30 June 2010

Meal, snacks, meal, snacks, repeat

When we lived in New Zealand and my friend, Makereta, was expecting, she thought about food a lot. We spent quite a lot of time together, so I was fairly in-the-know in regards to her pregnancy progress. I remember that she had been scheduled to have an ultrasound to find out the gender of her baby. I went to her house that afternoon, walked in and said, "What are you having?" She replied, "An egg sandwich." "No, I mean, is your baby a boy or a girl?" Then she told me that the appointment hadn't been scheduled properly and they had to reschedule.

On the afternoon of her actual appointment, virtually the same scenario occurred again.

"What are you having?"

"Spaghetti bolognese!"

"No, what is the gender of your baby?"

"Oh! A girl!"

I am beginning to understand that now. I'm frequently hungry and quite often contemplating when my next snack will be and what I should have. Eric is still the primary shopper around here, and he does a great job of keeping lots of healthy options available for me to munch on. He also does a great job of helping me figure out what I want at any given point in time:


"No, I should probably have some fruit."


"Yuck. I have been disgusted by bananas since the middle of April."


"If you can guarantee that it will be awesome. How do I know it will be juicy and crispy? How do I know the peel won't be gross?"


"If you'll peel it for me. Don't worry, you can tax it." (That means that he gets a portion of the orange since he was the one who peeled it. This is our system. It is basically the only way I eat oranges.)

And then whatever snack has been decided upon is served to me. Seriously, my husband is amazing.

One evening a few weeks ago when he was not home, I cried because I was hungry and didn't know what to eat. I'm not making that up, and I'm not exaggerating. Pregnancy makes me irrationally emotional. Also hungry.

28 June 2010

Can't we be obsessed with a more exciting sport?

No blogs that I read have said anything about the World Cup. Nothing whatsoever. Is nobody following it?

Okay, let's backtrack. I spent the first week of the World Cup gagging and wanting everybody on Facebook to stop talking about it. Soccer is boring. Most of the games end in ties. What kind of game is that? They play for ninety minutes and hardly score at all. SNORE.

But, I love international competition. It's part of the reason I'm so crazy about the olympics. Some time in the last few weeks I started caring about this event based around a sport I hate. How did this happen?

Now, just to be clear, I haven't watched a single game, nor do I intend to. (Again, snore.) But I think I really started to get interested when my English co-worker (who for the first few weeks literally recorded every game and then went home each day and watched them before finding out the results) told me that New Zealand would be lucky if they didn't lose all three of their first matches. They tied their first game, and all of a sudden I started having this strange feeling of wanting to know what was going on and who was doing well and which countries would go home early and which countries I should hate. I can't quite explain it.

In case you were wondering, I've been cheering for New Zealand. Of course, they didn't advance (but they also DIDN'T lose all three of their first games! They tied all three, which isn't quite winning but is far better than losing.) I liked to cheer for the African teams because I like to see African countries do well; but now only Ghana is left. And yes, I DID cheer for them against the U.S. on Saturday. It helped me feel a special kinship with my old Ghanaian callers. And besides, the Ghanaians deserved to win; they actually CARE about soccer all the time, not just once every four years. Also, I cheer for Brazil and the Netherlands (this may pose a problem since they are playing against each other in a few days) and Mexico (but they're out, thanks to Argentina, who is definitely the ENEMY of all good countries). Germany is also high up on my list, but only because Eric likes them.

I have a very set routine to my website checking when I get up in the mornings. Looking up the World Cup scores has become a major part of my day. What will I do when it's over? How will I fill this void in my life? And why, oh why does the World Cup have to happen in the same year as the Olympics? Can't they make some effort to spread the joy?

25 June 2010

"Do you take her out dancing just so you can hold her tight?"

This is how I know Eric loves me:

I know what you're thinking. It's kind of a weird way to manifest his love. But I love this cereal. Makereta said that I would not miss them when I got back to the states, but she was wrong. And one day Eric happened upon them in his grocery shopping, so he bought them for me. He likes them too, but they are rather expensive, so he just buys them for me. And then I became pregnant, and I loved them even more. They are high in fiber, protein and iron - all of which are things that my body really needs and craves right now. On mornings when I am out of wheat biscuits or the milk has gone bad, I literally do not know what to do. My morning sickness came back (boo), and it's really important that I eat something light but filling in the mornings. These do just the trick.

And like I said, they are kind of expensive. We could definitely buy other breakfast foods for cheaper; but Eric continues to buy me these. Because I love them. And that is how I know he loves me.

21 June 2010

Review: Netflix

We are patrons of Netflix. We love it. We are on the plan where we can have two DVDs out at any given time, and we can cycle through an unlimited number of DVDs in a month. This plan is about $15 per month, and to us it is worth it. DVDs comprise almost 100% of our entertainment. We don't spend money to go to movies or concerts or even restaurants very often, so Netflix is a worthwhile expense for us.

I have never rented a movie from redbox or any of its similar competitors. The idea of actually going somewhere to pick up a movie and then having to actually go back to drop the movie off just doesn't appeal to me. I'd much rather have the movies delivered to my mail box and have the shipping already in place for me to mail them right back. I know some people swear by redbox and the free codes, but to me it is just too inconvenient.

Not to mention the fact that redbox only has new releases, and we watch a lot of older movies, foreign films, documentaries and otherwise non-new releases. We perhaps could rely on the library to fulfill this need, but we find the hold lists for the library to be too long for our tastes, and again, the availability just isn't the same. You can get anything from Netflix. Anything. It truly is amazing.

I love that Netflix allows us to rate the movies we've seen (although sometimes it is tricky to agree on how we will rate certain movies) and then recommends others that we might like. We have seen some seriously awesome films this way, particularly foreign films.

I love that if we decide we want a Netflix break, we can put our membership on hold for up to three months. We won't lose any of our preferences or the movies in our queue, and when we're ready to pick it up again, it's very simple. We did this during the winter when we were house-sitting, and to be honest, we've considered doing it again during the summer when the weather is lovely and we should be spending more time outside.

We can also stream movies online, and this doesn't cost extra, nor does it count against our allotment of movies checked out to as at a given time. We don't do this very often, but I've done it now and then with movies that I knew I would want to watch and Eric wouldn't want to. Of course, the quality isn't as good, but I don't mind that. Plus, if I don't like the movie, I won't have wasted precious days to get the DVD in the mail and then send it back. (Of course, we find that if we put a DVD in the mail on Monday, the next DVD in our queue is usually sent on Tuesday and arrives on Wednesday. So the wait time is never horrible anyway.)

A downside of being a Netflix patron is that you feel obligated to watch movies, and if you let your DVDs collect dust, you feel guilty about the money you are spending on them. If you are not really into movies, then Netflix is probably not a good option for you. We love movies. And we tend to like to spend our evenings at home, so it is a good fit for us. It certainly is one of those things in our budget that could be easily cut if we needed to cut back, but for now it is something that we both really enjoy.

20 June 2010

Oh, my fathers

I have had the pleasure of having some really fantastic fathers in my life.

The blissfully soon-to-be:
The father of the groom and the father of the bride (left and right, respectively):
My very own Captain Jack grandfather:
And my two delightful grandfathers by marriage:
I am one lucky girl.

16 June 2010


Eric's folks are moving, and right now they are in the get-rid-of-stuff phase. Hence, this collection of books given to us. There were actually several more than this, but these were just a few of the paperback classics they had. Some I've read; many I haven't. I'm very excited to get started on these.
I didn't reduce the image size, so if you're interested, you can click on the photo to get a clearer view of the titles. Some of them were Eric's picks (why, hello Panzer Battles) and others were ones I've been wanting to read and just never had. Then there were a few that I've already read and adored and am very happy to have my own copy of.

15 June 2010

Review: Who Killed the Electric Car?

Who Killed the Electic Car? has a very basic premise: GM created an all electric vehicle in the mid-90s that could go about 90 miles per charge, was sleek and cool, had reasonably high demand, and was fairly affordable. Then when everybody's leases ended, GM took the cars back and no longer produced the cars. What was that all about?

Unfortunately, the film is almost 100% conjecture as to why GM would possibly pull out of something that seemed to be going fairly well. It's a whodunnit without an answer. And it's pretty boring, which is too bad because the topic itself is fairly interesting.

I think there were two competing factions within GM - those who wanted to focus on big beastly cars with traditional gas-powered engines, and those who though that electric cars were the future of American automobiles. The folks who didn't want to move toward electric cars didn't do a good job of promoting the vehicles; they were advertised completely differently than traditional cars. These execs refused to sell the cars, and only offered them on lease. These execs were hesitant to acknowledge the growing demand for the vehicles. Ultimately (I believe) it was these guys who won out. When the electric car was finally 100% off the road, GM bought the rights to Hummers.

And don't you find it all a bit ironic that GM had a really great opportunity to market the first all-electric vehicles and they totally blew it? They opted to invest in their massive trucks and SUVs, which is what has ultimately been their demise in the last couple of years. Gas prices have gotten so high, that Americans are thinking more practically in their automobile choices, and GM has gotten a swift kick in the pants.

Not only that, but just as GM was pulling out of their focus on electric vehicles, Toyota and Honda were kicking it into high gear, and they are the companies that have had the most success with their hybrid vehicles, and are faring reasonably well during the economic crisis.

And now that I've told you all about this boring documentary, you don't have to watch it. You should definitely thank me.

13 June 2010

Review: Masterpiece Theatre's Emma

We finished watching the 2009 Masterpiece Theatre version of Emma Friday night. I highly recommend it. Put it in your Netflix queue.

To be honest, I'm not one of those girls totally obsessed with Jane Austen and all adaptations of her books. I hadn't read Pride and Prejudice until the summer after my freshman year of college. (In fact, I'd hardly ever even heard of her until my freshman year of college when I met all these Jane-Austen-obsessed girls.) I quite liked Pride and Prejudice. Then, a couple of years ago I read Emma. It took me weeks to get through it. The characters truly were fantastic, but the plot was almost non-existent, which made the book quite a hard slog for me.

But this film adaptation of the book was truly delightful. You will spend four hours in bliss if you decide to watch it. (Eric liked it too!)

11 June 2010

Finally Furnished

Behold, the couches:
The day after my rant about the terrible service from Couch Potatoe I called the company to find out when our couches would be coming. The fellow told me they were having a few issues with their delivery guy and he'd call me back in half an hour to schedule an appointment.

An hour and a half later I called back. No answer. I called again. No answer. By this time I was beyond frustrated. I left a message telling them that if we didn't get our couches I would file a theft report with the police, as Packrat had suggested. I really didn't want to get mean with them, but I felt like I didn't have a choice. Plus, I told them that I didn't want to file a theft report; I just wanted what I had paid for.

The fellow called back and was ready to make an appointment to drop of the couches that afternoon. Unfortunately, Eric would not be home to help the delivery guy haul the couches up to our flat. But I was eager to have them, and I was worried that if we scheduled for the next day they would fall through again.

When the time came, I spent 45 minutes helping the delivery guy lug the couches upstairs. In the process he told me that it was his first day and that the other delivery guy was pretty flaky and the company was having a lot of problems with him.

Which made me feel a little badly for the way that I had treated them. Except not very. Because had they explained to either Eric or me that they were dealing with a staff issue, we would have been a little more laid back about the whole process. We've both been in work situations where there is staff shortage, and we know how frustrating it can be. But no explanation was EVER given for the lateness of the couches. This was particularly frustrating on the day when we were told the couches would be there by a certain time, and then no attempt was even made to explain to us why the couches were not delivered. Plus, the flaky delivery guy absolutely did not account for all the times the employees at the store told us they would call us back and then failed to do so.

But I suppose all is well that ends well, and we do rather like the look of our living room. But next time we'll buy more expensive couches from a more reputable source.

04 June 2010

When Everything Changed by Gail Collins

My favorite things to study in my history classes at BYU were social history. I love learning about societal changes. One of my favorite classes was on the history of the family in America; it was one of my top three classes of my whole university career. I just find this sort of thing really interesting.

With that said, even if you don't often find this sort of thing interesting, I don't see how you could not like this book. It's a well-written, fairly balanced depiction of the women's movement. Although, after reading the book, I really hesitate to label it that way since it was really more of a series of movements, led differently at different times and by different women.

There were things in this book that just truly blew my mind - like the fact that women would graduate from law school at the top of their classes and then be offered positions as secretaries at law firms. Or that flight attendants would be fired if they didn't stay within certain weight and measurement requirements.

Women have come a long way! And I'm really happy for the women who worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that I could have a meaningful career OR be a stay-at-home-mom OR do whatever I can dream of. I feel really lucky to have been born when I was born. Sure, there are still problems that women face, but we really have come a long way, and it was quite an amazing journey.

My takeaways from this book:
  • My husband is awesome. He respects me, he thinks I'm smart (and it's okay for me to be smart!), and he does a ton of household tasks, (which was basically unheard of 50 years ago), he encourages me to think for myself and to make my own choices.
  • The women's movement took quite a few turns to end up at a point where we are now, which is much less judgemental than it used to be. Want to wear heels? Wear heels! Want to wear combat boots? Go for it! Want to be a teacher? That's great! Want to be a physicist? Awesome! Want to be a stay-at-home mom? Have at it!
So, take advantage of the hard work of other women, and go do whatever it is that makes you happy.

03 June 2010

Budget fail

I know I'm about the last budget-minded person on the planet to hop on the Mint.com bandwagon, or at least to be blogging about it. We started using it in February (maybe), and we were really good at first. We tried to be really aware of where our money was going and what our unusual spending would be. Then May happened. I was not feeling so hot. We went on a cruise. We lived in Eric's parents' house. We moved and had to start paying rent again. Plus we had to completely re-stock an empty pantry and empty fridge. Not to mention furniture.

With a new rather expensive little person coming to our family soon, I knew that we needed to start cracking down again. We logged on the other night, and basically saw this:
Essentially, it says, "YOU ARE OVER ALL YOUR BUDGETS!" Well, almost that. The ones that are at $0 are the ones that are new bills that won't get charged until June. I added them to the budget before I took the screen capture. I sure do wish we could pretend May never happened.

(If you aren't familiar with Mint.com, the yellow means you have met your budget or nearly so. The reddish/orange means you've gone over. The green means you are still safely under budget. And the blank lines are where you haven't spent any money yet.)

I really do recommend the website, by the way. Very, very cool. (I'm not sure if it will sync with international banks, so it may be a only useful to Americans right now. Sorry, my international friends.)

02 June 2010

Review: Couch Potatoe

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 -
Eric went to check out this furniture store in North Salt Lake called Couch Potatoe. (Yes, it's meant to be spelled that way. It's a play on their logo. It's still stupid, though.) He liked what he saw. He asked how late they would be open. They said until 7. I got off work, and we headed up there together. We arrived, and the store was closed with a sign that said the employee had just stepped out. A phone number was listed. Eric called.

"Hi, I'm at your store. I came earlier, and now I'm here with my wife, and we want to check it out together. I was told you'd be open until 7."

"Who told you that?"

"I don't know. The guy that was working earlier today."

"Are you going to buy anything?"

"If my wife approves, probably."

We went back home. We went back to the store. We waited 15 more minutes. The guy called and said he was running late. He showed. We checked out the store. We picked a set, did a little bargaining and paid (in cash). He said the couches would arrive in the next three days.

Thursday, 27 May 2010 -
No couches. No big deal.

Friday, 28 May 2010 -
No couches. No big deal.

Saturday, 29 May 2010 -
No couches. Also no phone call saying whether they were coming that day. Were we free to run errands? Eric called. The fellow said he would call Eric back. Two hours later Eric called again. The fellow asked if Eric could call back in an hour. Eric called back. No answer. And no answer throughout the night.

Sunday, 30 May 2010 -
No couches. It was a Sunday. We weren't really expecting them then anyway.

Monday, 31 May 2010 -
No couches. Then again, it was a holiday. Eric called. (Yes, it was a national holiday, but furniture stores are always open on Memorial Day because that is when they have their ginormous sales.) He was again given the telephone runaround. Eventually he was told the couches would arrive Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010 -
The man delivering the couches shows up! Hooray! He brings the couch upstairs only for Eric to say, "This isn't what we ordered. We had a couch and a loveseat, and they aren't this style at all." The delivery man said we could just keep that couch for the time being. His boss-man said that was not a viable option. The couch was removed. Eric was told the couches would arrive today.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010 - TODAY
Eric waited around at home (even though he had lots of things to do in Provo today) until 1 for the couches to be delivered. They were supposed to arrive by 11. No calls. The couch people aren't answering his calls. Or my call. I just left an agitated voicemail.

I am irritated. I am sick of sitting on the floor. Do not buy furniture from these people. It is a bad idea.