Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The semester is over!!...almost.

Chris's last final is tomorrow morning, and he has been increasingly less stressed (decreasingly stressed?) as the last few days have progressed. His big final project was due on Thursday. He sat at a table for almost four hours answering the judging professors' questions and studying for a quiz on the side.

I thought I'd give a brief explanation of what his project is, but sorry, I'm not an engineer and I don't actually really understand what he did all semester. Chris isn't here to explain it to me again. I'm going to try anyway, but I might embarrass myself when Chris reads it and realizes how much I don't know about what he really does.

The project is called EduCom, and he was working on a piece of the project meant to be used in college classroom settings. The professor can put in whatever specifications, then the students do a part of the programming. In the end, they get a working program but only had to write a section of the code themselves. That way, the students can focus only on one part of the programming (without having to learn every piece of the programming language?) but they still get a fully functioning program in the end. Or at least they can see bits of the program without writing it all...or something. I think.

I hope I'm not the only wife out there who doesn't totally understand what her husband does for a living. But I do try.

I'm not a sappy person in general, nor am I very good at it when I try, but I do want to say that I love my husband. It's a very nice feeling to know that he is willing and able to support our family and is working hard to receive the best education possible. It's very fun to watch him playing with Jane (she learned how to tickle him and he laughed every time). And he's very good to listen to me whine and complain about being pregnant and sick and tired, then makes me get over it and move on. He's exactly what I want in a husband.

love you much

Sunday, April 19, 2009

List Additions

I don't have much to post about today, so I thought I'd do a mini-pregnancy update. Here is how I announced to my class that I'm pregnant (I mostly only told them so they would stop bugging
me about eating in class all the time when they don't get to).

Let me first set the stage. I approached this as a regular writing lesson. We have weekly worksheets that always have an analogy, but the blank is always the last word. I told my class that not every analogy has the last word blank. Sometimes it's missing a word in the middle, or even at the very beginning. Today, we were going to practice analogies with the blanks in different places. We did several examples on the board as a class, then I gave them this worksheet. That was the setup my kids went into this with.

One Freebie: #2 is Wampler. Mr. Jenkins is our principal, and my class's teacher's last name, obviously, is Wampler. Since you don't know our principal, I thought I'd give you a head start on that one.

Example car : drive :: airplane : fly ("car is to drive as airplane is to fly")


1. Mr. : man :: ______________ : woman

2. _________________ : teacher :: Jenkins : principal

3. can : can't :: ____________ : isn't

4. move : moving :: have : _________________

5. _________ : B :: Y : Z

6. puppy : dog :: _____________ : human

7. out : ___________ :: down : up

8. _________________ : Halloween :: December : Christmas

If you didn't catch on, the words that fill in the blanks make a sentence. I'll give you a moment to go back and check again.



Ok. Did you get it? My class didn't. It only took them about two minutes to figure out all the answers, but none of them caught the sentence. I heard lots of whispered comments of "That was really easy. Why was that so easy? She never gives us anything this easy!" That was amusing to me, but I wanted someone to notice or it would take away all the fun. So I walked over to one boy's desk and just pointed at the lines on his paper without saying anything. After a second, he said, "Ohhh." A few moments later, four or five more kids said, "Ohhh." Finally, a few moments after that, there was one large, collective "OHHHH" from the whole class. I was highly entertained.

Now I can eat in class and no one gets mad at me. :)

As for my list additions, I have a few things to add the reasons I don't like/reasons I like being pregnant lists.

Things I don't like:

Gaining just enough weight that my pants don't fit right, but I'm not big enough to "look pregnant". Maternity clothes are still aways off, but my regular clothes are losing their viability.

Smelling everything. I'm not throwing up so much anymore, but I can smell every little scent I get anywhere close to. Sometimes that's good, most of the time that means I can smell really really well something I didn't want to smell at all in the first place.

Things I like:

I'm not allergic to milk when I'm pregnant. I don't know how this works, but I can have as much milk as I want right now without getting sick or developing any large rashes. Hooray! There is at least one good thing while I'm pregnant!

As for life in general, things have been fairly hectic with Chris's finals coming up next week. His huge senior project is due on Thursday, and I've been helping him write his 50-page paper for it.

Jane is in the process of cutting her thirteenth tooth, so she's been ornery, feverish, and in general disagreeable with life, not to mention the contanstly-running faucet that is her nose. Ah, teething.

In my realm, I have been preparing my class for a new student that is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Let me just say from a teacher's perspective that getting a new student ONE WEEK before end-of-level testing is not the best time of year to add someone to the class. He's coming from Idaho, where the curriculum is different, and even though I haven't taught him at all, he will still take the tests with my class and his scores will count into my averages. I really hope he does better than most of the students who show up this time of year...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Weekend Adventures

Adventure 1

After a bath and haircut

I have been hoping all along that her hair would grow out long enough to stay behind her eyes and be cute long, but I realize now that was wishful thinking. I guess we'll have to wait until she's older and doesn't pull all clips or elastics out. Then maybe we can keep her hair out of her eyes while it's growing. For now, all of the bugging from my family today earned Jane a bang-trimming.

But don't worry, all of her cute curls in the back remain intact.
I don't know why the picture is sideways...maybe I'll get Chris to look at it with all his programming wonderfulness and then we'll pretend this never happened...

Adventure 2

We have officially become a two car family. During the summer, we had been doing well with the Ford and Chris's scooter. He would take the scooter around to work and whatnot while I had the car with Jane. For the most part, that worked quite well. Two main problems: the scooter cannot be used at all during the winter, and the scooter itself is on its way out. More often than not, it has to be jumped to start at all. Also, the scooter isn't quite as useful if children are involved...obviously Jane can't ride on the scooter, and if Chris has to pick her up in the car, I can't drive the scooter, either. So, replacement seemed necessary. I already told you all about our car replacement with Merc...well, today we replaced the scooter.

It is a 1993 Geo Metro, 117,000 miles, 40 miles to the gallon. It basically amounts to a scooter in a box. I can drive it, it works well in the winter, and in a pinch, we could fit a carseat (even two) if needed. The ideal compromise between having a car and a scooter and actually owning two cars. I've taken to calling it "the scooter." We'll see if the name sticks.

Adventure 3

For the first time, Jane was an active participant in the annual Petty/Baker Easter Hunt.

I'm okay with it. Needless to say, I have no intention of letting Jane eat all of the candy she collected. My confession: I fully intend to sell the candy to my students at school (don't worry--we have class money, not real money!).

Adventure 4/5

Neither Chris nor I were present for the following adventures, but Jane seemed to have a good time. The pictures are courtesy of day care.

They incubated some chicks for a few days, and there was quite the excitement when the chicks started hatching.

On Friday, Laura Lee took all of the kids to Baby Animals Days at the American West Heritage Center. She invited me to go along since I'm out of school for spring break, but it should be no surprise to any of you that I really don't like animals and thus was not at all interested. But Jane had a blast.

First, let me explain her outfit. Laura Lee put all the kids in matching red t-shirts so they would be easy to keep track of while they were out and about. Good idea when you have six kids to watch. She also wrote her cell phone number on the hem of each, just in case.

Jane was rather hesitant at first, but quickly recovered and was anxious to play with all the animals.

She recovered from her fear of pigs well enough to get close and managed to get herself squished between two pigs. Too bad there's no picture of that.

And yes, the chicken did bite her. No, she will not have any lasting scars.


It has been a fairly eventful weekend, I guess. I'm looking forward to a quiet Easter Sunday tomorrow.

P.S. I just realized that, though I numbered all the adventures, they actually go in reverse order chronologically. I thought I'd mention that just in case anyone was going to have a heartache over reverse adventures.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Conference Weekend Adventure

Wanting to join the club of others whose blogs I read, Chris and I bought a car. Everyone else was doing it and we didn't want to feel left out!

Well, maybe that's not the real reason...

With another baby on the way and a car headed towards the land of expensive repairs, we started looking into the possibility of a replacement car. We currently drive a 1995 Ford Taurus. It's been working well for us the last two and a half years, minus the not working intermittent windshield wipers (either off, really really fast, or manual turning the knob every few moments). That said, we have already received quotes from a few different mechanics on parts that are going to have to be replaced in the near future. I don't know what most of them are, I only know that there is a crack in the oil pan that's probably getting bigger and one of the engine mounts needs to be replaced--we already replaced three.

Anyway, we went to Salt Lake on Friday to look at a car we'd seen on ksl.com. That particular car didn't suit our tastes, but we did find one at another dealership. And we drove away happy.

1999 Mercury Mountaineer
"Merc" for short

Features we enjoy:

Leather Seats

Back seat big enough for two car seats

Ample Storage Space

Back Seats fold down completely flat

I don't know if this would be called an "onboard computer" or what, but it tells us all kinds of stuff--average and instantaneous gas mileage, gallons to empty, gallons used, miles traveled, oil life left...

Stereo with CD, radio, and cassette--in addition to the cd in the stereo itself, there is a 6-disc cd changer built into the center console

Option of opening entire hatch or just the window half

I don't know the technical terms (sorry, Dad) but it has the option of towing. Chris informed me that he wants a trailer hitch (ball?) for father's day.

Retractable Sun Roof--this slightly ambiguous picture was taken by Chris while I was driving, hence the reflection.

Slightly Less Thrilling Features:

~Unamazing gas mileage. As the picture shows, we average 15-16 miles per gallon. Not the best, but not terrible. It was worth it to us for the price and other features.

~Driver's side door. The lock doesn't work very well, and the power lock button in that door doesn't work at all. You either have to reach around and unlock the doors manually, or turn off the car and hit the button on the remote. This probably wouldn't matter too much except the doors automatically lock when you start driving, so you have to work some magic once the car is off to get everyone out again.

~Occasionally possessed power locks. Every now and again, when you hit the lock or unlock buttons on either the passenger side door or the remote, the Lock Ghost appears to torment us all. Instead of just locking, the locks will repeatedly pop up and down, up and down, up and down, rather quickly. The only way to make it stop is to walk around to each door individually, get it unlocked manually (pull the little bar up) and open the door. Once the door is open, it will stop. That is annoying, but it has only happened a couple of times. So far.

~Crappy tires. The dealership had to replace one tire in order for the car to pass safety inspection, but the one they put on, though better than the original tire, is still pretty bad. We have to buy two new tires. Not the end of the world, no, but one more thing to spend money on.

All in all, we are pleased with our purchase. We had hoped to buy a foreign car with less than 100,000 miles, but we ended up with a Mercury (Ahhh! another Ford!) with 140,000. In the end, it came down mostly to money. We were able to buy this for $3400, plus another $900 in fees, taxes, and registration. All of that we paid in cash. So, for avoiding debt and still getting a car better than what we have, it was worth the few quirks of owning an older American-made car.

As for the Taurus, it's still up for debate. We have come to the conclusion that our family needs two cars (we both work, almost two kids, and Chris is in school--transportation can get complicated). The debate is whether to keep the Taurus or trade it with my mom/brother for a 1993 Geo Metro. Tiny, but it gets 40 miles to the gallon. Not a family car, but a good scoot-around-town vehicle for whoever doesn't have the kids that day. I'll let you know what happens...I think Saturday is the day a decision will be made?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

No, really

We received a couple of skeptical phone calls last night, so I want to post again today so no one can blame the date. Yes, the last post is serious. No April Fools. It's April 2nd now--no more jokes.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Warning now: This post is long.

A little background: When we were kids, my mom had a slew of April Fool's jokes she'd pulled over the years. She reset all the clocks an hour ahead and woke us up in a panic saying we were late for school. She traded all the bags in the cereal boxes so we didn't get what we thought we were getting. She switched all our clothes in the dressers--there are five girls in my family, and it took a while to sort out again which clothes belonged to whom. There was also the year when she put a brick in the bottom of our backpacks. None of us, that I remember, found them until after we'd gotten to school, so we spent an entire day carrying around a brick. That was fun.

With that in mind, it has always been hard to trick my mom. She's too good. But I got her this year. Finally.

Chris and I each sent text messages to our siblings and parents this morning saying that we just found out that I'm pregnant. Not the most thrilling trick ever, I know, but it was funny to receive all the excited congratulations, to which we promptly responded Happy April Fool's.

The real joke: I am actually pregnant. Not even kidding.

Let the record show that I finally fooled my mom.

List 1: Current Facts

I am 12 weeks along.

The baby is due on October 15 (my dad's birthday is on the tenth and Chris's twin siblings' birthday is on the 20th...hmmm...).

We found out on February 11. We have known for exactly seven weeks today.

While pregnant, I have lost five pounds and gained four. So, I have gained weight, but technically I've still only lost because I'm not passed where I started. Mostly that's because I throw up a lot.

Yes, I am still going to teach full time next year. I'll take as much maternity time as I can get with my saved up sick days, then I'll be back at school with two kids in day care.

Chris is excited, but Jane doesn't care. Yet.

We find out what we're having in June, hopefully. A boy would be nice so we could have one of each, a girl would be nice so Jane could have a sister close to her age and we can reuse all the girl baby clothes we have. Either way, I'm happy.

List 2: Yes, I was pregnant (and knew it) when...

...we went to Lisa's baby shower. I was asked if I was pregnant probably half a dozen times by Mom and sisters during the evening, and I managed to successfully evade each question. Why do you guys always ask?

...we went to family dinner at Shelley and Sean's house when Karen and Edie were in town. It was a good thing everyone was snacking on chips or I might not have made it all the way to dinner without someone noticing how sick I felt. At least I didn't throw up.

...I sang with the choir at Stake Womens' Conference. I opted to sing second soprano instead of my usual first because I have greatly decreased breath support when I'm pregnant, even at the very beginning. It turned out to be a good thing--out of the nine sisters who actually performed in the choir, I was the one and only second soprano. Go me.

...I was horribly sick a few weeks ago. No, it was not pregnancy-related, and no, it has no ill effects on the baby. Pregnancy did complicate it a bit, in that the infection I had is actually really common, but the symptoms that show up in pregnant women can be drastically different than the usual symptoms, so it took us (the doctor) a week to figure out what was going on instead of just one visit. It did also make things a lot harder since I couldn't take any cold medication to help with the bronchitis side of things.

...I went to Helga's baby shower and spent a good while talking about being pregnant. It was hard to keep everything in past tense when I had current experience I could have added...

...we went to Dalton's blessing. Conveniently, I was incredibly sick and blamed all my crappy-ness on being sick without having to say that I was pregnant. That's probably the only time I was glad to be sick. :)

...this morning when we sent out the mass text messages to everyone saying that I'm pregnant, then had a ball saying April Fool's! to everyone who responded. Thanks guys, that was fun for me.

List 3: Things I hate about being pregnant

Eating. All the time. Constantly. When nothing sounds good. Ever.

Going to the bathroom all the time. This is particularly annoying during school when I can't make from recess to recess and when I have to get up in the middle of the night. The worst getting up at night time is about thirty minutes before the alarm goes off but waiting another second really isn't an option.

Throwing up. Details to follow.

Eating all the time. Yuk.

Being tired all the time. My house is a mess and my husband is underfed because I have no energy to cook or clean when I get home from school. Sigh.

Did I mention that I hate eating all the time?

List 4: Things I like about being pregnant

In sixth months, I get a baby.




...Really, that's pregnancy's only redeeming quality in my eyes. At least at the moment. Maybe it will get better. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

List 5: Things that make me throw up
getting out of bed in the morning

brushing my teeth

eating (can you sense the irony?)

changing nasty diapers
wiping Jane's nose (often, this is worse for me than the diapers)

coughing (bronchitis was fun)
raw meat (see it or smell it or touch it)

having food in my mouth for too long

chewing while standing up

smells...dry erase markers, hand sanitizer, sweaty fifth graders after recess...

not eating (let the irony continue)

List 6: Requests

Lisa, can I have my maternity clothes back?

Delia, this has brought up a lot of questions in my mind that I would like to post on the Village. Are you still accepting coauthors? Somehow I doubt that you are, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If you're not, is there anyway to submit a question if you're not an author?

Michelle, if you read this, you should comment so I know you've read it.

Lisa, Deborah, Amy and Sarah, will you all stop asking me if I'm pregnant?

Everyone else, most comments given on a post like this follow this general pattern: "Congrats! I'm so excited for you!" I would like to assume the congratulations and excitement and request comments will a little more meat to them (but nothing raw), if that's not too much to ask. That's why I've given you too much information, so you'll have plenty to comment on. :)

And I promise, cross my heart and hope to die, that this is not an April Fool's joke. I've managed to mostly keep this a secret (those who see me everyday excluded) for seven weeks. I'm not very good and keeping secrets and I'm tired of keeping this one. We waited for April Fool's day for the best joke ever, now I'm done hiding. Believe me.