Saturday, February 28, 2009

that's what he said

B: I have a lot of energy.
A: You DO have a lot of energy. Why?
B: Well because my fingernail can draw, so I have a lot of energy.
A: Right.

B: Dad? What are you doing?
R: (from the bedroom) I'm working right now.
B: (under his breath) Oh. Dad's playing a game.

Friday, February 27, 2009

they know me

Card 1, received for our engagement:

Front of card: A bride and groom are looking out over a lake. The thought bubble over the groom: "Sex. Sex. Sex." The thought bubble over the bride: "Thank-you notes. Thank-you notes. Thank-you notes."

Inside, my cousin wrote: "Knowing you, your side should probably also read "Sex. Sex. Sex!"

Card 2, received for my birthday:

Front of card: Happy "29th" birthday!
Inside: ...from your "110-pound" friend.

And Molly wrote: "I love when irony loses its sting because it's completely true!"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

how not to be a flake

Blake and I have really dry skin. So dry that he only gets baths about once a week after swim lessons, and if I forget to lotion him up regularly, it's unbearably itchy for him when I DO remember. I can only bathe every other day, and require large quantities of lotion afterward, or my skin gets so taut and dry and chalky that you could use me to line out a football field ("No, Addie, roll THAT way!").

I made this the other day, loosely based on a concoction that Reese gave me for Mother's Day last year, which I loved and used sparingly until it was all gone. It scrubs off these annoying bumps I get on the backs of my arms (due to low omega-3s in my diet + dry skin), and leaves my skin all soft and silky... but beware the oil left on your bathtub floor. That stuff is damn slick, and I have almost fallen more than once. Consider yourselves warned!

Sugar Scrub
  • 1 plastic container
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive or coconut oil (I used coconut, Reese used olive)
  • Scented perfume oils (optional)
I didn't use scents because the coconut oil had no overt smell of its own, but the scent Reese used in the olive oil scrub was very pleasant (some sort of fruit or flower). Mix the ingredients together and stash in your bathroom with a stirring stick (the sugar settles). Put a dollop in your hand or on a washcloth and scrub away.

I've had scrubs containing salt before, and nothing stings quite so badly as a salt scrub post-shaving. Stick with sugar.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

kind of tasty

Every year, once or twice a year, I get a head cold that settles in my throat and sinuses. It doesn't usually hurt or make me cough, but I sneeze like there's no tomorrow (Big Blake once compared my sneezes to his father's, to which I replied: "Don't compare ANYTHING about your bride to your father, no matter how wonderful he is."), and I often lose my voice. When I CAN speak, my voice is so low and throaty that I sound like a man, or at the very least, like Kathleen Turner.

My friend Catherine advised me to try something a mutual friend does: put a tablespoon of cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink. Do this once or twice per day, and it nips colds in the bud.

Well, I use vinegar in part of my discipline of little Blake. If he sasses me or argues a point, I tell him that when ugly things come out of his mouth, ugly things go back in (thanks, Keli!), and he has to swallow a small spoonful of white vinegar. I don't use soap because it's not designed to be consumed (vinegar is), and it's not easy to wash out of the mouth when the discipline is done (vinegar is).

As I begin to drink my cider vinegar water (which doesn't taste bad, but not really good - mostly interesting), Blake is flabbergasted. He wants to know what I said that was ugly, then wants to know why I'm drinking vinegar like that if I wasn't bad. He asks if the water makes it taste yummy, and I have him smell it. It smells like diluted cider vinegar, and he's still wildly curious, so I dip a finger in and have him taste it.

B: Mmm, that's yummy. Can I have a sip?
(I oblige.)
Ooh, I think that's kind of tasty. You know what, Mom?
A: What?
B: I kind of like you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the danger of a random mind with time on her hands

Gift cards make me feel rich.

Slippers with soles are a dangerous thing. You forget that they are slippers and should stay in the house and find yourself out in public, wearing ugly-yet-impossibly-comfy slippers to things like the grocery store and your child's gymnastics class, looking like a hot mess of a woman who pulled herself together from the top down (styled hair, makeup, jewelry, non-pajama shirt and pants) but just got tired once she reached her feet and gave up in lazy despair.

But perhaps I am too hard on myself.

I really dislike ringback tones. That insipid voice saying "Please enjoy the music while your party is reached" and the subsequent tinny rattling that sounds only marginally like the original song makes my teeth grit. If you have one, and I'm perpetually snappish or short when we talk on the phone, it's YOUR fault.

Facebook makes it ridiculously easy to "remember" birthdays. It's like cheating.

I refuse to pay more than $4 for a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper. The prices I've seen lately have made me stare, as have the not-so-sneaky practices of same-price-for-less-product. For example, a 12-pack for over $5 and/or a 20-pack for $7. That's right... not a 24-pack, but a 20-pack. However, when I start thinking comparatively and critically, I see a funny trend in my spending. I hardly think twice about spending over $3 on ONE cup of fancy coffee, when I could get almost a full gallon of milk (or almost a 12-pack of DP) for the same price.

So, I'm making more coffee at home (and Rob and I registered for an espresso maker), have largely stopped drinking Dr. P, and hope to discover more cash in my pocket and less padding on my rear as a result.

G: "You're doing great."
(my massage therapist and mean friend, not easing up as she digs out my deep tissue kinks, even though I'm gasping or inching away from her mean hands - and I'm always grateful, even though she's mean)

Monday, February 23, 2009

blog, do dishes, dust, laundry, love Rob, work, drink semi-heavily

I'm a list-maker. I love to know what I've got going on or what I need to get done. I love crossing things off as I do them. I'm a little OCD about it, and my cousin Joy has even given me a card in the past, teasing me about my "To Do" list and what should and should not be on it.

Therefore, it was nice and more than a little surprising when, having forgotten my list at home one day, I managed to remember everything on it and get it all done. It was actually weird, because I'm the type who really does NEED lists, for if my head wasn't screwed on, I would lose it. I think having a child made my brain fall out, which is why I must limp along with the little scraps of paper that litter my purse, car, table, and desk.

Also, I'm the kind of person who really likes others to know how much she's gotten done in a day... which is why anyone who chats with me gets a conversation full of lists.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

that's what they said

B: I'd like you to rub my biscuits. 'Cause that makes them wake up. They are kind of asleep.

Or resting.
('biscuits' is our name for buns/bum/bottom/rear end)

B: I want to watch the video with my dad in it. 'Cause I love him. And I want him to come back to OUR house.

But I don't want him to cough on me because that's silly.

B: Grandmas are grils, and I'm not a gril. I'm the man.

A: You're a silly girl!
E: No, I'm not!
A: Yes, I think you might be!
E: Silly girl? No, I'm a sneaky elf.

(via chat with Rob's best friend, a guy)
L: What?
Why are you looking at me like that?

A: Those pants make your face look big.

L: pfft
/takes off pants and puts dress back on

We'll get along fine, methinks.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


(copied over from our wedding blog, because it has so little to do with wedding and so much more to do with me)

This photo makes me laugh, which makes me happy. So happy that we might have bobblehead cake toppers. We'll see.

My friend Nichole runs an Italian foods store here in Bozeman (with her mom), and Blake and I stopped in today to register. I had fun picking things out and asking Nichole for her advice on items and what to do with them. She's a fantastic cook and provides recipes for many of the ingredients you can find there. Blake had a cookie, and I had a cappuccino and almond tart before we got started, and I was transformed.

After having cafe con leche in Spain and cafe au lait in Paris, I have tried to find something similar here in the States. It has not worked, and I think I know why...
European coffee: amazing quality, small quantities
American coffee: marginal-at-best quality, amazing quantities

I have now found my new day-time coffee shop. The quantities are small, but so are the prices, and the pastries you can pick up alongside are incredible (homemade by N. and her mother). In fact, N. has agreed to let me swing by before work on the days I'm in the office to grab a freshly brewed cappuccino that actually tastes good and isn't cloyingly sweet, as the ones I usually get from a kiosk are.

I'm so excited for next Tuesday!

blake is special, according to preschool

Last week was Blake's week for the "I am Special" board, and I was given the list of questions below. He got to have a few pictures up on the board, got to bring a special something (his Star Wars book) to school, and got to talk about his answers to the questions.

Name: Blake Morstad
My Favorite Book: Star Wars, 'cause I like the movie
My Favorite Game: Scorpion (A: I have no idea what this is)
My Favorite Toy: Bumblebee Transformer
My Favorite Movie: Transformers
My Favorite Place: In an airplane
My Favorite Song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Things I Can Do: I can do coloring, home-making, watch movies, put on my own clothes and my own jammies, and I don't know.
My Child is Special Because: He is a gift from God! Before his daddy went to heaven, he gave me Blake. And little Blake looks just like his daddy Blake - and he is a blessing in my life.
I'm not sure how Blake talks about his daddy that died. I'm not sure how preschool or his friends handle it when it he does. While the last thing I want to do is have the circumstances of our life frighten small children, I'm also not willing to brush it under the rug. What do you think? Was I suitably upbeat, or is there another way I can approach things of this nature? I guess the truly LAST thing I want to do is ensure that I am forever known as "the widow" and Blake as "the orphan."

Friday, February 20, 2009

sufi poets - who knew they could be so fun?

T gave me a book I've yet to read, but I'm trying something new: exercise daily and no new projects after 9:00 pm. Last night, I read a magazine cover to cover, which is awesome, since I'm honestly about ten magazines behind. I just don't make time to read... but I'm working on it. So I hope to read this new book (she bought it used, which I love - who else has read this book?) sooner than later.

But as her card to go along with the new book, she included a sweet note that I won't share, and a poem by Hafiz that I cannot help but share below. He is apparently her favorite poet, and I might steal him as my own after seeing another one of his poems here.

Ok, here's part of the note anyway:
"i'm glad momica let you be born (really that's what she did when she spent hours deep breathing and not cursing, 'cause we know she hates cursing)."

Me too, and yes, she does.
the sun once glimpsed God's true nature
and has never been the same.
thus that radiant spehere
constantly pours its energy upon this earth
as does He from behind the veil.
with a wonderful God like that
why isn't everyone a screaming drunk?


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

what? you wanted more photos?

"Blake, how do you feel about the special treat of Burger King?"

No squishing, there's lots of room.

Now, squish in tight!

Here's the deal: our children will have tiny hamster eyes, but I bet they'll still be DAMN CUTE.

Poor Blake, held up by sleeping by the strap across his neck. He lolled all over the place and drooled like you wouldn't believe.

Gosh, I love that kid.

The Crazies. Yes, this was a drive-by shooting.

Joy-joy's baby shower: Judy, Teri, Grammie Claire.

Meggie, looking forward to being a grammie!

Kathy, Gail, Judy.

Hannah, Marcia, Claire, Teri, Robin, Stef.

Judy, Monica, Aubyn.

Joy-joy was tickled by each and every gift, and you can see the by pile that there were only a handful.


Laubster, surprised and in her natural state.

For the wee skier.

Blake's birthday. He went from wanting a Transformer cake to Transformer cupcakes...

So this is what he got: one Transformer cupcake. And it's supposed to be red, not pink... but I would have emptied the food coloring bottle into the frosting.

Laubster, inserting herself into a sweet family moment. She's a nice girl.

If you're not covered in black frosting, you're not doing it right.

And, Mom & Dad officially win with the BEST GIFT EVER. What I didn't count on was having to read it to him, despite it being full of pictures.

Grammie Monica teaching Grammie Claire how to transform B's two biggest Transformers. Grammies rule the world.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

magical iphone and a fancy mover

The backstory:
Rob's & Bethany's iPhones have an application for a light saber. The design of the phone and application is such that, when you move the phone sharply, it makes light saber noises. Blake figured this out within moments of first touching iPhone and now knows how to play with one. He can unlock the thing, choose a game, and go. It's humbling and more than a little frightening to behold.

I need to get this kid outside more!

Now, Rob, despite being a great videographer, held the camera incorrectly when shooting this video. In his defense, it was my point-and-shoot digital. I could get into the logic of holding a camera this way to shoot video, but I won't. Suffice to say, I have plenty of my own videos that need 90 degrees of rotation.

Still, it's too funny not to share.

Monday, February 16, 2009

holy pictures, ironman!




Either my face is okay,

or Blake's is. Not both at the same time.
We visited my old cat, Calvin, who I gave to a kind woman back before big Blake and I got married. Dawn, his new owner, called me a few months ago to let me know that he was still alive and invite us out to say hi. He didn't remember me and was sweet as ever, but we discovered that Blake is allergic to cats.
Grampa Steve came down before Christmas to see us in Billings. He and B are peas in a pod.

When Grammie asked Blake what he drew, he told her they were water drains. When Rob saw it, he wondered when Blake had seen the plumbing at his house in Spokane.

Shoveling with Dad or Papaw. I can't tell and I don't remember. I think it's Rob, though, because I remember him being impressed with my dad's bobcat (right, Mom?) fur hat.

Great-grammie with Maddox.

A: "Listen kid, I see you eyeballing my present. Don't you think you've had enough of your own?"
R: "Sweetheart, don't get territorial."

"Deluxe Scrabble... when shall we play so that I can beat you blind?"

Papaw, modeling Blake's coon hat. Blake, more interested in more presents.

Rob got the moose!

The carnage.

We made it to Spokane because God is good and Rob's a great driver. It snowed the whole way, there were three feet on the ground in Spokane, and we were relieved to get to a warm home and unwind. Here, Blake has discovered Aunt Bethany's iPhone with new and different games than Rob's (on the table).

Christmas morning: I gave my boys each a NERF shotgun. I'm not sure who was more excited.

The benefit of not always being behind the camera is that there are occasional photos of ME now.

Chris and Rob, getting ready for some dirty deed.

"And, pull!"
Rob actually got a suction cup dart stuck to the ceiling for a while.

A true child of the digital age, swiping Grampa Cec's laptop.

Rob was set on making a snow fort, but first he had to figure out how to get to the backyard.

Found the steps! He got the perimeter shoveled out, but no one else was as gung-ho on the fort idea... so it melted.

I gave my honey his second hair cut. I think he likes it.

Sorry, Bethany! This was the only pic I had that showed his full face. Blake was helping make frosting for our Christmas cookies, and the stool he was on tipped. He was coated in powdered sugar and none too pleased about it. The single tear track makes him look like a harlequin clown.

Snow pile outside Rob's driveway. No shrub or car under there: it's all snow.

Guess which one is MY Christmas cookie!!

Flying with Dad.

Picture before Rob headed back to Spokane.

Close up, where I cropped out my arm and tummy. I love digital photography.

Lane and Maddox came to visit the day after Rob left. Blake loves his little cousin and was gently kissing and petting him.

Rob left today for the "last" time before we get married. The next time he comes here will be to move here. Wahoo! The downside is that won't be until very late March or early April. I'm headed there twice to make up for the long absence, and he's busily getting it done on his house (so we can rent it) and his 4-Runner (so he can drive it).

Blake doesn't like it much when Rob leaves, and I admit I'm not a big fan either. I'm ready for him to be settled here and for the place to be less a temporary stop-over... not only because we'll be married and enjoying all that brings (heehee!), but because we'll find places for his stuff on the shelves and closets. There will be PERMANENCE to his being here. I can't wait.

Also, it's my birthday. I will now go zone out to America's Next Top Model, since I've sated you with this glut of photographic evidence of our existence. Wahoo!