Sunday, July 5, 2009

Videos of The Guy

Bryce's new iPhone 3GS takes video. He hasn't let the function go to waste. I think the bacon video is the best, but you can check 'em out and let me know.

You can check out the other videos Bryce has made by looking on the right and selecting a video from the Related Videos tab. For those of you who don't know what is yet. (Mom. I'm talking to you.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Brushing Teeth

So no pictures for this one. Sorry.

Today when I went to brush my teeth, I was completely grossed out to find a lump of hardened toothpaste in the tube. It was brand new and I didn't leave the cap off. The lump was coming from inside the tube. SICK! But I thought, well, I'll just squish it out and then start with toothpaste that is pasty--like toothpaste should be. What I thought was a lump turned out to be a stick! I kept pressing the tube and this hardened bit of toothpaste kept coming out. At this point I flip into outraged customer who will go tell her husband, but not call the company.

Turns out it was not lumpy toothpaste. It was my son who had gotten to it first. Elias's new love is Q-Tips. Pair his new found love of Q-Tips with his love for putting things into other things and you have the answer to the mystery.

I need to watch that kid closer and keep nothing in drawers that aren't locked.

Monday, April 6, 2009


No more soda after 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Not for the easily grossed out--but totally funny.

Elias usually sleeps until almost 9 and then talks to himself for a little while longer. I have discovered that he likes to have a few minutes to wake up. Which is all sorts of wonderful to me.

This morning he woke up and started crying. This means one of two things: he isn't ready to be awake, is hungry, and hasn't found the remains of his bottle OR he has a dirty diaper.

I let him cry for a few minutes, hoping he was just hungry and hadn't found his bottle.

No such luck.

I finally went in, satisfied that he wasn't just hungry, to smell the damage. It was awful.

He was standing up in his crib and pointing down and being a malcontent. As I got closer I saw that his diaper was half off and there was a poop-cake in the general direction of his points.

I realized what happened. This morning when I went in to give him his middle-of-the-morning bottle, I also changed him. That way he isn't completely soaked, or leaking, by morning.

Last night his diaper was on weird to begin with, and he had leaked all over his pants and sheets. I removed his pants and didn't put them back on. His room is warm enough to do that. Then I put on his diaper. In the dark. While I was half asleep.

He likes to play with the tabs, and he does not like to be dirty. I think he started pulling on the tabs when he had his BM this morning and that grossed him out even more. And grossed me out even more.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chieko N. Okazaki

This is the quote from Sister Okazaki that I quoted in my talk. My quote is not broken down into paragraphs, and I attempted to break it up a little. I'm not sure how close it is to her actual book, but it was a try!

The Atonement is an Individual Experience-Chieko N. Okazaki

Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt.
We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything-- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief.
We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually.
That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.
Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not know and recognize.
On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion.
His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20)
He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down's Syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only visitors are children, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years.
He knows all that.
He's been there.
He's been lower than all that.
He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us , or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.
You know that people who live above a certain latitude experience very long winter nights and can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day.
Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him. (Chieko N. Okazaki, pp. 6, 7, 8)

Personal Bit

Today was a pretty crummy day.

And I wouldn't normally share stuff like this so freely, but by the end of today I had made a few realizations and I felt a little better about life.

I went to my regularly scheduled doctor appointment. I took Elias. By the time we got called back to a room, he was a screaming mess. No matter. It was just weigh in, blood pressure, fill the cup, listen to the heartbeat, and then out.

The first three were ok. When it came time for the baby's heartbeat, the doctor couldn't hear the heartbeat the first time with the little hand held radar thing. A little of that was probably due to the fact that Elias was screaming and crying.

The doctor then sent us to the ultrasound room for an ultrasound. She saw the baby, but it was not moving and did not have a heartbeat. She measured it and told me that it had stopped growing at 10 weeks.

It was completely devastating.

Later in the day, I was thinking about the talk I had to give in church about two weeks ago. It was on Trials. I thought about the things I had said. I have been reflecting back on the articles I read when I was preparing for the talk.

Most of it centered on the healing qualities of the atonement: how Jesus knows our pains personally. I have a quote that I love from Chieko N. Okazaki, but I'll put that up in another post as I feel like this one is going to be a novel.

I spent a little time thinking about how much I believed or didn't believe in what I had spoken to the congregation. The answer is a loud and resounding "YES! I believe every word that I had spoken with all my heart."

Even though my day started out bad, and tomorrow will be crummy too, and I'll always feel a little sad that I miscarried this one, I know that everything is going to be ok. I have family that loves me, and I have had an amazing Priesthood Blessing.

I don't want to talk about this out loud yet. There are very tender feelings in speaking about it aloud, but I am at peace. Sorry if I didn't answer your calls; I just needed a little time to sort through things.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My hanging(?) garden

I thought I would try planting a tomato in a hanging basket. I hung the basket on the garage. It should work. Tomato plants are just sprawling vines unless you tie them up. They should be just fine hanging down, right?

If this works, I've got plenty-o-space for more.

Any suggestions for low light/shade plants to hang in baskets from under my back porch? Do spider plants thrive here in the great state of Texas?

I feel like I need to try something new. I've had success with the things I've been growing in containers so far. Lettuce, spinach, potatoes, onions, garlic...time to try the flowers. Hibiscus plants are going in all over the yard. I'm trying to talk Bryce into an orange, lemon, and fig tree.

Just thought I'd indulge my crazy and see if any of the three of you who read this had any pointers for my gardening.

Monday, March 2, 2009

While driving today....

I was on my way home this evening when I get behind this large white truck at a stop light. By how far back we were, I knew it was probably going to be a two light wait. No problem.

There were three boys in the back. They were all young. I would guess between 7 and 11.

The back window on the truck was opened. I noticed them turning around and smiling and then ducking their heads back in the truck. Still, no problem. I thought, "Cute. They are looking at Elias." Because Elias was smiling and then turning away and then looking to see if they were still looking.

Then I noticed the light turned green. Hooray! That much closer to home!

The little monsters started flipping me the bird! Seven to 11 year old cherubs were giving me the finger. I scowled at them and shook my head no with my mean teacher face.

Their dad ran a red light to get through the intersection. Good thing too, I was already getting ready to lean out my window and say something motherish like: Gentlemen, that is not appropriate!

I was left to be grouchy and have to be the first person in line to wait for the next light.

For the rest of the way home, I was thankful knowing that Elias and any other spawn of mine will never do anything so crude...or they will be beaten.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spray Paint

First of all, I think it's funny that you have to be 18 to buy spray paint and super glue.

Second, I love spray painting things. Who knew it could be so much fun? I have refurbished two light fixtures so far. I'm getting better with more practice. Not as many drip things on the second light.

I forgot to take before shots, so I don't think the afters will be as impressive. Maybe when Bryce takes the fan in our room down I'll take some photos

Hooray for spray paint!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Dead Bird in the Drawer

There was a drawer in our kitchen that wasn't easy to open or close since we moved into our house. I put off fixing it just because I haven't felt like taking care of it. I decided a few nights ago that it was time to tackle the sticky drawer.

I opened the drawer to wipe out the old owners' *spit* crap. So I could line it and put it back in.

Much to my horror, I saw a silverfish in there. In case you were wondering, silverfish are the most vile and disgusting of all the bugs on the planet.

I threw the drawer down onto the rug and took a few minutes to stop dry heaving and put on my big girl britches to go and take care of my yucky bug problem.

Upon closer inspection, it was not a silverfish. It was a feather. Now that I notice that feather, I see a whole bunch of them that have been smeared down the side and back of the drawer. I look into the hole where the drawer fits and see a feathery mass stuffed between the track and the side of the cabinet.

This is the part where I freak out. There is a bird carcass in there that has been decaying for months! My stomach is turning violently as I think of how many times I must've run that little bird's body over trying to get that drawer to open and close. My stomach is turning violently because the old owners didn't miss their bird. How the crap did the poor thing even get in there?

I waited until Bryce got home. My knight in shining armor. I know he has a weak stomach for these kinds of things, but I'm pretty sure I would've blown chunks for a week if I had to clean that bird up myself.

I turn my back while he is elbow deep in drawer and feathers. After a few minutes, he starts laughting at me. "Rachel, are you serious??" This is the part where my brave husband pulls out a very beaten up looking pen.

A pen!

I was worked up over a tacky pen with feathers glued to the top!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Kitchen before and after

Kinda of a before and after shot. I didn't do a very good job of the after shot. Mostly because I have yet to clean the paint, repairing supplies, and tools off the counters. It's looking way better.

But Becky and I installed the chair railing ourselves! She did the work, I supervised. That's how we roll. It looks dang good.

We're still not done, but we're another room closer to being finished.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Ceiling Fiasco

My lovely front door....and the gigantic, gaping hole in the ceiling right above it.

It all starts in the laundry room. It is right above the hole in the ceiling.

A really great washer and dryer were found on craiglist. The Clarkes were good enough to ruin their Saturday and spend it going to get the washer and dryer and setting them up in my house.

It all should've been pretty fool proof, but I just had to set them up. That was my problem.
I left a hose disconnected and then because I did that it caused a few...hiccups in everything working correctly.

Any leaks that I may have been responsible for should've been fine if I just pushed the water down the drain because drains take care of excess water. Except when the drain drains into your ceiling.

There was a few inches of drain pipe missing!

I found this out right before I had all the Clarkes and a plumber come back to my house to help me figure out what the problem was. I took my husband's wise advice and poured some water (ok, so about a gallon) down the drain to see if I could tell where it was coming out.

I heard the water rushing down the wall and splashing onto the ground before I ever saw it. Wish I hadn't used so much water to find the problem.

Wesley saved the day and connected the pipe together with a lot of glue and some piping. Now that Bryce is home, he is fixing the washer. Hopefully we get everything working properly and I can start to do wash at my own house without worrying about what part of the walls or ceiling is going to be trashed next.

Looking on the bright side, I am getting dang good at repairing walls. Becky actually is, but I make a great project supervisor!

So...We're going to have another one.

We are expecting number two sometime mid-September.

My family knows now. So we aren't being so hush-hush about it anymore.

I wanted to wait until they came out for a visit over Easter, but the ugly winter weather has given them so many snow days from school that they don't have an Easter break anymore. Lame.

I broke the news to them the same way I told Bryce. I e-mailed them a picture of the little stick with pregnant written on it and then followed it up by e-mailing the picture of Elias after I told him. He didn't have too much to say on the matter.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mom, I can do it myself.

Heidi and I went to eat lunch at a great place today before we finished decorating the cookies.

We got plastic cups for the little boys. I thought I would be nice and put some very watered down Hi-C in the cups rather than just soda or water. The boys loved it. In fact, Elias loved it so much, he threw himself back in the booster seat and started shrieking when I took it away and tried to give him actual food to eat.

This picture was after I gave him the cup back so he could drink it on his own. The look he is giving me is the meanest and grouchiest he can muster. He just wanted to hold the cup all by his big boy self.

I could almost hear him saying "Mom, I can do it by myself. Leave me alone."

What a stinker.


We got back from Christmas break on the 5th. We celebrated Christmas with his family the same evening. It was a nice dinner which Becky and Heidi prepared and then opening up gifts. Completely relaxed and wonderful.

Bryce left to go to Alaska for the rest of the month on the 7th. It's been kind of a bummer. I've grown accustomed to his face. But at least we have internet and phones and webcams. My really cool family and half-done house make it easier to pass the time.

I feel like I'm busy, busy, busy throughout the day and then at the end of the week I look around and think "What have I done other than make dirty dishes?"

Before I sound like a complete slacker, I have been helping (maybe handicapping is a better word) my sister-in-law bake cookies. I'm rather fond of the Valentine Day promotionals that we've turned out.

Northwest Airlines left a nasty taste in my mouth. Beware! It's a rant.

This is Bryce and Elias checking out the T. Rex in the Pittsburgh Airport.

I decided the story about getting to and from the airport needed a whole section of its own. This time the airports nailed us on both trips.


On the way out, we were up and ready to be out the door in time. Our trip to Memphis went alright. But we were supposed to land and be on another plane with only a half hour to work that kind of magic. Luck was not with us. Our plane was late into the airport and then they made us sit in our seats waiting for who knows what. The plane we were supposed to be on to make it to Pittsburg had already left by the time we exited the first plane.

It's bad enough when you're traveling and miss your connecting plane, but it's worse when there are a bunch of other people with the same problem. Bryce marched up to the ticket counter, already a little miffed by the situation, and talked to one of the attendants working at the desk.

I could only grab Elias and our stuff and get out of earshot or else I would've burst out with a "Oooooooh you're in for it now!" We ended up on a plane destined for Washington D.C after talking to a few others and a supervisor, a few hours of waiting, and Elias smacking some poor sleeping guy around (but I didn't feel all that bad because his bully 5 year old knocked Elias over on purpose and his granola wife just let him.)

I felt awful for my brother. He made the nearly 4 hour trip to Pittsburg to pick us up, only to have to drive another 4 or 5 hours to get to Washington D.C., then he had another 5 hour trip until we were back in West Virginia. LAME!

I thought the trip back was going to be a piece of cake. Bryce had an important meeting at work the next day. We had to be back in Houston no matter what so he could be at that meeting.

We left West Virginia early. Bryce drove most of the way (speeding) because my mom was driving too slowly for him to be comfortable. We had about 3 hours to kill before our plane took off. It was nice to be a few hours early since we had to go through the super screening at security. The woman going through the diaper bag chastised me a little for taking so much formula and food. "You really are only allowed to take enough for your flight." I told her that I packed so much because the last time we travelled we had some hiccups and the boy almost didn't have any food.

We let the boy wander around after we found our gate. Bryce went looking for an internet celebrity for a while.

Then it was time to leave. Only to find the plane had been delayed. This was fine, except for the fact that we had a connecting flight to make in stupid Memphis. Then the flight was cancelled.

We ended up staying the night in Pittsburgh. And we had to pay for it.

We woke up the next morning at 4 a.m. to make the plane leaving at 5:40 a.m.. We found out that the plane had been cancelled as well. All we could do was go to stupid Memphis and then make it back to Houston at 1 in the afternoon.

Bryce missed his meeting afterall. What a crummy return trip. Oh yeah, and take that stupid security woman. I'm glad I packed all that extra stuff or I would've been in way deep dookie.

Christmas Vacation and the Sickness

We spent Christmas in West Virginia with my family this year.

This is Elias and Bryce after Christmas dinner. Elias's stomach was so swollen with food. I couldn't believe he could eat like that.

Bryce and David found recorders at one of the Dollar Stores. The recorders turned into Elias's favorite noise makers.

We went expecting it to be cold and snowy and as unTexas like as you can get. It was chilly, but it didn't snow for Christmas and New Year's Day was in the 60s. It was pretty snowy the day we flew in and a few days before we left.

But it's okay. Bryce got to go snowboarding with my brother and sister. I got to play cards and Parcheesi everyday. I ate good food. Heard some excellent family stories. Visited with friends.

The only really big stinker about going back was Elias had an ear infection the week before we went. While he was over it by the time we were supposed to leave, he still was battling the head cold. I think the plane just sent it over the edge, and he was stuffy and snotty the entire time. We finally broke down and took the poor kid to the doctor a few days before we left.

I never knew you might really, literally have to spend every single minute of the night awake with a sick baby. I finally settled in to go to bed around 1 on New Year morning. As soon as I pulled the covers back to crawl into bed, Elias woke up screaming. He would only sleep if I held him. Not just held him, but I had to be sitting up while doing it. If I tried to lay down or put him down beside me, he would wake up and start screaming again. Bryce and I tried rubbing baby Vicks on him, giving him Tylenol, giving him his bottle, boogey bulbing the poor kid, and anything else thought might work. In the end, we only got relief and could fall asleep when my mom came in and took the guy at 5:15 in the A.M.

Boo at sick kids!