Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Say it isn't so!

I'm going to say something that is sure to shock and dismay some people.

Doug doesn't like They Might Be Giants.

(Pause for collective gasps...)

Fortunately this has not been a big sticking point in our marriage, which is a good thing for me, especially since I've been wandering around the past few days singing "I don't know whether I'd rather be having a bottle of vinegar, I don't know whether I'd rather be having an egg, I don't know whether I'd rather be having an order of bacon or whether I'd rather be having a basket of garlic bread...."

Also fortunately for me, he does like a lot of "funny" songs, like stuff by Heywood Banks, Ookla the Mok, the Arrogant Worms (to name a few). Clever lyrics have always been high on my list. Actually the first time I saw Doug was at a filk-sing in a friend's basement. I guess you could say we "met" there, though I don't think I said anything to him at the time. He was there with his fiddle. I was there to sing songs like "Never Set the Cat on Fire" and "You Can Build a Mainframe from the Things you Find at Home."

Doug and I are a good match. Our senses of humor are very similar, usually. We laugh at a lot of the same things. Becky sent us "Title of the Song," by DaVinci's Notebook, and Doug just about fell out of his chair the first time he listened to it. (Incidentally, Becky just posted about going to the LDS music festival, so I just wanted to say that we were listening to Border Crossing's "Happy Little Duck" song the other day, and Doug said that the "vise-grip heart" line is some really nice imagery.) They Might Be Giants is just a little too random, a little too surreal for Doug. But that's okay. We're not going to let such a little thing get in the way of familial bliss. Even my sister Betsey, who embroidered "TMBG" on her backpack, likes Doug. She told me.

Right now I'm sitting at the computer in the living room, and I can hear Doug in the bedroom with Kate, playing "I'm a Little Teapot" on his cittern. What a cool daddy.

Kate at 35 weeks

We went painting again yesterday and I got a lot done. Hooray! Doing the Monday photo shoot out at Sylvia's house does have its drawbacks. There are some great places to take pictures, but Kate keeps having blowouts, and then I have to change her into her spare clothes, which are never as cute as the ones I picked out to start with. But we found a fun prop!

(Technical photo stuff follows:) I really need to shoot in manual when I do these pictures by the window. I underexposed by 2/3 stop, for the dark background, which works pretty well, but then the settings kept changing as I moved around. On some of them the shutter speed got down to 1/40 of a second and I didn't notice. Of course they were all pretty blurry, except for this one, strangely enough. Handheld at 1/40 and still fairly sharp. I'm the queen of camera shake, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Say what?

This dumpster was behind a gas station where we stopped the other day. I'm baffled.


Kate's first time on the baby swing. She didn't know what to make of it at first, but then she decided it was great fun.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Still painting, and other stuff

We went painting three times this week. Work continues slowly. This image is stitched together (not very well) from two pictures. What I really need is a wide-angle lens.

Sylvia was diagnosed with breast cancer. Scary. She is tired but optimistic, and she has lots of people praying for her. I'm thinking I should try to get as much painting done as possible while Doug is still available to help out.

Kate is eight months old today! How time flies. She is getting so big. She just recently started putting weight on her legs when we hold her up (she's an odd child--I know most babies love to stand, but she just hasn't been interested), and she's also developed a serious aversion to being laid back in the bathtub. She loves sitting up and playing in the water, but if we try to get her to lie back so we can wash her--hoo boy! Maybe she's decided lying down is for little babies. She's making more and more sounds, and she told off Doug in baby language when he took away the nectarine slice she was sucking on at the ward picnic yesterday.

It looks like we're moving! We've been thinking for a while that we should try to get into a two-bedroom apartment, and I especially wanted one with a washer and dryer. We looked at one earlier this week, put in an application, and everything's looking good. The apartment is currently being rented by a family in our ward at church, so we got to see the place in good detail, and stand in the living room and try to imagine where we'll put everything. It's 1,000 square feet, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms (nice if we have company), a huge closet in the master bedroom, a washer and dryer, and a cute little lawn outside with a picturesque rock wall. (That'll be a great place to take pictures. Oooh.) We're going to Ohio in mid-September, so we'll probably do the moving once we get back. The rent is considerably higher than what we're paying now, but Doug will be teaching four classes this next quarter, instead of his usual three, and that should be enough to make up the difference. We feel fortunate and blessed to have the resources to do this.

I finally finshed reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (I'm reading very slowly these days). On the whole I liked it better than the last one. There sure was a lot of kissing going on. Don't they have any school rules about that sort of thing?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Happy Birthday Scott!

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Uncle Grumpy
Happy birthday to yooooooou!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Kate at 34 weeks

We went painting yesterday, so we did the Monday photo shoot out at Sylvia's house. Kate had a blowout right after I started, which is why she's wearing a different onesie in the first picture. (Gee, thanks, kiddo!)

Ooh, a green billiard ball! Shiny!

The scenic route

Doug missed the turn-off coming home yesterday, so we took a little detour and spotted these deer in a field, eating some apples that someone had put out for them. (I stood up on the seat of the car and took the picture through the sunroof. Ha!)

Window Seat

Sylvia's house has these daybeds by the windows downstairs (where Doug and Kate get to hang out while I'm painting). We discovered that Kate likes to sit and bang on the window, and that it makes a great place to take pictures!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mr. Yuck

This is the face Kate made when I tried to give her some peas yesterday.

Doug's new church calling (!!!)

Big changes for this family. (Very big. One might say huge.) Doug was called as the second counselor in the bishopric. We came home from our Saturday grocery shopping to a message on our answering machine asking us to come in and meet with the stake presidency before church. We knew something was up but we weren't quite expecting this. Doug, being well aware of his own strengths and talents, has often commented that he feels more comfortable in a supporting role than in a leadership position, but I am confident that he will rise to the challenge. He's been teaching Gospel Doctrine (Sunday School class) for about two years now and will be missed there. He's a great teacher.

Sundays are going to be crazy(er). And he'll be gone more during the week, with meetings and stuff. He's in charge of the Youth now, so I guess we'll get to do that together. (Kind of ironic, for two people who were both a bit socially backward as teenagers--or, as Doug puts it, "Not very outgoing and kind of geeky.")

Along with the call comes the ordination to High Priest. Our friend Scott got to do that. We figured it was only fitting, since Doug ordained Scott an Elder a few years ago. Turn about is fair play.

More Painting

This is the bit that I've been working on this week. Doug finished up summer quarter and doesn't have any more classes for about a month, so he's been going painting with me. It's a great help, and Kate enjoys playing with her daddy. We went three times this week, and while I didn't really get a lot of area covered, I got some good fiddly detail done.

The tower on the right seems to be missing something. That's how it looks in the picture, but I think I might add another corner tower bit and make it symmetrical. Shouldn't be too hard.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I missed it

August 18, 1993, was the day that I got home from my mission in Korea. In past years I've tried to make a note of it in some way (having Korean food or something). In 2003, commemorating the ten-year mark, I wrote a big long entry in my journal, exploring how I felt about my mission and the direction my life had gone since then. I wrote, I'm not sure, when I got home ten years ago, where I thought I would be today. I'm sure I expected to have at least a couple of kids. I keep hoping and praying that will happen soon. I do so want to create a fun, loving, playful, imaginative family like the one I grew up in.

Yesterday I was busy. We all spent the day in Port Orchard (I was painting; Doug and Kate kept each other entertained). Then it took forever to get Kate to sleep, and I probably conked out right around the time she did.

As I was holding our baby and feeding her at 2:30 in the morning, I was thinking about what a sweet little girl she is and how happy we are to have her. Having a baby really does change everything.

I showed Doug this layout on Two Peas yesterday, and he said "Awwww!" The man appreciates a cute baby.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Beach Baby

Today we escaped our hot apartment and fled to a nice shady spot on the beach. Kate was content for quite a while, sitting and watching all the people (and their dogs) going by, and experiencing all the new textures. She thought the sand was quite fascinating, but was less impressed by the cold water. Being an odd child, she doesn't automatically put everything that she finds in her mouth, but she likes to feel things (we call this "scrabbling," what she does with her little fingers) and she likes to hold things and wave them up and down. A stick, a piece of dried seaweed, and various rocks all brightened her beach experience. She also humored us and played along when we put Daddy's hat on her just to see how cute she was.

Kate at 33 weeks

Just a few shots from earlier today (we got out the cracker box again, but did not achieve quite the same level of hilarity this time).

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My new church calling

Today I was called to be the Mia Maid advisor. Normally this means working with the 14-16 year old girls, but our ward doesn't split the classes up because there aren't very many Young Women. (Although, when I was in Young Women we always split up, and there were a lot of times when I was the only one in my class.) I'm not a counselor, just an advisor. Turns out they asked for me because they want me to do most of the Sunday teaching. I'm sure this would be fine, but I don't know how it'll work with Kate. She's usually getting pretty fractious by the third hour. Doug can take her, and may be able to keep her distracted for a good long time, but when it comes to the point that she decides she's ready to nurse and take a nap, there's nothing else for it.

Once we get the details worked out it could be a lot of fun. They seem like really great girls.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Hot time, summer in the city

Or is it "hot town"? I should never have used the oven at lunch. It actually seems cooler inside than out right now, though, at least in the bedroom. We've got two fans going. We would have three, but our big box fan is in Port Orchard ventilating the Cupboard Under the Stairs.

We went to Trader Joe's and ran into Meadow who used to work at Scrap Magic before they closed. She asked me if I was scrapping lots of pictures of Kate. I told her I'm taking tons of pictures. Scrapping, not so much. More like, none. At the moment. I have big plans, though. I'm hoping to get Adobe Photoshop CS2 and learn a little more about post-processing. Hopefully my stack of pictures won't be impossibly intimidating by then. Or I guess it's not a "stack," as such, since they're digital pictures. The CDs they're on, though, those can stack. Yep.

Meadow is working at Trader Joe's now, but she said she just took two months off to go to India to volunteer in an orphanage. That would be so cool. I think that's the same thing my roommate Janine did at BYU. She had some really great pictures. I wonder if she ever scrapped them.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Painting, again

I went painting three times this week, and I feel like I've gotten a good amount done (I could have gotten more done if I didn't have this tendency to re-work the same spot over and over). I took this picture at the end of the day today. That area is really complicated and I've been wondering how tricky it would be, but I like the way it turned out. I still have to put the bars on the windows.

I have no clue what that thing is that looks like a big blue bowler hat on the roof. But hey, it's in the picture, so I put it in. If anyone has any idea what it might be, let me know!

Doug went out with us today and kept Kate entertained while I worked. I love to hear the sound of Doug laughing at "Who's Line is it Anyway?"

(And I'm happy to report that even though we stayed late and Kate fell asleep in the car, she went back to sleep again fairly quickly after we got home. Hooray!)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

That'll teach the little blighters.

I've had some odd songs popping into my head lately. Having a baby will do that to you, I guess.

My family has this old tape of a musical version of Heidi. I've always wondered if it's from a movie or something, but I've never been able to confirm or deny this. It's entirely possible that all the songs were made up just for this recording. One of them is an alphabet song that reflects a rather Victorian approach to education. I sang it for Doug the other day and he agreed it was quite shocking.

If your ABC is not learned today
You must go to be punished tomorrow I say
DEFG must run with ease
Or something will follow that will not please
Should HIJK be now forgot
Disgrace is yours upon the spot
And then LM must follow at once
Or punished you'll be for a sorry dunce
If you knew what next awaited you
You'd haste to learn NOPQ
Now RST be quick about
The worst could follow there's little doubt
If you put a U for V
You'll go where you would not like to be
If you falter a W, worst of all
Look at the stick against the wall
Then comes the X for you say
Or be sure you'll get no food today
And should you make a stop at Y
They'll point at you and cry "Fie, fie!"
Make haste with Zed, if you're too slow
To the Hottentots you will go

This is taken almost exactly from the text of Heidi, with a few minor changes. There's just something about having it set to cheerful, bouncy music that makes it that much weirder. This was also my first exposure to "zed." It was quite a while before I learned that that is indeed what the rest of the English-speaking world calls the last letter of the alphabet. Which makes me wonder, do other countries sing the same alphabet song we do? Because it doesn't rhyme that way.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Kate at 32 weeks

Teething is rough. Poor kid. I wasn't sure if I would be able to get Kate to smile for the camera today. She's been pretty cranky. The "Little Teethers" gel does seem to help, but it's hard to get it to go where it's supposed to.

We tried some pictures outside first, which didn't work too well, because it was too sunny, and what shade I could find was blotchy. But Kate seemed to enjoy being outside, playing with the blanket and looking everywhere but at the camera.

She's not quite crawling yet, but she wants to so badly. When she's sitting she'll lean forward and rock back and forth on her hands. She can also get herself from a sitting position down onto her tummy, usually without bonking her face on anything on the way down.

I took a few more pictures inside later on, in her little baby chair by the window. She was having a great time, sitting and whacking on the empty cracker box that her daddy gave her. (Hooray for cheap toys! Only $1.69, and it comes with crackers, even!)

When she dropped the box I could pick it up, and she would turn her head to follow it as I moved it back and forth. I'll have to remember that. Or maybe I could cut a hole in the box and stick it over the camera lens.

Kate and Mom

Doug took these after church yesterday. Check out that lower lip! A friend gave us this cute little dress when Kate was born. It seemed enormous at the time. She's grown into it so quickly!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Painting progress (and a bee)

Doug went out painting with me today. He doesn't have classes on Friday this quarter, so he gets to play with Kate and watch satellite TV on the big screen, and I (hopefully) get lots of painting done. I've been working on that tower too long. The lighting is a bit tricky but I've almost got it. There are a few more windows that I need to add, too. I haven't been painting this week because Sylvia had company. Next week should be better.

On the way out to Port Orchard, a bumble bee flew in our car window. I felt something tickle my hand and just brushed it off, and then I looked down and there was this bee crawling on me. (!!!) I was glad it was just a bumble bee and not a hornet or something. It was a few minutes before Doug could pull over (during which time it was crawling up my shoulder), and then I coaxed the bee out of the car. Poor thing looked a bit stunned. I've always kind of liked bumble bees, but have never really been forced into close acquaintance with one. (I tried to rescue a honey bee from a swimming pool once and the ungrateful thing stung me--see if I ever do that again!)

We left there at 8:00, and of course Kate fell asleep in the car, so her bedtime schedule got all messed up. We try to avoid that.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Glorie Jean

Our friend Rebecca's sweet little dog is going in today for surgery on a torn ligament. Good luck Glorie Jean!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Oooh, pretty!

Some of our downstairs neighbors have this butterfly ornament hanging in their parking space. Kate loves it! These pictures were taken over a month ago, but she still reacts the same way. She gets all excited when she sees it. Maybe I need to get one of these to dangle in front of her when I take pictures.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Kate at 31 weeks

How did it get to be August already? I'm in denial.

We tried today's photo shoot outside. This has its own challenges. It was overcast, so at least we didn't have to deal with harsh shadows, but I still wasn't quite happy with the lighting. Plus it's hard to get those nice catchlights in her eyes. Kate has been a little out of sorts (teething, I think), and also much more interested in the blanket and in the flower her daddy picked for her than in looking at the camera. But we got a few good shots. Look at that hair!