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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Service Bingo

The women in our ward played Service Bingo at the park tonight. There were enough treats at the activity to put a few cavities in any sweet tooth. (Hopefully, we haven't ruined Heather's good luck!)

Each woman donated a service into a bucket. We then set up our game by filling our bingo cards with the names of sisters who satisfied the category in each block of the grid. (We had to get a little creative on a few categories.) The MC then called the names of attendees by drawing their names out of a name bucket, and we marked the names on our cards using Skittles (mostly orange, green, and yellow ones since I had moved through the candy piles on the table like a red-and-purple-Skittles anteater). As each sister got bingo on her card, she dipped her hand into the service bucket and fished out one of the services donated for a prize. I donated the choice of a "Welcome Mat" cleaning (cleaning the front door, porch, steps, window, etc.) or Window Washing. I won a housecleaning by a new sister in the ward who is one month away from giving birth! I may have her re-shingle the roof while she's at it.

Aaaah, it was very refreshing to (1) be outside and (2) chat with other women. I lengthened the loveliness of the day by staying late with a handful of others procrastinating their return home.

Well... I am tired now and am having trouble forming sentences, so that's all I have to say about tonight's activity... except I would have loved taking more photos, but I was too busy eating the red and purple Skittles off the table.

Good night!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Danger in the Kitchen; Danish Dessert

David is afraid of refrigerated biscuit tubes, the kind that pop open when you peel the label off. Lately, I’ve been making a dessert that calls for TWO of these pipe bombs. The other day, I was doubling the recipe, so I had an arsenal of FOUR tubes of refrigerated rolls. I feigned busyness and asked David to please open the tubes. Wanting to be helpful, he came into the kitchen. He grabbed a tube and began slowly peeling the label off, meanwhile his eyes flinched and his face scrunched up in anticipation of the explosion. I couldn’t help it, I lost my poker face. Dave looked up and saw my amused expression.

“Hey! You just asked me to open this 'cause you know I’m scared of it! You are so mean!"

A chase around the kitchen ensued, and I got a spanking. That'll learn me.

Now, even though he figured out I was just using him for my entertainment, David was sweet enough to open the second tube for me anyway. He, again with the flinching eyes and scrunched up face, began to slowly and carefully peel the label off the cold tube. The silence in the kitchen was thick. He had gotten a couple inches of paper up when I couldn't help but grab his arm and yell "POP!"

"That's it!" he yelled, dropping the tube on the counter and off I was again, running from him.

I've made that dessert a couple times since that incident. I still ask David to open the tubes, and he still does it, even if it’s just to amuse me. I always hear the song "Buttermilk Biscuits" in my head... just for a few seconds... then I yell "POP!" again.

Here’s the recipe (I got it from Jenn, I don’t know where she got it.)

Fruit Danish Dessert

2 cans (8oz each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, divided
2 tubes (8oz each) Light (or not) Cream cheese spread
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided in half
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can (21oz) fruit pie filling (I prefer strawberry, then blueberry, but you can use cherry, whatever you please.)
1 to 2 Tbsp fat free (or not) milk

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Unroll 1 of the cans of crescent dough. Place in greased 13x9-inch baking pan; press onto bottom of pan to form crust, firmly pressing seams together to seal.

BEAT cream cheese spread, 3/4 cup of sugar, the egg white and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spread onto crust; cover with pie filling. Unroll remaining can of crescent dough onto large sheet of wax paper or silicone mat. Pat out dough to form 13x9-inch rectangle, pressing seams together to seal. Invert over pie filling to form top crust; remove wax paper (or silicone mat).

BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until golden brown. Cool at least 20 min. Gradually, add milk to remaining 3/4 cup sugar, beating until well blended and thick. Drizzle over warm dessert. Cut into 24 rectangles to serve. Store leftover dessert in refrigerator.

[Posted song: "Buttermilk Biscuits" by Sir-Mix-A-Lot]

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tripod: Gonna Make You Happy Tonight

This comes from my video archive. I found it a couple years ago and shared it with some of you, but now I HAVE A BLOG and a place to share it with THE WOOOOORLD! (echo, echo, echo)

Ok, with the saturation of laptops and gaming systems out there, I can't be the only one who has experienced this.

(Warning: reference to making "sweet, sweet love.")

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Mommy

We had a bit of a scare in which I thought I was going to subtitle my blog "Life with 2 kids under the age of 1." (Or in case of twins, "with 3 kids under the age of 1".) The sub-sub-title would have been "blogging from the white padded cell." Nothing against kids, or against my own baby, but I was having trouble sleeping waiting for the first morning's urine. (Ah, "urine." Now, I've done classed up the joint.)

Anyhoo... all is officially clear for sanity to return to the fold. Just to be doubly sure, I had my doctor run a pregnancy test when I went in for my 6-week appointment yesterday (which was 8 weeks since I gave birth). (It's been a long 2 months. Yeah.) Finally! I can exercise with no restrictions. :) (Like I was really diligent with holding off until the check-up. Obviously, I didn't wait for the appointment before dabbling in other activities.) (What's will all the parentheses today?) (Are they on sale?) (Whatever.)

I'm not sure what to do with a girl baby. I typically lean towards the practical side of things (with occasional exceptions in shoes) and have trouble with the frilly. I was not only a tomboy when I was a kid, I freakin' thought I WAS a boy.

Here, my daughter is crying at the obvious fashion crime in her headband.

"Pleeeease, don't take me out in public looking like Aladdin!!"

I did. She has yet to forgive me for it.

Just wait until she turns 12 and I let loose with my fashion... sense... of ... creativity. Yeah, let's call it that.

When I'm on the computer, I have Baby Dhis sit on a bouncer next to me. She doesn't really last more than 5 minutes before she starts complaining. The other day, I noticed her briefly stare at the magnets on the desk next to her. Then, she looked away and started crying.

These are mainly magnets that come free on phone books or from doctors' offices. I keep them to use when making labels for the drawers on my metal desk and file cabinets. I got an idea.

I haven't scrapped any books in ... I don't remember when. (I think it was snowing outside.) But I always keep my paper scraps, even when they're too small or too random to realistically be used again. I got my scraps out, cut the magnets up and adhered the two together.

TAH-DAH! Baby art created in less than 5 minutes and without a penny spent.

She looks at them for a good 20 minutes. Then, it's nap time.

I know I will miss this stage of her little life, but I'm sure anxious for Adhis to be 4 years old. I've done that age before, and it will be nice to get into familiar territory again. Maybe then, I won't feel like such a new mommy. Or not.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Flickr'd Out

For a year and a half, I've been pretending to be a photographer on a site called Flickr. It has seriously been the most fun and most challenging time I have ever had in an online community. I viewed wow-ful photos, participated in photo challenges and scavenger hunts, and interacted with witty and talented folks. I learned so much! And had such a great time.

Today, I say goodbye to a dear friend. Flickr.
I began my Flickr experience by posting generic photos. Me. My dog. Me with my dog. Typical photos taken with a point-and-shoot. As I participated in Flickr groups, I learned there is more to photos than pointing and... well... shooting.

(L to R: Waving Goodbye, m to the 12th, Penny Pincher, Pigs)

Things changed for me when I participated in my first photo challenge. The theme was "Architecture in Black & White." (These were the two photos I ended up uploading for that challenge. Left: Steel Geometry; Right: Following Dad)

I learned that there is beauty all around and taking the time to behold everyday objects from different angles can yield entirely different impressions.

After that challenge, I began looking at subjects differently. It wasn't long before I realized my camera was woefully equipped to capture what my eyes saw. I've missed many incredible shots because of my toy's limitations. One day, I'll make a new camera a priority. Until then, I'll stick with my little silver box.

(L to R: Dotted Dew Drop, Cranial Claw, Missing)

"Condiments in Harmony" became my most popular photo with, at last count, 656 views, 19 comments, and 15 viewers marking it a favorite. I was surprised when this one took off; I shake my head at it. This is the photo where I realized I am not interested in pursuing photography seriously.

People said of this photo "a great, simple shot" and "simple but interesting" but this photo was anything but simple! I spent HOURS on this. The mustard kept squirting out weird. The bottles kept rolling apart. The background is 12x12 scrapbook paper placed behind a pane of glass. The problem with glass is that it REFLECTS, so my head was showing up in the photos. When I found an angle where I could hide, the glass would reflect the light fixtures in the room! I was sweating during the shoot and midway through, I was sick of photography, but I just HAD to finish what I started. I was working on this for a photo challenge themed "Harmony." After it was all said and done, I was so disgusted with this photo that I ended up submitting a different one ("Three's Harmony" on the right), which wasn't such a hit. (It only received 104 views, three comments, and was favorited twice.)

I could go on and on and on about things I learned by participating in the Flickr community, but I'll just share my favorite lesson. *Sometimes taking a photo without looking through the camera provides the neatest results.* Or at least, it was neat when I'd look at the result of blindly shooting and liked what I had. (Which is what happened with the photo "Gargoyle" below.)

(L to R: Gargoyle, One is the Loneliest Number, On Second Thought, Beach Chat)

My favorite benefit of Flickring was appreciating subjects anew. Once, on a jog through the neighborhood, I ran past a large snail making its way across a sidewalk. I ran home, got my camera, ran back to the snail's spot and just photographed that snail for a good half hour. I appreciated his unusual size, looked at the patterns on his shell, noticed that he was aware of me as he paused, sensed me, and changed direction. (The shot on the left I called "Dash." Get it? As in the dashed line behind him and as in race. HA!) (The shot on the right is titled "Gesundheit!")

I ended up displaying over 200 photos generating over 7,000 views; I took THOUSANDZZ of photos just for the sake of playing along on Flickr. 'Twas such fun.

Ah, Flickr. We were so good together...
Oh, well.

[Posted song: "Pork & Beans" by Weezer]

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Baby Dhis typically sleeps in her nursery, but Monday night, she was excessively fussy, so we put her in the car seat as her pediatrician suggested and put that in her bassinet next to our bed. David went to sleep downstairs to escape the sounds of an unhappy baby and I stayed in our bedroom. In the dark, I heard her fuss a little so I used a small flashlight to check on her. She had dropped her binky and was rooting around for it. SuperMom solved that problem for her. I turned off the flashlight and thought to myself, "ok, no more checking on her or you'll never get to sleep."

A couple minutes later, I heard her moving around. I ignored it at first but then realized that it sounded like a lot of ruckus (1) for her age and size and (2) considering how restrictive her car seat is. I shined the little flashlight on her and saw her eyes were wide with a panicked look and her body was jerking trying to turn over. I dropped the flashlight and turned a lamp on. Her face was purple. (Purple!) Her eyes were wet, her mouth was frothing, and she was writhing around struggling to breathe.

Baby Dhis has had 5 or 6 choking episodes before, but she was always red-faced, not purple. I was alarmed but thought "we've been through this before, I'll just turn her face-down and she'll be fine." I flipped her over and patted her back. Nothing. I patted harder. Nothing. I reached in her mouth with my finger to clear some of the thick liquid. Nothing. Her face just got darker and she kept jerking as she tried to breathe. That's when I ran out of the bedroom with her in my arms and yelled "SHE CAN'T BREATHE!" David ran up the stairs and tried the same thing I did. After a couple more attempts, we heard her gasp for air. She was still struggling but was getting a little air every so often. She struggled for another minute to get bigger gulps of air. I've never seen her struggle this bad or this long. Her body calmed down a little as she cried weakly in between mini-breaths. Then, her face went to the opposite end of the color spectrum and turned scary pale, and she became listless.

We ended up speeding to the American Fork Emergency Room. By the time we arrived, she was acting and looking better, but we registered her anyway because I wanted to know what was causing these episodes and if she had any damage from this particular one. I expected the E.R. staff to tell me either what they suspected the problem was or "I don't know, keep an eye on it." Instead, they surprised me by saying they wanted to keep Baby Dhis overnight for observation. I felt simultaneously worried and relieved.

In her hospital room, the nurses began hooking her up to monitors and taking her vitals. Considering that it was now hours later since we arrived at the hospital and time for her to eat, Baby did not like being poked and prodded! She screamed, she kicked, and she batted the nurses' hands. As soon as the nurses finished what they needed to do, I snatched her up and loved on her. I felt like a Mama Bear licking her Cub. I dare say it's the first time I truly felt like her mother.

David and I squeezed onto the hospital bed to sleep. Baby wouldn't sleep in the big steel cage, so she slept on top of Papa Bear's belly. Though I would have preferred sleeping in my own bed, I felt pretty comfy squished into that hospital bed with my little family. I fell asleep with a little smile on my heart.

I so wish I would have had my camera with me at the hospital. That morning, David went home to get our toiletries and I asked him to get said camera. Alas, poor tired hubby forgot it. (But he did get all the makeup items I requested! Good job, honey!)

The doctor scheduled an upper GI test for the baby just to make sure there weren't any "anatomical errors" in her digestive system. I got to watch Baby Dhis on a video x-ray as she gulped the contrast fluid (the liquid shows up on x-rays). So cool to see her as a skeleton drinking! I viewed her on the radiologist's monitor and saw her jaw move up and down and watched the liquid drip down her esophagus and move into her stomach. SOOOO COOOL! I even got to see the little teeth waiting in her gums. Wish I would have had my camera! (Psst... This x-ray photo is not of her.)

The procedure was also helpful in that I got to see exactly how food settles in my baby's body. In her case, the food goes straight to her stomach but then doesn't stay there, it starts sliding back up to her throat. The radiologist tipped the baby up just a couple inches and I watched gravity pull the food away from her throat. For now, it pretty much looks like she has an exaggerated version of infant acid reflux, which she'll (hopefully) grow out of in the next few months. Simple problem, we just need to keep her from choking due to it.

I felt relatively calm through the whole experience. It was only until last night when we were back home that, as I watched Adhis fall asleep in her bassinet, I cried. I realized then that she is irreversibly woven into my emotions and has commandeered a sizable portion of my heart. I am vulnerable.

[Posted song: "Vulnerable" by Secondhand Serenade]

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Squeaky Wheel

... gets caught.

I just HAD to share this news story from our local news site!
(Click on the image to enlarge the article.)

The story is humorous, but it was the comment board that had me giggling out loud. Of course, maybe I'm giggling from delirium.

Some of my favorite comments:

by getitfixed: I'm glad they caught this guy before he did a drive-by on the rival gang in Provo with his pea shooter. He could have put out an innocent bystanders eye!

by I Can't Be Serious: We should go easy on this guy... After all, with gas prices at their current levels, even a pink tricycle is starting to look good to me....

by Billy_Jack: Those gang initiations get better and better...

by Grimalkin: Maybe it's part of a big theft ring. Maybe they were going to strip it out for parts and sell them to shady bicycle repairmen. You can't put anything past these guys.

by johnseeholmes: It sounds like this guy is really having a hard time transitioning off of his mission.

by Truestory4: He probably figured it was safer than a 2-wheeler. Maybe he was drunk and needed that extra stability to stay up right. next he'll be stealing big boy bikes with training wheels.

by ToddE : He is part of the Buttercream Gang. All the others have bicycles. Just wanted to go help widow Jenkins who had fallen again.

by UtahCelt: Well... Every one knows that tricycle theft is a gateway theft to more hardcore robberies. Next it will be electric wheelchairs from the supermarket, razors, wheelies, then up to the adult sized bikes.....

by UtahCelt: See what rising fuel prices are driving gang members to do!!! Maybe now we will have pedal-bys instead of drive-bys....

by Cindy132: What type of gangs do they have in Utah County? Little Raskals?

by UtahCelt: I wonder if the police had to do a PIT manuever to spin out the suspect. Was it a high-speed pursuit?

by Observer317: The answer is "yes" on both questions. The officer had to walk briskly after the tricycle, and put his foot in front of one of the back tires. There was no damage to the tricycle, but the pursuing officer’s shoes were scuffed in the altercation.

by UtahCelt: Did the gang member have big floppy shoes, rainbow wig, red nose and go by the name "Homey D. Clown"?

by justapeon: what I want to know is if he was sucking his thumb as he peddled along.

by UtahCelt: I am trying to picture a gang member earning his street creds rollin' phat a Dora the Explorer tricycle with gold spinners....

by Jose V.: Wow!!! I better put my Hotwheels away!

by sundancer: Joyriding down the Boulevard on a stolen tricycle? This is even better than the police beat at BYU...

by x11x: I'm glad KSL did this story, now every time I see a gang banger I can picture him peddling away, flashing a gang sign, and roll'in phat on 3 inch wheels.

by Frankjohn: I can just see the news reports "And the fleeing perpetrator suffered severe puncture wounds to the crotch area when police attempted to spike the tires of the stolen vehicle..."

by Observer317: And everyone laughed at me when I put “The Club” on my Big Wheel. Well, I still have my Big Wheel, who's laughing now?

Original KSL story found here: Suspected Gang Member Arrested for Stealing Girl's Trike

[Posted song: "The Bicycle Song" by Red Hot Chili Peppers]