Friday, February 27, 2009

My family is dang cute

I love looking at these old pictures. It's really fun to remember how great my childhood was, especially all the pictures with my family. When we were little, we did so many cool things, like go to the zoo and the beach and cool waterparks. I forgot about a lot of this, so it's nice to be reminded through these pictures.

We went to the beach. A lot. I LOVE the beach.

I love this picture. I think we were watching TV or something and fell asleep. It cracks me up.

One time we went to Niagara Falls. It was fun.
I won't bore you anymore. I just think these pictures are so great.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I was a freakishly huge baby. My mom recently scanned all of our old family photos and put them on the internet for our viewing pleasure. I came across a scattering of my birth pictures. And geez, do I feel sorry for her. Ouch. I don't think I ever understand the magnitude of just how huge I really was. Good news though: in a recent econometrics assignment we were looking at birth weight data and parity. First children on average weigh statistically significantly less than subsequent children. Good news indeed.

Take a look:

What is that scary black tube?? It looks like it's going to suck my brain out for the aliens.

Recent happenings

Last weekend my friend Gordon and I went looking for eagles west of Utah Lake. Cait really wanted to come, but work called early Saturday morning saying that she was supposed to come into work (she had a miserable day at work, sorry Cait). But Gordon and I had fun driving around some of the less inhabited parts of Utah looking to sight some eagles. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures. We arrived at Fairfield, where Eagles were supposed to be seen sometime around 1-2 PM which was about when we arrived. The man at the Camp Floyd museum told us that we needed to wait til about five in order to see any eagles, because they were out hunting. So we visited there in the museum for a bit. Saw the non-existent uniform of Camp Floyd soldiers. We also went to the Stage Coach Inn (which was included in the $2 admission cost for the Camp Floyd museum). Because these experiences were not very long, we decided to go out to Faust and Vernon, where other eagles were supposed to be nesting in on some telephone poles. We saw no eagles there, but did stop in at a nice little gas station restaurant in Vernon the name of which I cannot remember. We ordered 6 mozzarella sticks and received 8 because the bag was almost finished. We wanted to get some scones, but they were out, so we bought some drinks and a brownie and headed out (after Gordon tipped generously). We returned to Fairfield, where we saw a total of 7 eagles. They were very nice to look at and it was fulfilling to have achieved our goals. It was odd to see eagles in such a non mountainous or lakeous region of Utah. They were just in some trees by a broken down and abandoned house. Then we picked up Caitlin and went out for dinner at Rice King on Center Street. That was my Saturday.

On the Friday before, we went to the mosque in Salt Lake, or West Valley, but there we did take pictures which I do not have with me, so I'll post about that later.

Last night Caitlin and I attended a lecture by Gordon Rees about the environmental impact of raising cattle, which are substantial. It was a fine lecture.

I think that is about it for interesting things that we've done.

In other happenings, someone is making an effort to invade my life by interfering with seemingly small but still meaningful aspects of my life. It has gotten so bad that I'm not even sure that it is me writing this post, or my stalker. Just a few examples: somebody keeps adding stations to my Pandora radio site. Not only am I upset on principle that someone insists on putting Owl City Radio into my listening experience, but also, the music is terrible. Someone has stolen my mechanical pencil at work on numerous occasions, which is frustrating. And I've been getting strange text messages from banks on phone. Are all of these events connected? Probably not. But my life is usually quite free from such invasions, so the fact that so many have occurred recently is upsetting, to say the least.

Here's a picture of an eagle, just in case you really wanted one:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Detective work

Tim really should tell this story because he's the hero of it. And he's generally a better story teller, but since I got to it first, I think I will.

So, about a week ago we started hearing weird tapping noises at all hours of the night. It sounded like it was coming from our oven, and I thought the gas line was wigging out and going to explode or something. We kept looking around but never saw anything out of the ordinary. Well, three nights ago it got really loud and so Tim got out of bed and investigated further. The weird thing was everytime you got out of bed and turned on a light, the noise stopped. We couldn't really figure out what was going on, but it kept us up in the middle of the night and was so annoying.

The sounds were loud coming from under the sink two nights ago, so he looked under there and discovered a HOLE. Holes are never good signs. That means we have some sort of creature living under our sink. The idea of creatures living in my house freaks me out. Although there was a hole, we never saw a creature, so we just kept ignoring and decided to call management on Monday to come figure it out.

Last night though, as soon as we turned out the light and crawled into bed, the noises started. Tim didn't turn on the light, but grabbed our flashlight and started shining it under things in the kitchen. And there it was. A mouse. We. have. mice. living. with. us! EEEK!

Somehow, unbeknownest to us, they made holes in the cinderblock walls underneath our stove. How does a mouse gnaw through cinderblock?! They must be mutant mice. Even scarier.

On the other hand, is it weird I find it KIND of cool that we have mice? And weird that I don't really want to kill them? Bugs I can kill. Mice... they are just tiny and Tim said the one he saw was kind of cute. I'd feel bad finding them in traps in the morning. Also, they are very useful as scientific subjects and have discovered all sorts of cures for diseases. That would make me feel guilty as well.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Destruction of families

Tim and I were listening to a devotional talk given by a professor Shirley Klein in the Home and Family Living department. The talk was entitled "Protect our Homes, Renew our Powers" and I thought it especially useful since we are expanding our family, and I thusfar plan on raising our children in a gospel-centered environment. Of course, I want to protect my home. She started first talking about the typical pioneer woman and how she had to protect her home from rattlesnakes and tarantulas and then she likened this to how women today have to protect their homes from far more vicious creatures. She listed a few, and they were things like same-sex marriage, abortion, and changing roles for mothers and fathers. These are our rattlesnakes, the things we must protect our family from. Quite honestly though, I'm more worried about the effects of television or materialism on my family and children.

For one, I still cannot see how same-sex marriage will destroy my own family. After all the debate and who-ha about Prop 8 last semester, I still am adamant in my belief that legally allowing for same-sex marriage will have not undermine or devalue my marriage and family. Furthermore, I have many friends who are gay, and I plan on my children knowing and loving these people as I do. I (and I would say "we" referring to Tim as well, but these are my thoughts though we do discuss these things often) plan on teaching my children to be open-minded and I want to teach them about alternative lifestyles. I want them to understand and see how other people live, not just how one particular set of people live. As far as abortion goes, it's not a decision I will ever have to make (God-willing) nor do I hope it's a decision one of my daughters has to make for herself. Will abortion destroy my family? If we allow the right to choose, if we allow women to choose for themselves whether or not they are willing to bring a child into this world, will that tear apart my family? I still don't see the correlation. I believe women have the right to control their own reproduction, within reason (the nation is disgusted at Nadya Suleman's decision to bear octuplets after six other children, but if she hadn't implanted the embryos they would have been destroyed, but isn't that "abortion"? Another opinion for another blogpost)...

As far as the changing roles of men and women, to me, we are progressing forward. While there is danger in both men and women completely forsaking family for career, I don't plan on living that way but again it's a choice that I do not think I have a right to judge anyone for, as long as it is their choice. I have a lot of friends who love being stay-at-home moms, and that's great for them. I have many friends who are not married or have not yet had children because they are pursuing graduate degrees, or practicing law, or saving Burma. That's wonderful for them. Who knows where I will fall? I plan on going to graduate school with a toddler, but maybe that will not be feasible (though I will try darn hard). The point of this IS, the changing roles of men and women are changing in a way that are allowing women to live their lives genuinely and deliberately, and not simply live the life that is prescribed for them.

Professor Klein goes on to talk about the dangers of videogames, television, and materialism, and these are the things that in my opinion are the most dangerous to an LDS family. I would add in pornography and debt as well, though that's probably encompassed by the latter three. These things seem to me to be threats to my family's well-being. A child that sits around and watches rotten television and plays violent videogames all day is worse off in my opinion than a child whose parents know and love a homosexual couple and fight for their rights.

One final thought: The talk also discusses the degradation of the family in terms of housework. I really like an article by Kathleen Barr that we read in my political science class on Family Work, how it brings families together and if we simply relegate tasks or outsource housework we are losing out on an important part of family life. But I still hate housework.


Kennedy Center Lecture

Today's Kennedy Center Lecture was interesting. Diana Douglas, a former BYU student and now a head editor for NPR talked about reporting from Iraq. She talked a lot about working with the natives and getting upset when people accused her of just reporting the bad stories, when she just wanted to capture the listeners attention however she could with a war that people were sick of listening to. Just as a side note, I do think it is kind of dumb to blame media for reporting bias. They just report what people will watch and try to make it honest and professional. But they're a business, they shift to the need of the customers just like any other business. It's a cop out to blame "the mainstream media" for skewing peoples views. Its peoples skewed views that bend the media. Change the people, not the media.

Beyond the actual discussion of reporting though, it was interesting to watch Cory Leonard try to corral her quietly as she had an intense tendency to wander away from the podium and the microphone. I can understand wandering, because it was a small room where everyone could hear easily, but Corey makes a big deal out of filming and recording lectures, and she was obviously making it tough on him. And she said, referring to reporters strategy of riding with soldiers to get their perspective, or "embedding" she said: "The soldiers love to have reporters embed with them." But even the old man next to me laughed because it sounded like she said "The soldiers love to have reporters in bed with them." There's probably some truth to both statements.

And I think we need to nationalize some banks, temporarily. Just thought I'd throw that in. It's not socialist, its smart.

Cadbury Creme Disappointments!

Yesterday, Cadbury Creme eggs hit the shelves in the bookstore. Hallelujah! For those who do not know, I LOVE me some Cadbury Creme eggs. I think I get that from my mom. Anyway. I bought one yesterday. They are a little pricier this year, almost a dollar for one. And you know what? They taste different. And they are much, much smaller than before. I think they've been getting smaller every year. Or is it just me? Looks like I'm sticking with the Cadbury mini eggs. Those are delicious and small, but you get a whole bag so you don't feel like you're getting cheated (I almost said jipped, but I learned a few days ago that jipped is a racial slur against gypsies).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Salma Hayek's wet-nursing

I think I posted about this story before, Salma Hayek telling the media that she is "addicted to breastfeeding".

Well, in the feminist blogs and natural mothering sites this week is this story:

And I'm not sure how to take this. Of course, I think she was doing a great service, taking a starving baby and feeding it. She was promoting breastfeeding, trying to make it less taboo (in African culture, sex while breastfeeding is the ultimate taboo, and as a result, some men will force their wives to stop breastfeeding or will have quite open affairs, etc.), while showing the world that mothering=sexy. But on the other hand, was it a publicity stunt for her? What really are her motives in getting ABC News to film her playing wet-nurse to an African woman's child?

More concerning even is what happens next to this poor baby? Salma Hayek obviously isn't going to stay in Sierra Leone and continue to breastfeed the child. What happened that the cameras didn't capture? And why was this mother not producing milk in the first place? What societal structures are in place that inhibit this woman from keeping her child alive? Was she given formula samples at a hospital? Did her husband heed the taboo and force her to stop? Did she have medical difficulties?

Bottom line: Nice work Salma. But we have a long way to go...

Birth stories

My lovely birth-loving friends Analiesa and Ashley Mae have started a blog collecting birth stories and connecting mothers in our little community. They are collecting birth stories right now: if you want to share yours, go to and post it!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Some photographic evidence of life

Speed scrabble with Mike and Melinda.

Evidences of offspring.

Once upon a Christmas dinner party.
Can I find old-school videos of Mr. Rogers to raise my children on? I have a newfound love for him....

And I've also adored Sesame Street.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Apostle sightings

Yesterday, I was invited to attend a fancy, shmancy dinner for all of the donors to the Marjorie Pay Hinckley Chair. Since WomanStats is funded in part by these donors, a few of the older coders went to present the research and thank the donors for their contributions. I had NO idea what a big deal this actually was. So I get there, I'm talking to the dean of our college and his wife (whom I worked with on Claralyn's campaign), and then I turn around and there's President Samuelson. I shake his hand, we make small talk, I really wanted to ask him why he's never responded to my letters... but I don't. Then another man behind him comes forward and shakes my hand and talks to me for a bit about where I'm from and what project I work with. He's the only one not wearing a name tag, and he does not really introduce himself, so I'm kind of at a loss. He walks away to talk to Dean Magleby and then it hits me after a minute-- DUH, that was Elder Scott! He doesn't need a name tag nor an introduction. Alas.

Also attending: All five of President and Sister Hinckley's children and spouses. Sister Hinckley's brother and sister. A few random general authorities. It was a pretty cool night.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm 10 1/2 weeks. I'm wearing maternity pants. You know what? I'm ok with this. These pants are really comfy. And they were free (thanks Lauren!)

I bought a stroller off KSL. It was only $20. I also bought a really, really cute diaper bag. I got it on sale though, a "second", for only $29. It's made out of recycled bottles. I like that in a diaper bag. Normally I don't buy things until the last minute (think: scrambling for a prom dress two hours before my friend Byrd was supposed to pick me up. I ended up in a pair of fancy black capris instead). But I'm kind of itching to already get baby-ready. Which is silly because we'll be moving twice before we actually have the baby. But baby-bargain-buying (thank you Shay for assisting me with this!) off of Craig's List and KSL is kind of therapeutic in my crazy school lifestyle. It's nice to take some time, look around, and think about what is happening in just seven short months. I'm getting more and more excited to be a mom.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Here's my initial attempt at a real research project--

Behold: The Survey!

If you are a student/former student/spouse of a student at BYU, please take my survey. If there's anything confusing or you think should be reworded, please leave it as a comment. Thanks!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The youngest divorcee

No, I'm not talking about a BYU freshman who had a quickie marriage in Vegas and is now back on the market... (but see this cover story from the Daily Universe a few days ago).

I just read an article that is a follow-up to the 8-year-old Yemeni girl who left the house of her much older husband (remember how this post got me in one of the top 10 searches for "naked yemeni girls"?), was discerning enough to go to a courthouse, and sue for divorce. She was officially the youngest divorcee, and has been hailed for her bravery. As a result of her actions, Yemen has officially raised the legal age of marriage to 18, and is pursuing further action to combat the problem of child marriage in their country. It's so neat to see one person's influence expand so quickly. I'm sure Nujood had no idea the magnitude of her decision. While there is caution to this tale, namely that in honor-shame societies young girls are killed or maimed for this kind of rebellion, I am hopeful that this one little girl's quest will help many others in the same situation.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My poppy seed is real!

I really should be writing my paper that's due in an hour, but I have to talk about my poppy seed. Because she exists for real.

I called my midwife office yesterday after a quite violent vomiting incident and said I NEEDED SOMETHING. Anything. She said they would see what they could do but it was around 4:45 and the scheduling people gone so I'd get a call back in the morning. At 9 am, the nurse called and said they could fit me in today but just to get a prescription. I drove up to Pleasant Grove and arrived about 15 minutes before my appointment to fill out paperwork--although there wasn't near as much as I thought (and the receptionist said I was the quickest she'd ever seen). I went back to see Claudia, the midwife, and she wrote me a prescription for Phenergen but said if it makes me too tired we'll try something else in a few weeks. Then, to my surprise, she offered to give up her break to go ahead and do my first prenatal appointment so I wouldn't have to drive back up next week. First sign that my midwives are awesome!

We did the requisite bloodwork/pap smear which went fine except the tech taking my blood poked around forever trying to get a vein. Annoying. I used to ask to take my own blood after I had finished my phlebotomy class freshman year and sometimes they let me. I'm a little rusty now though so I leave it to the professionals (though I could have done a better job than this one).

After all of that was done, we listened for heart tones! She said it was a little early (10 weeks) and sometimes you can't find them that early, but she was persistent and I got to hear my little poppy seed's heartbeat! So cool. And so fast. I can't believe it's real. I only wish Tim had been there--since it wasn't supposed to be my real appointment he didn't come with me... but there's always the next one in March.

Also, she said I'm measuring really big for how far along I am (though I think I'm even less far along than she calculated because of my remembering of certain activities that lead to babies happening at later dates...). It was good to hear my uterus is actually growing rapidly and this burgeoning tummy is not just my own fat.

Also, my poppy seed is more like an almond. With fully formed fingers. And sealed shut eyelids. Very cool.

After my appointment, I met up with my friend Coralie from EFY and we went to lunch with her adorable almost-2-year-old. After lunch, we went back over to her apartment for crafts. Seriously, me, crafts? I know what you're thinking. But it was fun! I made really nifty little baby barrettes. So here's hoping I have a girl...