Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Toe-Stubbing Maniac

Hello blog friends, 

This is one of my feet:
It looks harmless, though somewhat ugly (no pedicure, no nail polish, no nonsense [read: no effort]).  In fact, this foot and its semi-twin are harmless--to you.  Unfortunately, my feet cause me no end of trouble, though I suppose in all fairness it isn't their fault.  You see, along with a desire to control the world and an all-consuming silliness after 11:00 pm, one of my faults is an irrational need to move way too fast.  This flaw leads to a supreme clumsiness that in turn leads to a never-ending series of stubbed toes.  I can stub my toe on just about anything--the usual things like stairs and table legs and then some less usual things like the side of the couch (I guess I lifted my foot too high?) and the bare floor.  At the point, my toes are pretty much made of lead.  However, a few days ago I had a toe-stubbing experience that was unusual and actually hurt: I stubbed the toe of one foot on the bottom of the other foot.  Here is a reenactment:

It was quite painful, but after the initial yelp I couldn't help but laugh.  So ridiculous.  What my toe-stubbing propensity means for you, the invisible reader, I'm not sure.  Perhaps if you need someone to carry your wedding china you should ask me only as a last resort. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Too Many Books!

Hi invisible readers,

Ordinarily I am the kind of person who likes to multi-task. I like to clean the entire house at the same time by walking from room to room and back again, instead of tackling it one room at a time. If I start in the living room and see books that should be in the bedroom, I'll transport the offending articles and find something that needs to be done in the bedroom while I'm there--making the bed for example. Then when I pick up the comforter and find clothes that should be in the hamper in Amy's room, I'll make the bed and then take the clothes to Amy's room and look for a new challenge there, all the while reminding myself that if I can find a way to usefully get back into the living room (putting away the mug from last night's snack, for example), the entertainment center needs to be dusted. It is a weird game I play that makes cleaning the house more exciting.

Anyway, there is one area in which I do not like to multi-task: reading books. I like to be in the middle of only one book at a time. Lately, however, I have started several books, and it is very strange to be reading them all simultaneously. It makes it difficult to get completely lost in the imaginary world of a book when one is constantly reminded (by reading other books) that there are tons of other imaginary worlds out there and none of them are real. The culprits that have caused my current disbelief in all fiction are: the second book in the Fablehaven series (which is difficult to believe in anyway due to various inconsistencies in that fantasy world), The Face of a Stranger (a detective novel I have not yet been able to finish, perhaps because of the very, very long chapters), The Call of the Wild (a children's novel that has thinking dogs and such like the Disney movie Balto--I generally like books about people), and finally, Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shannara (started with a bang and now the group--Flick, Menion, and Shea--are traveling and things have slowed WAY down, reminiscent of the second book of Tolkien's famous trilogy).

As both an experiment in the art of adding pictures to my blog and as proof that I have not done my multi-tasking-style cleaning in quite some time, here are pictures of each of those books where they can be found at this very moment.


The Face of a Stranger:

The Call of the Wild:

The Sword of Shannara:

Being in the middle of all of these very different books is causing my imagination to reject them all. In the future I will return to my "one book at a time" policy, but at the moment I feel as if I need some kind of debt consolidation program for readaholics (spend all of your reading hours on the shortest book, then move to the next shortest, and so on until all books have been completed). :) Anyway, I suppose my life could be worse. At least I actually have time to read these days!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

While I Was 23...

Hello my friends and stalkers,

So on Monday I had a birthday. It was pretty exciting because I was in Phoenix and my family had a cookout for me that included two birthday cakes decorated by my sister Ashley. My sister Cortney also contributed to the memorableness of the day by breaking down in Mesa and postponing the festivities with a rescue mission (not her fault, of course). My brother Jason came to see me the day before and my sister Kelci called me the day of, and Mom, Dad, Justin, Jordan, Lindsay, Grandma, Gary, Brett, and Amy were all there singing to me around my bonfire of candles. Thank you, family, for being so amazing!

So "24" might as well be "22" or "23." Until you're 25, no one takes you seriously, and until you're 30, you're not really...um...mature? Anyway, I thought I'd do a brief rundown of the highlights of my most recent year of life. Should be fun.

While I was 23...
I found out I was pregnant!
I went to my first graduation as a teacher of the graduates and simultaneously survived my first year of teaching.
Brett and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.
I went to the ever-popular and highly-famous Giles Family Reunion (the big one).
I went to San Francisco and enjoyed the beautiful museums, trolly cars, and ocean views.
I went to Alcatraz and refused to enter the solitary confinement cell.
I began my second year of teaching and added a middle school class (the joy!).
I started taking piano lessons again.
I made it an entire year on my sugar-free diet (don't worry--I'm happily off it now!).
I (surprise!) had my baby.
I quit work a week earlier than expected (sorry, Ms. Johnson).
I celebrated my first Christmas as a mother.
I learned to like being a mother (if that sounds terrible, you are a better first-time parent than I was).
I started getting in shape (this is not an invitation to look at me more closely and say to yourself, "Huh. She doesn't look like she's losing weight").
I happily made it back to dear old 4/20.

So some big things happened when I was 23, and I'm excited to enjoy life as a not-quite-mature 24-year-old.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Three Years Old

Hi Blog Friends,

So I've recently learned that three-year-olds make the best friends. My new friend's name is Casey, and she is a brilliant little girl! I am so glad her mom and I became exercise buddies (I like you too, Christi). Casey is 100% fun. I can't help but smile when she calls out "Heidi's here!" because I know more cute memories are ahead. Here are some of the great moments I've shared with Casey thus far:

1. A mini-lecture on the excellence of sidewalks
A few days a week, Christi and I go walking. The kids, as you might expect, ride in strollers. Well, Casey is old enough to realize that the sidewalk provides a much more comfortable experience than the bumpy road. I love listening to Christi explain that if we went on the sidewalk, "We couldn't walk by Heidi." From Casey's puzzled look, I'm not sure she thinks that's a good enough reason, but she is polite enough to let the subject drop after her daily request.

2. Princess book instructions
Until I met Casey, I did not know there was a specific order to reading The Princess Book. There is. Skip Sleeping Beauty, read Belle, then Snow White, and save Ariel-who's-not-wearing-clothes for last.

3. Warnings about what bites and what does not
When we read books with pictures, Casey is kind enough to explain that spiders bite and snakes bite, but butterflies do not bite. "And don't worry, Heidi. If a snake bites, you can go to the hospital. It [the hospital] is for little girls and mommies and daddies."

4. More warnings about what is very nice and what is very mean
Again in the picture books, Casey knows what is very nice and very mean. There is no in between, which is so cute. So far I haven't encountered anything that is "kind of nice" or "kind of mean." Everything is "very" one way or the other.

5. Patient determination to teach me that babies can be quieted with binkies
I often take Amy with me when I go to Casey's house, and when Amy is fussy, Casey is quick to grab Amy's binkie and help Amy chew on it. I think Casey thinks that I'm a bit slow and that I ought to know how to keep Amy quiet by now.

6. That's crazy!
One of the cutest things Casey says is, "That's crazy!" She says it just like an adult would say it, though her idea of crazy is much more adorable than mine. "Crazy" is a popped beach ball stuck in the top of a tree or a picture of a seal on a blank background instead of in the ocean.

7. Being asked to repeat myself
Another thing I love about Casey is that she isn't content to just ignore what she doesn't understand. She actually cares what I say and asks me to repeat things over until she gets it. Obviously that means I have to watch what I'm saying.

8. Listening to Casey ask her mom "Why?"
Some of my favorites from this category are: Why are there iron wheels in front of that building? Why do we have to keep walking? Why don't we talk about the people who push shopping carts?

9. Following Casey's agenda
Every time I see Casey, she knows exactly what we are going to do. She knows which books she wants me to read, which toys she wants to show me, etc. I'm a big fan of agendas. I think Casey and I are soulmates.

10. Getting scolded for trying to skip flaps in Casey's alphabet book
Casey has this amazingly wonderful ABC book that has about 10 pages, but every page is loaded with flaps, making it take half and hour or more to read the entire thing. Sometimes I'll skip a flap or two just to see what happens, and as I reach to turn the page Casey will say, "Wait! We didn't do this one!" and we will read how "'I' is for igloo" and whatever else I skipped. She is a little genius and already knows most of her letters.

So, if you haven't noticed, Casey is an awesome kid, and I learn something new every time I visit her. I'm not sure how long she'll think I'm cool, but it's definitely an honor that she thinks so now.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Better Picnic Than Last Time

Hi invisible ones,

So a certain person in my life who loves me very much suggested that my last post was a little on the dry side. Since Brett is usually right about these things (and I myself also thought it was a bit boring), I have decided to revisit the picnic scene, as I have since remembered a few excellent details that will make the story more readable.

April 5, 2009, was a normal day, except for the fact that the Giles were having a picnic--something that hadn't happened in a very, very long time (through no fault of their own, they were not good at transporting blankets and portable food to areas of open space designated as public places for recreation). Friends arrived, bearing their small children in their fancy strollers... Ugh! I think this is worse than last time! Pretentious, wordy, and--guess what--still boring. Never fear. I won't give up. Something amazing must have happened... Oh yes. Now I remember.

And then the clouds suddenly darkened and drew together into a swirling mass of fluffy evil and a tall, dark blue amoeboid appeared and said (in English with a British accent) "Give me your sandwiches!" A cowering Heidi moved quickly to the table and began hastily preparing a sandwich. "SWISS! Not provolone, you imbecile!!!!" the blue form thundered. Heidi's shaking fingers dropped the next few pieces of swiss cheese onto the grass, but she eventually managed to secure a couple of triangles in the bolillo. She reached timidly for the olives, glancing fearfully over her shoulder lest his powerful blueness should object to the addition of the succulent black fruit(?) to his sandwich. A large blob that might have been the shape's head undulated meaningfully. Interpreting the graceful jiggle as a nod, Heidi threw a handful of olives onto the sandwich and then squished it shut. She turned to deliver the sandwich to the quivery blob when (finally) her hero appeared. "Brett," it turns out, was only one of Bruce Banner's many aliases. Heidi dropped the sandwich and almost fainted (which would have been only the second and a half time in her life) as she watched her kind and quiet husband begin to turn green and explode into the form of the Incredible Hulk. "Hulk, SMAAAAAAAAAAASH," he said, making fists and banging them on the ground. Terrified parents reached for their screaming children and practically threw them into their strollers as they ran for their lives. The blue jelly monster shook with greater and greater intensity as the Hulk repeatedly slammed the defenseless earth with his fists. Gradually, semi-solid became semi-liquid, and within a minute or two, a goupy blue soup was all that remained of Heidi's very picky sandwich tyrant. Obviously she thanked the Hulk, and then she told him that if he ever said that stupid "Hulk smash" stuff in her presence again, he would cease to be her favorite super hero.

I thought it was a pretty good picnic.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Very Friendy Weekend

Hi blog friends,
One of my very favorite things to do is to hang out with friends and/or make new friends (much to the chagrin of my husband who thinks I already have more friends than I know what to do with). The last few days I have been fortunate to spend time with several good friends, and it's been really fun!
Movie Friday
On Friday, Brett, Amy, and I were in a little video my friend Shannon is making for his film class. The video traces the life of a girl named Emma who starts out as a baby (Amy), then is shown as a little girl at the park with her parents (Cosette Dover with me and Brett), and then grows up to be an adult (Shannon's wife, Sarah). It was overwhelming to see how much time movies must take--they are thousands of times more complicated than I ever took the time to think about. A little three-minute movie takes hours and hours--and it didn't even have dialogue!! The movie has to be written, music has to be selected, the camera angles have to be chosen, various locations have to be scouted out for filming, actors/actresses have to be recruited and trained, costumes and props have to be arranged, and then the whole show has to be put on and captured somehow (even in extremely windy conditions). I actually felt like Hollywood might deserve all that money they make. Being a writer, director, actor, or any kind of crew member must be a very stressful job--I'd defintely want to be someone almost insignificant at first (the person who helps put on fake eyelashes or the one who puts stamps on the scripts being sent to actors) before I worked my way up to the big leagues. Anyway, it was a really neat experience, and hopefully the finished movie will be great!
Picnic Saturday
This weekend has also been General Conference, which is when the prophet and other leaders of the church I go to (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) give what we call "talks" (sermons) about Christ, ways to improve our lives, and other facets of our beliefs. This type of conference is held and broadcast in the mornings and afternoons of a Saturday and Sunday only twice a year--so this was a pretty big deal. Anyway, there is a two-hour break in between, which is the time we (Brett and I) used for our picnic. Brett is not a big party person, but this weekend, he indulged me (I love to throw parties and can't wait till we have a bigger apartment/house). We have an adorable little picnic area at our apartment complex, so we got stuff together for sandwiches and invited four other couples from our neighborhood and their kids (the same people I am fortunate enough to go walking with during the week) to join us for lunch. It was fun! The little kids (eight of them) ran around and seemed to be having a good time--hopefully our neighbors didn't hear the little ones banging on their windows. :) It was nice to hang out with other young families and let Amy watch the kids playing, something she loves to do--it's got to be so boring for her to just hang out with Mommy all day. Brett and I had a great time, and perhaps the picnic will become a Conference tradition.
Lucky Me
Tucson has been a great place for making good friends. From college roommates who are practically my big sisters, to coworkers I still love to hang out with even though I quit my job, to neighborhood friends who save me from going crazy day in and day out, I have the best friends ever. I am one lucky girl.