Sunday, February 27, 2011


Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Fail

Ever since we acquired this beautiful machine:

... we've been turning out homemade bread, cakes, and cookies like nobody's business.

In an effort to not gain 3400 pounds and maintain our semi-healthful whole foods eating habits, I decided to revise some recipes and try to make them healthier. I've also been toying again with the idea of vegan-izing our life, for health and environmental reasons, and I'm slowly trying to adapt our way of eating to this lifestyle. I usually try to make semi-healthy treats with flaxseed, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, and oatmeal thrown in. But I wanted to eliminate the eggs and dairy, so I made these vegan chocolate chip cookies the other day. And while they weren't AWFUL, they weren't chocolate chip cookies. They were good as long as you drenched them in milk... they were very... thick.

Theodore loved them though and ate several over the next few days (I also halved the sugar to make me feel better, maybe that was why they were bad?) The best thing about these cookies: you can eat the dough.

To compensate and as a Saturday night treat, I made real homemade brownies last night.... mmmm.

Anyone have a good vegan cookie recipe? Or any vegan dessert? I used to make a yummy vegan fudge-y cake thing but I've lost the recipe.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I do not like to quit things. Even if said things are incredibly unenjoyable in nature, I don't like to be considered a quitter. I have a hard time quitting jobs. I usually have the "I have to" quit approach. Like: I'm moving to Egypt this summer, I can't work at the Bakery any more. I'm actually trying to figure out if I've ever really quit a job out of the blue with no other opportunity available and I can't think of one. I used to work at BYU for Visual Communications, but I quit that when I got the job with WomanStats (and how I wish I never had to quit that glorious job!) I had to quit the women's shelter when I had Theodore on account of the working nights. Ok, I've thought of one: Platinum Protection. I quit that job because it was stealing my soul, one desperate consumer at a time. This time was similar, though not quite the same. Prosper isn't a terribly dishonest company (not like Platinum Protection), but sitting at a computer all day doing something I am not the least bit passionate about was resulting in chronic headaches, grumpiness, and just overall malaise with life. The weekends were my salvation. Even though I'm sure the people on my team are great people, I could not get over the constant sports hero deification (and not just Jimmer) and subtle sexism ("girls shouldn't go on missions" or "women's basketball doesn't matter anyways"). The whole environment of Prosper was just not my cup of tea. With the weather quickly approaching glorious, the thought of being inside at a computer rather than outside at the park with my awesome fellow play group mothers and our adorable kiddos almost had me in tears.

So... I quit. Today is my last day and I could not be more relieved or elated. While I will no longer have endless hours to peruse recipe blogs or read birth stories, I am looking forward eagerly to more time with Theodore, a less stressed-out husband, more healthful meals, a cleaner house, and more time for hobbies like reading and sewing (I did my first project last night in ages [cloth snack bags!] and it felt so good to be creating).

Thursday, February 24, 2011


A few months ago, I decided to get a few of my very great mom friends together and start a play group where we meet and discuss interesting topics or current events. And while we actually talk more about child-related things than I initially planned when I organized the play group, it is the most enjoyable few hours of my week. On Tuesday we were sitting out on the grass of our favorite park, babies playing happily and independently close by, sun shining and a gentle breeze blowing, and we exclaimed "who ever would want to go back to work when you can do this all day!"

Now, I think we all realize that for a lot of mothers (especially those that are single), going back to work is not a choice. For us, with smart and hard-working husbands around, it is a choice. I never really "got" the appeal of staying at home until I went back to work, but even now, it's hard for me to really "get" the appeal of working outside the home because my job kind of chews up my brain and then spits it out again, so at the end of the day I have a horrific headache and am completely worthless (but... I quit. More on that tomorrow). If I went back to school and ended up with a career that I was passionate about and was working with similar individuals, I think it'd be different. Right now, all I want to do is be home with my toddler and hang out with my friends (and get back to exercising, cooking, and sewing... things I've been missing dearly). But I know once I end up home again for a few months, I'll be itching to go back to school. And as of right now, that is the plan. I'm doing pre-requisites for nursing school and will be ready to apply at the end of the summer. I'll probably take the GRE sometime this summer in case I decide to do the accelerated master's degree in midwifery. Nothing is set in stone with going back to school yet, but we are moving in that direction unless we get the feeling that it's not the right direction and we'll revise.

On a tangent, I think I will have a very hard time letting Tim control the parenting decisions. The thought of a working father coming home and correcting his wife's decisions on what to feed the kids and how much TV to watch annoys me, yet I am always telling Tim what to do... like not feeding our kid ramen or playing computer games while he's watching TV. Even though they aren't my decisions to be making as I'm not at home, I hate the out-of-control feeling of thinking that my child is not getting enough attention or healthy food. Don't get me wrong, I think Tim is doing a great job for the most part... they play outside all the time, go to the library regularly, and Tim has the added pressure of tons of schoolwork. But I still can't shake the feeling that me not staying at home could potentially be a bad thing for our family. And I hate that feeling, because how are women's voices to be heard when they aren't in the workplace/Congress/hospitals helping women birth?! Can fathers raise kids like mothers can? Is it the same, or just different in an equal kind of way? Tim definitely has talents I don't have, like patience and contentedness and he's much better at keeping the dishes done (oh wait, he's 100% better at that as I never do the dishes). And I know if I did decide to go to school full-time he would step up to the plate with the cooking and the pediatrician appointments and other things that are solely my domain at the moment. Would I even do a better job? Who knows. I'm definitely known for feeding the kid Annie's Mac and Cheese for every meal when I'm feeling lazy.

Another aspect of Tim staying at home that we've discussed is the opportunity to have friends to hang out with during the day -- he's convinced it'd be a little creepy for him to go to play groups with a bunch of women or even just hang out with Melissa while Casey is at work... and he's probably right. Hopefully if I do go back to school we'll move to a progressive enough city that there will be other stay-at-home dads around.

Dealing with teachers

By: Tim

I am certainly no slavering fan of unions. I would say that I generally tolerate them as a sometimes necessity. Sometimes, especially in the manufacturing industry (the auto industry specifically) they help to kill our competitive edge over other nations by over compensating low-skill labor. But this blind attack on teacher unions and other public sector unions has been disturbing. Do we really think our financial problems stem from over paying teachers? Are Republicans like Chris Christie crazy? Okay, so public sector employees have good health care that they don't pay much for while most private sector employees are seeing the health care get worse and more expensive. Take that fact by itself and you've got what looks like unfair conditions. Here's the other part: teachers' (and other public employees) salaries' suck. Especially when you divide up the workforce by education level, like this graph does for Wisconsin.

I agree that our education system has serious problems and unions are a part of this. They make it extremely hard to fire failing teachers and favor older teachers over younger teachers. Serious adjustments and curtailing of union power are needed to reform the education system. Significantly cutting the pay of teachers is NOT the answer. Do we really expect to attract better teachers by paying them less or cutting their benefits? Get real. Get back to me when you have a real solution for balancing the budget, Republicans.

Delayed cord clamping

I want to marry this OB.

No, I don't. And he probably has a hot wife anyways. And I have a very handsome husband.

But he is dreamy while talking about delayed-cord clamping.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Return to running

By Tim

It's been a long time, since before Cait and I got married, that I have run consistently. I've ran on and off ever since I finished the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay in 2008. I've always wanted to get back into running, but never really put forth enough effort. The closest I came was this time last year, before we thought we would go to Egypt that summer, but when we got to Egypt, time was tight and running didn't make it up the priority list. But with the return of decent weather now and what seems to be a partial healing of my knee which has bothered me ever since the Wasatch Back, I'm really into running again. I've run every non-Sunday, except for last Saturday, for 2 weeks (which isn't a lot, but a good start). I've signed up for a 5k next weekend and a half marathon in May. I'm looking at running the Utah Valley Marathon on June 11 and some other races in between. I've also bought this sweet watch.

I've always wanted a GPS/heart rate monitor to try to take my training up to the next level. I've started keeping track of my runs on mapmyrun . Here's the run I'm planning for today.

I'm also, for the first time in a long time, excited to go out and run every day. I'm not sure what has changed, but I'm glad that it has.

So, if anyone wants a running partner in Provo, I'm available. Fast or slow, short or long, I'm ready for it.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I've been happily spending money lately. When we took a look at our finances recently, we realized that we are in pretty decent shape, and there are a few things I've wanted for a while. So, I've decided to heck with it! I'm buying them!

On Saturday, we went to IKEA to buy a new mattress. We haven't bought a mattress ever since we've been married, but slept on really quite old mattresses Tim's mom passed on to us. So, we've been sleeping on a full bed. With Theodore. It's been a squeeze and we haven't gotten decent sleep in a while. One of us inevitably ended up sleeping on the couch cushions in the living room during the night. We should have bought a new mattress a long time ago. We are now sleeping in style on this baby. The first night we brought it home, I slept SO WELL (maybe it was the medication we dosed Theodore up on, but we all slept well Saturday night). It's really firm, which is good for my back, but also cradles your shoulders and hips perfectly. And it was on sale for $299, plus it was "eat for free" at IKEA day which means you deduct your meal purchase from the home furnishings purchase, and let's just say we invited Melissa and Casey and spent $55 on IKEA food. It was so, so great. So great.

Also, I'm probably (most likely) getting a KitchenAid mixer. I've been making bread dough in the bread maker, then baking it in the oven, but it's kind of a pain. Yesterday I made homemade naan and some delicious cookies in Melissa's KitchenAid and I think I'm convinced. I did not really understand how much faster and easier things are in a mixer... I figured mixing up cookie dough and cake batter is easy enough, so why get a fancy contraption to do it for you? But it's faster because you can start it mixing while you find your other ingredients and measure and dump them in. I foresee much more baking in our future...

Finally, I'm buying an expensive blending machine. Probably a VitaMix, but maybe a BlendTec. I'm going to shop around. I love smoothies more than anything in the summer time, and our blender just plain sucks. And not having to peel, chop, etc. before I make the smoothies would make my life much easier and healthier. Plus, you can grind wheat, make soups and salsas and pestos, baby food, etc. etc. etc. The possibilities are endless with these machines.

But first things first: a new dwelling to fit all of these wants. Currently working on that.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Watson on Jeopardy!

I've always liked Jeopardy! and this is a little bit fascinating, a little bit creepy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

500th post

We've had half of a thousand posts. That's pretty impressive.

In celebration, I would like to take a moment to talk about love.

I love Tim.

I love Theodore.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Once upon two Sundays

Playing at the park, January 23rd:

Walking home from church, February 6th:

Egyptian currency

We accidentally held on to about 300 dollars in Egyptian currency upon our return in August. Thinking the whole country might go to pot and the currency would be inflated and worth nothing, we rushed down to Wells Fargo at our first chance and exchanged it (now if an awesome democratic government comes in and the currency rises in value, then I'll be a little sad we didn't hold on to it). Here is Amir (ahem, Theodore) holding the results. Tim took this picture and thought it was funny.

Also, what's funny: our baby boy wears a pink coat and boots. Beggars can't be choosers.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I have a recurring dream in which I am kidnapped in some way, then sold into prostitution by human traffickers. Usually I'm in a foreign country like Cambodia and surrounded by child prostitutes, but last night I was just close to home but trapped in a dirty house where everyone was smoking and doing drugs. Someone entered our house one night through the upstairs (the cheerleaders let her in) and she had a knife and told me to come with her or she would kill Theodore. And Tim slept through the whole thing. Then somehow I ended up in that house, then they made me pretend I was a virgin so they could sell me for more. I don't remember many other details except at one point there was a chicken cooking in the oven and I didn't want to eat it...

Years later, I escaped by running away in the middle of the night (in most of my other human trafficking dreams, Tim usually rescues me and all of the children Liam Neeson-style). The brothel owner's husband patrolled at night, but somehow he wasn't around and I got away by hitch-hiking with some man, who then also wanted to kidnap me, so I jumped out of the car while it was moving. I ran to a nearby house where I knocked desperately because I was seen by the husband of the brothel owner and he was coming after me. A couple opened the door and let me in, and the husband of that couple stayed downstairs to deal with the brothel owner's husband while I went upstairs with the wife. We sat down in her daughter's room where her two little girls were playing (at this point, Theodore was with me, but then when I return home it's like he wasn't with me). I told the wife about what had happened to me, and she was all like "that doesn't sound so bad, you're being dramatic."

We tried to report the brothel to the police, but apparently they were being paid off so they hadn't done anything about it. Eventually, I think I contacted the FBI.

When I returned home, Tim and Theodore still lived in the basement apartment, but weren't there for some reason. I was also in a towel? And then I found Tim at the Lee's. Then I tried to nurse Theodore, and I was really, really sad that my milk had dried up.

The end.

Hated the movie, love Liam Neeson.

Maybe this means I'm meant to work with trafficking victims? I'm very passionate about the subject, and to me it's one of the most terrible scourges on our planet today. I've written many a research paper on trafficking and attended multiple conferences on the topic. I think there needs to be more awareness and more law enforcement to combat trafficking. Once, I even reported what I thought was a case of trafficking. I'm still confused as to whether it was, but I was at the Greyhound bus station in DC when some pretty, very young Russian girls were trying to ask me questions(in very broken English... I tried to call my brother-in-law to interpret, but didn't end up reaching him until they were gone) on buying a ticket. They showed me where they were going and gave me an address, and I tried to look at their pamphlet and call the number and figure out if it was legit (they were supposedly coming to work at an amusement park, I think). When I called the number, it was just a weird answering machine. Then later I got home to my sister's house in Charlottesville and went on Google Maps (if I had only had an iPhone!) and the address was just to a kind of run-down house. I ended up calling the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) line and reported the address and what I thought might be going on. I have no idea what happened, or if anything suspicious was going on in the first place, but I was hyper-sensitive to the issue and figured better safely reported than not.


I've developed a recent obsession with Portlandia. So much that I want to watch it. All day long:

"Cars, man, WHY!?????"

Denise at Life in Labels shared this one:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Containing the cuteness

Tim has decided he doesn't like the idea of a private baby blog, so from now on we'll be posting regular baby information on here as well (we don't use the private baby blog much anyhow). That's OK with me too, we move around enough that I doubt any stalkers could really actually find us (though that is not an invitation to try). We actually are probably going to move again, in a few months.

Here's some cute things our baby does:

1. Wears flannel PJs.

2. Sweeps the living room floor.

3. Smiles for the camera.

Sleeping beauties

This is our dear Sarah. She spent all summer in Egypt, Israel, and Jordan trying to get Theodore (Amir, back then) to cuddle with her. She finally achieved her goal. It only took 6 months and a very sleepy guy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Book Review: Mistborn Series

I usually leave my reviews of books to the toolbar at the right of the blog, but these books were so good that they deserve a mention here.

Name dropping time. I met Brandon Sanderson at an Orson Scott Card book signing I went too (I am a huge OSC fan). I was second or third in line for OSC and went over to Brandon who was not yet very famous. I'm pretty sure he had just published the second book in the Mistborn series. I asked him what book of his I should read first, and he recommended Elantris, which was his first book, as it was a stand alone. He said he thought his other books were better, but that I might try the stand alone book before investing any time in a series. I enjoyed Elantris thoroughly but it took me a while to read these books. I don't remember why I picked it up, but I definitely remember the moment I set down the final book.

These books are simply a joy to read. Except for a slow part at the beginning of the second book where the troubles of Kingship are played out for a while, the books moved fast while still feeling meaty. These books constantly surprised me with their originality. The world that Brandon (I can call him by his first name because I met him) is extraordinarily complete and compelling. The action scenes were as good as a great movie and the philosophical debates meaningful and relevant. Just when I thought I figured out the book I hadn't. And just when you thought I was never going to stop talking about these books, I did.


After guest blogging on Friday, I decided that I want to be a professional blogger. I would probably need a better design. And more interesting posts. And better photography skills. Cuter clothes and a perfectly decorated home. Could I do it? Is my writing good enough and my life unique enough? Maybe, but I probably would rather have a real career, actually. Like being a midwife or a women's studies professor. Something a little more meaningful (no offense, professional Mormon mommy bloggers! I still love to read about your picture-perfect lives and envy them at times). On that note, did I ever post the Salon article on obsessively reading Mormon housewife blogs? I think it's fascinating, yet I can't stand how she is all like, "but I'm a feminist!" because HELLO, Mormon housewives can be feminist too (see But seriously, aren't we as cute as the Langs? She doesn't even have substantive posts but has 847 followers and sponsors and all! I mean, they are ridiculously young and cute, but we could be too (if we tried). We have the darling kid thing down, at least. And Tim has the 'stache. Ok, maybe I'll never be as adorable as her. Because I'd have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on clothing and wear make-up and shave my legs, etc. I alternate on a regular basis between outwardly wanting to be a super-hippie granolie type person with long, flowing skirts and linen shirts, and secretly wanting to be super cute and hip with skinny jeans and Anthropologie tops.

Speaking of clothing, is it pathetic that I want to buy maternity clothes considering I won't be having a baby for a while?? Old Navy is having a sale today, and I love their maternity stuff. I am kind of excited to get pregnant again because I get to buy maternity clothes - most of my clothes during last pregnancy were my sister Lauren's or my friend Melissa's.

I love a cute fitted maternity shirt. Sometimes I miss being pregnant. Mostly just after 15 or so weeks.

How lovely is this dress?

Thanks to Bridget, I have watched the first three installments of Downton Abbey over the weekend.

I don't think I've ever been more addicted to a television series. The acting is superb. Maggie Smith's facial expressions are absolutely perfect, and a lot of her lines remind me of my own dear grandmama.

I am newly obsessed with this little band, Ödland (discovered on Girl's Gone Child):

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm a guest blogger!

I was so flattered when Lauren asked me to be a guest blogger on Life in Labels.

Here's the result: attachment parent.

This is a post I've been thinking about in my head for a few months now, so I'm happy to have had the opportunity to finally type it out and put it into words.

So, you should read it and let me know your thoughts.

And how cute is this video?