Saturday, December 31, 2011

carrying this torch

I've been sitting here for an hour. I've erased five different first sentences. It's hard to know what to write. I would tell you all about Christmas, but I think we're all a little tired of the festivities by now, aren't we? I would recap the year, but that would just mean rehashing the details of baby-growing. I would write a list of resolutions, but I sort of hate resolutions. I rarely remember them past January 5, and if I do remember they only make me feel guilty for my lack of proactivenesstivity. It's a word, deal with it.  I would describe how it feels to be so close to having a baby, but that feeling morphs from sheer joy to utter panic every thirty seconds, and I don't want to give you reader whip-lash. So I guess I'll tell you about sewing. I sew now. I'm a sewer. Six days ago I became the elated owner of a limited edition Project Runway Brother sewing machine. The first page of the machine's manual declares in bold, capslock THIS IS NOT A TOY. But if you ask me, it really depends on your definition of toy. For what is a toy if not a gateway to dreams? A mechanism for unlocking possibilities, for letting imagination rule, for shape one's ambitions? Just as Go Go the Walking Pup taught me to be a responsible dog owner and Legos unleashed my inner architect, so does my sewing machine make all those pinterest projects possible realities and not mere pipe dreams. Who knows? Maybe I, Meg Morley Walter will some day be the next Project Runway winner. I've already (almost) completed a baby quilt, all the while hearing Tim Gunn's voice in my head, making it work.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

my gift to you

Call 719-26-OATES.

Merry Christmas. And you're welcome.

Monday, December 19, 2011

make my dreams come true

Last night was the annual Morley Family Gingerbread House Building Extravaganza! The name is a bit of a misnomer since we've never actually used gingerbread and instead of houses we usually construct abstract imitations of the world's greatest structures. It's always one of my favorite nights of the year as well as one of the most frustrating. The same thing happens to me every time. I have BIG ideas. I get really excited about creating my graham cracker interpretation of stone henge or Trump Tower or whatever, and then about forty five minutes in I remember that I am not an artist, that graham crackers break, and that there are not enough gum drops in the world to make up for my lack of architectural know-how. Sometimes I give up, start over and make a quaint winter cottage with a peppermint wreath. Sometimes I suck it up and finish the job I started. Like this year:

It's the Great Wall of China. Obviously.

When my dad saw my finished product he asked, "Is it a garbage barge?" Sigh.
The other Morleys (and one Walter) seemed to fare somewhat better than I, as is usual.


Stephen's space plane with a little Ziggy Stardust


Hannah's winter manor


Carey's nursery


Brad's church (nondenominational)



Nick's...I'm not sure what this is.


These bears at a campfire wish you a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Call Doreen

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

girl i don't believe in what you say

How much perfume is too much perfume?
My personal scent policy, since you asked, is two squirts if it's body spray, one squirt if it's a legitimate perfume, and thirty minutes to let it settle before coming within ten feet of another human. Otherwise, in my humble opinion, it's just too much.
I maybe should have shared my credo with the woman at the table next to us at lunch today. Because if the smell of your perfume is overpowering the taste of other patrons' pad kee mow, you've got yourself a problem. Seriously. I have no idea how my food tasted. I mean it tasted like decades old baby powder, not like the Thai dish I ordered thanks to her vapor cloud of suffocating smell.

To be fair, my pregnant nose is pretty much an unwanted super power. I might be overly sensitive.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

he's a jolly good fellow

Happy Birthday Ollie!



We hope you enjoy the treats, the new leash, and your new toy duck, which you haven't let out of your sight for the past three hours. You make us laugh every day, and while you have your naughty puppy moments, we're so glad you're a part of our ever-growing family.

Monday, December 12, 2011

walk past the cafe

My thoughts lately read a lot like this:
BABY. 6 WEEKS TIL BABY. work. i need to go to target. BABY. i have to go to the bathroom again. IS SHE STILL KICKING? i wish elf was streaming on netflix. BABY KICKING. is it ok to eat blue cheese when pregnant? GOOGLE SAYS IT'S NOT OK. i already took a bite. OH NO, WHAT HAVE I DONE?. i should really vacuum. BABY. KICK COUNT. work. BABY. utah. i'll vacuum tomorrow. BABY. 6 WEEKS TIL BABY. gossip girl. BABY. grilled cheese sandwich. BABY. where's the best place to buy a nerf gun? BABY.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

yes it is

Some of use have to learn how to be cool. We have to observe others, and learn from their ways.

Then there are those of us who are born cool. They are the observed. Like my sister Hannah:


18 years ago, Hannah was born cool.
For a while, it was hard on Hannah to have an older sister who is a little bit spazzy and wears socks with boat shoes. After having surgery at a young age, Hannah's attending nurse asked her about her family. Hannah replied, "I have a mom, a dad, and a brother." No mention of sister. She would draw family portraits of her mom, dad, brother and even dog, but no me.
Luckily she eventually came around, and over the years, she has not only become more radical, but has also become sweet and generous and the best sister anyone could ask for, let alone the best soon to be aunt for Baby Ivy. She's going to redefine "cool aunt", and I'm so grateful our daughter will have Hannah in her life becuase she needs to look up to someone who knows better than to wear socks with boat shoes.

Happy 18, Han!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

must be Santa

I just realized how easy it would be to get a job as a mall Santa this year. What with my naturally rosy complexion and my twenty pounds of belly- yes, twenty, I'm a dead ringer.
But it's not just my appearance that's old-manish lately. After I woke up from a nap, Stephen recited a poem he wrote in my honor:
"The love of my life lies on the couch,
Softly,
Sleeping,
Snoring."
Sweet, right? And accurate. I snore. Pregnancy makes me snore. And dependent on antacids. And my vision seems to be slipping? I'm just a beard away from Grandpadom.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

For the holidays you can't beat home sweet home.

I almost spelled that title "you can't beet home sweat home." Do beets sweat? Do vegetables perspire?
Also, how hard is it to create a Christmas playlist that excludes Mariah Carey? Huh, Pandora?
Finally, The proof is in the pudding. What proof? What pudding? What murder mystery was solved when the inspector, addressing a dining room full of dinner guests, pulled out his magnifying glass and declared, "Aha! The proof is in the pudding!" and then pulled a bloody dagger from a trifle?

In the name of practicality, we at the Walter residence are forgoing Christmas decor this year. It makes sense since we're here for just another week before heading West once again. Stephen is more than ok with it since he likes Christmas about as much as he likes sweaty beets. Ollie hasn't said anything about our apparent lack of holiday cheer. I promised Ivy we'd have a tree next year, and she seems cool with it. Really, it's just me that's wrestling with our grinchiness. Last week at Target I put the same wreath in my cart then removed it three separate times. Ultimately I bought four baby onsesies instead of a wreath, but I may go back.Unless you validate my practicality, Internet. Guide me.

Fun fact, I had to google the spelling of the following words for this post:
beat
beet
sweet
sweat
forgo
separate
wrestle
wreath

School, you failed me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

da doo da doo da doo

Kids love Stephen. Every kid in the world. Or at least every kid we come in contact with. Whether we're sitting in church, shopping at the grocery store, or walking down the street, young ones stare, smile and giggle anytime Stephen looks their way. Some take it a step further (literally) and walk up to him. And some, like this small child, without saying a word, approach our table, hop into Stephen's booth and cuddle up close. Stephen's new friend didn't seem to mind that I was cackling with laughter or taking his picture. In fact, I don't think he even realized I was there. All that mattered was Stephen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

the western front

Happy December!
This is possibly my last full month of pregnancy. Holla back! Besides holding our new baby, I think I'm most excited for the pregnant paranoia to end. Everyday I learn about some new potential complication or terrible something that could happen between now and delivery. And everyday I'm more convinced it will happen to me (us). Is this what parenthood is? Will I spend the rest of my existence worrying that my children will wrap the umbilical cord around their necks or stick their fingers in sockets or drive too fast?
Speaking of parenting, Stephen and I are supervising my cousins while my aunt and uncle are out of town.  Our job is to make sure they're nourished and to school on time, which means driving my aunt's car, which means trying to determine what all the many different buttons do. You would think I would know better than to push the red button marked SOS, but I swear I thought it would open the garage door. Instead it connected me to an emergency response operator who did not think it as funny as I did that I called by mistake. I would venture to say she was highly unamused. My bad.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

escape to the land of sweets

We hadn't heard from our tap-hearing, note-leaving, cop-calling neighbor since the late night police incident weeks ago, until yesterday. I came hobbling up the stairs while carrying three Target bags and trying to wrangle Ollie (I realize in hindsight that I'm a sacred vessel and that it was very likely that I could have tripped and that for Ivy's safety I really should have made two trips. Oops) and was greeted outside my door by our tap-hearing, note-leaving-cop-calling and now nightgown-wearing neighbor who said "Excuse me, I just had back surgery. Could you please get my mail?" I had hoped to never have another encounter with this woman, but since our apartments are adjacent I knew that probably wasn't possible. I will admit that I hoped our next run-in would include some sort of apology, like "Hey sorry that I let my delusions run wild and accused you of malicious wrong doing and then turned you into the law for a crime you didn't commit." Nope. Instead she acted like we had never met. That I hadn't knocked on her door and pled innocence just weeks ago. That she hadn't previously considered me Longmont's most wanted. Maybe she doesn't remember. Maybe the surgeon operated not only on her back, but her frontal lobe as well. I pondered this possibility as I retrieved her mail, then dropped it off at her apartment lit only by the lights on her flocked Christmas tree. She sat upright in her chair, examined the single letter that I handed her, and said "Is this it?". Hard to please, that one.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm not crying, it's just raining on my face

Our neighbor is a man of impressive stature. If I had to guess, I'd say he's 6'5 and 300 pounds. His gnarly hair, most often in a ponytail, reaches midback and is tied with one of his many bandanas. His beard is of equal length down his front side. If he's not wearing all leather, he's wearing Harley Davidson issued denim from head to toe.
He has two dogs. Guess what kind.
Pitbulls you say? Nope. Guess again.
German Shepherds? Wrong.
Pomeranians. Two tiny, yipy pomeranians.
When the three of them are out walking, it looks a lot like this:
I really should have pursued a career as an artist.

I wonder why he chose the canine companions that he did. Was he trying to be ironic? Is he a noncomformist? Did he inherit them from his mother? Was it simply love at first puppy sight?
I've thought about asking, but so far I've failed to think of a better question than "Hey big dude, why the small dogs?" I'm afraid because maybe he's trained the pomeranians to be killer attack dogs and if I ask my tactless question, I'll meet certain death. But now I'm just stereotyping, aren't I.


Monday, November 28, 2011

just a psychotic girl

My family stopped playing Monopoly with me a long time ago and Stephen stopped playing Monopoly with me just a few months into our marriage. Not because I'm so good, but because I'm so mean. Something about the color-coded board, the top hat and thimble, and the piles of money turns me into a real synonym for a female dog. Few things in life bring me greater joy than watching some poor sap land on my hoteled Boardwalk. I love watching them hand over every last bill to add to my collection of orange 500's, and I love watching them mortgage their sad little Oriental Avenue and Reading Railroad. I have a lot in common with this guy:

Potter for President.

On the other hand, nothing makes me angrier than being the poor sap who lands on someone else's hoteled Boardwalk. I cry injustice every time. I wail over every last bill I'm forced to hand over, and declare how unfair the mortgaging system is while I flip the cards for Oriental Avenue and Reading Railroad. I'm not a sore loser. I'm a wounded, bleeding, take me to the hospital I'm dying from this massive flesh-wound loser.

Win or lose, I'm pretty unbearable, and the number of willing opponents dwindles with every game. That's why it's become necessary to have children.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I wish I didn't know

Me: I would like a number 4 and also some onion rings.
Burger Supreme cashier: So you'd like onion rings instead of fries?
Me: No. Both.
Cashier: Oh...um....ok.

As long as I'm confessing bad habits, I guess now is as good a time as any to admit that I've started watching Gossip Girl. I would tell you not to judge me, but let's face it- I deserve to be judged. The show is pretty terrible. Every episode I ask myself the following questions:

1. Am I really supposed to believe that these people are 17? I believe that they've been 17 for ten years. So maybe they're vampires? But I thought that was a different CW show? Is CW the vampire network now?
2. Am I really supposed to believe that the age difference between the students and their parents is greater than five years? Because I don't. I'm almost positive that Rufus and his son Dan are the same age. Yes, the dude is named Rufus.
3. Am I really supposed to believe that every eating establishment in New York City serves alcohol to minors without question? Wouldn't there be serious consequences if they were caught doing so? Do laws not apply to the rich?
4. Am I supposed to find Chuck Bass attractive? He reminds me of Gopher from Winnie The Pooh, minus the charm.
5. Am I supposed to sypmathize with any character? I guess I feel bad that they all have to put up with each other.
6. Do rich kids really have a party every night? I'm told over and over how smart all of these kids are, and the entire first season I've seen one character doing homework one time. The same character whose story is published in The New Yorker. Because it's just that easy to get published in The New Yorker. PLEASE.
7. Do rich kids really buy a new outifit for every party every night? I remember buying a GAP turtle neck for a party in 7th grade. One of the two parties I attended that year. I really have no reason for sharing that anecdote.

It's a  ridiculous program. But I can't stop. Last night I watched two episodes in a row. Then I woke Stephen up just to tell him about the SHOCKING revelation at the end of episode 15.

XOXO, Gossip Girl's latest reluctant fan.

Monday, November 21, 2011

life's a happy song

Happy Thanksgiving week! Happier Muppet week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

it's an alpaca

Once a  week babycenter.com sends me updates on Ivy's progress. Like today I learned she's the size of a head of cabbage. So cute, right? Yeah. That's how they get you. Then every other day of the week they send you reminders of the ways you're already failing or will soon fail as a mother. I often get emails with subjects such as the following:

714 foods pregnant women should avoid over Thanksgiving.
That crib you bought was a bad choice.
You drank a Diet Coke? Might as well smoke a carton and throw back a case of beers.
Natural birth is the best thing you will ever do.
Natural birth killed me. I'm writing this from the crypt.
Will your baby become president or the crazy lady at the bus stop? Take our quiz to find out!
If you give your child a bottle it means you don't love her.
237 more products that you still need to buy.
Are you sure you can handle this?

Nope. Not sure. But even though the internet thinks I'm doomed, I'm still just STOKED to meet our little person.

T-10 weeks:


Whoa belly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

born and raised in a summer haze

Goodbyes are hard.
Yesterday came the time for Ollie to part with his beloved rag, a close companion since wee puppyhood.

It may look like a pile of fabric, but really it's a pile of memories.

It could be smelled from feet away and was becoming a health hazard. 
We explained to Ollie that he's getting older now, and that sometimes we have to grow up and part with the tokens of childhood.
He took it okay. I cried.


The long farewell.

We've both been listening to this song on repeat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prairie winds

Yesterday someone found my blog by googling "Million dollar cars and hot girls."
To that surely disappointed teenage boy, I'm sorry. You were misled.
To that boy's mother, you're welcome.

There may not be an abundance of hot girls and fast cars on this spot of blog, but I want to do whatever I can to keep the internet happy, so here's a boy with pretty hair.


Stephen's about two months overdue for a haircut. In Boulder terms this means he could go another four months. Boulder is many things, but well-groomed is not one of them. However in a few days we'll trek home to the motherland, and the Beehive State isn't quite so accepting of long, flowing, shiny hair on males.So the appointment is set.



Now's the time to pay your respects.

Monday, November 14, 2011

stains caked deep in the knees

"Kids will believe anything you tell them," my hair stylist told me this morning.
Oh, the power!
I feel like I should start drafting a version of my personal history in which I save a small nation from an evil overlord, produce a multi-platinum hip-hop album and am crowned prom queen. But then that's kind of braggy and I don't want her to feel like she has impossibly large shoes to fill. So maybe I should make up something more obscure. Like maybe Stephen and I are secret government agents? And she can't tell anyone for obvious security reasons. NO- wait- you know what would be even better and less soul-damning- I could just imply that we're spies. When I know Ivy is eavesdropping on my phone conversations, I'll say things like "The President needs this taken care of today." I'll send myself mysteriously shaped packages and make the return address THE PENTAGON. Every once in a while we'll call a sitter, dress in all black, and say "honey, we don't know when we'll be back, but if the man with the mustache shows up, hit the red button". And then we'll just go to the movies. If she ever asks if we're undercover, we'll deny it, and it won't be a lie. Win.

Friday, November 11, 2011

give me a reason

It was in seventh grade health class that I learned how gross birth really is. Ms. Fischer played The Miracle of Birth video, and it took all of three minutes before I was out in the hall with my head between my knees, along with my class mate Thiago, who if I recall correctly, threw up. I've been trying to unsee those images ever since.
I figured that we would be one of twenty couples in our child birth class last night, that we could sit in the back, and that if I closed my eyes or made a swift exit during any revolting film clips that might be shown, no one would really notice. But Stephen and I made up two out of the three students, and sat directly across from the instructor who spent most of class watching our faces. So when the time came to watch "Pushing and Birth", I really had no choice. I watched. Guys, I didn't even flinch. No big deal. Maybe it's some pregnancy induced evolutionary trigger or something, but I was totally ok with what was happening on screen. So maybe, just maybe, I'll be ok with what's about to actually happen in 11 weeks. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

today

I'm either becoming increasingly preoccupied or increasingly stupid.
I walked up to the front door of our apartment, pulled out the keys from my bag, then pressed the unlock button on my car key. Twice. And waited for my front door to click open. Then my caveman brain finally registered HOUSE NOT CAR.
In the shower I squoze the conditioner onto my hand, then rubbed it all over my face. The hair conditioner. On my face. It would be one thing if I was confused, messed up the the shower procedure and thought that I was using face wash. That would be understandable, however I haven't owned face wash for the past ten years.
It's like someone tried to give me a lobotomy but removed the wrong part of my brain, since my emotions are still very much intact. I'm Tearsy McCriesalot (bless Stephen's heart). Hormonesy McWeepster.
I can blame pregnancy, right? I blame everything else on pregnancy, including not making the bed this morning and eating a grilled cheese sandwich every day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

riders on the storm

The OBGYN floor of the Longmont clinic is a lovely place. The lab floor, which I had to visit after my appointment today, is Hell on Earth. No, really. It's like staring death in the mouth. It smells like a burning Stouffer's broccoli casserole. I don't know why I know that smell. Probably a repressed memory. There's a large, dark, stain circle on the floor. One has to assume it's blood. When asked when he was born, the man in front of me said 1919. NINETEEN NINETEEN! And I would say he was the median age of my fellow waiting-room patients. One lady had an entire fifteen minute conversation with herself about her friend Max. Another walked in, rummaged through a stack of newspapers from August, found the one she was looking for and walked out. One man excitedly read aloud from the cover of Sunset magazine, "Tricks to clamming," then exclaimed, "I've always wanted to know how to do that!". The lady in the chair next to me had on a Bronco's sweatshirt, carried a Bronco's purse, and had the Bronco's logo manicured on her nails. There's a sign above the receptionist's desk that reads "No eating, drinking or applying cosmetics in the laboratory area." I would think that it would take many instances of something happening to make a sign saying that it needs to stop. So I guess that many people were trying to apply lipstick and mascara in the laboratory.

Guys, I'm having the weirdest week.

Monday, November 7, 2011

won't you please? please won't you please?

Remember yesterday? The note? The tapping?
Well, I didn't bake cookies. Nor did I leave a mean note in retaliation. Instead Stephen and I went over to explain ourselves like adults.
I suspected that our neighbor, the note writer, was an older single lady. I hate that I stereotyped my own gender like that, but I was correct. As soon as she opened the door, it was apparent that something was...off. For one, right in front of the door was a fully decorated Christmas tree and a child's bicycle. And our single, older lady neighbor was crying. She said she was upset about all the noises. We weren't sure what to do, but we powered through, explained that we are not tapping on the wall, that we've heard the noise too and don't know where it's coming from but it's probably a pipe or something. Despite the hysteria, she seemed to understand, so we offered sympathies for her distraughtedness (not a word) and left a little confused but relieved that we were no longer the culprits.

So we thought...

Police knock just as aggressively as the movies portray. We were in bed, drifting to sleep, when the officer knocked loudly twice on the door. I was in polka-dot pajamas and not fit for serious, law-related interaction, so I stayed in the bedroom while Stephen handled the situation. The officer asked about the wall tapping. After ten minutes of explaining that we are not tapping on the wall, that we've heard the noise too and that we don't know where it's coming from but it's probably a pipe or something, the officer seemed convinced that we weren't trying to harrass our wall-sharer, and left his card in case we need to call.
But who knows what will happen next?
And why do I feel like a criminal? I know I'm innocent, but an officer knocking aggressively on the door has left me feeling like my record is downtown at the station. If dear neighbor calls the police again I'll probably be hauled away, handcuffed in the back of a squad car. While sitting at the prison cafeteria table, another inmate will ask, "What are you in for?" and I'll have to say, "I was framed for wall tapping." Would they send a pregnant woman to jail? Will Ivy be raised in the state penitentiary?
Also, why does the tapping not concern me more? I mean, it's reduced our neighbor to paranoia. It is a weird noise. I guess I just assume that apartments make strange noises? Or that our wall is haunted? But the poltergeists seem to be doing little haunting beyond knocking, so they're not really that much of a bother.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

This morning I found a  note taped to our door. Always a good way to start the day. The note read,
Dear Residents,
I noticed that someone at your place of residence seems to enjoy tapping on the wall that connects your condo to mine. I find it repulsive and in poor taste. If you could please be more mindful of keeping the peace it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanx,
Your neighbor
We too have heard the tapping noise, and we assumed someone was remodeling. Our neighbor, however, assumed that we had nothing better to do with our time than stand around and knock on the wall. If that were the case, it would indeed be in very poor taste, and I guess repulsive, though that adjective seems a little out of place, but whatever. Since we do have jobs and homework and a life and driving our neighbor crazy isn't on our list of priorities, so we are not responsible for the tapping.
When something like this happens there are two very different sides of me that conflict. One side wants to overcompensate, take over a plate of cookies, tell her that the tapping really is unbearable and that even though it's not coming from our condo, we're still very sorry. The other side of me wants to be a total turd about it. The turd side of me wants to leave one of the following notes on her door:

So sorry about the tapping! I've been practicing my gravity-defying vertical tap dance routine. I'll switch walls.

We've wondered why you haven't responded to our morse code messages. The mission is soon. ---- ... -- .. - .... ---.

It's not tapping. We're knife throwers.

Sorry about the tapping. That's just Roy.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

-Love, Your neighbor, Edgar

We can't find our pet chimp. We think he might be in the wall. Don't worry, he's only killed once.

Friday, November 4, 2011

third verse same as the first.

I had a very successful trip to Utah. In less than 72 hours time I managed to eat a Cafe Rio salad, a Burger Supreme cheeseburger with fries AND onion rings and Bangkok Thai's paad siew. You never really appreciate your home town's culinary treasures until you're away from them. I look forward to my return in three weeks when it will have become necessary to eat a J Dawg and Joe Vera's guacamole.

Ollie had a haircut yesterday.

I never realize how badly I need to vacuum until I see our floor in pictures.

Here's the thing about Ollie. He wouldn't hurt a fly. Unless that fly was trying to groom him. Anytime we even attempt to get near him with a brush, he channels Satan. It's all teeth and snarling and demonic noises. So I wasn't really surprised when the groomer recommended that next time we sedate him. 
Here's the other thing about Ollie. He was born to model. I kid you not, as soon as I pull out the camera, he starts striking poses. He willingly steps into the light and stares right at the lens. Or glances to the side and holds a profile pose.

Top Model All Stars got nothin on Ollie. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

but i'm not the only one

One of the latest symptoms of my "condition" is CRACKED OUT dreams. I live a quiet, peaceful existence during the day, but when my eyes are closed, boy howdy it's a wild ride. Last night via REM cycle, I was somehow kidnapped and forced to work as an intern for the Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachman campaign (My dreamself thinks they're running together). As their indentured servant, my duty was to buy their cigarettes. American Spirit cigarettes. Because we all know Palin's a total hipster.




I would hand them cigarettes under the table. Then they would kick me.

About three seconds later I was in a seamstress' living room. She was making me a prom dress, and while cutting the fabric said over and over "Since you're so fat, I'll have to cut it extra wide."

Help.

Monday, October 31, 2011

BOO

Don't cry, it's only a blog post.

Stephen and I have decided to pass on any real holiday celebrations this year. We really look forward to to putting a ten-month old in some adorable costume next year, but feel very little desire to make any effort this October 31. So while Stephen is home studying,  I'm in Utah for a couple days. If you're a Utah resident, I love you and I want to see you, but I want to see you over Thanksgiving or Christmas when I have more than two minutes to spend with you.

It turns out that air travel is a complete faisco no matter how short the flight. Turns out that even if you're flying for fifty minutes from Denver to Provo, and even if you're 7 months pregnant and unable to bend over, you still have to take off your boots to go through security. Yes, it takes ten minutes to take them off, and another ten to put them back on. However, if 7 months pregnant, you do not have to go through the full body scan, though I like to think that Ivy would have waved to the good folks of TSA.

There's that moment when, after you've heard your fellow passenger's complete life story, you realize that there's thirty minutes left in the flight you have nothing left to ask or say. You stare out the window, pretending to take in the grandeur, but instead really focusing on the smudged glass and wondering what disgusting human caused it. You pull out your mobile electronic device and act like trying to beat solitaire is the most important thing you've ever done. You occasionally say "I hope we land soon," or "I wish they gave us more than half a drink," and then fall back into silence. You wonder, "Am I completely incapable of human interaction?", "Am I as awkward as I fear?", "Yes. I am," you decide and sip your gingerale in horror.
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

allergic to chestnuts and good haircuts

Oh, internet.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Pictured below is my aunt Shauni with her family:


Shauni is young, beautiful, the mother to all four of those children, and today she's going through her sixth and final chemotherapy treatment.

I doubt that anyone, when making goals says to themselves, "I'd really like to go through chemo." We do things like run marathons and swim accross channels to push ourselves mentally and physically and to find our limits. Yet I don't think there's anything more limit revealing or taxing on a body than what Shauni's gone through these past long months. And while it's not anything any of us would ever willingly sign up for, she's handled it with all the strength and endurance of a champion.

It's terrible and shocking that a young, beautiful mother of four young children can get breast cancer. But I hope that after today Shauni can feel a little bit proud. She's done what even the fastest runner or strongest swimmer would be afraid to, and she deserves a medal.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

i really can't stay

Season's Greetings from Colorado!




At last, the white Halloween we've all been dreaming of. This premature snow fall is actually easing my guilt about the lack of autumny decor up in here. The only Fallish thing I've done is buy a bag of candy corn and pour it into a bowl. Since I'm the only member of the Walter household who eats candy, it's me v. the candy corn as I attempt to guage how long it should take a normal person to consume an entire bag. 3 days?

Baby Ivy is due three months from today. Last night she got so excited about her arrival that she started hiccupping. Ok. Fine. I'm projecting emotions onto a fetus. But I promise it's better than the truth. The truth is that she swallowed too much amniotic fluid. See? Gross.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

first you're worried, then you're hurried

 EP7X6B5395J6
I had some time on my hands, so I decided to take a walk and photograph the changing leaves in our neighborhood. Ollie and I meandered down the road, stopping now and again to shoot a tree. After pausing at one especially vibrant deciduous, I glanced behind me and saw a very looking nervous mother sitting in a parked mini-van. She was staring directly at me. I've never considered myself to be particularly threatening looking, but I guess to her the image of a predator is a pony-tailed pregnant woman walking a miniature schnauzer. I quickly walked away, and seconds later looked back to see her dart into her house. I came home a little embarrassed and told Stephen all about it. As is often the case, he had a very different interpretation. "Well there was obviously something in her house that she didn't want you to see," he said. "Probably a dead body," I added, letting my imagination run a bit wild. I both like and dislike Stephen's approach. I like that it means I'm less likely to show up on America's Most Wanted. I dislike that it means a hit man is more likely to show up at my door.
Anyway, here's the photo that may get me arrested/killed.


Probably not worth it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I got a box full of your toys

Morley clan - Nick + Stephen showing off new throw pillows.

My family was here for a visit over the weekend, and because I'm so good at planning activities everyone will enjoy, we went stroller shopping. Last week I met Heidi Klum's twin. Probably not Heidi's actual twin, but she could make a big load of money claiming to be her sibling and selling all sorts of scandalous tales to tabloids. She even had the german accent. Anyway, she was pushing the stroller I was considering, and I asked her how she likes it. While she replied "I loooooooooove it, it turns on a dime," I thought to myself, "If I have this stroller I will look like this woman and my children will be little Klum children and someday I will host Project Runway. I must have this stroller." So while test pushing the various strolling options at the baby boutique, I found myself saying "Look! It turns on a dime!" I bet the stroller company hires beautiful women to push beautiful children in awesome strollers around Boulder. And if so, well done stroller company. It totally works.

We also met this guy:





Friday, October 21, 2011

but you

"No more blogging about poop!"
-My parents

Thursday, October 20, 2011

said the joker to the thief

There are many benefits to working at home. There is also, however a downside. Every so often I catch a touch of cabin fever and it becomes imperative to get out of the apartment. Where do I go? I go to Target. I mean, I live in Longmont. There aren't a ton of destinations, and our Super Target never fails to live up to its name. My only complaint is that sometimes the front half of the store smells faintly of poop. It's not unbearable, but it does evoke a rather unpleasant memory. Years ago I worked as a bagger at Harmon's grocer. Part of my duties included the occasional janitorial work, i.e. taking out the trash and tidying the bathrooms. For a long time it was never anything worse than cleaning up an ice cream spill on aisle 19. But then one day, while I was enjoying my diet coke in the break room, our manager crackled over the intercom, "Meg, there's been an accident in the Men's restroom that we need you to clean up." I knew that could only mean one thing and that something terribly ugly awaited in a bathroom stall. I didn't move for five minutes. I considered quitting. Then I considered faking my own death. Then I decided to just get it over with. Because I love you, I'll spare you the details. I will say that to this day I have no idea how it could have been physically possible to make a mess like that. Disguisting doesn't even begin to describe it. And I cleaned it all. I didn't quit. I didn't improvise a cardiac arrest.  I dare say I'm a stronger person for it today. Not that I don't pity whoever has to clean the Target restroom.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

gloria

They said it couldn't be done. That I, a female speciman who never made it more than half-way through her lego kits or origami books, could never assemble a full changing table by herself.

Well, WHAT NOW HATERS?!(not sure what punctuation is appropriate here).
Take a look at this fine craftsmanship:


One hour of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and five pages of instruction, and BLAMO! I made furniture.

Meg: 1,000,000 points
Doubters: 0 points

In all fairness, Stephen was both willing and able to put this together, but I knew in my heart of hearts it was something that I needed to do. In the words of Roz from Frasier, "I love a challenge."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

i'm a lot like you

Stephen: "You have flour on your shirt"
Me: "Where?"
Stephen: "The bottom of your shirt" (watches me search)...
Stephen: "You can't see the bottom of your shirt, can you?"
Me: "No."

No, I can't. I can't see anything beyond the mound that is my torso. That makes 7/8 of my body vulnerable to kick-me signs, and while I'd like to believe that no one would kick a pregnant woman, I've been wrong before. I'm scared.

Also, sometimes Ollie dresses like an ewok:

Monday, October 17, 2011

I got a brand new pair of roller skates

I feel like I'm letting down the youth of America/my generation by not occupying Wall Street, or any other street, so we had some friends over and held our own OCCUPY LONGMONT. And by occupy Longmont, I mean we occupied our condo in Longmont.


Gregg, Rachael, Stephen, Ollie, Jon, Growlbert and Allyson are sick and tired of the greed.

Our protest included some seriously rebellious activities like playing with puppies and eating ice cream. We really stuck it to the corporations by paying for parking and dining at no less than four resturaunts. That'll show em.

The weekend included what I assume are some actual similarities to the Occupy movement, like a high person to bathroom ratio. Maybe the similarities end there. I don't know much about what is really going on at these protests.







Thursday, October 13, 2011

where'd you park the car?

I've really resisted the urge to make an Alien pregnancy comparison, but a girl can only hold out for so long. You knew it was coming.
Pregancy is three parts wondrous/awe-inspiring/miraculous, and one part science fiction.
Sometimes I'm legitimately startled to see my abdomen bouncing up and down or feel a tiny arm in my ribs. I half expect to be sitting at dinner with all my astronaut friends in our spaceship when suddenly baby will punch her way through my stomache and make a surprise appearance. Sigourney Weaver will be alarmed.
It doesn't help that as a child I believed babies came out through the belly button. And really, the truth isn't any less weird.

The good news is that not matter what Ivy looks like, she's bound to be cuter than this:


AMIRITE?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

and so is lola

The receptionist in the waiting room has a bowl of peanut m&ms sitting on the sign-in desk, free for the taking. I love me some peanut m&ms, but partaking from the bowl of unwrapped candy that is exposed to the same oxygen as Longmont Clinic, well I just don't feel great about that. I don't consider myself a germ freak since I'm a strong believer in the ten second rule (or 15 second, or 20 second, or 5 minute rule). I've never been a big produce washer, and I only do it now because I'm pregnant. I generally believe what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (drugs aside). But medical facilities freak me out. I mean urine samples are passed around like pokemon cards. Just not great conditions for m&m consumption. And yet I watched jealously as a nurse walked past the sign-in desk, grabbed two candy coated chocolate peanut delights, and popped them in her mouth. I bet she didn't even think twice. How brave.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

sunshine superman

Why we can never have a pet duck:

It's dead.

Before we brought Ollie home from the breeder's, we brought him a toy duck that had been hanging out in our apartment so Ollie would grow accustomed to our smell. It has long since been his favorite toy. We can ask, "Where's your duck?" and he'll immediately find it and bring it to us. Ollie has destroyed many many toys. He's not satisfied until the plastic is shredded into 576 pieces all over the floor and all the insides are on the outside. But he always left the duck alone, showing it respect he hadn't shown any of his other belongings. Until yesterday. Yesterday he viciously ripped apart the feet, the wings, the head, and pulled the squeaker (the heart) out and ran around proudly squeaking what was once the life of his beloved friend. Let's all pray Ollie knows the difference between plush toys and infants.

Why my husband is thin:

Stephen's breakfast, left in the toaster.

Who just forgets to eat?! I remember watching Oprah and some healthcare professional asked a group of the morbidly obese "Are you eating to live, or living to eat?" I immediately answered, outloud, at the television "Living to eat!" Apparently that's not great. Whatever. Food is awesome. I read recipes for fun. While eating one meal, I'm planning my next meal. The highlight of any vacation, in my opinion, is the eating out. But Stephen? Stephen is barely eating to live. Food just isn't his thing. What a bleak world that must be.

Monday, October 10, 2011

pumped up kicks

I'm pretty obviously pregnant. No baggy sweater can hide the bump at this point, so people have started asking about it. Timidly they approach and enquire, "Are you expecting?". For a split second before I respond their faces flash with a look of sheer terror and I know that they're thinking "Oh no. What if she's not? Please say yes." And during that same split second I always think how hilarious it would be to say "No" and then provide no explanation. But like most hilarious things, it probably wouldn't be very nice.

Speaking of very nice, I want to thank you. All of you who read this blog. There aren't many of you, and yet you make me feel like this small piece of the internet matters in some small way. I love your comments. I'm flattered when you share links on facebook. I love receiving your emails. The world wide web can be such a mean place sometimes, and yet you've never made me feel anything but loved. It's hard to express appreciation with a blog. I don't konw if anyone ever checks back on comments, and I'm just not techno savvy enough to reach out to you. But I love you. Thanks for the suppoert.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

law is pretty clear

GESTATION UPDATE

Baby Ivy is growing like a weed. Hahahahahaha. That joke will for sure never get old.
I think she's bored. I often feel her hit the same place repeatedly, like she's banging her head against the wall in frustration, or pounding her fist and yelling "Let me out!"

How am I? I'm huge. And maybe freaking out a little bit. Fine, a lot bit. I keep having I'm Going To Be The Worst Mother Ever realizations. Like yesterday I realized we don't own a thermometer. Or a first aid kit. Or even band-aids. And I never buy milk. Or snacks. Kids need snacks, right? I'm so not ready for this. Not to mention my fear of birthing. When I read the results of the pregnancy test, I had two thoughts: 1. BABY!!!! 2. Holy Flaming Robots, I'll have to give birth. I've tried not to think too much about it since then, but we're at T minus sixteen weeks, and it's a thought that's getting harder to ignore.

I do my best to calm my fears by nesting. Nesting like a mad woman. Seriously, If a mother robin and I had a nest off, I would totally win.

Here's the latest addition to Baby Room.




Wednesday, October 5, 2011

it tastes just like coca cola

Maybe you're still not convinced that a visit to the Walters would be an ideal vacation. I guess you don't trust me. But maybe you'll trust Amelia Largey, our most recent guest.


In a glowing review of her time spent here, Amelia said, "The local Safeway was surprisingly clean. The couch was very white. The air mattress was inflated, most of the time. The bathroom has a lock on the door. We ate."

We made sure to provide Amelia with all sorts of excitement. Ollie developed a severe crush and wouldn't go to sleep at night without giving her a kiss. Actually, he wouldn't go five minutes without trying to smother her with kisses. We got lost and drove half-way to Colorado Springs. We got lost driving to the mall. We ran out of the gas on the way to the airport, and she learned what it means to run and catch a flight. See? It's awesome here.

But the real highlight for me was our trip to the Denver Zoo. Two, childless grown women went to the zoo.


The resemblance between me and the mother hippo in this photo is uncanny.

We skipped the wussy hoofed animals and headed straight for Predator Ridge. There's nothing like being two feet away from a hungry male lion, or staring into the eyes of a discontent gorilla. It's such a thrill to be so close to a creature who could kill you in seconds. I love that thrill. That's why I own such a ferocious pet:



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i bet you think that's pretty clever, don't you boy?

I'm trying to be more womanly. I'm also trying to be more frugal. The combination of the two led to yesterday's decision to wax my own eyebrows. I was suprisingly successful in removing stray eyebrow hairs. I was also successful in removing forehead. As in the skin. So today there is a rather unsightly red line over my right eye. It will probably fade, but if it doesn't it won't be the worst thing. In fact I think it might be advantageous in the future. In my later years I plan on turning crazy. Depending on my place of residence at that time, it's possible that I won't be the only cooky old bat in town, so a minor facial deformation will help set me apart. That way when the scared residents holding pitchforks speak in hushed tones of That Woman, they can modify and clarify by saying That Woman With The EyeBrow Waxing Scar, as to differentiate between That Woman With All The Cats or That Woman Who Thinks Corn Stalks Are People. Though I guess it is possible that I'll be all three of those women at once.

Monday, October 3, 2011

zoom zoom zoom

A neighbor boy who can't be more than five years old came zooming toward us on his bike. He stopped abruptly and asked, "Can I pet your dog?"
After a few seconds of being attacked with Ollie kisses, neighbor boy said,
"My dog has way worse breath because she eats our other dog's poop and her own poop."

So, I guess we've got that going for us.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Look!
Baby Ivy has a place to sleep:

Crib assembly courtesy of Stephen, quilt courtesy of Grandma Carey, wonky camera angle courtesy of me.

She also has an incredibly spastic mother.


I placed a full canister of oats on top of the freezer. I opened the freezer door. The canister fell, hit the dog food, and sprayed all across the kitchen floor. And instead of thinking, "I need a broom," I thought "I need my camera." What I really need is to realign my priorities.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

mares eat oats

I was really proud of how original I thought Baby Girl's name was. I was expecting the world to hear her name and drop their jaws in awe. Everyone would say "That name is amazing. You're amazing. Your child is destined for greatness with parents as capable of originality as you seem to be." But then yesterday, I was minding my own internet business, reading the blogs, when there it was. Her name. Belonging to another child. Someone else was more original. Or at least original before the Walters. ARGH. So anyway, keeping her name hush hush is sort of a moot point now. Plus I've been telling anyone who asks. We're naming her Ivy. Ivy Walter. Doesn't that have a lovely ring to it?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

cautiously optimistic

Hannah Morley, recent visitor, happier than she's ever been.

Reasons why you, yes YOU, should visit us.

1. We own Clueless on DVD.
2. Ollie has finally learned that peeing on someone is not the proper way to greet them.
3. I vacuum monthly.
4. We own Airplane on DVD.
5. We'll take you shopping at Target.
6. There's a deflated air mattress in the middle of the living room, just waiting for you.
7. We own Blazing Saddles on DVD.
8. Our kitchen is well stocked with half a carton of eggs and left over Indian food.
9. I have scented candles to mask the smell of the Indian food.
10. We'll let you pick a movie to watch from our extensive collection.

Friday, September 23, 2011

national holiday

I lost it today. It started with a headache. And then a fight with my dog (him barking, me telling him to stop barking). And then  I threw up. And then I hit my funny bone on the door, and then I lost it. I cried. Not really because it hurt, but because I hit my funny bone and it hurt and that was such a stupid thing to do and I didn't want to throw up anymore and I wanted Ollie to stop barking and my hands still smell like garlic after chopping garlic two days ago, and getting upset over garlic smelling hands is such a stupid problem to get upset over when there are so many people in the world who don't have enough food to eat. And then I thought, "What's next? Am I someday going to cry because the maid didn't polish the silver correctly? Am I becoming that person?" and the thought of becoming that person made me cry more. And then the very worst part is that I thought, "I just need to go shopping to feel better", as though buying shoes would cure a throbbing elbow, garlic hands, or middle class guilt. But for reals, I need to go shopping.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

it all started

Do you remember making marshmallow people in elementary school? A mini-mallow for the head, a regular jet-puffed mallow for the abdomen, and toothpicks for limbs. It took serious skill to get the mallow head and body to balance on toothpick legs. There was usually a lot of wobbling, tipping and toothpick snapping, before deciding it was best to lean Mr. or Mrs. Mallow against a wall.

For the past two days I've had a muscle spasm in my right leg, which is mildly alarming. I did some extensive research (google) and learned that leg cramping is often associated with sudden and excessive weight gain. My toothpicks are wobbling under the weight of my jet-puffed belly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

a diamond to rival gold

YELLOW!


This is now the color of baby's room. I'm really proud that I (with some help from the Home Depot guy) was able to choose a color that does not evoke images of any bodily fluids or Nickelodeon cartoons (though I am a huge Spongebob fan).

And look how artsy we are:



We left the wall behind the shelves blue because we're lazy it's a fun contrast.

I care more about this room than I've ever cared about any room. I just don't want Baby to arrive, look around and say, "Really guys? You couldn't put a little more effort into my surroundings?" I really want her to like us.


Ollie was confused and annoyed that we wouldn't let him help us paint. I hate to discriminate, but he doesn't have opposable thumbs.

Monday, September 19, 2011

intelligence missions

Watching Project Runway makes me want to buy a sewing machine and learn how to sew. Just like watching the Food Network makes me want to buy all copper pots, and watching Law and Order makes me want a law degree. Television is getting expensive.

Friday, September 16, 2011

gotta get down on friday

Stephen and I have started playing a fun game called "Baby Personality Predictions", which in a nutshell means that we list the characteristics we share, assuming that baby girl (aren't you DYING to know her name?) will be a mix of the two of us and not suprise us with some bizarre recessive genes. So far we'v'e decided the following things about our daughter.
-She will consider herself to be pretty hilarious. About half of her jokes will fall flat, but she'll never stop telling them.
-There's not much hope for athletic ability.
-She will learn to read.
-She will own too many pairs of shoes, but always want more.

There are things we know for sure about her, based on her movement patterns.
-She would rather listen to classic rock than NPR.
-She likes oatmeal.
-She LOVES sonic banana shakes. But don't we all?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

joint pains

How did I gain 5 pounds in 3 weeks? she wonders as she takes another bite of her second breakfast. Whoops. I could blame it on Baby Girl (don't worry, she has a name), but she weighs .8 pounds. And she's definitely doing her part in terms of exercise, so much so that my doctor told me to invest in some ritalin. She's ALWAYS moving. Yesterday we had another ultrasoud. Baby Girl is still a girl (phew). Everything looks good, or at least that's what Doctor N said. From what I saw, she looked part Extraterrestrial and part fish. I'm really looking forward to seeing her actual face, not a foggy picture on a computer monitor. But even the grainy image is so exciting to see. As is my swelling belly, my jeans that no longer fit, and the paint we picked out for the nursery. It's real now. 21 weeks down, 19 to go. That's downhill. Am I terrified? Totally. Not only of labor and birth, but also of raising a child. I have no idea how to do that. I don't think I've even held a baby in the past three years. I've tried to practice with Ollie, but he's not such a fan of being swaddled.  Or burped. Turns out dogs don't burp. Anyway, I'm assuming this is a sink or swim scenario, and we'll figure out parenting as we go. Not to say that I'll turn down advice. In fact, who can recommend a good parenting book?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

our loyalty

We've been Coloradans for over a month now, and the transition has not been bad at all. We really like it here, and have found nearly everyone to be rather pleasant. Really. People are extremely friendly and helpful. But there's something our new neightbors do that drives me bananas. Whenever we tell anyone that we're from Utah, without fail they say, "You know we have better skiing in Colorado, right?" Honestly, I'd be less offended if they said "Man, your face is ugly." Stephen asked me to marry him at the top of a ski slope. We know and love our snow, and NO ONE can take that away from us. I concede that there may be some place in the world with better snow sports. Maybe the Swiss Alps. Maybe. But Colorado? Get real. Have I ever skiied here? No. And I probably won't any time soon, what with my "condition".  But I'm sure it would be a good time. I'm sure the snow is great. But it's not the snow of my childhood, of every Saturday growing up, of my first date with my husband, etc. So no. I don't know that the skiing is better in Colorado. And I never will.

Monday, September 12, 2011

talk of the nation

Ok. Fine. I'll blog. Did you think I died? I didn't. It's just that last week I discovered Pinterest and I've been spending pretty much all my time since then looking at $200 baby dresses and projects that I will never ever do because I'm busy spending all free minutes on Pinterest, feeling sad that I don't have $20,000 for baby clothes or anytime for projects.
Speaking of unhealthy, I would KILL for a Disneyland corn dog right now. I'm thinking of driving to Anaheim, paying for admission, buying a corn dog, enjoying it with some mustard and diet coke, then driving back to Colorado. That sounds totally worth it to me right now. Maybe I should fly. It might be cheaper, and would for sure save time. I might even make it home in time for dinner. I could bring back corn dogs for dinner! This is the best plan ever. Ok. I have a plane ticket to buy.
Laterz.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

if two birds come along

Being a first time pregnant person, I've done a lot of research. I'm constantly reading about what new baby growing surprise lies around the corner. The past few weeks I knew I should start feeling Baby Girl move. Everything I read used the word "flutter", and so I expected flutters. Gentles whispers of movement, as though baby were softly saying "Hi mom, I'm here and I love you." I never felt that, and I was getting nervous. But then a few days ago I definitely felt baby move, and a flutter it was not. What I felt was THUD! POW! BOP! BAM! Fluttering just wasn't her thing, so I think we can rule out Muhammad Ali impressions and ballet in her future. She might become a Kung-fu champion or maybe a night club bouncer.I tell you what, she's taking after me more and more every day. I never made it past the first level of dance class, but I did get in trouble for punching a boy in preschool, probably because my favorite show was Batman.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

not roses

Fall made a dramatic, overnight appearance here in the CO. This morning on my walk the sky was grey and geese flew overhead, heading for the south (I assume). It felt as though I were in a 90s Brad Pitt epic film about the past with voice over narration saying something like "Autumn arrived early that year, and with each passing day Pa grew weaker", cut take to a worried Ma standing on the porch of a log cabin beneath the same gry skey and geese flying overhead. I may be watching too many movies.

ETHICAL DILEMMA: Target sent me an email today, apologizing for an inconvenience. Apparently friends and family can't access my bridal registry, and Target is offering me 20% off my next online purchase. I would be outraged if my wedding weren't a year and a half ago. As it is, I forgot I had a registry and really haven't been bothered at all. So do I pretend to be inconvenienced and redeem the discount, or do I pay full price for that stroller I've been eyeing. Guide me, internet.

Monday, September 5, 2011

so special

Brad (Dad),

Brad and his older brother Eric, fascinated.

I feel like one of the most valuable things you've taught me is the ability to be amused by very little. I've never met anyone who can find so much humor in so little, and it certainly makes life worth living. I hope it's something Baby Walter inherits, and if not, I hope you can teach her that garbage trucks are just as entertaining as television.
Happy last birthday before grandfatherdom.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

all the stars are fixed up in the sky

A Stylist article lists 50 important books that were once banned (Click here to see the list). Some of the reasons for banning are pretty hilarious. My personal favorites are The Canterbury Tales, banned for obscene language (if you can understand The Canterbury Tales enough to know that the language is obscene, my hat's off to you), Where's Waldo, for the possibly topless sunbather in one of the scenes (probably harder to find than Waldo himself), and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, banned for its anthropomorphic portrayal of police as pigs.
After reading this list I feel relieved to know that my educators were not fascist dictators, and I was required if not encouraged to read most of these titles. I don't know if there's anyone who reads this blog that doesn't already know that I attended Brigham Young University, or doesn't already know I'm a Mormon, Just in case, I did and I am. Before starting my college education, I was a little worried. BYU has a reputation. I was worried I might not learn everything that a fully educated person should learn. That censorhip might stand in the way of free thinking. But I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe the BYU English Department is special. Or maybe all of campus is more well-rounded than it's given credit for. All I know is that I never once thought "Why aren't we reading this book?" or "I wish we could take a more open-minded approach to this text."
In my short stories class we were assigned to read The Storm, a story about a woman having a brief affair. The next class my professor asked if anyone's sensibilities were offended by the reading. One poor soul, bless his heart, raised his hand and declared that he was not only appalled by The Storm, but also by The Edgar Allan Poe story we read the week before. My professor looked this student in the eyes and essentially said, "Dude, you picked the wrong major."
I don't know. Maybe that student was right. Maybe we should all be offended by the grotesque and the emotive. But I really don't think so. I think there is such thing as being too sheltered, and the world swallows those people whole.
I remember another class taught by another English professor. We were discussing a particularly racey text, and my professor conceded that if this text were translated directly to film, it would be rated R. Many Mormons do not watch R rated movies, so, my professor asked, where does that leave the reading? Should we not read any questionable material? Should we see all the R Rated movies? Is there a difference? Is there a middle ground? If so, where? My professor, being that wise man that he is, did not draw a conclusion, and I doubt any of us students really figured it out that day either. But I suspect most of my peers, like myself, gave a little more thought to not only what it means to be educated, but also what it means to be a Mormon. It's something that I think about every day. What does it mean to be the Mormon minority in a new place? What does it mean to raise a Mormon child? What does it mean if I watch a certain movie?
So thanks for the Education, educators.

Friday, September 2, 2011

how does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?

Would ya look at that! A real blog header. I'm lucky enough to be related to some talent, and my aunt Taia, a real artist, was kind enough to design the above masterpiece.

This morning on my walk I crossed paths with a jogging shirtless middle aged man wearing a gold chain and carrying a walkman. I wonder if he never takes the gold chain off, or if he wears it only when jogging shirtless.
It reminded me of another jogging man I once saw carrying a walkman.  He was either incredibly hungover, or incredibly plastered. and was having a hard time standing upright, yet still seemed to determine to exercise. I imagine he polished off his bottle of vodka, then thought to himself, "You know what I need to do? Run." He grabbed his walkman, put in his favorite cassette tape (maybe Final Countdown, or Eye of the Tiger), and headed out for some cardiovascular activity. I sat at a bus stop on the other side of the street and watched this man slowly jog a few steps, fall over, stand up, and repeat. It took him five minutes to move a hundred feet. I was laughing so hard that I fell off the bench.

We're running out of things to watch instantly on Netflix, so we decided to try The Kennedys, an eight part made for TV miniseries. It was just as stupid as you might expect, but for some reason we couldn't turn it off. It was like eating fish sticks. While eating them, you think "why am I doing this? I don't like these fish sticks," and then you take another bite.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

float upstream



I never thought I would post pregnancy pictures. I rarely like pictures of me, let alone pictures of me getting fatter. But I've decided that someday, I'll probably want to remember what it was like, growing a a baby, and this is the closest thing I have to a journal. So I'm sorry if it's too much and if you're tired of reading about morning sickness and maternity pants, and tired of looking at what appear to be post-Thanksgiving dinner portraits. I don't blame you. If it wasn't me it was happening to, I probably wouldn't care. Pregnancy, however, currently occupies about 80% of my thoughts, and there are only so many things I can write before I end up mentioning the human in my belly again. Am I going to make a point with this rambling, you ask? Um, I'll try. Sometimes I pull up a blog entry from a year ago, just to see what I thought was worth writing about that day. It usually makes me cringe because there are quite a few typoes and I often think I'm funnier than I actually am. But I still value the record, even if it reads like a diary of the insane. And if there's anytime to keep a record, I think it's these nine months.  


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

all my friends were vampires

Yesterday we received roughly 1/5 of our deposit from the Provo apartment management company with the following letter:

"Additional cleaning at new residents request: kitchen cupboards, drwares (their spelling, not mine), sink, floor, behind appliances, oven, shower, tub, sink, medicine cabinet, etc 5 hours at $35 an hour. Total charge against refund: $426.53
Amount of Refund: $73.47"

This is outrageous for many reasons, since we passed our cleaning check, were constantly told how clean our apartment was, scrubbed the sink raw, blah blah blah. But what really gets my goat is that I spent five years and thousands of dollars on a college degree when it turns out that I could be making $35 an hour cleaning medicine cabinets. That's nearly double my current earnings. EDUCATION FAIL.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

baby darlin dollface honey

I could be wrong, but what I've learned from my various interactions with professional animal people is that those who choose to work with animals for a living are usually not great at interacting with humans. For example, yesterday I was buying dog food at Petco and the following conversation ensued:

Me: Do you sell heartworm medication here?

Nice Teenage Boy Cashier: Um, I think it's on aisle 5.

Scary Eavsdropping Dog Trainer: We don't sell it here, but if your dog gets heartworm he will die.

Wow. Super helpful. Thanks.

A few hours later I had another customer service adventure. I was just wrapping up a gift card purchase on oldnavy.com when my session timed out. So I called the toll-free hotline and was sorely disappointed when a robot answered. The most horrible kind of robot, a "voice recognition" robot. A voice recognition robot who only sort of understands english. After answering Yes and No to 20,000 questions Ms. Robopoopface asked for my phone number. I recited 555-555-5555 (changed for blog safety, obviously). "Ok," she said, "Did you say 792-583-4639?" Not even close. It was late and I was in one of those moods, so this struck me as the funniest thing I had ever heard. When asked to repeat the number, all I could do was giggle. Then laugh hysterically. Five tries and ten minutes later, I was finally pulled myself together and repeated my number with perfect clarity, and then Ms. Robopoopface determined that my number was not on file and transfered me to a flesh and blood representative, just like always.