Monday, June 20, 2011


Wondering where I’ve been? I’ve been doing things. First off, vacation was wonderful. It was nice to be completely untethered (meaning that I left all my technology at home, except for my iPod, which was only used as background music as we played games with other people. And also for portions of the car ride). It was nice to be liberated from computers, phones, and any other way people could contact me. 

That euphoria was quickly dispelled on Monday when I returned to work. There was plenty waiting for me. But I got caught up quickly.

We have also been potty training Munchkin. Wifey found an eBook that does a pretty good job at getting a kid potty trained in three days. This weekend had a few bumps along the way, but we found out that she had toilet paper rash (as opposed to diaper rash) from being wipes so often. Her fair skin is so sensitive that any little thing could set it off. We got that cleared up last night (after staying awake with her until about 1:30), and Wifey reports that today she has been accident-free. Go Munchkin!

Because of some of the potty training activities, Wifey tweaked her back a bit. A woman who is 8 months pregnant generally shouldn’t be lifting a lot, but potty training requires it. And Wifey faced the consequence. Luckily she got better quite quickly.

We also had our second annual Nacho Party with the gang. We don’t often get together with all our old friends, but we had all but one of the couples there. It was great to see them all and catch up a bit.

Meridian celebrated Dairy Days. They have a carnival that comes to town, complete with petting zoo, fair rides, and parades. We only made it to the parade, but Munchkin was in heaven. When the trucks came down the street, she would exclaim, “Beeg one!” When the horses came down the street, she would point and yell, “Horsies,” followed by a whinny. When there was any music, she would start bopping and bouncing. She loved being around all the people, and we were proud that she kept her pants dry for the three hours we were there.

Father’s Day also came and went. It was good for me, as I got a new pair of work pants that fit quite well. Wifey started mocking me because she bought me some brand name pants, and they actually fit. Normally, I have a hard time getting pants to fit because of my slender waist and long legs. If I could reverse my proportions, I would be able to find pants galore. But unfortunately, fewer stores are selling pants that have a 30 waist that have more than a 32 inseam. When you need a 30x36, you are kind of out of luck.

But these pants fit. When I asked her how she could tell if they were long enough, she told me that she held them up, and they came up to her chest, so she figured they would be long enough. I had to laugh, because I know that she doesn’t come up to my belly button. We aren’t that disproportionate!
We also found out that the foreign exchange student from Brazil that lived with my brother for a year is coming up with her dad for a visit. It will be fun to see her, since last time we saw her was about four or five years ago. July will be a busy time.

We are unsure whether or not Wifey will have the baby by then. She had an appointment with her doctor last week that told her that he would probably induce her since he was going to be gone the week of her due date. Wifey is fine with that, because Munchkin was relatively large (8 lbs, 8 oz) for Wifey’s petite frame. If the new babe comes a bit early, we are hoping that she will be a skosh smaller. She is already measuring larger than normal, but then again, so did Munchkin.

With that being said, Wifey might have the baby while my brother is up here with his family. The next week, my other brother is coming for a visit with his family. I have a feeling that my parents will be pretty tired after all the company leaves. But they love being able to see their kids and grandkids. In short, summer is beginning officially tomorrow, and I believe that mine will be quite the busy one.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recent Things I Enjoy

  • The muted squeals I hear through the window as Munchkin finds I'm home.
  • The faces Munchkin makes as she is squealing (big eyes, wide mouth, slightly rosy cheeks).
  • Snuggles from Munchkin.
  • Walking/jumping in a circle in our house with Munchkin as she held my hand for a half an hour tonight while dinner was simmering.
  • Wifey's yummy new recipies.
  • Wifey's new boldness to try new recipies.
  • Wifey's enjoyment at finding a new hobby (sewing).
  • The idea of a new addition to our family in July.
  • A new job where I'm treated like an adult instead of a second-class citizen.
  • The prospect of real insurance for a reasonable cost (come on August).
  • Going out to dinner and seeing a movie for our anniversary.
  • Change.
  • Perspective.
  • New things to learn.
  • Helping people by making their jobs easier.
  • Healthy raspberry plants.
  • The fact that my mom picked out some fabric to make a baby quilt, only later to find out that Wifey had almost purchased that same fabric to make something for the baby herself.
  • Relatively healthy bonsai trees.
  • Flowering pots.
  • Rain.
  • Going 370 miles on one gas tank before the light came on (my previous record was 340 in this car).
  • A nice hot shower.
  • Walking to the library to check out books.
  • Spinach.
  • Waking up to a quiet house.
  • Eating an apple for breakfast.
  • Motivation.
  • Helping my parents with yard work.
  • Helping my in-laws garden.
  • Trying to understand people.
  • Trying to encourage people.
  • Sharing books.
  • The upcoming four-day vacation in the Sawtooths at Lake Alturus (starting tomorrow).
  • The fact that part of this vacation is paid time off.
Your turn. Leave your post in the comments so I can enjoy them too.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A New Instrument?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to fill in for the church organist that normally plays. She called me on Saturday night and told me that she wasn't feeling well. I have played the piano for quite a few years, so I happily obliged.

Recently I have become more interested in the organ as an instrument. I have heard it called the king of instruments, and I can understand why. It has so many different stops that it could sound like a lot of different things—bells, woodwinds, trumpets, strings, and voices. There are a lot of possibilities that it has, and I think I want to start exploring them.

As with a lot of organ players, I'll probably start out with some religious works. The music coordinator in church asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would try learning an organ solo. She told me that she had heard many different types of musical numbers at church, but that she had never really heard an organ solo. I think I'll take her up on that offer.

I'll probably go pick up an organ book or two when I get a chance. I want to find one that would be hard enough to keep my interest, but easy enough with the pedals to keep my interested without overwhelming me. Maybe the library will have some music. I know the libraries in Finland did, so hopefully the ones in Idaho will follow suit...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Wall

Some days it seems that writing just oozes out of my pores. I think of plenty of things to write about, interesting connections, and ways I can express what I'm thinking.

Lately, I've been hitting a wall.

I don't know what it is, but since I have started my new job, I have been feeling less creative. I enjoy what I do for work, and I am learning and growing in a lot of ways, but instead of finding time to think about life and who I want to be, I find my mind being filled with things to do for work—how to create a new document, the next piece of technology I need to learn, or a new design for a flyer that I'm creating.

And I'm not sure why that is. Generally I am pretty good about turning off work when I leave for the day and turn it back on during my commute in to work. This position has been different so far.

So, dear Internet, please post something that inspires you in the comments. It can be anything—a website, a book you have recently enjoyed, a picture, or a quote. Heck, it could even be a cool cake or something.

Hopefully it will pull me from my creative void and help me be a more productive (and sharing) blogger. Blogging is something I enjoy, but it has been hard for me lately.

Another thing I am hoping will help out is I am taking a vacation this week. We are heading up to the mountains for a few days with Wifey's family. I hope to take lots of pictures and have time to sit and think in the forest. While we won't be away from civilization completely (we are staying in cabins), I'm hoping that there will be some time to curl up with a good book, take a stroll through a forest, or just sit by the water and think.

I need to stop by the library and find a good book to read. I'm feeling a bit bored with the ones on our shelves as of late. I'll probably try to find something completely out of character for myself to see if that provokes some inspiration. If not, I'll try something else until I get some hints from the Internet.