Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh the craving.....

Is it just the fact that I am on a very strict holiday diet (to ward off the unwanted holiday pounds, make sure that I fit into my dress for the hubbs' work Christmas party and be swim suit ready for the cruise in Jan) or does this look like the most delicious bread you have ever seen in your whole dang life?

If you like amazing food and blogs written by incredibly talented bakers you should follow Caroline's blog (which is where I stole this picture).  Any of you who are not on a diet should make this and let me know how it turns out. And did you know that Cooks Illustrated had a baking version?

Baking Illustrated?!?!

Oh do not even get me started.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's the most.....wonderful time of the year?

Do you ever feel like you're standing on the precipice of your own life?  Looking down into a canyon of activity that is deep and swirling and and terrifying and lovely?

That's how I feel about the holidays.  This two-hour nap time that I am sitting in right now (watching a movie and typing and emailing) is a small quiet window and looking out from it I can see the next two hectic weeks.  

Today I dropped off my Brother-in-law at the train station. He spent the Thanksgiving weekend with us, down from Palo Alto.  He was a wonderful guest and Claire loves him.  

Every night this week has plans.  One of my favorite cousins will be visiting with her 4 kids for the weekend (and we are so excited to see them.  Her husband is one of the hubbs' favorite people and the only person in my family who loves sports as much as he does) and next week I make a quick trip to Utah for the unveiling of the book that my mom and her painting group are putting together.  In between those events we will be decorating a tree, reading stories, making dinner and trying to figure out what to get the hubbs for Christmas (I am taking suggestions).

The frenzy is daunting but exciting (and will only be followed by another trip to Utah for Christmas and a family reunion Cruise in January).

Does anyone else feel like this about this time of year?  I love it, but sometimes just thinking about it makes me feel dizzy.


And, in a total non sequitur* here is a Thanksgiving quote my mom read to me over the phone this morning.  And some pictures of the weekend

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.  
~H.U. Westermayer

*I just had to use google to figure out how to spell sequitur.  Spell check didn't know what I was talking about but google did.  Google always knows what I'm talking about.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A first time for everything

Today I ventured out into shoppingdome for the first time on a Black Friday ever.  I typically avoid the tradition like the plague and here are my reasons

1) I love sleep
2) Why would I want to spend a Friday off of work crammed into a store with a million other people?
3) Historically all of my Black Fridays have been spent in places where the weather this time of the year can be summed up as "snowy" and I don't like being cold.
4) I don't have any money to spend

The last one may seem downright Un-American but my fear of eating dog food for my whole retirement outweighs my love of cheap goods at bargain prices.

This year was a little different.  The church I belong to has this really amazing women's group called the Relief Society.  The purpose of the Relief Society is to do just like what it sounds like: provide relief.  As a group we recently read a really inspiring book about the kinds of things that women who belonged to the organization had done in times past (which included starting a hospital to specifically serve women and the disabled, raising wheat that would be sent to Europe after World War 2 to feed the starving people etc, etc etc).  After our discussion about the book one of the women in the group raised her hand and said, "This book made me want to get to work.  I haven't done anything worthy of being written about in this book."

So we decided that we are going to do our best to be book-worthy.

We still don't have a long term relief-providing project picked out (or even thought up.  We are taking suggestions) but until we do we are busying ourselves providing relief in smaller less book-worthy ways.  This Christmas we are providing care kits for families who will have to be in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on Christmas.  One of the women in our group had a baby born at 23 weeks.  Charlotte lived in the NICU for 7 months (you wouldn't know it now).  Another one of the women works at the NICU so it's a cause that's near to our hearts.

Our very own Claire spent her first 7 days in the NICU.

Hands down, the worst 7 days of my life.

I had a baby born at 41 weeks gestation.  She weighed 7lbs 15oz and I knew that her stay in the NICU would be a short one (her next door neighbor only weighed 4 lbs) and it was STILL an awful experience.  The nurses were nice, the doctors were kind but walking away from the hospital and leaving my brand new baby there with an IV taped to her head and an oxygen tube was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

On Saturday we have a service extravaganza to make everything that will be needed for the care packages.  We will be busy making baby leg warmers, blankets, silky soothing blankets and crinkly toys.  We're trying to make 40 of each.  Our children are making the cards to go with the packages*.

 Making all of those crafty things requires a lot of crafty materials.  And the one thing that could get me out of my bed and to the mall before 8 is the thought of those babies in the NICU and their moms whose hearts are breaking and who have to walk away from their brand new babies on Christmas day. So for my very first Black Friday experience I hit up Joann's Fabric.  I geared myself up for pushing ladies out of the way to get all of the flannel I needed and I loaded up my purse with snacks.

Totally unnecessary.  The cutting-line was long but you just had to take a number and wait your turn (which took about an hour). The employees were nice and everyone in line was discussing their next project.  And believe you me, when it came to buying fabric in bulk I had nothing on those ladies (yes, that is one lady's cart and pile on the counter).

Would I do it again?

Only if there's a group of babies who need our help.

*If any of you are interested in joining us for the baby-supply-making extravaganza just email me.  We could always use another pair of hands.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Without sounding all lovey-dovey-life-is-perfect like I would just like to acknowledge that I have much for which I should be thankful.

And I am thankful for you.  And this blog. And the strange and wonderful opportunity it provides me to stay in touch with old friends, meet new ones and share a little of our life story.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Something I should have thought of before this morning

My turkey is soaking in brine as we speak.  Something to think about.  If you volunteer to cook the turkey for your Friendsgiving at one point you are going to have to stick your hand inside an animal corpse and pull out its neck.  Dry heaving might ensue.

The recipe I am using (which is from Our Best Bites and you can find here) says that tomorrow I have to separate the skin from the body so as to be able to slather the thing with butter.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

I have no objection to the butter but there is no way I am going to rip the skin off and jam my hand up there. Maybe I can talk the hubbs into doing it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

That's what love is.....

Love is wanting to share your greatest successes and happiest moments with children.

You know, like your love of walking around the beach on a Monday in the middle of the work day with your metal detector.  And really, who has 4 child-sized metal detectors?  

(No, Calvin is not learning to use a metal detector.  Like most people, he is just at the beach to play in the water, dig holes and chase seagulls.  The kids with the metal detectors are behind him to the right.  Grown-up and 4 kids huddled around some kind of treasure)

If I were better at taking pictures this would have been WAY funnier.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ah.....Mr Shel Silverstein

There are days when this poem hits a little too close to home

*Someday I will tell the story of the time my sister met Shel Silverstein when she was a waitress on Martha's Vineyard.  There's cursing in the story...but only enough cursing to ensure that the interaction went down in the annuals of family history never to be forgotten.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Book Club: Update

This is just a little weekend note to say that Clarissa picked Jane Eyre for us to read.  There are so many things to love about Jane Eyre.
1) Mr Rochester
2) A love story where the girl is not the most beautiful girl on the block and where she is determined and follows her own heart
3) You can download it for free to any reader or mobile device.

You have 3 weeks.


Oh.  And Happy Weekend. I am just back from seeing "Breaking Dawn" with a group of ladies and it is everything you are hoping:  terrible acting, weird moody/painful glances (see below), vampires with too-white makeup, men who remain shirtless for no apparent reason and 100% wonderful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let's call the whole thing off

Last night I had such a horrific kitchen disaster that I had to go buy new drip pans for the stove.  True story.

And, while I was yelling obscenities and pulling the pan off the stove Claire peed all over the living room carpet.

On the upside, I texted the hubbs to let him know what was happening (he was out with a friend visiting a new family in the neighborhood).  His friend sent him home with a bar of homemade man soap which I have been coveting for weeks (did you know that it takes 7+ weeks to make your own soap).

So I guess we're going to call the evening a wash.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Ritual to Read to (and parent) Each Other

At one point last night I was sitting around a table with 7 other women. Most of our children were home sleeping but some of them were playing on the floor.  We were talking and laughing and making ourselves really decadent cups of hot chocolate (mine had nutella and marshmallows in it).  There may have also been donuts present.

We were telling stories and jokes in the way that women do and the story of the one time that my friend Lu got attacked by a bear in Denali National Forrest came up (she survived the incident with nothing but some scratches but the story is incredible).  Some of us had heard the story, some had not.  Another friend said, "I took Casey (her 3-year-old) hiking the other evening and she got so scared of bears that I had to tell her your story and I reminded her of how you were protected.  When I finished it she had me tell it again."  They had been hiking on UCSD campus and the library had been visible the whole time they walked along the paved path.  We all laughed at the imagined fear of bears that a child can illicit in a major city. 

Lu cleared her throat to begin telling the story for the friends who hadn't heard it when from the corner of the table came a tiny little voice.  Casey, dressed in pink footie pajamas which she had then crammed into brown Mary Janes--the very image of Cindy Lu Hoo--started to tell her story.  It took her a few minutes to get out the details.  They had been hiking.  She was scared.  It was night.  It was dark. And when they were done their dad picked them up in the car.  As Casey was telling her story I looked around the table.  Every one of women there was completely focused on the story she was telling.  There was head nodding and verbal acknowledgement of the dramatic parts.  No one rolled their eyes as if we just had to get through this part to hear the exciting bear attack story. 

It brought me to tears.

Being a parent is humbling. 

Being in a room full of women who are taking the time and effort to collectively love and parent another child is a reminder that we don't have to do it all.  There is a whole crowd, a whole room of people who are there to help you along. 

And when I came home I read this poem:

A Ritual to Read to Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

William Stafford

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A picture paints....

Do remember when cell phones were just cell phones?  They didn't have the internet or cameras or anything like that?  I remember being in high school or college and seeing a TV ad about a camera on a phone.  The man was showing a girl in a bar what she could use it for.  It mostly had to do with taking pictures of unattractive men and saying to her girlfriends, "I just found your new boyfriend."

I remember thinking the ad was crazy and there were just not enough moments in the world that would necessitate a camera on a phone.

Obviously my strength is not forecasting.

Sometimes at night, after Claire has gone to bed, I scroll through pictures of her and watch videos.  Looking at pictures of herself as a baby is one of Claire's all-time favorite activities.

Here are a couple of random shots from my phone.

She's a shoe girl.  

My little brother introduced me to the Chuck Norrism.
I texted this to him last week.
I'm still waiting for a response

I also texted this to my little brother.
Also still waiting for a response

World's scariest ad that's at the gym right now.
Have we really reached a point in society where that hair is supposed to
make us want to buy things?

Camera on a phone?  Brilliant.

What about you?  What's the best picture on your phone?

Monday, November 14, 2011

A little off guard

When November 14th looks like this

We're training Claire to chase the seagulls.
The birds can get pretty aggressive  when you're the only people on the beach.

The seagull didn't stand a chance

One of the moms brought ingredients to make volcanoes in the sand.  Brilliant

it can catch you totally off guard that Thanksgiving is next week (and you don't have a turkey or anything in the cupboard). This morning when I mentioned that to the hubbs he pulled out his phone to check the calendar because he thought I must be joking.

Happy Fall to us.

Friday, November 11, 2011


The celebrity numerologist that they interviewed on the local TV station morning show said that today was a good day for new starts.  I read the close captioning of her interview while I was on the treadmill at the gym.  From what I could gather what you are supposed to do to harness the day's numerological power is write a list of the things that you want to change in your life, light a white candle and then sit back and let the day's power sweep over you.  Then get to work.

While on the treadmill I actually considered doing this.  I thought of the things in my life that I could do better.  I thought about harder workouts, more natural food, afternoon educational play time a schedule that includes art time and music time every day.

Then I came to my senses and  instead of picking apart the minutia of my life and judging myself against some unattainable measure of perfection I decided that I would wish for one thing.

To have a grateful heart.

So consider this my note and white candle.  I am going to work on being thankful.  Instead of worrying if I can get into my skinny jeans (for the record I can't right now)I am going to be thankful for skinny jeans and the chubby kind too.  Instead of begrudging having to budget and skimp I am going to be thankful for a husband who loves that I stay home and has a job that can support us.

Grateful for thrift store finds,

for sunny mornings

and lots of good friends.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The best $5 I ever spent

On Sunday we sat next to one of our favorite families and they shared their toys with Claire.  The mom of the family and I got together with a couple of other women a few weeks ago and made educational toys for our toddlers.  The other mom pulled out a little green road-map-style mat that we made and 3 little match box cars.

It was love and first push.  Claire played with the cars for nearly an hour.  When we got home I tried to make her a car out of foam that she could pretend was rolling along the mat but it just wasn't the same.  So last night when the hubbs had to make an oh-my-gosh-we-are-totally-out-of-diapers-and-who-knows-when-amazon-will-deliver-the-next-ones trip to Target I asked him to pick up a pack of match box cars.

They cost $1.20 each and he bought a 5 pack.  Best parent investment we have made yet.

Playing with her cars on her mat

Showing her cars to Baby James who came to play this afternoon

Just enjoying a little dinner theater

And sending her cars zooming down the slide

Honestly.  Today I have been able to go to the bathroom in total privacy.  I took a shower and did menu planning all while Claire was awake.   Let's hope it lasts

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Happy Joy Joy


I need to warn you that getting to the point of this post is going to take a little explaining of basic Mormon beliefs.  Stick with me and I hope it will be worth it.  If it's not, I promise that tomorrow my post will be airheaded at best. Fair?

So.  Mormon's believe that God called prophets to write the Bible.  Pretty basic right?  These men, who lived in Jerusalem and round about were called by God to write and preach the things that he told them. Now, the trouble is that at the time there wasn't really any way to get information to other parts of the world but all of God's children needed to know the things that he was telling the people in Jerusalem (and they also needed some things that were specific to their needs and situations).  Enter the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon was written by prophets who lived on the American continent and contains the same kinds of stories and prophecies that the Bible contains. Both books hold an equal level of sacred importance in our religion.

The first prophet to write in the Book of Mormon is named Lehi and he actually lived in Jerusalem before the Babylonian captivity.  He was warned by the Lord that Jerusalem was going to be taken captive and told that if he left with his family he would be given a land of promise.  Lehi probably thought that this "land of promise" was Canaan but...it was actually somewhere in the Americas.

We're going to jump into the story several hundred miles after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem.  They traveled in the wilderness toward the Red Sea camping and hunting along the way.  At this point the Lord speaks to Lehi and tells him that he neglected to bring any of the sacred writings with him and that the sacred  writings are critical to the success of his journey so he needs to send 3 of his sons back to Jerusalem to get them (we can talk about the timing of the Lord another time but I can see that you are thinking, "that's probably information they could have used a hundred miles ago."  I am thinking that same thing).  So he sends his sons back.

As you can imagine, this is very hard on the children's mother.  Sariah has picked up her whole house and is camping in the wilderness because her husband has had a vision that Jerusalem is going to be destroyed.  Now he tells her that her oldest sons have to go back because they forgot to bring their scriptures. Just so you aren't left in suspense, the boys complete their mission but it takes longer than expected.  After Sariah has waited for the amount of time that they assume it will take and her boys are not yet back she has a little melt down.  She tells her husband that he is crazy and that she can't believe he dragged her into this and that she is sure they are going to die in the wilderness (of course I am paraphrasing).

Lehi's response is a lesson for husbands everywhere.  He holds her and comforts her and assures her that the boys will return.  He doesn't fight.  Then he says this,

"I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God... But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice..."

Did you catch the tense there.  He has obtained a land of promise.  This is funny and a little troubling because he has not actually obtained a land of promise and he and his family will wander in the wilderness for a long time before he does.

Today I got it.

We had a typical morning.  It started out with a bowl of cornflakes thrown on the floor, a time out, a second bowl of cornflakes eaten and a third thrown on the floor and another time out.  Then some cuddling because two time-outs in 20 min is hard on everyone and finally we made some yogurt. Claire climbed up on the little step stool and busied herself trying to push everything into the sink.  I asked her to take the canning lids and showed her how after I poured in the yogurt she was going to put them on and then I was going screw on the top.  And.  She got it.  She cheered after she finished each one and when we were all finished she almost cried because she wanted to do more.  And in that one little moment I thought, "we have arrived."

I know that Claire and I still have many years of wandering in the wilderness before we arrive at any kind of promised land.  Maybe the trick to parenting is the same as the trick to surviving in the wilderness as the Lord leads you.  And it's to trust so much in the destination and how great it's going to be that every step forward feels like you are already there even if you'll be finding cornflakes in the nooks and crannies for the next two weeks.

* Book of Mormons (yes, this is actually the correct pluralization despite popular belief) are widely available and if any of you are interested I would be happy to send you one.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Club: Moby Dick

Call me obsessed.

Moby Dick ignited an obsession within me.  I can not get enough of whales lately.  I read the book with wikipedia opened next to me so I could check facts and look at pictures of sperm whales.  I would guess that I have spent hours looking at pictures of whales and reading about them since I started the book.  Did you know that they still use "spermaceti" as a lubricant in space?  True story. Did you know that Starbucks original name was Pequod but the board of directors nixed it so they had to go with Starbuck?  Also true story.

My next big plan is to go whale watching.

I am sorry that this isn't a real book club where we are sitting around and eating treats and talking about the book because there are a couple of things I would like to hear your opinion on.  So, I'll just ask, and you can tell me what you think in the comments.

1. Ishmael.  I am still trying to get my head around his role.  Do we trust him?  And if we know that he is the narrator and he was actually on the ship why is the book full of stage directions and siloques.  The reason novels have narrators is, presumably, to tell the story so why does this one require stage directions?

2. Lunacy.  Oh, the crazy people who inhabit the pages of this book.  Some, the world deems crazy (Pip, Elijah) but they are the ones who seem to have a deeper grasp on reality and some, (Ahab) are actually made ship captains and sent to sea to make fortunes.

3. Heathen/Religion/Prophecy.  I think the Quequeg is my favorite character.  He is the person who first hinted to me that I would love this book.  I was sorry that his role vanished as the book went on.  I loved how he is, perhaps, the most Christian character of the book (even though he is a cannibal).  Maybe prophecy should have it's own topic, but it does seem to fit with religion and heathenism.  But why do we need 100 prophecies that Ahab will fail in his venture?  I actually thought the prophecies were a little heavy handed. 

4. Anthropomorphism. My book from the library was more than 700 pages long.  On my phone it was more than 2300.  When an author dedicates that many words to such a singular mission, killing the white whale, it's easy to get caught up in the furry.  When the moment came (I should say here that Moby Dick actually only appears in the last 3 chapters of the book--maybe a total of 40 pages) for Moby Dick to arrive on the scene I found  myself a little scared.  So many captains and ships had met him and told of his cruel nature--the way he maliciously smashed ships and carried off sailors and sons--that I found myself just waiting to see what this cruel creature would do next.

Then I had to remind myself.  Moby Dick is a whale.  He is not trying to kill innocent sailors.  He is just trying to survive.  There's no malice in his actions.  He is all nature, a look at Darwin's "Survival of the Fittest" in action.

I think that we do this in our lives all the time. I find myself doing it with Claire.  Claire is just on the brink of really talking.  She says words all day long and only about 1/2 of them are distinguishable.  Pass (short for pacifier)  and bus sound almost exactly the same. And as I try to understand what she is saying there is often lots of crying and frustration.  I have found myself (in Claire break down sorts of moments) thinking, "Why are you being so manipulative?  Why can't you just be a little more patient?  Why are you trying to frustrate and fluster me?"

Sometimes I have to step back and remind myself that she is not being manipulative.  She is just trying to get what she needs and she is communicating in the only way she knows how.  I think that applies to grown ups too.  Of course, maybe the grown ups we deal with in our own lives are trying to be manipulative but maybe they are just trying to communicate in the only way they know how.

This leads to one of my favorite quotes of the whole book.  Starbuck and Ahab are fighting in the cabin because Starbuck thinks that it is suicide to pursue the white whale.  The language is strong and threats may have issued forth but Starbuck closes with,

"Thou hast outraged, not insulted me, Sir; but for that I ask thee not to beware of Starbuck; thou wouldst but laugh; but let Ahab beware of Ahab; beware of thyself, old man."

I think that's wise advice for all of us....beware of thyself

Okay.  Comment away. And Clarissa, please post what book we're reading next.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Death of a Whale

I know that we are supposed to talk about Moby Dick tomorrow but I'm not going to be ready.  I'll probably finish the book by tomorrow but I have to do some research about Melville.  I mean, a guy doesn't just fill a whole book with odd facts about whales, character soliloquies and a narrator who I still can't figure out and not have a reason.

The good news is that the interweb seemed to know that I would need a little more time and provided me with this little gem this morning.

A whale can live for 50-75 years.
A whale's decomposing corpse can support an entire ecosystem for 50-75 years.

Whale Fall (after life of a whale) from Sharon Shattuck on Vimeo.

So noodle on that until Monday.
And Clarissa, you're picking the next book so start thinking.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Green-Eyed Monster

Dear Mom,
Remember how last time I was home I looked in your closet and saw the darling flats that you wore to Mojo's wedding.  Then I asked if you ever wear them and when you said,  "no" I said, "then I am taking them?" Thank you for only looking at me for an instant like you couldn't believe that this greedy little bugger was a child of yours and letting me take them anyway.  I have worn them almost every day.

And speaking of greedy.  Do you know how badly I want one of these bikes?

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes



Imagine that's me...except I'm a girl.  And both my baby and I would be in helmets.

That pic is a link so just click on over there and drool over those bikes yourself and imagine cruising the beach in that bad boy.....*sigh*

I wonder if my mom has one of those hidden in her closet.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Finally a Post about Grammar (and parenting books)

So, there was this one time when I put a foot note on a post about grammar (the good news is that my landlord had no problem renting to someone who uses the wrong kind of "to" as long as they pay their rent on time so we are happily situated in our little, sunny apartment for 2 more years) and I said that I didn't dare write a whole post about grammar because that would put my own grammar under further scrutiny.  Well today is the day I break the barrier. 

When I'm being self-deprecating I call myself a lazy parent.  I'm not really, but sometimes my parenting style can seem a lazy if you don't know what's happening.  I believe in teaching children the law of action and consequence*.  I think it's a lessons that is easier to learn when you're young and that learning to make good decisions and predict their consequences will guide you more easily through teen-hood and for your whole life. 

So Claire....well...she has learned a lot about consequences.  Just a couple of weeks ago when we were camping with friends Claire was tying to jump down the 3 cement stairs that led to the fire pit.  I kept trying to stop her and help her and tell her that it was dangerous and then....I just let her try it.  She fell and bonked her head and she cried and had a bruise, but I didn't have to worry about her trying it again.  I was close by and confident that she wouldn't get REALLY injured and I just let her go.  Lesson learned.

That being said, more than once I have told the hubbs that he can't pressure her into going to his alma mater.  The hubbs' whole family went to BYU.  So did his parents.  It's kind of a family tradition.  I affectionately call Knox College (my beloved alma mater) "Hippy School" and I tell people all about this one time that we designed our own class that didn't have a professor**.  AWESOME.  I want Claire to choose where she goes to school.  If it's BYU, that's fine.  If it's Knox, that's great.  If it's UCSD, which is just down the street, that's fine too.  I just want it to be her decision.

That being said, after having to stare at this bumper sticker for the last year (on a Pontiac Aztec that is ALWAYS parked in the lot) I will do what it takes to sway her from going to the University of Arizona.  UofA marketing department...let's consider this a fail.

*I didn't come up with any of my parenting theory by myself.  The two best books I have read about being a parent are Parenting with Love and Logic and Nurture Shock.  There are lots of great books about how to help your baby sleep and what kinds of toys they should be playing with but these two book are different.  They are mind- and life-altering when it comes to trying to raise, not just a child, but someone who will become a kind, well adjusted, loved human being.  If you are thinking of joining the great parenting experiment you should read them.

**In said class-with-no-professor the Dean who oversaw the project asked me about it at the end and I said, "I hate to say it but we really needed a professor" and he said, "I knew that that was the conclusion you would come to."--talk about the perfect example of teaching someone the law of action and consequence.