December 12, 2010

Long Overdue

My fabulous friend Ashley, who just made her photography business official, spent the day at our house so she could take photos of Dean, who was 16 days old at the time. She would have come over when he was even younger, except that she was in Europe for 3 weeks and just couldn't get away. Brat.

Anyway, her photos are fantastic. I should have posted these long ago, but dragging eyeballs (and various other body parts) and spotty brain function have hindered me. We would have made one of them our Christmas card this year, except he looks sooooo different now. Lots more fat.

Without further ado, here's our latest masterpiece.





This next one was a result of us trying to get him to smile. Babies that young don't usually smile unless they're gassy, but Dean had smiled in his sleep several times, especially when tickled on his cheek. So we were tickling, tickling, cooing, etc, but only got this:


But eventually he came around:


This next one is one of my favorites. I crocheted a swirly scarf the night before because I had this image in my mind, but on the day of, the scarf didn't look right, Dean wasn't cooperating, and that poor cake stand was mighty chilly on a newborn despite the space heater that was causing me to sweat through everything on my end. But thanks to Ashley's ingenuity and a little help from Photoshop, she pulled this off:


That one was for me, and this was for Ted:


We'll see which parent he'll take after more. Then we can say he always had it in him, and just hide the other picture. :)

And I love this one. She called it "Little details."

little details

Thanks so much, Ashley. I know he was a bit of a stinker for you (at one point, quite literally), but you made magic, once again.

December 10, 2010

I'm too olde for finals

I'm in the middle of finals, and I'm too old for them. Tests are really something that should be in my rear view mirror, but I'm a glutton for punishment, or I'm addicted to school . . . or whatever. It will make the holidays all the more enjoyable though once they're done. At least law school isn't like my high school where we'd get homework over the break . . . what kind of "holiday" is that? I'm a little anxious to see how the flying-home-for-Christmas is going to be with a 22-month old and a 4-month old. We'll just keep our fingers crossed that Tessa doesn't set anything off in the millimeter wave scanner. This trip just might reveal how old I really am.

Creation: Stitched 'Scream

A friend of mine recently had an adorable baby girl. She requested no gifts at her restaurant baby shower because this was her third baby and second girl, but come on - even third children need a few new things, right? As a 6th child, I understand how annoying hand-me-downs can get (esp when they're from one's brothers), so along with a little outfit (bought, not made - I'm not that good yet) I crocheted a toy ice cream cone. It's got little jingle bells in there for extra fun.

I used the pattern from this book but added the picot stitch around the bottom of the ice cream so it looked more like a scoop.

Welcome to the world, Lucy! You've got a rad family who will take you for real 'scream when you're old enough!

December 9, 2010

Creation: Hair clips

In preparation for a friend's craft fair, I made these to sell. Y'know, in my spare time. I'm pretty awesome like that.

"But Allison, if you're so awesome, how come you haven't blogged in forever?"

Because, dear friends, I like to spread my awesomeness around. Blogging awesomeness will be forthcoming.

If you're wondering if the goldfish are puffy, the answer is yes. I wanted them as close to the cracker as possible, so I stuffed them. I made the prototype for Tess a while back and let's just say she's tried to eat it on more than one occasion. That's not saying much, but I'm taking it as a win.

And now my awesome boobs have to tend to my awesome baby.

November 23, 2010

huge family concern

I made breakfast burritos this morning. They were quite good, if I do say so myself. Tessa and I were eating happily, and I had set aside Ted's for when he got done getting ready. We recently discussed how he had become a little bit burnt out on cold cereal every morning, so I figured he'd be pretty excited to have something different.

He came downstairs and saw what I was eating. He hesitated, then said, "I'm fasting today..."

I paused mid-bite to wait for the reason, admiring his tenacity when eggy, meaty, cheesy goodness was right in front of him. In all seriousness he continued,

"...that Bristol Palin doesn't win Dancing with the Stars."

Do you think we're perhaps a bit too invested? Nah....

November 22, 2010

On the cooling rack: Apricot Window Cookies

I've been on a kick lately of borrowing cookbooks from the library. It's a win-win. They're free (if you return them on time, ahem), you get only the recipes you want without cluttering up your kitchen, you can preview it before committing to buy, and it gives you the chance of trying something you normally might not.

These came from Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook. I tried SEVERAL recipes in that book, but I think Ted was getting tired of every single one of them containing chocolate. What can I say? It's not a real dessert unless it has chocolate.

So he took over the book and made these apricot windows because he likes fruity things.. heh.. They were perfectly made - crumbly shortbread-type crust paired with just the right amount of apricot preserves melted right on top and the meticulous piping job. (Scientists make the best bakers, I'm telling you) However, there was no chocolate, so I ended up enjoying them for breakfast with milk. mmmmm....

Dancing with the Stars finale.....TONIGHT!!

Are you an avid watcher this season? I've been. The drama keeps unfolding because


I've never been so bored watching someone dance before. She has no oomph, no spice, and she confessed in one of her interviews that she didn't even want to do it anymore. I think the American people need to take that into consideration and STOP FREAKIN' VOTING FOR HER. It's gotten out of hand. This is a dance competition, people. That means you vote for the best dancers. I say that, knowing that people who make for good entertainment are going to get through better than others, but Bristol is neither dancing, nor entertaining anyone with her bland facial expressions and forgotten routines. I'll admit she was never painful to watch, like a certain Michael Bolton I won't mention, but I feel for her partner who has to take her to clown classes just to get a smile out of her.


If you have been voting for her, please stop. She's hurting my face.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming of cute children and baked goods.

Winner of Brownies

It's about time I posted a winner for the captionless picture, don't you think?

Maybe it's because the winner knew that's what his daddy does all the time.
Maybe it was the only caption I read while fully awake.
Maybe it's because it was put to the tune of a Primary song that appealed to my naughty-with-the-nice facade nature.

In any case, the winner is clauss house. Congrats! Hopefully you'll share them with your husband and only gain half the poundage! Yay!

To all who participated, thank you. I had a couple of doozy captions myself, one of which was "Dude, those aren't handwarmers", but so many others were possible that I thought it'd be fun to open it up to anyone else. We enjoyed it!

November 6, 2010

Giveaway! Bragging Rights and Brownies

I'm not one to do giveaways often, but I was trying to come up with a way to get as much input as possible. You know how sometimes you have pictures for which you can think of absolutely no captions? And then you have pictures that could feasibly have, like, 20? This is one of the latter.

So let's have it. Shoot me your best caption for the above (unstaged!) picture, include your email address if I don't have it already, and next Saturday, Nov 13 at 11:59pm (Eastern time), I'll announce the winner according to the one that makes Ted and me laugh the hardest. Here's the bonus: I'll send you a batch of homemade brownies (unless you live in Australia. Sorry).

On a different note, that's the first time I've noticed how long my nose is.

November 2, 2010

There's $50 I saved

It's no secret I love Dancing with the Stars. Seriously, it's the best show on TV. Everything about it works, including the fact that both the competition and results shows are live.

There have been some fabulous moments: Mark Ballas' love for Michael Jackson and dancing to his songs whenever possible, Apolo and Julianne's cha-cha to Salt N Pepa's "Push It", Shawn Johnson's freestyle dance, and basically every time Maksim bares his chest. Yum.

Even the results shows are great because they usually pull in cool acts and have the pros dance during the chorus of the song. Hello, pros dancing the paso doble when Def Leppard performed "Pour Some Sugar on Me"! A personal favorite for me was seeing Heart a couple weeks ago, too. If the music is just meh, I can usually count on the dancing being stinkin' awesome.

Tonight, the dancers couldn't redeem the mess that was Taylor Swift.

I get it - multi-platinum Grammy winner, talented songwriter, hot and smokin', blah blah blah. But the girl cannot stay on the same pitch if it's longer than a quarter note. I can't even remember who danced to her song because her voice was so bad. And it didn't look like a fluke - she wasn't sick, the mic was working just fine, her band did everything right.

Guess who won't ever buy a ticket to watch her live?

October 31, 2010

Halloween '10: Treats

We went to a few to-dos this season. Here's what I contributed:

Decapitated bears for the Young Women. I spent more time on these than on the lesson. Oops.

Bananas and cream cake for the ward Trunk or Treat's Cake Walk.

And I think this was my favorite: melon brain. I thought of the sign at the last minute and Ted quickly whipped up the sign on some cardstock. Ten points if you know the reference.

Not pictured because I had way too many other things to think about were the yummy mummies. I wrapped two hot dogs in thin strips of pie dough and used two mustard-covered cloves for the eyes of the "Mummy & Daddy", then wrapped a ton of cocktail wienies as their mummy babies. Served with formaldehyde sauce (BBQ mixed with a little deli mustard). Cute. Tasty.

Halloween '10: Costumes

This year's pumpkin patch: the neighborhood grocery store. Tessa picked us out a fine one.

I stressed myself out this Halloween. In recent past years, I couldn't give a rat's p'tootie for Halloween. As a kid, I dressed up, sure. Went and got myself a load of free candy, you bet. I might have gotten turned off to it, though, during my freshman year in college. I was told everyone on BYU campus dresses up for Halloween. So I went to my History of Civ class all decked out. I should have reported that person to the Honor Code office because HE LIED. The only other person dressed up was the mega-dorky T.A. It was a very awkward Mitch-in-Modern-Family moment. That night, however, I redeemed myself and dressed as Mrs Roper from Three's Company and trick-or-treated in the freshman dorms, and by then, everyone was in costume. I recall that being very fun.

However, since then, I haven't been as into it.

And then I had my first kid, which changed the fun factor as far as dressing up because, c'mon, babies in costume?? Can't deny that adorable-ness. Ted and I played it mellow last year, but for this year, my wheels have been turning since last Feb or March when I went to an out-of-town fabric store with a friend and saw the fabric that was destined to become a disco dress for Tessa. Then the rest of our costumes kinda came together after that. I've been on a family-themed costume kick the last couple years, and I already have a spark of an idea for next. Why do I do this to myself?

The theme was "Disco is dead", though you know I don't believe that. It was just a good theme to pull off, so I went with it. I had it in mind to make all 4 of our costumes but misjudged the speed at which I'm able to sew. Sew.....I only got the kids' costumes done, but I was pleased with how they turned out. Observe.

Tessa displayed our records (B side: Hot Stuff) and Dean was our reflecting disco ball. I danced the night away in an afro wig which I've always wanted to wear, and the "dead" part was Ted as the grim reaper. It was nice to put that PhD robe to use again. And my "costume"....well...consisted of clothes I already own and wear on a normal basis. Does that mean I'm stuck back in the 70s? Oh well.

Dean's disco ball really was a ball. It's squished in the picture because he weighs almost 50 pounds and he couldn't keep it out of his mouth (I found a sequin or two on his chin at various times. You'd think I didn't feed the kid). I found a great tutorial for a soccer ball and just used a different fabric and lined it so it wouldn't get all wonky (the sequin fabric had some stretch to it). I sewed straps and elastic into the seams so it wouldn't come off, then stuck him in his black felted car seat for a better dance floor contrast. Of the four of us, Dean was the biggest hit. No surprise. A 2-month old wearing a shiny disco ball? There was no hope for the rest of us. :)

I worked all week on getting her to do this pose. I don't know if I'm more proud of that or her dress.
It was the first time I made up a pattern, so it's not perfect, but yeah, I'll admit, I was pretty dang excited about that little number.

She was uncharacteristically shy during this video, but you get the idea:

October 29, 2010


Being pregnant is a pretty incredible thing. After the initial excitement, fear, or possible apprehension wears off, even if it took a while to get to that point, lots of women (myself included) tend to move into moments of complaining. Y'know, constant queasiness, loosening joints, back pain, getting your bladder kicked by your fetus. You feel like you have every right to complain, so you do, and then you feel bad for complaining because you realize what a miracle it is that you can grow an entire human being in your body, and that sometimes, for some women, it's not so easy to do. So you stop complaining. For, like, an hour. Then the process starts all over again.

At least that's how pregnancy goes for me. In all of my pregnified experience.

Several times during the nine (plus) months I also start to wonder about our little offspring's character and personality. Will s/he be mellow and pleasant, spawn of Satan, or something in between? What about sports? Music? Gardening? Chocolate or vanilla? Boxers or briefs? As a former student and subsequent teacher of biology, I'm well aware that the gene recombination combinations are limitless, so I find pleasure in all the speculation permutations. The thought of this little person possibly ending up with some of my better traits is pretty exciting. The thought of him/her ending up with my not-so-good ones (I have fears of Tessa trying to outdo her mom with how many guys she makes out with) conversely scares the pants off me. Either way, as kids grow up, they begin to show little glimpses of what their parents gave them.

Recently, there have been a couple of instances that have evidenced my children and I have come from the same gene pool.

First, Tessa. She is sooo affectionate and playful now. She loves to grab a book and come sit on one of our laps to have us read it. She entertains herself easily with a toy or puzzle, and loves the almost daily dance parties we have in our living room. And she has learned a lot of new words. The important ones. One afternoon, we were playing on the floor while dinner was finishing cooking. Tessa was happy as a clam, giggling and playing with us, sitting in between the two of us with a favorite toy in her hands. I asked, "Tessa, do you want to eat?" She immediately dropped the toy, dropped her smile, and got up on her feet and headed to the kitchen without a word. Except that once she got to her high chair, she turned around and repeated, "EEE!" (Eat.) That is one single-minded 20-month old.

Next up, Dean. A while ago, Ted and I watched that "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD about the 5 S's, which ended up being pretty helpful, but the way it was presented made us giggle in some spots. The pediatrician who came up with all the hoo-ha on the DVD called the first few months of the baby's life "essentially the fourth trimester" because there are so many adjustments a newborn has to go through, and while s/he is figuring out this crazy new body, Mom and Dad are trying to figure out the baby figuring himself out.

Dean totally fit into this description. He is still kind of in this stage. A month or so ago, he was crying and squirming and getting mad no matter what position I put him in, no matter if he was eating from bottle or boob, no matter if he was being swaddled or swung or sound-machined. The fussing went on for half an hour with no relief for him or me. And then. His butt exploded. His body completely relaxed, but the best part was that his head rolled back and he had a HUGE smile on his face. I witnessed my first infant poophoria. And I gotta say, I've had that feeling he was feeling soooooo many times.

Yup. Those are my kids. I love them.

October 12, 2010

5/12ths of the way through

Now that Ted's almost halfway through this semester, I thought I'd post the 2010 version of the first day of school. Dean's very proud of his daddy, and has the outfit to prove it. Our own blue devil's threads came in the mail courtesy of Christy, who refashioned it from her husband's pre-loved t-shirt. Apparently, she's had the shirt in her stash for years, waiting for the perfect project for it, then along came our mutual friend's tutorial on making a newborn gown from a t-shirt, and then her absolute best friend in the whole wide world (moi) makes a move to NC because her husband chose Duke. Then they had another baby. It was like the stars aligned. I put him in this gown constantly. I loves.

And here's the 2009 version of the absolute First day of law school, which I don't think I ever got around to posting last year.

We were still homesick, hence the Caltech gear. Also, we're not on the same page as many Southerners here, who have half their closets full of North Carolina college gear the second their lease is signed. It's nuts.

For next year's first day of school, there will not be an additional child. But perhaps we can have both our current ones in the same photo. I forget there was a time when there was only ONE roll in Tessa's thighs.

September 17, 2010

On the cooling rack: Banana Bundts with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

I have complained a few times over the last year that we never have bananas ripe enough for me to make banana bread. There are three solid-food-eaters under this roof, and all three of us eat a banana almost every day. Sometimes I share a banana with Tessa in hopes that the banana spared will turn a lovely shade of spotted so I can make a smoothie or a loaf of bread with it. But then it gets eaten. Grrr!

But this week, my friends, this was it. Ted was gone in San Diego for two and a half days, and during that time, I stayed at a friend's house with Tessa and Dean. And our half dozen bananas that were ripe when we left got...riper. Ted had to leave for another trip to DC for two days, and I fed Tessa a pear instead of a banana for breakfast.


Banana baked goodies, here I come!

In searching for my loaf pans, I came across the mini bundt pans we registered and got for our wedding. I'm trying to remember if I've used them yet. My mind flashed back to one of the greatest desserts I've had at Corner Bakery - their Banana Bundt Cake with Maple Icing. It was delish. I figured I have the world's greatest banana bread recipe (courtesy of a recipe my mom created decades ago), so why not turn it into a bundt and throw some maple icing on it? Why not, indeed! So I'm here to share.

Banana Bundt Cake

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (from 2 medium bananas - the blacker, the better [like my men {that was for you, Chris}])
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease six mini bundt pans. I use spray to get into all the nooks (and crannies). Also, if you only have four pans, like I do, you can also spray a mini loaf pan.

Cream together shortening and sugars. Add eggs and beat. Add banana and beat to combine. Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add to batter. Spoon batter carefully into bundt pans about 2/3 full. DO NOT OVERFILL.

Bake 15-20 min or until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs on it. Let cool in pans 10 min or so, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my go-to cream cheese frosting. I would halve it for the above recipe, then just add maple flavoring (which is already a lovely shade of brown) to it.
1 stick butter
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
3-4 cups powdered sugar
Maple flavoring (optional)
Chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla and salt, beat again. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.

If using this as a maple icing, the consistency is perfect if you zap it in the micro for a few seconds, stir in a little imitation maple flavoring, and drizzle away. If you're feeling randy (always, thank you), chop up a few pecans and toast in a nonstick skillet over med-low heat for a few minutes and garnish while the icing is still wet.

Eat, and moan.
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One month old

Cute little bugger, I humbly opine.
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September 11, 2010

Family outing: Mapleview Farms

We ventured about 15 miles from our house to indulge in some fabulous ice cream out in the bonafide countryside, made on site from North Carolinian cows. The dairy farm has a quaint country store where you can turn in your empty glass milk bottles and pick up more of their fresh, creamy milk. I hear tell their skim tastes like whole, but who gives a crap about milk when there's small-batch-produced ice cream to be had?

I introduced my mom to the many wonders while she was here. She got coconut, I got banana pudding. I know what you're thinking: "But there's no chocolate in banana pudding ice cream, dummy!" I realize this, and to that rude affront, I reply that to balance out my diet, I occasionally dabble in non-chocolate dessert items and still manage to find them quite delicious. Besides, one of life's greatest pleasures is a fresh banana milkshake, so I figured my flavor choice wouldn't stray too far from the mark. I was totally right, as usual.

The other thing I love about this place is the porch they provide, on which to enjoy said fab s'cream. There are no less than 20 rockers, all lined up. So feasibly I could invite my whole family and only half of them would have to sit on the floor. tee hee.

Last year, I came with Tessa shortly after our NC arrival and got this shot:

I decided to reprise the staging, so here's the 2010 version:

And since it looks like we started a tradition, here's Dean's first (he couldn't sit up well enough in the chair yet, so Grandma's helping him out 'til he can get more starch in him):

Now there's one dessert who's even MORE tasty than chocolate. Big servings of him are TOTALLY on my diet.

September 7, 2010

Creation: Dress for Tess

About a month ago, my friend Melanie and I were discussing all our shortcomings in the sewing department. We each have a sewing machine, lots of desire, very little time, and several half-begun projects. It was a few days before she left NC for good (her husband recently graduated from Duke Law) and we were making our attempts to prolong the inevitable goodbyes.

So on that Friday night, I promised to her that I would finish this dress I'd started back in January. I had been scared of it because I was working with a stretchy fabric, a non-stretchy lining (and I've NEVER done lining before, of any kind), and the fluffy ball trim that kept getting caught in places where I didn't want it (isn't that always the case?). But Sunday would be the last day I'd see her. And it was Friday night. So I hunched over my sewing machine a good part of Friday night and Saturday night after Tessa was in bed and just did it. "Hunching over" has a whole new meaning when there's a nine-month pregnant belly to contend with.

Here's the result:

I'm not showing any pictures any closer because there are details I'm not proud of (like the fabric puckering along one side of the zipper in the back). When you're working against a deadline, things have to be sacrificed. Of course, now I see that zipper and just cringe, but I keep telling myself I'm chalking up this dress to a learning experience.

She's my little chocolate covered raspberry in it.

August 27, 2010

One week old

When Grandma Kae was here, we were getting a little stir-crazy, so we decided to get ourselves to the fully-in-bloom Duke Gardens near campus. It only took one hour to load up the car with two kids and two adults. The second I opened our front door, I regretted the decision, as I was met with a blast of wet heat. But we had packed and prepared, so off we went.

This was only 10 minutes into the outing, and I was already dripping in all the wrong places. It took longer than I would have liked to get this simple picture. We originally wanted both kids in it, but Tessa was being ridiculous. She knows how to walk, but when she gets onto uneven ground, she freaks out and doesn't want to budge. So in order to get to this point...

... we had to suffer through this.

Enjoying one of the only shady spots in the place. SHADE! I NEED MORE SHADE!!!

And here's one of the main reasons we went. A week after Tessa was born, we went to Huntington Gardens near Pasadena with Ted's brother's family and spent a good part of the day there. (February in Pasadena = MUCH better weather) Ted and I have a series of "foliage shots" that we've posed for in various places, so we thought we'd get Tessa's first foliage shot there that day. So here's Tessa at one week old:

And here's Dean's first foliage shot at one week. What do you think? See a resemblance?

August 12, 2010

He's here!


Dean Olin Ririe
born August 9, 2010
9:45 am
9 lbs 12 oz
aka "Fatty"

With a scheduled c-section, there isn't quite as much drama attached to the birth story. No frantic rides to the hospital, no death threats from spouses, no "I was in the middle of saving the whales when my water broke" scenarios. Instead, I woke up early Monday morning, took a shower, drove myself to the hospital, checked myself in, and waited for Ted to arrive. He had taken Tessa to a friend's house while I was getting settled, and other than my veins collapsing every time they tried to put in an IV (I ended up getting stuck 5 times), everything went as planned. My nurses and doctors were absolutely fantastic from beginning to end, Ted was supportive and encouraging, and my mom came the next day with a whole pound of See's candy to speed my recovery.

Ted picked up our daughter a little later to bring her to the hospital because I missed her already. She was quite enamored with the "BEH-beeeee!" and I can only hope it lasts.

One of my first snuggles with the little cub.

When you schedule your own child's birth, you have less of a "nesting instinct" and more of an "impending deadline." The upside to scheduling is you have time to put makeup on for better "after" pictures. The downside is that you get put on morphine (well, it can be considered an upside, too. Let's be honest) which makes your whole body itch for about 24 hours. So after a day of rubbing, scratching, and pulling at my face as if I had a whole-body mosquito bite, I looked more like a typical woman who just gave birth (see photo below. eeks!).

The new "us". Welcome to the family, Dean!

August 8, 2010

The day before we became four

It is the eve of (?)'s birth. I felt it was important to document it while I was wearing makeup, for it may be quite a long time before that happens again.

August 7, 2010

Sure, I can laugh about it now...

When you visit one particular grocery store about twice a week (lots of ice cream sales lately!), you start to recognize or even strike up conversations with some of the familiar faces. And you begin to learn who's generally friendly and who to steer away from.

I came through one day last week with a moderate-sized grocery load. I'm leaning over the cart unloading the things onto the conveyor belt while Tessa is flirting with whomever is behind us. The checker, a girl who looks like she's maybe in her early 20s (if not younger), is expressionless as she beeps every item across her scanner. She did her requisite "Hey. How are you today" sentence (I won't call it a "question" because it had none of the voice inflection of someone inquisitive, let alone sincere) as she carried on, and completely disregarded my chirpy response (I happened to be in a pretty good mood that day, considering).

But the defining moment was when she held up one of my produce bags containing some beautiful hand-picked greens to her face level and asked, in that same annoyed monotone, "What are these?" Except her version was, "whuddatheez." I half-grinned (which ticked her off even more) and said, "Brussels sprouts", and she let out the most exasperated sigh because that meant she had to look up the number on her sheets of paper. I mean, why doesn't each individual sprout come with a sticker to help out poor people like that!

Then she made some snide comment to the bagger about Cheetos when she saw I was buying some of those, too. Apparently, she hates "stuff with cheese on 'em". And of course I'm an idiot for enjoying those crunchy, neon orange love puffs.

Fast forward to yesterday. I was actually going to be in a public place (the hospital where I'm scheduled to give birth Monday morning), so I spent a little more time looking somewhat presentable, both for myself and for the sake of the nursing staff who will soon be my godsends. Once again, I was in a good mood. I got to have a lengthy phone conversation with my brother on my way to the hospital (for preliminary blood work), I looked relatively cute (which is a stretch to say considering the sheer mammoth of this belly now, AND my doubled chin that doesn't disappear when I hold my head up higher), and I was excited to be getting one step closer to meeting this little boy who has called my womb home for the last 39+ weeks. I called Ted on my way home and mentioned that since Tessa was still napping (he was at home with her), I'd go run to the store real quick for milk and bananas. And all the great cereals were 50% off. I consider it food storage.

Anyway, I see a line that has NO ONE IN IT! Every other line was full because of the 5:00 hour, so I waddle on over to it and start unloading. Then I realize why it's empty. Annoyed Monotone is there, sitting on her duff picking at her nails. I must not be the only one who knows what this means: I'm in for it again.

She's once again expressionless and insincere until I move from behind the scanner thing and she gets a look at my belly. Keep in mind that I thought I looked pretty good for 9 1/2 months pregnant. Her now famous line in our household:

"How many you got in there."

Again, not a real question. I wasn't sure I heard her right, so I tried to cover all my bases.

"I have one at home, and there's just one in here (pointing to belly)."

"Look like you gots twins. Cuz you big."



Thought process: [Is she joking? Did she really say that to me? Don't females know to never insinuate largeness to other females unless you have a personal vendetta against them? Does she have a personal vendetta against me? How is that possible? I just buy groceries here!]


Dash it all. And may God strike your skinny little body to blow up to balloon proportions if you're ever lucky enough to land a man long enough to get you pregnant, you rude little snot.

August 2, 2010

Fourth Recap

It's becoming a tradition - Utah for the Fourth. This was our 3rd year in a row that we've made the trip (thank you, Anneli & Glen), and once again, we had a ball.

Two things we can count on every year. One is the ward breakfast for Ted's parents' ward - the one he grew up in. I don't know how long they've been doing it, but "forever" seems to fit the bill. My first year, I played in the band they round up (made up of anyone who's ever played an instrument in their life + their relations) and LaVell Edwards gave a nice tribute to our flag. They raise the flag and the scouts seem to get it caught on a tree every year (this year it got caught AND was upside down - classic), then the Primary sings a song or two out on the grass, we have a prayer, and dig into breakfast while the Young Women sell baked goods for camp. Since lots of people come "home" for the Fourth, it turns out to be quite a reunion, and it's been fun to just hang out and drink chocolate milk with the masses.

This also happens every year: watching the Stadium of Fire (!) fireworks from the Ririe front deck. Last year, P & K hooked us up with tickets to the actual inside of the stadium, so we got to see tweens clutching their bosoms as they sang along with the Jonas Brothers and actually witnessed Glenn Beck shed a tear. Since that never happens, we were so excited to be a part of history.

Planned: lots of booms..

Unplanned: Tessa getting SO excited to see "the baby". It made me hopeful for what is to come.

Planned: Outdoor time with Grandpa Del.

Unplanned: Photo op with the new hat addition to the collection. I think it suits her.

Planned: Spending the actual 4th at my brother's house for a BBQ with 4 of my brothers and their wives and kids. Awesome food, even better company (as in, completely therapeutic).

Unplanned: Not getting a SINGLE PHOTO of the festivities because we were too busy making memories to actually document them. Sigh. Dallin, your wings hold a special place in my heart, and Candacy, Gary, Emily, and Martha, I could have laughed and gossiped with you all night.

Planned: A day up at "The Cabin" in Heber. GORGEOUS day, gorgeous scenery, perfect weather.

Also planned: Bocce ball on Glen's homemade court in the back. Didn't happen because they had way too many other things to do.

Unplanned: (not pictured) Tessa experiencing her first bout of car sickness-induced vomit on the winding road TO The Cabin. Totally threw me a curveball, and it smelled disgusting. Hence the pink shirt with the orange pants. I'm not usually that out of it.

Also unplanned: Me falling twice on the 30-minute hike around the environs. My balance lately has been...not so good.

Planned: A trek to St George to spend a few days with my parents while no one else was there. Tessa got quality time with Grandpa and Grandma K without 23 other grandchildren running around. We visited the Wildlife Museum and were awestruck by all the animals that one man traveled around the world and killed for our amusement.

Also planned: A day of swimming somewhere - we didn't care where. My mom recommended the most incredible pool/mini-Raging-Waters I've ever seen in my life, but in the meantime, we went to this splash pad in the 100+ degree heat.

Unplanned: Tessa being scared of the splashing water. Notice she's at the edge of the dry part. She wouldn't wander in without one of us holding her hand. I didn't mind in the least, but a wet t-shirt contest when one is pregnant takes on a whole new meaning. Thankfully, we were mostly alone.

Planned: Getting used to it, then loving it.

Planned: Tessa's glee at hundreds of apricots from Grandpa's tree at her disposal.

Unplanned: Family hammock time! (Before we become four)

Planned: Meeting up with a BFF, Christy, somewhere in Provo since we seem to have the same mecca-like traditions (we both married Provo natives, and we still can't get them to stop yammering on about the talking Christmas tree that used to be at ZCMI).

Unplanned: Meeting at University Mall, of all places, to enjoy an Iceberg "mini" shake (can we say 32 oz???) and some bland onion rings that had no business being in my gullet.

Also unplanned: A picture of me 8 months pregnant. I don't like pictures of myself pregnant, but I had to document my reunion with this fabulous woman. The other picture didn't have her hand on my belly to ACCENTUATE it, but I made a sacrifice and posted this one because look at little Annie in the corner. I mean, come on! She steals the show!

That last shot is meant to sate all you sick perverts who wanted to see my hard-earned efforts of "cow" status. It's even worse now, but that's for the next post.

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...