Ah, marriage. Marriage, marriage, marriage.
The problem with marriage is that your money is the same so gift giving is incredibly difficult. Extravagant and expensive gifts are scary, not romantic. So many questions are attached to pricey gifts from a spouse...Is there anything left in the checking account? Where did this money come from? You spent how much on this? What were you thinking???
On our first Valentine's Day, Erik bought me this expensive set of pajamas with the words, Victoria's Secret, written across the top. Of course, I did what any sensible wife would do - I returned the set and bought a cheaper one at Target. In retrospect, I probably should have just accepted the p.j.'s and not thought about the price. We were just so very poor and I couldn't understand the logic in buying a $60 set of pajamas.
Well, we have now been married seven long years. We no longer do expensive Valentine and Anniversary gifts to each other. To celebrate our anniversary last week, we decided to spend a whopping $60 dollars on dinner at P.F. Chang's and buy overpriced concert tickets. It was definitely worth it and a much better way to celebrate than buying expensive gifts for each other that we may not really want.
So, happy anniversary, baby... blowing money is always better when we do it together.
Speaking of the concert, if you ever have the opportunity to see Coldplay, I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed. I can't get over how talented those guys are. Great show and worth every penny. Here are two memorable moments from their concert -
Chris Martin playing "The Hardest Part" on the piano -
They went up into the audience to sing "The Scientist" -
Ah, marriage. Marriage, marriage, marriage.
Posted by Cristin at 7:59 PM
It has always been my understanding that there are two options when a baby bites you while breastfeeding:
Option #1 - My sister-in-law, Ditte, taught me to flick the baby in the mouth with my finger.
Option #2 - La Leche League taught me to put the baby on the ground if he or she bites you. A baby obviously isn't hungry if he is biting because it is impossible to nurse and bite at the same time.
Well... meet Option #3:
Posted by Cristin at 4:30 PM
I have a problem. I think it looks tacky to wear no pantyhose to church during the winter. However, I also know that wearing skin colored pantyhose puts me in the old lady category, but it's cold and I don't know what else to do. So, sue me.
The other day I was at Walgreens shopping for pantyhose when I found the most intriguing product, Sally Hansen Perfection Spray on Pantyhose. I stared at it for a long time before doing what I usually do when faced with problematic fashion decisions - I called Kelley.
Me: Have you ever heard of Spray-on Pantyhose?
Kelley: Well... (long pause), I saw this special on Deal or No Deal. That is what the ladies with the suitcases on that show wear, but -
Me: STOP. You had me at Deal or No Deal. I'm buying it.
Kelley: BUT... they are on television so it could look really weird.
Me: I don't care. I need to live a little.
I couldn't wait to try the Spray On Pantyhose! Every day I wondered, "Will it create a Spiderman type web around my leg? Will it be like sunless tanner?"
[I'm interrupting this post to tell you a famous story in our family about my sister and sunless tanner. Kelley once covered herself in sunless tanner prior to a date to Knottsberry Farm. She and her date got off the log ride and her date said, "Um, wow, that water was dirty because your clothes were splashed with brown water." When she told her date that it was actually her sunless tanner that had washed off onto her clothes, he thought she was supercool and admitted that he was wearing sunless tanner too. Ahhh, how sweet.]
Sunday arrived. I followed the directions on the bottle, sprayed the "pantyhose" onto my hand and rubbed it on my legs. I asked Erik what he thought, "You, uh, have something on your legs? I don't see it. I mean, I guess they aren't shiny."
So, uh, yeah. Very anticlimactic. Not that I wanted it to be noticeable, but it didn't really look any different. My review: This stuff is just like the equivalent of rubbing foundation all over your legs. If you get dark foundation, I suppose it will make your legs look darker, but it feels so silly putting on. Also, warning, this stuff is messy. I stained my white dress shirt. Avoid it.
Posted by Cristin at 5:04 PM
When we discussed planning the activity in our Presidency Meeting, the counselor in charge went down the list of activities:
Pulling hot dogs out of ice water with your toes.
Eating cake that looks like kitty litter.
Letting a rat run from one hand across to the other.
Tasting candy bars out of baby diapers.
Pulling beads out of a box full of live crickets.
Eating mystery food and a dog biscuit.
"WHAT?! A dog biscuit!?" I stopped her, "I don't think it's a good idea to be feeding dog biscuits to the kids. I mean, it sounds funny, but what if someone gets sick or a parent gets angry? This could be bad. Maybe we're taking this too far." She agreed and took the dog biscuit idea off the table. We decided to have the missionaries feed menudo to the kids instead.
To help run the activity, each leader was in charge of a "station." I chose the cricket station. This entailed timing each kid as they stuck their hand in a small see-through box loaded with live crickets. They had to pull out one bead at a time for one minute. Their team earned one point for each bead. In the first group, 2 out of the 6 kids wouldn't do it. I didn't blame them. The crickets were pretty intimidating. If one escaped, I just stepped on it rather than picking it up with my hands. I didn't want to touch those things.
Each group cycled through with pretty much the same attitude. Kids would stick their hand in the box and squeal as crickets hopped around them. There were always a couple of kids who were too freaked out by the idea to do it.
When the second to the last group came through, one of the kids asked me how many points he could get for eating a cricket. I said, "100 points, but now I'll have to offer this option to everyone." I then stood up in the middle of the cultural hall and announced the new opportunity -
"ATTENTION! I HAVE RECENTLY BEEN ASKED IF YOU CAN EAT A CRICKET FOR POINTS. YOU CAN."
Within minutes, everyone was shoving crickets in their mouths, left and right. They were eating them alive. They were swallowing them whole. They were putting them in the menudo and eating them. They were asking me if they could eat more than one. They were asking me if they could just eat them for fun. Kids were begging me to give them 200 points for eating an extra-large cricket. There were so many kids eating crickets at once that I had to say, "Find a witness. I can't watch all of you do it at the same time!"
And you ask, what was the prize? It must have been something amazing if they were willing to eat live crickets!
The prize was 100 Grand... the candy bar. They ate live crickets for a candybar.
The moral of the story (and I'm sure there is a sacrament meeting talk in this story somewhere):
1. Peer pressure is a powerful thing.
2. Kids will do stupid things.
3. Maybe the dog biscuit idea wasn't so outrageous after all.
Posted by Cristin at 12:15 AM
I love San Francisco. Love it, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. I am oozing with jealousy because my brother-in-law, Christian, and his family, get to live there for three years while he is in school. Life is so not fair sometimes. (We were only there for 3 days... this may seem like a lot of pictures, but this is nothing out of the 300+ we took this weekend.)
Christian posing in front of the dental school. In case you were wondering, Christian is going to be a dentist, which is like a jeweler, but for the mouth.
We did really touristy things like go to Fisherman's Wharf. My job was to keep Luke from jumping into the ocean. He just doesn't get it.
We rode the trolley car all the way to the end of the line and back. Charlie loved it more than Luke did. He held on the entire time, just laughing and squealing.
Then there was Sunday... is it bad that I am starting to find all of this kind of funny? The protesters began gathering outside the church during the 1st hour. They had a pretty good chant going, "What do we want? EQUAL RIGHTS! When do we want it? NOW!" Little did they know though, Christian's ward is full of incredibly noisy little children that blocked out most of the protesters' noise during Sacrament Meeting (the 3rd hour).
Something else I don't get is why dress like this? Luke looked out the church window, pointed, and said, "Costumes, Daddy! Costumes! Like Halloween!" There was a guy in a wedding dress and then a couple of folks in this face paint. I mean, if you're trying to gain sympathy for your cause, don't you want to appear as normal as possible?
The leader of the group appeared to be this fellow in the white robe. From what I could tell, it was very similar to a toga (open on both sides) and he had on nothing underneath. (Don't get too excited, ladies.) Kudos to Erik for getting this great shot of the guy doing leg stretches on the police barrier. It was bad enough and then when he started doing this, I thought, "Oh no he didn't... oh yes he did." Once again, please explain to me how dressing like this and flipping us off as we exit the church will help you gain sympathy and support for your cause?
One last picture... taken as we were leaving the city last night. Although we spent one hour in traffic trying to get onto the Bay Bridge, I forgive you San Francisco. I still love you. See you again soon.
Gros Bisous, Cristin
Posted by Cristin at 9:52 PM
We just arrived home from our weekend in San Francisco. I am so...very... tired.
I'll get around to posting more about our trip later, in the meantime, here's a peek at one of the many fun pictures from our excellent weekend.
Posted by Cristin at 12:17 AM
I woke up Saturday morning to find this -
That day I "complained" to my friends, "I was tee-pee'd last night!" One friend, a Utah native, said, "Wow, in California it means they like you. In Utah it means they hate your guts."
I thought to myself, "They like me, they really like me!"
As a teenager, I was never popular... never popular enough to be tee-pee'd, that is. That special privilege was reserved for the cool kids. I could tee-pee all I wanted, but no one ever "got me back." Pathetic, huh?
So, here I am, 30 YEARS OLD, and how do I respond to something like this? The rules of tee-peeing state that you must retaliate. However, how do I do this without coming across as immature and/or really mean?
Today I ran into one of the kids who allegedly did our house and said, "Thanks for all that toilet paper." He said, without admitting guilt, "You've been initiated."
Yay! Initiated into the cool kids club! Only 15 years too late!!
Posted by Cristin at 8:33 PM
I've been trying to be more creative with my parenting lately. You know, really be my kid's mom. Last week we made homemade playdough. Here's the recipe I used:
Colored Playdough (taken from The Preschooler's Busy Book)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
Saucepan 1 cup flour
Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir, then knead until smooth. Keep in mind that the cream of tartar makes this dough long-lasting - up to six months or longer. This dough should be stored in an airtight container or a Ziploc bad. Do not refrigerate.
Now, I didn't have any food coloring, but I figured that didn't matter in the long run. Here was my result:
The rest of the playdough looked like this. (I was tempted to post a picture of poo here, but I didn't want to alienate any more readers than I already have.) You get the picture.
The color and texture fooled Luke into thinking we were making sugar cookies until he tasted it. Now he has been turned off from ever eating raw dough again. YES!
So, if I were to make this again, here is how I would change the recipe:
1. Get in the car.
2. Drive to the store.
3. Buy a package of playdough for 8 dollars.
4. Go home.
Take my advice. The next time you are tempted to make your own playdough, it's not worth it.
Posted by Cristin at 1:22 PM
Camille asked if I was alive. Yeah, we're still here. We are headed up to San Francisco this weekend though for a quick visit. (Note to self: Remove Prop 8 bumper sticker from the car before we leave.)
Here's a picture I felt was worth posting:
Posted by Cristin at 1:08 PM
There is nothing that makes me feel like a worse wife than talking to some of the spouses of my husband's co-workers. Since Erik builds experimental aircraft, he is surrounded by pilots. It drives him crazy. He's constantly flying with his friends in their planes and there is rarely a day that he comes home from work without mentioning that he wants to get his pilot's license.
This is where I am a bad wife. Even though Erik has meticulously been setting money aside for the past 2 years to get his pilot's license, he still hasn't started it, probably because of me. I keep making excuses, but the real reason is that I am afraid he is going to die in a small plane accident. There I said it. I am the official No Fun Wife.
Last year I was talking to the wife of one of the test pilot's at Erik's work. This man had been testing experimental aircraft for over 20 years. He had done crazy things like strapping a harness onto an unmanned aircraft and riding on top of it as it flew. He was also the first to test fly the company's experimental aircraft into space. When I asked his wife if she was scared for him to do these things she said, "I never tell him no, because then he will miss out on an experience."
Boom, straight to my gut! I am a bad wife.
So, when Erik called me a few weeks ago to tell me he would be home late because he was going for a ride in his friend's Extra 300, I didn't even flinch. Then he came home and I saw this short video of him screaming like a little girl -
[The best part is that the law requires anyone riding in an aerobatic airplane to wear a parachute, so Erik had one on. When I asked him if he knew how to use it, he said, "Nope." This didn't scare him one bit.]
Now Erik not only wants to get his pilots license, but he also wants to become an aerobatic test pilot. Is it bad that I want to tell him no? No amount of life insurance makes me feel good about this idea. No amount.
Posted by Cristin at 6:14 PM
Anyway, note to the missionaries: Avoid street contacting on the 3rd Street Promenade, anywhere within the West Hollywood City Limits, and obviously, San Francisco, for awhile. We'll let you know when, if ever, it's safe to go back.
Posted by Cristin at 8:33 AM
So, this is it. Tonight we will learn the fate of our precious Proposition 8.
Last night, while standing on the corner in freezing cold weather, holding a Yes sign, I was approached by an angry woman. I can't get her face out of my mind.
Her first words to me were "Why do you hate?!" She told me that her daughter had just married her girlfriend and if Prop 8 passes, their marriage will be invalid. She demanded to know why I cared so much about this. She said that her daughter's marriage does not affect me. No matter what I said, she looked at me with these eyes... you know the look... you see it every time a celebrity talks about how wonderful gay marriage is or when the news media mocks people who are opposed to same sex marriage. Her condescending tone insinuated that I was an ignorant, uneducated, God fearing, hateful, bigot.
It occurred to me while talking to this lady that no matter what issues lie on the surface of the debate over Proposition 8, i.e., children being educated about gay marriage in schools, inevitable discrimination lawsuits against churches and other organizations, what it really comes down to is do you believe that someone chooses to live a gay lifestyle or are they born that way? Of course, this is the touchiest of all subjects and one of the most offensive things you can say to someone who has chosen to be gay is that they have chosen to be gay.
A few months after I graduated from high school, one of my best friends sent me a letter telling me that she was a lesbian. She told me she had always been this way and I shouldn't pretend that I didn't know it. (Honestly, I was genuinely surprised when I read her letter.) That same month, I read this article about same gender attraction by Dallin H. Oaks. If you are ever wondering what the LDS Church's official stance on homosexuals in the church is, read this enlightening article.
The short story is that my friend misinterpreted my religious beliefs as hate and hasn't spoken to me since then. Despite numerous efforts to contact her, she wanted nothing to do with me because I belonged to, in her words, "a patriarchal and hateful church" that looked down on her chosen lifestyle.
That type of attitude has been what has bothered me most about this entire Proposition 8 campaign - the accusations of hatred and bigotry, the idea that it is wrong to believe the way I do and that I am being criticized for my religious beliefs. I do not believe in hate or discrimination. Love and tolerance do not dictate that I must accept as "normal," behavior that I find perverse and offensive.
I was asked by a different No on 8 supporter last night what I'm going to do on Wednesday if Prop 8 fails. I said, "I guess I'll just have to add it to that list of things I'll have to teach my kids the world believes that we don't." I have a feeling that even if it does pass, I'll still have to do that anyway.
Posted by Cristin at 1:52 PM
This was the first year that I had gone trick or treating since I was a kid. I had completely forgotten how scary people decorate their homes. Poor Luke. At every house he'd say things like, "Oh, that's a scary guy! I don't like it!" We only did one street and it took him almost the entire time to figure out what was going on. At one of the last houses he saw a bowl of candy and started screaming, "I want candy! I want candy!" He also kept on trying to walk into these people's homes. At one house he even made it down the stranger's hall. No matter how many times we practiced, I don't think he understood that we were just knocking on doors and not going in. Then again, he is only two years old. It was fun to see him get excited once he started figuring it out.
Posted by Cristin at 12:14 AM
I keep hearing people say how they can't wait for the election to be over. Not me. I am nervous for the results.
Although I am not completely satisfied with either presidential candidate, I've had to pick 3 or 4 things that matter most to me and find the candidate that agrees with my stance on those issues. These issues (for me) include gay marriage and late term abortions. We already know Obama's position on abortion, but today I saw this video that was released this weekend of Obama's interview with MTV about Proposition 8. (In case you were wondering, he does not support Proposition 8.)
Good thing Obama can't vote in California!
Posted by Cristin at 8:20 AM