Thursday, December 23, 2010

Awwww...

Little Levi is 2 months old! He's also in the 100th percentile for height, weight and headsize. He's an overachiever. :-)
We had some pictures taken the other weekend and oh my goodness, so ridiculously cute! If you are in the market for some fabulous pictures and a super fun time, check out A-M Photography. We had a great time and Angie did such a fantastic job. Here are a few of my favorites:








Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby Fat (and not the cute kind)...

3 weekends ago, I found myself headed to the mall, in search of new clothes. While I am close to my pre-pregnancy weight (notice I didn't say my "ideal" weight, merely my pre-this-must-be-what-a-baby-whale weighs, weight), pregnancy has left me lumpy in odd places and none of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit right. As anyone who knows me at all knows, I hate, with a burning passion, shopping for clothes. You can imagine, then, that the lumpiness combined with the prospect of facing a task I hate had left me in a less than stellar mood. Throw in some killer post-pregnancy hormones and this was a disaster waiting happen. I should have known better.

Before undertaking this task,  I drove through a fast food place near the mall and bought myself a Diet Coke. I also threw caution to the wind and bought a cinnamon roll. I'm already lumpy, right? What's a cinnamon roll going to do? I pulled into a nearby parking lot to eat said cinnamon roll. I should have paid more attention to where I'd stopped to eat my fast-food breakfast...I looked up to see myself sitting 10 feet from the entrance to a "Curves" fitness center. Adding insult to injury, this particular "Curves" was getting a jump start on the New Year Resolution fitness buffs and had a sign across the front declaring, "Re-discover the "real" you in 30 minutes!" I thought,"HA! It'll take a whole lot more than 30 minutes to 're-discover' anything remotely resembling the 'real' me!" At which point I cried. Kind of a lot. HORMONAL, remember?! All this just added to my already black mood. Looking back on this, I think the universe was trying to tell me something at that moment. And that "something" was, 1. What on earth were you thinking, eating that disgusting cinnamon roll in the first place? and 2. Clothes shopping right now, a mere 4 weeks after having a baby and  in the mood you are in, is a very, very bad plan.

I ignored the universe.

I attempted to find clothes. After multiple failed attempts which culminated in trying on a skirt that was 4 sizes larger than I usually wear (yes, 4.) only to find that it still didn't fit right (way too big in some places, while way too clingy in others. LUMPY, I TELL YOU!) I gave in and cried. Yes. That's right. I cried. Again. In the dressing room. At the mall. What? Did you think this was going to be some inspirational, "I came to terms with the fact that I am fat and lumpy and can't find clothes that fit and now I love myself just as I am!" kind of post?! Not a chance. I'm fat and lumpy and it's irritating and I hate it and I don't really 'do' inspirational.

Which brings me to my point. After spending the weekend and the better part of the next week in quite the bad mood, I determined to do something about the residual lumpiness.  It took 2 weeks to get Isaac on board with my brilliant plan, but now: MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!




It is being delivered on Monday. There will be no more crying in parking lots. Or dressing rooms.

The end.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finally!

Well. After a year (yes, you read that correctly A YEAR) of endless paperwork, dozens upon dozens of trips to the recruiting office, multiple physicals, a wide variety of tests and one flight to Phoenix for an interview, we finally received word this week that Isaac has officially been selected for Army flight training!

HOORAY!

The Warrant Officer Flight Training program is extremely competitive and we are so blessed that Isaac was chosen to enter the program. We are so excited to finally be moving forward and to have the very difficult and stressful application process behind us. Even though this means Isaac will be away for several months early next year to begin his training, I couldn't be more thrilled for him.

Happy dance!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

3 Weeks!

Our
little Levi is three weeks old today! It's amazing how much he's grown and changed in just that short time. We are so very blessed to have him in our family. And now, pictures!

His first bath. He was not a fan.Good thing my mom was there to help speed things up!

With my mom, the day after he was born.
With my dad. So cute!
Tummy time is exhausting!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Breastfeeding and I are NOT friends

Remember how I had the easiest pregnancy in the history of pregnancy? Remember how I never got sick, didn't have any tragic pregnancy symptoms and then had the fastest labor ever? I think the universe has decided that I had it too easy and is now playing "catch up" on the unpleasantness. What is the problem you ask? Well, I shall tell you. It's nursing. It is not my favorite thing. Not even a little bit. I realize that this probably qualifies me for the "bad mom" club (does such a thing exist? Perhaps I should start one...) but it's true. I think I would rather go through labor on a daily basis than deal with all the unpleasantness that has come with nursing. I dislike feeling bruised and sore all the time. I dislike feeling nauseated whilst nursing or pumping.  I dislike pumping during the day because I am working. I dislike supplementing with formula despite nursing and pumping 24/7 because my little Levi eats like a 250lb linebacker. I strongly dislike the mastitis that has developed and for which I am now taking large quantities of antibiotics. The list goes on and on ...all in all, nursing has not been a great experience for us.   In other news, I am eternally grateful for Isaac, who was up all night with Levi so I could sleep and start to recover a bit from the fever/chills/nausea and excruciating pain of the last couple of days (see above...mastitis and all that).

And that concludes my complaining for today. Carry on.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Levi's Arrival: A brief history

Since quite a few people have asked for details about Levi's birth, here are the essentials:

At around 10:30pm on Oct. 20th I noticed that the cramps I'd been having off and on for several days had become much more frequent and regular. I wasn't convinced that I was 'in labor' but thought that these cramps might be an early indication that  real 'labor' might start soon. I went to bed only to discover that laying down was most definitely a bad plan; that made the contractions (which I still thought might just be "cramps")almost unbearable. Even though I wasn't sure if these were even real contractions, I figured I'd better time a few just to see if there was a pattern; sure enough, they were coming about 2-3 minutes apart! They weren't lasting very long and were more uncomfortable than they were painful (as long as I wasn't laying down) so I thought we probably still had a ways to go before "active" labor. Still, a little after 11pm, I told Isaac I thought I was in labor and asked him to go to Walmart to get a yoga ball. I'm pretty sure he didn't believe that I was actually in labor, but went to get the ball and got it all set up for me (incidentally, I'm not usually this unprepared, but I really didn't think I'd go into labor for several more days and had a plan to buy the ball "soon"...the best laid plans and all that). I labored through the contractions for another couple of hours, watching TV and sitting on the yoga ball until they were consistently 1 minute long and 2 minutes apart. At that point, I asked Isaac to call the midwife so we could meet her at the birth center. He did and we set off to the birth center. Even as we were leaving, I wasn't convinced this was "it"; I told Isaac that I would be extremely unhappy if this was a false alarm and they sent us home again. He laughed; I'm pretty sure he still wasn't convinced I was really in labor (who can blame him? I  wasn't convinved I was really in labor) but off we went. We arrived at about 2:30am and got settled in with the student midwives; I found that as long as I sat on my little yoga ball and held Isaac's hands, I could relax and manage the contractions without too much trouble; they were uncomfortable, but not at all painful in the way I was expecting.  Laying down or sitting on anything else was extremely unpleasant, so I stayed as much as I could with my little ball. Jeanetta, the midwife, arrived shortly after 3am, checked and announced that I was about 6cm dilated. Horray! This was "real" labor and we were going to have a baby soon. I moved to the birth tub and labored in the water through another 45 minutes or so of increasingly intense contractions. At about 3:45 I felt a ton of pressure to push and told Jeanetta; she checked again and told me I was ready to go; if I felt the urge to push I should go ahead. I did (holding onto Isaac's hands the whole time; his poor fingers) and after about 30 minutes of pushing, little Levi was born!

Things really did go that fast! From the time I was aware that I was having regular contractions to the time Levi was born was only about 6 hours. The labor and delivery went exactly as I hoped they would; Isaac was the best support I could have ever asked for, the birth center staff was amazing and little Levi is perfect. We are very blessed.

And now, a picture, just because I can:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hello World!

My name is Levi!


P.S. My hat is skewampus because it is too big...don't judge me. :-)


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Arizona Is Trying to Kill Me: Part 5

Which is why it is a darn good thing we are moving. Tomorrow. HOORAY! But, I digress. In the past 2 years I have nearly died more times than I can count. I record the most harrowing experiences here, but trust me: there have been many, many more. And, I think AZ knows I am escaping soon because today this place tried  to off me YET AGAIN. I'm lucky to be alive. Truly.

I was driving down the freeway, on my way to my last appointment with my AZ midwife, and nearly became the innards of a red-car sandwich. I was driving along in the middle lane, when a red Focus on my left and a red Toyota on my right both decided that they absolutely, positively, needed to get over right that second into the middle lane. Why? I do not know. Bigger problem: I WAS ALREADY IN THE MIDDLE LANE and BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM. I yelled, I honked and hit the brakes. This put me (mostly) out of their path, but then they nearly collided with each other as they each continued to merge. Did they think I was honking for FUN? Perhaps they thought it was it just a friendly "Good Morning" honk?  Luckily, the driver of the red Toyota sped up and narrowly missed clipping the red Focus and we were all spared a 3 car pile up in the middle of the freeway but OH MY GOODNESS.  My blood pressure was sky high when I got to the office...good thing I had to wait a while before my appointment so it could come down before my midwife saw how high it was and had a heart attack of her own.

SEE?! AZ is trying to kill me! Only about 36 hours left and then I'm safely out of this death trap...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dear Easy-Off Oven Cleaner-

I think you and I need to discuss the generally accepted definitions of the terms "Easy" and "Off". It would seem that you, dear Oven Cleaner, did not get the message that "easy" is generally used to mean "without significant effort" and "off" means, well, OFF. Combining these terms in the context of oven cleaning (which you purport to do) means that I will be able to get oven grime off the oven without significant effort. In this light, you, Easy-Off Oven Cleaner, are a complete failure. Perhaps a more accurate name for you would be "Plan on At Least an Hour of Concerted Scrubbing to Effectively Get ANYTHING-OFF Oven Cleaner". You have only ONE job. ONE. And you fail at it utterly and completely.

I hate you. Almost as much as I hate cleaning the oven and the Braxton-Hicks contractions that cleaning the oven caused. I'm going to lie down now.

You stink. Literally. (Notice I did not mention the issues I have with your advertising yourself as "fume free" and lemon-fresh". That's a topic for another day.)

With loathing (and pruny hands and a contracting tummy),

Erin

Monday, July 26, 2010

If you want something done right...

just do it yourself.

This is an important life lesson. I was painfully reminded of this again today. And now, I have twin bruises on my arms as proof that trusting someone else to do a job for you is a bad.plan.

You see, today I had to have blood drawn (one of the many fabulous perks of being pregnant). Having blood drawn is, for me, a smallish problem. My little arm veins do not like being stabbed. They collapse rather quickly after being stabbed, which inevitably results in me being stabbed multiple times. I try to explain this fact to the little blood-draw-y people, but they usually don't listen to me.

I explained to "Brandon the Blood Guy" that attempting to draw 3 vials of blood from my right arm would be a mistake. I explained that it would not work and I would end up being stabbed multiple times and that this was a sure-fire way to make me Cranky and would he please just listen to me and use my left arm to start with? He tried to argue...

"The veins in your right arm are more prominent" he said.
"That's all part of their evil plot" I said, "I promise it won't work."
"Well, I suppose we can try your left arm" Brandon Blood-Guy replied
"Super" I said.

And we did. And he drew 2 vials of blood. And he stopped. He de-needled me. My arm immediately developed a large blood red bump (does this everytime...I tried to warn him...) I wondered what on earth he was doing since I can read and the order specifically said 3 vials. He paused. He read the order again. He said. "I'll be right back." He returned. Sheepish. "We need to do that again" he said.

"I know." I replied with a deep sigh. "I suppose it won't work to poke the same place again?"

He looks, he sees the large red/purple bump bruisy thing that has already developed on my arm. "No, that won't work..." He begins to inspect both arms, front and back, wrists, hands etc...looking for a suitable place to stab. He finally settles on one. In my right arm. "It probably won't work" I say.

"Well, let's give it a try" Brandon the Blood Guy says. And he stabs me. And it worked. For about 2 seconds. Then it collapsed. As I said it would. And he said "That will have to be enough; I'm not poking you again."

I was grateful. And bruised. And also annoyed. For one, brief, shining moment, it seemed that I would get of out the lab with only 1 stab wound and 1 large bruise. Alas, it was not to be. And now I am looking into Blood Drawing Person School because really, this cannot possibly be a difficult job and, clearly, the people currently doing this job are incompetent. So, from now on, I'm just doing it myself.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Insomnia...

Well, it is now after midnight and I am not asleep. This is an astonishing fact because I am most decidedly not a night person. I really could (and usually do) go to bed before 10:00 every single day. However, today, I broke my cardinal rule of sleeping: Thou Shalt Only Sleep at Night. You see, I have a very...tempermental sleep schedule and, as I explained to Morgan last week, only get "one shot" at sleeping in any given day. If I nap that's my one chance and I'll be up all night. Despite being quite aware of this fact, I broke my rule and laid down today after work. I had a splitting headache and thought if I could just lay down for a little while I'd feel better. Tragically, a "little while" turned into 2 hours and now I am awake. Typing away. At 12:15 AM. I'm sure you are thrilled with my insomnia; you get to read rather detailed descriptions of my circadian rhythms and really, who doesn't want to read that?  I'm doing you a favor here. Be grateful. :-)
I suppose in some ways, my inability to sleep tonight is a good thing. I managed to baste an entire quilt, so now it is ready to finish tomorrow (I'd start the quilting tonight, but I worry that the noise of the sewing machine would wake Isaac; we live in a shoebox and sound carries unbelievably well....). After I finish these musings, I'll move on to grading some work for my adjunct teaching classes and just be oh-so-productive. Who knows? Maybe I'll adopt an entirely nocturnal schedule from now on. I'll be like a vampire; work all night, sleep all day. I hear vampires are very popular these days...
Speaking of vampires: whilst at the airport last week, waiting to fly home from Salt Lake, I saw a young man wearing a shirt that said, "And then Buffy staked Edward. The end". I laughed right out loud and many people turned to look at me. At which point I also started looking around, as if trying to find the source of the laughter. I don't think I fooled anyone, but it made me feel better.
Hmm...turns out I don't really have much to say at 12:25 in the morning. I suppose I'll let you get back to whatever you were doing (which I am sure was much more productive than reading this post) and I'll move on to that grading. Heaven knows it won't grade itself.
Happy Wednesday!

Friday, July 9, 2010

In Which I Brag (Just a Little)

A few years ago, Isaac and I decided that we were going to work really hard to
1. Get out of debt (including student loans) and
2. Stay out of debt.

We paid off our car and credit card balances and, for the last couple of years, we've been able to live completely without consumer debt, which (for us)  is a pretty big accomplishment (that's not the bragging part). We've just gotten in the habit of saving up for the things we want/need and it's a great system. We're still working on the student loan situation, but that's going to take more than just a couple years and, in the meantime, we needed to make sure we were on track to accomplish #2 (Stay out of debt). Staying debt-free meant having a fully funded emergency fund and let me tell you, saving 4-6 months of living expenses is hard.  It seems like every time we'd get close to getting it "fully funded" something would come up and the little emergency fund would take a hit. Still, we always kept trying and...

WE'VE FINALLY DONE IT!

Yes, folks, that is correct, we have a real-life, honest-to-goodness emergency fund that will enable us to live, even without any income, for 4-6 months!  Picture me doing the happy dance...Dance, Erin, Dance!

If we can do it, you can too! And, imagine how fun it will be to do your very own Happy Dance!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Embracing Nerd-dom

I am a nerd and I can admit it:

I really, really want to go to the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter in Orlando.

Almost as much as I want to go to Ireland.

Let the judging begin.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Highly Entertaining Conversation:

Student: I'm just so frustrated! I feel like there is so much I have to know for this test!
Erin: Yes, final exams for history courses can be intimidating
Student (with extreme indignation): And, it's not even multiple choice! It's essays! Which means I have to actually have all this stuff in my head! I have to actually know it! I can't just fake my way through. At least on multiple choice, I can guess!
Erin: Ermmm...yes, well, that is sort of the point of a, you know, final exam and all that...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's Your Guess?

So, the husband and I have decided that we will, indeed, be learning the gender of  The Blob. Well, I should say that I have decided. I think he's always assumed we would find out and I have been the one on the fence. But, I have decided to end my time as a fence sitter and embrace the fact that it is simply easier to plan for The Blob's arrival if we know what kind of Blob The Blob will be. So, we are going to find out. The established date of discovery is next Thursday (May 27th).

In light of this thrilling (sort of thrilling? ho hum?) event, I am now taking guesses. That's right, I am celebrating the upcoming arrival of Blob (or Blobette) Montague by wagering on his/her gender.

To play my little game: post a comment with your guess! If you're right you will win the satisfaction of knowing that you guessed correctly in a game of chance in which your odds of being correct were 50/50! And, if pregnancy brain doesn't get the better of me, I might send you something. Who knows? It will be a terrific surprise!

Don't be shy; comment away!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dear Nature's Own Bread Company,

PR advice: when a customer informs you that she has found a fly baked into a loaf of your bread, it would be wise to offer compensation other than a $.55 cent coupon for another loaf of your bread. Seriously. Otherwise, said disgruntled customer is going to blog about your pathetic attempt to make things "right" and tell everyone she has ever known not to purchase your product.

You stink,
Erin

P.S. Telling me that "In 13 years we've never had a bug in our product!" does not reassure me.

P.P.S. The man who came to "collect the evidence" was very gracious. You should put him in charge of PR, because whoever's doing covering PR now is really, really incompetent.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Win Free Stuff!

Hey All-
We're hosting a great giveaway on The Diet Coke Diet blog! Click here to learn more about it and to enter!

Monday, May 10, 2010

And so, I starve...

Yesterday, I made a rather large pan of cheesy chicken and noodles (which is also supposed to have broccoli in it, but because I really despise cooked broccoli, I never actually put the broccoli in) for our dinner (that we ate at 7:45 because church goes until 6pm, which means we don't get home until 6:30 or later...I hate our church time). We ate. It was lovely. I was thinking how happy I would be today because of all the lovely cheesy chicken and noodles left-overs that I would have for lunch...mmmmm left-overs.

Tragically, there will be no left-overs.

Why, you ask? Because I forgot to put the left-overs in the fridge. Instead, said left-overs sat on the stove all night long and became a congealed blob of disgusting-ness. Tragic, I tell you. And, to make matters worse, all night I kept feeling like I was forgetting something (which, clearly, I was) but could not figure out what that "something" might be. Until this morning. When I made breakfast. And saw the congealed blob of disgusting-ness sitting on the stove. And cried just a little.

I died a little as I scraped it out of the pan and into the trash.Good-bye, lunch! So, now, I starve. Well, at least until I gather the strength to go make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My life is truly so, so hard.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Me?

Am I the only one who, when entering a password online, has to completely delete it and start all over if I make a mistake or even suspect I made a mistake?

Anyone else?

Just me?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pregnancy Is Weird

So. I eat all the time. Seriously. I can't eat very much at one time, so I compensate by grazing like a cow. It's a good system. And, apparently, this new way to eat agrees with me because I've lost 10 lbs. Yup. 10 lbs.And, trust me, I am not complaining.  I have been told by multiple people, including my midwife, that this not something to worry about. That's not the weird part.

The weird part is to watch oneself lose weight whilst simulataneously buying larger clothing.  Pregnancy is weird.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Adding Insult to Injury...

In addition to sneezing more times than I can count (11 times in a row yesterday. I think that is a new record). I now have hives all over my face, neck and chest. Super.

Any suggestions for allergy medication a pregnant person can take without creating a cyclops baby?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time Management Tips at The Diet Coke Diet!

Want to get some ideas for how to manage your (and your family's) busy lives? I've posted some time management tips over on the Diet Coke Diet!
Go take a look and, feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

http://www.thedietcokediet.com/2010/04/staying-organized-time-management.html

Friday, April 9, 2010

Arizona is Trying to Kill Me: Part 4

It is now 7:33am.

I have sneezed 172 times since I woke up at 6:12 am.

That is approximately 2 sneezes per minute.

That's one sneeze every 30 seconds.

I don't even have time to recover from the first before the next comes.

I think I am doing permanent damage.

Brain damage.

I am allergic to this state.

Yes, the whole state.

No, I am not being melodramatic.

In the time it has taken me to write this post I have sneezed 9 times.

That ups my average to 4.1 sneezes per minute.

It's getting worse.

Heaven help me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dear Person at Work-

You know what would be super? If, when you arbitrarily decide to change a deadline, you actually told me. You see, I am not a mind reader and so I was unable to use my magical powers to discern that you had decided to move the deadline up by a week. I know you probably think that this is just an excuse, I mean, if I was a good employee, if I really cared about this project then I would just know what the expectation was? Right? Rubbish. How hard is it to send an email? HOW HARD?!


With annoyance,
Erin

P.S. You're not going to get the project today. Not tomorrow, either. Maybe next week. We'll see.

P.P.S. I am a little sorry about the tone I used over the phone to remind you that you had failed to share any of this, rather important, information with me. After all, it isn't your fault you are an idiot. I should have more compassion. I'm working on it. Right after I finish this project.

P.P.P.S. Because of you, I am now listening to Jon Schmidt on continuous repeat in a futile attempt to calm the heck down. I loathe you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dear Sister Snow,

I know it's been, like, 100 years since you walked on this earth, but can we be friends anyway? I've always wanted to see a ghost angel. And, this is probably the best quote I've heard in years and years. You rock. Even though you are, ahem, dead.


"We want to be ladies in very deed, not according to the term of the word as the world judges, but fit companions of the Gods and holy ones. In an organized capacity, we can assist each other in not only doing good but in refining ourselves, and whether few or many come forward and help prosecute this great work, they will be those that will fill honorable positions in the kingdom of God.
Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated, but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters? We know that the Lord has laid high responsibility on us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has planted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized, and the greatest good we can do to ourselves and each other is to refine and cultivate ourselves in everything that is good and ennobling and qualifying for those responsibilities."

I'm pretty sure that if I embroidered (maybe you could teach me?) I'd be embroidering  this on a pillow. Or a blanket, cuz it's kind of long.

Your friend,

Erin

P.S. Sister Beck, you're pretty cool too. Loved your talk. Loved it. And you have  the distinct advantage of being alive, so maybe we could be friends? Think about it and let me know!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dear Little Phelbotomist Girl,

When I said "It won't work to use the vein in my right arm," I was not just being difficult. Laughing and saying "Oh, it'll be fine!" is not going to make it actually be fine. Many, many people (much more experienced than you, judging by the fact that you looked to be approximately 10 years old) have attempted to draw blood from my right arm and have failed miserably. I was sharing this information so I could avoid being stuck multiple times in both arms, as usually happens because people insist on trying my right arm first. Thus, when you poked my right arm anyway and the vein collapsed it took every ounce of my self restraint not to say "I told you so."  I tried hard to disguise my frustration and annoyance, but seriously. I warned you. Twice. And now my arms are bruised and sore and it is all your fault. So, thanks for that. Next time, listen to me.

Sincerely,
Erin

Monday, March 22, 2010

I blame the Blob...

Today I went grocery shopping, as I do just about every Monday. Whilst grocery shopping I was overcome with the desire to eat macaroni and cheese. Not good macaroni and cheese, either. I wanted fake, from a box, made with radioactive orange cheese "sauce" powder macaroni and cheese.
This was, at first, rather distressing to me as I have never actually purchased or voluntarily eaten fake, from a box, radioactive orange cheese "sauce" powder macaroni and cheese. Nevertheless, it was all I could think about. Seriously, I was suddenly starving and all I wanted in the whole wide world was fake, from a box, radioactive orange cheese "sauce" powder macaroni and cheese. I gave in. It took 10 minutes to find the fake, from a box, radioactive, orange cheese "sauce" powder macaroni and cheese (did you know that it is not in the pasta aisle? Neither did I. It is in the same aisle as canned vegetables. I do not know why.). When I finally found fake, from a box, radioactive orange cheese "sauce" powder macaroni and cheese I was overcome with indecision. Turns out, there are approximately 10 million different kinds of fake, from a box, radioactive orange cheese "sauce" powder macaroni and cheese. I was positively paralyzed with indecision. Do I buy the 'original' version? The generic version? The organic version? The "whole grain" version? White Chedder? Spiral noodles? WHAT TO DO!??? Finally, I did the only logical thing. I bought 5 different kinds. Trust me, this made perfect sense at the time. Why wouldn't I buy 5 boxes of the macaroni and cheese?  Once I returned home, I "cooked" the "original" flavor. The 7 minutes it took for the noodles to boil were the longest 7 minutes in my life. And, may I say, it was the best lunch I've had in quite some time. I had the leftovers for dinner. And now, I am pretty sure I never want to eat fake, from a box, radioactive orange cheese "sauce" powder macaroni and cheese ever again. Do you think the grocery store will take the rest of the boxes back if I explain that the Blob made me do it?


P.S. I mean "Blob" with all the affection an expectant mother can muster. Really, I do. Don't call DCFS.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

It's been a long time. Hmmm...it just occurred to me that it's almost always "been a long time" when I finally get around to updating this little blog. It'd probably be okay if I stopped announcing that fact like it was somehow an astonishing revelation. Anyway, moving on.
I've realized several things lately and I, for reasons unknown, feel compelled to share. So now, I subject you to:
Random Goings On at the Montague's

1. I realized the other day that, more than just being annoying, clutter makes me crazy. I literally cannot concentrate or think about anything else if things are clutter-y and messy. This is a problem because we live in a tiny apartment and we, despite my frenzied New Year's purging, have too much stuff. I really, really don't like it when stuff doesn't have a 'home'. I should learn how to weave baskets because I buy them with astonishing regularity. I like to put stuff away. Everything must have a home. This need to put stuff away borders on a compulsion.

3. Isaac is doing a triathlon later this month. He rocks. I am not doing a triathlon because I currently resemble a small-ish whale. Maybe next year.

2. I am the luckiest pregnant person on earth. Seriously.  As soon as someone hears I am pregnant and still early in my pregnancy, each and every person I talk to feels compelled to tell me all the horror stories they have ever heard or experienced. I have heard about women throwing up 10 times a day. I have heard about women having to be hooked up to IV fluids for the better part of the first trimester. I have heard about debilitating exhaustion, endless migraines, constant feelings of starvation, endless blood tests, skyrocketing blood pressure...the list goes on and on and on. I have had none of these. I have not felt sick. Other than 1 incredibly unpleasant headache several weeks ago, I have had absolutely zero pregnancy symptoms.  Of course, now that I have said all that, I am going to start throwing up 10 times a day and be unable to get out of bed in the morning, but until that happens, I'm going to continue to consider myself the luckiest pregnant person ever. This is even the opinion of my midwife, who upon hearing that I haven't been sick or otherwise unpleasantly affected, pronounced "You're just lucky!". Yup, I am.

3. I have now started, but not finished, 3 different quilts. I'm sure I'll finish them eventually. I like having more than one project going on at once. No good reason why.

4. My little brother leaves for Brazil and his mission this Wednesday. He's very excited and we are all very proud of him for deciding to go. He'll be great!

5. I haven't purchased bread from a store in almost 3 months. I've been making our bread and it is great. I much prefer homemade bread to every single store bought brand I have ever tried. Since I work from home, I can start it in the morning and let it do it's rising thing during the day and finish it up before dinner. It's a great system. I highly recommend it.

6. Isaac and I really want to take a vacation before the baby comes, but thanks to the IRS and the US Tax Code, most of our vacation money has been otherwise spoken for. So, we need ideas for a cheap vacation. Preferably somewhere warm. Or, if someone would like to gift us with a vacation to Europe, we'd take that too. Consider it an early birthday present for the baby. No takers? Didn't think so. Suggestions would be appreciated.

8. I am now a regular contributer to The Diet Coke Diet blog, started by none other than my industrious little sister Morgan. It is a repository of all things quick, inexpensive and useful. Come visit us! You can read my inaugural posts! They'll teach you how to make a baby quilt (you know you want to!). I'll be posting on Wednesdays and Thursdays for the foreseeable future.

7. Why do all books of names call themselves some variation of "Baby name book"? You're not really naming a baby, you're naming a person. A baby is only a baby for like 1/100th of his/her life. Thinking you are naming a baby is how people end up with names like "Cookie"-maybe cute for a 3 month old. Not so cute for a 30 year old. Why not call them 'Name books' or "Names for future adults"? I'm writing a name book and calling it "Erin's Giant Book of Names for People" Cookie will not appear in this book.


That is all.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hey! I'm Over Here Today! Come Sew With Me!

Click on over to the Diet Coke Diet Blog to learn how to make a baby quilt! You know you want to! I'm a great teacher. ;-)

Flannel Baby Quilt  (Click me! Be crafty! Be creative! You can do it!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Still Alive...

Hello World! How have you been? In case you were wondering, we are indeed still alive and well. Busy, as usual, but alive and well.
That is all.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear JoAnne Fabric and Crafts:

****Disclaimer: The following memo may be 1)completely boring and 2)completely incomprehensible to anyone who doesn't sew regularly. I apologize in advance. Feel free to return to your regularly scheduled activities.****

I am so over you. Seriously. I have often questioned the legitimacy of your "sales" and the quality of your products, but this was the last straw. I would like to know how it is possible that, out of 30 (yes, 30)quarter flats purchased from your store, exactly 10 are use-able? Really, I'd like to hear an explanation, because this is ridiculous. I would think that a store that purports to be a "fabric" retailer would understand that it should not use permanent adhesive to hold said quarter flats together. And yet, I just spent an inordinate amount of time trying to peel, scrape, rub and wash the adhesive off the fabric. While doing so, I discovered that the fabric itself was of such low quality that even the gentlest rubbing and washing left holes. Really? I mean, I didn't expect the highest quality fabric to begin with, but this is beyond absurd.
I recently resolved to frequent my LQS and knitting boutique more regularly because, even though their prices are slightly more expensive, I want to support local businesses. This incident only furthers my resolve. Now, I am also confident that the quality of the products far exceeds yours and that I will actually be able to use the items I purchased.
In short, I cannot imagine a reason for me to return to your store. Goodbye forever.
With extreme annoyance,
Erin

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dear Student,

Since you are clearly not very bright, allow me to offer some advice:
When you purchase a paper off the internet and turn it in as if you wrote it yourself, do not attempt to make it look like you wrote the paper by including a "reference page". I will check the reference(s) you list. When I discover that the reference listed therein is, in actuality, the site from which you purchased the paper, I will think you are the stupidest person on earth. And then, I will laugh at you. And show my husband what you did. And he will laugh at you. Then, I will blog about you and everyone I have ever known will laugh at you. Because that's the kind of teacher I am.

Sincerely,
Erin

Friday, January 15, 2010

Arizona is Trying to Kill Me: Part 3

Today, as I was driving home from the grocery store I saw two very large black birds sitting atop the power poles that line our apartment complex parking lot. I didn't think too much of this at first because there are quite a few large water birds that perch up there from time to time (taking a break from the pond below, I always assume) but as I looked more closely I realized these birds were not, in fact, large cranes. They were VULTURES. Giant, bald, red-headed vultures. Just sitting up there. Looking at me while I unloaded my groceries.

Not only is Arizona trying to kill me, but the vultures are already lying (well, sitting) in wait, ready to pounce...it's more than a little disturbing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear Hanna Rosin,

Today, I was clicking through a variety of articles and came across your "discussion" of the HBO television show "Big Love" on the XX Factor blog. Having never seen the show, I was interested to read an explanation of what, exactly, some people find so appealing about it. Unfortunately, I did not get very far into your piece before I was so monumentally annoyed that I couldn't continue reading. Since I couldn't find a way to contact you directly, I thought I'd share my complaint with you in this forum.

It seems you are treating Big Love as a documentary. Watching Big Love in an attempt to understand the FDLS culture or, worse, Latter-day Saint (Mormon) culture is just absurd. The television program is FICTIONAL. The characters and story lines of this show reflect the imaginations of the writing team and nothing more.

You repeatedly refer to members of the FLDS sect and the characters on "Big Love" as "Mormons." You even state that Warren Jeffs is a "Mormon prophet." You repeatedly compare the experiences of the characters on the show to what you perceive to be the experiences of actual Mormons. Apparently, you must not know many, or any, actual Mormons because you even went so far as to compare the male lead of the program to Mitt Romney. While I understand you are writing a blog and not a "serious" news article, it would seem to me that you would want to ensure your facts are accurate before posting to a forum that hundreds, even thousands, of people read. Since you didn't validate your information before publishing your article, allow me to offer several corrections that you may consider publishing now:

1.Members of the FLDS faith are not Mormons.
2. Warren Jeffs is not a Mormon prophet. Nor has he ever been. Nor will he ever be. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet and leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2.Mormons do not practice polygamy.
3.Mormons have not practiced polygamy for over 100 years. In fact, any member of the LDS Church (Mormon) who is found to be practicing polygamy is excommunicated.


If you would like to know more about what Latter-day Saints (Mormons) actually believe I invite you to visit mormon.org. If you would like to learn more about the lives of actual Latter-day Saint women, rather than assuming the fictitious lives of the characters on Big Love represent anything even approaching reality, I invite you to visit Mormon Mommy Blogs. There, you will find hundreds of blogs written by actual Mormon women that describe and discuss the reality of Latter-day Saint living and culture. I promise, you won't find a single polygamist in the bunch.

Thanks so much,
Erin

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year, New You. Part Two

A resolution is not a resolution without accountability and apparently people really like being accountable to nameless, faceless people on the internet. I say this because everyone and their grandmother is posting "Look at how well I did following my 600 resolutions". This is apparently how resolutions are done in the 21st century. Because I am a 21st century girl,I give you:

"How Erin Did Following Her New Year in A Week Resolutions"

1. Organize the apartment
I did quite well, thankyouverymuch. Closets, cabinets, under the bed, behind the couch, behind the dryer (Well, hello socks! I haven't seen you in months!) etc..etc..have now been purged, cleaned and organized. I should really be a professional organizer. It's a gift.

2. Do something about my hair which is out of control.
Done. Hair is short, no longer greying and no longer out of control. I also cannot eat for about 2 weeks because apparently having one's hair done now requires a small fortune and/or the promise of your first born to the cosmotology industry. As I am without a first born, I had to cough up the small fortune.

3. Read more.
I keep seeing lists of books people have read in the past year and lists of books people plan to read in the new year. I will spare you. But, since I was all motivated and stuff for a week, I read 7 books. And yes, that means I read a book a day. Feel free to be impressed.

4. Exercise regularly.
Done. I exercised 4 times this week. It's a miracle! And, since I have only resolutions that can be accomplished in a week, I am DONE. Whew. Hard work, that working out. Good thing I have 51 weeks to recover before I have to do it again.

5. Cook more meals at home.
Epic. Fail. Isaac and I just like to eat out. It's a curse. But, we gave it a shot and I'm sure we'll try again for the first week of 2011. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again and all that jazz...

So, there you have it! 2010 resolutions were, on the whole, a spectacular success. I can't wait for next year to try it all again!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year, New You.

So. My lovely sister wrote a pretty fantastic post about setting and keeping all those pesky resolutions. It's great advice. I will completely ignore it, but it really is great advice.
Instead, I will be following my very own plan for actually accomplishing all sorts of things this New Year and trust me, it is an awesome plan.


You know how you start the new year full of energy and enthusiasm? This year, you are really going to do all those fantastic things you have always talked about. This year, you are going to be better. And then, if you are like me, by about January 7th you've not only completely given up, but you've actually forgotten why you wanted to make any changes in the first place? Well. This plan is perfect if you are anything at all like moi. I call it:

Erin's Fabulous New Year In a Week Resolution Plan.

Since you're all motivated for about a week, why on earth would you set resolutions that take months to accomplish? That's setting yourself up for failure people and here at Two Montagues, we are all about success. So. This year, I have set only resolutions I can accomplish in 7 days or less and let me tell you, it. is. AWESOME. The sense of accomplishment is amazing. Clean out closets? Check (it took an hour, well within the 7 day rule). Organize storage room? Check! Purge and reorganize our books and bookselves? Check. Take an enormous pile of crap to Goodwill? Check! Do something about my hair which is beyond out of control? Appointment is on Tuesday at 10.
SEE?! By the 7th, I'll have accomplished so much, I'll be set for the rest of the year.
Awesome, I tell you. Awesome.