Friday, March 27, 2009

Pizza


I enjoy pizza. Pepperoni pizza mostly, but there is also a place in my heart for the Pizza Hut Meat Lovers, artery-clogging variety. There's even one at Main Street Pizza and Noodle in Park City called The Cholesterol Hiker that I absolutely adore! Ok, so I guess the most important ingredient for me is meat. If the pizza doesn't have meat on it in some variety, don't expect me to put it in my mouth.

I've tried pizza in many different places, and it's so different everywhere. You would expect pizza in Italy to be the best since, supposedly, that's where it hails from. And maybe Chelsie would disagree with me since she doesn't like meat, but the pizza we had in Italy...NOT the best. In fact, I was quite disappointed. It was nothing much more than a thin crust, sauce and cheese. I might need a second go around with it to change my opinion (hint, hint husband).

Pizza in Brazil was interesting. Tuna pizza, corn pizza, corn and BACON pizza, shrimp pizza, palm heart pizza, etc. Some were not the best, but there was one that I absolutely ADORED! Frango e catupiry pizza. Chicken and catupiry cheese. Now Brad will tell you that this kind of cheese is gross. "It's nothing but nasty, white Velveeta." I, Brad, will respectfully disagree. It is SO GOOD! Nothing like Velveeta! And it was great on pizza with chicken! Maybe YOU need another go around on this one Brad! :)

There is another kind of "pizza" that is close to my heart and that is the Mexican Pizza from Su Casa. It is my FAVORITE fake Mexican food. Ground beef (it has to be ground beef or no deal), and beans inside two crispy flour tortillas, covered with melted cheese, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole (again, NO olives, or NO deal). It is divine!! Even my dad, who complains about every single Mexican restaurant he has ever been to that is NOT in Mexico, enjoyed the Mexican pizza. He SAID he didn't when I brought one home for me after work one night and then HE ate it all. But then the next time I worked at Su Casa he called asking for one. Yeah, it's good.

Well, last week I almost had a heart attack when Ryan brought home three different kinds of leftover pizza from a lunch meeting he had.

#1 - The Pesto Pie - parmesan, pesto and SOY NUTS! Uh, WHAT?
#2 - The Jupiter Pie - olive oil, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and FETA. Again...Uh, WHAT?!

and the winner...

#3 - Artichoke Heart Pizza - no description needed.

I wanted to call Fuego Pizzeria and ask them what business they have putting artichoke hearts and bird food on a pizza! Who ARE you people?! Ok, I know, no disrespect to all you who love this stuff (Chels, if this sounds good to you, GREAT! I'll give you the address later), but SERIOUSLY?

After seeing that, I made Ryan take me to Pizza Hut where I ordered the meatiest pizza I could stomach. And I enjoyed every bite! For three days.

...I don't think I belong in Park City. I don't eat hummus and I don't shop at Whole Foods and I don't eat birdseed pizza. Even so, much love to all of you who do. I'm off to the kitchen to find something fattening to eat.

P.S. Yes, I'm going to be that old lady who has people sneak food that the doctor has forbidden into the nursing home

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Texting Faux Pas

Lately Tyler has been getting more educated about how to use a cell phone. If he's going to play with it, it has to be a real phone, it has to be on, and it has to be unlocked. Otherwise he wants nothing to do with it. This morning while playing on our bed he saw my phone and started playing. I was still half asleep and therefore happy that he had found something to keep him occupied for a little while longer. A few minutes later I looked over and noticed that the "sending picture..." screen was up. A couple of seconds later I saw that this was the picture he had sent...

...TO THE MISSIONARIES!!

I'm not quite sure what to do here. They already knew I was pregnant so it's obviously not an announcement of any kind (and NO I wouldn't announce it this way to the ELDERS anyway!). Do I just call them and explain that my 17-month-old son just randomly figured out how to send THEM this particular picture? That it's not a threat of any kind, and that I will gladly talk to their mission president should he have any questions about this highly irregular picture that is now taking up space on their phone? Or do I just wait until I see them on Sunday and see if they ask about it. At this moment are they wondering which of their companions (there are three of them) Sister Jensen was directing this picture to? Are they arguing over what it's supposed to mean? Are they glaring at each other accusingly, trying to remember if any one of them has been alone for any amount of time in the past couple of months?

...excuse me, I think I have a phone call to make.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's About That Time


You're all invited to participate in my March Madness bracket group. I went with the Facebook version this year. I don't plan on managing any other groups, but I'm open to joining any of yours. Here's the link for the group. Feel free to join in the fun. Nothing on the line but some school pride. If you don't have a Facebook account, I don't know if you can be in or not. But why aren't you on Facebook? Don't you need someplace to waste more of your time? A little Facebooking can't hurt that bad, can it?

GO AGGIES!

Mommy Memos

When I was younger I was never a "kid lover." You know, one of those people who just LOVES children, loves to babysit, loves to always be playing with kids. Not that I didn't LIKE small children and babies. They were fun to hold and talk to and play with for short spans of time, but not hours! I would read the Babysitters Club series and love the idea of being in a babysitting club, and my next-door-neighbor and I even started a babysitting service and handed out fliers and all. But every time I had a babysitting job I wouldn't look forward to it. I would dread it! I thought that maybe it was because at that point (when I was 12 or 13) I already had a little brother at home that I had to take care of at times. But that wasn't really it. There were people with multiple brothers and sisters I knew that had to help take care of them and LOVED it, AND loved babysitting. So I decided that I just wasn't one of those people who would make a great mother one day. Those people who seem to be BORN to be moms. Like my sister-in-law Monica. She's amazing with kids and always has been (plus she's not boastful about the fact that she's a great mom, which I LOVE and which I think makes her an even greater mom!).

Anyway, before I had Tyler I was genuinely afraid that I would suck as a mom and not really know how to take care of him, or maybe even (GASP!) not enjoy it! But the very second that Tyler was born and placed on my stomach, something inside me clicked. The tears came and I instantly knew that I would be fine and that I would love my time with him. And I have. Not that there aren't moments when I go nuts and feel like screaming. No, there are plenty of those. But I'm so thankful that for me, the "mothering instinct" did actually turn on and didn't stay dormant for the rest of my life. I did finally gain confidence in myself as a mother, though it is definitely challenging and even though I know I will have so much to learn at every stage of my children's lives. I know I'll try and fail and have to try again, but it's something I'm excited about.

I think my favorite blog posts to read are those of friends and family who talk about the new things their children are learning. I've become so fascinated with how children's brains work and how they learn new things. Each child is so different and learns new things at different times than others, but no matter when those new things start, I love hearing about them. I love hearing about the funny things they say and how they interact with siblings or other children, and how the characters of their parents can start showing through them so early!

Recently I read about a book that was written (I don't remember the title) about how parents really don't have any influence over what their child will be like because children are just born with a certain character that can't be changed. That's the biggest load of BULL that I've ever heard! Yes, every kid has a character that is different from others, but every kid is also influenced by their parents or those around them every single day. The act of NOT trying to teach them something because you believe they can't be taught or molded is in itself teaching them something. Something harmful, but it's teaching them something nonetheless.

One of this woman's main points was that it doesn't do a thing to teach a child religion at an early age because they'll just go off and do whatever they want when they get older. This part was utterly laughable and unbelievable to me. Yes, eventually kids grow into adults that make their own decisions, and some don't follow the same things their parents believe. But...really??! Kids that are taught morals, values, and respect and love of God turn out no better than those who were taught NOTHING? Kids who are taught to pray when they're young don't generally keep up the practice and teach their own kids to pray someday? Even if they don't continue in any religion, the values they learned don't help them AT ALL in life? I think it's so sad these kinds of lies are being propogated today. The lie that parents don't have any responsibility for their kids. How awful is that?

The past couple of months Tyler has been starting to fold his arms when we say prayer (only for the first few seconds at the beginning and then maybe somewhere in the middle or towards the end for a few seconds), but this last week I've noticed his understanding grow a little bit. Ty and I were at a baptism on Saturday. During the song he was playing with something and not paying any attention to what was going on (other than to dance for a couple seconds when the music started). The second the song was over he put down what he was playing with and folded his arms. Before anyone had even gotten up to start praying. The same thing in Sacrament meeting. After the song ended ( he was sitting with someone else because I was playing, but I saw him do it) he immediately folded his arms. Even during the sacrament, after having folded his arms the first time after the song ended, he folded his arms again when it was time for the water to be blessed. Such a simple thing, but it melted my heart because it made me really realize how impressionable they are even at such a young age. Lately Tyler is nuts during Sacrament Meeting and it's been really hard for me to get him to stay in one place for longer than a couple of minutes, but he's starting to understand that prayers are special. If he can understand that at 17 months, how many more important things will we be able to teach him in the coming years that will hopefully help him throughout his life? Even when he does ultimately make his own choices.

I'm so thankful for the gift of being a mother. It's so precious. I feel sad for all those who have children that they aren't thankful for. But I'm so thankful for all of YOU who are wonderful examples to me as you raise your children! There are so many out there who haven't been blessed with this gift. If you have children, go hug them, be grateful for them and teach them every good thing you can while you have the chance.

Monday, March 9, 2009

You've Got Mail

Yes, I did get mail...and it was one of those envelopes that I dreaded seeing. Like a bill, but worse. It was addressed to me, yet that same address had been typed on my own computer. I knew what it was the second I saw it. I prepared that envelope myself and included it in the package just as they instructed. For "notification," they said. Well, I've been notified. They are thankful that I shared my work with them, but it was not chosen (among the 600 entries) as this year's winner.

I was disappointed for the rest of the day because I truly had gotten my hopes up. And the truth is, I don't think getting your hopes up is a bad thing! It was only my hopes that even got me to write 30 chapters of a book in the first place. So a little disappointment after the first try is ok. The next day, I got myself out of my disappointment and started looking for my next step. And I found it!

Every summer BYU hosts the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop. It's a week-long conference for anywhere from beginning to advanced aspiring writers. Authors, editors and agents come from all over the country to teach seminars and workshops and even to find new writing talent, which, according to an article in the Boston Globe, they have in fact been finding there. I registered and will be attending in June! I'm so excited! It's five full days of writing, learning, sharing, and getting feedback on your work. The mornings are dedicated to working in groups of 13 with an award-winning author. I'll be working with Lael Littke, who has written a total of about 43 books, mostly for young adults. We're supposed to have at least a few pages of a book started to share with the 12 others in the group. I'm so excited to get feedback from an author about what I've already written!

So, my plan is REVISE, REVISE, REVISE until June and then after the conference (and hopefully after making some great contacts and learning a bit more about the whole process of getting a book published) REVISE, REVISE, REVISE some more, and then see where I go from there. In order to get published with a big company, it's necessary to have an agent, so that would probably be the next step.

Anyway, in the next month or so I would like to have a couple of people read my manuscript to get some feedback that way as well. I'm probably going to ask my little brother and cousin to read it since they are in the target age group, but I would also like to get some suggestions from adults as well. I would like it to be an interesting book for any age group. So let me know if you would be interested in helping me out that way. Just a warning. The book has a lot to do with something that's a little bit of a controversy right now. Immigration. One of the main reasons I wrote it is because I feel it important for specifically American youth to see a side of this issue that is not normally seen. The personal side of it. The human side that requires us to be a little more compasionate. So, I'm asking that if you read it, you leave aside any and all predisposition or judgement you may have on this subject now and have an open mind. Keep in mind that most of the characters' experiences that I incorporated into my story are true.

So, there's the plan! I'm excited to go forward with it and I'm so excited to learn all I can in June. After all, I'm not an English major, or anything even CLOSE! So I do have a lot to learn. And education is never a bad investment.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Little Nettie


This is my FAVORITE new item this year. I know it looks like either a mini watering can or a device used to ingest illegal substances, but it's not! It's one of the greatest inventions EVER. I could probably send it to Rachael Ray for Stump The Rach. It's called a Nettie (or Neti) Pot and it's my best friend. During pregnancy I always have awful sinus congestion, especially at night. And it's not blow-your-nose-and-it's-all-better type. I blow my nose and NOTHING happens. So, I usually have to get up two or three times a night to try do something so I can breathe! My dad found this little beauty and gave it to me about a month ago. I have to say I was afraid of it and didn't touch it until last week when I became desperate. Boy am I glad I finally tried it! Ten seconds with Little Nettie (yes, that's her name) before bed and I am FREE for the rest of the night. I LOVE IT! Now, I wasn't about to take a picture of myself using it, but here's one of of another overnight enthusiast. Everyone needs to see this. It's hilarious, and I can't believe I actually do this!

Sorry if you think this is gross, but I thought I would be nice and share this little secret with anyone else who might be having the same issues! Happy Nettiing!

Monday, March 2, 2009

16 Months!



Tomorrow my baby will be 16 months. I can't believe how quickly time flies! I know...I say that every time I post about him. It's just crazy! It's even stranger right now to think that he's going to be the big brother. I'm so excited for that!

Anyway, it's so fun to see him grow and learn new things.

  • Ty has always loved music and songs, but now he joins in with some of the actions when we sing to him. His favorites are Little Bunny Foo Foo - he shakes his finger at the part where the good fairy comes down, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes - he'll put his hands on his head and his feet, The Itsy Bitsy Spider - he tries to do the spider crawling up action with his fingers, Pat-a-Cake - he claps his hands and slaps ours, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed - puts his hand up to his ear when mama calls the doctor and shakes his finger. But I think the funniest thing he's done was Saturday when we were in the car on our way home and "Don't Lie" by the Black Eyed Peas was on the radio. During the part that goes "no no no no, baby, no no no no, don't lie" I looked back and Ty was shaking his finger and saying "nononono." It was so funny!
  • Ty eats by himself with a spoon now, which is so nice! He does make a big mess, but I figure that's all part of the experience. He loves it. I'm sure it makes him feel so much more independent! :)

  • His vocabulary has expanded a bit. He says no, mom, dad, yum, bye, and that. But the best is still his never-ending baby chatter that sounds like morse code because he gets talking so fast! It's hilarious! What's even funnier is when he talks like that and shakes his finger at people as if he's scolding them.
  • He's been so much more cuddly and loving this last month which I love! He loves giving "besitos" (kisses) and he'll make a noise that sounds like "awww" and he'll rest his face on my cheek or on my shoulder or on my stomach. It's so sweet. There's nothing like being loved by a little one!
  • Ty loves to play, eat, hide, and trap other people in the pantry. His favorite game is wait until mom goes in and then slam the door behind her and stand in front of it so she can't get out. Luckily there's a light in there.


  • He loves sitting in the box next to the couch that has toys in it, but he also loves making a huge pile of stuff on top of the box that he can climb to get to the CD player. Then he'll take a DVD out of it's case, open the door of the CD player and try to put it in. Even if he fails, he starts dancing.

We just love our little guy so much and are so excited to be able to have another little boy or girl as well.