Friday, 30 November 2007

Just Pictures

I realized that while my other recent posts were fascinating, they didn't contain much material of my kids, and since my mother-in-law relies on this site for pictures, I figured I'd better post some. Oh and everyone take my new poll, please.

At the Field Museum--we let Ana skip school to go down on a free day.

Elena has the biggest pout in the world. And a lot of attitude.
More pictures from the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.
Why it's hard to vacuum or leave Elena in her high chair.
Ana making a volcano and around the house.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

I Should Take a Shower

Elena is laying down for her morning nap and I should be showering, making English Muffins, and quite a few other things, but I've put this off for a while and decided finally to do it. I was tagged to write six things about myself. And then tag six more people. So here goes. (See Hanah, eventually I do things!)

1. The foods I crave most often are chocolate, sushi, and tamales. I fact, I wish I could eat all of those every day. Now just thinking about them, I'm getting the urge to run to the store and buy some. :( I want tamales!!

2. I use medical tape instead of regular tape to tape a lot of things. Like just now, I used it to tape the waffle mixture recipe to a plastic container that I emptied the waffle mix into.

3. I procrastinate a lot. Like taking a shower, or writing this blog. Or sweeping the kitchen. Usually I try to make myself do something, so at least I don't feel too bad about all the other things I should be doing.

4. If I was reincarnated as an animal, I'd want to be a house cat. They totally get pampered. They lay about in the sun, nobody expects them to do anything like fetch a ball, and if they don't feel like being bothered, everybody just accepts that and lets them be. And then if they want some attention people are always happy to pet them.
5. On the subject of pets, if I had a pet, (besides having a cat of course) I would have a dog. I used to think I would want a husky or a German shepard. Now however, I've seen some of those fancy dog breeds and I think it would be kind of cool to have one of those. Like an Afghan Hound,Saluki or a Tibetan Mastiff. I'd need a big yard though. Actually, Leo and I have talked about getting a standard poodle, mostly because we're both allergic to dogs and cats. Hmm.

6. I really love sunflower seeds. My favorite is dill pickle Spitz. When driving to Illinois from Arizona I ate dill pickle Spitz till my tongue bled. (Also beef jerky, they're the two best things for road travel.) Alas, the last store I saw selling them was in Iowa. When I drove to Indiana for Thanksgiving, I bought David dill pickle sunflower seeds. They were awful!! I threw them away, I couldn't even eat them. Never buy them. :( Spitz is by far the best kind of sunflower seeds. And as far as I'm concerned, the only kind.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

A Tragedy and Comedy in Three Parts

Part I
Every woman's tale of their hair is a long one. Mine, like most women's, is a tragic tale with few moments of glory and a lot of parts with comedy--unfortunately for me, it's not people laughing with me. It starts out with very little as you can see.

Me- 1 yr. oldMe- 2 yrs. oldMe- Kindergarten Kindergarten again (yes, I went twice due to moving to the U.S.A.)
My father once wrote for a high school assignment I had to do, that my greatest accomplishment in life was growing hair when I was five. I think he was wrong. I think it took till I was seven.
7 yrs old
By grade three my poor mother resorted to perming my hair, probably to make it look like I had more. It wasn't too bad then. I liked it actually.
My lovely perm.See not so bad.This I actually consider a highlight. I looked stellar. It's my mom's dress from when she was 15, she wore it on dates with my dad. I fit in it when I was eleven.
Part II
The horrid teenage gawky years struck hard with an early disaster. The summer I was twelve I went swimming all the time and between sun, chlorine, and another perm, my hair fried. Literally, split ends up to my roots. My mother, in desperation, actually took me--for the first time--to a hair salon where my hair was completely chopped and I was given expensive shampoo and conditioner and a weekly revitalizing conditioner treatment-the heavy duty kind. I am the only child out of nine to ever get such treatment. Basically, I refuse to post pictures of those years, I wouldn't want to make you weep for me, or laugh hysterically either.
9th grade--Okay, since this makes Kayli look rather gawky too, I'll post this for just a taste of the awfulness. It's not nearly my worst photo. Oh, and as a side note to this tragic tale, I was always jealous of Kayli's long, gorgeous red hair and how old ladies in stores always stopped and commented on how pretty it was. I wanted to chop it off at night while she was sleeping.
Getting better- 10th grade.
Highlight! Junior Prom, probably the best my hair ever looked besides at my wedding.
Finally those evil years ended, of course only in time for my Senior year in high school. This was actually one of my favorite hair styles. Unfortunately the tragedy continues because ironically, my husband calls that my poodle do and abhors it. Then came college, it pretty much stayed similar to what it had been before. Part III.
Then I met Leo. He thinks long hair is sexy. Why do men always think long hair is sexy?!?!?! I am not some latina beauty with long, thick, black, gorgeous hair. But I began to grow out my hair anyway.
Picture I took for Leo while engaged, trying to look like a mamacita for him. :)
Okay, so I cheated at my wedding. I bought a clip-on because I always wanted an up-do for my wedding. You can't tell, except it's a massive amount of hair.
Getting longer.
It did get past my shoulders but I never got used to it around my face, I grew up with short hair. It was not an easy adjustment, so my hair became permanently in a ponytail.
The permanent ponytail.
After a time, I became tired of my ponytail and hair straight back against my head. I permed it with a loose perm to try to break Leo in easily. I eventually had to get it cut again as the perm grew out, and little by little, over the course of a year, my hair instead of growing longer, grew shorter till once again tragedy struck. The week before family pictures with the Leo's family, I wanted more of an actual style and chose a rather thrifty place. The cut was horrid. I took scissors, and yes, just before pictures that are forever on my mother-in-law's wall, cut my own hair to try to fix it. In absolute terror of what I had done and how awful it looked, I then chose an expensive spa salon and payed big bucks the afternoon of the pictures to get my hair done. I ended up looking like Hilliary Clinton. You can imagine my horror twice over! I did not leave a tip. I tried to salvage it and you can see the results in the photo under "Nuestra Familia". (Oh my favorite comment about that, Leo's aunt asked me, "Wasn't Leo sad when you cut your hair, I know he likes long hair." "Yes," I admitted. Leo's aunt-"Your hair looked so pretty when it was long,"--well thank you, thank you very much.) After much pleading and begging from my husband, I promised never to cut it that short again. That was this spring. This summer, in disgust of my hair once again (well, I had never gotten over that cut), I dyed it and permed it. I liked it. However, once again, my hair was fried. So a few weeks ago I had it cut again. As short as this spring. This time Leo said nothing. Although once pressed, he pouted that I had promised not to cut it. Poor Leo. He does admit now that I do look better with shorter rather than longer hair. Moral of the story: Hair is such a pain. I wish I had a wig.

My new hair cut.

I would love my hair to look like this. Leo, again, thinks I'm nuts, but it's longer so he doesn't say much in way of opposition.

And finally, my sister Andrea. Sometimes I wish I had the guts to do this hair style. Leo would die though.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

This and That

The Chicago Temple

Really, I need to keep this short as the dishes are looming at me like a nightmare apparition, even though they're in the other room. Yuck! But I do have some interesting tidbits (at least interesting to me.) First off, cute pictures of my kids. Tomorrow we're getting Christmas pictures done, so those will be coming soon.

Second, I took pictures for my sister Kayli and her family. Check them out here. They turned out pretty good I have to say. While they were here, I babysat her kids while her husband and her went to the temple. I was carrying around Ethne and she got fussy, so I started feeding her, umm, breastfeeding her, when all of a sudden I looked down and it dawned on me, "This isn't my baby!" Oh well, it did keep her happy.
The (Kayli) Bell Family

I read a book last night called, "I Didn't Plan to Be a Witch" about motherhood. It was funny, one of my favorite parts was when the author was saying how her husband believed very few things are really worth doing and so he always said, "If a thing is just barely worth doing, then just barely do it." She said she liked to write that on the piano in the dust. Hee. Hee. She also quoted someone who told her "If you're going to raise leaders, you've got to expect them to have a will of their own. I know it's hard to deal with, but just be glad that they have an opinion." My family members never lack for an opinion--although I don't know if we qualify as leaders. Personally, I think that's one of Ana's oddest idiosyncrasies to me, she never has an opinion and often makes me chose for her (expect when it comes to food and her hair!)


Oh and for more corrections, I bought soybean paste which I threw away, I still have the dashi and it's a powder and smells fishy. Literally. I never guarantee any information on my blog to be correct by the way.
Fall is very pretty, I haven't had it for several years. The cold is not pretty!

Well, I'm off to do dishes. If they don't eat me. It could happen. Kind of like in the Little Shoppe of Horrors, except with dishes.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Grammatical Errors

Sorry about all the misspellings and grammatical errors in the last post. I hate them, it's one of my pet peeves, but going in and trying to fix them is how my computer ate that last post. So now you'll all know what a horrid writer I am.

Last Saturday's Post

This reminded me of Sphere, that Michael Crichton book.

Last Saturday night I had this wonderful post written to entertain and enlighten all my readers and then my computer ate it. So here's a briefer version of last Saturday's post.

This was the kids' favorite piece. It had ocean wave sounds too. I snapped a picture when the guard wasn't looking. Shame on me.

On Friday, Jenny and I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to see a mobile exhibit by Alexander Calder. It consisted of about 5 pieces of art, which were cool, but not really the extensive collection I had expected.

And well, all in all, I don't think modern art is really my particular favorite. I do really enjoy a few pieces but a lot of it just doesn't seem to have much appeal to me, i.e. a canvas painted black. Jenny and I also had to avoid a "living sculpture," a couple, (thankfully dressed) making out in slow motion--I mean, literally rolling around on the ground and whatnot. We also found the museum was definitely not at all kid friendly, and our kids were fairly well behaved too. Sigh. I think I'm going to grit my teeth and keep dragging my kids to such things, otherwise I'll never have a chance to go!

William was a firefighter for Halloween, so I thought this picture was appropriate.

And now for your enlightenment: Researchers have found that women's attractiveness varies according to their menstrual cycles. They appear most attractive when they have the highest amounts of estrogen in their bodies, which is when they're most fertile as well. Apparently we need the extra boost to attract males to breed. Hmm, just think now when you're feeling all cruddy and horrible looking during your next menstrual period, you can think to yourself, "I really am looking my worst!" and it will be true.

Chloe, William, and Jenny

Did you know in Britain they spell estrogen, oestrogen? And they spell color, colour too. When I was little in elementary school, I was always confused in which way to spell color. As you can see, my American education has won out over my Canadian side. How sad. Now I'll have to say eh a couple of times to make me feel better, eh?
Elena the Grouch.

Researchers have also found that we really do have five taste buds not four on our tongue. They are: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. It's produced by glutamate and is according to article, what makes dashi soup and veal stock taste so good. (Having never eaten either, I can't really say. Although I did buy dashi paste one time to try to make miso soup. It turned out horrible!!! So I threw the dashi paste away--besides it smelled terrible. By the way, does anyone want a container of seaweed?) Over a hundred years a Japanese scientist, Ikeda, published findings saying their was a fifth taste but no one believed it till now. Just goes to show, eh?

Me, down by the river.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Quiz from Hanah- yes it's 2 AM again

you are gainsboro

Your dominant hue is red... you are passionate, energetic, and unafraid of life's changes. You're all about getting out and trying something new, even if it means taking risks that other people would be afraid of. Hey, if they're afraid and you're not, more power to you, right?

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Yes, it's 1 AM

And my house is still a mess. But politics are messier.
Loved this reply on a forum regarding the US presidential elections.

Added: Tuesday, 30 October, 2007, 21:13 GMT 21:13 UK
Please choose a moderate President, one who promotes peace, instead of bloodshed.Perhaps then we can all sleep easier in our beds !!Maggie Jones, Cheltenham, United Kingdom

Would Neville Chamberlain be the model you're suggesting?
Bill Henry, Temecula, United States

Please understand, I'm not expressing my political views, but I thought this was an extremely clever reply!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Still ignoring my house...

The UK's top 10 most ridiculous British laws were listed as:
1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27%)
2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen's image upside-down (7%)
3. It is illegal for a woman to be topless in Liverpool except as a clerk in a tropical fish store (6%) 4. Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned (5%)
5. If someone knocks on your door in Scotland and requires the use of your toilet, you are required to let them enter (4%)
6. In the UK a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet (4%)
7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen (3.5%)
8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3%)
9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour (3%)
10. It is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls of York, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow (2%)

Other bizarre foreign laws voted by those polled included:
In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk (9%)
In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation (8%)
A male doctor in Bahrain can only examine the genitals of a woman in the reflection of a mirror (7%)
In Switzerland, a man may not relieve himself standing up after 10pm (6%)
It is illegal to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle in Alabama (6%)
In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed (6%)
Women in Vermont must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth (6%)
In Milan, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits (5%)
In France, it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon (4%)

Thanks BBC for this informative bit of information.

Sorry if you thought I should have edited some of those. What can I say, my blog is not for children. Hence viewer discretion is adviced.

When Leo leaves....

. . . . everything turns to mush. Yep, that's right. Not only did we eat porridge for breakfast this morning but all my plans and the house and myself turned to mush. Sigh. And he's gone for almost a full week because he has training in Phoenix this weekend, which was supposed to be his weekend off. Argghhh!! First off, I made the mistake of going to the library, then I made the mistake of checking out books. Then I opened one. Well, you can guess where this is going. Yes, I did finish it today and my house is a disaster. Still is, in fact. The bathtub is yet to be drained, breakfast and lunch dishes are overflowing the sink while the supper dishes are still on the table. Toys are scattered everywhere. The towels (miraculously still somewhat folded--by Ana) are falling off the coffee table. And a great big pile of ironing awaits me in my dining room/pantry. I'm avoiding looking at it all by staring intently at the computer screen. My contacts are kind of swimming though from all the staring. Anyway, after finishing the book, I felt like eating chocolate. I resisted and ate yogurt instead. Then I ate chocolate. If I finish this bag of chocolate chips tonight, it's going to be a long week indeed.

This was my favorite part of the book, the dedication:

For Colin Firth
You're a really great guy, but I'm married,
so I think we should just be friends.
Hee. Hee. Okay, the book was Austenland by Shannon Hale. It's about a woman obsessed with Pride and Prejudice who goes to a vacation spot in England that recreates Jane Austen's time era and is courted by actors that are supposed to make all the women swoon, etc. etc. Yes, lame. I really have strong inhibitions to actually admitting that I willingly chose (albeit, it was recommended to me) and read this book. I'd much rather say I was reading much weightier books like, Brave New World or Of Human Bondage. But no, I must admit it was not a weighty book at all. Quite fun though. By the way, I'm not all that big of fan of Colin Firth either. Oh and before I go face reality and clean the house, I wanted to add that I watched a pretty good romantic film recently with Russell Crowe (I'd much rather watch him than Colin Firth) called A Good Year. I liked it a lot, it was very artsy with gorgeous scenary and a soundtrack I loved including Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini in French. One of my favorite parts was how Max (Russell Crowe) would shout out "Lance Armstrong!" whenever he drove past these Frence cyclists and they'd curse back at him. Ironically, I watched Pride and Prejudice that same night, but the newer, shorter version, not the one with Colin Firth.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Comida de Colombia

While we were in Arizona for Leo's parents' sealing, his mom took us to a Colombian tienda that just started up. Leo was in heaven. I was pretty happy too. We ate my favorite Colombian food, papas criollas, that night. One time when I was pregnant, I hadn't been able to keep anything down for days and I suddenly felt like papas criollas (which were readily available from Las Americas Mercado, just down the street from the hospital I worked at in Florida). So I cooked them all and then ate the entire bag in one sitting (we buy them frozen in a bag). Usually it took Leo and me several dinners to finish one bag. I also bought in Arizona a huge package of Triguisar, my absolute favorite spice (I think it's mostly cumin). Anyway, not as exciting for me, Leo found morollio (sp?) which Martha also cooked for dinner that night (much to the despair of Ana). As you can see from the packaging it's a blood sausage that has rice packed in it. I put on a brave face in front of Ana and ate almost an entire sausage. It wasn't too bad. It revived my dream that one day I'll be able to travel the world and swallow down odd and disgusting things without blinking. I've only been reluctant to eat a couple of things Martha's cooked, including Lima beans (they're just not good no matter who cooks them), boiled eggs that are for all appearances seem raw (although I have eaten raw eggs, I don't like it for breakfast), and a dish very similar to rice pudding (I've never like rice pudding, even when my mom makes it). I have eaten live minnows though, (my brother Derek dared me, and then I ate one again to disgust some girls at girl's camp) but I refused to touch Rocky Mountain oysters when my cousins offered me some.Anyway, when I was little I wanted to work for National Geographic and go all over the world and eat bugs and that sort of thing. I love the National Geographic, I've read it faithfully since I was twelve. My first year in college, since my parents were too far away to steal their copy, I'd go to the history department where my sister worked as a TA and stole their copy. (I'd bring it back, eventually.) The next year I couldn't handle missing issues, so I subscribed. Sadly, the magazine has become pretty stale the last couple of years, focusing almost completely on global warming. Not that I don't appreciate an informative article on the matter, but when it's month after month, for the last severel years, it gets old. I read the National Geographic for it's interesting stories on people and their cultures; I could suscribe to a global warming magazine if that was all I cared to read about. Sigh. Not that I'm not concerned about the enviroment and all that, in fact, Leo and I were talking and wishing that we could buy a hybrid or electric car just the other day. This is the one Leo wants.

That's the Tesla Roadster. I prefer the one below. That would be the Alessandro Volta. Actually, I just like the name better. Although Tesla is a pretty stellar name for a car too. Anyway, back to comida. Here's some more of my favorite Colombian food items.Delicioso!

Milo is kind of like Nesquik. I like to eat it with a spoon. Forget the milk.Another delicioso chocolate, this one's for making hot chocolate. Again, I like to eat it plain, but if you talk to Colombians they say it will cause a horrible stomach ache eating it that way. Martha about died when she saw me eating it plain. I think it's an old wife's tale, never made me sick yet. This would be my favorite soda pop to drink. I like it better than any American pop by far. The only thing close is Canadian Dry, which is my favorite to get for rootbeer floats or rather Canadian Dry floats. The best float is Rasberry Canadian Dry with chocolate icecream, then you get a perfect chocolate/fruit mix. On the whole however, I'm not a big pop drinker, I like it once in a blue moon as a treat.This would be Leo's favorite pop. It's disgusting. Everytime he has one, I try it and reaffirm my initial impression, that it's awful. It's basically non-alcoholic beer. Poor Leo, he does miss Coronas every now and then. This is boca dillo, another thing I don't like. Yuck. They eat it with everything. Bread, deserts, cheese, plantains, etc. I'm not really a fan, I don't like candied fruit that much. I do like arepas alright. Although not with guava paste. These are pretty much the Colombian tortilla. Goes along with every meal.