Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Wednesday, December 31

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

I've never subscribed to the idea that "diamonds are a girl's best friend." I don't do diamonds. Not even my engagement ring has a diamond. The only diamond I own I inherited from my mother. I'm just not that into jewelry, and I've never had a desire to spend huge amounts of money on a rock...especially when I can get a really decent looking fake for a whole lot less. There are other things I'd rather spend my money on (when I have any to spend). High quality and earth friendly/healthy cosmetics being one such thing.

I love Bare Minerals makeup. I mean, I REALLY love it. It's my favorite of all cosmetics brands. Adam got me some as a present before we got married so I could wear it for our wedding. I've been carefully rationing it since then because, well, it's the kind of makeup I'd have to save up for for a while before being able to purchase more. The stuff is miraculous. My skin, which gives me no end of trouble, actually clears up when I wear the stuff, even sleep in the stuff. I also like that I don't have to worry about what nasty chemicals my skin is absorbing (like mercury). So I was tickled pink when I opened a brand new set of Bare Escentuals makeup on Christmas morning (thanks, Mom)! That's it, in the picture below.I used it for the first time last night (for our family photos/Lucy's newborn photos). I think I looked fabulous. You'll have to wait until we get the pictures to determine if you agree. It also felt great. Regular makeup bugs me, I can feel it on my face (which makes me feel gross). Not so with this makeup.

The set is called "Champagne Diamonds." You wanna know why? Because every item in the set (minus the brushes) has crushed champagne diamonds in it. That's right. I'm wearing diamonds, on my face. The irony of being a gal who demanded a cubic zirconium for her engagement ring but wears diamonds on her face is not lost on me. I don't know if the makeup looks so good because of the diamonds or not. But it only takes a look in the mirror and I'm so pleased with it that I forget all about the weirdness factor of wearing makeup with an ingredient more commonly worn on one's hand or around one's neck.

Maybe "diamonds are a girl's best friend" after all.

Note: The song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is "listed as the 12th most important movie song of all time by the American Film Institute." I have no idea what number one is.

Great Minds Think Alike

My parents and grandparents have great minds. And they certainly do think alike.

Evidence:Yup, they sent us the same card to congratulate us on Lucy's arrival. :D Sheer awesome-ness.
Tuesday, December 30

And Now, A Video of Interest to a Larger Audience

Monday, December 29

You'll Love This!

And of course, when I use the title "You'll Love This!" I mean "You'll love this if you happen to be Lucy's parent or grandparent (or great grandparent); and if you're not you'll likely find it incredibly boring because Lucy performs for the camera about as well as she performed for her ultrasound.*" Hopefully we'll be able to capture some more exciting footage sometime soon (like some shots of her very funny facial expressions).



*That is, not very well. The ultrasound tech really had to work hard for her pay that day.

Shepherds Quake At The Sight

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (and I'm talking about the book here, not the movie) includes an account of Dorothy and the gang's brief visit to a land of porcelain. That's right, all the buildings, animals, people, even the ground, are made of delicate china. The visit from the comparatively gigantic and very dangerous Dorothy and her traveling companions upsets quite a few of the china people (after all, it doesn't take much to break off a limb when you're made of delicate ceramic). Who the porcelain people really need to fear is our cat Lily. See what I mean?


Still can't see it? How about now?

Thanks Lily. I always wanted a nativity scene with a headless zombie shepherd. Tres unique, no?
Saturday, December 27

Motivated Mom

I belong to a great online community for moms (MDC). It's where my online due date club has been hosted. It's hosted by a parenting magazine I love (Mothering). Well, it is on those forums that I first heard about Motivated Moms. It's a chore chart/calendar "thingy." At first I thought, "bah...why should I pay for something like that?" And I skipped right over all the posts about it. But somehow I found myself reading about it yesterday. It seems that many a mom is indeed motivated by the planner, especially the moms who (like myself) "flunked out of" Flylady. I was particulraly intrigued by the women with ADD/ADHD who gave glowing reviews of the planner. After all, if it works for others with ADD then perhaps it will work for me too. So I've decided to give it a try. I've printed off the free sample page which will get me through the first two weeks of the new year. If I'm pleased then I'll reconsider shelling out the $8 bucks for the entire year's worth. Click the banner on the right to get the sample page for yourself (or even the whole thing). If you decide to give it a try, or if you already use it, tell me what you think in the comments. I'll let you know what I think after my two week trial.

In Case You Were Interested

I tried to make sure I sent this to anyone who would be interested. But, as you can probably deduce, we've been a little distracted lately. So here it is, in case you were forgotten: Our Christmas Newsletter.

My Mangled Monitor

My laptop functions...very, very slowly, but it functions. Well, most of it functions. Sometimes some of the USB ports don't work. And the touch pad went on hiatus for quite some time (but has returned for the time being). As long as the inner workings continue to do their job (no matter how slowly) I'll survive.
Recently my laptop reached a new level of pathetic-ness. The screen no longer stands up. The hinges? Completely broken. So Adam rigged up this not particularly attractive, but serviceable stand of cardboard, and packing tape. Note to self: when buying next computer (someday) buy one that isn't slow and junky.

3 Years


Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary. I'd like to say it went something like this:

I awoke to breakfast in bed (waffles with fruit, scrambled eggs, and orange juice). Then Adam and I exchanged cards and gifts. I gave him a hurricane lantern and he gave me picture frames (because glass/crystal is the assigned gift for 3rd anniversaries). Later in the day we went out to dinner and Lucy behaved beautifully. To top off the evening we toasted with sparkling grape juice and watched a movie together.

I'd like to say that, but I think the Bible says something about lying...

Today went more like this:

Adam woke up and headed straight to a walk-in clinic because he has been very ill for the past 6 days (food poisoning is our best guess). He waited for about an hour just to sign in, came home for a few minutes (to eat) then went back and waited for another hour to see the doctor (who now has him under orders to consume only clear liquids for 24 hours). I spent the day (until 3 something) in bed trying to catch up on sleep (minus waking up to take care of Lucy). Neither of us had gifts or even cards for the other (what with the being sick/taking care of a newborn/unemployment/etc. that's been going on lately).

But you know what? It's been a great 3 years. And I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us.

A Deluge of Digital Daguerrotypes

Well, for those of you who enjoy seeing pictures, this post will be a treat. I hope you appreciate it, because it took forever to upload these from my slow, sad computer. First, the Christmas pictures...

Here is our Christmas tree ($2 at a garage sale) in all it's glory. We have no star (couldn't afford one this year). But I guess we could have gone this route.

My stocking, and Lucy's stocking.

Daddy helped Lucy with her stocking.

What could be in it?

Ah-ha! The match (a la Merry Christmas Mr. Bean)!

Here's a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Shumate!

Lucy sure seems to be having fun ripping off that wrapping paper!

Boy! She's excited!

Here's a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Stevens! Doesn't Lucy look thrilled?

She can hardly contain her joy.

Wow! How neat! Look familiar?

Now to open the gift from Mama and Daddy.

A thoroughly Canadian version of Noah's ark!

Cats LOVE Christmas. They also love to drive Adam and I completely batty by constantly messing with our Christmas tree, not unlike these felines.

And now, for other pictures, not related to Christmas...

This painting (by Adam's dad) was recently given to us. The picture does not do it justice. Neither does the image on his website. It's much more beautiful in person. Every time I walk by it I get a little excited.

Look Ma, no hands! Yup, that's Lucy in that pouch.

And this would be the face that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Unfortunately I snapped this shot just a second too soon. Had I waited a moment I would have caught a full on smile. But the smiles are happening with more frequency so hopefully we'll catch one soon.

No, she is not letting loose a Klingon death cry.* It's just a yawn.

Behold, the first bath! She looks miserable, but she actually seemed to quite enjoy it. (Sorry about the sideways-ness.)

*"the death cry ritual, for, whereupon the death of a worthy warrior, fellow comrades will roar and howl to warn the dead that a fearsome and honourable soul is about to join Kahless The Unforgettable and enter Sto-Vo-Kor, being the after-life domain of fallen warriors."
Thursday, December 25

A Holiday Wish

May you have a merry Christmas filled with the joy and peace of this sacred season, and a happy and fruitful New Year!
Love, "Us" (Adam, Holly, and Lucy)
Saturday, December 20

Newborns

So, maybe it's just Lucy...but it seems newborns are programed to make the adjustment to parenthood as easy as possible. She spends most of her time sleeping. In fact, she slept so well last night that Adam and I probably got more sleep last night than we had in the past 3 days combined (don't get as much sleep in the hospital when nurses come in and interrupt). I almost feel normal (as normal as possible after giving birth I suppose). Lucy probably interrupts our sleep no more than having to get up and pee did while I was pregnant. Granted, the interruptions last longer, but still. She's a very happy baby. And for that we are grateful. Sanity is a good thing, and so far she's preserving ours.
Thursday, December 18

Pictures, sans text







Wednesday, December 17

Lucy's First Pictures

These are just two of the many wonderful photos our doula shot. They were taken shortly after Lucy was born. Once we're home we'll be able to upload some of the pictures we've taken as well. I should be discharged sometime tomorrow.
Tuesday, December 16

Lovey Has Arrived!

Lucy Noelle was born on December 15th at 2:17 pm after approximately 36 hours of labor. She was 48.1 cm long and 7 lbs 0.9 oz. She's doing well and so are her parents.

We'll get pictures on here as soon as we can, but for now we're just enjoying our "babymoon."
Saturday, December 13

Winter Wonderland (or Winter War Zone)

So...here I am, about to tell you all about the amazing storm we've had and I have not a single picture to post. That's what happens when your camera batteries are out of juice and you can't find the charger. So you'll just have to believe me when I say, it's beautiful out there!

It's also a death trap.

Apparently the city of Medicine Hat has some sort of bias against salt...and snow plows...and common sense. The roads are terrible!

Needless to say we've been staying home as much as possible. Though we did go out tonight so we could attend the Ward Christmas Party...no way we were going to miss out on a turkey dinner (especially one we didn't have to prepare)! It was excellent. Though we left early because I was uncomfortable (I've been having mild, irregular contractions) and I was tired. It takes a lot of energy to eat as much food as I ate.

I'm going to weekly doctor's appointments now, which also forces us to go out on those dreadful roads. Seriously...is it so much to ask that my city plow the roads a little better, even just the main ones? I understand why no-one has gotten around to plowing our tiny, out of the way, little street. But geesh...a decent plow job and some salt would really help me not feel like I'm gonna get in an accident any time I have to go somewhere.

At least I get to spend most days in the house, watching the snow fall (probably have 6+ inches now) and avoiding the cold (currently -13F). Yesterday was quite windy. In fact, it was so windy the snow managed to get blown into the opening for our upstairs bathroom vent and we ended up with some dripping in the bathroom! Took us a minute to figure out what on earth was happening.

So, long story short: It's beautiful looking outside. But if you have to actually go outside watch out!
Wednesday, December 10

Away In A Manger

My baby has pretty much got the coolest Grandma, EVER.

Check out what Grandma sent Lovey.

That's right...a Little People Nativity set. Here are some close-up shots.

Wise men (with camels), and shepherds (complete with sheep and sheep dog).

The stable with the Holy Family, animals and an angel.

And the inn with Innkeeper and Mrs. Inkeeper.

I know. I know. It's AWESOME. My mom is amazing like that. I set the whole thing up on the kitchen table, and despite the box saying batteries were not included, they were. And that little star on the stable? It lights up. And it plays "Away In A Manger." Very cute! And, just in case Lovey gets a little too button-mashing-happy next Christmas it has an off switch...or as I like to call it, a Parent Sanity Saver. ;)

After setting it all up I wasn't sure what to do with it. As you can see it covers the entire kitchen table...which we need for things like, oh, I dunno...eating? So I carefully put the pieces back in the boxes, wrapped them up, and labeled them "To: Lovey, Love: Grandma & Grandpa." That way we have a little something more to put under the tree, which was previously pretty bare. Now it looks very festive and happy!

I was thrilled when the package arrived. My mom had told me something was coming for Lovey, but not what it was. Adam was in on the secret. The day after he found out what was on the way I happened to stumble upon a picture of this very item on the internet. I ooohed and aaahed over how completely adorable it was and Adam had to keep his mouth shut. I was thrilled to discover that the package contained the Little People Nativity Set. I think my mom is secretly a psychic or something. I would say mind reader...except that she picked out the gift long before I even knew I wanted Lovey to someday have it. Needless to say I'm very excited for Lovey. When she's able to play with this she's going to have a total blast!

It's all the more special because some of my absolute favorite toys when I was little were Little People (though they looked much different back then). Supposedly the new ones are safer (safe is good). And they're also way cuter, particularly the animals (did you see the little donkey, and the little black sheep?!).

Did I mention how awesome my mom is?
Monday, December 8

I'm Special

So, the other day I was pondering some of the more unique/unusual things I've experienced in my meager 23 years. And I decided to make a list.
  • Snorkeled with manatees
  • Touched a piece of the Titanic's hull
  • Held an Oscar
  • Seen a page of an original Gutenberg Bible up close and personal
  • Been in the catacombs underneath Paris (there are other neat things I did in Paris, but that one seems the most unique)
  • Seen some (or one? it was a long time ago) of the robots used in the movie Jurassic Park
The problem is that I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting some things that probably qualify as interesting. But as I sit an rifle through my memories nothing is jumping out at me. Though I can think of some interesting foods I've eaten:
  • caviar (don't know what the excitement is about, way too salty for my taste)
  • escargot (pretty good actually, but it's really all about the sauce)
  • alligator
  • squid (which doesn't seem that weird to me, but I guess to some it is; then again some people find sushi to be weird...I find it to be delicious)
  • moose (and elk - which was my high school mascot so it always feels a little weird to eat it)
And yet again, as I made that list I felt sure I was forgetting some interesting items. What interesting things have you done/eaten, or (for those who know me well) what things have I done/eaten that I'm forgetting?

Note: I hope that I've fixed the recent problems with leaving comments. But let me know if you still have any trouble.

Tagged Again

5 Favorites

Five Favorite Smells:
1. Apples
2. Campfire
3. Adam's aftershave
4. Most baked goods (especially cookies, brownies, or fresh bread)
5. Clean cotton

Five favorite Desserts:
1. Ice cream (particularly a good, dark chocolate)
2. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
3. Fruit (especially berries and nectarines)
4. Cheesecake (New York Style, none of that Philly junk)
5. Pie (pumpkin, apple, strawberry-rhubarb, etc.)

Five Favorite places to be:
1. Home
2. Ohio - especially at my parent's house
3. In water - bath, pool, whatever, as long as it's not cold
4. the Temple
5. In bed, asleep

Five Favorite Vehicles: In order from favorite to least favorite
1. Angmar, our station wagon - I LOVE station wagons!
2. Hybrid minivan (not currently available in the US or Canada)
3. Chevy Nova - what I learned to drive in
4. the Soviet-made Trabant (basically made of cardboard) - but only because it amuses me
5. a horse (which counts according to this definition: "a conveyance that transports people or objects") - actually, if this counts put it as number 1

Five people to tag:
1. Kamis
2. Nora
3. Jen J.
4. Natalie G.
5. YOU (whoever you may be - should you feel so inclined)

Friday, December 5

Happy BIRTHday To Me?

Today is my birthday. I have no special plans (other than having chicken noodle soup with dumplings for dinner - a childhood favorite). Sometimes I am asked how I feel about having a December birthday, especially now that there is a very good chance my daughter will also have a December birthday (please, oh please have a December and not a January birthday)! Well, my answer is this: I LOVE it! Christmas is my absolute "favoritest" holiday of them all! I can not think of another month in which I would rather celebrate my birthday. The snow (when there is any), the decorations, the music, the cheer in the air; they all make one's birthday just that much more magical. Of course, what would make my birthday truly magical is if my birthday wish came true. What is it you ask? Well...allow me to discard all the "don't tell or it won't come true" advice and reveal it.

I want my baby!

Do I think I'll get said birthday wish? Um, no. I seriously doubt my baby is going to arrive 19 days before her due date. But a gal can dream right? "It's my party and I can be delusional if I want to"...(aren't those the lyrics?).

Now, don't think I'm getting antsy because I'm miserable. I'm not. In fact...other than being tired (which I have been this whole pregnancy) and feeling like my hips are falling apart on occasion (which I have also been dealing with for much of this pregnancy) I feel pretty dang good! I don't want my baby because I'm sick of being pregnant. I want my baby because I want my baby! Adam and I both are just very excited.

Yesterday I had a really great appointment at the Maternity Clinic (I know, hard to believe isn't it?). In the past Loree had recommended I try to get an appointment with Dr. Correia. She said she was one of the "good" ones at the clinic. So I did. And I did NOT like her. Well, this most recent appointment I did not have the luxery of choosing my doctor because it was a matter of "just give me whatever you've got." When I checked in I was told I would be seeing Dr. Correia. "Oh well," I thought. "At least it isn't Dr. G." *shudder*

Well, who should walk into the room but a woman who is most certainly not the same woman I saw last time. Apparently the Mat Clinic pulled a fast one on me and gave me a Dr. Correia imposter a few months back. Turns out that I love Dr. Correia! I was quite disappointed when she told me she wasn't currently accepting patients for her family practice (disappointed but not at all surprised).

After my appointment (at which I was informed that Lovey has good heart valves and is at a wonderful size...despite the numerous comments I have received along the lines of: *person looks at my belly then says* "Wow! You're gonna have a big baby!" - something every pregnant woman wants to hear...not)...anyway, after my appointment Adam and I got to tour Labor & Delivery and the Maternity wing. We're impressed. Previously I had been planning on getting out of the hospital and home as soon as possible after Lovey's arrival. But upon having the tour (and being informed that I will only have to share a room if absolutely necessary and that Adam can stay with me overnight) I think I might just stay for the typical 2-3 days. Of course, I may change my mind one or two (or twelve) times.

Anyhow, the appointment and tour (and the fact that I was having a bunch of Braxton-Hicks contractions last night) has got us quite excited for the real deal. Lovey is "officially" fully baked. So technically she could come at any time. Statistically she'll probably come after the due date. But like I said before: "It's my party and I can be delusional if I want to."

Monday, December 1

100 Things Meme

100 things meme ... bold what you've done. My personal comments are in parentheses.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars (maybe not a full night, but I have indeed slept under the stars)
3. Played in a band (if you count the middle school band...)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (I've tried...but fate has worked against me)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (or so people have tried to tell me)
7. Been to Disneyland (nope, but I've been to DisneyWORLD)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (big waste of time...I still don't get what the hullabaloo is about...there are far more spectacular paintings to see, that don't require navigating swarms of Japanese tourists)
20. Slept on an overnight train (train travel rocks)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (unless mentally ill counts, ha ha!)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (sorta...just visited the one farm, not the whole community)
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (I have gone fake/indoor rock climbing)
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (with manatees!)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Guide Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (*shame*)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar (too salty)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (but it was a mistake and I got unfired)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (*shame* it's that darned Old Testament...but next year I'm totally gonna do it!)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (give me a couple of weeks)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a mobile phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day
Saturday, November 29

NaNoWriMo Update

Update: Banner removed.

Look to the right of the page. See that? Yup, that's my winner's badge. You know what that means? It means I actually did it. I wrote 50,000 words in one month. In fact, my novel is 50,451 words.

Is it Shakespeare?

No.

Is it publishable?

Um, definitely not.

Is it someone I'd even let my friends read?

Not a chance.

But did I do it?

Yes! Yes I did!

Now maybe I'll do a little more blogging once again, you know, until I have a newborn to take care of in which case my blogging frequency will probably drop considerably.
Friday, November 21

The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Last night, as Adam was driving home from the hospital...

What?! Hospital?!

Relax. He's mostly OK. He managed to dislocate his shoulder (again) and chipped a bone in the process. He said it wasn't as painful as usual, in fact he didn't really want to go to the hospital in the first place but needed a doctor's note for disability/work issues. When the doc wanted to do an x-ray he didn't think it was necessary. But, low and behold, a chipped bone. So other than not being able to use his right arm for two weeks (and therefore not being able to work) he's doing fine. He's a little stiff and sore but the sling prevents him from moving it in such a way that would be painful.

Anyhow...he was driving home from the hospital yesterday and suddenly "a bright flash caught [his] attention up ahead. [He] looked up and a streaking fireball hurled out of the clouds towards the ground. It was really a spectacular sight to behold. At first [he] wasn't sure if it was the end of the world. [He] cringed and waited for the shock wave but since the nuke didn't go off [he] assumed it was a meteor instead."

Apparently the celestial light show was seen all over Alberta and Saskatchewan. You can read about it here. As you've probably guessed, the accepted explanation is meteor (though they're hoping it was a meteorite). Of course, there are other theories.
My personal favorite is Wormwood, since it would coincide so nicely with the recent election of the Antichrist (insert eye rolling here).

What are your theories?

ETA:
Thursday, November 20

Peter Pan

Recently Adam and I watched Hook (which I happen to think is quite fun). Adam had never seen Disney's Peter Pan, and I could only remember seeing it once a long time ago. So last night we watched it.

Can I just say that both Peter Pan and Tinkerbell are HUGE jerks?

Peter Pan is self-obsessed and seems to either be completely oblivious to others' feelings or does not care about said feelings.

And Tinkerbell tries to get Wendy killed, and when that fails, Shanghaied.

It just further makes me question people's love affair with Tinkerbell.

Adam's thoughts on the movie were something along the lines of "Well, that just encourages girls to seek out abusive relationships doesn't it?"

He's got a point:
  • Tinkerbell almost gets herself killed trying to rescue her precious Peter Pan despite the fact that he seemed to ignore her very existence the moment he met Wendy (not that that excuses Tinkerbell trying to off the poor girl).
  • Peter then ignores Wendy on multiple occasions as well. Heck, when the mermaids (who also seem to have a fan-worship love affair thing for Pan) completely soak Wendy in jealousy Pan just laughs and acts like it's no big deal. He is either stupid enough to believe them when they claim they were "just having fun" or doesn't really care that Wendy is being bullied. And after rescuing Tiger Lily Wendy gets completely ignored by Peter yet again. The only person who pays her any mind at the Indian camp is an old woman who sends her to fetch firewood. Yet, after returning home and telling her mother about the adventure Wendy gushes about how wonderful Peter Pan is.
  • Mr. Darling clearly has some anger management problems. (When I pointed out to Adam that he apologized and such after calming down Adam made the point that anyone can be loving and apologetic when they're calm...what matters is how people act when they're angry. He's totally right. Even the most abusive boyfriends/spouses/fathers/etc. act sorry once they're calmed down/sobered up/etc.)
  • Then, looking at things from a different perspective, Tinkerbell is kind of abusive/manipulative of Peter. She gets so insanely jealous of him spending time with Wendy that she pouts and, like I mentioned, tries to get her killed. Yet later in the movie Peter insists that Tink is the most important thing in the whole world to him. So even though Tink would have his friends killed and even though Peter seems totally content to ignore Tinkerbell she's "the most important thing in the whole world to him?"
As I thought more and more about it all I started to think "OK. Everybody is going to think you're taking this way too seriously." Yeah. I am, kind of. I mostly point all this out because it's just so silly/ridiculous. But the more you look into it the more wacko the movie becomes. Here are some aspects of abuse (as well as here and here). The following are all applicable to behavior demonstrated (to some extent) by one of more characters in Peter Pan.

  • Rejecting - refusing to acknowledge a person's presence, value or worth.
  • Dominance — Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his possession.
  • Intimidation — Your abuser may use a variety of intimation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don't obey, there will be violent consequences.
  • Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his violence and abuse is your fault.

And some questions that if answered yes indicate an abusive relationship (as seen in Peter Pan):

Does the individual...
  • ignore your feelings?
  • ridicule or insult you then tell you its a joke, or that you have no sense of humor? (And I would add, "or let others insult you then tell you its a joke)
  • present a wonderful face to the world and is well liked by outsiders?
  • threaten to leave, or threaten to throw you out?
  • harass you about imagined affairs?
  • interrupt you; hear but not really listen?
  • give you the silent treatment?
  • treat you like [an]...object?
Wow. That's a whole lot of messed up for a movie that's for kids and about kids. You know there is a problem with your story's protagonists when the antagonist (Hook) inspires more sympathy.

Actually, the character who inspires the most sympathy is Nana, the poor dog. All her efforts to tidy the Darling nursery are promptly destroyed by the human members of the family and then she gets punished for no reason other than Mr. Darling's anger management issues. And she gets left behind while the children fly off to Neverland, and man can she really pull off the "sad puppy dog eyes!"

I probably don't even need to mention how incredibly offensive the portrayal of Native Americans in Peter Pan is. Aside from the controversy over the word squaw* the movie just reeks of politically incorrectness. Now, don't get me wrong. I know political correctness can definitely go to far. But when one of your main characters gets to call all "Indjuns" unintelligent I think it's fair to say there's a bit of a problem.

All in all the movie is pretty messed up. People have been pointing out issues with various Disney movies for decades (I once had a classmate who wrote a research paper on how anti-feminist many Disney movies are). Sometimes concerns are pretty valid (yeah...maybe Disney needed to stop making quite so many movies in which the heroine accomplished nothing but falling in love and being rescued by the man). Sometimes concerns were just too silly (like the hubbub over the hyenas in Lion King being voiced by African Americans...um...so was Mufasa and he was definitely a good guy). But I think it's safe to say that when your movie is sufficiently messed up enough that the audience can't enjoy watching it (because they're so annoyed by the characters) that you might want to reevaluate things. I mean, at least with most of the movies people have complaints about the movie is still fun to watch. But, sorry, watching Tinkerbell pout for 77 minutes is just not fun.

So there's my two cents on an issue that really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

*"the word has been used in a very racist and sexually abusive way, so it definitely has negative implications now. Like "nigger," the word "squaw" should be retired from public use. It is also not an Indian word and no Indians ever use it among themselves."
Monday, November 17

Nesting Is a Lie

I've been waiting and waiting for my nesting instinct to kick in. Other moms in my online due date club are so caught up in it they're getting the urge to clean, organize, install the car seat, etc. at un-holy hours. And I sit and wonder (with dread) if I'm going to be one of those women who never gets the nesting instinct because, quite frankly, I could use a little extra motivation to finish preparing for this baby.

This is how I'd *like* things to be...

This is the reality.

Oh well...I've still got over a month until my due date. Maybe there is still hope?

But for now this would be an accurate depiction of how I'm feeling.
Thursday, November 13

Freecycle Abuse

I love Freecycle. I have gotten some great stuff on there (namely lots and lots of baby clothes). But, like most people who use it on a regular basis, I have my Freecycle pet peeves. The biggest of which is this: people making ridiculous requests.

See, here is how Freecycle works, after you've posted an item to give you are allowed to post requests for items you want/need. All offers and requests must be strictly for FREE items (no selling stuff). So you'd think most people would realize that certain requests are just *NOT* going to happen...but apparently some people don't get it.

One person in my local Freecycle group seems to really have no idea of what is an acceptable request - and no idea of how obnoxious it is to make lots and lots of requests (something Freecycle discourages). Here are just some of the things he's asked for in the last 30 days.

Hot Tub (or shell)
Snowmobile
Pool Table
Patio Heater
Chevette
Portable Dishwasher

Seriously? You want someone to give you a free hot tub? A free pool table? Geesh. And remember, those are just SOME of the things he's requested in the last 30 days.

Here are the items he has offered in the same time period.


*crickets chirping*


Yeah, that's right: nothing.

Do you see why this annoys me?

I'm just waiting for the day when I see a request for a Wii.

Be A Part of A Miracle

A few years ago, after Adam and I got married and started attending the BYU 105th Ward we met the Jacksons. We loved them. They were very fun and friendly! Sadly (for us) they moved out of our ward and to the East far too soon for our tastes...but we've been keeping tabs on them through their (very funny) blog. They've recently started the search for another family member through adoption. They're great parents to their son Ian, who they found through a friend. The banner to the right links to one of their adoption profiles. So if you know someone looking to place a baby for adoption please think of the Jacksons!
Monday, November 10

Big Baby Bump

Time for another belly picture (and here's your chance to see my haircut). These are at 33w5d. We got maternity photos done tonight as well (THANK YOU MOM)! Adam and I cannot wait to see how they turn out! It was a blast to have them done. We did some nice traditional maternity poses, and some fun, quirky ones. And we both really liked our photographer (Rachel from Madchen Studios). She's very friendly, and makes you feel very comfortable. Incidentally she's due a week or two before me. As part of our photo package we'll also be getting newborn photos, and either 6 month or 1 year photos (our choice).


My hair is still nice and long, but the layers make it seem shorter from the front. I haven't had a haircut in 2 years, so I was pretty nervous when I got it done, especially since I only had a vague idea of what I wanted and no experience at this salon (Master Cuts at the mall). But I'm very happy with it!
Saturday, November 8

Global Exposure

Well, as of today I've been able to add Africa to my list (I previously added South America). Now I just need Antarctica. So if you know any researchers, or computer savvy penguins, link them to my blog! Actually...I may get a reader there and never realize it, as my map widget only keeps a record of each day and there is no way to view past days' traffic. And while I'm interested in how many people are reading my blog, I'm not obsessive enough to check the map every, single day.

Of course, Adam's probably right about the following: I will probably never get a reader form Antarctica. That's OK. I'm quite capable of coming up with any old excuse to have cake. My favorite stand-by reason for cake is "I want some." In fact, that's the very one I used yesterday. And now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go enjoy some of that cake.

And here are some cakes for you to enjoy (warning: do not view site while consuming a beverage unless you want said beverage to exit your body via your nose).
Thursday, November 6

NaNoWriMo and Other Goings On

As my little progress bar to the right will show you, I'm currently at 15,452 words of 50,000, almost a third of the way done. I'm actually ahead of the game, despite not having written yesterday. As of today I'm supposed to be at 10,000 to finish on time. I like being farther than I need to be. I'm finding 50,000 words to be a LOT less than it sounds like.

As for what my book is about? Eh...I'd rather not say. I'm not writing this for publication or anything. I'm writing it because I've always wanted to write a book, because I've previously dreamed about doing NaNoWriMo, and just because I want to be able to say "I did it!" I'll tell you this much; it's realistic fiction, and the main character has a cat named Voldemort (a fact which amuses me to no end...who names a cat after "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?"). It's mostly literary rubbish, which is kind of the point. NaNoWriMo is about word count, about just doing it and ignoring your inner editor. If you try to right a best seller, or if you even try to write cohesively your chances of reaching 50,000 words grows smaller and smaller. It's actually *fun* to be able to write utter fluff with no expecations and no plans to do anything with it once I'm done.

~*~

We met with our doula, Loree, again last night. Have I mentioned how awesome I think she is? I highly recommend a doula for anyone planning on having a baby, and especially recommend Loree for anyone having a baby in the area. She was going to bring along a doula-in-training but apparently, of the three doulas-in-training in Medicine Hat not one of them wanted to get training in on a mom with a December 24th due date! Ha ha! I can't blame them...but at the same time they're going to have to get over that some day. Babies arrive when babies arrive. And you can't be a success in the birthing industry if you're too picky about timing. Of course, we don't mind not having a doula-in-training. We had agreed to one as a way to "pay forward" Loree's generosity (she's working for us pro-bono). Anyhow, we'll meet with Loree one more time (in early December). Then we'll see her when I go into labor! It's coming up so soon!

Loree checked the position of Lovey. She's almost in the perfect position for birth. She just needs to move her butt over to the left. Something I can help her do by sitting correctly and spending a little time each day in some funny looking, but not uncomfortable, poses. Baby's position is important for a myriad of reasons (one of which is avoiding painful back labor like the kind I gave my mom). For example, if baby doesn't present right they may try to come forhead first. The problem with that is that the forehead isn't meant to mold like other parts of the head. So you're trying to fit an unflexible larger diameter through...which can be problematic. And, unfortunately, most doctors are not trained in how to get baby to turn, or "spin" into the right position during labor. Then they blame the problem on the mom's body being somehow inadequate.

~*~

Lily has been SUPER cuddly lately. She goes beserk if I don't let her sit in my lap. And both she and Girla were sleeping on top of me when I woke up this morning. It's lovely to be loved...though I don't know if they're just using me for my body heat. It's been getting colder and we leave the thermostat at 50 degrees F. Once winter gets here we'll probably have to keep it warmer (especially once we've got a babe in the house). But in the meantime it's good to save on the utlity bill. It's rare that the furnace even kicks on. Which is why I freaked out when we got a HUGE gas bill last week (and I mean HUGE). Apparently they were billing us based on what had been billed last November. Adam called them and they rebilled us based on our actual meter reading so it's all worked out now. But for a while I was panicked because I could not figure out how on earth our heating bill was that high when the furnace had only kicked on two days out the month.

~*~

I know it isn't until the 27th (which is also Adam's birthday) but I've been thinking about American Thanksgiving. I hope all my stateside friends and family have a good one. These Canucks really miss out on the "Fall/Winter Holiday Trifecta" (as I've decided to call it): October=Halloween, November=Thanksgiving, December=Christmas. They cram Thanksgiving and Halloween into the same month since the harvest comes earlier up north. But I'm going to have to say I like the USA's timing better (and their postal system). Of course, most years we'll probably just celebrate both. ;)
Tuesday, November 4

JOY!



At the start of the year I didn't believe America was ready to do it. I didn't think they'd elect a black man, even if he was the best choice. Thank you, America. Thank you for proving me wrong! And thank you for electing Barack Obama! I am proud of the United States, and proud of my home state of Ohio for making up for a poor choice the last 8 years.

There is so much I want to say, so many feelings I'm feeling tonight. I am so looking forward to telling my grandchildren some day about what I witnessed tonight. But nothing I have to say won't be said more eloquently by someone else. So I will leave you with these two links (the first of which is for humor, the second of which inspires me).

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/4/213412/858/705/653220

http://www.patrickmoberg.com/november-4-2008.jpg
Friday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

ETA: Again...for some reason Blogger doesn't want to display my pictures correctly. I'm not doing anything differently so I have no idea what its malfunction is. Sorry! *shrugs*

Felt (in 3 colors) - $2.52
Black t-shirt - $5
Hot glue and glue gun (inherited from mother) - $0
Leftover white paint - $0
Awesome costume that you didn't get to show off at the part because you were at the hospital - Infinitely frustrating.
Yes, that's right. I made my (very fun and, in my opinion, awesome) costume and was very
much looking forward to going to the Church Halloween shindig. However I ended up in labor and delivery with mysterious belly pains. By the time they determined that Lovey was doing absolutely wonderfully and they had no idea why I was hurting* the party was already being cleaned up. :(

We're not getting many trick-or-treaters tonight. That's fine. That just means I get to keep more of the fruit snacks we've got to hand out. And, just FYI, please teach your children that when
trick-or-treating it is generally considered bad manners to not actually say "trick-or-treat" and "thank you."

Anyway...here are pictures of my costume and Adam's, as well as a new belly picture taken at 32 weeks.

Here I am! A magic 8-ball! Go ahead, ask me a yes or no question.
Then scroll down for the answer.





(I also had a "Yes" answer but I prefer this one. After all, it was the answer that I seemed to get 90% of the time - which was infuriating.)


And here's an encore of Adam's scout trooper costume (a la "Return of the Jedi").



32 weeks 0 days. Ignore the hair.

*The pain went away on its own and remains a mystery.
Tuesday, October 28

A Plethora of Pinatas, er, I mean, Pictures

ETA: So, Blogger decided to get all wonky on me and isn't loading the pictures correctly. To see them in all their glory you'll have to click on them. Sorry.

A lot has been going on recently. So here's a random collection of mini-updates and pictures.

~*~

It's done! It's finally done! My application for permanent residency has been completed and mailed. Here's a shot of the fat stack of forms and one of Adam addressing the envelope at Canada Post (if you look closely you'll see the worst picture of me pretty much EVER).


~*~

Here's a shot of the "apple pear" I got at Safeway. I'm not exactly sure if I ate it "correctly" (am I supposed to wait for it to get soft like a pear?). The texture was OK but the flavor was pretty bland. I'd rather just have a regular apple or a regular pear. But at least now I can say I've tried one of these newfangled hybrid fruits.


~*~

This was our backyard on Saturday. Yup, we had snow. It didn't stay (in fact it was quite nice today) but it was exciting at the time. Christmas is coming (which means so is baby)! I can't wait to enjoy the holiday season; lights, carols, goodies, and that special spirit. Ah, Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year!


~*~

We got another room more or less finished up. Here are the before pictures. This is the room right across from our bedroom. It's the craft room/spare bedroom right now. Here's a shot from the doorway. This is currently our bed, but we're getting a used king sleigh bed this week that will be going in our room. I have since moved the plastic drawers to the right of the craft/sewing desk into the closet.


Here's a close-up shot of the craft area. The lump on the left is my semi-functional sewing machine with a pillowcase to keep it dust free. This window looks out on the front


To the left of the desk is the closet (the only walk in closet in the whole house...too bad it's not in the master bedroom).


It's still pretty messy in the closet but I figure it doesn't really matter at the moment. We keep our linens (towels, rags, sheets, etc.) and my fabric for sewing in the drawers.


And here's one more shot of the bed. I just wanted to make sure you got a good look at the beautiful quilt Adam's mom made and gave to us as a wedding present (she also made us an incredible pottery set). At some point well get a bed skirt for the bed and put some storage underneath it. But the room is done enough. We've been making progress throughout the house but more needs to be done before I post pictures of the basement, kitchen, master, bathrooms, and Lovey's room.


~*~

I finally got an appointment with Dr. Prince today. My friend Crystal was an angel and gave me a ride to the appointment because I didn't end up having the car as planned (long story short: had a bad night, couldn't safely drive Adam to work this morning). Dr. Prince had to deliver two babies so we waited for what seemed like an eternity. I'm constantly amazed at how mellow Sam (Crystal's cute little girl) is. Even though she was tired and the wait was long she hardly seemed bothered. I can only hope my little girl acts like that when she's two. (Thanks again Crystal!)

It's hard to tell for sure from an appointment that lasts all of 10 minutes ("Baby's fine. You're fine. Any questions?")...but the rave reviews of Dr. Prince seem justified. He actually asked permission to do things (like pulling up my shirt to measure my belly) instead of ordering me around. And he actually discussed a few things with me. I won't be seeing him next time (his day in the clinic wasn't convenient for me so I'm going to use it as a chance to meet another doc). But I'll certainly try to get in with him whenever I can. Seeing as I'm expected to go every two weeks from now on (until December when I go weekly-ugh) I should have plenty of chances.

~*~

I finally got my beads from my online bead swap. They're very nice. I'm just waiting on some more from my "real life" friends before I make my necklace.

~*~

There's plenty more going on this week but I figure I'll write about it after the fact.
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