Monday, February 28, 2011


So, I know my friends in Indiana and Utah, and basically anyplace that isn't southern California are going to call me a pansy for saying this, but I'm going to anyway.

It's cold here!

Yes, I know, 50+ degrees in February is downright balmy in most of the continental US, but in most of the continental US where it gets cold people also build homes and offices with functional heaters, double-paned windows that actually insulate a bit, and (maybe even better) with actual insulation in the walls to, you know, insulate. Since SoCal has such great weather all the time such expensive niceties aren't really standard. While we can open the blinds on our floor to ceiling windows and let in as much light as filters through the evergreen eucalyptus outside, it's not really enough to keep the temperature in the office much more than slightly above ambient outdoor temperature. Which right now, if you're curious, is 62 degrees--up from the 54 it was when we walked in.

Anyway, we've had a good weekend. I have a new calling (1st councilor in the Primary Presidency. I have no idea what that entails yet, though) and skipped out of my last opportunity to lead music in RS to go to a baby shower. I do want to say I hate getting new callings, just because I'm always so sad to be released from the old one. It doesn't matter how much I know I'll love the new one--I'm always sad to leave a calling.

In any case, the shower was a lot of fun. Most of the showers I've been to haven't involved a lot of games because apparently most people think are lame. Being lame myself, I had fun playing the games, though I also I haven't played too many of them before. The one I had played (or been the subject of, anyway) was the estimate the size of the mom-to-be's belly. This was played at one of my showers and the thing I noticed was that people generally way overestimated the size of my belly. I figured the same thing would happen here, and it did, but less than at my shower. Most of us took the piece of string and wrapped it around our bellies, then estimated how far out the mom-to-be's belly went. I was within 1/2 inch, which was only good enough for third place in this crowd of rather good estimators.

I'm leaving the gross part of the weekend for last. If you don't like poop stories, stop reading.

As many of you know, we use cloth diapers. I'm a big fan, if for no other reason than because they're cheap. Sure, cleanup of the poopy diapers is a little gross, but even that isn't all that bad. The absolute BEST part of cloth diapers is that the ones we have use snaps rather than velcro, which, up until recently, has kept the diapers on Sylvia's behind until I am ready to deal with changing her.

Lately, though, she's learned how to take off her diaper.

The other day she took one off shortly after I'd checked it. I asked her if it was wet, and she said yes, so I wasn't terribly surprised or concerned when she started to remove it. Then I saw the inside and realized it was too dark to simply be wet. Unfortunately, by the time the color of the diaper registered, it was already off and my daughter was launching it from between her legs up into the air. I watched it arc in slow motion, yelling, "NO!!!"

Fortunately, it landed diaper-side down.

I so hope she potty trains soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Is that good?

Yesterday after Sylvia refused to fall asleep on the way home from church (she's discovered singing at top volume interferes with sleeping--go figure) and after she gave my cat a helping of kitty-pot, er, catnip, she decided she needed to eat some cat food herself. I told her no, and Derrick told her no, both of which I asked her if she likes cat food, to which she replied, "yes."

To prove how much she likes it, she then opened her mouth and showed us how tasty pre-chewed cat food looks.


A few minutes later Sylvia broke a crayon so she could pull off the paper wrapping. Derrick yelled at her, saying "We've told you not to do that. Do you even listen to us?"

My (very honest) daughter replied, "no."

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Several months ago, fairly shortly after we moved here, we saw snails crawling over the outside of the bedroom window. One of the snails left a long trail of poop behind it, which I, without thinking, pointed out to Sylvia. Ever since, all snails have been "poopy snails."

Yesterday morning Derrick discovered a mass of "poopy snails" happily suctioned to the underside of a discarded capri-sun package. This prompted him to yell, "Ooh gross! Come look at this!"

Somehow I don't think it occurred to him that Sylvia would be the first to respond.

Somehow I also don't think he expected our darling, precious, princess of a daughter to play with the "poopy snails."

Somehow I think Derrick has a lot to learn about little girls. Especially ones related to me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Legislative fun

Want a peek into the political argument going on in Washington? Well, the GOP has provided a lovely of all the amendments proposed for the H.R. 1 bill (the budget).

Ideology is proudly on display in those amendment, folks, with republicans proposing to de-fund any bill or organization they don't like (Health care, the new consumer protection agency, the IPCC, NSF, NOAA, and EPA, and the list goes on). Dems mostly either take aim at the military or simply strike out sections of the H.R. 1 bill. It's a pretty mind-numbing read, though sadly important, while at the same time a complete waste of time in terms of actually attacking the problems they're supposedly aiming at.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Utah, place of sanity

I'm sure it's far from passing, but apparently there are at least a few cooler heads in the immigration debate--and in Utah, no less. According to this USA Today article there's a proposal before the Utah state legislature to grant illegal immigrants work permits, as long as they undergo criminal background checks, pay taxes, and learn English. What a sane, rational idea--find out who is in the country, make sure they're not criminals, and put in place a mechanism to both keep them from being exploited and collect the taxes that will support the resources they do use. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Of course, there are people who don't like the plan, and I'm sure there are other proposals out there to treat them like criminals and make their lives as miserable as possible, but it's still wonderful to see at least a few people seriously thinking about how to deal with illegal immigrants in a measured, respectful way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I'm feeling terribly judgmental at the moment. My sister in law is at the hospital in labor with her first child. I'm not there, so I know I shouldn't at all be second guessing what the doctor is doing, but it sounds like he's basically pushing her to a c-section. I don't actually know when the induction was started, but the doctor is concerned that she's only at about 1 1/2 cm right now. It took me about 9 hours to go from a 1 to a 2, so that doesn't sound like it's taking that long to me. The thing that's really getting me, though, is that they've already given her an epidural and they're talking about how small her pelvis is for an (estimated) 8-lb baby.

I'm not a doctor, so perhaps I shouldn't comment on this at all, but that just sounds crazy! Eight pounds is not really a large baby. Ten pounds, sure--for me, probably 9 would be more than I could handle. But my SIL is built bigger than me--she's of an average height and her hips aren't the boyishly skinny kind that I'd associate with having a pelvis that's truly too small to accommodate a baby.


So, she ended up with the c-section. The baby was all of 7-lb. I heard noticeable chagrin in the voices of my in-laws as they reported the news.

Its isn't any of my business, but I really feel like she got pushed into having a c-section and it's upsetting. Maybe my SIL doesn't really care and just wanted to be done with pregnancy (I know a lot of women feel that way at the end, and patience isn't easy to come by when you're anxiously awaiting the arrival of your child, and your house is filled with people also anxiously awaiting the arrival of the child), but still, having a c-section isn't a light decision. It increases the chance of having complications in later pregnancies and limits the number of children you can have (though since most people don't have more than a couple anymore, I'm sure doctors don't care much about that). I know c-sections save lives (mine and my mother's included) but if the doctor puts the mother and baby in the situation where their lives are at risk in the first place, does it really count?

I realize we're supposed to trust doctors, but there are limits to that trust in my book. It's so important to be an informed consumer of medicine, to know when to ask questions, and when to say no. I wonder if her outcome would have been different if she hadn't had an epidural so early (1.5 cm!), or if she'd asked to be sent home when the initial stages of the induction didn't really work. If the progesterone creams don't do anything, it's unlikely the body is prepared for labor, so an induction's just a pre-c-section exercise in futility.

There, that's off my chest. Now I never need to say any of this to my SIL since she's probably completely happy with the decisions made during her labor. I just have to figure out how to be a supportive SIL during what promises to be a long, difficult recovery.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Handle with care

Last night Sylvia went to bed at about 4:30 or 5, after refusing to fall asleep on the way home from church, and slept all the way through the night until 5:30 in the morning. While getting up that early made today a little sleepy, spending a full, uninterrupted night with Derrick was a nice present. We watched a movie (The International) while we ate bratwurst while sitting in front of the TV--a luxury we haven't attempted since we had Sylvia.

Speaking of sausages, Derrick found hot dogs he actually approves of, and even likes. It's amazing. He turns his nose up automatically for every hot dog I've ever fed to Sylvia (which is unfortunate, since Sylvia likes hot dogs). I don't even buy them for her anymore because Derrick harasses me about feeding her something so patently unhealthy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Long overdue post

I have been negligent about posting pictures of Sylvia. These are from last month, while my mom was visiting. We visited the Birch Aquarium and the zoo. All of these are from the Aquarium.

Hooray for Egypt!

This is a grand day for Egyptians. Hosni Mubarack stepped down from the presidency.

Now comes the truly hard part--governing. Putting into place a government and a set of institutions that will guarantee this hard-won freedom isn't squashed by the next autocrat is going to be tough. But wow, do I ever hope the Egyptians accomplish it. Really, I think they've got a good shot--they have a lot of well-educated young people who are optimistic and getting involved in politics. It's always difficult to generalize from news stories, but it sounds like people are concerned mostly with creating a government where the institutions are stronger than any one person, and where certain basic rights are guaranteed to all Egyptians.

This is a day that makes me want to weep with happiness. I know the situation could change drastically, and there's no guarantee the outcome of this by and large peaceful revolt will produce a better situation for Egyptians or the world, but I have hope.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mommy wins the boobie prize

This morning I was making Sylvia's lunch from some left over fried chicken. The chicken was a little bland, so I thought I'd add some mustard, since Sylvia seems to like mustard and definitely likes anything she can dip.

The mustard bottle was nearly empty and, in spite of being stored upside down, most of the mustard was coating the walls of the bottle. I tried shaking the bottle gently, but that didn't do much, so I grabbed the bottle as tightly as I could and swung it with all my might, intending to smack it against my leg to force the mustard to the side, after which it would slide down under its own weight. In theory, anyway.

It never made it to my leg.

My hand was still slightly wet from washing after cutting the chicken so, at probably 2/3 of the way through its arc, the mustard bottle slipped from my hands, smashing against the floor, breaking the top and spreading a big glop of mustard probably three feet across my kitchen.

So I said, "s&@#%!"

For those of you who know my husband, you may also know he has a bit of a potty mouth. If you don't know this, it's probably because he avoids swearing around you for one reason or another. Sylvia has grown up hearing daddy swear, knowing that those words were just part of daddy's vocabulary. I, on the other hand, don't swear all that often, typically just in response to, say, smashing a mustard bottle against the kitchen floor and breaking it. So if you were to guess, strictly based on the probability of Sylvia hearing a swear word from one of us who would be the first person to teach Sylvia a swear word, you'd probably pick Derrick.

Immediately after my outburst, in perfect imitation of my tone, I heard a small, high-pitched voice say, "s&@#%!"

She is her mommy's daughter.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Carry my hand

When Sylvia wants me to pick her up, she instructs me to "carry" her. This is true whether she wants to actually be carried (like when we're on a walk) or just picked up to see something or be placed in her chair at the table. Most mornings she insists I carry her to preschool. As she's getting taller and heavier, this task is getting harder and I've been putting her down and making her walk more of the distance. This morning carrying her was particularly tough since, in addition to her lunch I also had to carry a package of diapers to her school. We tried a few combinations--me carrying everything, Sylvia carrying the diapers--and finally she agreed she would walk and I would carry the diapers and lunch. As long as I also carried her hand.

I haven't blogged a lot lately. This weekend I had grand aspirations, but Saturday we went to the beach and to the aquarium, and Sunday was packed with church and a work party. Oh, and I was tired in between. Very, very tired. Yesterday was even worse--Sylvia's been mildly ill for the last week-ish and Monday morning, at about 3, she woke up and came in to my bed (which is normal) and then coughed and cried for the next hour. Derrick got fed up and slept in the living room, leaving me to deal with a sick, exhausted kid. After such a miserable night, and because her cough wasn't any better, we kept her home, which meant I also stayed at home.

Three straight days with my daughter is more than I'm used to. More than I was mentally and emotionally prepared for. All I wanted to do was take a nap (since I had a headache from sleep deprivation) and all she wanted to do was play. Do you see the train wreck coming? By bedtime I was done and just handed Sylvia over to Derrick, instructing him to put her to bed. Which he did, and she was just fine. In fact, probably better than fine since Sylvia listens better to her dad than she does to me. I'm too nice. Weekends make me so grateful to have good quality day care for Sylvia. I'm a much happier mom when she spends at least a few hours at school and she gets a social outlet, which I suspect is very good for my extroverted child.