Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gimme Five!

Per another tag from the Bishops...

5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago
1. Getting way into The Smashing Pumpkins
2. Practicing driving to get my license
3. Staying up all hours of the night, up to no good with my friends
4. Getting ready for my Sophomore year of High School
5. Still unsure about the whole "email" thing.

5 Things On My "To Do" List Today
1. Get cracking on grad school applications
2. Get to bed by 9:30
3. Buy plane tickets for Thanksgiving
4. Cook dinner
5. Avoid that blueberry pie I baked on Sunday

5 Snacks I Enjoy
1. Chocolate chip cookies with cold whole milk
2. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with cold whole milk
3. Ben & Jerry's ice cream
4. Root beer floats
5. Fresh, plump cherries

5 Songs to Which I Know the Lyrics
1. "This Song's Just Six Words Long" - Weird Al
2. "This is the Song That Does Not End" - ?
3. "Weil du nur einmal lebst" - Die Toten Hosen
4. "Tequila" - The Champs
5. "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" - Traditional

5 Things I Would Do If I Were a Millionaire
1. Pay off all student loans
2. Buy a home in Colorado Springs
3. Fix my car and put in a V8. Oh baby!
4. Invest!
5. Pay someone to update this blog for me

5 Bad Habits
1. I scratch my head a lot at night
2. I have to back in to just about every parking spot
3. I answer my phone with either, "Yellow?" or "Bueno?"
4. I leave the cupboards open all the time
5. I never ever fold my laundry

5 Things I'd Never Wear Again
1. Sweat pants to school every day
2. Those huge glasses from the 80s.
3. A necklace
4. Jeans with big holes in them
5. My hair in a buzz cut

5 Things I Like to Do
1. Sleep
2. Bake
3. Listen to music
4. Read a good book
5. Write

5 Favorite Toys
1. Computer
2. Car
3. iPod
4. Camera
5. My tools

5 People I Tag
1. Nate & Jackie
2. Curt & Holly
3. My Little Sis'
4. My Littlest Bro.
5. I have no other friends (sniff).

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hypno-what?

This is the second post of the day, so be sure to read on after this one.

Kira and I, being totally and utterly unprepared for the birth of our first child, spent quite some time deciding what, if any, birthing class we might like to try. For you offspring-less, a birthing class is Lamaze, or any one of those things that is supposed to prepare you for giving birth.
Anyhoo, we finally decided to try one out called Hypno-birthing. Now before anyone starts thinking they've lost me to the hippies (we all know Kira was already on her way), let me explain it first, because it's really not what it sounds like.
It is essentially just a method of relaxing ones self to a point that ones body releases the natural pain relieving endorphins, which are much more powerful than morphine, and thus have a more comfortable and calm birth. The method by which one achieves this relaxation is by approaching the birth without fear. The typical pattern for a birth seems to be (1) contraction, which leads to (2) fear, which causes one to (3) tense up, which leads to (1) more pain, which leads to more fear, which leads to more tension, and so on and so forth. So the point is to relax and thus break the cycle of tension, fear, and pain.

In any case, it's quite interesting and very promising. We don't quite buy in to the Mr. Roger's Neighborhood-esque xylophone music to which they want us to listen while relaxing, but other than that, we have enjoyed everything we've learned thus far.

So once again, just to prove I'm not going all rainbowy on you, I think I just might "relax" to some Radiohead during the labor. Something tells me Kira won't quite go for it though.

Breckenridge, etc.

This is a photo of us at Kira's side's family reunion in Breckenridge, Colorado. It was a nice little trip to get away for a few days, and the weather was fantastic compared to what we've had here. The highs were in the upper 60s and at night it would get down into the 40s. Oh Colorado, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

The only unfortunate thing is that we didn't do a whole lot there. We visited with family, yes, but if you're not rich or stupid (or usually both), there's not a ton to do in ski resort towns in the Summer. We window shopped a lot and enjoyed the sights, but it seemed we spent most of the days in the condo. We did, however, enjoy a ride down an Alpine Slide which, for those of you who live in states like Kansas or Wyoming, is a "slide" made of plastic or smooth concrete that goes down a ski slope in the warmer snow-free months and is much like a bobsled track, only without the ice. One rides the gondola up the slope and gets a little "sled" and goes down the track as fast as gravity and the other laws of physics will allow. Quite enjoyable for anyone who has the chance. You would think we got more pictures from the weekend worth showing, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong though.
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ahh... Freedom!

Due to popular demand, here's a recent photo of Kira and Avey. A few nights ago, we were talking before bedtime and watching her tummy as Avey pressed her various limbs against it. It was pretty cool. She's an active little girl already. Kira's done a kick count and it appears that her movements per hour are right in the expected range, so things are looking positive. We're very pleased to have had a relatively routine pregnancy (so far), after all the difficult ones we've seen for some of my sisters-in-law.

The biggest news of this week is that as of Tuesday, we are credit card debt free! WOO HOO! Now we can get started on all those student loans. This is the first time we've had a zero balance on both credit cards since we were married, and it's a great feeling. We were even able to pay for a stroller/car seat combo in full this week. I'll tell you, it sure is nice to have a little bit of money now after all the years as a student. What'll be hard is going back to school. Let's not think about it right now.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Whirlwind Week

This week felt incredibly busy, and now that I think back about what we did, I am struggling to remember why.

Oh, that's right.

Every single night this week was filled with something. Monday was Kira's birthday, so after work, I picked up some roses for a little surprise. I then took a quick shower at home and we headed to The Cracker Barrel nearby. I enjoyed a nice plate of chicken n' dumplings, and when Kira's food came, she took a little trip to the restroom. She had been feeling a bit nauseous for a while and when she looked at the turnip greens (yeah, I would gag too) she ordered, it was too much. She threw up in the bathroom.

By the time she came back to the table, I had finished my meal and she felt just fine. She ate her meal and we headed home to open the few wrapped presents she got (she mostly just wanted money toward maternity clothes, a camcorder, etc.). She had requested blueberry pie instead of cake, so I whipped that up last Sunday afternoon and we saved it until Monday. Trying to get candles to stick into fresh blueberry pie is quite a challenge, I assure you. The neighbors dropped in to give her a card and we shared pie with them before calling it a night.

Tuesday, we both left work early to go to another appointment with the midwife in Murray. Everything looks okay. Avey keeps moving a lot, and Kira keeps feeling bigger and bigger all the time. We got back a little before 8pm, when Kira's visiting teachers came over, and I snuck off to a local thrift store to find some more work pants and work shoes. Oh, on the trip home from Murray, our "Check Engine" light came on. That's always fun.

For Wednesday, we had purchased tickets to an outdoor showing of To Catch a Thief by Hitchcock. It ended up starting much much later than we'd expected, so we got home very late. We decided to do this kind of thing only on weekends in the future.

We thought for sure that Thursday was going to be free, but then Kira got a call to go visiting teaching, and I got invited to go with a neighbor to a movie. We saw Next, which was pretty good.

Friday, we decided to start looking into strollers and car seats. We spent a good long time checking some out but came home empty handed for now. We're going to do a little more looking and read up on the best companies.

Saturday was a whirlwind. We shopped, did laundry, I packed a few boxes, I fixed a drawer in our entertainment center that had been falling off the track, we went to the stake picnic, watched a little TV that evening, and Kira went to bed while I stayed up to read for a little while. Oh, I also took the car in to check out the "Check Engine" light. It wasn't anything serious, and we paid only $30 for the repair. That was a relief.

Today, she skipped church to go help her sister with her kids. Nursery was interesting, but not as hard as last time.

That's the week in a really big, wordy nutshell. Sorry it lacked my usual humor. It's much too hot to smile these days.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Best Job Ever


You know, with a name like Eli, I don't get a whole lot of mix ups anywhere. Nobody has ever had to refer to me as "Eli R.", or "the other Eli". It's a pretty rare name, as names go. But the other day at the zoo, we ran into just that problem. As you can see in the picture to the left, I am not the only Eli around. There is another, and he's an orangutan. So, you can imagine the mix up; we have fairly similar grooming habits, we communicate in semi-coherent grunts and howls, we both prefer swinging around in trees to doing any actual work, and we think it's really annoying when kids pass by us and shout, "Hey, you wanna banana?" and start jumping around, scratching their armpits hoo-hoo-hee-heeing. Jerks.
So I had a lot of empathy with poor Eli, stuck there in the shade, with nothing to do but eat, drink, sleep... wait a minute - he has it way better than I do!

Well anyway, if you didn't already piece it together, at my job this Monday, we went with some of the students to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake. These are just some of the pictures I got. For confidentiality reasons, I didn't take any of the students' pictures, so if you think some of the animals might be students, you're wrong.

No, going to the zoo isn't a very common activity at my job, this is just a week in between semesters and so they plan several activities because it's sort of a "Summer Break" for the men, and not all of them can get away. Hey, I'm not complaining. Nobody's ever payed me to go to the zoo before.

In other news, the anniversary of the birth of our nation was Wednesday. Allow me to be serious just for a moment; the more I have learned in school, and through travelling and living in another country for two years, and reading about history, watching the news, etc., I have come more and more to appreciate and adore this country. The mere fact that neither I, nor Kira, nor my children will ever want for food or shelter is more than many nations have offered. We both have college educations, which puts us in the elite 10% of the country, and the even more elite of the world. We drink clean water, can bathe every day, can read, see, or say whatever we feel is just and right. For these small things we take for granted every day, and for thousands more, I am proud to be an American and will forever be in debt to the brave men and women who have fought to give us the greatest opportunities in life.

Okay, I'm done. Kira and I celebrated the 4th by sleeping in, seeing a movie (Premonition), having lunch with my brother and his wife who were in town for the day, just plain relaxing, shopping a little, and pigging out a little. It was a nice way to spend the middle of the week and we've decided we should have more Fourths of July in the year.

Kira's birthday is this week, so if you haven't already, drop her a line or note. She'd love it.
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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Things are heating up

The biggest news down here is that things are heating up. The past few weeks have been in the upper 90s and this week is supposed to be even worse. It's hard on Kira, and I'm outside about half of the time at my job, so I come home covered in a cocktail of sweat and sunblock (Mmmmm...) and am getting quite a nice tan. In fact, we've joked that I don't really need to wear a wedding ring anymore, the little line around my finger is so white compared to the rest of my hand. Not really much relief in sight either. I really enjoy my job, don't get me wrong; the hardest part really is the heat.

Speaking of jobs, we had a little scare earlier this week. Kira got some emails from HR and some administration describing the financial crisis into which her company has fallen (well then why did you just give everybody a raise?), and they explained that they would have to make some cutbacks in the number of employees. Naturally, we panicked because we really wanted the extra income to knock out most of our debt before the baby's born, and we can have double coverage for insurance to bring down the cost of the birth to practically nothing. So after lots of sweating and prayer, we found out that she's safe, and will continue to work until she chooses to leave. Whew!

On Friday, we went to a fundraiser dinner for a mental health organization. We didn't expect much for $5 a plate, but what they fed us was horrendous. They called it sloppy joes, and there was meat in it, but there were also just about as many onions as there was meat. Now, as you will recall either from experience or from a previous blog ("I've been tagged!"), if there is anything on this planet which I absolutely and passionately detest, it is onions. So, even though it goes without saying, I'm going to say it anyway; I could feel my taste buds shivering with terror as I slowly brought the pathetic excuse for sustenance to my mouth. As I bit down into the soggy bun, my nostrils took in the defiled air surrounding the chopped vegetable that is the bane of my existence, and as my tongue grazed the tainted mixture of "sloppy" and "joe", my senses shouted in agony and begged me to cast the monstrosity into the depths of the waste bin, where it belonged (and perhaps whence it came), but nay, I gagged it down. After a long, strenuous day working under the tortuous heat of the sun, I needed some form of nourishment, and with no other options available, it was either onions surrounded by some sloppy joe, or flop over on the table, drained of strength. Perhaps I did not make the wise choice, but I am alive.

As you can imagine, such a traumatic experience has left me weak in the knees and general tummy area, not to mention the psychological effects, but after a large brownie milkshake on Saturday and some free counseling from Kira, I think I am back on the path to recovery.

The entertainment was pretty good, and parking was ample.