September 25, 2008

Studentisms 3.0

Back to school! Back to crazy quips from my crazy kids!

1. We began the unit on graphing motion last week, so I had them begin by just graphing (mapping) their house in relation to the school. We drew the school in the middle of the paper, and then I told them they needed to put it within context of directions, so we added the North/South/East/West on each side. However, it turns out some students learned it clockwise by acronym so they wouldn't mess them up. This is because they're dumb. So one girl yelled "Never Eat Sour Worms!" as I wrote the N at the top. I reported this mnemonic to the other classes, so they thought they'd be cute and think up their own.

Gabby: No-one Eats Sea Weed.
me: Well, except sushi lovers.
Alexis: Never Exaggerate. So Weird!
me: That doesn't even make sense! Unless it's irony.
Alexis: What?
me: Nevermind.
Oscar: Never Ever Smoke Weed!
me: Now that's one I think this class can remember. Nice job. Maybe we should give that advice to the colorful individuals in the back alley outside our room who allow their herbal essence to waft in here every day.

2. I thought I'd told everyone I was pregnant. I'm sure I did, but there are students who are notorious in our school for never paying attention, so I got this one today:
Andy: Hey, Allison. You looked a lot thinner last year. Weren't you thinner?
me: You know I'm pregnant, right?
Andy: Oh, you are? I didn't know.

3. I get frequent visits by several of my students from last year, whom I now miss like crazy. Two girls came by a few weeks ago and I told them I was pregnant.
Marielena: You are??? Oh, that's so great! Congratulations!
Sandra: When I walked in I wondered why your boobs were so big.
me: (Gee whiz) Well, now you know. And yes, they're getting out of control. But don't I look a little pregnant?
Marielena: No, just a little bit fatter.
me: (AAAAARRRRRRRRGH!!!! What is it with 14-yr olds???)

4. I was accosted by a random 6th grader in the halls a few days after I told my own students (all 8th graders) that I was pregnant.
Random 6th grader: Is it true you're going to have a baby?
me: Yup.
Random 6th grader: Do you know if it's a boy or a girl yet?
me: No, not yet.
Random 6th grader whom I don't know and have no connection with whatsoever: OOH! If it's a girl, you should name it Alejandra, and if it's a boy, AlejanDRO.
me: Why would I do that?
Random 6th grader: Because that's MY name!
me: I don't know you, nor do I have any connection with you whatsoever. Why would I name my first-born child after you, or any of my born children, for that matter?
Alejandra: Because it's me!

Upon reflection I realized a couple of things. The first was that although I was a bit annoyed (complete with eye-rolling), this girl was just as forward and petulant as I've been known to be. Go figure.

The second was that I could always save a name like that for kid #3 or 4, kinda like Jose and Lucia Es-smit did with their brood: Alvin, Hyrum, Samuel, William, Joseph, and then BAM! Don Carlos and Sophronia. Finish it off with a Catherine and a Lucy and you've got yourself an inside-out Oreo: whites on the outside, brown in the middle. It could work, especially considering most of my students are convinced I'm at least half-Mexican anyway. But if the kid pops out with Ted's coloring, we'll never get away with it. We'll have to name it Sven.

September 24, 2008

Yum Day 3

It's been a while since we had one of these, but it's also been a while since I cooked anything good for Ted (according to him). Kidding!

Today's entry, Prosciutto-Wrapped Tilapia Filets, comes to us from one of my BFFs (we had to verbally confirm that status recently even though most of our relationship is based solely on food), Christy B. Whilst we visited and cavorted over the summer, she fed us this SCRUMPTIOUS meal, and had it from fridge to table in less than 20 minutes. No joke. I added roasted red potatoes with rosemary last night, so I had to start those first, but it made for a VERY satisfying and visually aesthetic meal. Plus, when you're done, your whole house smells like bacon! Win-win! Pigs are so tasty...


4 tilapia filets, thawed or fresh - choose thick ones
12-16 sage leaves (thanks for planting the fresh sage, MuffinPants!)
3-4 oz prosciutto
salt and pepper
olive oil

Salt and pepper each filet. Place 3-4 sage leaves on top and wrap with 1 or 2 slices of prosciutto, depending on size.

Heat 1-2 Tbsp in large skillet over med-high heat. Place filets in pan and cook 3-4 min on each side (more if the cuts are thicker) or until fish is white (not translucent) throughout. Serve warm with brown rice or Roasted Rosemary Potatoes (below).


One red potato for each person, more if they're small (they go quickly!)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary from your neighbor's garden
Salt and pepper (fresh ground is best)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. Chop potatoes into thick wedges (about 8 per potato) and arrange on cookie sheet with a lip on all sides. Drizzle (don't drown) with olive oil, ground some sea salt and pepper on those babies, and toss. Sprinkle rosemary on top and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until slightly browned and crispy on the edges. Toss once after 20 minutes and again after 30 for even cooking. Really easy and REALLY good. See?

September 19, 2008


No, that picture isn't of Allison, but we did have an ultrasound at the radiology clinic on Wednesday. This was supposedly "the ultrasound" - you know, the one where you find out if your wee one has 1 or 2 X chromosomes. It all ended up being a tad on the anticlimactic side however. First of all, Allison got to the hospital about 30 minutes early, she signed in at the front desk, and then as she was sitting down, but before her hind end had even touched the chair, they called her back for the appointment. So, when I arrived (15 minutes early mind you) Allison was no where to be seen. After consulting the receptionist, she was finally located, but I still ended up waiting around in the aptly named waiting room for about an hour.

I had expectations of how the appointment was supposed to go, and things weren't going to plan. We'd actually been anticipating this appointment more than a 47 year old bachelor in mustard yellow spandex awaiting the release of the next Star Trek film. I expected that after showing us various images of the developing fetus the ultrasonographer would ask, "do you want to know the sex of the baby?" That didn't happen. In actuality Allison ended up asking her if she could tell the gender and her response was, "it looks pretty girly." Girly? Then Allison asked her how sure she was and she said 70%! We don't really know how to take that. I mean, I could have stared into a crystal ball and told Allison with 50% certainty that it was a girl. What's this 70%? So anyhow, it looks like we are maybe, possibly having a girl. We're hoping that at our doctor's appointment next week the OB might do an ultrasound of her own and give us a slightly more...shall I say...definitive answer.

We named the fetus Sparky weeks ago - it seemed pretty gender neutral. Now that there's a (mostly unscientific) 70% chance that it's a girl we're wondering if we should feminize the name a little and call it Sparkly. That sounds a little too much like the name of some yappy little lap dog that you'd see in the upcoming cinematic abomination Beverly Hills Chihuahua so the jury's still out on that one. Stay tuned for updates. Maybe by next week the odds will have climbed a percentage point or two!

September 15, 2008

Gimme some sugar

A pregnant woman needs food. This is a known fact. When a pregnant woman doesn't have food, several things can happen, none of which are good. Ted has been very patient and understanding through these episodes, even when he had to put his clothes back on in the middle of the night to search for "anything with protein!!" in unknown Medford, Oregon while I wimpered in pain, alone and completely foodless, in our motel room.

Since that time, I have really tried to make sure I have a small 7-11 in my purse at all times. This came in handy last Tuesday when we met at the Hollywood Bowl for Esa Pekka's last bowl performance before leaving the LA Phil later this year. We found our seats, but neither of us had had any time to get food to bring in. Luckily, I had eaten a salad at my desk before I left to meet Ted, but he hadn't had a thing to eat since lunch. So in order for my husband to not cry bitter tears, I reached into my purse/convenience store and shared my wares: a chocolate chip fiber bar, tropical fruit snacks, and a smashed Almond Snickers. Not the most romantic or elaborate dinner I've had at the bowl, but it served its purpose. Though I was willing to share, I had to come to grips with the fact that I married someone who had no problem taking food from a pregnant woman. To make up for it, he tries to remind me to eat something every few hours so we don't have another Medford episode, but sometimes it can't be helped.

Like yesterday. We began choir practice before 11am church, which means I was eating breakfast at 9:30. By the time we left the parking lot at 2:30 (after all the gab sessions), the ol' tummy was rumbling again. Since I hadn't replenished my purse with "healthy" goods, all I had to nibble on were the pieces of See's candy we bought at the mall the night before. Boo hoo hoo. Here are the 4 pieces I had:

By the time we'd finished our See's feast, we were at home again. I got out of the car and walked to our front door when I felt something VERY strange - our baby galloping across my lower abdomen for the first time. It's been moving for weeks (our ultrasound proved), but post-See's was the first time I felt it.

Ted was a little sad he couldn't feel it too, so later that night (after we had a normal dinner: prosciutto-stuffed pork tenderloin, brown rice, and seasoned tomatoes) I had several bites of a gooey, chocolatey, nutty, delicious cake my VT brought over, and just laid down. Sure enough, it started going crazy. Ted put his hand on my belly and felt a couple of swaggles. Immediate response to sugar? Looks like this one is definitely ours.

September 3, 2008

Good for a Giggle

Target was already one of my favorite stores for obvious one-stop-shopping reasons (new reason: cute maternity clothes!). And now I love it for people-watching and overhearing conversations.

You know what I'm talking about: the couples who argue over what toothpaste is better, the Spinal-Tap-esque morons who turn up the volume on the stereos just to see which one is louder, the kids screaming in the toy section. I made a trip there on Labor Day and had two amusing encounters, which I'd love to recount just for fun. The first was in the food section. As I walked down one aisle, I saw a girl bent over to pick up a 12-pack of Diet Coke (aka "Sweet Nectar"). A man I couldn't see was telling her in quite a feminine voice, "Sweetie, ugh. Diet Coke is SO much worse for you than regular Coke. There have been studies, fer sure." She didn't heed this advice (good girl), but as I came around the corner I saw where the comment came from - a dude who looked a lot like this:

Can we say, severe case of pot calling the kettle black? No wonder she disregarded him.

The other instance was in the Health/Beauty section which is right across from the Lingerie section ("Ropa Intima" if you're Spanish-speaking, or Ted). I had just picked up my contact solution when I spotted a distracted mother pushing her toddler daughter in a cart. The toddler saw the display of colored bras and exclaimed, "Mama, look! Covers for the milkies!" Her mom, not even half-listening, responded with "Uh huh..." as I passed with my hand over my mouth in glee.

And speaking of funny things kids say, I have to relate another story that has nothing to do with Target. I called an old mission companion a couple nights ago and we just laughed and laughed for over an hour. She told me a story of her 4-yr-old boy's discovery. As she was cleaning up from dinner one night, he came into the room stark naked, lifted up his "peter" (her term) and exclaimed, "Mom! Under here are my nuts!!" She glared at her husband who was in hysterics. His only defense: "What was I supposed to tell him??" Ah, anatomy.

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...