Saturday, October 29, 2011

a few more of Natalie

There are just so many cute pictures of this sweet little girl...

Okay, and here's one of us too...

Friday, October 28, 2011

what I think about our lovely security-enforcing friends at the airport

You know, I don't really have a problem with TSA in general. You want to do the backscattering images? Fine. Whatever. I'll take my shoes off. You can run special tests on my baby's bottles. What bothers me is the inconsistency.

For example, many airports have both the metal detector machine and the backscattering machine. And in the Kansas City airport, you can choose which one you are going through by which line you get into. To me, that begs the question, why the junk is the backscattering machine even there? If you have something bad that could be viewed in that machine, but not in the X-ray machine, would you really choose the backscattering machine?

And let's say, for example, that you wear an insulin pump. Every other time you've flown, TSA agents have either told you that you need to put it through the X-ray machine or that you don't need to put it through the X-ray machine; and once, they rubbed it down with a special little pad and put that pad in their fancy chemical detector machine. That time, it came back negative (obviously, I'm not rolling around in weird chemicals.)

Except the last time I flew, coming back from Kansas City, after checking the baby's milk, the overeager TSA agent decided I needed to get the pump rubbed down and checked out in their little machine. It turns out that it came back positive. So then, 20 minutes before the flight, I got taken to the little back room and groped down because that checked out positive. In fact, it didn't even necessarily register positive, just "not negative." I don't know about anyone else, but I almost feel like the grope down in the little back room is more awkward than if they just did it there. Maybe not. I dunno. Then they patted down Natalie. Then they decided that, "oh hey, let's rummage through her purse too, even though it has already gone through the X-ray machine." Seriously? Oh and at this point, it's something like 7 minutes before my flight leaves and they've called my name twice for final boarding. Finally they let me go and I all out book it to the gate, and made it, barely.

One other fun factoid, when I flew to Kansas City from Salt Lake and went through security, the TSA agent who watched me walk through the X-ray machine commented on how my pump didn't set off the X-ray machine, and then let me go through. None of this "extra screening" business.

So here's my beef. I'm totally okay with the procedures in general, but for goodness sake do you need to pat down the baby? And go through my purse that went through the X-ray machine just fine? And different procedures about what I have to do with my pump depending on the airport and TSA agent that sees me? (That's the one that really annoys me. The other complaints are secondary to that.) And while I'm talking, do I really fit the profile of a terrorist as a young, white, cleancut woman with a little baby? Good one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

pretty baby


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

already on the phone

I've had this old, broken phone around for over a year because first I didn't know where I could recycle it and then I've just been too lazy to go do it. Now, though, I'm pretty glad that I've procrastinated, because my old phone is one of Natalie's favorite toys.

Oh, and this picture is one of many that my talented friend, Nicole, took a few weekends ago. She is awesome. I'll post more in the next day or two. There are some fantastic pictures!

where, oh where are my saving friends?

So, I want to decrease the amount of money we spend on groceries without actually significantly changing what we're buying. People totally do that right?

I just don't really know how. I mean, we try to buy things when they are a good price. We don't spend a crazy amount on food, it's probably pretty average for two people. I know we could be "saving" money by eating spaghetti every night, or rice a roni or something else equally non-appealing, but no. That's just not happening. If this is the only way I can use my degree right now, gosh darn it, we are going to eat well! But it would be nice to spend less.

Here's the thing though. I don't buy a lot of pre-made things, and I don't buy a lot of mixes. If you've been reading my blog for longer than two days, you are probably aware that I get a big kick out of cooking, and I just don't want to deprive myself of the fun of mixing together the ingredients all by myself. We don't really buy a lot of canned soup. I think it's gross. We buy rice, but not Rice a Roni sorts of stuff (see above). Basically, I buy ingredients to make meals, not necessarily things that are meals in and of themselves, with some exceptions. Like frozen burritos. Or Poptarts for Matthew. We also buy lots of cereal, and we like granola bars and certain crackers and chips. So, what I'm saying is that a lot of the things that I've seen coupons for are for types of things we don't generally buy.

Also, I like to buy a lot of fresh produce, which I also don't see a lot of coupons for. However, we do spend quite a bit on dairy, between Matthew's yogurt obsession, my cheese obsession, and both of our ice cream obsessions.

So, probably more information than necessary about our eating habits, to add to the probably more than necessary information you already know about what we eat. But seriously, how is it done? How do you spend less, using coupons or any other similar sort of tricks? Are there really that great of deals in Sunday papers, and if so, is it worth getting the paper for them?  Or is it only possible to find great deals on the pre-made stuff we don't usually buy? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


--I feel like people tend to have strong opinions about country music. You either like it or you don't, I haven't met too many people who are in between. Well guys, I'm in the Love Country Music Camp. Of course, I don't like every single country song, but overall, I do like country music. Incidentally, many country songs remind me of when I worked at a bakery in Minnesota. I did this for three summers and one December, and we listened to country music nonstop. So sometimes when a particular song comes on, I feel like I should be making cookies or pies or something. Nothing but good times.

--On an unrelated note, my little brother gets done with his mission in four weeks!! My whole family is coming out to pick him up, and they are all going to stay with us in our little apartment. It will be very cozy. haha. I'm seriously so incredibly excited though. I cannot wait!

--Also, Natalie has recently discovered how to "brrr" her lips. You know... where you blow your lips together and spit flies everywhere? She does it all the time now.

--And lastly, I definitely identified with this letter to the editor from the Daily Universe today. I know there are obviously some real issues with the economy and corporations and all that stuff, but I still feel like this is the attitude of a lot of people in the Occupy Wall Street Protest.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Evolution of Sleeping

I love how lately she's been sleeping with her bum in the air, and her head half face-planted in the bed. So funny.
And yes, I know I should be putting her to sleep on her back, which I do, but she rolls over onto her stomach right away. Oh well, at least she's cute as she disobeys the experts.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Scary movies

You may have noticed that the few times I have talked about movies on this blog, I've never mentioned any movies that are even slightly scary. That is not a coincidence.

Some sorts are okay. Movies about natural disasters, or sometimes alien invasions, like War of the Worlds or Transformers, or action movies, stuff like that is okay. But anything that is jumpy, or is something that could and does happen, no way. Like Taken. Seriously? How can people watch that movie? I would pee my pants... and then for three weeks afterward I would keep the doors locked, sleep with the lights on, keep a bat with me at all times, and maybe even make Matthew stay at home to protect me. Yeah, it would stay with me for a long time. And I am Number Four. Matthew wanted to rent that one, but I vetoed it because people hunting down someone seemed pretty freaky to me. I've never watched Signs, because although I've been assured it's not "scary", I'm under the impression that it is pretty jumpy. No can do for jumpy movies. And obviously stuff like Scream 4  I would never, ever in a million years watch.

I don't understand the world's preoccupation with scary movies. Whenever we go to Redbox I'm always amazed that there are a ton of movies that look pretty freaky. How do people watch scary movies? I freak myself out plenty all by myself, I don't need images and jumpiness and story lines and scary music to keep me even more perpetually freaked out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


This is a big, big day for JeSuisSteph. As you may (or may not) be able to gather from the title, this is my 300th post. Super exciting.

I hope that through the 300 posts I've kept a healthy balance between sharing high points and low points of life (though keeping low points at a sparingly level. No one wants to read a whiner day in and day out), sharing some of my thoughts and opinions, showing pictures, telling stories, talking about my hobbies and interests, all that stuff.

I also like that this blog documents my life when I was single, then dating Matthew, engaged, married, newlywed (although, I still do think of us as newlyweds), graduation, baby... a lot of different stages of life have been documented, or at least mentioned here.

Nothing but good times all around. 300 yeah!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

temple, temple, who has a temple?

I just know you have all been on the edges of your seats wondering so... heck yes we will be planning a trip in a few years to see/go to the open house/do a session/whatever the new temple in France. Anyone want to volunteer their services now to watch our kid(s)? :)

I'm soo excited that France is getting a temple. Awesome!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Coping Mechanisms

Even if you have a baby that is beyond adorable, she still spends plenty of time being whiny, crying, fussying, or just plain difficult. However, I have developed some very sophisticated coping mechanisms to prolong the moment of coming to the end of my rope.

1. Adorable outfits
As silly as it seems, it does make it easier when my Natalie is all dressed up in a cute little dress or outfit, with a pretty flower or bow in her hair. I mean, even if she is fussy, at least she is fussy AND cute. And then I can look at her and think, "Oh you are being such a pill. But you are still so stinkin' cute!" So, a HUGE shout out to everyone who has given Natalie a pretty outfit. Not only do you make her look good, you are contributing to my sanity.

2. Sing-song voices
This is all about either singing words to nonsense tunes you make up, or making up new words to songs such as Teacher, Do You Love Me, I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home, Saturday is a Special Day, etc. So, for example, to the tune of Saturday is a Special Day: Natalie is a happy girl/she makes me so happy when she smiles...

I know, awesome lyrics. Just make sure you do this with the windows closed.

3. Crying/yelling
Fun fact: if you start crying/yelling/screaming at the same intensity with a similar intonation as the baby, she will stop her cry/yell/scream and turn around and stare at you. I try not use this one too often but sometimes I'd just rather listen to myself than her.

The first two are the most effective, not to make her stop fussing, but to help me not get upset or overly frustrated. And I will say, that most of the time and more and more often, she really is a good, happy baby. But she is a baby. Which is why I need coping mechanisms.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What We're Watching

I really was amazed with how much I loved this movie. When we rented it I did not have high expectations--I think I thought it was going to be cheesy/the shark attack would be super scary, neither of which was true. The acting, with maybe the exception of Carrie Underwood, was great and the message and story were so inspiring. Plus, the scenery was beautiful, it was clean, and it promoted Christian values and faith. Highly recommend.

Okay, I know this movie is almost ten years old, but this was the first time Matthew's seen it. At the end of the movie I ask, with great anticipation, what he thought of it.

"It was okay."

What??!! Just "okay"???? I don't think you understand. A Walk to Remember came out when I was just starting high school. I'm pretty sure I watched it a lot during my high school years, with my friends or YW in my ward, and we would all sob our eyes out. This was any teeny-bopper's dream come true. We'd drool over Shane West, we'd laugh, we'd cry, we'd sigh and grin cheesily and be all happy when bad boy turned into a sweetheart. We'd wish there'd be some stud of a guy that would defend us from the mean kids. Like I said, this movie has it all. And apparently Matthew just does not understand the pull of that to a 16 year old girl, and how awesome it makes this movie. Obviously.