Thursday, September 29, 2011

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


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.

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.