2008: A Year in Review

So last year, I reviewed my goal successes on my blog. Now, looking back at them and the goals that I set for 2008, I'd say I did pretty well. So here is 2008: A Year in Review!


2008 goal: Get couple friends.

Result: Murray and I haven't made friends in the ward, but at least we've spent some time socially with other couples. Of note are Jenny & Ed and Steve & Moleste (who technically are family, but since we like them socially, too, they count as couple friends).

2009 goal: Don't go into hermithood because of baby.


2008 goal: Get pregnant?

Result: Got pregnant way ahead of schedule. Go us!

2009 goal: Have a baby. Like, really really soon.


2008 goal: Lose 30 lbs. (Then get pregnant in time to gain again.)

Result: Did not lose any pounds, but did not gain much during pregnancy (about 15). Developed gestational diabetes which forced me to develop and maintain proper eating habits which I hope to continue (thus reducing my risk of developing type 2 diabetes).

2009 goal: Get down to undisclosed goal weight, five pounds at a time. (So I'll focus on this goal monthly rather than setting a large goal for the whole year.) Hopefully I will kick-start this weight-loss with at least a 15-pound jump! A friend said she actually weighed less after delivering her baby than she did when she got pregnant because of her gestational diabetes, so here's hoping.......


2008 goal: Read 5 books.

Result: Joined a book club and read 6 of those books, plus at least 5 on my own. Go me! Joining a book club did wonders for my book reading stats! Plus I've read most of a few books on pregnancy.

2009 goal: Read 15 books, at least 5 of which should be baby/family related.


2008 goal: Start designing wedding invitations as side-work.

Result: Designed several wedding invitations and have built up a small collection of templates, but have yet to market my templates properly. Did at least one wedding invite job for profit this year, but also two adoption announcements for profit. Yay! Of course, all of this transitioned from "side-work" to full-time work as it is part of my full-time business now.

2009 goal: Set up proper website, market myself, and design some baby announcements and Christmas card templates before September 2009 so that I can get in the game.


2008 goal: Read the Sunday School and Relief Society lessons each week, even though I will be teaching the sunbeams. (I do not yet know what kind of scripture study preparing my lessons entails... do 3-year-olds know how to speak yet? Do they still pee their pants?)

Result: At least I prepared my sunbeams lessons... And I found out that they do sometimes still pee their pants, or dresses as the case may be!

2009 goal: Read the Sunday School and Relief Society lessons each week, even though I will be teaching some other primary class that I don't know about yet.


New 2009 Business-Related goals:

Shower, brush my teeth, and do my makeup at least 5 days out of 7.
Get a functioning, kick-A website.
Market myself better.
Focus on work that frees me up (like templates vs. custom work).

Other tidbits:

* Designed two day planner designs that have been published and printed and used by thousands.
* Designed items that will be sold in superstores (like Target and Office Depot and Staples) in 2009, AND on the home shopping network. Boo-yah.
* Sold original creations at craft fairs.
* Was (and am) married to a man who had an actual piece of actual artwork in an actual museum.

Places traveled:
Canada (all the way up to Moosonee)
Texas (all the way down to Galviston)
San Diego (no Mexico this year)


How we did on our list of 2008 other plans of note:
Buy a 24-inch iMac.---Check! And it's beautiful. AND we bought a powerbook, too because we're greedy.
Go to Canada (maybe twice).---Went once and did a good job of it!
Go to Texas.---Check! And I can't wait to go back!
Go to Europe?---Got pregnant instead. Yay!
Go to San Francisco?---Went back to San Diego this year and plan for San Francisco in 2009.
Go to Las Vegas to see Love.---Nope! Hopefully 2009 will be a good year for this!
Go birdwatching together.---Nope! Unless you count driving up and down the I-15.
Make lots of paintings and artwork.---Yep! Our house is like unto a gallery. Except that I have a hard time hanging things so very little of our artwork is actually on the walls right now...
Have fun day trips.


2009 other plans of note:

Learn how to be good parents.
Take lots of pictures of us and our activities and our baby.
Use lots of cool and different cameras.
See Wicked in Salt Lake?
See Love in Vegas?
Go to San Francisco.
Make a new calendar for 2010.
Set up business properly and legally.
Make lots of art just for us.

No Christmas Baby

Well, I'm happy to inform all of you that we officially did not have a Christmas baby. But now that Christmas is over, I keep asking myself, when's he going to come?? So far the pregnancy has whizzed by really quickly, but now that the birth is imminent and we've gotten all the big holidays out of the way (sorry New Year's Eve and New Year's Day---you just don't cut it as far as Distraction from Baby goes), I'm really ready for the baby to come.

Today I am 39 weeks and 1 day. I checked my friend's pregnancy blog that she kept throughout her pregnancy, and after she wrote her 39 week update (when she was 39 weeks and 1 day) she immediately went into labor. So now I'm trying her trick. We'll see if I have any contractions after I press "Publish Post."

Murray and I made a list of really important things to do before the baby comes, and I think we did all or most of them. We did all the super important ones, anyway. Like Murray painted my toe nails because I have trouble reaching them. Maybe I just need to make a new list of chores to do before the baby comes and work my way through those. "Get a haircut" needs to be on that list, but my salon is closed on Mondays so I'll need to do that tomorrow.

I realized that we don't have a great picture of my belly profile. Maybe I'll get Murray to do that this afternoon. In the meantime, this iPhone self portrait will have to do...

(Now that I'm posting this belly shot, can the baby come? Let's see what happens when I hit Publish Post!)

(P.S. baby, please come on a day when I've done my hair and makeup. Today would be a good day.)

Rethinking Phone Etiquette

Last night I had a brilliant idea about the letterbox that I'd like my parents to bring out to me this Christmas. When I requested it a few days ago, telling my mother that it was absolutely necessary that I be reunited with my letterbox, she told me that it was quite large and she didn't know if she wanted to bring it because they were already bringing lots of stuff.

In thinking about my letterbox again last night at 1:00, I realized that if my mom just packed clothes inside the letterbox, and the letterbox inside her luggage, that it wouldn't take up much room at all! Not wanting to forget my idea, I decided to text my mother right away so that she could wake up in the morning and find the text. This is the text I sent. At 1:00 in the morning, which was 3:00 on the East Coast:

You can pack things INSIDE the letter box and then it won't take much room!

And my eyes bugged out of my skull about thirty seconds later when I received a text back, and I said to Murray, "Oh crap! I just woke up my mom!! She's texting me back at 3:00 a.m!"

Mom: I gotup because i thought u were going to hospital

Me: I wouldn't text you about the hospital!! But now I'm laughing so hard there are tears!

Mom: Brat. You got your dad up too. Im going back to bed.

Whoops. Now that I think of it, with an iPhone, it would have taken just as much effort to email her as it took to text her, and emailing her certainly wouldn't have woken up her or my dad.

Murray has a similar complaint. Every time I call him, he thinks that I might be in labor. So every phone conversation starts with, "I'm not in labor." But one of these times, I will be in labor! So he feels just as anxious every time I call him. The iPhone has a super obnoxious "alarm" ring that sounds like a prison alarm. We talked about making that the labor ring, but I can't figure out any way to rig that. I mean, if we had a land line, I could set his phone to the "alarm" ring for the land line and only use the land line when I go into labor. But I only have one phone at my disposal. So I guess it'll just have to be a surprise. One of these days, he'll get a call and I'll say, "I am in labor!!"

My guess is that that day will be December 28th. (Which actually is a Sunday, so I won't be calling Murray anyway because we'll be together all day.) Murray's guess is the 23rd. Does anyone else care to take a guess? (The official due date is January 4th.)

Well Meaning Old Man

So I swear I have blogged about this before, but after I was recently reminded of this story, I searched any key word I would have used in my blog post and could not find the post at all. So if this is a repeat, I sincerely apologize. If it's not, it's definitely a post that needs to be written down for all posterity. And if I could only get a few more old men to start reading my blog, maybe someone could actually learn a lesson.

Back when I was about 20 or so, I got into a great bread-making kick. I'd make homemade bread of different varieties about 3-4 times a month. On one of these blessed fresh bread days, I was running late for work, so instead of making my lunch, I just grabbed all the ingredients to make it at work. I can't even remember specifically what type of sandwich I was making anymore, but I know that it included two pieces of freshly sliced homemade bread, mayo, cheese, and some sort of meat.

As I was assembling my sandwich in the breakroom, an older gentleman was watching me. Once the sandwich was assembled, I sat down to enjoy it. This is the conversation that ensued:

OG: That looks like homemade bread!

Me: It is homemade bread. I made it last night.

OG: And that looks like real mayo!

Me: It is real mayo!

OG: Well, if your husband doesn't come right in here and take that seat beside you, I just don't know what I'm going to do!

Me: Oh, I'm not married.

OG: Your boyfriend, then.

Me: I'm not dating anyone.

OG: Well. I just don't know what's wrong with men these days. [Pause.] I bet you're from Montana!

Me: Uh... no. I'm not from Montana.

OG: Wyoming then!

Me: I'm from Canada.

OG: Of course! Alberta! That's great farm country!

Me: I'm from Northern Ontario.

OG: Oh. [Pause.] Speak French then?

Me: Yes.

OG: Oh. [Pause.] Well, you remind me of a stout farm girl from Montana!

[Let's take a moment to point out that I was not wearing overalls and I did not have my hair done up in a French braid, okay?]

OG: In fact, there's this great book, and you remind me of the woman in the book!

He went on to tell me all about the children's book Fanny's Dream, where to boil down the plot, I can tell you, a stout farm girl is waiting for a husband who is far above her in looks and social status and all that stuff, and she ultimately ends up settling for a simple (dumb) man who is sweet but, well, you know. Simple. And dumpy. Just like Fanny is herself.

So what part of all of that was supposed to make me feel good about myself? Being like unto a stout farm girl, or settling for a stupid husband because I can't get what I really want? I mean, yes, I subsequently bought the book because it was just too funny to have been compared to the herione, and I know that the take-home message isn't "settle for a husband" or anything, but still.

And I'm more than happy to note that many years later, I found a man who I didn't have to settle for, and who happened to be everything on my list and more. But come to think of it, I have never made homemade bread for my precious Murray, so maybe this stout, Montana-farm-like girl had better get a move on that, just to show Murray how much she appreciates him!

Things I've Done

I saw this list on my friend's blog and decided to do it, too, even though I don't typically do stuff like this. So I've bolded everything I've done in this list.

1. Started your own blog
(I think they just start with that to make you feel good.)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (at least I suspect it was...)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept overnight on a train (but I've slept overnight on a ship that was not a cruise ship)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (how do you define "ill"?)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (how have I never done this??)
26. Gone skinny dipping (I had to bathe at my cottage with no plumbing for a whole summer. When no one else is up at 5:30 and only the ducks are watching, the swim suit can come off!)
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden a gondola in Switzerland
29. Seen a total eclipse (of my heart)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (I'm sure I have at some point.)
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen Amish country
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (And Murray and I walked on Moonlight Beach by daylight!)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (And I will again and again!)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain (will put on my to-do list for next time it rains)
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (I think I did...)
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (if by “bought” you mean “paid my parents” and “new” you mean “I never owned it before”)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (I've been subpoenaed as a witness twice...)
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (almost...!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (if by "involved" you mean, I worked in a law office and did paperwork...)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee (if by a "bee" you mean "hornet")
100. One cavity or less (Yes, I have had one cavity or less in my lifetime. Currently I have more than one.)

Auto Pilot

Isn't it wonderful that my body knows how to make a baby? Isn't it wonderful that I don't actually have to know the science behind dividing cells, specializing, making lungs, liver, heart, blood, and guts? Seriously, because our baby would be in big trouble if I were in charge of putting him together myself.

See exhibit A. This is some work that I did for El Senor. El Senor provided me with a vector file of a body silhouette and a non-vector file of guts---the stomach, and the small and large intestines. And all I had to do was use the non-vector file to make a vector illustration of the stomach and guts to fit into the vector illustration of the body. (Sorry with my being all technical by using the word "vector"---let's just say that vector work is my specialty.)

So I made the guts and I put them on the body.

And then El Senor informed me that I positioned the rectum at the man's belly button.

Whoops! How was I supposed to know that's a rectum? But thanks to my auto pilot, our little developing baby will not poop out of his belly button.

Murray's Moments

Here are a couple of cherished Murray moments from the past week:


Remember the tiny jump drives that we got? One of the advantages of these was that they'd fit in a wallet. I carry mine in my wallet. Murray carries his on... our desk at home. How convenient! Anyway, when we were out for dinner earlier this week during one of our not-Disneyland adventures, Murray and I decided to head to Urban Outfitters. Murray said that he'd like to find a wallet like mine, which is really a card case. But you know. For men. And then that way he could carry his jump drive with him. So I told him that I really like my wallet, but part of the problem is that the springs aren't very tight, and so I am careful every time I open my wallet. Also, my jump drive isn't secured to anything. So I really really have to remember to be very careful every time I open my wallet, and if he could do the same, then he should get a masculine version of this wallet. But he shouldn't get one if always having to be careful would be annoying to him.

Then, giving him my wallet, I said, "Here. Give it a test drive. Open up the wallet and see if you'd find it annoying." He opened my wallet and my jump drive immediately fell into his drink.

I think that I can safely say that Murray failed his test drive miserably.

(Fortunately, one of the features of these jump drives that really appealed to Murray is that they can go through the washing machine and come out unscathed. You'll be glad to know that I've used my jump drive since that night, and it works just fine.)


A while ago, I was telling Murray that earlier in the year, when we taught the class that was one year older than the sunbeams, I was impressed that they all colored within the lines. Our sunbeams didn't. But now, it's the end of the year, and our sunbeams still don't color in the lines, so when does a child magically learn to color in the lines?

Murray then gave me a lecture about how coloring in the lines isn't necessarily better, but people just think it's better. And they tell kids that what they're doing is wrong. But kids should be allowed to express themselves without limitations and they should never be told that coloring outside of the lines is wrong. It stifles creativity.

So the other day we were at Murray's friend Peter's house. Murray and Peter grew up together. Peter has an adorable 3-year-old daughter. While we were there, she brought out some of Peter's old Star Wars toys---the very same Star Wars toys that Murray and Peter played with as children. And this is the conversation that I witnessed:

C: This is the bad witch. [Holding out The Emperor.]
M: That's a man. That's the Emperor. It's not a woman.
C: No, it's a girl! It's a bad witch!
M: But it's the Emperor, and the Emperor isn't a woman. He's a man!
C: But I'm pretending that she's a witch!
M: Okay. You can pretend. But seriously, just so that you know, it's not really a woman. It's a man. It's the Emperor.

And then I gently reminded Murray that we are not to stifle children's creativity by telling them to color in the lines or by telling them that the Emperor isn't a woman.

My Dream

A few things that you should know before you read about my dream:

* The Boy has a new home in a nice new complex.
* Murray and I looked at a house the other day that has a stand-up shower in the master bedroom.
* Murray and I were at the Gateway recently and I was watching people bravely walk through the fountain in the middle of winter.
* I still have GDS and last night was Murray's work's Christmas party and even though I ate most of my dessert I still didn't spike my blood sugar because I am all kinds of awesome.
* I did laundry all day yesterday and finally laundered a turquoise maternity top with 3/4 length sleeves that I have been looking forward to wearing.
* Murray and I recently bought a fake rubber leech to give to my grandpa for Christmas because it's pretty much exactly what he'd want to find in his stocking.

Okay. That's about all I can account for. Here goes:

I was over at The Boy's house and I looked in his master bathroom, and he had a deluxe standing-only shower, but it was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Not only did water come down from above, but there were jets placed around the base of the shower that shot water up from below, yielding the most deluxe luxury shower I've ever seen. I decided I wanted to try out his shower. But all of a sudden, the shower wasn't in his master bedroom. It was in the middle of his condo area. So I was disappointed that to enjoy the most deluxe luxury shower ever, I'd have to wear a bathing suit. But I was wearing a bathing suit and it was the greatest bathing suit I had ever seen! It was very retro and it was turquoise and it went really low on the hips and had a frilly skirt attached to it and it was one-piece and it actually fit my bust (which no other bathing suit has managed to do since puberty) and it looked darling, except that I hated that it had 3/4 length sleeves. I really wished it had no sleeves at all.

I don't remember experiencing the shower itself, actually. I think that by the time I was ready for it, the shower itself was closed. It was replaced by a large glass dome (about 5 feet tall and 10 feet in circumference) on which thousands of gourmet chocolates were artistically arranged. And so I started eating chocolates, avoiding the ones on the top of the dome, which had started to melt and had bird poop on them. And I ate my fill of chocolates.

But then I realized that I had to get home and the fastest way to get there was to run through a swampy field. So I ran through a swampy field barefoot, and when I got out of the field I thought that was dumb because it was probably full of leeches, and sure enough, there was a leech that was attached to my toe, so I had to get salt. So I went into the vacation home that my family was renting and El Senor and Reggie were in the kitchen and I asked them to give me the salt and they did, and it was a plastic, greasy salt grinder and I ground salt onto the leech and killed it.


Anyone care to interpret?

Not Disneyland, Part 2: A Screenplay

[It's 10:00 pm in the Terreno di Amore home. Cicada sits on the couch watching television. Murray comes downstairs towards her. She hears him as he comes.]

Murray: Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.

[Cicada fumbles for the remote and pauses her program.]

Cicada: What?

[Murray stumbles into the living room, holding his head.]

Murray: Oh no. Oh no.

Cicada: What happened?

Murray: I sliced my head open on the ledge of my drawing desk. I felt it go in deep. It's going to start bleeding a lot really soon.

Cicada: Oh! Okay. Um... let me help.

[Cicada and Murray go to the kitchen sink. Murray takes his hand away from the wound; two fingers are covered in blood. Cicada takes a paper towel, folds it in quarters, and applies it to the wound.]

Cicada: Should we go to the ER?

Murray: I could hear it slice into my head. I think I'm definitely going to need stitches. It's pretty deep.

Cicada: Okay. You go sit down. I'll call my visiting teacher because she's a nurse and she can tell us if we should go.

[Murray sits down and Cicada calls her visiting teacher.]

Cicada: Hi, Katie?

Katie (sounds groggy): Are you okay? Is everything okay?

Cicada: I'm fine. My husband cut his head on a desk and we were just wondering if we should go to the ER.

Katie: What does it look like?

Cicada: Hm. I haven't really looked at it. Let's see. [Removes paper towel from Murray's head. The wound isn't bleeding too badly.] Oh. It's about 3/4 inch long and the sides aren't touching... We should probably go to the ER, huh?

Katie: I hate to tell people not to go to the ER. Your biggest worry is that it would get infected. Since Instacare is closed, I'd go to the ER. Go to Orem Community because they're much less busy at night.

Cicada: Okay. Should I give him Tylenol or anything?

Katie: Don't give him anything, but you can put ice on it.

Cicada: Okay. Thanks. [Hangs up phone.] Okay, Murray. We do need to go to the ER.

Murray: Okay.

[Cicada gets an ice pack for Murray. Cicada and Murray leave the house together; Murray is wearing a t-shirt, pajama pants, and a nice grey blazer. Cicada is dressed as if she attended a fake funeral earlier in the day, which, in fact, she did.]

[In the car, driving to the hospital, Murray and Cicada begin to joke about their unexpected date to the ER and the events of the evening.]

Cicada: I think that I woke up my visiting teacher. She sounded pretty tired. Oh well. It's her job.

Murray: Do you think that she's ticked that you called?

Cicada: Uh, well, no. I mean, she's my visiting teacher. That's what they're supposed to do is be there to help and be called upon.

Murray: Yeah, but no one ever actually does that.

Cicada: Sure they do! You can ask your visiting teachers and home teachers to do stuff. That's what they're there for!

Murray: Yeah, but it's an unspoken rule that you don't actually ever take them up on their offer to help you if there's anything you need.

Cicada: That's so not true.

Murray: Yes it is. You're not supposed to actually ask them to do anything.

Cicada: I've always asked my visiting teachers or home teachers to do something for me if I needed their help. Like the one time that The Boy sat on my bed and it couldn't support both our weight and it broke. When my home teachers asked if there was anything they could do, I asked if either of them could weld metal. One said he could, and I told him that he could fix my bed for me! I gave him the broken parts and he fixed it! Or there was the time my grandma died and I called my visiting teacher at one in the morning to ask her to drive me and The Boy to the airport at 6:00 that very morning. This is how the system works!

Murray: Yeah, but nobody does that. At least it's not done here in Utah.

Cicada: You are a horrible person.

[The couple pulls up to Orem Community ER. They enter the tiny ER waiting/reception room. A mother with her son are ahead of them in line, checking in.]

Cicada: It's so funny waiting in line in an ER. No one ever seems to be in a big hurry.

Murray: I know! Don't they prioritize by the severity of the injury?

Cicada: Well, yeah, they probably do. But if you're waiting in line, they figure your injury isn't bad enough to warrant immediate care.

[Murray gives Cicada a skeptical look.]

Cicada: Well, it's true! If you had severed your arm, we wouldn't be standing here in line with me holding your severed arm. We'd get in right away.

Murray: I don't know. There's not many people around here.

Cicada: Yeah, but if I were waving around your severed arm, and we were yelling, people would come and help us immediately.

Murray: Oh, I know! You'd get immediate help if you came on an ambulance. You have to come by ambulance.

Cicada: You can drive up to the ER yourself and still get immediate assistance. Haven't you ever watched ER?

Murray: That's a dramatization and I don't watch shows like that.

Cicada: Well, people can just drive up, and they drag their friend's body through the doors and they yell, "Somebody help me! Help me!" If this were a serious injury, we'd be making a lot more noise.

Murray: But that's in places like Chicago.

Cicada: The same stuff happens here in Orem, too. Just on a less frequent basis. If we were making a lot of noise, we'd get service immediately.

[The receptionist finishes with the mother and son, and Murray and Cicada check in. They then go to their seats to wait and watch the Jay Leno show on TV.]

Murray: I hate that guy.

Cicada: Didn't you tell me yesterday that I have a prominent chin, but not a Jay Leno chin?

[Murray and Cicada intermittently watch the Jay Leno show, discuss whether or not they would choose to plastinate Murray's severed arm a la Body Worlds, and laugh about the fact that with Cicada's pregnant belly, everyone should assume that she's the one who needs to be in the ER.]

Cicada: Do you want me to take a picture of your head wound with my iPhone and then you can see it?

Murray: Yeah.

[Cicada takes a picture of Murray's head wound and then shows it to him. The couple laughs about the head wound. Others in the ER begin to get restless and ask when it's going to be their turn to leave. The mother and son are soon called away. Murray and Cicada are left alone in the room with one other ER patron, a plump young lady in her 20s.]

ER Patron: So why are you here?

Murray: I hit my head on the ledge of my desk and cut it open.

ER Patron: I figured you guys would be the first to be called in.

Cicada: Yeah... it's really not that bad. But we were wondering how people are prioritized.

ER Patron: This is a better place to come than Utah Valley Regional, though. The last time I went there, I waited for five hours.

Murray: Wow. This is lots better.

ER Patron: Yeah. [To Cicada:] When are you due?

Cicada: January 4th.

[They talk about the baby for a while until Murray and Cicada are called back to the ER. Back in the ER, a doctor and nurse inspect Murray's wound. They marvel at the amount of hair that has been mashed into the deep cut. They dig out the hair, disinfect the wound, and inject it with numbing agent to prepare for the staples. This is the most painful part, and Murray makes a face that communicates his pain and makes his insensitive wife laugh. The doctor inserts two staples into Murray's head, a la Frankenstein, and tell the couple they are free to leave as soon as they have their discharge/staple care instruction sheets. On their way out of the ER, Cicada generously offers to treat Murray to his copay. She whips out her wallet and pays the receptionist $200.]

Murray: Wow. Two hundred dollars.

Cicada: I know! We're slowly but surely spending all that money that we would have spent if we had decided to go to Disneyland.

Murray: I wouldn't have hurt my head and had to go to the ER if we'd gone to Disneyland. We could have had a wonderful day of fun and adventure at Disneyland for that amount of money.

Cicada: Instead we got to spend an hour in the ER. It's like Adventureland.

Murray: That is not my Fantasyland.

Not Disneyland

A few months ago, Murray's sisters announced that they were going to go to Disneyland for the first few days of December. Of course we were invited, but everyone basically understood that at that point, I'd be super pregnant and ready to burst at any moment.

Well, a little over a week ago, I realized that the trip was only a week away, and although I was pregnant, I didn't feel super pregnant, and I didn't feel as if I were ready to burst. I figured I'd be up for a trip to Disneyland. Murray loves Disneyland so much, and I really wanted the opportunity of going with him and his family and experiencing the park with him. (I went when I was 9 and was singularly unimpressed, to be honest. But I was ready for Murray to change my mind.)

So I told Murray that I figured we could go. I called the doctor and found out that 35 weeks was the cut off point for travel, and since I'd only be 34 weeks, I'd be okay to go. So we made plans to go to Disneyland, and we were really excited.

And then I went in for a diabetes appointment one week before we would have left, and I was reminded that I was actually 34 weeks. One week before leaving for Disneyland. Which would put me at 35 weeks when it was actually time to leave for Disneyland. Which is the cut off point for travel.

We went to the doctor's office the next morning for our regularly scheduled appointment and asked the doctor if it really was such a big deal for me not to travel at 35 weeks. And she said that she really couldn't recommend it. She said that we could go and be absolutely fine, or we could go and have the baby. She said that the choice was ours to make, but as our doctor, she had to recommend against it.

And Murray said that he'd bet money that I wouldn't have the baby while we were in California, but then we realized that we'd literally be betting $10,000 on it, because that's what it would cost to have an out-of-network baby.

So we canceled our trip. Poor, poor Murray. It's one of many sacrifices that we'll be making for this baby.

BUT, I figured that Murray needed a little getaway, not to replace Disneyland, but to at least make up for it in some small way. So yesterday we had a surprise date. I sent him to work dressed up in a shirt and tie and told him that we'd leave straight from work for our evening's activities.

After work, I picked Murray up and we drove together to Salt Lake City, where I took him to Madeline's, a steak house. Murray had recently decided that if he were able to choose his last meal, it would be a good steak. The decor of the steak house was very... not our style. There were animal heads mounted all over, and signs about cowboys. But our food was delicious!

After dinner, we headed to the Gateway to kill some time before the night's main (and still secret) event. When we headed back to the car, Murray was surprised that we weren't walking to the night's main event. He had guessed that I was taking him to a 3-D movie at the Planetarium. Nope!

We made our way closer and closer to the University of Utah and I started hinting at what we'd be doing. Within a couple of blocks of Kingsbury Hall, Murray finally figured out that we were going to see the Odyssey Dance Company's version of It's a Wonderful Life, Murray's favorite movie. I told him that it's a family tradition, since last year we went to Springville's local production of It's a Wonderful Life. Every year, we'll have to try and find a new adaptation of It's a Wonderful Life to see!

Murray is an excellent gift receiver, and he made me feel like I'd just given him the moon! We enjoyed the production very much and then had a nice drive back home.

So here is how our evening was like Disneyland:

* A themed restaurant with fake (or dead) animals.
* A Disney Princess---Sleeping Beauty. (See photo.)
* A show (Murray keeps telling me that Disneyland is not about the rides---it's about the shows).

Here is how our evening was not like Disneyland:

* Really good food for not too much money.
* No animatronics.
* About 1/5th of the expense.
* We didn't have a baby in the It's a Small World tunnel.

Murray my love, we'll make it to Disneyland soon!

Card Making

I meant to make Christmas card templates this year so that I'd be ready for the holiday season. It turns out that I should plan on having these done by September if I want to do them. So I'm missing out this year. But next year I'll be ready.

That doesn't mean that I can't make Christmas cards on demand. Here's the card that I made for El Senor to hand out to all his neighbors.

We were just sitting on the couch on Saturday and I was making cards for my sil's family, and a request was made to make a card for El Senor, but I didn't have a picture of him. So I just had to draw one. With one finger and a track pad, I would say this isn't such a bad job. And Murray, who did laugh at me when I drew the eye, then commented that it is actually very Picasso-esque. Murray can put a positive spin on anything.