Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Video! Check it out!

The Foot and the Finger: A Tragic Story

I'm pretty bright.  I've never had a problem with school work, and I feel like I'm a creative person.  So, why is it that I'm often so lacking in common sense?

Last week, Grig was at work.  He is a 'fitter,' which means he places parts for welders, who then weld those pieces together.  He was cleaning up at work, with only ten minutes left to go.  He had been working with long pieces of steel called uprights that have a sharp end to them.  They are machine sharpened and cut, which means they are really sharp.  He had gloves on, and he wasn't paying too much attention and he pushed a bench underneath a fixture that one upright was attached to.  As he did so, his pointer finger went along the edge of the upright.  The upright sheared through the glove and into the knuckle of his finger.  It began to bleed badly.  However, because he was wearing gloves and the upright had been blunted a bit, the injury wasn't as severe as it could have been.  They got him patched up, and sent him home.

By Friday (yesterday) the injury was looking great.  It was closing up well, and it was no longer seeping fluid. Grig was quite happy with how well it was healing. We had a pleasant evening Friday night, and while Grig was getting ready for bed, I was showing Kevin how I could do headstands.  Kevin was quite impressed, though he came crawling at high speeds straight for my head and knocked me over.

I was impressed with myself as well, so when Grigg came out of the bathroom, I decided to show him my skill with a headstand.  I hadn't been able to do it since before I was pregnant.  So, Grig and Kevin sat on the bed, and in my hurry to do a headstand, it turned into a somersault. My legs went flying toward the bed, and Grig let out a loud cry.  "Jeez, Hun!"

My flailing heel had struck him right on his finger.  An instant later, he was in the bathroom. I had reopened his wound and it was bleeding profusely.  I ran quickly to get a paper towel so that Grig could apply pressure to his finger.  I also grabbed iodine and bandages.  Soon, the bleeding stopped, we disinfected, and reapplied dressing.  It was very exciting, and I felt really bad.

Unfortunately, I also have an unusual ability.  Most people say things like, "You know, in 220 years this will seem really funny...."  I say, "You know, this is kind of funny now...."  I am able to see the humor in a bad situation while I'm still in the middle of it.  Usually, I try to keep these thoughts to myself because most people don't like to hear how funny something is when they're in a lot of pain.

However, the thought of my epic failure and the flailing feet with their precise impact now makes me smile a bit.  At least it makes a good story.

On a further note:  WE ARE POSTING A NEW VIDEO TODAY!  It's not the 1st, but since the 1st is tomorrow, and tomorrow is Sunday, we decided to post tonight. It's a trailer for a (fake) movie coming out in Winter of 2013 called When the Vacuums Came.  It might possibly be our best video yet.  It's based off the fact that Kevin isn't scared of anything...except vacuums.  I'll post a link on the blog with it later at 7:00 p.m. MST.  Look forward to it, it will probably make you laugh.

Also, Kevin is walking!  He has gone from making clumsy steps to deliberately walking from place to place.  He still falls frequently, but sometimes he catches himself and keeps going.  He's awesome!

Friday, August 30, 2013

LIfe Without a Microwave

I've had a microwave my whole life.  My parents always had one, and when I went to college the apartments were already furnished with one.  I've never really thought about not having one.

On my wedding night, my new husband and I came home to our new apartment with the leftover fried chicken, tired and hungry after a long day only to find that our new apartment didn't come with a microwave.  We ate some chicken cold and that was that.  The next morning, that was the first purchase we made as a newly married couple.  We bought a microwave.

When my husband was hired at his new job, we came and looked at the apartment.  Both my husband and I were relieved to have a larger microwave there, and I thought I saw it hanging over the sink.  So, we decided to give our microwave away to my brother and his fiance as a wedding present.  We wouldn't be needing it anymore. 

However, to our surprise when we moved in, there was no microwave there!  Both Grig and I could have sworn that there was one, but we decided not to worry about it.  We would start a microwave fund and buy one again when we had the money.  Things were pretty tight for a while though, and two weeks later, we still didn't have money for it. 

Have you ever lived life without a microwave?  It's kind of hard, but as my Grandfather reminded me, they didn't used to have microwaves at all.  I learned to reheat everything on the oven.  I had twice as many dishes because I'd remove the Tupperware from the fridge and then I'd have to put the food in a pan to reheat it.  I used to just be able to put the Tupperware in the microwave and be ready to go.  For a couple weeks, it was a pain and then I began to get used to it.  We probably could have gone on indefinitely without a microwave, except for one thing.

Microwave popcorn.

I love microwave popcorn.  I eat it quite frequently.  When I was pregnant I ate it even more frequently, but it still is one of my favorite snacks.  I could figure out how to cook anything without a microwave except my popcorn.  Its loss made me sad.  But I could endure, no matter how hard it was. 

But don't worry, the story has a happy ending.

A couple weeks after we moved, I received a call from my cousin.  They were in the process of moving, and the apartment we were moving into already had a microwave (for realsies).  She asked if we wanted her.  I am pretty sure that the Spirit told her to call us, because there was no reason why she would think we didn't have a microwave.  We told her we would love one, and a couple weeks later, we were able to go and pick it up!

I'm grateful to my cousin and to the Lord for providing us with a microwave when we didn't have the means to get one ourselves.  It just makes life a lot easier.  I don't regret the skills that I learned in those four weeks though.  I now can cook without a microwave, and we found out that fried quesadillas as so much better than microwaved quesadillas. 

Guess what the first thing I made with the microwave was when we finally got it home?

You guessed it. 

Microwave popcorn.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Top Ten Injuries in My Life: The Weird, Wacky, and Serious

Top 10 Injures of Emma Tank

Here's the post I know you've all be waiting for.  In my life I've never had a broken a bone or, until recently, stitches, but I have been injured in some very unusual ways.  We're going to count from a more mediocre type of injury to the strangest injury of all.  Remember these aren't listed by severeness of injury, but how unusual they are. See if you can top my list!

#10 -Run and Fall

It's seventh grade.  We're playing tag at recess when the bell rings.  Excitement is high in the air as someone yells, "Race you inside!"  Swarms of children run for the door, and I'm in the middle of it all.  Suddenly, my foot catches on a rise in the sidewalk and I trip!  It wasn't really a big deal.  I got back up and brushed off my pants.  However, my friend points to my head and yelps.  I put my hand up, brought it down, looked at it, and said, "I think I may be bleeding," in a completely calm voice.  My friend says, "We've got to get you to the nurse's office!"

Quickly she led me down the hall, but I wasn't really in a hurry.  It didn't hurt and I wasn't too worried about it.  However, when the nurse saw it, she called my Mom and sent me home from school.  It turned out I'd split my eyebrow open.  Mom thought about taking me in for stitches, but when she put a butterfly bandage on it, it looked fine.  I still have a scar, but to this day I love my reaction.  Not a very severe injury, but I still find it humorous how everyone else was so much more freaked out about it than I was.  

#9 - Backstage of Robin Hood

High School Junior Year.  I'm in the summer musical Robin Hood.  How many of you even knew that was a musical?  I was playing the role of the Sheriff's wife.  One day, during our dress rehearsal, I was walking backstage and I walked past a metal bed frame that was sitting on its side with its legs sticking out in my path.  It was dark, so I didn't see it until I hit it. I scraped my hand on the edge of one of the legs and the next thing I know, blood is running down my hand.  I came out and 'my husband', the Sheriff, freaked out.  He ran quickly to find some bandages.  The bed had torn a one and a half inch chunk out of my hand.  We bandaged it up, and eventually I stopped bleeding.  We decided stitches wouldn't do any good, because it wasn't a chunk.  It was a hole.  For the next couple of days, I had a bandaid on the back of my hand under the sleeve of the dress I was wearing.  Luckily, it was a long-sleeved dress and it covered it.  

To this day, I have the neatest scar on my hand that looks just like the Nike symbol.  

Just do it.

#8 - Truck Jumping

College.  I'm working two jobs and going to school full time.  One of the jobs is working at the zoo, which I loved!  One day, I was helping load branches into a truck so it could be hauled to the dump.  As we finished, I jumped off the truck and landed wrong on a branch.  I heard a loud pop as my ankle went sideways.

Now understand, when I get hurt, I usually don't make noise, so the other employee didn't realize anything had happened.  I kind of stood there for a moment, and then leaned on the truck and we got the last little bit finished.  Finally, he said, "Okay, I'll be back!" hopped in the truck and took off.  I didn't think my ankle was broken, and I had other things to do, so I limped away.  I mowed lawns for the next four hours.  Then, when I finished working at the zoo, I had an appointment with this lady that I was going to pet-sit for, so I got in my car, drove fifteen minutes and arrived at her house.  Then, as she showed me around her house I limped up and down stairs.  I don't think she noticed I was injured, but by this point I was in a lot of pain.

The car ride had allowed my ankle enough time to stiffen up, and now it was throbbing.  We walked up and down some more stairs, and then I bid her farewell.  I then drove another fifteen minutes home, and when I got there, I plopped down on the couch and tried to pull off my steel-toed shoes.  As they say in the Grinch, "The Emma's small ankle grew three sizes that day!"

My grandparents, who I was living with for a little while, told me I was crazy and quickly got some ice for my ankle.  It was just sprained, so I limped around for about a week and then it was all better.

I did get chewed out (mildly, he's was very nice) by my boss for not reporting the injury.  But really, I didn't want to bother anyone.

#7 - Staple Job

My grandparents own apartments in a college town, so I grew up learning to work hard.  Every summer since I was 11, I would go to with my dad to work on apartments.  I'm sure I was really helpful at that age (sarcasm), but I am very grateful for the opportunities I had to do so.  It taught me how to work and it helped me earn money during the summer.  However, I was a bit clumsy (if you couldn't tell from the entries so far).  I think that some summers they spent as much as I was worth fixing things that I broke.  

One summer in particular, I was learning how to put down carpet.  We'd already ripped up the old stuff, and we were putting down padding.  My aunt gave me a staple gun and told me to staple down the padding.  She showed me how far apart to put the staples and left me to my own devices.  

I looked at the stapler.  My mind worked furiously, wanting to do this right.  It was a 'gun' right?  So, you must pull it like a trigger!  I put an end down on the floor, and the handle was facing the ground.  I put the other end against the palm of my hand, pushed really hard and pulled up on the handle.  Anyone who has ever worked a staple gun could probably tell you what happened next.  The staple gun worked fine.  The problem was, I had it upside down.  A 1/2 inch staple became deeply embedded in my palm.  With a staple gun, you put the opening to the ground, and push (not pull) down on the handle.  

I lifted my hand and gazed in consternation at my palm.  The staple so so deep that the crossbeam of the staple was even making an indent on my palm.  "Dad?" I said.

He quickly came over.  "Let me see," he commanded.  Then, without further thought, he reached over and pulled the staple out.  

"Ow," was my response.  

"Go rinse it in water until it stops bleeding," he told me, and I obeyed.  I went over to the sink and as I stood there, the edge of my vision began to change.  

"I think I'm blacking out," I told him.  So, he told me to sit down.  I did, and in a few minutes I went back to stapling...the right way.  Though I was always a little cautious about staple guns after that.   

On the plus side, the girls whose apartment we were fixing were so impressed that I only said 'Ow', that they baked me cookies the next day.  I always thought it was funny that they were impressed by that, but didn't think I was an idiot for stapling myself in the first place.

#6 - The Dog Who Loved Too Much

My first dog was nuts.  Certifiably.  I loved her, and I tried to take good care of her, but she was nicknamed Houdini for a reason.  She was a lab mix, and when she had been growing up, she had been a free-ranging farm dog.  Her owners moved into town and could no longer keep her, so my dreams came true!  I received a dog.  The problem was, she was so used to roaming that she wanted to continue to do it.  Maybe I'll do a blog on her another time, because that's not the point of this story.  

She was a great kid dog.  She was very gentle and sweet to them, and she loved me.  One day, I came out to play with her.  She was excited and jumped up to greet me as she often did.  Instead of a lick, however, her teeth accidentally snipped shut on the end of my nose.  Startled, I raised my hand to my face to find it covered in blood.  I quickly ran inside.  I was crying, but not because I was in pain.  I thought we were going to have to put my dog down, even though it had been an accident.

My parents reassured me that wouldn't happen and took me to the hospital.  I bled the whole way.   When we got there, we waited for a while, and then they looked at my nose.  It was cut open on the end of one of the nostrils, and they told us that we couldn't sew it because it was too close.  Instead, they gave me a tetanus shot.  Just before they inserted it, my dad said, "Don't worry.  It hurts only a little less than a chainsaw."  For some strange reason, I jerked when they stabbed me.  I think that made it hurt worse.  

Thanks, Dad.

#5 - In a Hole in the Ground....

This story only happened about three years ago.  I was in college, walking with a group of friends after a nice day.  It was dark, and we were heading to some guys' apartments to hang out and we were talking and having a good conversation.  I was talking and laughing too, when suddenly my foot shot through the ground and I found myself lying on my face in the grass.  When I disappeared, the group turned around to find me.  

It turned out that a manhole cover in the middle of the grass had been loose.  It was dark, so I hadn't seen it, and I just happened to step on the edge of the cover, which made it tip and allow my foot to fall in the hole.  My leg was a little scraped up, but how weird!  I feel like things like that only happen to me.  We laughed a lot, and then we kept going after making sure the cover was on securely.  

Wouldn't want some one else to fall down a manhole. 

#4 - Birth is Fun

For those of you who have not had children yet, you may not want to read this one.  Kids are wonderful.  Birth is not.  However, most birth is not as bad as my experience was.  Keep that in mind. 
This probably won't happen to you.

When, I was pregnant, my water broke around 9:45 on a Tuesday night, and my husband and I rushed to the hospital.  Grig was running around panicking, but eight hours later, we didn't know why we'd hurried in the first place.  At 7:30 a.m. the nurse informed me that I was dilated to a 9, and the baby would be arriving soon.  My mom texted me, and I told her the news.  However, at 8:30 a.m., the baby hadn’t moved down any more and so the nurse told me that we should start pushing.  I pushed for two hours.  The nurse told me at the beginning that most births for first-time mothers take 1-2 hours and so I shouldn’t expect him to come quickly.  However, after two hours there hadn’t been any progress.  At first the pushing wasn’t so bad, though at one point I did throw-up.  The nurse gave me some mouth wash, and strangely my throat stopped hurting.  However, around 10:30-11:00 a.m. the nurse decided to send for the doctor because the baby wasn’t really moving down.  Another hour passed and the nurse told me that there were two options.  One: the doctor would try to suction him out if he wouldn’t come on his own.  Or two: we would probably have to have a c-section.  Immediately, I said “No, let’s not have a c-sections.”  I wanted to have lots of babies, and I so I wanted to be able to naturally deliver my babies.  

That’s when the epidural began to wear off.  I don’t know why, but I think it was because I needed to have a c-section , and the only way it was going to happen was if I really wanted the baby out.  The pain was extraordinary, though Kevin kept going strong through the whole thing.  He was never in any distress, which is probably why the doctor took another hour to come.  Finally, about 12:30, he showed up.  After reaching inside to check the baby, he tried to manually turn him, and I ended up ripping.  As I was gushing blood and feeling every second of it, he quickly grabbed a needle and began sewing me up.  Meanwhile, very strong contractions were continuing, and I desperately wanted all the pain to stop.  I had hit my limit.  He asked me at one point if I wanted him to numb the area, and I told him to just get it over with.  I said something funny around that point, and the nurse commented that at least I hadn’t lost my sense of humor.  

He sewed me up and told me that the baby was facing up, which was part of the problem.  However, I also had a ridge of bone on my pelvis that was preventing the baby from coming out.  He recommended that we do a c-section.  At that point, I just wanted the baby out safely, so I said, “Okay.  Let’s just do it.”  He also informed me that this would probably mean all of our children would have to be delivered via c-section. 

Soon, the anesthesiologist came up and increased the drugs on my epidural, and I finally went peacefully numb.  They then wheeled me into surgery and placed me on a table.  They put up a sheet so I couldn’t see (to my great disappointment.  I kept asking Grig how thick my fat layer was because when I had worked at the vet’s I had often seen cat’s fat when we spayed them, so I was wondering how thick my fat layer was.  Grig just thought I was high from the anesthesia).  They worked quickly, and though I felt a great deal of pressure, there was little pain.  

Soon, however, I heard a very different sound.  At 1:21 p.m. on Wednesday November 28th,  Kevin began to cry.  Grig said he was green and all sorts of other colors, but though I wanted to see my baby, they told me I had to go to the recovery room first.  They sewed me back up, and Grig went with Kevin (at the Doctor’s insistence). 

And that's the story of how I got my first stitches.

#3 - My Friend, the Boa

When I worked at the zoo, there was a really nice boa constrictor (large snake) there.  She was extremely calm, and I loved taking her from her indoor inclosure to the outdoor one.  

One day, I had just finished feeding the birds, and I washed my hands and went to take her out of her cage.  For a moment, I forgot she wasn't a dog.  When you approach a dog, you are supposed to hold your hand out palm down so they can sniff you.  When you approach a snake, you are supposed to start from the tail and then move up.  I approached the boa toward her head through some of her fake plants.  She was hungry, and all she knew was something warm was approaching her quickly.  She lunged, clamping her jaws on my left pointer finger and thumb.  

Startled, I jerked back and she let go, surprised.  I don't remember closing the cage or crossing the room to the sink, but I did.  Next thing I remember is running water over my hand.  My finger began to swell abominably.  Now before I go on:  Boa Constrictors are not poisonous.  My finger was swelling because the entry holes were tiny, and so the blood had nowhere to go.  My finger was simply bleeding under the skin.

I continued to wash both my finger and thumb until the bleeding stopped.  Then, I put on antiseptic and bandaged myself back up.  Then, I went back to the very surprised and confused snake, took her out of her cage and carried her outside.  I think that she was just as startled as I'd been.  I was confused at the pattern on my hand, and I looked up boa constrictors on the internet when I got home.  Turns out that they have two rows of teeth on the top, and one row on the bottom.  The teeth are very tiny and needle sharp. 

A couple of days later, my finger was hurting when I put pressure on it.  As I examined it, I found a very small clear object about the size of a sliver embedded in my finger.  Turned out that when I had jerked my hand back, I had pulled out some of the snake's teeth.  I had several teeth in my finger and I worked on pulling them out for the next two weeks.  My finger healed fine, but now I have a cool scar.

Do I still like snakes?  Well, we have one as a pet now, so what do you think?

#2 - Sea Turtle are Sweet

How can it get any weirder you ask?  Just wait.

During our honeymoon, we went on a cruise to the Caribbean.  We went to several islands, but one of my favorite was the Grand Caiman Islands.  While there, we decided to visit a Sea Turtle Farm.  If you've never seen a baby sea turtle, those things are adorable.  When you hold them away from you, they try to swim, but since they're out of water, it looks like they're flying.  To calm them, you stroke them gently under their chins, and they relax.  It is adorable.  They get this little blissful look in their eyes like a contented puppy.  We went to progressively older turtles.  

In the 18-month pen, we were allowed still allowed to catch them and pick them up.  I did so, but the turtle I caught was really pretty big.  He was at least 35-40 pounds.  I had him on his side and was stroking his throat trying to calm him down.  He was really strong and heavy.  It was awkward trying to hold him and stroke his throat at the same time, but I was waiting for Grig to take a picture.  It seemed to be working.  The turtle calmed down and stopped struggling.  I remember looking at his face and watching as he kind of eyed me for a moment.  Then suddenly, he struck.  With a slapping sound, his front fin hit me square in the left eye.  I was blinded for a moment.  He hit me really hard.  I petted him for a few more seconds, and then I let him loose.  My eye hurt for the rest of the day.  It turned out that he had cracked my contact lens all the way through.  When we got back to the boat, I wore my glasses for nearly the remainder of the trip.  However, while we were still there, I put on the sunglasses because my eye was a big photo sensitive.  After the trip, we went to an eye doctor, and they said that they'd never heard of anyone coming to see them because of that.
As a side note, later we had turtle soup.  It was quite good. 

(In this picture, you can see how red my eye was.  This was taken after I was whacked.  This turtle is also half as large as the one that whacked me.)

#1 - How Did I Manage That?

And finally, the injury you've all been waiting for!

When I was four, we were going to visit my grandparents.  While we waited for my parents to finish packing up, I was playing with the front window in the car.  Suddenly my parents heard me screaming, and i came in with blood running down my chin and my lip was beginning to swell up.  They put a cold washrag on my face to stop the bleeding and rushed me to the hospital.  I didn't need stitches, but my lip was so swollen that for one or two weeks I could only drink soup out of a straw, and I couldn't eat anything else.  What happened?

I had rolled up my lip in the car window.  Stick out your lower lip.  See how far out you can get it.  Now try to stick it in a window.  Hard right?  The worst part of this story was a manual roll up window.  It wasn't even automatic.  I rolled up the window on my own lip manually.

As far as I can figure, this is what happened.  We were playing a game, and I rolled up the window until only a little gap remained.  Then, I pushed my lip through the gap.  Then, without taking my lip out, I went to roll down the window.

I rotated the handle the wrong way.  Instead of freeing my lip, my lip was crushed by the glass.  Painful?  Yes.  However, as I became older, I thought it was something I had dreamed or made up.  I checked with my mother, and yes, it really happened.

Now doesn't that beat all?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kevin is a Lady's Man

Ever since Kevin was first born, he has been a little lady's man.  As soon as he was socially aware, he would flirt with everyone he met.  When he was smaller, women would say hello to him, and he'd tuck his little chin in, give them a 'shy' smile, and bat his eyelashes.  It was pretty adorable.

Then, when Kevin was only a few months old, he met a little girl at church.  By his own instigation, (I didn't help or encourage in any way) he reached over and grabbed her hand.  She tried to get away, but he was determined to hang on.  Soon, he was trying to hold hands with every little girl he met.

Boys, on the other hand, were meant for wrestling.  Kevin is pretty gentle with babies who are smaller than him.  In fact, he has surprised me on more than one occasion where he is crawling toward a little baby, and I jumped up to stop him from attacking them.  However, instead of trying to claw out their eyes, he settled back on his rump and just sat watching them.

When the baby's bigger though, there are no rules.  Kevin thinks they can take it.  He climbs on top of them, pushes them, steals toys from them, and generally acts like a little boy.  He's not purposefully mean, and usually boys play right back.  Sometimes, he gets a little rough with older girls, but usually they win.

At my brother's wedding the other day, he and his new wife had their first dance, and then they invited everyone else to dance with them.  While Grig and I danced together, Kevin made the rounds with one single woman after another.  He had a great time, and he helped some nice ladies feel less lonely. 

Pretty good for an eight month old.

As Kevin nears nine months, it's hard to believe that he is growing up so fast.  My aunt made the comment that now he's been outside of my stomach as long as he was inside.  Weird!  Time seemed to pass so much slower when he was inside.  I know as he grows up, we're going to have to keep an eye on him.  He's cute, and he knows it.  We don't want him breaking too many hearts....

At least, not before he turns five.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cockroach: MENACE or Misunderstood?

Cockroaches: MENACE or Misunderstood?
From my childhood, I have heard of a creature that cannot be stopped, that is impossible to kill, and that reproduces at an astronomical rate.  Stories abound that this creature would even be able to survive a nuclear blast.

This almost sounds like a mythical creature, and, in a way, it was to me.  I grew up in one of the few states that has no native species of cockroaches, and if there were any, I never saw them.  However, we had heard of them, and we were very careful when we bought things from people to leave the boxes outside in the cold for a day or two just to be sure we didn't become infested.

So, a month or so after we moved into our new apartment, I was startled to see a small creature in the sink that looked like the dreaded menace.  Quickly, I squished it.  However, the next day, my husband announced that he had found another one and that it definitely was a cockroach.

Not having dealt with cockroaches before, I did what every self-respecting American would do:  google it on the internet.  I could have immediately reported it to my manager, but I didn't want to be a bother, and I wanted to see if I could take care of the problem myself before I went to someone else.  What I found surprised me.  Are you ready for this?  Cockroaches aren't monsters.  They're just bugs.

According to some of the experts, the cockroach menace is completely manageable, but some people (particularly pest control) thrive off of the abhorrence that people have for this small bug.  From looking at pictures, I figured out that we had a  couple German Cockroaches in our home.  According to a couple experts, cockroaches are a useful creature in their natural habitat.  They help get rid of  garbage in the environment.  However, in a home without proper cleanliness, they can quickly turn into a problem.  Some of the stories horrified me, but others made me laugh.  I won't relate the gross stories here (unless someone wants me to add them in the comments), but one of the stories was about a scientist who spotted a cockroach on his table at a restaurant.  Instead of killing it, he put a small drop of wine (about as big as the bug) on the table.  The bug quickly drank it up and then went and hid behind a painting on the wall.  A few minutes later, it came back out and he gave it another drop.  It drank that drop too, and then went and hid again.  As they watched, the bug presently fell from the wall and began to spin in circles on the floor, obviously intoxicated (

After reading these accounts, I came to a shocking conclusion.  Cockroaches are just bugs.  I've seen stinkbug infestations as bad as cockroach infestations.  Cockroaches might be resilient, but I've killed more than my fair share, and they've died.  Cockroaches aren't evil or good, and some are quite beautiful.  Don't believe me?  Well look below.  I think these are pretty bugs.  Click on the pictures to read the article about them.

The internet then instructed me to make sure that there was no food out in the kitchen, but more importantly, that there was no standing or leaking water.  The sources I read explained that even though bugs can survive for a long time without consistent food, if cockroaches don't find water within a week they will die.  I quickly cleaned every surface I could and put everything away.  Our home, which wasn't really dirty before has become spotless.

After talking to my mother about the problem, I did inform the manager that we had spotted a few, and she immediately called the exterminator.  They came yesterday and put a little borax poison down in the hinges and sprayed around the baseboard.

They informed me that though there was no sign of roaches in our home, there were a couple other apartments in our complex that wouldn't be able to completely rid themselves of this pest until they were cleaned.  Meanwhile, we will continue to put our food completely away.  As much as I am now looking at cockroaches in a more realistic, non-panic-stricken way, I still don't want them on my shelf or in my home.

Old fears die hard. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Walking to Church: The Big Adventure

Sunday we faced a dilemma.  Grig's brother needed to take our car to get to his single's ward from 9-12, and our church started at 11.  So, we decided to walk.  When we had first moved into our new apartment, the manager had told us that their was a shortcut to our building, which was good, because in order to get to it by road, you had to drive 5-6 blocks.  We could have walked that, but we preferred a straight shot of only two blocks.

We dressed up for church, settled Kevin on Grig's shoulders (his favorite position) and took off.  I had looked at a map before we left, so I was pretty sure I knew which direction to go, but we didn't actually know where the shortcut was.

As we walked down the street, I saw two young women sitting next to their car.  I worried that they were trying to replace their tire, so I asked them if they needed help.  Unfortunately, they weren't changing their tire, they were smoking.  At my question, they looked confused, as though they weren't sure how I could help them with that.  Quickly, I explained that I thought they were changing their tire and we continued on.  Being awkward is great!

We reached the end of the cul-de-sac and luckily (coincidence, I think not) some members of our congregation just happened to walk out of their home at that moment.  They showed us where the little path was. It skirted someone's fenced-in yard and edged around a drop off into the river.  It was a very narrow corner and we had to walk single-file and hug the fence so we didn't fall into the river.  It was pretty awesome.  Then, we just walked along a little worn path through a clearing to the church parking lot.

Kevin loves to be outside and on walks, so even though we were in our church clothes (and my shoes were killing my feet) he was having the time of his life.  We made it on time, and now we can walk to church in just 10 minutes.

It was really nice that our neighbors could show us the way.  Church was nice and we met some new people.  Moving to a new area always makes going to church a little scary because you have to meet new people, but our congregation seems really nice.  Afterward, we walked home.

Now we are pros.  We are probably going to walk every least until winter hits.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of babysitting our neighbors' daughter.  Kevin just loves her.  She is two, so she is at least a year older than him, and very sweet.  One of my viewers (Sarah) the other day commented that in some ways the balance of being a mom becomes easier when you have two kids.  I decided to see if she was right.

She came early in the morning, and was still sleepy.  Kevin was already awake, but she seemed like she wanted to go back to sleep (and her mom told me that she commonly sleeps until 10-11, so I turned off the light and took Kevin back to our bedroom.)  Kevin didn't think he was tired, which was a good thing because about ten minutes later I heard a quiet "Mom?"  I got up, and went out to find the little girl (who we will call Angela) standing next to the front door trying to get out.  She had two large tears running down her cheeks, and my heart broke for her.

I gathered her up in my arms and brought her to where Kevin was, we read a story.  After that, she seemed to feel better.  She asked me when her Mommy was coming, and, not being one to lie to kids, I told her that her Mom would be back in a long while.  Meanwhile, while she and Kevin played in his room (to Kevin's delight) I began to get breakfast ready.

They were pretty happy for a while, and I was thinking 'This is great!'  Then I heard a quiet "Ow.  Ow."  I went to see what was happening.  Kevin was standing behind Angela just happily pulling her hair.  She just sat there and said "ow" over and over.  Quickly, I moved Kevin away and gave him a toy to play with.  After that they were fine again.  I made scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast and then we all ate together.

After breakfast, Kevin needed a nap.  I turned on a cartoon for her to watch for a few minutes while I put him to sleep, because her mother had said that she loved watching t.v.  Only five minutes later I heard her at my door saying, "mom?"  She called me that most of the day, which was endearing, but evidently she calls everyone mom.  Luckily Kevin went to sleep quickly so I could go out and give her attention.  It was difficult for me to get anything done, because she wanted a lot of attention.  I figured it was probably because her mom had just started working and she was in a strange, unknown situation.  We had a good time.  We colored and played and made a leash for a stuffed dog that she could drag around the house.

Eventually, Kevin woke up, and then we all did things together until lunch time.  Her mom called a couple times during breaks to see how she was doing, and she told her mom she was having fun, which is always good to hear.  Then, after lunch, I put Kevin to bed again, and then I went out to find that Angela was ready for a nap.  It wasn't anything she said, but when she dumped all of the crayons out, I said, "You need a nap."

She nodded and headed for Kevin's room.  He was on my bed, so she climbed into his crib and laid down.  Then, after I hummed her a few songs, she fell quickly to sleep and slept until her Dad came to pick her up.  It was a fun experience, for both me and Kevin.  Kevin loves having friends over.  He was sad when she left.

I don't know if it was any easier to get things done with Angela around, but I did have fun making punch with her and playing with toys with both of them.  More importantly, I think Angela had a good time too.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

 For Christmas, my husband wanted Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  I'd never read the book before, but it fit into our Christmas budget, so I got it for him.  Yesterday, while I was putting Adam down for a nap I began to read it.

Pretty heavy book.  It reminded me a bit of Brave New World but cleaner.  However, the depressing futuristic view of society was similar.  The premise is this:

The main character is a fireman, a man who the government pays to start fires.  And what do firemen burn?  They burn books.  Books are controversial and offend minorities, so it's just easier for everyone if they don't have to think.  Society is at a point where people like instantaneous gratification and so every second of every moment they are bombarded with images and are constantly doing 'things'.  Everyone is pumped full of facts and knowledge, but none of those facts require a person to think.  Everyone is meant to be the same so that no one ever disagrees, because controversy makes you unhappy.  People live their lives in fantasy worlds where the interactive television has become family and is more important than the family actually living in your home.  Children are a hobby, and if you do bother to have them, you ship them off to school nearly from the cradle.

The book follows the journey of the main character as he begins to realize that though his society is meant to erase unhappiness, he is not happy and something is missing from his life. 

That's all I want to say about the plot.  I can't say I really enjoyed this book.  I liked it.  It was very well written and very interesting, but depressing.  My husband Grig loves Ray Bradbury.  Though I would recommend this book as one that people should probably read and one I will probably read again, I can't say that it is one that brought me boundless happiness.  The ending wasn't necessarily depressing and it left me feeling hopeful, but reading books about 'bleak, dystopian futures' (as the amazon description put it) always makes me feel a little sad.  Obviously it was easy to see the comparison between our society and the one in the book, but at the same time the thought of living in a society like that feels me with a sense of dread and possibly fear.

However, I do take comfort in the fact that if our society every really got even close to being that bad, that the Savior's second coming would occur long before that.  That may seem strange that that's my comfort, but it is.

The book made me think a lot about the future, but I know that as I keep God's commandments, everything will be okay and our family will be protected and taken care of.

So, if you want a thought-provoking, well-written, and intriguing read, pick up Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.  If you want to feel happy, go watch My Little Pony.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finding Balance

Over the past few weeks, I've been learning to be a stay-at-home mom.  For the most part, I love it!  However, it has been a new experience, and at times a very difficult one.  I've found that the most difficult part is not staying busy.  The most difficult part is finding the balance between caring for Kevin and getting chores done.

Some days, I'll be busy all day and I'll accomplish a ton!  I'll do the dishes, make meals, clean the whole house, organize boxes, made desert, serve others, do my scripture study, work on video editing, and feel really good about how I spent my time! However, I have a very grumpy baby because he didn't get the time and attention he needed.  He'll have spent the day crawling after me and seeking my attention, which I give him in short spurts, but evidently not sufficient.

Other days, I feel like I get nothing done.  Those days, I'll spend too long working on videos, reading, or Kevin and I will be watching Arturo Trejo on youtube together.  Those days I don't feel very good about how I spent my time, and I look at my house at the end of the day and wish I had done more around the house.

Then, other days, I'll spend nearly the entire day just spending time with Kevin.  We'll play with toys in his room, go outside and sit on the grass, and take two hour naps together.  On those days, I don't feel bad about how I spent my time, but I still look at my house and wish it was cleaner.

I am working on finding the balance between doing my stuff, doing homemaker/wife stuff, and taking care of Kevin.  After thinking about this difficulty for a while, I came to the conclusion that the most important thing that I can do with my time is to spend time with Kevin.  As he gets older, he can 'help' me with the household chores, and while he is taking naps now, I can get a lot done.  However, I only have a short amount of time to spend with Kevin before he grows up and leaves our home.  I want him to know that he is more important than anything else.

As I've been working on showing him that, I find that I still have time to get things done.  Kevin is unusual.  Most eight month baby are still learning to crawl.  I've even seen a few who are still working on rolling over.  However, Kevin is working on walking.  He'll now just stand in one place with nothing supporting him for a couple minutes or more.  He is very quick and can get into everything, but he also does quite well at entertaining himself.  When he is in his bedroom playing with toys, I can get a lot done, and when he wants me, he just comes crawling down the hall saying, "Aaa?  Aaa?"  That means he wants attention.  Then, we spend time together.

Grig right now is working at very early hours in the morning, and so I can get a lot of video editing, scripture reading, and blogging done before Kevin wakes up.  After that, our time together is precious.  I need to make the most of it and do my best to be a first class mom.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In the Hands of the Lord

In church last week, they were talking about putting everything in the hands of the Lord.  A woman then related a story that reminded me of one of my own.  I wanted to share that story.

When I was pregnant with Kevin, I was very worried about him.  My sister had lost a baby in a tragic, yet sacred way, and my sister-in-law had experienced a miscarriage.  So, I was nearly constantly worried about the baby miscarrying.  More than anything, I wanted to have children, and the thought that I would not be able to hold my baby in my arms was almost more than I could bear.

So, I asked my husband to give me a blessing.  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that Christ's authority has been restored to the Earth.  We believe that there is a proper line of authority which came straight from Christ himself and can only be passed on by one who has the authority from God to do so.  Through the grace and kindness of God, that has now been made available to every worthy man in the church. My husband has the priesthood (or this authority).  So, when he laid his hands on my head to give me a blessing of comfort, I knew that he wasn't speaking with his own voice, but the voice of the Lord.

The blessing he gave me was not what I wanted, but it was what I needed.  The Lord didn't tell me that the baby would be okay.  He didn't tell me that the pregnancy would go off without a hitch.  Instead, he told me that He loved the baby and that the He was mindful of us.  I felt the peace of the spirit fill me, and I was comforted.  I realized that even if the baby did die, he would be in the Lord's hands, and everything would be okay.  I simply needed to trust in the Lord.  Thanks to the covenants that I have made in the temple, even if the baby did die, he would still be mine forever as long as I lived righteously and kept my covenants with God.  It was very comforting to turn over my fear to the Lord.

Kevin was born just fine (though the actual birthing process had a few complications which I may talk about later.)  He is an adorable boy, and I love him more than I ever thought possible.  Sometimes I still worry a bit for him, but then I am reminded of what the Lord told me.  Regardless of what happens in this life, if we trust in the Lord it will all work for our good.  My children (present and future) are safe in the hands of the Lord.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Swimming with Kevin

 Yesterday, we had a birthday party for my Uncle.  We enjoyed a nice swim at the local water park.  Kevin loves water.  It wasn't super warm, but he enjoyed swimming in it for a couple hours until he started to get cold. 
Grig's brother has been living with us, and he and Kevin get along great.  So, for part of the party Grig and I went down the water slides while Kevin enjoyed being with his uncle.  There were two slides.  One was very curvy and longer, and at first Grig and I wanted to slide down that one because we thought the other slide was just for kids.  However, when we got to the top, it turned out that all the kids were on the curvy slide, and the straight slide had only older kids on it.

So, after we went down once, and found out that the curvy slide was pretty slow, we went and grabbed Kevin and took him down a couple times.  He was really cute.  His hair was sticking up in all directions, and a few of the kids on the slide to a fancy to him.  One little boy called him 'fluffy-head' and patted him on the head.  Kevin loved it!  He loves other kids.

Then, we handed Kevin back to his uncle, and went down the straight slide.  It wasn't until I'd launched myself that I realized what I'd gotten into.  The straight slide was straight...with a 20 foot sheer drop.  I ended up screaming on the way down.  It was great!

So, we did it again.  Of course, we didn't bring Kevin on that one, and soon after he got cold so we had to leave for the dinner party.  We had a great time!