Happy Halloween!!

It's my most hated time of the year. Please note that I'm writing this blog post in September.

I absolutely despise houses all decked out for Halloween more than a month in advance. And just in case you're wondering Kami, I'm not talking about the tastefully cute Halloween wreath you have on your door. (Heck, you had gingerbread houses all done up when I came into your house, so I know that you're all about the advance-prep for holidays!)

No, I'm talking about the house I saw in Orem this week that had a door completely covered in fake blood, with the words KEEP OUT. Also written in blood.

I'm talking about my neighbors a couple blocks away from me whose Halloween display assaults my eyes every year, especially since it goes up in SEPTEMBER. It consists of spider webs all over their bushes, skull lights along their walk way, a skeleton rising from the earth beside their shrubs, orange halloween lights EVERYWHERE, and (I think it's a new addition this year) a human-sized ghoul hovering beside their door.

I am not trying to be a joy killer. I know that lots of people out there love Halloween more than all other holidays! But are death and blood the kind of decorations that should be outside your house for an ENTIRE MONTH??

I would love to limit Halloween decorations to the night of Halloween, at which point they are completely appropriate and I give you full license to go as overboard as you like.

I will even be generous and allow people a week before Halloween, in case of any parties they need to host that don't fall on the NIGHT of Halloween.

Not in September.

And not for most of the month of October. Please, spare me.


Maybe it's the Canadian in me but September, in the middle of 90 degree weather, struck me as a really good time to buy Gulliver a full-on snow suit.

Now we just have to wait three more months to play, bud.

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

Call for Recommendations

I think that it's time for me to start thinking about potty training. More than likely it is still a little ways off, but I'd like to start reading up on what to do. Any book recommendations?

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

Gulliver Is on Shrooms

That was Murray's suggested title for this post. I would have chosen something more lovely like, "Gulliver in the Enchanted Forest." Either way, cute picture of a cute boy.

We're out in Maryland visiting my parents and today we took Gulliver to a petting zoo that we took him to last time we were here. There are cheesy, over-the-top, tacky elements to this place, called the Enchanted Forest, but that I think made things even more fun. Last time (in April) Gulliver wasn't old enough to "get" the Enchanted Forest part. He mostly liked the animals, to varying degrees. This time, he did like some of the Enchanted Forest stuff (like the mushrooms) and he also enjoyed the animals a little more.

Artie Fartie

The dialog between me and Murray right now.

Murray: I have a name that I'm about as set on as I was on Gulliver if we have a boy.

Me: Is it Silas?

Murray: No. It's Draco.

Me: Is it Alan Rickman?

Murray: No. Do you want to know what it is?

Me: Yes.

Murray: It's Arthur. Because we can call him Art. And Artie. And I'd just sit him down before we send him to school and say, "Okay. The kids are going to call you Artie Fartie. And that's just because they're kids and they are stupid and have no imagination. Do you know what a fart is? Anyway. Don't let it bother you."

Me: Are you kidding? I'll sit him down and say okay Artie. The kids at school are going to call you Artie Farty. When they do that, you punch them in the face, push them down on the ground, sit on their head and fart in their face. And ask, Who's farty now?"

Murray: You son of a bitch?

And then we said, "Who's farty now you son of a bitch" in a kindergarten voice. And laughed at how funny we are.

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

Just a Thought

So I'm not a total raging feminist who gets offended at every little thing, but I do have to say that it really bugs me when people talk about my doctor and say "he." It usually happens when I'm filling prescriptions, and actually the first few times it legitimately confused me because I assumed they must be talking about someone else, like maybe the pharmacist who filled my prescription. Not that I think all pharmacists are men, but I don't usually connect an out-of-context "he" with my female doctor.

I think that people just need to adjust to saying, "Your doctor stated that your son should take this twice a day," rather than "He said your son should take this twice a day."

(But just as a guilty admission, I always talk to people about their male printer. Like, "If your printer has any questions about this file or any problems at all, he can contact me directly by phone or email." I know I need to fix this.)

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

2 B Y

So this post is all about how brilliant Gulliver is. If you don't want to read it because he is the most brilliant baby in the world, I'll understand. But as a mother, I choose to fully exercise my boasting rights.


So the first story is a little personal to my family. Gulliver loves numbers and letters and we're practicing them all the time. Lately, he's been saying "2.... B.... Y....." And I've thought, "Huh. It's funny that he's mixing them up like that, but who am I to judge?"


The other night, Gulliver was a little more alert than usual as I was getting him ready for bed. Our ritual these days consists of Gulliver almost passing out in my arms as I carry him upstairs to his dark room. Then he cuddles me like that for a while as I rock him and sing to him. So a few nights ago, like I said he wasn't all the way passed out, and I was singing to him our nightly song, which is a Muppets Christmas song that is a family classic, "It's in Every One of Us." The second line of "It's in Every One of Us" is "to be wise." So I sang "tooooooo beeeeeeeee wiiiiiiiiise" and Gulliver sang "tooooooooo beeeeeeeee whyyyyyyyyy." And THEN I realized why Gulliver was putting that number and those letters together! He was singing his bedtime song!


Speaking of numbers and letters, here's a tally of the numbers and letters that Gulliver says lately:
two (two)
three (tee)
six (seesh)
nine (nine)
thirteen (teetee)
A (aye)
B (bee)
C (occasionally - see)
H (occasionally - aich)
I (aye!)
O (oh)
R (aaaayh)
Y (why)

When we're in the car, I'll often recite the alphabet and wait for him to chime in the letters that he knows. Lately, when I get to X I pause and hear nothing. Then I turn around to make eye contact with him, and he gives me the darlingest smile and says all slyly, "Whyyyyyyyyy." He's a charmer.


A couple weeks ago we were in Home Depot. I heard Gulliver saying, "Oh. Oh. Oh." I looked down, and he was pointing to the O in HOME DEPOT that was written across the handles of the shopping cart. GENIUS!

Later that night, we were shopping at Walmart and I handed him some dish rags that I was going to buy, and I heard him saying, "Nine. Nine. Nine." I looked down and he was pointing at an upside down 6 on the packaging. GENIUS! I flipped the packaging right-side up, and then he also identified the As on the packaging.


Another thing that we say to Gulliver on a regular basis lately is "Where ARE we?" We usually say this when we're almost to Grandma and Grandpa's house, but we also say it when we pull into our house, or if we pull into another exciting destination. Gulliver excitedly repeats, "We wah weee!" Sometimes with extra syllables, like, "Weee wa wa wa wa WAH we?" Well, a few blocks away from G & G's the other day, I asked, "Where are we GOING?" Gulliver thought about it for a moment, and then replied, "Bu pa!!" That's right. We were going to Bu pa's house. (Grandpa is maybe Gulliver's favorite person in the world. Never try to rip him from the arms of Bupa.)

And how is Gulliver going to use his smarts? To become an astronaut.

(Yesterday, Labor Day, Gulliver was DELIGHTED to go outside and discover this flag planted in our front yard. Best. Surprise. Ever.)

Since I'm Horrible At Writing and Sending Letters

To the owner/operator of our local Walgreens,

My husband Murray was in your store a few evenings ago. As he waited in line to purchase his items, two employees worked behind the counter. One employee said to the other (and it pains me to even write this), "I just had a brain fart." To this, the other employee responded by passing gas loudly.

I am bringing this to your attention so that you can have a much-needed discussion about propriety with your staff.


First Baby Appointment

We had our first baby appointment today. Last time, we didn't hear the heartbeat the first time, so I didn't get my hopes up this time, but we did! We heard it! It was 160. I can't find what Gulliver's heartbeat was, but I was able to find an old blog post that indicated it was over 140. So I guess we can't count on it being a girl for sure. We'll have to wait about 9 more weeks or so to find out.

This pregnancy will be a little interesting because as I mentioned before, we'll be paying for everything at 100%. For the self-insured, there is NO maternity coverage from any health insurance provider. Help will kick in if something goes wrong, but we can expect to pay for everything if all goes right. At least we got in on Aflac before they closed their supplemental policies to Utahns.

We love our doctor and are thrilled that our insurance situation won't get in the way of her delivering baby number 2. She's also willing to work with us to find ways to bring down costs. For example, if I have gestational diabetes again (which I probably will), I won't have to go to the diabetes center every two weeks this time. I was able to manage the whole thing with diet last time, so I know what I'm doing. I'll just report my numbers directly to my doctor instead of going to biweekly counseling. By the way, she's a family doctor, and I also have to say that I LOVE that our doctor is a family doctor. I highly recommend it. It's just nice that she knows all of us, and there's no separate pediatrician or anything. She's it. And she's wonderful.

The epidural is still a big $2000 question. Our doctor said, of course, that unless I prepare for natural birth, then it doesn't matter HOW much the epidural costs, I will pay it. Not that I was planning on NOT preparing. But still. I already feel like we'll just end up paying for the epidural anyway because right now the only reason for me not getting it is financial. And I'd love to be all passionate about natural childbirth and hop on that trend, but I still do NOT see the appeal of doing it naturally. Please feel free to weigh in. Tonight I bought Ricki Lake's book that changed Dooce's perspective on everything. I haven't made it past the forward yet, but I'm very very not convinced yet.

I think that the best way to go about it is to just dedicate a job, or a couple of jobs, to the epidural. For example, tonight, I need to work on a client's rush job. I don't expect this job to take me more than a few hours. So then mentally (or "physically") I can put the money from this job aside into an "epidural" fund. Three more rush jobs like this and my comfort is all paid for.

I'm leaning towards that solution.

ON THE OTHER HAND, $2000 is still $2000 no matter how I make it. And it's still $2000 I could spend on something else. Here is a list of things that cost $2000:
- two tickets to Europe (I'm being optimistic)
- two tickets to Hawaii + part of the hotel (I've never been)
- a 27" iMac (I don't need one, but STILL)
- an incredibly comfortable, perfect rocking/gliding/nursing chair so that I can take care of the new baby as comfortably as possible
- 4 iPads (no, I wouldn't buy 4 iPads. But STILL)
- 2.5 family trips to Maryland (maybe even 3)
- 6 (?) hours of relative comfort that previous generations lived without during childbirth

What would YOU do?

Gulliver Loves... DINOSAURS!

Lately Gulliver has been enjoying dinosaurs. This started, I think, when Murray got Gulliver a dinosaur toy with the tickets he won at the Nicklecade last month.

Although I don't think you should be able to "win" tickets if you're playing Skeeball like this:

Gulliver learns young that cheating gets you ahead.

Yesterday I headed off to the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point on a whim to meet with girlfriends, but alas, we didn't know it was two-dollar-Tuesday, which meant that the entire place was SWAMPED with moms and strollers. Since school has started, you really only got the too-young-for-school crowd, which made for a real mad house. Which is why we ended up going to the petting zoo instead. And I was the only one who stuck around for the 50 minute wait for the pony ride.

Anyway, Murray was happy that the dinosaur thing didn't work out because he realized he'd really like to come along. So today after Gulliver's nap, we took a family trip to the natural history museum (perk #1 of being self employed---the ability to go off and have spontaneous fun).

It was a little pricier than I was expecting ($10 for adults... I thought maybe $5.50) but I still agree with our choice to avoid the crowds. We practically had the place to ourselves (but Boobs McGee also showed up, and she was showing enough cleavage to count for at least five other women).

Ironically, the best dinosaur reaction we got of the day was to the huge T-Rex on the outside of the building, that we didn't have to pay anything to see. Still, I feel like the $20 we spent was money put towards Gulliver's education. He is now much more informed about dinosaurs.

I don't really think that Gulliver got the whole skeleton thing, except at the end of the exhibit when he bumped into this mammoth:

Of course, maybe he was just impressed with the drama of the gruesome scene before him...

Here are some more highlights from the trip:

Riding on the back of the "parents please do not allow children to climb on dinosaur" dinosaur.

Budding paleontologist, stepping on skull of discovery.

These dinosaurs are within 3 seconds of kissing each other. Gulliver's theory on the extinction of the dinosaurs is that they all just loved each other so much and got along so well that there was nothing more for them to learn in this earthly life and they all went to heaven where they belong.

So that concludes the summary of Gulliver's excursion to the dinosaur museum. Oh, and by the way, if you ask him, a dinosaur says "Rooooooooooooar!"

Art Weekend in SLC!

Nicole announced the Art Weekend in SLC today! Yay! This is an awesome opportunity to develop some skills you wish you had. The event sells out pretty quickly, though, so if there's a class you really HAVE to take, I would suggest signing up for it asap!!

Here's the full class offering this year. And you can go to the site for full info and sign-up!

Customizing Blogger Blogs
Illustrator 101 Basics
Illustrator: Creating an Identity
Illustrator: Making a Pattern
Illustrator: Pretty Paper Products
Party Planning 101
Photo 101 Basics
Photo Workflow
Photoshop 101 Basics
Photoshop Actions
Photoshop Elements
Sewing: Making Jeans Skinny
Sewing: Camera Straps
Studio Lighting
Tabletop Photography