Go. To. Sleep.

Jonathan woke up last night at midnight, coughing and still about half asleep. He was whimpering like he was sick, but he didn’t have a temperature, so we had to play a guessing game. “What do you want?”



“Mmm, wa?” His eyes almost closed.

“I don’t know what you’re saying.”

“mmmwassumm bweddan waa?”

“You want some bread and water?”


We gave him some bread and water, which took him about 30 minutes to get through, and cheered him up by playing with a stuffed dog (which he named either “You” or “Nyu.” Not sure which.) After the bread and water, the real challenge began.

Tucked him in. Screaming. Held him. Crying, but not screaming. Got him almost asleep, tucked him in. Screaming. Held him. Eventually, screaming turned into soft crying, then calm breathing. Suggested putting him down, and the breathing turned to screaming.

Ethan and I alternated between letting him scream it out and going to his rescue, because we weren’t really sure what to do. Also, he very seldom does this, which made us think he might have actually been sick. Eventually, I went in to hold him and he asked for a story. I devised a cunning plan.

“One time, when I was little,” I began, “I woke up and decided to eat some breakfast. I poured some Cheerios in my bowl, and put a spoonful of sugar in it, and then the milk, and I took one bite. Then I took another bite. Then bite number three. Then bite number four. Then bite number five. Six. Seven. Eight….”

I kept counting, gradually slowing down until I was only counting once per breath. John calmed down and his breath slowed down, too. My counting got gradually quieter, and I scooted down the bed until I was laying down, with John on top of me. Which meant John was laying down. “Eighty-seven…eighty-eight…” I was barely even whispering at this point.

“Mom’s gonna bite all the way to a hundred!” muttered John, clearly impressed.

“Mm-hmm,” I said, then continued counting. After a while, I was pretty sure he was asleep. Then suddenly, around a hundred and thirty, he sat bolt upright and looked at me. “Mom ate a really big breakfast!” This wasn’t working the way I thought it would. I wrapped up the story and changed tactics.

“John, do you want to set a timer?”


“We’ll set a timer for nine hours, and after the microwave beeps, it’s time to wake up. But we have to stay in bed until then, okay?”

“Okay!” (He’s kinda shaky on how long an hour is.)

He helped me set a timer (which I turned off as soon as he wasn’t looking), and we went back to his room. I set up a mat on the floor, got a pillow and blanket, and figured I would be camping out in there all night. Surprisingly, he was thrilled to be in bed, as long as he knew the timer would let him know when to wake up. Also, apparently he’s obsessed with clocks. And the microwave. More on that later.

Anyway, it was about this time that he started telling stories of his own. We usually hear him doing this for about an hour before he falls asleep, but this is the first time I’ve been privy to the details. It started out really creepy.

“Miss Ali had some hands, and then she dropped all the hands on the floor. And then she stepped on the hands. There were eighty hands. (He said this part really slowly. Eiiiiiighty haaaaaands.) … And then Mom said….. ‘Whoa. That’s a lot of hands.'”

This got a little less creepy when he started talking about the hands on the clock and I realized he probably wasn’t thinking about body parts. He went on to describe Sarah and Duck, playing with Clock and Microwave, both of whom had legs and feet and wore slippers. Then the four of them went on an adventure that made The Brave Little Toaster look like a logical sequence of events. At one point, the microwave (I’m pretty sure his name was “Microve,” which he pronounce different from “Microwave.”) went to the microwave store to buy a pink microwave to be friends with.

At this point, he was pretty happy and definitely not screaming, so when he started putting his feet on the floor, I told him if he tried to get out of bed, I was going to go. He thought for a minute, put a foot experimentally on the floor and the other one on my back, and said, “Mom will go now.”

I went. He babbled for another hour or so, but I don’t know whatever became of Microve and his new girlfriend. ♥


WikiHow Therapy

PSA: I’ve never actually read a WikiHow article before today. But this website has a fabulous game where you look at illustrations from WikiHow articles, and try to match them to the actual title of the article.

I don’t know who illustrates these articles, but they deserve an award of some sort. I mean, look at this:


This is clearly from the article “How to Respond to Fundamentalists.”

And this is clearly “How to Act Like One of the Guys:”



And where else can you test your skills by deciding whether this picture—


—is describing

  1. How to be a good husband
  2. How to be hipster yet emo
  3. How to read people, or
  4. How to avoid Jehovah’s Witnesses

This website is excellent. I highly recommend wasting your time there, and testing your (and your friends’) picture-reading skills. ♦



The Book Title Generator

Sometimes marriage gets in the way of sleep.

I mean there’s sex, sure, but I’m talking more about the slumber party effect. I sleep next to my best friend. He gets me. He gets my sense of humor. He says hilarious things right as I’m about to fall asleep.

And then there are those nights when he finds the world’s greatest website at 1 in the morning, and we end up staying awake laughing until tears come out of our eyes at things that probably won’t still be funny in the morning.

…So anyway, I have no idea why I felt the need to say all of that. It’s not like that has anything to do with the Book Title Generator we may or may not have found in the wee hours of the morning.

I’m now considering writing a series of short stories, just to justify any of these titles. And in case you’re interested, here are a few of the possible book titles we still thought were funny after we got some sleep:

  • Minnesota Sexy
  • Murder for Charity
  • Chicken Walls
  • The Heat of the Gringo
  • Born Pregnant
  • Demon Shorts
  • Remains of the Groom
  • The Gods of Angela
  • Time for a Rake
  • The Annotated Raiders
  • Town of Holes
  • Apache Special
  • The Holiday Cats
  • The Smell of the Road
  • Bamboo and Betrayal
  • Cook the Saint
  • Starlight and Doom
  • Leather Net
  • Savage Shopping
  • Warlock and Einstein
  • The Bikini Cousins
  • Turtle Joseph
  • Wife Square
  • Tarzan the Roof
  • Magical Chloe
  • Explosive Range
  • Panama Forgiveness
  • Hatchet Logic
  • The Clown in the Faith
  • Hidden Food
  • Enduring Wyoming
  • The Unquiet Apples
  • The Dedicated Gorilla
  • Gay Breath
  • The Hollow Carla
  • Harriet and the Barbarian
  • Swan Tendencies
  • Hunk of the World
  • Arabian Stuff
  • Nelson’s Mouth
  • Twilight Babies
  • Boomerang Violence

Just a few. English teachers: you have just found your creative writing exercises for the year. You’re welcome. ♦

A Quick Review

So apparently, I haven’t posted on here since July. I have a perfectly reasonable explanation:

I’m lazy.

Well, now that’s off my chest, let’s review a few things that have happened in the past 3 months:

  • My baby boy is almost 2 years old. He is obsessed with Snoopy (“Doopy”) and socks. Also jumping.
  • We decided to buy a house – and then realized how much a house costs. We are now accepting donations. Joking. Kind of.
  • We bought Jonathan some new shoes. He loves them so much he’s started doing more athletic things. Also more jumping.
  • I watched a round sausage of a wiener dog come barreling across the street toward me, belly almost hitting the ground, while its owner stood on the porch and shouted, “Stop! Come back! You’re making a fool out of yourself!”
  • A bunch of my family members had babies! Yay for babies! They are all cute, of course. But not as cute as mine. Sorry.
  • Everyone went back to school except for me. Muah ha ha.
  • I signed up for a cooking class with a neighbor! Which means I now know how to make delicious pumpkin curry soup and rosemary shortbread (which is actually pretty delicious.)
  • I discovered that adult-sized onesies are apparently a thing now. This is not okay, America.
  • I also discovered the most delicious pot-stickers in Provo. CupBop. 3 dumplings for $2. Easily the best I’ve ever had.
  • Ethan got rejected for a management job because he didn’t have managing experience. When he asked how to get managing experience if nobody will hire him as a manager, the interviewer shrugged and said, “You’re stuck!”
  • Ethan got promoted to Assistant Manager.
  • Jonathan decided that “bean doup” (bean soup… aka warm beans in water) was not for him, despite having begged for them. Cold beans, however, are totally fine. Just not the soup.
  • I discovered I’m not half bad at making bread.
  • We watched the LDS General Conference, loved it, and heard almost half of it over the sound of a two-year-old playing with plastic cups.
  • Ethan set a goal to read the whole Book of Mormon this month, inspired by said conference. I set a goal to exercise and study something – because apparently that’s what I’m most motivated to do when I’m really inspired.
  • We also set goals for spooky Halloween reading. Ethan’s reading Dracula and Frankenstein, while I read Something Wicked This Way Comes, Macbeth, and a few short story collections. Ethan is rocking it. I am falling rather far behind.
  • I taught John to jump on crunchy leaves.
  • John fell off of two picnic benches (on different days), and landed on his head. No permanent damage.
  • We discovered tikka masala potato chips. Which led to our discovering tikka masala recipes. Indian food is so freaking delicious.
  • I cut my own hair. It took me about two hours, and it looks good enough to go out in public. Not good enough to escape mockery from a hairdresser friend, however. So…. 6/10. ♦

In Which My Family Is Nearly Blown to Smithereens

For Pioneer Day, our ward puts on a party. There’s food, fireworks, more food, and snow cones! My father-in-law is in Utah already, so he decides to join us.

John is uncertain about staying up to party. He is also uncertain about Grandpa, who is still a little foreign to him.

We buy some chips and rolls at the Creamery. (PSA for Canadians: there are “All Dressed” chips at the Creamery.) Then we head down to Kiwanis Park, where John runs around with the neighbor kids, plays with a ball, and eats irresponsible amounts of Mom and Dad’s food.

Status: John likes parties.

After a while, everybody’s belly is full, and we start to settle down to wait for the fireworks.

Status: John is super tired. John does not like parties.

A group of people set off some end-of-the-driveway fireworks across the park, while we’re waiting for the real deal. John’s mouth drops open. About this time, Ethan brings us a snow cone, and we just sit on the grass, eating snow cones while John signs “more” in between fireworks.

Status: John loves fireworks. John also loves snow cones. I am Mom of the Year.

After about half an hour of the driveway variety – and after John has eaten at least half of my snow cone – we hear the first few professional fireworks go off. I suddenly realize that the place we’re sitting is only about 30 feet from the fireworks themselves. This is a great show.

Status: John is terrified. Fireworks are the devil.

I pick up a screaming John and leave my husband and father-in-law to head for the edge of the park, where the fireworks won’t be exploding directly over our heads. John is screaming. I am missing some really good fireworks. After walking about 20 feet, I hear surprised sounds from the crowd behind me and turn around to see a few large fireworks bounce off the ground just behind my husband’s head, another one land in a group of blanket-sitters, and one explode into a pine tree, which fortunately does not ignite. I start walking a little faster.

Status: John thinks we’re in a war zone. He’s probably scarred for life. I am no longer Mom of the Year.

After walking (and screaming) for a good two or three minutes, we reach the edge of the park, where nobody is sitting, we get the whole lawn to ourselves, and the fireworks look much smaller. My husband texts us to ask where we are, and slowly start walking to join us. We watch the fireworks from a safe distance behind the trees, and John calms down. He still climbs up my torso for the big ones, but he starts signing “more” again, so maybe he isn’t scarred for life.

Status: John loves fireworks, but only from a safe distance.

After a grand finale (which is terrifying, but still prompts a request for more), we pack up, put the baby in the stroller, and come home. It’s 10:30. John walks into his room, shuts the door, and walks to his crib. I put him to bed.

Status: John is exhausted. ♦


Today, John and I needed to get out of the house.

I went through the spare change jar, came up with three dollars, and we walked about half a mile to the Creamery. And by that, I mean we walked together for about two blocks, and then John’s little legs couldn’t take it anymore, so I carried him on my shoulders. We slowed down under the trees so he could touch the leaves.

We wandered through the Creamery, looking for cheap treats. (It’s a campus store, so everything’s super expensive. Those poor Freshmen are getting ripped off.) We eventually settled on a bag of mini chocolate donuts and a flyswatter. (John selected the mini donuts by indicating them with the flyswatter.) We paid for our snack (and flyswatter), got a cup of ice to go, and then sat out on a bench next to the store.

Chocolate-covered donuts may not have been the best idea. Soon the baby was covered in dark brown goo. He was happy, though, so whatever. We sat and panted in the heat, taking turns dropping ice pebbles down each other’s backs or stacking them on our heads.

We went in for another cup of ice before heading off, and then I slung him on my shoulders, where he wielded a flyswatter at the tree branches overhead, laughing hysterically when I shouted, “Bam!” and “Pow!” as he hit the leaves. Some days, life is just good. ♦

Nothing Says Summer Like a Half-Naked Woman and a Cactus

Seven Peaks just opened!

For those of you who don’t know, Seven Peaks is the local waterpark. It’s a fairly decent waterpark. Lots of waterslides, a few kiddie pools. A wave pool. A lazy river. (Today, my 1-year-old nearly fell asleep on my lap in the lazy river, floating around on an inner tube. If it’s that relaxing, I say it’s a good attraction.)

At any rate, Seven Peaks is just down the street from our house, so we bought season passes a few months ago, when they went on crazy-sale. This means we can just spend the whole summer there. And they just opened on Saturday.

Naturally, we spent 3 hours there on Monday. And 2 hours there yesterday. And I wore a bathing suit for the first time in my adult life that would be considered “attractive” rather than “covering as much as possible.” (It was still a pretty sensible one-piece, but hey. It’s the most skin I’ve shown in a while.)

Being that it’s the most skin I’ve shown in a while, and I’m pretty white at the start of summer, I ended up pretty pink by the end of Monday. Oh well, I thought. I always get one burn. Then I tan pretty easily after that. So Tuesday morning, I put the baby in his swim trunks, put myself back in that new swimsuit, and we headed out for another day at the water park.

So by that night (last night), the baby was a little pinkish on the shoulders, and I was a pretty hot pink all across the chest and upper back. Baby John recovered pretty quickly, moving from pink to white as the evening went on. I, on the other hand, started to look a little like a beet.

I’ve spent enough time in the sun this year that my face, arms, and shins are all pretty tough. I only burned that one spot – between my normal-shirt line and my swimsuit line. But it is a dark, angry, lobster red. By the end of the day last night, I was wincing as I walked because every time my bra shifted at all, it felt like my skin was being burned all over again.

My husband and I spent the evening watching Monk episodes while he cut sections off of our aloe plant, “Sideshow Bob,” and smeared aloe all over my naked, burning shoulders. At some point, he forgot the situation for a moment and tried to give me a shoulder massage. It was not pleasant. I got to sleep last night, but only after finding the least-in-contact-with-my-shoulder-blades position I could possibly lay in.

Family resemblance?

Naturally, we went to the water park again today. (Do I learn?) Today, however, both the baby and I wore T-shirts over our swimsuits.

My shoulders still haven’t recovered fully. I’ve been wincing around again today, because my bra straps are directly on top of the worst of it. Maybe another night of cactus butchering will ease my pain. ♦