Saturday, December 29, 2007

We're All Here

Who does he look more like?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

After Christmas Morning

After we'd opened our presents, Scott lounged in his new bathrobe and watched his new ski movie. Bruce lined up his new cars on Scott's chest; it makes a great parking lot, I guess.

Today Bruce made "a fish" out of Play-Doh after rolling it out with his construction vehicles.

Christmas 2007

Merry Christmas! We had a wonderful day. Bruce woke up and knew exactly what he wanted to do: open presents! Here is our lovely Christmas tree complete with Sesame Street lights and ornaments from my childhood (I think it looks like a decorated toilet brush, but it served its purpose). We smashed it into a corner so Bruce couldn't knock it over or get to the presents prematurely.

On Christmas morning, Bruce finally got to open his presents. He unwrapped each one and played with it for about a half hour before opening the next. It took a few hours to open everything.

Bruce couldn't put down a few toys. There's a picture of Bruce holding trains in one hand and trying to open a present with the other. Arg, life's tough.

One of Bruce's favorite gifts was a Thomas the Tank Engine train set. Yes, it's his third train set (we have the classic wooden set and a plastic Little Tikes set) - but he loves it! We put a battery in the train yesterday and I think it's nearly dead today.

Bruce the Builder

Bruce has been busy building. I asked him what he was building and he said, "a bird house." Hmm.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Totally Tagged

It's official. I have been tagged. It seems like everyone does these things and ends with "everyone that reads this is tagged," but I've been avoiding my turn. But now I've been named specifically (thanks Rolana!), so now I have to.

Ten Random Things About Me

1. I'd like to think I'm the most efficient grocery shopper ever. I create a list throughout the week of things we are running out of or need. Then before going to the store I will order the list according to the layout of the store. For instance, eggs and butter are at the beginning of the list and produce and bread are at the end. Then when I go to the store I grab everything the first time through and don't have to backtrack through aisles looking for stuff. I shop as early in the morning as I can (our store opens at 7 a.m.) to avoid the crowds too.

2. I'm a pseudo-vegan. Genetics aren't in my favor, so I have wicked bad cholesterol and have cut meat, cheese, dairy, and egg yolks from my diet. I actually don't miss meat that much, but I miss cheese. Now I get "veggie slices" when I want a grilled cheese sandwich.

3. I never wore much makeup in high school and college. Not that I do now either. But I can count on one hand the times I wore makeup in high school. And maybe on two hands when I was in college. I wore eye shadow and mascara on our wedding day, but I've always hated powder and foundation and all that other junk. Smelly and unnecessary. Once I had Bruce, I decided I better put on a little something to avoid looking like a tired sweatpants-clad mom. Now I'm a tired sweatpants-clad mom with makeup on. Just kidding.

4. I have bad luck when it comes to rented apartments and water leaks. My freshman year of college I lived in a house with my sister and five other girls. The house, called The Casa for its Mexican stucco look, was dilapidated but had character. Unfortunately the roof of our dining room started leaking. It leaked for about a week before our 90-year-old landlord climbed onto the roof and nailed some sheet metal down. My sophomore year of college I lived with three of my BYU cross country teammates in a second floor apartment of a three-story complex. Somehow that roof started leaking too. That was really bad. It leaked over Christmas break when no one was there so when we got back, the upstairs apartment had a roof leak that turned into their floor leak and our roof leak. Yikes. That took about a month to fix - thank goodness it was more than sheet metal for that one. And just last week, our living room wall started leaking water. The paint is bubbling up and water spills down onto the floor and sizzles on the heating radiator. Ah, what luck.

5. I was obsessed with Sesame Street and Elmo until about eighth grade. I loved the red-ness and innocence of Elmo. It was when Tickle Me Elmo came out and everyone became obsessed that I was really turned off. It was eighth grade, so it was about time anyway.

6. I love running, but I love racing even more. I love that feeling of being ridiculously fit and being able to see someone ahead and surge to pass them. Sometimes I get competitive out on the roads or trails. If I see someone ahead, I have to pass them. If I hear someone behind me, I can't let them catch me.

7. I am a big fan of AP style (Associated Press style). I loved my writing and editing classes in BYU's journalism program - and there were lots of them. I have a whole book that defines items that are capitalized (Books on Tape, for example) and the differences between words like bizarre and bazaar. And I actually like reading it.

8. I am not crafty. At all. In elementary school, I tried making a cross stitch and eventually gave up. In high school, someone tried to teach me how to crochet a bookmark and it went horribly wrong. I can sew buttons, but they don't look great and will probably need sewed again a few months later. That's about the extent of it. My lack of crafting skill is in contrast to my artsy sisters. My oldest sister is a world-famous ceramic artist. My other older sister designs die-cuts for a scrapbooking company and was a printmaking major in college. My younger sister is a freshman in college but shows promise as a graphic designer perhaps. She really likes drawing.

9. If I work more than about 55 hours in a week, I start dreaming about digital cameras. I've had all kinds of camera nightmares - not being able to see the LCD screen, not being able to find the camera I want at a convention, etc. There are a few camera conventions coming up soon too so I will almost surely have a few dreams about digital cameras.

10. I have OCD tendencies when it comes to fingernails. I trim mine about twice a week. I hate the feeling of long fingernails, so I keep mine short all the time. And I'm grossed out when I see dirty fingernails. I trim Bruce's about once a week or else he starts a collection of bacteria under them.

That's it. Ten random facts. I'll end this with, "everyone who reads this is tagged."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Emily!

Happy Birthday to me. It's been a few days of birthday celebration. Scott lined up a babysitter and took me out to Taiwan Cafe, an amazingly good Chinese restaurant. It is located in Chinatown and looks like a hole but it was soooooo good. I had crispy tofu and homestyle eggplant with basil and Scott had soft crabs with ginger and pork dumplings. It all tasted so much better than it sounds. We couldn't get our leftovers to go and we decided that it was too good to simply waste, so we ate every last bit of it. And it was a lot of food. After our feast, we went to see the Nutcracker performed by the Boston Ballet. I hadn't been to the ballet since high school when I had a friend that danced with the Ohio Ballet regularly. I was amazed that those little ladies could stand on their toes for hours when I could barely walk in the heels I had on.

Scott got me the Planet Earth DVD set for my birthday! Hooray! He also got me some yummy dark chocolates. As you can see, I'm not the only fan of dark chocolate in the house!

My parents bought me a new pair of my favorite shoes for my birthday. That's a blog post in itself though. I need to get a few pictures of the shoes side by side. One pair is a decade old and smooth on the bottoms and the other is nice and fresh.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

'C' is for Cookie

Grandma got Bruce an apron with a train on it while we were in Ohio. We thought we'd break it in by baking up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

And to follow, here is Bruce singing about the finished product.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Perfect Day in Ohio

Our last day in Ohio was spent at the zoo. It was perfect! It had rained that morning, so there was hardly anyone there. Really, there were more zoo volunteers than visitors. We had the place to ourselves - and it's a big place. My favorite was the gorilla exhibit. There was a huge male that made funny faces sitting right next to the window. There was a female and two "toddlers" sitting behind him. The toddlers were hitting each other and wrestling while the mom signed furiously to them. It looked similar to the family gathering we had on Sunday.

Aunt Janis' House of Wonders

Bruce sure got spoiled at his aunt's house. As I type this, Bruce is trying to get back into his bedtime schedule. Now when it's time for bed he claims that he's hungry, he needs to pee in the potty, he needs his fingernails clipped, he needs his nose wiped, etc.

The Wunder-House

I stayed at my sister's house for a few days. She is a professional ceramics artist and her style shows in her awesome house. She has walls coated with murals and her kids' art.

Uncles and Cousins!

Bruce and I spent lots of time in the car being driven all over Ohio. Bruce got to be good buddies with his "Unka Ben." On Sunday, we met up with most of my siblings and I got to meet my new nephew!

Jungle Jim's

After the race, we went to Jungle Jim's International Store, the world's largest grocery store. It has six acres of food and is very eclectic. There are life-size plastic animals near the entrance, traffic lights by the doors, port-o-potties that open up to real bathrooms (Bruce is getting his picture taken on the velvet throne), and all kinds of kitschy decor. There was an entire boat in the seafood section, an enormous fake birthday cake above the bakery, and a fire engine above the hot sauce aisle. The best part was the olive bar where you could sample dozens of different kinds of olives. Bruce sampled a few and we ended up getting a container of seedless kalamatas for him.

USATF Cross Country Nationals 2007

Saturday was the USATF Cross Country Club National Championships in West Chester, Ohio. We drove down with my parents that morning and went to the Voice of America Museum before the race.

My dad is really into oddball museums. One time we went to a printing press museum in Massachusetts. We've taken forever-long tours of Hoover Dam and my little brother has fond memories of spending an entire day at the Ford factory. Voice of America was another museum in that category; it was a 250,000-watt radio station during World War II. We walked in and some 90-something-year-old man asked if he could help us. My dad said we wanted a tour. The man said they weren't giving tours that day. "What?! We drove four hours just for this!" Clearly, we hadn't driven four hours JUST for that. I was wearing running shoes, tights, a bright red Greater Boston shirt, and a running hat - and the race was going on just outside the museum. However, the guy said he'd see what he could do. A few minutes later, he led us to a room of folding chairs and a television that was as old as he was. He put on a 10-minute movie and left. And never came back. After the movie we helped ourselves and walked around the museum, checking out vintage radios, gadgets, and other transmitters. I think my parents' basement has more artifacts that could fit into this museum.

After our tour, we headed outside to the race. The whole course was extremely muddy. There were puddles a few inches deep in places. And just for fun, lines of hay bales were added to jump over. I saw three girls hobble off the course with sprained ankles during the race. My race was a 6K. My time was horrid. But it was a lot of fun. After my race, Bruce was feeling needy so I didn't get much of a cool-down. He clung to my hip and wouldn't let go. We watched my older brother in his race and then headed to the car.

Happy in Ohio

Bruce and I went to Ohio for a nice nearly-week-long trip. We left last Wednesday night on Skybus, a new airline that sells ten $10 tickets on each flight. I got the tickets about six months ago, so we got the cheap seats. There are some drawbacks: they fly out of the tiniest airport in New Hampshire, charge $5 per piece of luggage, charge $2 for water on the plane, and have high-school-aged flight attendants. They also sell stuff like backpacks and beef jerky on the flight, so it's annoying to hear their constant chatter over the speaker about how awesome the beef jerky is. But it was still cheap to get to Ohio.

Our flight was delayed because of nasty weather. Scott took us on a nice date to a bookstore, where we read books and Bruce played with a train set. We went to a pet store and looked at fish. We went to IHOP and grabbed a snack before heading back to the airport and waiting a few more hours for the flight. Scott went home; he had classes and research to attend to.

On Thursday, we went to my parents' house in northeast Ohio. My dad took Bruce out to feed our ducks a few times a day. My mom helped Bruce decorate a gingerbread train. More accurately, she decorated the train and Bruce ate the candy. My parents had just purchased a train table and were going to give it away to someone for Christmas. They made the mistake of leaving the box out in the living room and it was one of the first things he saw when he walked in. After a few hours of begging, Grandma caved and just opened the box to let him play with it.


We needed a vacation! These pics are from before we left, but they were still sitting on my dusty desktop when we got home last night. More pics and stories to come.