to write a song based on a familiar and simple church song that Erik can play on the guitar (so not too many fast chord changes) about avoiding "bad movies." (When I say "bad movies" I mean adhering to the guidelines in the For the Strength of Youth booklet.)
So far, the only valid suggestion I've received is to write it to the tune of "Pioneer Children" and say at the end something like, "And walk, and walk, and walk, and walk away." I have to write this by tomorrow morning! It can be painfully bad, as long as it is funny and gets the point across... any ideas?
Posted by Cristin at 1:11 PM
Today I had my first ultrasound. Here's the picture for those (including myself) that don't believe I am pregnant. At my doctor's request, I received a special ultrasound today to screen for down syndrome performed by another doctor. I think everything's okay. The doctor looked at the baby's neck, spine, and head size.
Before the doctor came in to perform the ultrasound, the technician started hitting my belly with the stick to try to get the baby to move. I was trying to act like it didn't bother me, but it really hurt. Once the baby started to move around, we both went, "Oh, that's a boy!" at the same time. I know this sounds crazy, but I found out that Luke was a boy when I was 14 weeks along and this isn't too far off. Neither the ultrasound technician or I are 100% positive, but honestly, unless this baby has three legs, it's undoubtedly a boy.
So... most likely another boy. It will be confirmed at my next ultrasound in 6 weeks. When I saw the ultrasound, I wanted to say, "OH SNAP, ANOTHER BOY! What did I do to deserve this??!?" I don't want to sound ungrateful. I never thought we would be able to have one kid, let alone two. A part of me was hoping though that we would have a calm, not crazy girl. Luke is a blast, but a lot of energy. How I am going to handle two "Lukes"? I have no clue.
Here are a few excerpts from the mental list of good things about having another boy that I made in my head on the way home:
1. No need to buy more baby clothes.
2. No need to buy pink stuff.
3. No need to do hair for a girl, because I don't know how to anyway.
4. We don't have to name her Zoey, like Erik wants.
5. We'll have an heir and a spare, like royalty.
6. The Lassen name will continue on (not like that was going to be a problem).
Posted by Cristin at 11:11 PM
For as skeptical and critical I was of this activity, tonight's modesty/Barbie fashion show for mutual was surprisingly fun.
I asked three girls to teach the others about modesty and I was pleasantly surprised at how serious they took their assignment. They wrote things out and brought examples of how they make their own clothes modest. Then, everyone picked out a doll and we did before pictures, like this one (what a skank!):
Then they altered their outfits. I built a little runway (my piano bench with a towel draped over it), and turned on some sweet tunes (Sons of Provo's "Sweet Spirit"). Before each girl would walk her doll down the runway, I put the laptop on the bench and said, "This is the before picture and look at her now!" Then I would take the laptop away and the girls would pretend to be marching their Barbie down the runway (piano bench) saying things like, "Meet Malibu Mormon. She is really into modesty. Some of her favorite wholesome activities are giving money to people, taking in stray animals, feeding the homeless and making quilts for orphans!" I was really surprised at how funny the girls were with coming up with their doll's "wholesome activities." At the end of the activity we decorated people sugar cookies with modest outfits.
Here is the end result. Have you ever seen such modest Barbies in your entire life?:
I just re-read my description of this activity. Yes, I am clearly aware of how stupid it all sounds, but believe me, it was one of the most fun things I have done with the Beehives (or even Laurels). One of the most surprising results from this activity was the bonding I witnessed between the Beehives. That may sound a little cheesy, but we've had some problems in our class with backbiting and it was very comforting to see them all on my living room floor laughing, talking and helping each other with their dolls. Also, I loved seeing their creativity with the outfits.
I feel guilty now for secretly hating the idea of this activity. I never played with Barbies as a kid, so I think it was my 10 year old self telling me how stupid this was going to be that made it so hard for me going into it. The moral of the story is to ignore your negative 10 year old self, especially when you were a weird 10 year old (as I was) anyway.
Posted by Cristin at 9:37 PM
Take a look at this picture. Does this look appetizing to you? This is a Cafe Rio salad. If you do not live close to a Cafe Rio, does this picture make you want to spontaneously get into your car and drive 12 HOURS ROUND TRIP to eat this salad? If you are crazy, the answer is YES.
I was reading on someone else's blog about how her, her husband, and baby got in the car and did just that. Call me boring, but that seems ludicrous to me. My sister Caitlin and her husband pulled a similar stunt to eat at In-n-Out one time. Both of these places, Cafe Rio and In-n-Out, are very good, but when you start figuring out the cost of your gas and time, is it really worth a $2 hamburger you could make at home? For the price of your trip you could hire a babysitter, eat out somewhere really nice, and go dancing!
Supporters of this trend would probably argue that nothing compares to these two restaurants and that is why the trip and gas are worth it. These crazy people will probably also say, "Cristin, live a little!" Hey, I love Ikea, Korean food in Koreatown, pains au chocolat in France, and pickled herring in Denmark, but there must be boundaries. One time I rode with Erik to pick up a boat in Las Vegas explicitly to eat at a french bakery at the Paris Hotel, and you know what? The croissant was overpriced and crappy! So, when a crazy little voice tells you to do something insane like to drive 12 hours for a burrito, you must learn to say NO.
Here's another novel idea: Try making it yourself! Hopefully you don't need me to post a recipe for a hamburger, but here is a link to Jamie's Cafe Rio recipes.
Posted by Cristin at 1:45 PM
This won't be a regular thing, but today I couldn't help but posting some fun Bollywood videos. I think the reason I love musicals so much is because I can't sing or dance (two things I would love to do.) There is something about music in another language that is so appealing. For example, I love Shakira's music in Spanish (because I can't understand her), but hate her music in English because it is really cheesy. Bollywood is cool because of the way they move their bodies. I wish I could do that! I bought an instructional "Bellydancing by Dolphina" DVD a few years ago, you know, for "exercise," and ended up hurting my neck after two tries. How embarrassing.
Here is some real Bollywood goodness. Can you guess which movie was inspired by this song?
This next one is from Bride and Prejudice and features Sayid from "Lost," along with one of the most gorgeous women in the world, Aishwarya Rai. I almost wish I could cover the subtitles so I don't know what they are saying because it sounds so dumb in English.
Finally, this is Erik's FAVORITE scene from Bride and Prejudice. This is when "Bollywood comes to California". He really likes it when the lifeguards run down the ramp singing. If you haven't seen the movie, this will seem really strange. Then again, if you have seen this movie it will probably seem strange too.
Posted by Cristin at 3:45 PM
We took this picture on Sunday as Luke was trying to feed himself yogurt with a spoon. I'd say he managed to actually put about 20% in his mouth. As you can see, his aim is a little off. I really admire his persistence though.
Before I had children, I had major food issues and would be grossed out by the littlest things, including the sight of milk left on the counter for longer than an hour. I think it originated from when I worked at the boys department in Wal-mart as a teenager and frequently discovered old hamburgers in the Underoos section. Although I rarely threw up, I felt the urge all the time when I saw such gross things. I'm positive that the above picture of Luke would have absolutely made me sick back then.
How times have changed! Today, Luke kept coming in the house from the backyard with different things in his mouth - rocks, old firecrackers (thanks, Erik), bullets (don't ask), and finally a worm.... in his mouth. I yanked it out without thinking twice, washed his face and hands, and sent him off to keep playing. No big whoop. No thought of puking.
There is definitely something about becoming a parent that heightens your tolerance for gross things. I no longer gag at the sight of old milk and could care less if I get some poop on me now and then (okay, every day). My mother-in-law has a story about one of the kids walking in with a coat hanger through his tongue. She calmly pulled it out. What amazing tolerance for something that would make most people faint! Obviously, old milk and coat hangers through tongues aren't even close to being the same thing, but I hope someday to work up to that level. For now, however, I will continue to be very pleased with myself for not throwing up every time I find regurgitated food on the carpet.
Posted by Cristin at 9:37 PM
Saturday morning, Erik decided to blast any music he found on the blogs of others as loud as possible throughout the house, and then comment on it. He said that Danica's music made him to want to slit his wrists. (This is coming from a guy that only listens to the Beach Boys, They Might Be Giants, the Aquabats and Green Day, because anything slow is too "depressing".) On the other hand, he liked Anndalyn's because it was upbeat and he danced around the house with Luke to her music for 3 or 4 songs.
Therefore, I was inspired to create my own playlist (which is on my sidebar now). However, it was no surprise to me that when I played it for Erik he said, "Slit my wrists on that one... Slit my wrists on that one...." for each song. So, with that being said, please do not kill yourself if you choose to listen to my "depressing" music. You've been warned.
Posted by Cristin at 8:28 AM
The first time I heard of Funeral Potatoes was when I was living in Utah. There was a potluck at church and someone called me to ask if I could bring either a salad or Funeral Potatoes. I said, "Excuse me?" He said, "Funeral Potatoes." I said, "What is that?" He said, "You know, like the potatoes you have at a funeral." Still confused, I said, "Uh, I'll make a salad."
There's been a death in our ward, and I received a similar call yesterday asking if I could make Scalloped Potatoes (that's what Funeral Potatoes are called everywhere else in the world), a salad or a sheet cake. I have only been to two "funeral lunches" in my life, in two different states, but both have had the same exact meal at the LDS church following the services: Ham, salad, Scalloped Potatoes, and cake. Is this a church rule? If I am ever in a position to organize a "funeral lunch" will I get in trouble for deviating from tradition? If anyone has had anything other than this exact meal at an LDS church following a funeral, please share.
So, I chose to make the Scalloped Potatoes. I don't normally post recipes on my blog, but this one is from my sister, Kaci. She picked it up when she worked at Melisse in Santa Monica. It is seriously so good, that I have forgotten how to make Scalloped Potatoes any other way. This recipe may seem a little rough because I just estimate everything, but you'll get the idea:
Heavy Whipping Cream
Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese (not in the green can, the real stuff)
Couple Cloves of Garlic
Pour enough whipping cream into a pot to cover all the potatoes you intend on cooking in a casserole dish. Place 2 or 3 garlic cloves in the cream (for flavor). Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove cream from the heat and remove the garlic cloves. Peel and slice the potatoes with a mandolin or knife to get a uniform thin cut. Place a layer of potatoes in the casserole dish, brush with cream, sprinkle with salt, thyme, and cheese, and repeat with each layer until done. (I usually pour the remaining cream over the potatoes, but that's up to you. I don't count calories, as you can tell.) Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Remove foil and brown the top for 5 minutes.
Posted by Cristin at 7:55 PM
This evening while we were sitting in the living room talking, Luke grabbed some spare cable lying near the television and put it on his head. Sometimes I wonder why we have all those toys when spare cable is this much fun!
Posted by Cristin at 7:40 PM
Yesterday morning I found on our doorstep a really nice plate of rice krispie treats along with a note that the "FHE Phantom" has struck! According to the note, we have to pick two families and do the same thing to them next Monday night. While it is very flattering that the FHE Phantom has chosen us, I am cautious of eating things dropped off by mystery people at our door.
First, how do I know this is safe to eat? Besides the fact that it had been sitting on our doorstep all night, what if it is poisoned? I reviewed my potential list of enemies in the ward. The only ones I could think of were if those "well meaning older ladies" somehow read my blog. Since I don't think any of them have internet access and/or the ability to use the internet, I am probably safe. Honestly, if you wanted to kill someone, especially a Mormon, the easiest way would be to drop off something unanimously at their door, make them think you are doing it as a "secret friend" and boom, mission accomplished. (Erik consumed 3 of the rice krispie treats and he's still alive today. That's a good sign.)
Next, why does he have to be called "The Phantom?" I prefer FHE Surprise or something sweeter sounding. "Phantom" makes me imagine some disturbed and disfigured individual with an amazing singing voice, wearing a black cape and white mask hung on by double sided sticky tape, who mysteriously left baked goods at our door. Creepy.
The term "Phantom" also makes me laugh for another reason. My college roommate, Megan, has this great story that I have probably told at least 100 times. Oh, how I wish this was MY story. Oh well. (I hope I have the story right.) The short version: While Megan was studying abroad in England for a semester some anonymous person started leaving human feces (aka POOP) as a surprise for random people. The mystery person would smear it on doors, leave it in baggies, etc. Megan called him "The Phantom Crapper." (I think her British counterparts had a much cruder name for him.) So, I guess on second thought, I should be grateful that it was only the FHE Phantom that struck and not the Phantom Crapper.
Posted by Cristin at 9:04 PM
Breaking news from Fox News: Lindsey Lohan is out of rehab at the Losee's Cirque Lodge (the same folks that own Bon Losee) and other than leaving to film a movie, she is planning on staying in Utah so that she can "focus, and avoid other distractions."
How awesome (said like someone in Provo) is that?? Utah Valley is going to have another real celebrity resident. Wow. I wish I still lived there just so that I could participate in the inevitable LiLo sightings! I'm sure she'll fit right in with the Cafe Rio crowd. (You know what I'm talking about, those folks that get all dressed up in their $200 jeans to stand in line for 2 hours.) What will Lindsey's new life be like? I have a few ideas.
First, she will hit the dollar theater with other famous Utah Valley celebs, Stephen Covey and Marie Osmond! Undoubtedly, she'll shop at Nordstroms (the nicest store in the area), eat at trendy places like the Happy Sumo, hike to the Y, water ski at Utah Lake, go on double dates to the Creamery, heart attack all her new boyfriends, hang out at DT pool in the summer, and get a haircut that takes 7 hours at Bon Losee!
I am starting a contest. I will give a REALLY FREAKING AWESOME (once again said like a Utard, I mean Utahn) present to the first person who can email me proof of a real Lindsey Lohan sighting in Utah Valley. A picture taken with your cell phone is preferable, but a handwritten note on a napkin by LiLo to you is allowed also. Good luck!
Posted by Cristin at 1:41 PM
Well, if that isn't the biggest, scariest picture of Ty Pennington from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that I have ever seen! Holy cow! Erik has started doing this new thing that whenever a Chris Daugherty song comes on the radio he says with great concern, "Oh, Daugherty," and it makes me laugh really hard. So, in honor of that, "Oh, Ty."
I used to be obsessed with home makeover shows and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was my favorite. I'd watch it every week and always cry when Ty and friends would give a house, etc. to some deserving and down on their luck family. Then I started watching a lot and noticed the following pattern:
- The chosen family always has a disability, recent death, or both.
- Each week the designers and Ty always say something like, "This is the best/most touching makeover they have ever done."
- The female designer always cries.
- Ty always lifts his arms up a lot so you can see his belly and his pants are worn dangerously low.
- They always try to incorporate underprivileged kids into the building of the home.
Please, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that these are bad things. I just started to feel very manipulated after awhile by their obvious formula. Once I began to notice the pattern, the whole show became humorous as I could easily predict the next scene or statement to come out of a designer's mouth. I can barely stand to watch it now.
I discovered this email on the internet about how Extreme Makeover: Home Edition chooses their lucky families. (You can click on the image below to make it larger.) They are looking for home invasion victims and kids suffering from "little old man's disease," among other disappointments and maladies. Interesting...
The only home makeover shows I like to watch now are the ones where the people hate their home's new look. The other night I caught the end of a show called "Clean Sweep." The homeowner walked in, saw the new look and said, "This is disgusting! I have never seen anything this ugly. I hate it." The designers looked dumbfounded as to why she would dislike it (I agree with the lady, it was hideous). The show ended with the designers telling the camera that the lady was nuts, and it was good design. Now, that is great television!
Posted by Cristin at 9:29 PM
Tonight we had the opportunity to go over to a family's house in our ward to visit their pumpkin patch and go on a hay ride around their property. It was lots of fun.
The pumpkins weren't a big hit with Luke, but the hay ride was. He sat on my lap the whole time making "Vroom, vroom" noises with a big smile on his face.
In fact, he liked it so much, that he refused to get off and was the last one on the ride for a really long time.
His other favorite thing was pretending to drive the tractor. He screamed when we took him off. The perfect fit to end the perfect evening.
Posted by Cristin at 9:04 PM
This post is directed to all those parents who claim to have angelic children. Just in case you don't know how you are, I will mention a few.
First, there is Candace, who up until a month ago said that Lizette rarely cried and always slept all night except for waking up at 6 a.m. to have a pacifier put back in her mouth. (Oh puh-lease.) Then there is Trine who managed to have Leyna sit on her lap during almost all of Stake Conference a few months back. (Luke lasted a whopping 5 minutes.) Oh and of course my nephew, Wyatt, supposedly eats everything on his plate and falls asleep anywhere, anytime, with no problems. Evidently though, the best baby of them all is Caitlin's who told me the morning after Jonah was born that he was "such a good baby" because he slept all night. I was like, "Um, wasn't he born in the middle of the night, LAST NIGHT? So he slept maybe 3 or 4 hours?"
Well, my child is perfect too. Perfect at throwing fits. Here is an example of how it is done. Take it away Luke!
Erik forced him into his booster seat and just strapped him in. This is the perfect beginning to the perfect temper tantrum. Notice the look of despair, "What are you doing to me?"
This is the cry that makes no sound. Immediately after I took this picture his lips started turning blue and we were saying, "Breathe, Luke, BREATHE!" Last Sunday, he had literally passed out momentarily from crying so hard when I traded "Luke duty" with Erik during church. Scary.
Whew, he's breathing again. Something you'll notice about Luke's technique is that he is highly skilled at looking you right in the eye so that you feel really guilty for whatever it is that you are making him do against his will.
Five minutes later he's obviously mad at us and feels betrayed for making him sit in that awful booster seat. The only one he can trust is the teddy bear.
Two minutes after the last picture was taken, Luke is laughing like nothing happened. What temper tantrum? I love how quickly Luke forgets. I hope that Luke always forgets things he is mad about this easily.
Posted by Cristin at 7:57 PM
I don't know if it's because I feel like I just did this or what, but this pregnancy is already so different than Luke's.
For one, I often forget I'm pregnant. My doctor said this is because I never stopped breastfeeding before I was pregnant, so I probably won't feel much different. I personally think it is because I have gone to the doctor once with this one and received no ultrasound yet, whereas with Luke I had a beautiful photo album of ultrasounds by the time he was 10 weeks. Once in awhile I'll be really really tired and remember, "Oh, yeah, I'm pregnant." Or today I got carsick and thought maybe it had something to do with that. Yet, other than that, right now it just occurred to me that I had forgotten how many weeks I am. (According to an online pregnancy calculator, my second trimester begins this Sunday. Yipee!) Wow, time flies when you don't think about being pregnant every minute of the day. I should have tried this strategy with Luke so my pregnancy wouldn't have seemed so long.
Or perhaps this is just because it is a second child, and everyone knows that parents love their first child the most. I can say this because I am an oldest child and my sisters have complained for years that I am the favorite. (Just kidding... kind of, maybe.) Does this get progressively worse? If I frequently forget that I am pregnant with the second, will I even acknowledge a third child?
Fortunately for kid #2, my clothes are getting tight, my skinny jeans are now in storage and I am slowly gaining weight. I'm sure all this forgetfulness will be a thing of the past as I explode into the big huge fat pregnant lady I remember all too well.
Posted by Cristin at 8:58 PM
No, it's not Flashback Friday... but, I have been thinking a lot about my youth lately.
Ever since this whole Beehive adventure began (3 or so weeks ago), I have felt like my life revolves around Wednesday night mutual activities. Oh my gosh these activities are a lot of work! I wonder if any of the girls realize how much thought and preparation goes into planning those weekly "90 minutes". As a Beehive, I never did. In fact, I didn't realize what a jerk I was as a teenager until I had a former Young Womens leader come up to me at my sister's wedding and say, "Wow, I can't believe you went on a mission and got married in the temple! Who would have thought?" I mean, I knew I was a jerk and sarcastic when I was young, but it must have been really bad. All I could think about today while rushing around and finalizing things for tonight's dinner was, "This must be payback time. P-A-Y-B-A-C-K."
For the dinner, I went with spaghetti with italian sausage, salad, garlic bread, and brownies. It was simple and quick. The girls were done in 30 minutes and as a plus, no one cut their fingers off!
What is most stressful for me is the silliest thing. Anytime we have guests over I feel compelled to clean the house super well, and not just the parts of the house they will see. I scrub the bathtub, clean our bedroom, organize the toy room... why when they won't go in there??? NO CLUE, but I exhibit this strange compulsive behavior every time.
Next week I get break, and then the week after that we are making modest clothes for the girl's Barbies and then doing a fashion show with them. No joke. This was what the Beehives decided to do in their presidency meeting and since I'm just a slave to the girls (60-40), Barbie Fashion Show it is! I'm already stressing out about making a runway, what music to play during the fashion show (perhaps a little Sons of Provo), and how to incorporate some good stuff from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.
Yup, it's definitely PAYBACK time.
Posted by Cristin at 9:13 PM
I'll probably be playing around with my template a lot for the next few days. I'm not sure what it is I want, and I still need to fix this current one (the black and white), but I'll have to work out the kinks when I have more time. (I'm not the best when it comes to HTML.)
Here are some fantastic and EASY template websites I have found lately if anyone is interested:
Matie Kay Creations
If anyone knows of other great (and free) template sites, please share!
Posted by Cristin at 9:55 AM
Today Luke ate a half a piece of bacon, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, 10 goldfish crackers, 1/4 of an apple with peanut butter, some tortilla chips, 5 itty bitty spoonfuls of refried beans and a whole bunch of milk. Yesterday wasn't much better. On Monday he actually would only eat a quarter of one ravioli for lunch! I am going crazy trying to get him to eat! We even bought him a special booster seat that, of course, he won't sit in.
Every day I ask him, "How are you surviving on milk alone?" He responds by running around the house (burning calories that he doesn't have) and screaming for his "bup"! Everything I read tells me not to force him to eat, but I'm getting worried that he is going to shrivel away into nothing if I don't take some drastic action. Today I actually considered putting Ensure in his milk. I didn't read that anywhere, the thought just came to me. Maybe this is just a first time parent worrying, but I wish he would just eat, DARN IT!
I'm starting to fantasize about the time when all I had to do was breastfeed him all day long and I knew he was getting enough of what he needed.
Posted by Cristin at 10:22 PM
Dear Well Meaning Older Women at Church:
Thank you for constantly sharing your "love and concern" for my child's well-being. However, your unsolicited advice is wearing on me and causing me to avoid you in the halls. I don't want to be a mean person, I just thought you should know the following:
1. Please don't loudly and publicly tell me that I should not allow my 15 month old to suck on a "plug" (as you call it). First of all, I am at survival mode at church. This means that I don't care if he uses a pacifier if it will entertain him and keep him happy.
2. Ditto on telling me that a security blanket or "silky" is a very bad idea. I don't care. You argued that I should just "give him hugs, because I will never take a hug away like I will eventually a silky." Really, I don't care.
3. Oh, are you still screaming loudly that my child has "dangerously" climbed on top of a chair or pushed open a door and might get his fingers caught somehow or somewhere? WHOOP-TE-DO! This is what he does. I choose my battles. Things I don't fight with Luke about are: Chair climbing, door pushing and touching wheels of strollers. Things I do care about: Playing in garbage cans or toilets, stove climbing, putting things in electrical sockets, and running into the middle of streets.
4. You are constantly telling me that you don't understand why I can't bring my child into class with me. Do you think I like being in the hall? Do you think it is fun out here? I would gladly sit in class if I could.
5. Nursery lady, please stop staying, "We'll see Lucas in a couple of weeks in nursery, right?" I've told you many times that we have 3 months to go. And don't you have some records that tell you this information? When I am fighting a cranky toddler in the hall the last thing I want to be reminded of is that it will be this way for 3 more months.
6. Finally, my name is Cristin, not Kristy. His name is Luke, not Lucas.
I want to be friends with you. Really, I do. I know your intentions are good, but I thought it was important that you know how I feel.
Posted by Cristin at 1:32 PM
Happy Due Date to my sister, Caitlin!
She actually sounded pretty calm when I talked to her today and said she was hoping he wouldn't come for another week so she could recuperate from being sick. Some people take the idea of an overdue baby better than others. In my opinion, people that are induced (for other than medical reasons) are crazy. Yes, it is uncomfortable and you can't sleep at the end of a pregnancy, but at least you are still the manager of your own time (kind of). Once that baby comes, you are really a slave to whatever the newborn wants... sore and sometimes cracked nipples, up all night, tired beyond comprehension... enjoy the extra time without the baby!! I have quite a few friends who have been induced a week or two early because they are tired of being pregnant or my favorite, it was more convenient for the doctor (grrrrrr). CRAZY.
So, here's to hoping that Caitlin's baby is able to come in his own time!
Posted by Cristin at 1:16 PM