Friday, January 30, 2009

Great start to the weekend...

I'm due two weeks from today. Friday the 13th--yuck. I'm still not at the point that I've heard every pregnant lady talk about where, "I just want to NOT be pregnant anymore!!!" I think that's a good thing, though I'm not sure if that means my body is telling me to chill out because I still have a while to wait or if my brain is forcing me to think like that so I never have to actually face my intense fear of labor and delivery.

As we laid in bed talking before drifting off to sleep earlier this week, I asked Grant if he was scared. He replied, "Well, yeah. But everybody we know has done it and they were all fine. We can do it too." He's so smart.

My doctor went ahead an ordered an ultrasound to check on her weight, which I had this morning. She's measuring at 7lb 6oz, but her actual weight could be a pound in either direction and I've still got 2 weeks to go, so we'll see. All the organs are looking great, including a perfectly functioning 4-chambered heart. She's still for sure a Kendra and not an Elliot--or as the technician said, "She hasn't grown anything." And, she's in the vertex (head-down) position, all good to come when she decides to. The due date the machine predicts based on her measurements is the 19th, not the 13th. Hmmm. My mom had both her babies 4 days early, but maybe we'll have a baby-free Valentine's Day.

But, here she is!

For some reason, I was really surprised with how defined her mouth and nose pretty!

That's our beautiful baby's hard to believe that we'll meet her so soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More bits of awesome

The quality of my day went WAY up when I found this on someone's blog.

I think the quality of yours might go up too.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fun News

Many of you know I served a full-time mission in Hungary. It's a small mission, a little over 100 missionaries at any given time and it covers the whole country, which is about the size of the state of Indiana.

It is absolutely amazing.

My first companion, Natasha and I still love each other dearly. When I went out West for Labor Day weekend in 07, I met her family--whom I also fell in love with from serving with her. I loved meeting them while I was there and spending some time with them.

Among them was her youngest brother, Connor. Along the way I said something and he replied in Hungarian, "De hogy is!" It's a what to say, "Whatever!" I turned to Natasha completely blown away, "Did he just 'De hogy is' me?" "Yeah, he's picked up a bunch of Hungarian, and he's pretty good at it."

That was a full year and a half ago. Connor got his mission call this weekend. Guess where he's going...


I couldn't believe it either. Over 330 in the world and he got called to the very best one.


It's silly and I know no one who reads this even knows the kid, but this is absolutely fan-friggin-tastic!! For Hungary and for Connor because they are both incredibly awesome and are going to LOVE each other!

Natasha posted a video of it on Facebook and they cried when he read it--so did I. Both times I watched it.

I just thought that was so dang awesome I had to share it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chicago Redeemed

I've been pretty up-front about my feelings concerning Chicago. The bitter, bitter cold is a significant factor in this. Within the past few weeks there was a record set for how many hours in a row the temperature (temperature as in not the wind chill) remained below zero (not freezing but zero a full 32 degrees below freezing). People were literally getting frostbite--we actually accidently picked one of the most very bitter days for me to take the train downtown to Grant's office building and see where he works before having a little date. Like we've said here before, holy cold!

I hate the cold. I'm a summer baby--and now I feel like I should apologize to my mother for being one.

I've only just started swelling up in my last month of pregnancy. Not gaining weight but retaining water to a noticeable and sometimes startling degree. My feet and legs are usually okay in the morning but it's always only a matter of time before they turn into startling shapeless elephant trucks. My hands and wrists are pretty much swollen (but unlike my feet, my hands really hurt as well, especially when I clench my fists) all the time. Luckily, my watch, wedding band, engagement ring and snow boots are all a size too large, so I'm still comfortably able to wear all of them.

This is where Chicago gets redeemed.

The times I've gone out to run errands, I've come back feeling soooo wonderful. Why? Because the cold (especially when it's not super bitter and in the nice normal, upper 20s, lower 30s [but still not above freezing this year, not that I'm counting]) totally shrinks me down to size in a wonderful, beautiful way. My feet come out of my shoes almost normal (my ankles will go up and down but the part by my toes is always weirdly puffy) and my hands feel so cool and refreshed...I love it. I wash my hands in the ice cold water that comes out of our sink because the blast of cold feels soooooo dang good. Earlier this evening, I even put on a cardigan and flip flops and Grant came with me to stand around outside for a few minutes for some sweet, sweet relief. And it worked.

I think Grant and I should time it so that ALL our babies are born in cold weather. Somehow, I don't think I'll be that lucky though. I feel like I'm barely earning my stripes with this amount of swelling.

Sometimes, despite all my whining, when I look back on this pregnancy, I feel like I'm barely earning my stripes at all. It has been grievous at times...but the stories I've heard along the way have frightened me. And ultimately, I know that I have had it sooo much better than pretty much every woman I've talked to.

So I'm trying to be grateful for my dumb luck and for the darn Chicago winter that helps me find relief from the ridiculous swelling my body is suddenly capable of.

**Fun fact: on average, we lose 2 pounds overnight. You always are at your skinniest after you've slept the night. That's partly because we get a bit dehydrated throughout the night and wake up and urinate a lot out as well. Just for kicks, I've been weighing myself at night and in the morning for comparison. Instead of the average 2 that I've seen many times in the past, it's been 6 every time I've checked. SIX.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You gotta see this...

Well, you don't gotta.


If you, like me, have a certain affinity for Star Wars, John Williams, a capella music or any combination of the three (especially the first two) then you really do gotta see this.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Getting ready...

With four weeks and counting, I figure it's time to be ready to go to the hospital. And I'm trying even harder to be calm about that. Well, I haven't gotten my stuff in order but I do have everything set aside to put in the bag for Kendra.

First, a cozy little ensemble with a sleeper and socks from my Mom and one of the caps we bought for our little coming Valentine.

And Grant's Mom, like us, hasn't forgotten we're having a baby smack dab in the middle of a Chicago winter (yes, there's still plenty of winter left for us after mid-February) and said she kept passing this nice fuzzy coat up at Wal-Mart and finally just broke down and bought it for her.

My favorite is my sister's touch. She is quite pleased to claim that she bought her niece her very first accessory.

And do you see? The hat Aunt Haley bought her totally matches the coat Grandma Jackie did!

Turns out, babies are super fun to spoil. And girls even more so than boys.

And shoot, this stuff is all perfectly practical that we would have bought for her anyway!

So dang cute. And she's not even here yet...

Christmas trip Part 2

Christmas morning rolled around, but it turns out that some adults were up for the better part of the night talking, as they are wont to do. The result is that while the kids were up excitedly talking and opening presents, this is what I was doing

It was a wonderful Christmas morning, filled with holiday cheer and love, and a surprisingly little amount of Christmas morning greed--really we didn't even each much my standards. This was the first year that Stephanie was really aware of the situation with the presents and had interest in opening more than one. And boy was she excited!

After the Christmas morning excitement, we rushed down to Kansas to visit Ashley's family. While we were there we took some time to tour around KU, where she went to school, and check out the quintessential Lawrence food place, which Ashley had been craving her whole pregnancy: Yelo Sub. It's easier than getting watermellon and chop suey in the middle of the night.

While we were there, though, we let ourselves get real interested in what we were doing and forgot to ensure that Ashley got her typi
cal two gallons of daily water intake, of which we were reminded with the only physically rough evening of the trip. Always drink your water...

For a girl less than two months away from giving birth, she sure was a trooper.

We headed over through the snow and met with Ashley's Dad.

It turns out that he's a very perceptive man and has read a lot on our blog, so he knows us very well. He presented me with one of the most exciting presents of the season:

That's right, caulk! Which I went home and used thoroughly around all the windows, and then went around all the baseboards filling in holes (with the aid of some steel wool) that might be entrances for the dang mice. We may be forced to live in a huge metropolitan area, but that doesn't mean we have to be total city slickers and become useless in the art of handymanism.

It's weird, but there's something so empowering and fulfilling about improving your home. I guess I'm the one really nesting.

Anyway, we came home the way we went down, through Heber's house. Ashley taught us all a lesson in patience and perserverance by solving a 3D puzzle.

OK the picture doesn't do it justice. It's made of that hologram stuff that changes as you change your viewing angle. Very difficult to put together as a puzzle, and very impressive. Anyway it turns out that Heber's family are all dedicated puzzle completers, and now I know that Ashley is as well.

Heber and Debbie hooked us up with something we have been eagerly shopping for: a real crib!

By the way, see all the junk in the room? That was before the big dejunking movement that we went through. The room is immaculate and not junked up at all now. Just to make that clear.

We were really worried because Stephanie had been sleeping in the crib until the day they gave it to us. Was she going to miss her crib when we took it? It turns out she didn't, because she got a big girl bed. Great for jumping.

We had a lot of fun on the trip, and we topped it off with an impromptu dance party with the Farnsworths.

It turns out that pregnant girls can dance.


I own precious few actual maternity clothes--several really cute shirts my Mom bought for me before I was out of the first trimester and a pair of jeans we bought a little before Thanksgiving. It's not because my husband won't let me get any. It's not because we can't afford any. It's because this is the same person who as a girl never informed her mother she needed new anything because she thought she was doing fine even if her underwear had holes in them--they were still wearable. I just don't get around to doing things like that.

Well, trouble is, you can procrastinate buying maternity clothes if you want, but whether you're prepared or not, you get more and more pregnant.

So how have I been avoiding it? Well, I was at my very skinniest ever
when I got pregnant and I had lost some weight since coming home from my mission, so I made it by going back up through my sizes half-way through the third trimester. I've only just this week retired the last two pairs of pants that were low-rise enough to fit zipped and buttoned and all under my belly. I might splurge and buy myself another pair of pants--but really more in anticipation of my next pregnancy instead of relief from this one, as it's due to end in four weeks from yesterday (YIKES!).

I mentioned the overalls we found and brought home from my storage unit--I totally thought I got rid of them altogether, so it was a special treat to happen upon them. I wear them almost every single day, quite literally. Every day I don't wear the overalls, I'm wearing my favorite pregnant outfit--one of Grant's shirts and sweatpants. Ohhhhh, sweet, sweet relaxation to be had in these outfits. Well, as much as can be had by a woman 8 months pregnant. And, I can get away with wearing sweats or overalls every single day because I don't work, so I don't have an office to worry about dressing up for. Though I do have a husband, but it works out because he thinks these are pretty cute. So I'm good for six days a week, but there's still the matter of church...

Several of you on Facebook might remember me complaining through my status messages about not having anything for it. My search was simple--a plain, long, black maternity skirt. I went to every store I could think of that carries maternity clothes and nothing. Most of them didn't have any skirts at all. I started clicking around online but surprisingly no one had anything. I was getting fairly distressed because this seems like a staple item in a wardrobe, y'know? Grant and I went out a couple of Saturdays ago to the several local thrift stores nearby to give it one last shot...and success! For $2! Woohoo!

Funny thing is--this isn't even a maternity skirt. It's an amazingly long 2XL skirt that I pull all the way up over my belly, see? I wasn't very smart about realizing that I was demonstrating this wearing a black sweater, but you can see if if you enlarge the image. Clever trick, eh? But, it totally works, and I am soooo happy for it!

However, even though it solves my problem Elisa (a beloved mission companion--we've been described as "Siamese twins joined at the cell phone" for all the text messaging we do with each other) just didn't think that was good enough and this awesome number arrived in the mail totally unexpectedly yesterday. Isn't that sweet? I Heart her so much. And not just cus she sends me flowers on my birthday and maternity clothes when I complain. She's just a really amazing friend I happened to be blessed enough to stumble into along the way. So I've got good taste in friends and she has great taste in clothes, check it out.

I love it! I can't wait to wear it to church tomorrow. And Grant had a great idea--he suggested I go to the fabric store around the corner and buy a few other ribbons to go with it. I'm totally going to do that next week. I feel so cute I barely even notice my poor, swollen feet--it only emphasizes the priority of comfort over fashion, though.

Granted, I should have bought myself more maternity clothes--but I just didn't get around to it and now it seems a little late to blow much money, especially since I never go anywhere and if I do I wear a winter coat the whole time I'm outside the apartment.

But hey, this is only the first one. I'll remember to stock up next time around.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Those of you who have been reading our blog for a while know I've been keeping a very detailed (bordering on T(oo)M(uch)I(nformation) really) account of this pregnancy. Turns out, it's pretty fascinating and it's our first time so everything is super duper interesting to us. You might remember the first time we witnessed from the outside the bump protruding from my belly was actually something living.

By the seventh month, the baby can hear outside the womb and a couple of weeks ago all three of my pregnancy newsletters announced that her hearing is fully developed. Neat!

Today, I was doing the dishes--so my belly was at sink level--and as I was fiddling with my stack of clean plates (because I like to load the small ones into the drying rack first with the big ones behind them--yes, don't ask me why but I really have to do it that way) and there was a big, loud clanging of dishes in the process. It startled me quite a bit but what was super fascinating is that as I jumped from being startled by the noise, Kendra moved in a very major way at the exact same moment.


Granted, it could have just been totally random that she moved when the dishes clanged. But she totally could have heard it and it startled her too and that's why there was a sudden huge movement!

I'll probably think it's less sweet when she's out here and she's crying when she gets startled by something, but today I couldn't help but take a moment to rub my hand over my belly and actually ask out loud, "Oh, did that scare you?"

Ready or not, this baby girl is coming. And fast. I'm due February 13th--four weeks from tomorrow.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Riddle me this

For the commute downtown to work, Grant used his U-pass from school until it expired at the end of the term in December. When he took the mass-transit El, he had to be out the door at 7:30am in order to catch the train that would get him to work on time.

Now that it's expired, he takes the commuter rail Metra and has to be out the door at 7:55am--and the stops are right next to each other (though the Metra is the one closer to our apartment).

When he took the El, we had to get up at 6:45am to get him out the door in time, approximately 45 minutes before he had to leave. So when we switched over to the Metra, I just plugged in the alarm clock for 45 minutes before he had to leave...yet we found that we had tons of time to kill when we did that. We now set the alarm for just over half an hour before he has to be out the door and we're never rushed for time.

So how does that work? It's 25 minutes difference, but we need 15 fewer minutes to do the same thing?

I don't get it. But, I ain't complaining.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Portriat of a Couple

Ashley's reaction to the throwing away of some of her childhood...ahem..acquisitions has been quite the influence on our family lately. We bought Don Aslett's book, Clutter's Last Stand and have been reading it together. A husband should never make his wife do something he wouldn't be willing to do (childbirth excepted), so we've begun the process of de-junking my life as well. A part of that effort has been the ongoing sale of many of my books and textbooks on, a part of it has been the sale of several of my items of junk on craigslist, and part of it is an ongoing effort.

As we were searching for things that we don't truly love, we found a noteworthy item. Just over a week before Ashley and I were married there was a big art expo near my apartment. We found a portrait artist, who we commissioned to do our caricatures.

It turns out that we don't like the result at all. We were all smiley and beaming for the sitting but apparently he didn't want to paint teeth so he sobered us up. And he got Ashley's head shape wrong too (not to mention the bust enhancement and modesty reduction he gave her). It's just more portraity and less caricaturish than we were hoping for.

However it's an important artifact from our courtship. An important artifact that is too ugly to be displayed in our home. Thanks to modern technology, however, it can be scanned and then thrown away. A side benefit of the archiving effort: we can share it with our blog readers.


Broadyway Baby

After a few comments back and forth about my aforementioned collection of Playbills and programs, I thought I'd give you a more in-depth glance at just what we're talking about. A little background information on me--theatre is somewhat in my blood. Literally. My parents met doing a show together in college, and they were married on that stage later. Every child is raised on their parents' music, and for me that meant showtunes. Lots and lots of showtunes. In fact, once I started buying my own music as an adult, I rapidly collected quite a smattering of showtunes for myself and they by far dominate my CD collection. Then I moved to New Jersey, a hair's breath from NYC...and I took advantage of it!

If this isn't a Playbill (the thing they give you for free at the show) from every show I've attended, there aren't many missing...

And all the ones I've opened have the ticket stub in them, though I haven't checked every single one.

Yes, I've seen a few of them more than once. Les Mis and Aida I went the second time because (hell-OO, it's Les Mis) I took someone with me the second time. Then for Aida there's a special thing they did the day of the show that the first 20 people at the box office with a student ID could buy first or second row seats for $25, however there was a raised orchestra pit and sometimes it got in the way. Rent I saw even more than that because they don't sell the first two rows of the orchestra (the seats on the floor in front of the stage) until 2 hours before curtain in a random lottery for $20 a pop. Did I mention there's no orchestra pit for that show? That means the actors are literally spitting on you. Pretty cool. You can opt for one or two tickets when you do the lottery, so if you bring a friend (or make one in line, which I might have done the first time I did it) you double your odds of getting in.

Lots of nannies blow their disposable income on clothes and shopping. I got myself out of debt, then I let myself splurge on Broadway. And I was enjoying it enough that I figured out where and how to get good deals on tickets. I rarely paid full price for them and it was sooo worth it.

So I often paid for souvenir programs as well. They're huge, full-color booklets with photos from the show.

When I spread them all out, I was actually surprised because I thought I had more. I can't believe there's not one there from Rent! I saw that dang show at least four times, and I didn't ever buy a dang program? Oh well.

A few fun facts about the shows I've seen:

I've seen the original casts (or most of them) in several of the musicals I've seen (straight shows run for limited engagements but musicals usually run as long as the tickets sell). So for the theatre geeks out there that means I saw Sutton Foster do Millie, Idena Minzel and Kristin Chenowith do Elphaba and Galinda, Terrance Mann do Javert (that was a surprise treat!) and Adam Pascal do Radames (and Emcee, for that matter).

I've seen the likes of Antonio Banderas , Chita Rivera, Mary Stuart Masterson, Ian McKellen, Joey Fatone, Robert Sean Leonard, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Dennehy, Toni Braxton, John Lithgow, Taye Diggs, Danny Glover, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart (who, according to my mother, is in fact, the sexiest man alive and has been most of my remembered life--so it was fun to take her to see himlive from prime seats for Christmas). But I missed Denzel Washington when he came through doing Shakespeare. I'm not gonna lie, it's a little sad to think about.

So, yeah. I kinda like going to shows, though I see myself as really have gotten the opportunity to enjoy it "when I was young" and I'm pretty satisfied with that. Though my husband has never seen Les Mis or Phantom on stage and that we'll simply have to remedy as soon as the tours comes through these parts. If we lived in or near New York, I might bat my eyelashes at him occasionally and scope out the good deals again, but it's not really something I crave. I still have all these programs and the music to go back and remember them if I do. :)

And given both my and Grant's prior experiences in theatrical pursuits, I suppose there's some chance that at least one of our kids will do some degree of dabbling in it as well. I reckon that'll be fun too.

Who needs original casts, special guests, or even Denzel for that matter when your kid is on stage?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cleaning up and clearing out

The big project waiting for Grant and me in Kansas was taking care of my pile of stuff occupying my mother's storage unit--well after socializing and seeing a bit of the land of my nativity. After I graduated from high school, everything that didn't go to my dorm room went into a storage unit. I have actually gone through this pile and cut in half at least three times (before I moved to Jersey, before my mission and then again after). And despite that, he saw this face a lot during the couple of hours we spent there.
Through the years of periodically going through all my belongings, there are a few things I'd learned about storing stuff well before this trip...

*Storing stuff you don't have room for now but think you'll have use for later is pointless. For
much less money than it will cost you to store it, you can buy new, better stuff when you need it and have room for it.
*Storing stuff that can pick up a smell (clothes, bedding, anything made of cloth) is done at your own risk.
*If you don't remember the "treasure" you're storing and/or the details of it, it ain't a treasure.
*Storing something that you're only going to put in a closet in your house when you take it out of storage probably isn't worth storing. Like the tiny T-shirt here. It's adorable. I totally remember wearing it, but I'm never going to put one of my kids in it.

I also learned about what I really "need" from my mission. You live out of 2 suitcases for a year and a half and you become less sentimental. And there are a few more things I learned taking my husband with me to sort through the relics that remained of my childhood...

*If he doesn't like it, we aren't going to display it.
*If it's not worth passing down to our children, it's not worth having around. Like your National Honors Society paraphernalia you wore at high school graduation.

*You can easily remember stuff by scanning it or taking a picture and save yourself the trouble of keeping it around (especially when the previous points apply to it)--even gifts that you know people made sacrifices to give you.
*Having someone with you who isn't attached to all of your stuff makes it a lot easier to see the sense in chucking it.
*Having a man around who isn't attached to all your stuff is even more effective.

Grant was able to remind me of some logistics like the size of our car that was already lugging our luggage and present we'd received, and the fact that we're going back to a small apartment where we needed to go through some things to make space for a baby (we're amazed at how much space a person who can currently fit in my body requires). He still doesn't understand why I need all the playbills and souvenir programs I collected from the shows I've seen (and there are quite a few) or my American Girl doll clothes but we took
everything and whittled it down to one very large box--and he didn't even pressure me to be able to put the lid on it, just to be able to fit it in the car.

There are other logistics that help with throwing things away that have been sitting in storage since you were 18--like bugs, mold, and general funky smells.

It was a little painful to throw some of the things away. I felt incredibly guilty about all the stuff we could have donated to the Goodwill store, but didn't have time or towing space to make the trips. And I felt really guilty about a few of the gifts I knew people had sacrificed to give me, but I had to admit that even though someone who loved me gave it to me, I just
didn't have any use for it anymore. Especially the stuff I'd forgotten about.

And there was a small notebook of pictures that somehow got mixed up in the piles of high school Geometry notes (don't ask me how or why that made it as far as the last whittling down) and tossed, which I'm very bummed about. And there are two or three specific things I wish I would have added to my box in retrospect. But...too late now.

It did feel pretty good, though. Even though I realized I've wasted thousands of dollars storing and shipping a lot of that stuff through the years...but hey. Now the long-awaited satisfaction of having absolutely everything I own in one spot is finally mine. And it's awesome! I highly recommend it.

We took pictures of lots of things I decided i could live without so I could still remember them later. The following is a real gem...

Wes Southerland was in my class every year Kindergarten through 3rd grade (and we moved after that) and was the very first boy I ever had a crush on. When I turned 8 (between 2nd and 3rd grade), Mom threw me an awesome birthday party and Wes presented me with this. He shyly admitted that he'd picked it out himself. He might as well declared his undying love for me on the spot as far as my 8-year-old self was concerned. I always set aside and nervously gave him the cards that said, "Will you be mine?" for Valentine's Day and this was my affirmation that yes, he would. I should see if I can find him on Facebook...

So it was not only a fun but also productive trip. And there's more to follow about it! We've been kinda lazy about getting it all blogged because we were having so much fun just hanging out with the downtime we had here when Grant didn't have to work. And since he's gone back my priorities have been in making sense of the disaster area that somehow has completely taken over our apartment.

Especially since I have barely more than 5 weeks before I'm due to have a baby and have so much to get done before then! Eeek!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Our Christmas Trip Part 1

For Christmas this year, Ashley and I took a trip down south (much better weather down there).

The first thing we noticed on our trip was that when I drive, we get there much, much later than we do if Ashley drives. It turns out that our car does not have cruise control. If I am the one driving, our speed slowly decreases until we are creeping along at like 20 miles under the speed limit. Those are unsafely slow speeds, especially when you have an impatient wife in the passenger seat. I say this as a prelude to the following: Ashley, over 7 months pregnant and all, drove most of the way down, all around, and then all of the way back. It turns out that when she drives, we actually get around much more quickly. In fact, she derives a lot of pleasure, it seems, from watching the estimated arrival time on the GPS get earlier and earlier by the minute as she zips past the other cars on the freeway.

I found that my talents are better used elsewhere while on road trips. Like hallucinating. Take a look at this car.

It was right ahead of us for a long time. Can you honestly say it's not scowling at us? Look at those red lights. Just like two little scheming eyes. Who knows what kind of mischief that car was planning. Whatever it is, it was no good. So we passed it. Well...Ashley did. If I were driving it would have been just a blur as it flew by us.

Anyway, we arrived safely at Heber's house. We were a bit late because of the time I had spent driving. Actually very late. The trip from Chicago to St Louis took 8 hours. We're not sure where that time went, actually. I didn't drive THAAAT slowly.

Heber's family recently acquired a Wii, so Hyrum and Stephanie showed us how to really work it. Well, Stephanie was more of a cheerleader.

I'll tell you, playing tennis in the comfort of your home and without having to put on short shorts is a mighty fine thing.

As is tradition in all Farnsworth households, Heber and Debbie's family acted out the Christmas story. This year Ashley and I were able to play the pregnant Mary and Joseph. Well Mary was more pregnant than Joseph--and she had a very convincing waddle to go with the belly. Finally I didn't have to be a sheep. This is just one of the many perks of being married, I'm telling you--at the reunion last year, Ashley and I got to have our own bedroom (and even a hotel room for a while). The previous reunion, as a bachelor, I slept on a cot in my parent's closet. Yes, the closet. Feel the love. Anyway soon I will get to move up from being Joseph all the way to being wicked king Herod. Tell me I ever would have achieved that as a single man.

I'll tell you, Christmas makes a lot more sense and it's a lot more exciting when there are children around. Since Ashley and I are still waiting on ours, we borrowed some of that excitement from Heber's kids. Actually I think Stephanie was excited enough about the first present she got (a set of princess shoes) that she kind of injected enough enthusiasm into us to last until our own little baby arrives.

Highlight of Christmas Eve: At the end of the play, Heber and Debbie asked what's going to happen tomorrow. Stephanie replied with incredible excitement "baby Jesus!" That wasn't what anyone was expecting, but no one wanted to correct her. Santa Claus gets more than his fair share of children's attention during the holidays.

Actually it's 2:20AM now, so I'll tell you about Christmas itself later.

In honor of the Birthday Boy...

Here's a side of the Farns I'll bet few if any of you have seen before...

Well, actually most of you have probably seen at least a picture of him holding a tarantula--but what is so strange about this one? He's wearing sweats. The Farns never wears sweats. I have a hard time dating pictures of him by himself because he's always wearing a long-sleeved oxford blue button-up shirt and khakis.

Danielle mentioned that her now 3-year-old hangs out in his underwear all day on her blog. I replied by reporting that, no, it's not that unusual because my now 29-year-old husband does the very same thing as much as he possibly can. He often complains that I never take any pictures of him and that our children will never know what their father looked like when we were young because of it. Well, that's because he's always in his dang underwear every time he's doing something I'd take a picture of!

So, he found his own solution to that one. Though this is a side of the Farns I'll bet none of you ever cared to see. Right here, father of my child, folks...

Yes, if you've been following us for any length of time, that's the father of my child wearing my robe as featured here. My pink, fluffy robe. I finally found and brought home my heavier white terry cloth robe, and that's the one he's wearing in the sympathy voice video. But, for his birthday I was able to track down a nice, manly, blue, light-weight robe (which could not be found in a store to save my life!) that he'll be able to wear all year long and have heaps of pictures taken in.

Ain't no other man like mine, just no denying it.

Happy Birthday, Farns-o-Larns!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Speaking in tongues

Danielle, this one's for you.

She's curious, you see. I drop words like "boobicles", "ignorify" and "burnination" and think nothing of it, but she asked...hopefully she won't regret that.

These are all terms Grant has introduced to my vernacular. "Burnination" comes from this at the Home Star Runner site. He evens expands it by adding the ever-colorful "burnification". I think it's a similar play on suffixes that brought "ignorify" to us (and it's spin-off "ignorificated"). Though come to think of it, he also told me a story about a girl he dated before me who wants to homeschool her children because "public schools dumbify kids" and he probably started having fun with that afterwards.

In a forgotten context, Grant's last roommate dubbed him, "Grantasticles" which I think was derived from my original name for him, "Grantastic". Turns out, my breasts have been the topic of many comments exchanged between us as they prepare to serve their lactation function and somewhere along the way, "boobicles" just slipped out (I'm trying really hard not to whine about my horror of facing buying ANOTHER new bra because I'm busting out of the dang D-cup! I never wore that when I was fat).

He also has a little name for me. As a bachelor, many of the meals Grant prepared for me included a healthy serving of broccoli florrets from the 5 lb Sam's Club bag and he called them "broc-o-flowers". I don't recall when he started it, but for at least a year he's been calling me "Ash-o-flower" and I've found it very endearing. Actually, I daresay it's been my favorite nickname or petname anyone ever gave me since the first time I heard it. Yeah, a couple of decades of "Ash-hole", "Dumb-Ash", "Smart-Ash" and other similar examples will make "Ash-o-flower" downright poetic even when you know it comes from vegetables.

And the list goes on of the little expressions we use that have just naturally become how we talk every day. But, there are some things that just can't be captured in text so I put our Christmas present from Grant's parents to use so you can see some of it for yourselves. These are a couple of Grant's "voices" that delight me on a daily basis.

So yeah, we have a lot of fun speaking our own language.

And the pity voices really do work. Some might find it patronizing, but it always makes me feel so much better when he groans and sympathizes for me.

I love that guy.

Kicked around by technology

It's been an eventful Christmas break for the Chicago Farnsworth's. Very eventful indeed. Unfortunately, Ashley and I have not been very quick about blogging about it. That's not for lack of desire, mind you. It's not even because we are still struggling to organize and put away the piles of stuff we brought home from Ashley's Mom's house (she had a storage unit with a mountain of...ahem...memorabilia, from which we gleaned the best stuff, filled the car, and made a huge pile in our living room). No, we haven't blogged for technical reasons.

Somehow we angered the technology Gods when we left Chicago. When we arrived home, we found that my pride and joy, the 24 inch monitor on my computer, will not function any more, ostensibly because of a power supply failure. And a replacement for the silly power supply will be over $50. We went ahead and ordered it but I have the feeling it will be a long time coming.

Well, no big deal, we have two desktops and two laptops in our house, so Ashley still had a computer and we had two laptops for me to choose from. Except that hers very suddenly will not power up. We tried a new battery (and of course, plugging it in). No luck. It never even gets to the part where it spins up its hard drive.

No worries, I still have my laptop. Except it suddenly (like, since we were at Heber's house) will not play DVD's. It turns out the computer doesn't even recognise that it has a CDROM drive.

So we put her monitor on my desktop and gave her my laptop. Somehow the speakers that we normally plus into have also ceased to function, at least with the laptop. Very frustrating for people who watch a lot of movies on their computers.

I have checked all these problems and they are all hardware issues. It's like we got struck by lightning, except that we completely unplugged all of our hardware including our computers when we left home. Maybe that was our mistake.

Three of our computers are pretty old anyway, so we were thinking about getting rid of them and getting a new, sweet, quad core processor with a DVD burner (so we can make home videos with greater ease). We'll most likely buy that soon. In the mean time, we are going to buy an interim monitor for Ashley's desktop. Just a cheap one to get us by. The new computer and new power supply are on the horizon, and then we will have a backup computer that can actually play a DVD.

Anyway, that was a long sob story. We've been really bummed because everywhere we look, things are breaking.

On the other hand, the odd upgrade has been known to lift spirits amazingly. We just need to figure out a good thing to do with the old computers. Can't you, like, melt them down and get gold out of them?

Anyway, that's why we haven't blogged yet. We are probably buying a monitor tomorrow, so we will blog ever so much. And with videos (thanks to our new Christmas video camera). :)