Saturday, February 28, 2009
We had guest speakers; including prostitutes, prisoners, homosexuals, and others who had violated "social norms". We went to prison and jail (just to visit!). It was the most fascinating class I had ever been in. Why do people do what they do? How do social institutions change human behavior?
I had always wondered how my brother; who was raised in the same family as me, same neighborhood as me, in the same religion as me, in the same era as me...could make such different choices and have such different goals than I had. I thought perhaps studying sociology could provide the answers.
I loved learning about trends, correlation, causation, all those sorts of things. I found myself being extremely interested in the classes about crime, delinquency, and juveniles. I listened with fascination to my favorite professor talk about research he did in the slums of Chicago. When he was cornered by gang members who took his wallet (which he had knowingly stuffed with his old, canceled credit cards and a couple of dollars) in pay for answering his survey questions. And how he was able to help his son with sociopathic tendencies develop a sense of empathy, through lots of hard work and frustration.
Did you know that as ice cream consumption rises, so does crime? Eating ice cream causes crime. It's true. Well...kind of, it's not actually true; rising temperatures cause people to eat ice cream, and likewise the heat and restlessness of summer cause people to commit more crime. I found all of the theories fascinating. Did the passing of Roe Vs. Wade result in rapidly declining crime rates 15 years later? Seems totally unrelated at first glance, but after looking into it and reading the research...I'm pretty convinced.
Anyway, given my extensive background in the subject I couldn't help but think that the lack of response to my "leave me a comment and I will send you free stuff" post was correlated to this post you know, the one with this picture...
You'll all be sorry : ) I've learned so much since then. Not really, but I can make a mean batch of cookies.
Anyway, what I walked away with after my years of schooling in sociology I can sum up in one small thought. "Don't judge because you don't know." Sounds simple. But don't judge the woman physically restraining her son in the grocery store....maybe he is prone to violent outbursts and she is trying to protect people. Don't judge the parents of rude or disobedient children, and for that matter don't judge the children themselves. Don't judge the poverty stricken and think it is because they are lazy. Don't judge the prostitute. Don't judge because perhaps if you had been born in a different family, a different time, a different place; or perhaps gone to a different school, or hadn't met that one particular friend....maybe you would be a different person. It's likely you would be. So don't judge, because you don't know.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
There is also a certain feeling of safety that comes from being around family, parents in particular. Whenever one of our parents come to visit I feel about a hundred pounds of weight lifted off of my shoulders. Not sure why; they don't take over the mortgage or anything crazy like that. Just the simple act of them being here...of knowing that someone more responsible than me is around to turn to. It's very relieving. Sometimes the weight of being responsible for the safety and security of three children is just overwhelming. Knowing that they see me as the brave one, the one that can keep them safe. It's crazy.
It must be weird being the oldest generation around. With no one to turn to to learn from or to rely on if things get tough (to be read: mom, can we come live at your house if the economy keeps going to pot?).
That all being said, we are very much looking forward to Blaine's mom coming to visit in two weeks and for my parents to come in April. I don't know what we are going to do when we stop having a new baby every year...I think it is the new babies that keep the visitors coming.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
1. Blaine needs couches
2. Blaine needs to help fight the War on Terror!
3. Blaine needs to be rotated at 90°
4. Blaine needs to do us all a favor and disappear
5. blaine needs yo digits
6. Blaine needs to go flip burgers at BK
7. As President of Harvard, I hereby decree that Blaine needs a** (wow)
8. Blaine needs to turn 1 more or gain 18 more Vampire points to reach the next level
9. To be honest, I think Mr. Blaine needs some kind of help
10. It's annoying, Blaine needs to realize that
So much for sharing your name with David Blaine eh? Be sure to send Blaine "yo digits".
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I got this off of Robin's blog who got it from Mrs. Moo, who got it from her friend's blog, a Greek Goddess, who got it from her friend's blog, who begat Zorobabel, who begat ... This is my first blog-land chain letter (strike chime). As Mrs. Moo says, "It's a chain of giving and I like this idea." Me, too.
The first five people to respond to this post, saying they have joined the ranks by posting this "chain of giving idea" on their blog, get something made by me.
I have to give it to you within a year and it has to be something made by me for you, and you have to post this on your blog. Spread the love.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
There are lots of people in our ward who are able to work from home. Since they can work from home, they can choose anywhere in the world to live (or maybe anywhere in the country...but certainly they have some flexibility!) and it is a little flattering that they choose to live here in Austin; makes me feel like I've got a good thing going living here. A place where people choose to live.
I never wanted to end up in Texas. In my mind Texas was a giant sandbox with tumbleweed blowing around. A place where I couldn't let my children play outside for fear of being eaten by large snakes or stung by scorpions or, heaven forbid, attacked by killer bees. I wondered who in their right mind would want to live here.
Well the good news is that I've yet to see a scorpion, I've only seen one snake (and it was far away from here), plenty of stinging things, but no killer bees yet...and actually within the Austin metro I don't think I've seen tumbleweed. Don't get me wrong, go one hour in any direction from Austin (except the direction San Antonio is in, in that case you may have to go two hours) and you hit the Texas I had envisioned in my youth. But Austin is different. I love it!
Today, however, is a very Oregon-esque day outside. It's overcast and chilly and everything feels fresh and clean and I am very much missing Oregon. We did a four month stint near Portland a couple years ago and I was in Heaven. I live for the ocean and the forest, both were within an hours drive. There were rolling hills and even mountains. We picked the biggest strawberries I've ever seen. We visited the coast nearly every weekend. We went to the Tillamook cheese factory. We saw more waterfalls than I even knew existed. It was glorious. I love the climate, weather and scenery of Oregon. I love the misty rain that is a constant fixture there. The fresh air. Ah I just love it.
I miss Minnesota...I miss feeling like I was on the set of Little House on the Prarie. We lived in Rochester which was just the perfect size city to live in. I miss the miles and miles of paved biking and running trails. Again with the rolling hills...the country living. I miss that when it was a nice day outside, EVERYONE went outside. Those warm summer days were rare and it seemed that everyone would take advantage and do something active outside, I miss that! I miss the incredibly nice people, and their funny accent (that I think I have finally lost and replaced with "y'all and fixinto"). Going to "Breakfast on the Farm" in the summer. Going ice skating on lakes. There really are ten thousand lakes there and isn't it kind of romantic that all the kids actually ice skate on actual lakes. Very Norman Rockwell-y. I miss that 7/10 people in the city were doctors (very reassuring if you were to choke in a restaurant!).
When I first found out we were moving to Minnesota I was horrified. I didn't know people actually lived there, up in the tundra. But I fell in love with Minnesota and the life I had there. Sure it was cold. -30dgs makes the blood in your very veins freeze and you can't help but scream anytime you are outside (or at least I couldn't). You can get a pot of boiling hot water, take it outside and throw the water out and it turns to ice before it hits the ground (not kidding!). But I love it there. And it scares me to think that I could have gone my entire life without ever going there!
And of course there is Utah. The mountains. The family. The skiing. I'm quite fond of Utah, especially our family!
So where would I live if I could choose? I have no idea. If I could take the people and coolness of Austin (not to mention the awesome home prices!), grab the country living and temperate summers of Rochester (and of course some people from there too!), and snag my family out of Utah, I think I would grab my poncho and relocate us all to Oregon (to be with the person I love there). But, what about South Carolina! I've never been there! I've never met the people there. What if I would love it there? Or Tennessee? Or heaven forbid somewhere in another country! It kills me that I won't get a chance to live everywhere and meet everyone that this world has to offer : )
Also are we wrong to be living away from family? We've grown closer as a small family unit, but we sure are missing out on a lot back in good ol' Utah. Our kids don't know their grandparents as well as they could, I have a feeling Blaine and I might actually go out on a date once in a while if we were there, etc. We kind of feel like black sheep being the only ones who have left Utah and our families. But if we wouldn't have left, we wouldn't have met all of the awesome people in the other places we've lived. I wouldn't have tasted a fresh Oregon berry, or figured out that in Minnesota a casserole is a "hot dish", or that Texas isn't really crawling with snakes and scary things.
I once had a friend though who was living far away from her family and as we talked about it she said, "you know, my Dad always said he didn't raise me to keep me close. He raised me and taught me so I could go out into the world!" Or something like that, I really liked that thought.
It's not easy being away from family. We feel guilty, we miss them, we feel a little out of the loop (um, when I went back to Utah last time I found out that my nephew was not only married but that his wife was pregnant...I guess someone just overlooked including that in the family newsletter!), and we are left constantly wondering if we've made the right choice.
At this point in our lives we have no five year plan. At one point we were going to come here for five years and then go back to Utah for law school. That is no longer the plan, and we actually have no plan right now. We are just taking things as they come, which is fine...but it leaves me at a loss when people ask (as they always will) if we are ever going to make it back to Utah.
So, what is your five year plan? Where would you live if you could choose anywhere? Where do you think I should live?
Monday, February 16, 2009
Anyway, it's been fun as I've been reading the series to recount my Junior High years. It's really a trip to sift through those memories. I had some I wanted to share with you, but first there is an issue that needs to be addressed...
For those of you who are new to reading my blog, and for those of you who somehow managed to forget the most humiliating that that has ever happened to me in my entire life....let me refresh your memory. Right before Bentley was born, back when I was still new to blogging, I decided to write a post in which I divulged information about a certain person I went to junior high and high school with; information like that "he was the unattainable dream guy" and that "he was #1 on my list of people I wanted to marry" and reminisced about decorating his locker with cheesy valentines- and of course I had to throw in there that even writing about him still made my heart all fluttery. Anyway, then a couple posts later, when I decided to post about my outrageous hairstyles through the years a comment came in from "the unattainable dream guy" himself. And then I died of embarrassment. And then I laughed for three days straight. I actually think I may have laughed myself right into labor (Bentley was born shortly thereafter). It was just so classic. As I read his comment and it actually sank in that he had found my blog and read of my misadventures I just started laughing/crying and saying, "oh no. no. NO! This is not happening!" And Blaine thought it was the greatest. thing. ever.
Here is hoping that enough time has passed and that my blog is not interesting enough to the point that he still checks it, and if he does, oh well, perhaps he can have a good laugh - eh? I just had to bring that up because every funny thing that happened in Junior High usually involves him, and I just wanted to get it out in the open that he may or may not be reading this, but the blog must go on, and it simply wouldn't be a blog about my life unless I included my most humiliating times involving the "UDG" (Unattainable Dream Guy). So look forward to upcoming flashback posts : ) And just to tide you over I'll mention that there once was a tragic sleepover involving a little too much Dr. Pepper and self tanning lotion and I actually tanned his name onto my leg. Which was fine because it was winter and I wore pants every day, except I neglected to remember that I did have gym and was required to wear shorts for it....yeah. I am like pretty sure that he was in that class, though that may just be my memory playing tricks on me.
Anyway, I couldn't avoid the subject forever, because every thing notable I ever did in Junior High involves this poor kid and my humiliation. So, now that a year and half has passed and I have birthed two children since "the incident" where he found the blog, I am coming out into the open and sharing my humiliating past with you once again : )
And now I am off to dance off these unwanted pregnancy pounds by playing Dance Dance Revolution.
Oh and if anyone has a great idea for something funny for me to write on a t-shirt...I've been conned into going to see the Twilight movie on Friday and simply cannot go unless I have a witty t-shirt.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Ladies and Gentlemen....I present, our first dance...
I had bang issues. You may want to grab a kleenex because they get worse...
I know, you are all sitting at your computers guffawing, but I seriously remember feeling so pretty in this picture and....what was with the hair? I paid to get it done and it is kind of...spooky. This was the Prom where I held Juan's hand. No wonder his eyes were so big...
One break up and one boyfriend and like a million tears later...we're back together for the last dance of our Senior year... you would have thought I would have had the bang issue under control by now. Nope.
And finally, the only surviving picture of Blaine at graduation...
Thank goodness they make you wear caps.
Aha! I just found a stowaway wedding picture!
Anyway, it's been a good and fast six years. We've lived in a 200 sq ft basement apt in Provo and now are in our first home that is ten times the size. That first apartment, whew. You had to sit sideways on the toilet because the bathroom was so narrow and you couldn't plug in more than one appliance or the fuse would blow and you would have to go upstairs to talk to old man...old man what's his name to get it fixed.
We've lived in Provo, Oregon, Provo again, Minnesota, Provo again, and now Texas.
I finished my degree. We had Gwen. Blaine finished his degree. We had Bentley, and then two seconds later had Ivy.
We fight about keeping old magazines. We stay up late watching X-Files. We dance like lunatics on Saturday mornings. We cry during movies, especially Blaine. We tuck our kids in at night. We eat lots of pizza and popcorn, then get fat and eat no point soup for a while. We play dance dance revolution. We have arm wrestles. I still think it's funny to dump cold water on Blaine while he's in the shower, and he still thinks that is very very not funny at all. I drive the car. He makes the money. When he helps fold the clothes he puts Gwen's in my closet.
Day by day we muddle through our lives. We make memories. At times we feel distant from each other but at times we are closer than I thought I could ever be to anyone. He drives me crazy, he makes me laugh, but I think the most important is that he hides from thunderstorms in our underthestairs closet with me, he lets me stew about getting on an airplane, he didn't care when I lost our $400 in tuition money when I dropped summer semester at BYU. He's forgiving and kind and he's the best dad in this entire world! Just ask anyone who has seen him pushing a double stroller on his six mile runs, with the family dog(s) at his side. He's superdad!
And folks, keep Chuck Bartowski, because Blaine's all mine.
Happy Anniversary Sweetie! Sorry I messed up the heart shaped pancakes.
Friday, February 13, 2009
But then last night when we finished the first season we watched some of the special features, and my beloved Chuck looked like this....
EWWWWW! Gross. No thank you. Come on Chuck! Please tell me you don't look like this in season three. Please. He looks like he should be in some movie about cavemen. Blech.
It's a good thing I am not shallow and my crush is based more on personality than looks eh?
And you might wonder if it is okay to have a spouse supported crush on a fictional character...I say yes, because I don't know if you've noticed Chuck's co-star...but I am fairly certain she is a major reason why Blaine loves the show, even if he won't admit it.
You should watch Chuck, it's great!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Ivy lost her umbilical cord today. Which is normal around this age, the thing is, it is actually LOST. I put her pjs on last night, put her to bed. I'm kind of foggy on the details but I am pretty sure I fed her once or twice in the night, perhaps changed a diaper or something. Then this morning I change her clothes and she is sans belly button. It is nowhere to be found.
It's kind of creeping me out.
Thanks to Ralphie for capturing it on film before it went MIA! And here's hoping it isn't floating around in my sheets somewhere. Gross.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Anyway, I was chatting with my sister via cellphone and trying to pick out some bathroom cleaner at the same time. And my brain completely stopped working. I could neither talk to my sister nor choose a cleaner. After stuttering for about five minutes I finally explained to my sister, "Sorry, just having a little bit of a hard time choosing a bathroom cleaner while talking to you".
The words had barely escaped my lips when a woman rushed to my side, took my bottle of wal-mart brand bathroom cleaner out of my hand and put in the new "green" product made by clorox, "That stuff will give you cancer" she assured me as she pried the wal-mart cleaner from my kung-fu grip.
I agreed with the lady, assuring her that I also believed that bathroom chemicals will give people cancer. I think she thought I was making fun of her. I wanted to explain that it was already too late, I've been using Comet and Clorox chemicals for my whole life and though I want to make the switch to be more "green" she couldn't have chosen a worse week to pry the cheap stuff out of my hand and replace it with the expensive green stuff (hello paycut!); and I may be better off, in the long term, if I take the money I would save by buying the cheap stuff and putting in our flex spending, to fight the damage that I have already caused by being a cheapskate for 27 years.
In the end I wound up just walking away and trying really hard to keep from cracking wise on the phone (speaking of, I am also a firm believer that cell phones cause cancer). I wound up buying the cleaner, mostly because I was afraid to go back into that aisle; those granolas who assault in the grocery store can be pretty intimidating.
I'll let you know what I think.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Then today one of my great friends from high school updated their facebook profile and it made me think back to the good old days, and the first time I really met this particular friend. It was PROM of my Junior year and I was at the dance with Blaine. We were lined up for the promenade down the beautiful staircase of the capitol. This was just a few months after the first time Blaine and I had held hands, and holding hands in public was a huge deal to us. Anyway as we were waiting in line at the top of the staircase I reached down to hold Blaine's hand. As my fingers wrapped around his I got all warm and tingly....but also his hand kind of felt different. A little...bigger I guess. I looked down and gasped, either Blaine had gone tanning a lot lately or....my eyes drifted slowly up to meet the wide open eyes of my soon-to-be friend Juan Pereira! We hardly knew each other at all and his eyes were open so wide in astonishment at my bold move to hold his hand ... even wider were the eyes of his date who was standing a little off to the side.
I quickly let go of his hand and then died of embarrassment.
Luckily though Juan and I became fast friends. And eventually he wound up singing at my wedding dinner, you know, the wedding where I married Blaine. (Juan has some serious pipes...I could only find one youtube video and he is singing in Spanish, but hey, it's still beautiful even if you can't understand the words, but you will be able to understand the words because it's O Holy Night). And who knows if we would have ever become friends if I wouldn't have just extended a friendly hand : )
There's a "flashback Friday" post for ya.
* just as a side note, I wasn't 100% sure of how to spell Juan's last name, so I was looking him up on facebook...but instead of typing in Juan in the search box I typed it in my status box. So for a moment in time my status was "Kristi is Juan". And it made me laugh so hard that I cried, which felt good, it's been a while. And I can't wait to explain that one to Juan too.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Ralphie took Gwen to preschool while I was giving birth last Thursday. When Ralphie picked her up later that day there was a note with Gwen's stuff, which reads...
Leah, our aide has a double stroller y'all can use if you want it. It is at the preschool waiting for you.
Sweet! Okay, but here's the thing...Blaine took Gwen to preschool the next day and Leah, the aide, did in fact have a double stroller, which she gave to Blaine. Blaine, sweet as he is, was a little confused and didn't really gather much information about the stroller...other than something about this lady's sister and freecycle.
So, do you think, based on the information, that we are supposed to be borrowing this stroller, or keeping this stroller? It's a nice stroller! I just can't figure out how profusely to thank Leah the aide.
Also, in these trying economic times, I am considering taking Gwen out of preschool...so I kind of need to know if I should return the stroller. See the problem?
So, what is your interpretation? The words "can use" make me think that we are just borrowing. The fact that her sister got it off of freecycle maybe makes me think we can have it.
How should I approach the lady, like a week after the fact and be like "hey, so do I get to keep that stroller?" Without sounding like a moron?
In other news. . . I lost 25 lbs this past week. Don't worry, still have 30 left to lose : ) I can't imagine being one of those people who only gain 25, that must be awesome.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I've given that question a lot of thought lately. I know why other people blog. Like Ralphie for instance. She blogs because she's a freaking amazing photographer. Lots of people read her blog because she offers simple and easy advice that, if you apply it, will enhance your ability to take pictures. I don't read her blog for that though, I read her blog because it's funny. And sometimes she posts pictures of my kids. See, if I used the advice she offered on her blog, my self portraits would look more like this
And a little less like this...
It also might help if I would lay off of the girl scout cookies.....moving on...
Janssen blogs to write awesome book reviews. They are thought provoking, inspiring, and thorough. If I were to write a book review about the book I finished today it would read...
"I just read Gregor the Overlander. It was nice. Kinda weird. Passed the time"
So that's why I don't write a blog about book reviews.
TAMN blogs to make fun of people
Plenty of people blog to keep in touch with family and friends and update others on their lives.
All of these are awesome reasons to blog, but none of them encompass why I blog.
I guess if I had to answer the question of why I blog, it would be that I blog as an outlet. I blog so that when I take two kids, two dogs, and a big fat pregnant belly to the vet's office and the dogs escape and the kids cry and the leash gets wrapped around my legs and I fall over and pee my pants in the process. . . that I can laugh it off and say "oh the blog readers are gonna love this."
So I guess I blog to try to help people not take themselves too seriously. I blog so I won't take myself too seriously. I blog so I can look back on these days and laugh, but more importantly I blog so that I can maybe laugh about it sooner rather than later. I blog to connect. I blog to seek empathy. I blog to let the world know that I am more than a washing machine, more than a chef, more than a milk producing body.
I blog so you can get to know me. And that's a little scary. There's been a whole "to do" in my little blogging community where feelings have been hurt, and mean words have been said, and to me it is just so sad....because I don't blog to hurt! I don't blog to belittle. And I don't think anyone should. And it scares me to think that people are free to comment on here and make me feel bad about stuff I post. Because when you read this blog, you are peeking into my soul, don't make fun of it!
Anyway. Why do you blog? And, more importantly, why do you read this blog? What do you hope to get when you come here?
I'm just curious, because I feel so guilty when I blog too many "mommy" blog posts in a row. And then I feel guilty that I feel guilty. So then I just don't write for a while. So then I feel guilty about that. So I am thinking of starting a new blog. One for just the ushy gushy mom stuff. One that I don't feel guilty updating with things that I love about being a mom, or things that are hard about being a mom, cute things my kids do, trials, and so on. And then just keeping this blog for the funny stuff. What do you think of that idea? I know Kayla must like it, that's what she does. And I think it is great. I love reading her mom blog too.
I've just been feeling bad lately that if I die and this record is all that is left of me, my kids will feel a little bit like I didn't dote on them like I should.
Do you feel like you censor your blog too, based on who you know is reading it? Not like I would rant and rave about everything if certain people weren't reading, but honestly, because of who reads my blog I don't feel like I can write all of the funny things that happen.
Like that time I was at Ralphie's house eating dinner with she and Brian and their kids and a piece of metal was poking out of my shirt. So I pulled on the metal, because, well, weird. And then figured out that I had just pulled out the underwire to my bra. At the dinner table. With Brian. Agh! What does a person do in that situation? Same thing yesterday when they came over to visit. After they left I noticed a circular wet spot on my shirt. Yeah, forgot about those nursing pads. But hello, my father in law reads this blog, and will read that story, and certainly that makes things awkward.
Anyway, just rambling now.
Why do you read my blog?
Why do you write your blog?
Do you censor your blog?
Same thing with facebook. I go to change my status and all I want to say is "Kristi is...engorged", but how do you say that when your entire extended family is reading? But how do you not say it, when it is really all that you are at the moment.