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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bump!

Oh, you guys. Today I glanced at myself in the mirror before I got into the shower and I was like, "Yowza! That wasn't there before!" I've been scrutinizing my abdomen for the past few weeks trying to discern the first sings of a baby bump. Unitil today I've waffled back and forth from I have a bump (albeit a tiny one) to no, no bump yet. But it's official. Today, it was definitely popping out there. I tried to suck it back in and it wouldn't go. I have a bump.

This caused me to have semi-panic moment in which I realized, oh my gosh, this is really happening. THIS IS REAL! Then my thoughts fled, leaving my brain in stunned silence while a deer-in-the-headlights expression settled on my face. But then I snapped out of that and there was a flurry of exiting feelings. This is all so special and amazing and weird at the same time. There is a person in my abdomen. A person in my abdomen! Doesn't that sound like something out of an alien movie?

In this flurry of realization, I also had a moment of mourning for the departing of my prepregnancy shape. I don't know that I'll ever see her again. But that's okay. It was nice knowing her, but there are bigger (ha! no pun intended) and better things to come.

It seems substantial to me but the bump can't be that big because I'm still wearing all my normal clothes. I haven't even had to transition to my "big jeans" (I have big jeans and small jeans. Ladies, you know how that goes). Though I will admit I haven't washed my small jeans in many moons. When they're nice and stretched out, they fit great. But just out of the dryer? Let's just say getting those suckers on is a routine fit for a circus. The freak show part of a circus.

Well, here it is, bump at 14.5 weeks: (Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I had just eaten pie. So part of the bump in this picture might be meringue.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hallelujah and Swine Flu

First the hallelujah: I feel so good today. I've been tired and nauseated for about 7 weeks. I assumed that I would be turning the corner this week into the "golden age of pregnancy:" the second trimester. But at the beginning of this week, I felt worse. I had a headache, I was dizzy and just generally feeling like crap. And the first thing I did Tuesday morning was run to the toilet and heave. I had nothing in my stomach. I hadn't eaten anything the night before because I'd felt sick but I continued heaving as if I'd just beaten the world record holder in a hot dog eating contest.

Anyways, today I felt so alive! I had forgotten what it feels like to feel normal! Compared to the last few weeks, today I felt like a two year old on speed! This gives me hope, oodles of hope.

Okay, now onto Swine Flu. Being young and healthy, I am not used to being in the high risk category for diseases. Which I am for swine flu because I'm pregnant and also because the flu seems to be taking its toll on younger people. And I have to say, I don't like this one bit!

Today I read a few suggestions that were posted at work that I hadn't heard before and I thought I'd pass them along.

1) Wash hands frequently (duh). What most people don't do is wash long enough. It needs to be 15 seconds and you need to scrub. Getting germs off your hands is mostly done by the friction of scrubbing your hands not necessarily your antibacterial soap.

2) Do not touch your face. Flu virus enters your body through your nose or mouth, so keep your hands away from your face. And suddenly when I had resolved to do this my face began to itch uncontrollably.

3) Gargle with salt water every night. Basically, the guidelines posted said that you can stop proliferation of the virus if you are exposed by doing this. It's the same reason why you had to gurgle after your dental surgeries (or at least I had to gurgle after mine). The salt water can help to kill the organisms.

4) Swab your nose out with a q-tip dipped in salt water. Same reasoning as above. The salt water can help kill the organisms and stop proliferation of the virus if you are exposed.

So, as I was writing this post I was googling these suggestions to see if I could find anything out about their effectiveness. I read something on snopes.com which said that the effectiveness of the gargling is questionable. But I do know that dental surgeons do recommend it, I was told to gargle after both of my mouth surgeries. So perhaps there is something to it. At very least you can ask your doctor if you want. Honeslty, I don't know if I'll take up gargling with salt water every night but I'm considering it. Pregnant people are more likely to develop complications with h1n1 and I don't want that! Apparently my little miracle is sapping my immune system!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Winter Wonderland

It snowed today! We were told that there is usually a snow before Halloween, and sure enough the first snow was right on time. It snowed almost all day. Sometimes it was light, gentle snow. Other times it was swirling and whirling like a blizzard. Or at least what I would think of as a blizzard, not having ever actually seen a blizzard. :o) I managed to stay roasty, toasty the whole day because I left the house looking like this:



I may have been overdressed because I saw many people who seemed to be fine wearing merely hooded sweatshirts. But my I was warm, hot even and that's all that mattered to me! We really enjoyed the first snow, it was exciting and beautiful! Hopefully these good feelings will last us through the winter!

Here are a few pictures from Peter's phone camera:

The cutest little blue marshmallow in town (says Peter).
Note the white mountains in the background and the beautiful colors of trees.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rome wasn't bilked in a day



On Saturday night we went to a fun costume/ murder mystery party. It was one of those murder mystery games. The theme was Roman and the plot was about a poet who was preparing to release a piece of work that exposed some very unfavorable facts about several elite people in Rome. But then the poet is murdered and we had to try to determine who was the killer when we all had a motive. (Side note: the outcome reminded me of the movie Gosford Park which is a very witty, clever murder mystery. I would recommend it if you are in the mood for a good whodunit.)

It was fun! And we were all dressed up as Romans. Don, a coworker of Peter's, and Robin, his wife, hosted it. Robin (she's second from the right in the picture) is Martha Stewart's long lost daughter. She's one of those that can gather a few pine cones off the street and make a stunning fall centerpiece! I'm envious of people like this! But I suppose we each have our own strengths. I paused here while writing this to think of an example of one of my strengths. I was going to say something tongue-in-cheek like one of my strengths is being able to sleep 14 hours at a time. But I asked Peter, "what is one of my strengths?" just to see what he would say. Here are the answers I got: sexiness and I'm a nice lady. Ha! Perhaps I need to work on developing some other strengths! He later added that I'm a good cook.

Robin cooked an amazing Itialian dinner of bruchetta, pork, salad and potatoes. It was delicious!

In other news Peter now has 10 Ophthalmology interviews. There are 3 in Texas, 2 in Louisiana, 1 in Utah, 2 in Missouri, 1 in Kansas, and 1 in Arkansas. We are thrilled about this! It will be exciting to find out where God will put us next! We won't know until mid January. We are praying that he will have a few additional interviews beyond these 10. Apparently the North East programs send invitations later in the season. So maybe next month. Either way though, we are very happy. Peter has made a lot of great connections at Utah. Which doesn't necessarily mean he will get into Utah but it does mean he has several people who can put a good word in for him at other programs.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Like a fish out of water

I was actually in the water but I still felt like a fish out of water today when I went to the University pool for a swimming lesson.

I've decided to take up swimming because it's one of the only exercises that I know of that I will be able to do until I go into labor. And it's easier on your joints than jogging is.

I've been an outside jogger for a few years. I love the outside part. I've managed to avoid the gym for the last three years. But I'll have to give up jogging in a few weeks because it will be too dark too early. Darkness falls at about 7 pm now but after the time change on November 1st (I think) it will be dark at 6 pm and I get off at 5:30. Additionally it will be getting icy and I will be getting rotund.

So for all those reasons I had to retreat to an inside locale to work out. That's something I never had to think about in Texas because there was always enough light at one end of the day or the other and it was certainly never icy.

So, I joined the U of U gym and got a package of 5 swimming lessons so that I could improve my strokes. I sort of know how to swim but I thought it would be nice to brush up on my strokes if this is something that I'm going to be doing consistently for the next 6 months.

So today was my first lesson and I was so nervous! I don't know exactly why. I haven't been swimming in years. And I always feel sort of naked (there's not much left to the imagination when you're in a swimsuit!) and cold wandering around the pool. And when the life guards look at me I'm never quite sure if they think I might be drowning. Because my strokes are erratic and there is some occasional gasping for air. So there's a possibility I could be mistaken for someone flailing for her life.

But today I had a lot of fun! There are four girls in the class and the instructor is really nice. And I had forgotten what a good work out it is without being high impact. So now I'm really excited!

If anyone has any pregnancy exercise info I am open to hearing any and all advice! I've still been jogging and doing pilates these first three months. But it has been a STRUGGLE. All I want to do with my free time is sleep. So, I haven't been exercising as much as usual. Which is fine, I'm not expecting to become the world's first pregnant olympian. But I'd like to stay active because for me it's all about the habit. If I get in the habit of exercise than it's easy to make time for it. But if I get in the habit of sleeping all my free time away then it's hard to make myself do anything else- including very basic things like eating dinner and brushing my hair! The siren song of my bed is so strong sometimes. Resistance is futile! :o)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Providence

When I was looking through our pictures last week to find one of the Candy Cane Cake I made, I happened upon a few others that made me remember an incident that occurred last year that I want to write about.

Peter and I were driving home from a holiday get together in San Antonio at his aunt and uncle's house last November. We were driving down the highway when suddenly I saw something careening towards the windshield. Before I even registered what was happening, the object flew through the glass, I screamed and ducked. It all happened so quickly. The time between seeing something coming towards us and when it shattered the glass was seconds or less.

Peter pulled off of the highway at our exit and we began to assess the damage. Thank God we were both okay. There was a hole in the windshield on my side of the car (passenger side). And there was glass all over me. It was in my eyes, my hair, down my clothes. But thankfully, I only had a few extremely minor scratches on my hands, I think.

Anyways, after realizing that we were both okay it quickly occurred to me that I could have easily been killed or maimed beyond recognition. It was a softball sized rock that came through the windshield and landed on the floor in the back of the car. I don't know if it went over the back of my seat, or between our seats. But either way, it was inches away from my head. Since we were on the highway, going probably at least 60 miles per hour, I have no doubt that if it had hit me, my head would have been crushed. And even if it hadn't hit my head, I'm sure it could have done some serious damage to my ribs and lungs or to wherever it might have landed.


Here, Peter has patched the hole but you can see the glass all over the seat. Though the picture doesn't really do it justice, the glass is probably too fine to see.

This incident reminded me of a story out of the book The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. This book is a must read. It is the true story of Corrie and her family and their experience during the holocaust in Denmark. Anyways, I believe it was on the night when Germany invaded Denmark that Corrie and her sister Betsy had gone to bed but couldn't sleep so they got up and were sitting at their kitchen table listening to the radio. Later that night Corrie went back up to her bed room and found a metal pipe that had come through her window and landed right on her pillow. She went to tell Betsy asking the completely pertinent question "what if I had been there?" Betsy replied, "there are no what-ifs with God."

After this incident, I jokingly referred to it as my brush with death. But seriously, I found it very comforting to dwell on the fact that there are no what-ifs with God. The Bible tells us that bad things will happen to us, trials will come. That's life, which most people, even the non-religious, will probably readily admit. But for Christians, we are never victims of some random statistical chance, or freak accident. There is a greater plan. We might not always understand it or even like it but there is comfort in knowing that God does understand and for those that love Him, all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).

Monday, October 19, 2009

August 25th

August 25th is now a date firmly etched into my memory.

I had very little reason to suspect I was pregnant and yet I was almost certain that I was. I had noticed some very subtle but odd symptoms during the preceding weeks. I had become dizzy once, which was very unusual for me; I was tired. Though I’m always tired so I don’t know if that was actually pregnancy related.

Finally, on August 25th I was only 3 days late for my monthly cycle. I had resolved not to take a pregnancy test until September when it would likely be more accurate. Yet on that day, it was a Tuesday, I developed a new symptom. I became extremely winded while I was sweeping the floor. I had to catch my breath just to talk to Peter. I remembered a friend of mine telling me that she always knew when she was pregnant because of how short of breath she became. I said to Peter, “I think I’m pregnant.” And with that my resolve crumbled very quickly and I hurried to the bathroom to pee on a stick.

After said peeing, I darted out of the bathroom to wait the prescribed 3 minutes for the result to appear according to the instructions. But who are they kidding, 3 minutes?!? I darted back in about 30 seconds later. I was expecting some lines or something, but apparently I had some sort of high tech, digital pregnancy test because right there in front of me was the word “Pregnant!”

I felt flushed and the butterflies in my stomach fluttered to life. I walked out to the living room to show Peter that most life changing of words. I held the test in front of his face with shaking hands. Only earlier that day Peter had undergone a dilated eye exam and he still couldn’t see much. “What does it say?” he asked. “Pregnant!” I declared. He took it very calmly. He was excited, but he was his characteristic mellow self.

We were both pretty mellow, in fact. There was no squealing or jumping up and down. But there was and is disbelief and deep, happiness and gratitude. We are so excited!

Later that night Peter asked me, “Why do women get so tired in the first trimester?” I was all, “my body is sustaining another person’s life, doesn’t that sound like hard work to you?!?” I’m willing to use just about any excuse to take a good nap but “sustaining life” is probably one that you really can’t argue with. I anticipate a lot more naps in my future. Until the baby comes. Then no naps. Ever. Until the baby goes to college. Isn’t that the way this works?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Theodore and Penelope are getting a sibling

Penelope and Theodore are going to have a little sister or brother!


And their new sibling is not a kitty. I’m pregnant!


So, we sat down with them and explained to them that being older siblings carries significant responsibility.


“Theodore and Penelope”, I said, “I’m expecting you to teach this baby some of the most important lessons he/she will learn.”


I elaborated, “You’ll need to make sure the baby understands the necessity of always going to the bathroom in the proper receptacle.



Meticulous cleanliness


The importance of waiting patiently for his/her food



Finally and most importantly, the art of taking long, looooooooong naps



“Number 4 is the most pressing issue. If you fail at that, you’ve failed at all.”


“You’ll also be expected to do a fair amount of pro bono babysitting. That shouldn’t be too taxing because if you succeed in teaching the baby those four important life lessons, s/he will be the best baby in the entire world.”


They seemed to take the news with their characteristic nonchalance. But deep inside, I know they were at least as excited as they are when we fill their food bowls.


So, I’m due in late April, early May-ish! We do not plan to find out the sex of the baby until his/her birthday. We were waiting to tell everyone about the pregnancy until I got out of the first trimester. Which is right about now. I'm 12.5 weeks. Peter and I have been keeping this a secret from everyone for 2 months! You cannot imagine how many times I almost blurted it out to strangers just so that I wouldn’t erupt. Anyways in the next few weeks, I’m going to be posting some things that I’ve written so far about my experience. And, of course I’ll keep you updated on things from here on out!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fashion Show (If it can be called that)

Be forewarned: Blatant narcissism ahead. But I wanted to post some pictures of my favorite bargain-basement finds from two weekends ago at DI (Utah's Goodwill.). Okay here we go. This year, pictures on my blog. Next year perhaps a runway in Paris. This may be the start of my modeling career.

Pink blazer originally from Banana Republic. I paid $5. I had been wanting a blazer like this. Score!


Brown shirt, also originally from BR. I took off the blazer to reveal its cute sleeves.

Why am I standing like this? It's how all the models at J. Crew stand. And if its good enough for them, its good enough for me. I love this shirt and its such a festive color it will be fun to wear during the holidays. $2, originally from Banana Republic where it would have probably cost me my first born child.

Cute Pea Coat (I think it's a pea coat, I don't really know all my coat terminologies). This is originally from Express which is a store I like but haven't been to in probably 2 years. Anways, I think this was $6.

This was one of the most fruitfull thrift shopping experiences I've ever had. And I hope to have many more like it! Because there's no reason to pay full price!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Capital, my good fellow! (Must say with British accent while picturing a Charles Dicken's character.)

So, the other day while writing a post I mentioned that the caramel apple spice from Starbucks is Delectable with a capital D. I had to surf on over to dictionary.com to make sure that I had used the right spelling of capital. I have to check dictionary.com on about 90% of all of the words 4 letters and over that I ever write.

Anyways, I have thought for many years that capital referred to letters and capitol referred to the capital city. But when I looked up the definition of capital I saw that it referrers to both capital letters and the capital city, among other things. So I wondered, when does one use capitol? So, I looked it up. Turns out capitol has a very specific meaning:

1. the building in Washington, D.C., used by the Congress of the U.S. for its sessions.
2. (often lowercase) a building occupied by a state legislature.
3. the ancient temple of Jupiter at Rome, on the Capitoline.
4. the Capitoline.

So, Capitol only refers to a building where the congress meets. More specifically it seems to refer mostly to the buildings in D.C. where the American government convenes, or the Capitoline in Rome.

I didn't know that that word only referred to a building. Is that not ridiculous? Who thought of that? It's as if someone, perhaps the architect of the capitol building, was like "We need a separate word for this. It's that special! This building musn't be confused with capital letters, the capital city or monetary capital! Capitol! That's the solution. One letter off, different enough to make no sense at all!"

The distinction between those words is even sillier than I had originally thought. Or perhaps the exquisite nuances of the English language are just lost on me. That's definitely possible.

P.S. Upon further inquiry, I ran across this note on dictionary.com the word "capitol is from the Roman Capitoline Hill and the similarity between capitol and capital is purely coincidental; capitol applies to the building and capital to the seat of a government."

So perhaps there wasn't a self-aggrandizing architect involved. But it's still a silly distinction, in my humble opinion. One that will throw many a kindergartner (and possibly a few 26 year olds) off forevermore.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This post has made me hungry.

Thank you all for taking my "dilemma" so seriously! I appreciate your suggestions and it truly hadn't crossed my mind to try tea or chai. I'm not usually a big tea drinker but I do like tea. So, I will have to look into that! Thank you!

And if you didn't read all the comments, Robin left one where she mentioned the caramel apple spice from starbucks. I agree this is a must have for the fall/winter season. In fact on the last day of September, which was the first chilly, blustery day around here, Peter and I went to starbucks and indulged in one. It's not a coffee drink, its an apple cider. It is so Delectable with a capital D! So, for those of you in warm-weather climes, wait unitl a truly chilly day (which should probably happen sometime in January, right?) put on a cardigan and some warm fuzzy socks and go grab one of these in honor of the week-long Texas winter!

One of my very favorite websites is myrecipes.com. It has a collection of recipes from several different food magazines like Cooking Light and Southern Living and others. You can search their database and find a recipe for anything under the sun. I get 99.8% of my recipes from here. Specifically from Cooking Light. I tend to prefer the recipes from Cooking Light because I try to cook healthy meals. You can also create a file for yourself and save recipes that you like in various catagories so that they are really easy to find.

In addition to recipes, they have party menu suggestions, seasonal and holiday recipes, healthy living ideas, a how-to section (which I have consulted many a time to learn how to do everything from cutting carrots julienne-style to quartering a whole chicken.). So it's worth checking out if you're into food, like I am. But one feature that I really like is their Dish-of-the-Day Calendars. For the month of October the Calendar is Your Daily Soup. So every day they have a different soup recipe.

Last year in November they had a Cookie Countdown Calendar which I would read through while salivating until I was sitting in a puddle of my own drool. December's Calendar last year was Show Stopping Cakes. Which was pretty much the same story with the salivation. But I made a few of the cookie recipes and at least two of the cake recipes. One of the cakes was this one. Which was delicious but richer than Bill Gates. I will have to write a separate post about that because it was a doozy to make and had a story behind it. I also made this cake which was fun.

Mine might not look Martha Stewart worthy like the one on the website, but it tasted good. And it has a festive holiday feel. And it's not hard. Bonus!

Anways, part of the fun is the anticipation of seeing what tomorrow's recipe will be. And part of it is just having a variety of delicious seasonal recipes to look through and try, it gets me in the mood for seasonal cooking. As it gets cooler around here it will be perfect soup weather so I'm hoping to try a few of those. I love seasonal cooking. Especially baking. I'll hopefully be posting a few recipes that have made it into my "Fall Favorites" category in the next few months.

Anyways, happy cooking and eating to you all!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dilemma


I have a dilemma, nay a problem. Nay! A crisis! I need all of your heads working together on this and possibly a miracle.

You see, I love hot chocolate. I luuuuuuv it with big, gooey marsh mellows in it. In Texas I was able to keep my cravings at bay because most of the time it was 80 plus degrees outside.

But this winter will be a different story. There are those times when you feel cold to the bone and you want to be immersed in warmth and nothing works except for a hot shower. But you can only take so many showers per day before a) the hot water runs out or b) you're husband admonishes you not to spend all of our savings on the water bill. Plus, when you get out of the shower you're even colder than you were when you went it. So that's not even a good solution. But! Hot chocolate is! It warms you from the inside out. And you're hands are holding your warm mug and pretty soon you start sweating! Not to mention that you get the added deliciousness of cocoa and marsh mellows.

The problem is that I don't want to gain 300 lbs. What do I do? Do I give up a meal? Do I add 30 extra minutes of exercise to the exercise I already do? Do not even mention drinking diet hot chocolate or cutting out the marsh mellows, people. That's ridiculous!

I suppose the only solution is to be reasonable about it and drink it in moderation. Perhaps drink diet hot chocolate most of the time and have regular hot chocolate with marsh mellows as a treat. But I don't want to do that! Sure in Houston moderation is fine. But not here when it's snowing! Where has moderation ever gotten anyone in life?

As you can see, I have a very difficult life. Where are Obama and Oprah when it comes to problems that really matter?!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Eat Wild

There are exactly two things I miss about Houston. One is my church and its members, the other is the year-round farmers' market. (I would also add all of our med school friends but most of them have now scattered about the country.) I could buy meat and veggies at the farmers' market year round. Here that is not the case, sadly. That's the downside to those four seasons that I'm so excited about: not all of them are good for growing things.

Anyways, one of the women I work with, Jill, has a farm and raises cows and pigs. Their ranch is called Haywire Ranch (www.thehaywireranch.com). Their animals are grass fed, not treated with antibiotics or steroids, and pasture-raised. We purchased 25 lbs of beef and 25 lbs of pork from them, both were $4.25 per lb. We got all sorts of cuts of meat: roasts, steaks, ham, ground meat, sausage, soup bones. And we are now stocked up for the winter!

If you've read this blog or ever met me, you might have picked up on my fondness for local food. This meat was raised within two hours of Salt Lake so it didn't take a lot of energy to get to us, which is an environmental plus. And I love to support local farms (as opposed to factory farms). Those are a few reasons we decided to buy our meat from Jill and her husband. But there are several other reasons that I much prefer grass fed meat to factory farmed meat. Grass fed meat is healthier for you, it's more environmentally friendly and it is more humane for animals. Here is some information taken from a website called Eatwild.com:

Factory Farming. Raising animals on pasture is dramatically different from the status quo. Virtually all the meat, eggs, and dairy products that you find in the supermarket come from animals raised in confinement in large facilities called CAFOs or “Confined Animal Feeding Operations.” These highly mechanized operations provide a year-round supply of food at a reasonable price. Although the food is cheap and convenient, there is growing recognition that factory farming creates a host of problems, including:
• Animal stress and abuse
• Air, land, and water pollution
• The unnecessary use of hormones, antibiotics, and other drugs
• Low-paid, stressful farm work
• The loss of small family farms
• Food with less nutritional value.

The Healthiest Choice. When you choose to eat meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals raised on pasture, you are improving the welfare of the animals, helping to put an end to environmental degradation, helping small-scale ranchers and farmers make a living from the land, helping to sustain rural communities, and giving your family the healthiest possible food. It’s a win-win-win-win situation.

For more information you can visit http://www.eatwild.com/basics.html

P.S. I try not to be a food snob. Though, I think most of my views qualify me as just that. So, just know that I don't look down on anyone for eating factory-farmed meat and non locally grown veggies. I know that it's more expensive to eat the way we eat. But I believe in the cause, so we make it work.

Edited to add: this amount of meat actually is not as much as it might sound like. I don't have a big freezer. Just a regular sized one on the top of my refrigerator. 50 lbs of meat fits in that sized freezer with room to spare. We also have a few gallons of berries and other veggies that I've frozen.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Theodore's Night of Terror

Last week Theodore spent one frightful night crying almost incessantly. He was being terrorized by an unspeakable menace we have recently unleashed in our duplex.... the furnace. Yes, Theodore is scared of the heater. When Peter first turned it on he ran into his den and cried. It was sort of cute and pitiful.

The vents are all in the floors and turn on and off periodically to keep the duplex at whatever temperature we set. Much less cute was that night when each time they cycled on he meowed anxiously. The vents probably cycle on and off every half hour or so. That means every half hour that night I was awakened by his pitiful cries. Of all the things to be scared of. I think, given Theodore's (and cats general) love of coziness, that he will eventually like to sit next to the warm vents. That is if he ever gets over his crippling fear.

The next day he did a little better. When they come on, he still slinks around and regards them suspiciously but at least he stopped his whining. The heater will be on a lot this winter and I don't think I can tolerate him crying every half hour for 6 months.

In spite of this little quirk, we love Theodore. He is nearly the perfect cat. He has a number of charming qualities. Like he sits in such a sophisticated manner with his paws crossed. He lets me pick him up and cradle him like a baby and scratch is head while he purrs. He also has s soft furry belly and toe-hawks.

Soft, furry belly. Please ignore unmade bed.

Toe-hawk

He woke up while I was taking pictures of him and he meowed like "Can't a guy get some sleep around here? 18-20 hours, that's all I'm asking!"

Penelope, on the other hand, we like her. But I sometimes think back to that fateful day when we selected her at the humane society and wonder what life would have been like if we'd chosen that cute black and white kitty instead? Would my cereal still have it's box intact instead of being shredded and strewn about the kitchen floor? Would my Bible not have scratch marks on it? Would I be able to sleep past 8 am without a cat demanding to be admitted into my room. The world may never know the answers to these questions. But she has her cute qualities too. Sort of.

She's still a pretty young cat so I hope as she gets older she'll be less interested in shredding things. We'll see.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Jackpot!

Yesterday I went to Deseret Industries, it's the Utah version of Goodwill. I went in search of winter clothing. We don't have too much in the way of cool weather raiment and I didn't want to spend too much on winter clothes since this might be the only (real) winter we ever experience. So that's why I went to the thrift store. But actually, I love thrift stores so I had planned to go anyways.

Oh my gosh. You guys. I went crazy. I spent $71.00. I didn't intend to spend that much. But you won't believe how much I got for that price! Are you ready?

3 Pairs of pants, 3 jackets, 5 sweaters, 3 shirts and 2 pairs of shoes. On average I paid less than $5 per item! I'm so excited! The crowning glory of my purhace are two shirts and one blazer that were originally from Banana Republic. Now, ordinarily I don't really care about brand names (clearly, because I'm shopping at a thrift store) but it gives me so much satisfaction to know that at Banana Republic I would probably have spent a full day's pay on those items (Maybe more. That store is way over-priced.) but at the thrift store they only cost me about one 1/2 hour of my hard earned wages!

Yay! I'll post pictures when Peter gets back from his "man weekend" with the camera. I hope you can stand the wait until then. ;o)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Snow-capped again

On Tuesday the weather here was not that much different from weather in Houston. It was very warm and almost muggy. On Wednesday it snowed. Such a drastic change is something I feel like is pretty common in Texas. But not that cold, and never in September.

Here I am, sitting in our great white throne, donning some cold weather garb. Though, compared to how low the temperatures will go, it does not yet qualify as "cold" even though I feel very cold. Yikes. This is going to be a long winter.

It snowed very slightly in the valley, Peter said he saw snow flakes outside of his window but it didn't stick. It all melted before it hit the ground. It was mostly rain showers. But, in the mountains there were bona fide snow storms. After just a few short months of being green and adorned with wild flowers, the mountains are snow-capped again. Granted this snow might not stick but it's there now!

Unfortunately this new weather has put a damper on Peter's plans for the weekend. Three friends of his came in from Texas. Their plan was to hike to the top of King's Peak, the highest point in Utah. But unfortunately there are more storms expected on Sunday. It's a very long hike to do over a week end and they can't really risk a snow storm so I think they might be heading down south. But I don't know they're still discussing. Either way, I'll be on my own this weekend. I plan to do some napping. :o)

Penelope seems to have made a new friend in Dave, one of Peter's friends from SA. She's so cute and apparently also shameless.