Friday, May 30, 2008

Complaints resolved

The day ended on a much better note than it started on. Thank heavens. But I didn't want to leave my complaints sitting there unresolved for all the world to think I am a gripey girl who can't solve problems. So here is why I am much happier tonight.

-This afternoon we took an excursion off base to the local JCPenney. It was pretty small with not much (no maternity section), but I still managed to find a couple things to try on. I didn't buy anything, but I tried stuff on, and that was fun. Then Andrew took me to Sonic to get a shake. Yum. Chocolate cures almost everything.

-We have plans to go somewhere tomorrow--somewhere out of town. Possibly Lawton. In any case, somewhere with stores, where I can buy a new outfit for the funeral, which is on June 6. I hate to admit that I'm really shallow, but sometimes what you need to make you feel better is a cute new outfit. My grandma taught that to my mom, who taught it to me. I guess it's in my blood. And who am I to refute the teachings of my fathers? I'm going shopping.

-As I was kneeling down to pray and ask for strength to take Eva to the doctor alone, my phone rang. It was Andrew, calling to say he had just finished his flight and would meet me at the office. I broke down crying in gratitude. It was a really good thing he was there, because she was quite a bit to handle with both of us wrestling her. She SCREAMED bloody murder pretty much the entire time and gave the nurse and doctor the struggle of their lives in trying to weigh her, check her lungs, and look in her ears. She has NEVER in her life acted so horribly. Andrew and I were both quite embarassed. Good thing she had the excuse of being sick, or I would have been mad at her. :) I was so grateful he came with me. Of course, all she has is a cold, and there isn't anything we can do. least we don't have to pay for that useless diagnosis. And thank heavens for Motrin.

-Our cleaning lady came. She took out the trash and gave us new towels and dishsoap, and I inwardly forgave her for her slacking and absentmindedness. She means well.

-I found out more about the nasty stray cat. As I was walking to the doctor's office, I heard a meow from under this massive pine tree. I look over there, and there is an empty can of Friskies cat food sitting on the grass. Someone is FEEDING the monster. Someone who A)is obviously not allergic to cats, and B) someone who has a soft spot in their heart for nasty stray animals and will get into heaven and I won't. I never will understand people who love cats...I guess there's room enough for both types of people in the world. As long as I don't have to feed the darn thing.

-I got to watch "What Not To Wear" today--one of my favorite shows. I don't know why. But I really, really like it. And, I LOVE that Andrew watches it with me regularly. What a great husband I have.

-Tonight we got together with the Willises (our next door neighbors) and ordered pizza for dinner. Then we sat out on the porch talking for a long time, all 4 of us rocking in rocking chairs. I know we looked like senior citizens in an old folks home. But honestly, I love rocking chairs now. I am definitely getting some for our new house. What a great way to live--rocking away the evening on the porch eating juicy watermelon and listening to the beetles crash into the window screens. True Oklahoma style.

Despite the occasional rough spot and my bad attitude, life is really, really good. No more complaints today.

Playing with chalk

On our trip to Walmart the other day, we bought Eva 3 new toys: a Mrs. Potato Head, a rubber duckie (for the bath and the pool) and a $1 bucket of chalk. When we were in the old TLF, there was a little boy across the courtyard who had this bucket of chalk, and he would leave it all out on the porch, all colorful and tempting. Of course, Eva walked over there to steal his chalk any chance she got, and we were constantly running after her to keep her away from their porch. So now that we are on the other side of the building, I thought we should give our own chalk a try. I didn't know if she would catch onto the concept of coloring with it--I don't know what age they figure that out. But if anything, I knew she would like to carry the bucket around, and it was only $1, so we got it.

And what a great purchase it was! We got it out for the first time yesterday afternoon, and she loved it. I kept her in just her diaper to save myself some laundry, and she looked so cute sitting out there practically naked. In true Eva fashion, she was just as interested in the bucket as she was the actual chalk.

She loved that the chalk could roll, and she would toss it in my direction and I would roll it back to her. She collected as many chalks at a time as her little hands could hold and, of course, got appropriately messy in the process. Who could resist a little washable body art? I even got her to smile for the camera, which is no easy feat these days.
And of course, it needed a little taste testing. Oddly enough, she didn't think it was gross, because she kept trying to eat it. And, being the bad mother that I am and wanting to choose my battles wisely, I let her lick it. Hey, it's her mouth. It's not going to kill her. Right?
The funniest was when she found an ant crawling across the porch. She grabbed her yellow chalk and attempted to smash the ant with it. She would put the chalk right on the ant and then draw a line. She kept missing the poor ant, which was about the size of a speck of dust (heaven knows how she even spotted it in the first place), but she seemed quite entertained by doing this. Eventually the ant got away, hopefully unharmed, and Eva wasn't too upset at his loss.
Oh, and I'm pretty sure that a belly like that is only cute for the first couple years of life. Pregnancy? Not so much. Although, proportionately to her body, her belly is as big as mine. Live it up, Eva. Your days of sitting topless and carefree with your belly hanging out are numbered.

Complaining: This is a very negative post. Do not read if you are already in a bad mood. I'm just venting.

I have been in a bad mood the last couple days. And I'm in a complaining mood, so here it is.
-The dishwasher in here is so loud that you have to shout to be heard over it. Annoying.
-There are stinging flies here. Everytime I open the door (which is alot since Eva wants to go out all the time) a couple stupid flies come in. They literally bite. I didn't think this was possible, but it is one thing I HATE about Altus.
-I am so sick of being cooped up, I could throw up. We were supposed to go on a trip to a retreat at Quartz Mountain today to celebrate our anniversary, and we canceled the reservation because we thought we would be going to John's funeral. We still haven't heard any funeral plans, and now we have yet another weekend of sitting around ahead of us. Gag me. I hate television. What I wouldn't give to have something useful to do.
-I have to take Eva to her doctor's appointment by myself today. For some reason, I have this irrational fear when it comes to her being sick. I can't handle it. She screams and cries, and generally I make Andrew deal with her because I just can't do it. He scheduled the appointment yesterday thinking he could come, and he just called saying, "Never mind." My favorite phrase of the week, you know. I hate taking her to the doctor. I'm pretty sure she has an eye infection, so if we have to give her eye prepared to hear her scream from wherever you live.
-I don't want to be pregnant anymore. I know that sounds harsh and callous, but I am really sick of it. And I'm not that close to being finished yet. All this pounding on my hips and ribcage is unfortunately bugging me more than welling up sweet feelings of loving motherness in my heart.
-Our cleaning lady stinks. She forgets to do things like give us more dishwasher detergent or dishtowels, and it really annoys me. I hate having to leave so she can come in and clean. Like I have anywhere to go with my sick child. So we have a PILE of dirty towels on the floor, and if she doesn't come today while I'm gone to the doctor, I am going to be SERIOUSLY angry.
-I get horrible phone reception here. I have to go outside to talk on the phone. Which would be fine, if it wasn't 3000 degrees. Plus stinging flies.
-There is a stray cat that comes around our house and meows until I want to kill it. It hasn't come around in a couple days, and frankly I hope it is no longer alive. I hate cats--especially stray ones. Ew. I'm not an animal hater, just a cat hater. Hey, you would be too if you had allergies like I do.

I guess to even it out and make this post not quite so dismal, I should say some good things that have happened. I'm no Pollyanna, but let's see what I can come up with.

-I finally got a doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday with whomever will be delivering Leighton.
-Eva and I played with chalk on the front porch yesterday, and she can actually draw lines. I'd like to think she is advanced. I'll post pictures of it later--it was very cute.
-That's all I can think of for now. I just wiped the dried boogers off Eva's nose and she is having a bit of a meltdown. And it's time to go to the doctor. Wish me luck. I promise I'll be more uplifting on my blog...someday.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sick Days

On Tuesday, I went into the doctor to get treatment for a sinus infection. The doctor was so nice and kind and gave me all sorts of medication to help me feel better, including an antibiotic. But he told me that I MUST stop taking my nosespray. I was devastated (since it does work and helps every time) but determined to follow his advice. The rest of the day, I felt like a crack addict going through withdrawals. My nose was horrible and stuffy and I wanted relief SO bad...but I was obedient. (I probably wouldn't have been if it weren't for Andrew's insistence.) So now I can officially say that I am not addicted to nosepray! All the other medications are finally working and, as of this morning, I feel better than I've felt in months. Stupid allergies.

Unfortunately, Eva came down with a bad cold and a fever on Tuesday. Runny noses are the WORST with her, because she hates more than anything to be manhandled, a.k.a. have her nose wiped. We tried that evening to suction her nose and she got so mad that she made herself throw up. She also has this strange diaper rash--actually, it's more like a blister. It looks like a burn and it's about an inch long and a quarter inch wide, and it's just on one spot. It's a mystery, but because of it she refuses to cooperate for diaper changes. We need a table with straps and a head vice to be able to help her, I swear. Giving her medicine is also a challenge and our now sticky bedroom pretty much permanently smells like Motrin.

So for the last 3 days, we have had sick days at our house. That entails:

Eva watching Signing Time and Baby Einstein several times a day,

a diet consisting solely of several bottles of milk and a handful of dry Cheerios (and helping Henry the frog dance around on the plate of Cheerios) eaten on the floor, as she also refuses to sit in her high chair,

walking around nakey to help air out her diaper wound while playing with her brand new toy Mrs. Potato Head,

and trying desperately to find entertainment without going to the pool or the library, where she may contaminate other children.

Here's to hoping that her sickness will pass, her nose will return to its normal unrunny self, and we can get a full night's sleep once again. Sick days are the worst.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Never mind

"Never mind." This is a phrase that can easily be used at trite, unimportant times in life. For example, if I go into the grocery store to grab some milk and Eva starts acting like a beast, I can walk out of the store and say, "Never mind. I'll get milk later." Or, for another example, if I want to go to the pool and then see that it's going to rain, I can say, "Never mind. I'll go to the pool tomorrow." No big deal.
However, some people, namely Brandon Cochran, feel that this phrase can be used with such important decisions as marriage. Last night he broke off the engagement with my sister Camille. This is the second time in less than a month that he has broken her heart, but this time she was obviously much more invested. As were the rest of us, her family. For heaven sakes, we were trying to plan a wedding in 7 weeks. They had been engaged 11 days, and plans were already rolling. Bridesmaid dresses were ordered, invitations were chosen (though gratefully not mailed yet), and many other wedding details were done.
Now I know that the mature thing to do would be to let it go and just be thankful that he's not going to be married to my sister after all. Which I am--SO thankful. I wouldn't want someone so fickle and immature as my brother-in-law. And I'm grateful, for Camille's sake, that he ended it now instead of the night before the wedding, or, even worse, after the marriage had already happened. BUT I feel sort of like a mama bear right now. I have rewritten this post several times already trying to emit details that are practically spilling out of my fingers. I want Brandon to feel as horrible as he made Camille feel. I want him to hurt and cry and feel betrayed and hurt and helpless. But I can't do anything that would really hurt him. I can't protect Camille from creeps like him. All I can do, in one act of rage and possible immaturity, is to write this blog for all the world to know--or at least, the small world that reads this blog--that Brandon Cochran is a jerk.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Coming to grips

We got a phone call yesterday that they had found John's body. I can't explain how strange it feels to lose a friend so unexpectedly. It just doesn't seem fair or right that this should happen to someone so young with so much ahead of him. I have never experienced death close to me other than older family members who all died of cancer. A sudden death like this is something I've never gone through, and it has been hard emotionally and spiritually to try to make sense of it. We are certainly grieving for our friend. But more than that, I am so concerned for his wife Emily. I can't even imagine what she must be going through.

This experience has caused me to reflect on my life and how blessed I am. I appreciate Andrew more than I did a week ago, and I hope that I never take for granted the fact that we live such a wonderful life. Any trial we may face pales in comparison to losing a spouse.

The funeral will most likely be sometime later this week. There are still not many details worked out as the autopsy report hasn't been finished and the location of the funeral hasn't been announced yet. But we are definitely going to be there for it no matter where or when. I feel helpless with this--like there is nothing I can do to help. The least we can do is come and show our support to Emily and show how much we love John. To any of you who read this, please pray for Emily. She is suffering more than any of us combined in this situation. The fact that the Lord allowed this to happen to her says that she has great strength of character--the Lord knows she can handle it. However, it's not going to be easy for her. We love John, and we will never, ever forget him.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Watch for John Alley

Here is a link to the most recent article about John's disappearance.

They think that he is most likely headed for Utah or Colorado somehow--maybe someone picked him up. This is becoming national news as the possibility of him traveling somewhere increases. If you live in Utah or Colorado, please keep your eyes open for John.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

John Alley is Missing

One of Andrew's best friends is missing. He is an Air Force officer in pilot training in Milton, Florida. He hasn't been seen since 3pm on Friday afternoon when he left the base. Police found his totalled car on Saturday morning at about 5am, with his cell phone, wallet, and keys inside. They think that John had a head injury from the car accident and wandered off somewhere. Search parties have been out looking, along with dogs. The trail didn't lead anywhere, and they think maybe someone picked him up. It is possible that he doesn't remember where he lives or anything because of the accident. His wife Emily is 4 months pregnant. Please help get his face out there so John can come safely back home. There is a website set up for him at I know most of you don't live anywhere near Florida, but we are so worried about our friend and I feel like we have to do something to help. Please pray for him!

Random things

I have allergies. This is no secret to anyone who knows me. When I watch video of myself, I realize just how much I itch my nose, clear my throat, and sniff. But I'm sorry--that's just the way I am. However, since arriving here, my allergies have been worse than ever in my life. This picture was taken on Friday morning. I woke up early full of snot (sorry if that's gross, but it's a reality of my life) and decided to go out on the couch where I could blow my nose without waking up Eva and Andrew. I had left the clean laundry there the night before, so I used that as a pillow and covered up with 2 extra towels. (Gotta love living in a hotel.) And this is how Andrew found me, and was so gracious to take a picture of me. With Eva looking stoned in front of me. I post this so that any of you who do not suffer from SEVERE allergies will count your blessings. But here's an update: I have been a ton better since we moved into our new room. So--gross as this is--I think there was mold somewhere in that room, since I am way allergic to mold as well. Strike 758 against our old room.

The pool opened on Friday. It was an event I had been waiting for--and sweating for--since we got here a couple weeks ago. It was a way nice pool, we got season passes, and Eva gets in free. There are 2 water slides, 2 diving boards, 2 slides for younger kids, and a little kid area under the shade with another big slide coming out of a frog's mouth. Although they have a stupid rule against any sort of flotation devices so we can't use Eva's cute boat thing or our's okay. The water was freezing cold on Friday, and we didn't stay long. Saturday it was a little warmer and Eva liked it better than the first time. It just feels so good to swim again! It also feels good to be weightless for a few minutes of every day, as I get bigger all the time and my back hurts more every day. That's a sign I have to be getting close to the end. :) I found some shorts to match my cute maternity swimsuit, and although I don't look cute, at least it's not some big tent-looking thing. Eva wore her adorable little pool cover-up--we call it her "hoochie mama dress"--and her little yellow swimsuit. Is there anything cuter than a baby girl in a swimsuit? I don't think so.

I also just wanted to include this picture of Andrew. Can you guess what he's doing? Your first thought may be grocery shopping. But no. He is actually moving our stuff from our old home to our new home. Using a stray shopping cart that hangs around the area. White trash, yes, but much easier than hauling it all by hand.

On Friday night for dinner I wanted to do homemade pizza. Now, I grew up eating homemade pizza. It's much cheaper than ordering one, and almost as easy. But truthfully, I never liked my Mom's. The crust was too thick and there was never enough cheese, and it just wasn't as good as Dominoes. But with my baking kick going, I thought I should try it myself. I found a recipe for dough on Smitten Kitchen (a great cooking blog). Andrew and I absolutely LOVE white pizza--you know the kind with like feta and mozzarella and spinach--so we decided to try to make that. No pizza sauce. Just dough, LOTS of cheese, and spinach. Oh, and some tomatoes. And it was SO good. Seriously, it could have come from a restaurant. The crust was a little on the thick side (I prefer thin crust, obviously), but it still was delicious. I will definitely be making that again.

Today at church I was able to go to Relief Society for the first time in a long time. Andrew insisted that I go, although he had to make me because I didn't feel like being social, since after Leighton is born it will be a while again before I get to go. So I gave in and went, and it was great. Not only did I get to taste and get a recipe for delicious wheat bread (I know, I really need to get over the whole recipe thing), but I heard a great lesson and met 2 really nice girls. This ward is looking better after all. :)

So we had yummy ribs and potatoes for dinner, and I made some chocolate brownies that are very good. I'm not bragging about my cooking abilities--I'm really just pleased to have found such a great recipe. Honestly, Nigella Lawson is a genius. And Andrew licked the beaters clean, so they had to have been good. (By the way, Andrew does not have a little rattail going on--it's the handle on the cabinet door. I know, I'm an awesome photographer.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Our new Altus Home, take 2

I am beginning to sound like a wannabe movie director with all my post titles. I promise, that's the last "take." I just couldn't resist.

So we've moved "houses." Previously we were in room 2508. In that room, although it was fine, there was no dishwasher, no washer and dryer, no mixer, old gross cabinets, bad lighting, a small bedroom...oh, and a bathtub that spewed black ash-looking stuff with occasional yellow chunks. I don't know HOW old those pipes were, but seriously. Is that even sanitary? Yesterday the maintenance men came to "fix" the problem. Hmm.

Then last night, our air conditioning box in the bedroom started making this very strange, very loud noise that sounded like a cross between a foghorn and a dying cow. I decided I didn't care about the people around us, they could just deal with the noise: I was not about to let my baby sweat through the night. But Andrew insisted that we not make enemies, so we had a warm night. Thankfully it wasn't TOO bad. But I was not about to go during the day without air in the bedroom.

The real enemy though, was the front desk lady. This morning, Andrew called to report the problem with our AC unit, and she said someone would come look at it. A little while later, he decided to just go talk to her and see if we could get one of the new 2-bedroom ones instead of the ancient, falling-apart one we were in. We're having a baby in a couple weeks, and we have all these problems with the room--how could she resist? Like I said, she was our enemy. She said someone would come to fix our problems, and that since we had a pull-out couch, we were not eligible to move into a 2-bedroom. It's Air Force "policy." Has she ever SLEPT on that thing? The "mattress" is the same thickness as, say, a cardboard box with a sheet on it. My pregnant self, or my just-given-birth-self, is not going anywhere near that. And it's not like we can toss our 1-year old on it either. "Policy" my rear. Anyway.

We were quite frustrated. Then, the maintenance man Steve, a.k.a. My Hero, came. He saw our predicament and saw that the AC and the bathtub were not going to be quick fixes, and he pulled some strings to get us a new room! I am going to make him a loaf of bread, or something. We didn't get a 2 bedroom, but I really can't complain. This is SO much better. It's about 3 centuries newer than our last room. There is a dishwasher and a washer and dryer, and although there is less storage in the bathroom, there is more in the kitchen. All around, we are thrilled with our new place. We are right next door to our friends the Willises, which will be great. They have a new baby (the one that Eva smacked in the face a couple Sundays ago) and I know how it feels to be cooped up and nervous to get out with the baby but still want company, so I'll be able to hang out with Melanie. And let's be honest--I have been REALLY anti-social since we got here. So this will be good on so many different levels. Yay for us.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

DG Take 2, good news, and insomnia

Yesterday I made blueberry muffins, from scratch, with real blueberries. Another first for me. They turned out REALLY yummy.

In other news, yesterday was the first day of construction on our new house!! I can't wait to see it. Our sales rep in Washington is supposed to e-mail us some pictures periodically to let us see how it looks, so I will definitely post those as soon as I get them.

I think I have insomnia. Last night I wasn't tired at all (despite being tired during the day) and I stayed up till midnight watching Jon and Kate plus 8, one of my favorite shows. When I finally crawled into bed, I lay there for a couple hours unable to sleep. Then I woke up for no reason at about 5am and couldn't go back to sleep until 6:30. Eva made me get out of bed at 7:30. I put her in her crib to play and lay on the couch because I was exhausted, but I COULDN'T SLEEP. This is SO frustrating. I have never had a problem sleeping before. Why now, when I need it the most? My body is lame.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Domestic Goddess, Take 1

Yesterday I did something I have never done before: I made bread. Not from a bread machine--I have done that before and haven't been terribly impressed. I made real, homemade bread all by myself. I did this loaf with my bare hands from start to finish. I didn't even use a spoon, because I didn't have a wooden one. I got the recipe from my Domestic Goddess cookbook, a.k.a. the World's Best Cookbook Ever, Because Just Reading it Makes Me Drool. I kneaded it by hand since I don't have my Bosch with me, and it was so fun and relaxing--which really surprised me. Andrew said I looked like a Navajo Indian, but I'm pretty sure that was a compliment.

After it had risen for the specified time, I put it in my brand new bread pan (NOT from the dollar store--I got a new, good one), sprinkled it with flour, and eagerly put it in the oven.

It smelled SO good baking, I couldn't wait to take it out and eat it. I felt so happily domestic. Seriously, everyone should do this at least once--make bread by hand. No mixer, no nothing--just dig right into the gooey mess with your clean hands and knead away. It's therapy, I swear. Unfortunately, the ovens here in our TLF home are old and crappy, and while chasing after Eva a minute too long, I suddenly smelled the bread turn from delicious bread to overdone bread. I raced to the oven to take it out, and I was sad when I saw the top was a dark, very non-golden, brown.

But I determined to eat it anyway. And guess what--it was DELICIOUS. Seriously, it tasted like a restaurant. Even with the brown top. I was so proud of myself. And Andrew loved it too--even better. Even Eva ate some. Now that's what being a homemaker really feels like.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Chillin' like a villain

Just wanted to share the funniest picture from last week. She cracks me up.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Announcement: Camille Cochran

I would like to announce that my little sister Camille is engaged to marry Brandon Cochran. (This will be of interest to any of you who went to Nauvoo!) I am very happy for them. I am also struggling SEVERELY with the fact that they have chosen July 5th as the date to get married in Utah, and I am due to have a baby on July 15th in Oklahoma. So I won't be able to go to my own sister's wedding. But my sadness aside, congratulations to the happy couple.

Happy Birthday Andrew, last Tuesday

Andrew's birthday was this past Tuesday, May 13th. He pretty much had the day off, and it was great. He is 26 whopping years old. I can't believe I'm married to such a senior citizen. I gave him this awesome clock that projects the time and temperature on the ceiling, and he seemed to like it. He doesn't show much emotion about things, so I'm just guessing, but I think he liked it. We went out to dinner at this Mexican place in town that we had heard was really good. It's called "Pickup Taco" and it's a little ghetto, but it was really good. We'll probably go there often. :)

I made him a cake with strawberry icing. I was forced to, for I think the first time in my life, frost a cake with store-bought icing. YUCK. I hate that canned stuff. I like either homemade or the kind that comes piled on cakes from a bakery. But canned? Not so great. But with our lack of baking tools and ingredients here, I had to settle. He wanted strawberry but then after I frosted the cake he realized it looked like a little girl's cake since it was pink. Oh well.

He liked eating it...

and so did Eva.

I just wanted to post the pictures from that day since I'm bored on a Sunday afternoon. And I really tried all day to get a good, normal, smiling picture of him--to no avail. He was determined to look weird. At least I tried. And at least I will never forget how weird he is. :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Domestic Goddess

I don't remember if I have publicly admitted this to the blogging world yet, but one of my very favorite things to do is read cookbooks. We have now been in Altus 8 days, and this old favorite hobby has become one of the ways I spend most of my time here. We have a library about 2 blocks away that, although it doesn't stock many good fiction books, has PLENTY of great cookbooks.
I have discovered my new favorite cookbook author: Nigella Lawson. If you ever want to get in a mood to bake a cake or bread or something else domestic, you have to read How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking. Here is an excerpt from the preface:
I neither want to confine you to the kitchen nor even suggest that it might be desirable. But I do think that many of us have become alienated from the domestic sphere, and that it can actually make us feel better to claim back some of that space, make it comforting rather than frightening. In a way, baking stands both as a useful metaphor for the familial warmth of the kitchen we fondly imagine used to exist, and as a way of reclaiming our lost Eden. This is hardly a culinary matter, of course; but cooking, we know, has a way of cutting through things, and to things, which have nothing to do with the kitchen.

The trouble with much modern cooking is not that the food it produces isn't good, but that the mood it induces in the cook is one of skin-of-the-teeth efficiency, all briskness and little pleasure. Sometimes that's the best we can manage, but at other times we don't want to feel like a postmodern, postfeminist, overstretched woman but, rather, a domestic goddess, trailing nutmeggy fumes of baking pie in our langorous wake.

Doesn't that just make you want to run in the kitchen and start mixing? It certainly did me--and reading the rest of the book was just as great. Unfortunately I don't have much of a kitchen to run to. The 30 plus year old hand mixer left for us doesn't even work, and I have 1 mixing bowl to work with. Alas, I will have to put off my domestic endeavors until we are living in our new house. But I still love imagining that I am, instead of a bored and boring mother stuck in a hotel room, a domestic goddess.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our Altus home

Eva's new favorite treat is oranges. Daddy peels them for her, and she loves it.

After a couple days of her walking around outside and looking longingly at all the other little girls with wagons, bikes, chalk, and doll strollers, we decided to get her a ball. And she loves it. She is actually really good at catching it.

And here is the front door view of our new house. Small, but cozy.

Our Enid home

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Musings

Today is my second Mother's Day. I am pregnant with my second child. This is not a pattern I hope to repeat in the years to come.
Andrew made me cinnamon rolls and eggs for breakfast, and Eva gave me the wonderful present of a bad attitude starting in the car on the way to church. She proceeded to be difficult, and it culminated in her hitting our friends' 2 month old baby in the face. Well, the was the last straw. I was humiliated, ashamed, angry, and confused as to how to discipline for this. She hits me and Andrew all the time and we are trying to deal with that, but hitting a newborn? I couldn't have been more embarassed. We promptly left church about halfway through Sunday School. Needless to say, I am not feeling very grateful to be a mother in this very moment--more like helpless in the face of a one-year old brat who hits.
Andrew is being so sweet though, and I'm sure my mood will improve throughout the day. I just wanted to record that Eva hit a newborn baby in the face so that maybe, in several years, she will share in a bit of the shame I feel right now. A more positive posting will follow later today. At least I have a cute new outfit.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Random Facts Tag

A ~ Each person has to list 6 facts/habits about them.
B ~ After part A, go to 6 people's blogs and leave a comment letting them know to read your blog, and that they have been tagged. List at the end of your posting who you have tagged.

1. I absolutely CANNOT wear socks to bed.

2. Whenever I eat a piece of bread, I eat the corners, then the edges, and then the middle. I can't do it any other way.

3. My favorite smell is coffee. The best is walking down the coffee aisle at the grocery store. Yum. Every time I stay at a hotel, I am tempted to make a pot of coffee just to make the room smell good. But I've never done it. Yet.

4. In college I went on a roadtrip with my roommates Julianne, Haylie, and Cami. On the way there we saw a truck carrying fruit bars (like the ice cream kind) and we flagged him down to stop and got some free fruit bars. Probably one of the craziest things I've ever done.

5. I like getting shots. Not that I love them and want them everyday, but getting poked is kind of a cool feeling to me.

6. I can't be anywhere near styrofoam--the sound of it makes my teeth hurt.

I tag Ali Flegal, Anne Lee, Lindsay Weston, Rachel Miller, Elise Roberts, and Kara Noyes.

Our new home

We made it! I am sitting in our TLF in Altus, OK--our new home. It is bigger than I thought, even if it is only one bedroom. The weather is beautiful and warm, and Eva is still sleeping.
After my final appointment with Dr. Ferguson (I was SO sad to leave such a wonderful doctor!), we did our final stuff--including taking a picture in front of our house, which I will post later--and took off. We stopped in OKC so I could buy Andrew's birthday present. I knew what I wanted to get him, but neither Best Buy nor Circuit City had it. Finally I found it at Brookstone. I can't say what it is yet because he'll probably read this. Even though I'm the world's worst surpriser and he's the world's best guesser and he probably knows what it is already, I won't give him the satisfaction of completely writing it out. But it's awesome and I think he'll love it. I stopped off at Motherhood Maternity for my last clothing shopping trip for the next 4 months. I found a cute swimsuit and Andrew got me an outfit for Mother's Day, which I am way excited to wear. It's so much more fun wearing pregnant clothes in the summer than the winter. Maternity sweaters are the ugliest things ever invented, but I really love skirts and summery shirts. Heck, if I have to look like a whale, at least I can have a couple cute outfits, right? Unfortunately, no matter how cute the swimsuit, I will still look like a whale. It cannot be helped.
After that we finished the drive to Altus, which was long and boring. Only about 3 hours, but I was antsy to get here. Eva did pretty good in the car, cosidering she couldn't see out either window because of the STUFF piled high around her, including her brother's empty carseat and many other baby things for the unborn child. It was a TIGHT squeeze, but I was very proud of her. And she ate a whole 6 piece nuggets from McDonalds throughout the course of the day. What a good girl...and what bad parents to promote childhood obesity. :) We were surprised to find mountains around here. NOt the Rockies or anything, but pretty decent mountains. It was surprisingly pretty--much more so than Enid. As we drove through the town, we found it to be much more populated than we had thought, with more stores and restaurants and other things. The base is big and fairly nice from what I have seen. We pulled in at about 6pm.
I found my friend Hillarie--her "house" is just across from ours, and I was so excited to find her so quickly. Andrew unloaded the car (using a shopping cart he found somewhere--I know, hello homeless) while I chatted with Hillarie. Brian and Melanie Willis were so nice and invited us over for dinner, so we had good food and got to see their adorable new baby boy. It made me feel alot better about this place to relocate 2 friends within an hour of getting here. Eva was cranky, so we made a hasty exit to put her to bed in time to watch the Office. I just love Jim Halpert.
We woke up early this morning--Andrew because he had to go in for his first day of work here, and me because my nose wouldn't let me sleep. Oh, beloved allergies. My doctor told me yesterday that nose spray is addictive, and I said, "Yeah, I know." DUH. So I am trying to wean myself of nose spray. But mornings like this make it really hard.
Well, Eva just woke up and Andrew came home for a minute, so I'm going to end my ramblings. But I am so happy to be in our new home.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

'My Names' Tag

1. My rock star name (first pet and current car): Lucky Camry
2. My gangsta name (favorite candy bar and favorite cookie): Symphony Oreo
3. My "brotha" name (first initial of first name and first three letters of last name: Sweb
4. My detective name (favorite color and favorite animal): Green Chimpanzee
5. My soap opera name (first name and city where you were born): Stephanie Provo
6. My Star Wars name (first three letters of your last name and first two letters of your first name then the word "of" then a medication you are on): Webstadvair
7. My superhero name (2nd favorite color and favorite drink with "The" in front): The Red Lemonade
8. My Nascar name (first names of your grandfathers): Gary Hans
9. My stripper name (name of your favorite perfume/cologne and your favorite candy): Journey Treasures
10. My witness-protection name (mother's and father's middle names): Andrew Backus

Internet, how I love thee

I underestimated the genius of the military hotel people. This morning while tidying up our small hotel room and thinking of what I'm going to do on this gray, rainy day while Andrew sits at our house and supervises the movers, I opened a drawer and found an internet cable. Hurray! Now I am guaranteed hours of entertainment. :)
Eva had probably the worst night of her life last night, which subsequently makes it one of the worst nights of our lives--she woke up at about 1:30 and wouldn't go back to sleep. She thought it was time to get up. We were both quite annoyed, as she is usually a great sleeper. Thanks to our small accomodations, we were sharing a room with her and every little turn or movement on our part alerted her that maybe we were about to get her up. Finally, after a long time of this, Andrew dragged her crib into the living room where she cried it out for a few minutes and finally fell back to sleep. Only to get up early this morning. This should be a fun day--stuck inside with an ornery, teething, stubborn one-year old. :)
Yesterday after the packers left (they were only there for about an hour!) we decided to go into town to kill time until we could check into our hotel. We went to McDonalds for lunch, where I got a Big Mac for the second time in my life. The first time I was probably about 7 years old and I felt like such a big girl that my parents would let me get such a humungous hamburger. Now I'm just a fat, hungry pregnant woman, feeling like such a big girl and grateful to Andrew for letting me eat such a big hamburger without commenting on how bad it is for me. My, how things have changed. :) We went over to Walmart to get a frozen Bertolli's meal for dinner. If you ever need a good frozen meal, try Bertolli's. They are the best frozen meals we have found. And let's be honest--I'm not the only one who occasionally turns to such unhealthy dinner alternatives. Am I? We stopped off at Redbox and rented "P.S. I Love You." After watching it, my new title for it is "P.S. I Hate This Stupid Movie." Don't watch it--it's incredibly lame and slow and not at all what I wanted from a chick flick. Andrew was so nice to let me get it and to sit down and watch it with me--I really let him down this time. But at least it wasn't just channel surfing, which is alot of what we do in hotel rooms.
We watched American Idol last night and I have to say that if Jason doesn't get voted off this week I'm going to be mad. I can't decide who I love more--David Archuletta or Sayesha. So I voted for them both twice. I felt a real sense of community as I joined in with America and watched the show live and voted, rather than hunting on YouTube the next day for videos of the performances and trying to see who remained. The beauties of cable television. Of course, after putting Eva to bed we continued to waste more time watching mindless things, ending with a Real Life Mysteries about a little 5 month old who disappeared one night and they suspect her parents of killing her. A very uplifting show, I know.
And that about wraps up our thrilling first night in the TLF (that stands for Temporary Lodging Facility, and that's what we call military hotels, and I'm going to say that from now on because it's a little shorter than typing out the word hotel.) If anyone besides me in 10 years is still reading this, I thank you for being a true friend and putting up with my boring account of a boring day. Stay tuned for more exciting news (or TV reviews, probably) from the Vance TLF.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Surrounded by boxes

I am surrounded by boxes. Our packers came at 9:00 this morning and they were finished packing up everything that went in boxes by 2:30pm. Since we are taking my laptop to Altus with us, we decided to try to get on the internet to watch Lost. The connection we're using is way too slow for a big video, but it's fine for blogging! :)
Tonight we ate dinner at La Macarena, the best Mexican restaurant in town. Actually, it's the only Mexican restaurant we've tried in town, but we really like it. Eva has been ON ONE today and was driving both of us a little crazy. She has that weird rash again. I'm hoping it's just a heat rash, but we'll see. I think she also senses that things are different and we're trying to distract her so we can get things done. Besides the fact that there are boxes EVERYWHERE. By the way, in their placement of boxes they definitely did NOT plan for a pregnant woman to be walking around the house. There is only one route I can take through the kitchen and living room because my days of squeezing through small spaces are over. Believe me, I tried. I tried to squeeze through a stack of boxes and the doorway this morning to get to the fridge, and my stomach hurt for several minutes afterward. No more of that. But don't worry--that definitely did not slow Leighton down. He's kicking as much as ever. Little punk. :)
I am sad to be leaving Enid, but now that I'm sitting on my bed in a sea of brown cardboard, I just want to get the heck out of here and move already. Let's be honest. I ate ice cream with a pen tonight as Andrew failed to believe me that we needed to keep out a few plastic utensils and cups and plates. For bath toys, Eva played with my mirror I use when I want to see the back of my hair. We had to borrow towels from our friends as we didn't keep any out for ourselves. Moving is great, but the in-between part really stinks. I'm actually looking forward to getting into my future home for 4 months--a military hotel room. Bring it on--I am so ready.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Farewell for a couple days

So much for blogging every day. Instead, we have been watching Lost every day. We are now about halfway through Season 2. Pathetic, I know. We did manage to have a social experience last night--we went to dinner at the best barbecue restaurant around, Turkey Creek. After dinner we had the Calls and the Andreasens over to play games. Our last game night! We have had a couple of those and I'm really going to miss them. Our friends, I mean. Hopefully where we move we will find other game-playing friends.

Today is our last day with internet. The packers come tomorrow and Tuesday and the loaders (or the people who will load the packed stuff on the truck) come Wednesday. So I have to say my goodbyes to the computer today, as well as my blog--at least for a couple days. We won't get to Altus until Thursday, so it will be at least Friday before I can blog again. I know, everyone reading this will likely be crushed and not come out of deep depression until I resume the boring record of my uneventful life. :) But don't worry, friends...I'll be back.

Oh, and please notice from the ugly picture that my face still retains its normal size. I am not yet swollen, and I will be 30 weeks on Tuesday. That is reason to celebrate.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I'm sure you've heard of this TV show. LOST. I had, and I read on my friend Hillarie's blog that she was into it. Since Hillarie is someone I love--and because I tend to trust her opinion on TV shows since she is a fellow Office fan--I decided to look on and see if they had episodes to watch on there. Just to see if I liked it, and because I was bored. Well, they definitely had all the episodes from all 4 seasons on there for me to watch. So I started at the very beginning and watched one, where the plane crashes. I wasn't hooked. But I thought to myself, "I wasn't hooked on the Office after the first episode either--maybe I should give it one more chance." So I watched another one, this time with Andrew. And although I wasn't in LOVE with the show, I kept watching more episodes. And gradually, we were hooked. Yesterday we watched several together and stayed up till almost midnight watching it. I think we've formed a new addiction.

The problem is that we ended last night's Lost marathon on a scary episode, where pregnant Claire gets kidnapped by this freaky Ethan guy, who wants to probably steal her baby for some reason. Well, I don't do well with scary things, especially at night. Hence, I got about 3 hours of sleep last night. I could NOT stop thinking about it and running it over in my mind and being scared for Claire. Claire, who is NOT REAL and who is not really in life threatening danger, and most of the country is like years ahead of me on Claire's story, but once again, she is NOT REAL...she cost me a night's sleep. On top of my stuffy nose, which even my beloved nose spray wasn't helping, it was probably the most miserable night of my life.

So this morning when we woke up (later than usual), I demanded that we watch one more episode so I could stop thinking about the scary part. Thankfully, Andrew obliged me and watched one with me before heading off to work to put in his one hour for the day. (Gotta love the military on days like these!) Now Charlie is rescued--he practically died after hanging from a tree, but Jack and Kate cut him down--but Claire is still missing. And of course, watching that only made me want to watch another one. I guess that's how new addictions work--like drugs. The more you have, the more you want. Even if it's not as good as the Office.