Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I Don't Know Beans About Babies. . .

Thanks Grammie for the great idea! This is fun!!

. . .but my mother does.

My mom gave me a great idea to entertain Lily. I put a big sheet in the kitchen and let her play in a container of rice. . .and beans. I buried things in the pile of bulk grain to let her dig for treasure. She LOVED it. At one point she was all the way inside the container. Typical.

pictures of Christmas

I guess she could be a LITTLE more excited about her stroller. . .

Christmas Eve. Amy let her kids open one present so she had one for Lily too. So nice! She loves her Hello Kitty marker set. She thinks it is make-up (she doesn't know the caps come off, luckily)

This is in Hana when Chris's family was here in November.

Mele Kalikimaka

We had a great Christmas this year. Amy and I both didn't like the idea of ham or turkey for Christmas Eve dinner so when she suggested Mexican I said "what about 'Christmas Around The World'". I think more dinners should have pretentious titles. Well, we did it and it is the first of many many more to come. Here is our menu:

Thai green curry (Amy)
Asian lettuce wraps (Amy)
Quinoa and couscous salad (Amy)

North African lamb kebobs (Meg). . .I was thinking Kwanzaa
Saffron Breakfast Bread (Meg) for Scandinavia's St. Lucia Day
Latke and Caramelized Onion and Apple Chutney (Meg) for Hannukah. . .thank you Claudia for the idea for the latke.

It was so good and so fun to try new recipes and have such a random assortment. Lily, who typically will eat NO meat, ate more lamb than I did! I guess I should make it more often (that was my first attempt at lamb).

The missionaries from Amy's ward joined us and we roped them into participating in the nativity. The costumes the kids came up with were classic.

Christmas morning was a little anticlimactic. I had stayed up arranging the few gifts on Lily's chair and strung lights around them and the stockings which I had laid out on the couch. Chris got Lily up and then I sat waiting with the video camera to capture her reaction to the display. As she walked in, I got one half-hearted 'oh' in response to the lights and then she marched right past the lights, right past the gifts, right past me and into the kitchen. She started banging on the pantry and signing 'cereal'. I guess the girl has her priorities down. Food first. Presents later.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Cabinet or A Reason to Recycle

Sunday morning I woke up with Lily (technically, she woke me up) at our usual not so bright hour of 5:15 am. We made breakfast, cleaned it up, got dressed and started making bread. Thanks to a new miracle Rx I now have the energy of a normal person and can do normal things. Or anything. It is nice. Unfortunately, 'normal things' were not on the calendar that day.
I need to back up. We have been having mystery killings on our small cabinet in our kitchen/living room. Tiny, black, gnat-like insects are found dead everyday just on top of the waist high, white cabinet. I only find about 5 or 6 a day so it is no problem to just wipe them up and move on, but it is mysterious non-the-less. Why the cabinet? Why not the floor just in front or behind it? Where do they come from? The answer came a few days ago when I saw one of them alive. It flew right through the screen on the window just to the left of the cabinet. Interesting. I hypothesized that they came in at night or early morning, probably attracted to the light in our house and probably breeding in the grass, which is wet from all the rain we have been getting. Sadly, I think my hypothesis was correct.
I say 'sadly' because as we (Lily and myself) were making bread I noticed that aforementioned window had been left open all night. I thought "dang it! Bugs'll be gettin' in again!" sure enough there were about 10-15 bugs dead as doornails on the cabinet top. Easily twice as many as any other day. I don't know if it was fate, or a six sense or a lone gnatty bug strayed from the herd flying past my head that caught my eye that caused me to look up. Looking back I would say it is karma. Karma for what I am not sure, but for something bad. Something very, very bad that I have done. Something so bad it may have happened in a past life. Perhaps I was once a factory owner in the midwest who owned one of those horse meat slaughter houses or maybe I never recycled. All I know is that I did look up, and when I did I saw karma all over the ceiling and tops of the walls around my little cottage. Hundreds of thousands of little gnatty nasties were clinging to the orange peel texture. Most of them were congregating right around a recessed light that loomed right above, you guessed it, the cabinet. Every once in a while a bug would get a wild hair and go kamakaze right into the hot light where it would fry and then fall right on top of. . .wait for it. . .the cabinet. Mystery solved.
I went into super-human, adrenaline-fueled, exterminator mode. I grabbed the vacuum and flew onto the cabinet top (and by 'flew' I, of course, mean clambered awkwardly as to not bend my knees) and started sucking the suckers into my bagless. Lily starts screaming bloody murder even though they were way too small to bleed. A bit of an overreaction on her part if you as me. I run to the bedroom where I had intended to let Chris sleep off his ten mile scout hike from the previous day. I throw the baby (and by "throw" I mean gently but urgently place) at him instructing him to 'take her somewhere because we are invaded!' and continue my rampage.
One and a half hours later and three rounds around the 350 square feet that is my kitchen/living room all of the bugs I can see are gone. I have vacuumed the ceiling, walls and crevices, the drapes, the corners the windows and, let's not forget, the cabinet. I have moved all the furniture including the armoire, couch and (I can't help myself) the cabinet. After that I spend another hour and a half mopping, rearranging furniture, vacuuming more bugs and vowing to never, ever open another window again even if it means breathing oxygen through nasal cannula.
On the upside, I love the new furniture arrangement. I have never done it this way before and even though it sort of makes the place look smaller, I like the seperation of kitchen and living room and Lily play area. It is nice to have everything in it's place. The table is in the kitchen, the couch is in the living room (so is the cabinet), the baby's kitchen is in her corner. And the bugs? The bugs are outside. And in the vacuum.
May the plague of the gnatty natsties never befall your home.
Happy Holidays!

"I guess I kinda lost control, becuase in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn't. Just kidding. I just said that to help illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when you kill someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet." ~Jack Handy

Friday, December 7, 2007


Here is more of L on that same day. Funny girl!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

She's getting better!

Lily is recovering, finally! Here is a little clip of her first venture outside after the bad flu. It is also her first go at the slide I got her for Christmas at a yard sale. So far she has found all of her gifts. I had put one in the closet, one under the bed and one in the garage and she found them all on her own. I thought they didn't start that until middle school! I even re-hid one of them (in what I thought was a much better spot) and she found it again. Little sneak!
You can see that she is still a little weak and grouchy here but since then has gotten even better and is now a pro at the slide (which I think will remain un-hidden, she doesn't know when Christmas is anyhow!).

I would also like to mention that the Christmas Ornaments Broken By Lily Tally is up to seven. And we don't have a tree.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

So much for the double poke!

Lily had her flu shot. Or shots. When one has the vaccine for the first time they need it twice, 6 weeks apart. As you may or may not know. I struggle with vaccines. One of my best friends here in HI is very vocally against them, and for good reason. She has compelling and scary arguments. In the end, I have decided for myself that vaccinating Lily is the responsible thing to do. It doesn't mean that I sleep any better the night before or stop praying over and over "PLLLEEEAASE make this do what this is meant to do and not what I know it could do". Also, it doesn't help that Lily now has: THE FLU. Poor baby. She has slept and been held all day. Throwing up, high fever. All the classics. Doctor saw her this afternoon and said if she doesn't start holding fluids down in the next four hours then into the ER we must go. Fortunately she has held down several tablespoons of juice with water since then. She won't drink much. Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Been busy with the sickling. I think she is going to recover, but will I? Just kidding. But really, what is the point of poking your kid twice, risking all the risks and stressing about it when they end up sick anyway? Poop. I took a cute pic of her being sick but I will have to post it later. I can't find the camera hook up thingy.
Love to all of you and a special note to Claudia: Let it be known that you do NOT have ugly hair. You are one of the most beautiful people I know inside and out. You rock, don't kid yourself.
Love, Meg
PS I must confess: being the only thing that makes your baby feel better sure does feel awesome. I am loving how cuddly she is. I just wish she didn't have to be sick to be so lovey!

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Technical Difficulties

Could it be the user? I know that is what you are all asking. And yes, yes it could. And probably is. I can't get the darn song to play when you open my blog. Should be easy. It isn't. So, just go to itunes and listen to Stand Still Look Pretty off the Pickin' On The Wrekers CD from the Pickin' On Series. They do some great stuff. Their Myspace page has a Nickleback cover. Nickel Creek to Nickleback. Perhaps we have come full circle.
At some point I should be able to have audio on this blog. It just isn't fair! Here are some pictures. I do know how to do that!

Where did the week go?

I guess when I post a 'Monday' post on a Thursday it really does make the real Monday come around quick. Here it is again. Even in Utah, it is still Monday for two and half more hours. I love winter when the time difference is only 3 hours. For some reason, 4 just seems so much longer. I really had intended something special for this Monday but I am, literally, having technical difficulty. No matter. It will keep. For this week's post I will like to first reference Erin's awesome Nickel Creek post. Loved it. It cannot be topped. You know that person that always tops your story immediately after you tell it. If you have a hang nail, they have a shattered clavicle. If you win a free value meal, they tell you about the time they won a million dollars. Well, this is sort of like that. In reverse. I am going to post something in the same vain as Erin (Erin, is that the correct homonym of 'vain'?) only I am going to be understating. Erin's post is the topper. The topper that came first. I can do no better, but here it is.
I have liked Michelle Branch ever since I found her Spirit Room on the road on Center Street in Provo. I watched her win the grammy and her catchy 3 chord songs were some of the first I learned to play. I still love singing along to her tunes, enunciating the same way she does (play-ya, stay-ya, way-ya). I really really have been enjoying the Wreckers, her band with. . .what's-her'name-blondie-friend. The songs are so sing-along-able that you almost think you have heard them before. My friend turned me on to this great tribute to The Wreckers and a must-hear for any Nickel Creek lover. Here it is. . .Pickin' On The Wreckers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

Here's a clue to my mystery music video artist: He has skied naked. He has had TB. He has animated historical figures to sing Weezer songs and he has been in bands with the following names: Johnny Befriends a Hobo, Worst Friend Ever, and well that is all I can think of but I think there are around a million. All with the same band members. Himself. And Johnny.

Music Monday Missed

Well, I told you to expect it. I missed, this, the only second chance to post a Music Monday. In my defense, I left the house at 5:00 in the morning, flew to Oahu, took a cab to my doctor's appointment, walked the five and a half miles back to the airport, flew (with bloody, blistered feet I might add) to Maui, got in the car, drove 2+ hours to Hana where I spent the last three days with Chris and his visiting family members. To make up for it (I love pretending more than 3 people read this and that they actually expect me, nay even look forward to, me posting things!) I will post the best Music Monday post ever. Right now. On a Thursday. If this doesn't knock your socks off then I question your humanity. To add the proverbial frosting , I have created my own music video to this piece of ear candy, showing off both my new haircut (unstyled, but still) and my cute daughter pointing to body parts, playing the harmonica and generally being adorable. Too bad you can't hear the real audio from the video, but since I filmed it from my webcam you can't ask for much. But I digress.
Here it is. Music Monday on a Thursday. Guess the artist.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

EMHE update

By the way, my hair looks NOTHING like this picture.

Extreme Makeover Hair Edition

My hair reached my last nerve (which is located at my shoulder) and I had to cut it off again. Not so short as 'the crew cut of '03', but still short. I browsed the internet for about 5 minutes before heading down to our local Super Cuts. I found a picture of Katie Holmes and surrendered my quaff to the new hair school graduate. The problem I have is that whenever I chose a celebrity haircut to mimic I am always disappointed. I think I expect my face to morph into Katie's or Maggie's. But yesterday, just like every other time (I think my lifetime salon visit number is now up to 6) I am stuck with my same face and a Super Cut version of Katie Holmes' $200 bob.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Birth of Music Monday

To make my blog seem more official, and to motivate myself to write, but mostly to have an excuse to post this video, I am instituting Music Monday. Every Monday (or at least today) I will post something music related.
Some of my best friends had some family in town this week and shared this amazing video with us. Oh how would it be to be this good at something? And if you don't like the music, check out the fingernails, they are worth a gander.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Birthday Pixie

Lily had a fun birthday. Chris insisted she wear her Halloween costume (thanks mom!) and she had her own carrot cake (thanks Beth for the great idea!!!) she really liked the frosting. The bruise on her head and the scratch on her nose is from her biffing it on the driveway. She just loves to run. . .she's just not that good at it yet. Her favorite present was the balloon I bought her at Safeway (the kid is obsessed with balloons. I thought they didn't start begging for stuff at stores until they were 2 or 3.) and her little pumpkin bag from Grammie. Of course she loved playing with Emmie and Ethan who came over for dinner and cake.

Acura Acumen or From Paradise to Paris

This past week I have delved into the lifestlye before only known to me by Gossip Girl, The OC and other high rolling high school programs. Chris and I have been babysitting/housesitting for a family in Spreckelsville while their paretns are in Paris. Let me set the stage. . .
Spreckelsville is just south of Paia on the North Shore of Maui. It is home to the elite. It is home to the owner of Dakine, Willie Nelson, physicians and other upper crusters who love to coagulate themselves and form one giant clot of consumerism and copiousness. Walking distance from two great beaches, many Sprecks residents drive around the manicured neighborhood on their own little golf carts (oh yes, pristene golf course is adjacent as well) zooming to the beach or 'the club' and back. It is beautiful. Simply sureal.
The kids we are watching are adorable. Megan, 13 and Johnny, 5 are about as darling as they come. Megan is uber responsible and is constantly, albeit pleasantly, surprised by my ability to remember to pack Johnny's lunch or clean the kitchen. I think she had low expectations of me. Pretty funny. Johnny is hilarious. He looks all boy but that kid has a flamboyant streak as purple as Georgie's kerchief. Monday night I made pizza dough and let the kids make their own personal pizzas. Johnny was a pro dough tosser and the official pepperoni taster. When I pulled the sizzling pizzas out of the oven Johnny flicks his head up, eyes wide as the pies they beheld and yelled "BAM!" in a voice to rival any Emeril fan. It was hilarious.
I drive the kids' carpool to their fancy shmancy private school (where they learn french, recite poems, have literary circles and organic lunches) in the family Acura. I feel like Halloween has come early and I chose a pretty pathetic Teri Hatcher costume. When I pull up to the school it is classic. Lexus, Mercedes, Acura, Volvo (they must be poor), Lexus in baby blue, you get the picture. What is even more incredible to me is the women that emerge from these gilded carriages. Perfect! Tiny, tight, tan, trimmed, tucked and totally together.
I don't stress about my hair, clothes, body and style on a daily basis. I have embraced, maybe too heartily, the easy going, Hawaiian, attitude about such social pagentry. It may be safe to say I have 'let myself go' a bit. In my defense I am dealing with an entirely different head of hair than I have known my whole life pre-baby. I have been unable to walk well and thus exercise is out, and anyone who knows me or has read my only other blog entry will tell you, I love food. I will not give that up. Still, as I pull up to Carden Acadamy in my borrowed Acura MDX I can't help but feel inferior. I pull at my fly-away hair and suck in my soft stomach. I sink into the supple, leather seats and feel an emotion I thought I had buried late in the early part of my ninth grade.
It is bizarre. I normally pride myself in my non-caring. I know I am not obese, trashy or the victim of a harsh beating with any ugly stick, yet I can't shake the insecurity when I drive up for my turn with the carpool. What i really don't understand is how these women got like that. I know their schedule! I have never been in a car so much in one week. It is up to school, back from school (25 min each way) then to ballet, gymnastics, fancy schmancy open house for fancy shmancy new private high school, then soccer game (don't forget the treats) then piano lessons, young women, etc. etc. etc. Unless these women have a hair stylist in their Lexus and know a new highway-friendly form of pilates I am not getting it! When do they have the time? Where did those thighs come from? Mine obviously came from the chicken catsu and leftover pie I had for lunch but theirs have 24 Fitness chisled right into their hamstring! It is a mystery how these women maintain themselves, their car, their perfect kids, lawn, and house and find time to do yoga, travel to Paris, serve on the school board or surf. Then I remember. Oh, yeah, they hire people like me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Three Little Words

After many requests to have me start my own blog (Claudia asked me twice so that is many) here it is. This first post is dedicated to Claudia, who, I am afraid, may be its sole reader. Claudia, you challenged me with a 'tag'. I am to post ten things about myself and then challenge ten more bloggers to do the same. Unfortunately I am going to fall short from the get-go. As bloggers go, I only know you and your sisters and my husbands friend, Matt. Your sisters have been tagged and Matt would never do it. So, I will post ten things and then I will leave it at that. I hope to have future posts, but no promises (see #8 ). Claudia, this is for you and because you know most things about me I am going to leave the major and obvious and post only those obscure, petty and probably uninteresting things about myself that you may not know. And, to make up for my breaking the chain of blog tag I will up the ante a bit and end each of my ten posts with a three word sentence. There is no deep reason for my doing this. I just will.

1. I don't like fireworks. I especially don't like the dinky supermarket ones people light off in the street. They are expensive, loud, unimpressive, stinky, messy and well, that about covers it. I must make one exception, for you, Claudia. The firework display I witnessed on the banks of the river in Portland during the Rose Festival was impressive due to its sheer length. I think there was 20 minutes of nonstop blasts at the end. This exception noted, I could live forever without the reminder of real bombs being blasted in other parts and forego the July and January blares. Also, once I got ash in my eye at a large Fourth of July display. That was painful.

2. I love plain yogurt. Never used to. When I was pregnant with Lily, I craved it! I would buy two 32 oz containers at a time because I would go through it so fast. I don't eat quite as much now but I still love it. Probiotics are awesome!

3. I hate carnivals.

4. I often daydream of opening a bakery cafe. I love the idea of fresh breads and muffins, creamy soups and a quaint atmosphere. I would decorate from Anthropologie, of course, much like your digs in Green Bay. I would serve salads, sanbos, and soups with homemade breads and desserts. I realize that the dream of the food industry in idealistic. The hardwork and headache of the reality are disenchanting. But for now I have my daydream. I'll keep that.

5. Having a baby changes your life. Obviously. It changed my life in ways I never expected. I knew I would get less sleep, spend more time at home and get excited about things like patterned pacifiers and Organic baby cereal. What I didn't know is that my health and body would be changed forever. I knew I would never again be the 18 year old body that was flat in the right places and perky in the right places. I didn't know that having a baby would throw my body into some crazy medical mystery of chronic illness. If you are reading this I am sure you know that my health has been very poor since Lily was born. You may not know, however, an interesting (and much less serious) physical change that has occured in me: my hair. It is straight.

6. I don't like going to movies. I don't like the crowds or the soda that invariably is spilled on my shoe. I don't like the uncomfortable chairs with gum on the back and I don't like having to shimmy past 17 grouchy people to pee in the middle of the best part. I much prefer a video in my own home: bathroom accessible (and TV still visible from the toilet in my current home), pajama party ready, kitchen adjacent. If I do go to the theater I actually prefer to go by myself in the middle of the day. It costs less.

7. I love reading cookbooks. I love to eat. I love making food, watching it being made, going out to eat, trying new food, eating old favorites, talking about food, thinking about food, trying new recipes. I love food. Except chicken potpies. I hate those.

8. When people ask what my hobbies are I balk. I love to try new things. I never stick with it. I always start things and never finish. Some hobbies I have tried but never excelled at are: rock climbing, piano playing, song writing, scrapbooking, surfing, bird watching, sewing, embroidery, painting, running, biking, baking, singing, and many others. I am typically pretty good at something the first time I try. I am, however, unwilling to work to get really good at anything. I just quit, or proceed recreationally. Next hobby please!

9. I love mountains.

10. There are a few American Icons that annoy me. I feel almost unpatriotic and a little mean admitting this but, it is true. I appreciate their donation to the nation, even to the world, but as people they bug me. Oprah, Rachel Ray, Ty whats-his-name from Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Howie the guy who made Bobby's World that now hosts the worst game show ever, all of the Friends, and Fergie. Good people. They just bug.