Wednesday, April 30, 2008

oh, down in mexico

this is the blog about the cruise, which was nice. the best part was hanging out with ryan without a small voice saying, "MOMMYMOMMYMOMMYMOMMYMOMMY. . ." (ava's newest talent--repeating my name without breathing until i respond or she passes out). we didn't really spend any time with anyone else, including dinner, where almost every night was spend at a table for two. it's refreshing for me to realize that we have spent an incredible amount of time talking and we still haven't run out of things to say.

the ship was nice, the food was good. sunday was our "cruising" day, when we were just out at sea (this means "parked" somewhere off the coast of baja california). ryan and i spent the first half of the day on the deck reading. i now have the most fantastic sunburn i've ever had and a hilarious tan line around my elbow, because my arm was bent to read the book. turns out i do have an attention span, ava just kind of cuts it in to tiny pieces.

in ensenada, we were planning on a hike but when we saw the pictures, it looked like the hikes we've had in southern california and we decided we'd do something else. we did this excursion called "taste of mexico" which involved some of our favorite things: history, food and getting lost.

the tour was so interesting. a woman named marta led our tour and fell in love with ryan after he spoke spanish to her. i think he could have asked for the keys to her car and she would have handed them over.

the food part was interesting because we took a mexican food cooking class. ryan was the most excited, i think because his most complicated dish is macaroni and cheese (from the box). that, and the food was really good.

the getting lost part was where we attempted to move away from the tourist traps and find a museum that ryan had spotted on the bus tour. we found it, but it turns out the museum is now a restaurant. but mostly it was fun to wander around and take pictures of things like the ladies room sign (or the stop sign, which look exactly like the american ones except they say alto instead of stop). being in ensenada felt like being in downtown los angeles, to be honest. i didn't really feel like i was in another country. there was english everywhere, americans everywhere and sure, a lot of spanish and a lot of mexicans, but that's what los angeles is like!

coming home was also wonderful. i had missed ava. when she us, she was giddy. she didn't know whether to hug us or show us something or play with us. being home beats being on a cruise boat, and the getting adjusted to house cleaning and toddler-watching has been difficult (especially after getting a taste of what it's like to read for hours on end) but having ava hug me twenty times in one day (sometimes a little too tightly) and sleeping in my own bed at night beats a luxurious cruise ship any day (having said that, i have already begun planning my next getaway with ryan, it'll be two years from now. i'm thinking the caribbean, but i've got two years).

Monday, April 28, 2008


until i actually get settled, enjoy this tasty tidbit from mexico.
it's the ladies room sign and i love her because she is doing the potty dance and looking alarmed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

monarch of the sea

ladies and gentlemen:

this weekend i will be on a cruise with just my husband and no child. i'm excited and apprehensive (mix that with hormonal and i'd guess that ryan's not going to have as much fun as he anticipates). i hope we don't die because of a rogue wave in the ocean that knocks our boat upside down and drowns us all. other than that, this is going to awesome!

see you monday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

weekly mouse

she is wearing my sweatpants. i found this to be more humorous than it actually was. and she was delighted! dude, i just love this kid.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

tag me up before you go-go

i am a marked woman, thanks to alyssa.

1. warm weather and my ability to lay in it and soak it all up and then take it inside and nap for hours on end.
2. ava wearing an antennae headband and wobbling her head to make the antennae wobble. it makes me wonder: do ants ever sit around and wobble their heads just for the pure joy of feeling their antennae move about?
3. delicious food. this is not hard to come by. but there is a considerable amount of effort that comes first and then the mess that follows. the former is most definitely not a joy.
4. staying up late with ryan to discuss philosophy, religion, literature, history or our child.

1. ava being taken by someone and their resulting and violent death (at my hand. yes, i fear the thought of killing someone).
2. like alyssa, being trapped underwater (trying not to think about since i am going on a cruise this weekend).
3. ryan or one of my sons being sent to war.

1. stick to my exercise schedule.
2. somehow keep my house in order so i don't have to want to throw myself on to some rocks when i have to find something odd. . .like my passport or worse, ryan's passport.
3. write a book.
4. travel the world.

1. right now? baby boy things that are cute (keyword: cute).
2. my tomato plants
3. getting the dummy book edited and done with and being proud of the work done and not picking it up at the reception to see mistake after mistake after mistake. . .
4. churros.

Surprising facts:
1. i think my sister is more good than i am. anyone who knows both of us would have to agree. she's like beth from little women and i am like jo.
2. i enjoy a good television show and folding laundry. it's the putting away part that i struggle to overcome (and you know what's funny? it's not that hard). i also struggle with emptying the dishwasher, which is, by far, easier than loading it.
3. i search for new pets all the time. it is a regular thing for me pine for a new and random animal weekly. ryan doesn't even move when i say (with all seriousness), "i want a pet elephant." or "when we have a bigger house and a have a little home office for you and me, can i have a pet canary?"

and because of tara, i'd like to add:

1. my pet elephant. her name is joy and she's darling.
2. cultural anthropologist projects i am going to do when my children are older. i have several lined up.
3. me as the kind of mother i want to be. it helps as a motivation.

Guilty Pleasures:
1. tv. even the hills which could be the worst tv i've ever watched in my life.
2. silly romance movies
3. naps.
4. being lazy. i excel at laziness. it is also a talent.

I'm tagging... jenn, katie, erica, amber marie

ps i, for one, am grateful that alyssa has a friend named balls.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

my box of crackers yelled at me

i was eating a cracker and reading the back of the box as i did so and found this recipe:

1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheee
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon KRAFT DONE RIGHT! House Italian Reduced Fat Dressing

That last ingredient sort of made my eyebrows rise as I shouted the name of it to myself in my head. my response? OKAY!!!

why are they yelling at me?

Monday, April 21, 2008

the joy of having me for a wife

when ava was just a wee fetus and she began kicking me, i'd make ryan drop whatever he was doing and run over to place a hand on my stomach and wait. of course, by then, the butterflies in my stomach that i called kicks, were over. ryan was willing to admit defeat, but i'd make him stay there, hand pressed, for long moments. as time went on, he became more resistant to my demands that he HURRY! THE BABY IS KICKING! until it got to the point he flat out refused to drop whatever it is was that he was doing (i think getting dressed) and come lay hand to my belly. so i became wretched pregnant wife in order to get what i wanted. I told him that this was his CHILD and how was i going to raise a CHILD with a man who didn't even want to enjoy the miracle of her ever precious KICK??? i may have cried. or glared. i can't remember, but i can guarantee that i did one. so with a sigh, a probably a shirt that was only half on, ryan rolled his eyes and laid hand on ava's proposed kick. and she kicked. as if to say, "HOW DARE YOU DOUBT I KICK!"

i take this away from that experience: ryan should always listen to me. and, ava had a lot more sass in the womb than i had first supposed and should not be surprised when now she says no in all capital letters with several exclamation points at the end in response to questions like, "do you want a snack?"
sometimes i feel like i should assure her that i'm not trying to kill her, really.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

weekly mouse

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


yesterday was the recording of the cd for the magazine i've been working on. basically, we met at our faculty advisor's house and sat around and then one of us would go in to the tiny office/music room he had and record our poem, song or story for a cd we stick in the back of the magazine. not too many people showed up, so we just sort of sat around for four hours, talking about books or playing with the guitars hart had in his house. i brought ava and she just sort of wandered among the knees of all of these artists, offering them chips or princesses and clapping when the music was done.

i'm grateful i went. sometimes i forget what really matters. sometimes i forget about art and music and writing and i worry about fitting in or keeping things clean or whether or not i'm being a good mother. and yesterday, in hart's humble, wonderful home, i thought about all the things i forget because i put other silly stuff in the way.

well, no more. i'm going to write more, take more pictures, sing more songs. it's about time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


the ultrasound today was not as traumatic as an earlier one with ava bawling hysterically. it was also more fruitful: we're having a boy!

pretty exciting!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Friday, April 11, 2008

amanda moment

i looked at my little pregnancy ticker.

"19 weeks"

and i thought, "booya grandma!"

i have got to stop hanging out with my little sister.

man or woman?

ryan and i start the day out together and finish our day together (usually). sometimes, that's the common theme in our lives--our home and our family. he goes out everyday in a nice shirt and tie and sells payroll. this can mean making phone calls, stopping in to see someone without an appointment, visiting people who were referrals and bringing people starbucks so they'll like him and use his services. when he gets home he has all of this computer work to do, papers to fill out and even more papers to arrange neatly in some sort of file folder (i'm not really clear on what all those papers mean).

my day is a little different. i have to get up early if i want to exercise and shower before ava wakes up. i do all of my magazine editing stuff in the morning, my scripture study and minor tidying. when ava wakes up, i'm taking care of her, entertaining her, cleaning up after her and attempting to enrich her. my day is spent running errands, doing dishes, talking baby talk about princesses, juice and puppies.

at the end of the day, we're both tired. and we've both done different things. so my questions for you ladies and gentlemen, is this: is it easier to be a woman in today's world or a man?

my argument doesn't stop at comparing days, however. what about how boys and girls are raised and treated? what about the opportunities and expectations society provides for men and woman?

in the beginning i think boys and girls are treated the same. and they should be. i think, however, when you get to school age and you start to think about your life as adult, girls are given far better treatment than boys.

girls are told, you can do anything, you can be anything, you must do everything (because this is what your grandmothers and great-grandmothers wanted for you). if you have to be tough, be tough. because it's a tough world out there. but it's more than that, it's also: be skinny (but not too skinny) and be beautiful, be smart and popular and kind (but not a doormat). be a mother (but don't let it define you), be your own boss, don't marry young (it's a mistake, it's giving yourself up for a man). yeah, it's hard to be a girl because of the expectation, but at least we have guidelines.

with boys, i think it's different. their guidelines are contradicting. they are told: never open a car door for a woman (which later cane become, "i have to walk all the way around the car to open your door? like a slave?") but in the movies some suave and manly actor opens the door and all the women ooh and say, "you never open the door for me!" men are told to be manly; hide your feelings, but be modern and express them--but not too much. they are told to care about how they dress and then teased when they do. they are told with a careless shrug to be whatever they want and yet, make a lot of money. and to not pay for dates and to not expect anything of their women. i think being a man with tiny messages is harder than being a girl with all of the big messages.

but maybe i just think that way because i like being a girl and i'm grateful i'm not a boy. i knew what i was going to be when i grew up because so many people wanted to talk to me about it. and sometimes i envy ryan because he goes out everyday to do his job and everyone can slap him on the back and reward him for his efforts. it's easy to look at my "job" and see that i'm wearing jeans and playing with my daughter and when she naps, i sit down with a good book. but no one sees my efforts (except ava) and there are rewards for my efforts, but if i'm feeling cranky or unappreciated, they're hard to see. it's green grass on the other side sort of feeling.

so what about you, man or woman?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

weekly mouse

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

all about the manly (and me)

engagement picture

his name:
ryan. or rodge. or manly. or anchor, on here.

Who asked who out first? I can't really remember if there was any asking out. ryan's sister sort of arranged everything. i was friends with her and we were sitting in the family room with ryan and she was talking about how she wanted to go on a date with a guy ryan knew. she said, "call him up and invite him to go on a double date. i'll go with him and you go with miriam." so we did. and then we just all became friends (the four of us) and hung out all the time. except ryan and i held hands. a lot.

How long have you been together? married almost 3 and a half.
wedding day, december 29, 2004

How long did you date?
total time from our first date being arranged to marriage: 8 months. we were engaged for 11 weeks.

Who kissed who first? ryan kissed me. on the beach. it was really sweet.

Who eats more? i have no idea. sometimes it's me. especially when i'm at the beginning of being pregnant and am ravenous. ava out-eats us both.
the night before we got married

Who said I love you first?
i did. it was an accident. i didn't know i was going to say it, it just popped out.

Who is taller? ryan.

Who can sing better? me. but ryan sings ava the bobbit's song every night before she goes to bed.
coming home from work

Who is smarter?
i know people separate things into book smarts and street smarts, but i'd say that ryan and i are both smart, passionate people. this is a very good thing (for us) because it means that we talk a lot to each other about things we are interested in.

Who does the laundry? i do. ryan doesn't like laundry. when we were first married and shared the housework more equally, he sort of melted in to the background when laundry time came out.

Who pays the bills? hah! i pretend to be dead when we have to talk about money. the best part about having a husband is that now i don't have to pay attention to my financial anything.
san francisco, 2006

Who mows the lawn?
we have no lawn to mow. but my guess is ryan. it seems like something he'd just accept as his responsibility.

Who cooks dinner? i do. and i like doing it (mostly).

Who drives? i am a bad driver. so ryan drives.
holding ava for the first time, august 11, 2006

Who is more stubborn?
this makes me laugh. not only are ryan and i very passionate, we're also opinionated and stubborn. both of us. and we like to be right. i'm better at apologizing, but i'm always the one that responds with more emotion.

Who proposed? actually, i accidentally did. i wanted to find out if ryan was going to ask me to marry him so i could plan my next semester correctly. we were living states apart and i wanted to know if i should move to utah or stay in california. i didn't know how to find this information out without just asking straight out, so i did. i asked, "are you going to marry me?"

Who has more friends? me. i'm just better at keeping in touch with people. having said that, i stink at keeping in touch with people.
the directpointe christmas party, 2006

Who is more sensitive?
me. i'm the girl. i emote in a girlish fashion.

Who has more siblings? me. i'm the oldest of six, he's the oldest of four.

Who wears the pants? i hate this question, but i'll answer it anyway. i think ryan and i both come to the table assuming that we're wearing pants. it works well for us.

the day we found out i was pregnant with baby number 2, san luis obispo

i tag anyone with a sweetheart who hasn't already done this (twice would really be too much, don't you think?)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

pregnancy notes

i have put away my pre-pregnancy jeans now. it feels good to slide those old pregnancy jeans on and feel a waistband slip around my middle for once. the only problem is, every time i bend over, i can feel the jeans sliding off of me. this is really a problem because i have ava and ava requires a great deal of bending over.

you know what's funny? with my pregnancy with ava, i spent a great deal of time treasuring everything. every pain, every twinge, every tiny baby thump--these were all amazing gifts and i would just sit there on the couch and revel in the fact that my hip hurts. and i just assumed that all of that intense mental note taking would mean that the next time i was pregnant i would be like, my hip hurts but that's okay, my hip hurt last time! unfortunately i took too many mental notes and they all crowded each other in and then when there were too many they took a vote and threw a lot of the pregnancy ones away. well, now when my hip hurts i think, is this normal? and you know what? i have no idea. it's like being pregnant for the first time except i feel lousy because when i consult my little pregnancy manual for first-timers it says, "you may be able to see the slightest pregnancy bump now" and i think, CURSE YOU MUSCLE MEMORY! my "slightest pregnancy bump" is a whopping, empty belly, fit for a sixth month instead of a fourth. so this time around, i'm making those pregnancy mental notes real notes. i don't want to get to a third pregnancy and still not have any idea if what's happening to me is normal.

Monday, April 7, 2008

you look as beautiful as the queen of england

Dwight: Whenever I’m about to do something, I think “would an idiot do that?” and if they would, I do not do that thing.


Friday, April 4, 2008

go organic

I'm an organic food person, and I just found this interesting little article which lists the top foods to buy organic and why. my favorite part of the article: they list alternatives if you can't find the following foods organic (obviously there are no suggestions for meat and milk and coffee, other than become a vegetarian and quit your coffee habit). the list:

1. Meat
2. Milk
3. Coffee
4. Peaches
5. Apples
6. Sweet Bell Peppers
7. Celery
8. Strawberries
9. Lettuces
10. Grapes
11. Potatoes
12. Tomatoes

the article can be found here

what i found to be scariest: the amount of chemicals that are poured on our foods. i read this book about a man who studied illegal aliens by living like one. he said when he was working in the fields it was disturbing how silent they would be. no bugs, no squirrels, nothing alive except for those men and women who were picking the food. he also described picking an orange and having all of this white flaky stuff fall from the fruits and the trees. it was dried pesticides and if you weren't wearing something over your mouth, it would make you sick. it also left their skin raw and red and their eyes watery.

so to me, organic is something i to do and i know there are some people out there who think it's a hoax (perhaps my husband, to a certain degree) just like they think global warming is a hoax.

is organic something you think is important?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

weekly mouse