Call for Help, Part 2

Okay. Here's another question. Does anyone out there have a baby gate that they're done using? I thought that there would be an abundance of used baby gates, but I've tried looking at Kid to Kid in Provo, DI, Craigslist, and KSL and I'm not coming up with anything. Weird, right? Anyway, we could go the Walmart route or the Babies R Us route, but I'd rather not spend $40 on a baby gate right now.

We don't want one that installs on the wall. For us, the type that would work the best is a pressure gate that you can squeeze a button near the handle to release it.

Gulliver LOVES climbing stairs, as of about a week ago, so please! Help us out if you can! (And are local!) (We're willing to pay about $15 for a used one.)


We went to Azùcar's to pick up hers and installed it, and it's perfect for keeping Gulliver off the stairs.

And then, last night, Murray walked downstairs in an half-asleep daze and fell over it, jacking up our wall and jacking up the gate. And jacking up his leg. It's like I'm sacrificing one baby's safety for the other's...

Call for Help?

Hello, readers. I have a question for you. In fact, I know that I have a couple of questions, but the other is another biggy and will have to wait for another day, because you'll all get so distracted by it that you won't answer my CURRENT question, which is:

I think that I can be a lot more profitable if I learn web design. Currently I know enough HTML to tweak blogger templates pretty well. But I would like to take an actual class on web design so that I can learn to build basic sites from scratch, and so that I can learn to make wordpress blogs because right now I have no idea.

I am not really open to learning on my own through web tutorials or what-not, so don't suggest any of those. I want an actual, local, paying-for class that I can take. (I'm too busy to learn on my own because something else will always come up that's "more important" but if I have a commitment and a schedule, I'll adhere to it.)

So what classes are there, and through what schools, in the area? I was thinking about the CHUM class at BYU that covers web stuff, but I don't know if I'll learn what I need/want to in that class. Any feedback? I'm happy to take a class at any of the local schools as long as it fits my needs. And the cost I'll be able to justify for the amount of work it will open me up to in the future, so suggest anything!

My baby! My precious baby!

Last night, Murray and I left Gulliver in the care of my parents (staying at my brother's house) in SLC so that Murray and I could have a work day today. (I'm taking a SUPER QUICK break to document this!) When we left, my mom had gone down for an evening nap. I kept waiting for her to call so that I could give her my instructions for caring for my firstborn, but she never called.

Finally at about 10:30 I called my dad to ask how things were going. My mom never woke up, so her nap essentially turned into a really early bedtime.

Anyway, Gulliver was awake when I called. He was being cared for by my dad and my brother Richie, visiting from Canada. This is a faithful transcription of all that was said:

Dad: Where is the diaper bag?

Me: The diapers are at the changing station in Bean's room. Same with the wipes.

Dad: Well that's a problem. [because Bean was asleep]

Me: Well, is he dirty? I usually don't change him in the middle of the night because he's asleep. I don't wake him up to change him. Is he awake?

Dad: Yep. He's awake. He's right here with me and Richie.

Me: I don't hear him.

Dad: He's right here.

Me: Is he stinky?

Dad: I think he stinks. How do I know?

Me: You smell his butt.

Dad: Well, I can't tell.

Me: He's probably not dirty then.

Dad: Well how do I know?

Me: Peek in his diaper.

Dad: He's wearing a onesie. I can't peek in.

Me: Take off his pants, pull the diaper away from his butt at the leg hole.

Dad: I don't see anything in there.

Me: Then he doesn't need changing. He's good to go.

Dad: Where are his pajamas? [He fell asleep early, too, so he was still wearing his regular clothes.]

Me: I put them in a stack on your dresser. Find his footed pajamas.

Dad: There's a pair of blue pants here. Is that it?

Me: No. You're looking for footed pajamas. They'll have feet on them. It's at the bottom of the pile.

Dad: Okay. Now how do I do this?

Me: Keep his long-sleeved onesie on. Then put his feet in the pajamas, put his arms in the pajamas, and zip it up.

Murray, to me: He's not going to like it.

Me: He may not like it.

Dad: Okay. That's done.

Me: I still haven't heard a peep from him.

Dad: Well, he's just being very quiet. Now what?

Me: Well, you'll have to put him down to sleep again. At this time of night, he'll probably cry about 30 seconds. But he'll cry. You can't be in the room or he'll keep crying. So he should either be in Richie's bedroom, and Richie can sleep on the couch, or bring the crib out into the main area outside your room and Richie can sleep in the bedroom. But then his crying might wake up the kids upstairs.

Dad: How long will he be crying that we need to be concerned?

Me: If it's more than 30 minutes. But it will more than likely be about 30 seconds.

So we wrapped up the conversation, and I was never fully convinced that my baby was even there since I didn't hear him at all. But as soon as I was done the conversation, I saw that my dad had sent me these photos. So I knew my baby was all cared for.

Welcome to Hamelot!

Last week I bought a 10-lb spiral cut ham, because I assumed that all spiral cut hams were supposed to be delicious goodness. Turns out, you're supposed to pay big bucks to get the good ones. Oh well. What this meant was that after one dinner of mediocre ham, I knew I'd have to make some navy bean soup. I've heretofore been a split pea soup person, but Murray has converted me to the navy bean soup camp. And I have converted him to the carrots-in-your-navy-bean-soup camp, since 1) the recipe I found calls for them and 2) I feel it my duty as a mother and wife to sneak vegetables into our meals. The first time I tried the recipe I put a package of carrot strips into the soup, which I enjoyed even though I'm not a huge carrot fan. But Murray felt it spoiled it. So tonight I begged him to give me one more chance, and this time I chopped up the carrots really finely in my nut chopper. And he approves. Phew! Deliciousness and nutritiousness for all!

But the point is that my whole HOUSE smells like ham, and I don't know when it will stop smelling like ham! I put the ham on the stove first thing this morning and just let it boil all morning. Then I cut it all up before church. I washed every dish and put the cut-up ham and broth into a sealed bowl in the fridge. (We have enough ham for at least three batches of this soup.) But it still smells like ham here...

Oh well. We had Murray's parents over for dinner. Usually we go over there on Sundays, but since our house accommodates four nicely (Steve and Cici are in Texas for the holidays) and since I was the chef of the night, dinner was here! It was really nice to have company!

So any tips on getting rid of food smells?

Not Bought

I didn't buy this jacket for $20 tonight at Target.

I did however buy a magenta coat. (Not pictured.)

After 8 good years I'm finally ready to get rid of my beloved purple coat. And I still love it but maybe the fact that it is a medium and I am not plays into it too. I'd rather give it to someone who wants it than give it to the DI. Any takers?

(it will make you happier than I am in this photo)

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Gulliver Loves

I feel like it's time for a good Gulliver post. He seems to change so quickly that I figure it's probably a good idea to start a regular post called "Gulliver Loves" so that I'm capturing the stuff he's loving and doing on a regular basis. Here's the list for what he loves lately:

Gulliver loves giving kisses. And it's even more adorable because he sucks his cheeks all the way in to do it.

Gulliver loves copycat. He'll copy us doing a monkey noise, saying mamma or dada (especially dada), clucking his tongue, and making kisses. The other day, we were at a store and I was holding him and I said "Oooooooooo" about something. Immediately Gulliver said "Oooooo." And then I started laughing. And then Gulliver started laughing. Sometimes we get him to try new things. Like if I snort like a pig, he'll clear his throat or cough. If he's really stumped and can't make the new noise, he'll just go back to clucking his tongue.

Gulliver loves the kitchen. This is where he is right now. I can hear him spreading all of my ziploc bags all over the kitchen floor. He also loves to shoot his toys under appliances and under doors. So I'll open my pantry to see a collection of blocks and toys. Or I'll open my laundry room to see the same. Or I'll lie down on the kitchen floor to fish toys out from under appliances with a hanger. What kills me, though, is when I catch HIM stomach-down on the floor, head to the ground, eying just exactly what it is that he's shot out of reach.

Gulliver loves the details. When I hold him, he'll find the freckles on my arms and poke them one by one. Or if he's sitting at a table and I need to entertain him, all it takes is one drop of anything out of place and he'll poke it and smear it till it's gone.

Gulliver loves bathtime. I'm having a couple of bathtime struggles, though, because lately, Gulliver loves to drink the water. Do other people go through this?? I KNOW there's urine in there. If the tub is filling with water, Gulliver will get his face right up to the faucet and take a drink of the fresh water, which I don't mind AS much.

Gulliver loves the open fridge and open dishwasher. If you crack these open, watch out, because Gulliver starts crawling towards you at top speed!

Gulliver loves climbing through things or into things. So open boxes are great fun. We've also found him in drawers and baskets. He has great fun climbing through the legs of chairs and tables.

Gulliver loves tucking his hands in. If you hold him, he'll often tuck his hands between his body and yours. This is especially adorable if you're rocking him to sleep, and it's a sign that he's getting very comfortable and ready to go down.

So I think that's a decent list right now of things he loves. And if you're looking for a Christmas tree update, here it is. It's been going well, but my beaded garland was barely within reach, so I documented this awesome moment from the other day. So now, pretty much the whole bottom HALF of my tree is undecorated. But the TOP half looks GREAT!

Almost Euphoric

Tonight I am completing the online course that I've been working on forever. No, I don't mean the online course I'm TAKING. I mean, the online course I'm CREATING, which is a whole lot more work than I ever anticipated. And I've been doing it in conjunction with writing a textbook. And now suddenly I have a new respect for all those high school teachers who wrote Independent Study courses back in my days as a student editor, when we'd all sit around and make fun of the instructors, and we'd hang up printouts of the most ridiculous quotes by these teachers. But I take it back! I take it all back! And I beg forgiveness of any teacher that I ever complained about or berated or mocked mercilessly! Because you know what? Sometimes you really are just writing or saying crap and it's because your brain has gone to mush and you can't even remember basic words anymore. I now understand the state of mind that the instructor must have been in when she stated that for her distance-learning swimming course, a bathing suit was optional! And I am willing to bet that 95 percent of these instructors were just like me. They probably had months and months to get the work done, but never did because they thought they had all the time in the world, and then they ended up doing the whole thing in a mad rush and lost their sanity. Because I know I have! Lost it! Just ask Murray about me losing it today about all the excess crap we have in our house and don't need. Which necessitated a trip to the DI to unload all the excess crap we've been carting around in our cars for I SWEAR almost a year. We have loads of stuff we don't need, and we've been too busy to take care of it! But we both sense a major purging coming on, within the new year.

Anyway. Tonight I have more or less wrapped up my online course. And tomorrow I can start laying out my content in InDesign to create the textbook. And one day this will all be over, and Murray and I will look back on this dark period of our lives (as we're bathing in liquid gold from all the money we'll be making of course) and laugh and talk about how crazy we were.

Mall Cut or Mom Cut, Part II

So I'm still trapped inside my computer. I'm hoping that I can wrap every major project up by December 14th so that December 15th, the more important but oft-forgotten December holiday, can be celebrated without stress. To celebrate my 29th year, Murray and I plan on a 2-night stay at Château Terre d'Amour, a members-only resort that boasts on suite parking, a fireplace, a jetted tub, live entertainment (including the Terre d'Amour shuffle), and a free babysitting service, which includes a special "sleep-in" service where your child is fetched and cared for in the morning. It is heaven, I tell you. Heaven.

But enough about that. Let's get back to the fact that I'm still under the gun and super stressed and overburdened. And since I haven't been taking proper care of myself, I feel my body is falling into disrepair. (What? Fast food and chicken nuggets don't keep you healthy?) And speaking of not taking proper care of myself and eating not-homecooked meals, on Saturday we decided to run out to a local Mexican restaurant. Since Gulliver was happy, it was best that we did it right away. So I just ignored the fact that I wasn't showered and wasn't wearing nice clothes. And was wearing no makeup and my hair looked terrible. I mean, I've been needed to get a haircut for over a month now, but I haven't had time to do this, so it's just been getting mangier.

We also had a booth at the Beehive Bazaar, mecca of all local cool people. And we had to take down our booth that evening. I thought I was okay because we'd have time to go home and I could get presentable before going to the BB for take down. But alas, we decided after our meal that it was best to stay out rather than try to go home just to turn around and go out soon after. So we found ourselves in Provo/Orem with a couple of hours to kill, and decided to take our annual venture to the mall. We went to Gap, where I found a totally cute shirt (for $22). But trying on said shirt just reminded me of how bad my hair was.

And then it hit me! We still had an hour to kill at the mall, and I could get a HAIR CUT! You know that I love me a good mall cut! So I found my nearest mall hair salon and got a cut.

And you know what? After that cut, which looked awesome, it did not even MATTER that I was not wearing makeup. Because I looked cool. And in my new Gap shirt (that I may or may not have worn every day since Saturday... but only for a few hours at a time) I looked very presentable, even hip.

Here are a couple shots of my new hair. Also? Totally new part. My mall hairstylist suggested a new part for me. And you know what? I like that in a stylist. So in case you're interested, check out Amy at Regis. She was awesome and made me into a new woman. So although I'm still stuck in a computer, I have really really fabulous hair. Really. Now I am a mom with a mall cut.

(Also, my hair looks darker in these photos because it's 1:00 a.m., and it kindof makes me want to dye my hair dark. I mean, I may as well, before I get pregnant again, right?)

(P.S., those purple lights above my head are my shoulder angels. One of them is telling me to go to bed. The other is telling me to stop blogging and send more proofs to my client.)

Help Me!

I feel like I'm going INSANE. All work and no Gulliver makes Cicada crazy. Murray and I needed to do some recording. We budgeted one big workaholic day for it, where we took Gulliver to Murray's parents' house. And then we worked like crazy working fiends!! Only to find out at 9:30 p.m. that all of our work had been in vain because we recorded everything at way too low quality. Yeah.

So Murray's mom was very kind and took Gulliver again today. My boy! My baby boy! Two days without my baby boy! (We picked him up last night and dropped him off this morning, and I'll be leaving in a bit to pick him up again.) But still.

I am almost done. I am two videos away from being done. And I can't for the life of me bring myself to do them. And I raided the freezer and found a hidden stash of frozen cookie dough and I ATE IT. I ate it, even though I've been sooooo good about this no-sugar thing! And I LIKED it, so there. But really. I'm going crazy. And to prove it, I thought I'd leave you with this very special clip. All the recording we're doing doesn't feature us on camera at all, but I thought I'd document my beautiful headset.