Wednesday, December 30


Last night Daniel talked Alice into sleeping in her own bed on her own...AND it worked. It didn't even take half an hour. It was impressive. Now to make it consistent.

Monday, December 28

If you wanted to increase achievement of students...

Would you cut out science labs and 5 science faculty members?

I ran across an article about a high school that has a plan to bridge the gap between achievement levels amongst different races. The white students have scores above the state average, and the Latino and African American students have averages below.

The solution: cut science lab classes and 5 science teachers.

Jigga what?

They want to take the funds they will save by shutting down these classes and put it toward helping the Latino and African American students.

As someone who likes science, and even majored in it in college I am pretty dumbfounded. I admit the majority of my upper level science classes in high school were white, but I grew up in small town Kansas and the classes were 5-10 students in general.

The article even stated that one of the senior science faculty members had 17.5% African American and 13.9% Latino students in her AP class. For anyone that doesn't know the lingo, AP classes (or advanced placement classes) are high school classes you take then you take standardized tests for college credit.

I know, lets take the minority students that are doing well, and make sure they can't get college credit. At least the rest of their peers will be closer to the state averages for achievement. I think that is how it works. Dumb down the ones that are ahead.

The worst part is that this plan was made by a committee of students, teachers and parents and it was almost unanimous in passing. They think they are doing a service by decreasing the 'racial' differences in their students, but it sure seems like a stupid way to do it.

Saturday, December 26

The Weather Outside is Frightful

That phrase has a new meaning this Christmas. I have lived through my first blizzard. As have all my traveling house guests. Yes, I was lucky, some of them refused to cancel despite my pleading and eventually my disinheritance. I thought that a disinheritance might keep them from trying to visit, but no. Finally I suggested train travel, as it would be much safer to get stuck on a train than to be stuck at the side of the road in a far...or dead.

Unfortunately we were unable to pick up anyone at the train depot in town due to the weather. We tried leaving our subdivision/street for almost 2 hours of shoveling, reversing, and pushing. Finally Daniel was getting sick from the exhaust fumes and we pushed the car to the side of the road and walked back home. I was certainly glad I was not in labor, as there was no way I would be making it to the hospital. Despite my upbringing and a couple of my siblings being home births, I like and trust my doctor and want her tot take care of the baby. We have insurance for a reason.

So after we got home we found out the train was just getting into the station. The police department was unable to send them a message, and the depot is officially 'unmanned' so there was no way to contact my parents. They called us from someone's cell phone and we explained that our car was stuck. The tried taxi's (none were running) and then walked to the Eldridge on Massachusetts. Anyone that has not been to the Eldridge, its a historic hotel built in the mid 1800s. Its really nice and the cheapest rooms are a good $150 a night. Anyway, from there we gave them walking directions and my sister Rachel headed out to meet them on their trek. No one got frost bite or needed limbs removed, though my father did insist that since it had stopped snowing it was no longer a blizzard and there were comments about how they were pioneers.

(don't get me started on any of this as I tried to cancel the whole travel thing to begin with and was met with them insisting the storm was moving to Missouri so I was just being mean and taking away their free agency)

Luckily I contacted my brothers and when I insisted they not come to Lawrence, they complied. They did travel to Emporia so Jarom could visit his son, and they almost died in the process according to them. Most people don't admit something like that unless it is true.

Anyway, aside from a stinky reaction between a parental unit and some edamame (because it DOES contain soy protein) once people were in my house they were not in danger. Rachel did get a little cabin fever (partly to due with the fact that we had been staying in the house since the weather got bad a couple of days before) and shoveled most of the block from snow including the hilly stop sign area 330 ft from our front door that we were unable to get past Friday morning. Daniel was able to get my parents and younger sister to the midnight train back to Dodge safely. In fact they even helped someone else who was stuck move their car.

I don't know the snowfall totals, as it snowed again last night, but it has been a long storm. The rain started Tuesday with occasional hail and power surges and outages. Thursday the precipitation was a very fine ice ball, super slick and the size of sand. We got 2-3 inches of that accumulated in our yard. Then it started snowing. I know some of the totals say the city got 6 inches, but when you live on the side of a hill, even a relatively small one, it gets much higher. The packed snow in tire tracks was at 2 inches, and a good part of that was the ice stuff, but on our street where there were no tire tracks it was much deeper.

And yes, we aren't planning on leaving the house this weekend except for church. The area doesn't plan on a thaw or stopping the wind from blowing the powdery stuff until Wednesday. It should be a fun week. At least its January in less than a week.

Thursday, December 24

Random 3am Blog post!

Out power has been out twice in the last 4 hours, and for about 2 hours each time (actually for all I know the most recent time it was much longer). It has been fun. I guess. The power came on right before 3am. Daniel told me when I got help to get out of bed for potty time.

Because the power went out we forgot about our home teachers coming over at 6pm. We went to the store around 5:15 because we had no lights and we needed a few things anyway. We also forgot to call them. Oops. Our neighbor was home and our power was on when we got home, and he told us we missed to big guys in a 4 wheel drive. Oops. Daniel called them and left a message. At least the power was still out when they came by, and since everyone's power was out we hope they didn't stick around too long.

I bought some extra candles just in case the power goes out for a long period of on time again.

We went to bed pretty early tonight. I think I was out by 9pm. Alice is even in her own room. I don't know if she has a bed mate though. Perhaps. Anyway, by 3am my body decided it needed 1. to pee and 2. food. I took care of #1 before I was aware of #2, but all the growling and stomach pains led me to the downstairs and a bagel and the laptop. But the bagel is gone, so I think its time for me to go back to sleep.

Oh, and we had a doctor's appointment today. The child had dropped at my appointment on the 18th, but luckily he is way up high again. I am glad I don't have to worry about having a kid on Christmas. In a week I might say something different, but for now its a guarantee I won't be in the hospital for at least one holiday.

Monday, December 21

Dragging dead bodies down the stairs

And other fun midnight activities.

At 12:30am I awoke to lots of noises coming from somewhere. Daniel was not in bed, so I initially thought it was him. But no, it was the neighbors.

They had strange music going (typical with them, but usually not enough to wake us) and there was this strange thudding noise. Almost like they had several 10 year olds at a sleepover running up and down the stairs with suitcases of their peers. Thud, thud, thud. Thud, thud, thud.

I made Daniel go knock on their door after 1am when the noise KEPT going. I mean for real, if you throw a suitcase down the stairs its loud, but it doesn't last for 40 minutes. Well, they didn't answer their door but their dog started barking REALLY loudly. Daniel got creeped out by the whole thing and came back after a bit. He heard them as he was coming in our door yelling at the dog to be quiet.

I hoped that would deter them from whatever was going on over there, but the body getting dragged around sound kept going.

I made Daniel call the police and make a noise complaint.

It just figures that the thudding AND the music stopped right before we heard the dog start barking like crazy. I assumed that was the cop showing up.

Within a couple of minutes the music started up again. But the dead body has been disposed of. I guess its an improvement, but I am still awake and its after 2am. It makes going to sleep at 9pm seem a little pointless.

Unrelated note: child is gonna be a chunker. When they measured him at the ultrasound he measured in at 8lbs 3 oz (though that number might be slightly off due to his waist circumference being at the 98th percentile). Even losing 20% (the standard deviation) he is close to the weight Alice was when she was born. What a chunky monkey. Or maybe he is a shorter baby. Its hard to know. I just know that out of 4 measurements of his head and 4 measurements of his stomach, one of the head measurements was the same size as all 4 of the stomach measurements. Go him.

Thursday, December 17

As I hear about people showing up for Christmas, I am getting stressed out.

The living room looks like it belongs on an episode of hoarders.

Thats almost an exact quote from Daniel. He did add the qualifier "if everything were stacked higher."

What can I say. Alice likes to spread the newspaper ads around the living room. And he was at a cub scout committee meeting until 9:30pm (don't even get me started). And suggestions to go upstairs were met with wails. It didn't help that around 8:45 I was given flip flops and my coat to put on so we could go find Dad. Luckily she couldn't find her own coat so it wasn't 45 minutes of incessant complaints.

We took a really long bath.

Until Daniel FINALLY got out of the cub scout meeting.

We were supposed to have Elder Nielson and whoever is his current companion over for dinner tonight, but we both forgot and Daniel is working until 7pm since he is done with school for the semester.

I guess its good that it didn't work out. The living room might take me 2 days to clean if I follow the Hoarders speed of cleaning. Though I have no problem tossing all the food ads as well as the box of envelopes Daniel let her take from the computer room when he was in there the other night. So really, as long as I don't get pain from bending over, it will take about 15 minutes.

Ugh. I don't want to clean.

EDIT: The hoarders comment was really unnecessary. I got it cleaned during an episode of Elliot Moose as well as starting a bunch of pork marinading to make some Chinese BBQ pork. (I am gonna try and make steamed buns, lets see how bad that fails.) I did take 2 bags of trash to the can, but one was from the full kitchen trash, and the second was mostly milk jugs. Sometimes recycling is not worth it. Besides, those things biodegrade in less than a year.

Wednesday, December 16

In 9 days

There will be (probably) 10 people in my home clamoring for food. We have a 1000sq ft house. It should be fun.

I will be 38 weeks pregnant and NOT cooking Christmas dinner (that's why God created grocery stores that sell already cooked holiday dinners).

I will eat some of the most expensive ham I have ever owned. (Daniel got a gift certificate for a Honeybaked Ham, those things are like $15/lb or so.)

I will have a freezer full at least 26 meals for after the baby gets here (maybe more but there is a full on write up and a majority of ingredients in my fridge for the 26 meals).

My house will be clean, at least in theory.

Not eat pizza for at least a month. Frozen pizza is only so good when you eat it several times a week due to its convenience.

Now I just need to:
Buy the rest of the ingredients i need for the cooking as well as a huge stack of 8x8 foil pans for all the meals, hello dollar store/checkers (3 pans for $1 at checkers).
Get Alice better because the "owie pee" is annoying (what she says when she is poopy, and since she has a stomach bug...lets just say its often).
Find some yummy recipes for quick breads so I can have the oven on keeping the house warm all day.
Cook something for us to eat now. Maybe I will just make a freezer meal recipe and eat one today. I just need to find something I want to cook. And eat. And I am afraid it will involve pork steak since there is a HUGE stack if it in the fridge. At least it isn't tuna.

(Notice how the majority of this post revolves around food? Well, since I haven't gained any weight since Thanksgiving I figure there is no problem obsessing over food. Of course the doctor appointment before Thanksgiving I gained 6 lbs in 2 weeks. So I can't be too happy about the weight thing. I will probably go up another 5 lbs in one week soon.)

Monday, December 14

Toshiba Customer Service

So far its a fail.

1. We tried to file a claim online about the laptop power plug in thing being jacked up...and it said the laptop was not registered.
2. We tried to register the laptop and it said we had to call customer support.
3. We call customer support and they claim our year warranty is expired.

(We bought it at the end of February 2009. Our extended warranty claims they will not repair anything that should be covered by the manufacturer's warranty.)

Oh an the issue (loose thing where we plug in the power cord) is a COSMETIC issue. Yet it broke our power cord.

(and the AC adapter is not covered because its not NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR)
(AND THERE WAS A FREAKING RECALL so they won't cover the issue anyway. We didn't find out about the recall because we 'weren't registered')

Total freaking crap.

Today is a day for swearing. This whole thing is the last straw.

Daniel even got so mad he yelled at her and when they finished the conversation he threw the phone. I really want to scream and yell at people except that takes way too much effort. I really just want to swear a lot.

Friday, December 11

Its the Weekend!

This week was sort of long. Alice and I got a mild bug of some kind that involved lots of sleeping and some frequent diaper changes/toilet trips.

I had my 36 week OB appointment. No impending signs of the spawn coming. Yay. We are having an ultrasound next week to check on the kiddo and see how ginormous he is gonna be and to check on the size of his kidneys.

Daniel is going to call one of the supervisors at work that offered to give us their old chest freezers this weekend. They are even delivering it. Sweet. It shall be filled with lots of food.

WE are also gonna be steam cleaning the carpet. There is an overwhelming scent that appears to have come from someone whose name rhymes with Malice and doesn't like to wear pants. Lucky.

Oh and Daniel has completed 1 of 4 classes. This weekend he has to finish them all. Well, by Monday night is the official cut off. He plans to be done this weekend if possible. Then sweet sweet school freedom.

Wednesday, December 9

Winter Wonderland!

So its really pretty outside. But its cold. Stinking cold. Like currently its 10 F outside. It of course feels colder. And temperatures are supposed to keep on dropping. It was 14 F at 6am when I was watching the news.

Last night our power went out. I got up to go to the bathroom at 1:11am. Fell asleep and when I woke up to go to the bathroom again it was 1:17.

Ok it wasn't really 1:17, it was actually about 5am.

Its also super windy. And yes I did take the trash can to the curb. Then I promptly said 64 was not warm enough in the house and turned the heat up. Because it must be at least 55 degrees warmer than the outside.

I think Alice and I have mild colds. Not really snotty or coughs, but sore throats and tiredness. She has been taking naps and falling asleep at 5pm (a trait I would mind less if she weren't starving at 5 or 6am). I have heard her tummy growl before 6am. Its sort of amusing.

Since its cold and Daniel brought home a carton of eggs last night, I supposed I should bake today. Though the quilt and sleeping heater do make me want to stay on the couch instead. Maybe after a little nap I will think about baking again. Especially if I still feel cold because I am not wearing a sweatshirt.

Monday, December 7

I went to the kitchen early this morn
With the idea that I would bake

I pulled out the pans and thoughts of bread made of corn
filled my tummy with dreams of the cakes

I opened the cupboard and looked on the ledge
and the supply of baked goods in a box were lacking
My creativity died when a phone call drove a wedge
between me and my lack of eggs

Boo on you. You will be hearing from me. There will be less couplets, and more me leaving you for the store. All this food in the house and I can't make anything I want anytime I want it? Sad. Oh well, this shall prepare me for the freezer meal cooking day of glory or doom this week/weekend/whenever I feel up to 3 hours on my feet. Depending on how life goes.

Friday, December 4

Children are Overrated

Or maybe its just having your own. Pregnancy is a time when people laud adoption. Maybe its just me. But still, I would be willing to give 20% of our income to not be pregnant. Only I don't want the kid yet.

I woke up with evil central/lower back pain that according to the internet (the be all end all source of knowledge at 2am) is either ligament pain from having my body ripped apart from the inside out, a UTI or kidney stones, or dehydration.

This week has been absurd. We got home from Florida Saturday. Tuesday we had cub scouts. Thursday (yesterday) there was LINK followed by a Relief Society Meeting in the evening with a cookie exchange.

By the end of LINK (which took longer than normal because we had so much food left over that needed labeled and put away) I was feeling parched. Milk really didn't cut it. Then I got a soda from McDonalds because caffeine cures all. Only it didn't. Then with the Relief Society meeting I didn't drink much. I should have taken a water bottle.

Plus I ate lots of bad for me foods. Too many sweet breads/cookies and too little actual food. Not to mention that I didn't really eat a meal except for my sandwich when I got my pop.

And I have a platter of cookies in the kitchen from the cookie exchange. I am thinking of making Daniel take it to work with him. Just to get it out of the house.

Of course then I will have to cook food for me and Alice. Because I don't want any of the multitudes of leftovers we have. And I have no idea what I want to eat let alone cook. Even whole wheat toast with butter tastes sweet to me right now. And its not unsalted butter. I just have issues.

Like I said, pregnancy is over rated. Maybe next time we will just get an older kid. They are easier to adopt cause no one wants the kids with issues. But at least they aren't parasites like feti are.

Wednesday, December 2

Just in time for the holidays...

The laptop power cord no longer functions.
That just figures.
Though I assume the problem is with the loose metal piece you plug the power cord into.
And here we were hoping we could get away with not sending it in for repairs until after Daniel finished school this semester.
It sure fooled us.

Goodbye internet on my couch.
See you in a couple of months.
I won't be sitting on a regular chair at the computer, that was torture enough at 24 weeks, let alone 35 and beyond.
At least we have an extended coverage warranty (not that its been a year, in fact it was broken about 2 months after we bought it, but it still worked most of the time and it was nice to have 2 computers when Daniel was in school).
Boo on you Toshiba, boo on you.

Tuesday, December 1

Bran Flakes with Chocolate Milk

That is what Alice is eating right now. There was regular milk in the bowl, but she ate it all the milk and left some cereal in the bottom. So she added chocolate milk. Ingenious I tell you.

Yes her breakfast was at 11 am. She ate a banana on the way to my doctor appointment this morning.

Anyway, I had my regular appointment and my hospital pre-admission appointment. Yeah just about 2 hours of waiting rooms and junk. At least I didn't have to watch the epidural movie again. There are some perks to having more than one kid at the same hospital. Oh, and the renovated rooms and new recovery wing...also a perk. If Daniel were able to stay the night (which won't happen) they have love seats that pull out into beds. I think that's at least one step above air mattress. Maybe 4 steps.

As my totally rambling blog continues...Alice and I are watching a train wreck on Deal or No Deal. Her highest offer to date has been $8,000 and that was the first one. Yes, total train wreck. Sort of hilarious, sort of sad. The player's best comment: "This is not how it worked in my head." Yes, that is probably true. And now her offers are low enough that if it were me, I would just say, whatever go all the way. She is calling family to see if she should take $1500. Yep, not exactly good television.