8.27.2010

Bye Bye "Weekend"

With my new job in retail, I no longer get weekends off, so my "weekend" started Thursday and ended Friday (today). So just as the world begins their weekend of freedom and bliss, mine has ended and I'm forcing myself to bed before 12:00 and packing a lunch for work the next day.

I spent my "weekend" doing a little overnight babysitting for my friends Cori and Eric so they could enjoy a romantic getaway at a spa/resort, and let me tell you--after babysitting for 24 hours, I too need a spa treatment... and a therapist. I'm not cut out for this parenting stuff quite yet.

I have always been taught to return things in better condition than I found them--I can't say that I did the same with Cori's children. Quintin and Audrey were shiny and clean when I got them on Thursday morning and by Friday afternoon I had managed to annihilate their once precise schedule and instilled a few bad habits in them. So I returned them slightly damp, sandy, and dinged up, but kids are kids. Some unpredicticality should be expected.

Here is a quick overview of our time together:

Day one, we played in the sprinklers (Q wouldn't stop soaking me although I was fully clothed) and Audrey drew all over her face and diaper with a piece of orange chalk that was muddy wet. Outside time was followed by bath time and dinner. Up to that point, I was doing pretty well and keeping with the schedule. But we decided to get out of the house and go for a drive to my mother-in-laws to play with Chris' dog.

After leashing up Snoopy and giving up on trying to find the kid's shoes (which I wasn't even sure I had packed), I walked Audrey while Snoopy walked (mostly dragged) Quintin to the park. While we were there, Quinitin started whining that he had to go to the bathroom. Since we were a while from the house and there weren't any public restrooms available, I asked him "what kind" he needed to go in an attempt to measure the seriousness of the situation. His response: "Yellow kind." And this is where I went wrong--I told him that he could go on the grass if he was sneaky and fast. So he did. Then he preceded to run around the park pantless and underwareless until I chased him down and forced his cloths on.

Eventually, Chris came home from work at 9:00 and we wrangled both kids down and had them in bed by 10:30. (4 hours past their regular bed time.) Even then it took some time for both of the kids to fall asleep. Quintin kept trying to roll Audrey's crib into the kitchen and wouldn't stop saying "Audrey's awk--ward, awk--ward, awk--ward. Audrey's awk------ward." His commentary reverberated nicely off our tile floors.

Next morning: both kids were up and going by 7:00 a.m. Boo. We ate cereal (most of which ended up on the floor), had a quick diaper change, and made our second park visit. Different park; same "yellow" dilemma, only this time Quintin didn't bother with asking permission, he just stripped down and went right there on the sidewalk. Then, Audrey preceded to play in his "yellow" till I realized what was going on. It's fantastic to know that I have made such an impact on these children's lives. Quintin now has a chronic habit of peeing in public places and Audrey enjoys splashing in the aftermath.

Eventually after getting weirded out by one particular creeper who kept doing pull ups on the children's playground set near us, I packed up the kids in the mini van to head home. At some point during the process of fastening seat belts and strapping down car seats, Quintin got a wildly bloody nose which he managed to smear all over his face, so I sped home (hoping not to get pulled over in a car that wasn't mine with a bloody faced kid in the back), washed off, and were off again. Only 10 minutes after we arrived at the Jeide's, Cori and Eric follow us through the door. It felt good to be relieved of my tending duties.

I have a newfound respect for mothers. Parenting is a 24-7, highly stressful job. It requires constantly chasing kiddos. You are responsible to keep them out of trouble, stop them from throwing your favorite glass bowl, issue punishments when they bite each other, prevent them from climbing too high on the play ground, and keep them from chasing Gammit (Q did spot No Name at the park and was determined to catch him). I hardly had time to brush my teeth on Friday, let alone shower or put on makeup. Although I really did enjoy babysitting, I was thrilled to hand A & Q back to their mother.




8.23.2010

As of Late

Chris and I have been very busy as of late. Chris has begun juggling full time school and work and me... just work--it's still a juggle. But that's all relatively boring, so although we have had to kiss our late nights and carefree days goodbye, we have had some interesting occurrences worth noting. Calling them interesting is probably a bit of a stretch, so work with me. (Apparently with responsibility comes great boredom).

1. Gammit - On Thursday there was about a half gallon of drippings in my crock pot from a pork I cooked the night before. Not knowing what to do with it (we don't have a garbage disposal and can't eat that much gravy), poured it on the grass in our yard. I'm pretty sure that we attracted every stray cat within a 2 mile radius. Our friends even spotted a family of kittens eating the grass. Anyhow, we got in trouble with our landlord for feeding stray animals, so now Gammit is no longer Gammit. I took away his bowl and he has gone back to being the same nameless, homeless, foodless kitty that he was before. Good bye No Name. And goodbye no name kittens. Good night moon and red balloon...

2. Creepy Crawlers - In addition to stray cats, we seem to be attracting creepy crawlers. We have had a bug-free record since we moved in and WHAM! Double bug attack on Thursday!

Chris and I were in the bathroom getting ready for bed and he said, "Tori, don't look at the tub" so, naturally, I looked, and... La Cucaracha! I got so creeped/freaked out that I accidentally scratched Chris, so in addition to cleaning up Chris' blood, we had to drown this nasty crusty dude and all 4 of his wiggly antennas in toilet cleaner.

Then... there was this beetle of unnatural proportions on our porch, and then... there was this sick bug that flew onto my bed the other night. Chris was zonked like a zombie so I had to put it outside. So much for priding ourselves on being bug-less people

.

3. Harry Pottie - Chris and I absolutely love, love Harry Potter. We are going to change our names to Ginny and Harry and live in England and open a pub called the Leaky Cauldron. Anyhow, we are extremely excited for part one of the seventh movie to premier in November. We totally plan on dressing up. Anyhow, in preparation for the upcoming film, Chris and I have been trying to read Harry Potter #1-7 before November. Quite a feat at 4,099 total pages. I think I'm only 750 pages in. Gulp. But since Chris and I don't have a TV I have lots of time to devote to reading... and blogging.


4. True Love - In addition to everything else, Chris shaved evidence of his undying love for me on his chest. Original alternative to a tattoo. And no, he is not growing a sick mustache (it's the photo). Chest art is one thing--mustaches are another.


5. The Cart - I wore a pair of terribly wicked high heels to work today which turned out to be a bad idea since I was on my feet for eight hours straight. Anyhow, after work I needed to make a stop at Wal-Mart but was not about to spend another 30 minutes on my already battered feet, so I succumbed and used the store's complimentary scooter. Kind of lame to be completely able bodied and zooming around in this little electric cart, but it was either that, or Wal-Mart was not going to get my business (although I'm sure they could care less about my $30 purchase). Somehow, this small decision turned into a very long and awkward internal debate that lasted the duration of my shopping experience.

I would pull up next to an item which, more often than not,was stocked on the very top shelf. I was faced with all of these conflicting decisions: Do I just stand up, walk over to the product, pull it off the shelf, and sit back down in my scooter while running the risk offending someone who is in a wheelchair? Do I ask someone to get it for me? Should make a second Wal-Mart trip tomorrow just to get top shelf items? Why are people looking at me that way? Maybe because they feel awkward about my handicap... or maybe it's because they busted me and know I'm not handicapped!

I eventually became so worried about maintaining the image of a handicapped girl that I actually made my legs look kind of dead and I would limp around when I had to walk. At the time it seemed like a better alternative than the, I-know-you-can-walk-just-fine-and-are-taking-advantage-of-the-motorized-carts look. It was exhausting.

On top of all this internal confusion, I'm in the cereal isle, barely creeping along in this turtle slow cart when some 50 year-old creeper turned to me and said, "Wow! Hot chick in a scooter! How does that work?"

Uuuhhhh.... excuse me? What does that even mean? I tried to roll away as fast as I could but topped out at 1 mph which led to another internal debate, "Ditch the cart and get out of the cereal isle, or keep on rolling and risk the chance that he will try to talk to me?"

By the time I made it to checkout there was hurricane/monsoon raging outside. It wasn't raining... it was dumping, and what was dumping was coming in at a 45 degree angle. Needless to say, by that point it wasn't a tough choice to ditch the scooter.

The rain took a toll on our flag and a few of our trees, but only when it rains in the summer does the grass look "grass green" and the temperature drops below 85 degrees for an hour or so. Not a terrible trade if you look at the bright side.

More later from Chris and Tori!

8.16.2010

Home Office

I know that I just posted 2 minutes ago, but seeing that I am sort of obsessed with blogging and that Ashley's latest post inspired me, here I go again.

Chris begins school this Thursday (ASU-whoot!) but we don't have anywhere sensible to keep both of our computers. So, with school starting and Chris needing a desk, we have decided to create a small office space in our house. Now, I have yet to purchase anything, so if black and white are too typical/boring of me, I'm listening. Feedback is welcome, as are any ideas under $200. Design on a dime!

Micke (Ikea) - $80 + Jonas (Ikea) - $130

Oh! (by Karim Rashid) - $40

I love, love, love the pink Oh! chair... and the orange one, and the green one, but I am concerned about things getting too wild in this space because will be in our living room/dining room which doesn't match as is. One back and one white or both the same color?

Bungee Office Chair (The Container Store)

Bulletin & Magnetic Board (Umbra) - $20 each + Typography Calendar (Pentragram) - $40

If I were to use the magnetic boards, I would likely have two side-by-side horizontally to fill the length of the desk. However, the calendar would be amazing, but I am having the hardest time finding it for sale online.

Ok readers, there it is--my thoughts in the last 24 hours on what to do about a desk. Select your favorite of each or let me know if you have any bright ideas!

Gammit

This Saturday gave me a very legitimate reason to be concerned that Chris and I don't have health insurance. We spent the day boating, wake boarding, attempting to wake surf (very difficult mind you), tubing, and crashing, crashing, crashing.

I'm pretty new to the whole wake boarding scene, so I fall... a lot. Chris isn't much of an exception himself, but he actually tries to pull off a few stunts. Anyhow, we woke up yesterday feeling like we had both been hit by cars. I'm pretty sure I got whiplash and should probably be wearing a neck brace, but once again... only so much you can do without insurance. Here are a few of our most intense moments:




On a different note...

Thanks to the feedback of my readers (all 4 of you), I have decided to re-test my egg hypothesis under a range of conditions. This Friday was--once again--115 degrees, so I cracked Egg #1 directly onto the asphalt as many of you suggested, and I cracked Egg #2 on a metal strip in front of my house. The results:

- Egg #1 got eaten by a stray cat within the first ten minutes.
- Egg #2 looked something like this after a day... and then got eaten by the same cat.


My conclusion: Technically speaking, it is possible to cook an egg with nothing more than the Arizona sun and the proper surface, but the result was far from the lovely sunny-side up egg I had envisioned. It was truly inedible in every sense of the word. I guess cats are an exception.

Speaking of cats, I have decided to adopt the stray kitty that keeps eating my experiments. He is cute and black and has huge gold eyes. He is also super skittish and I'm pretty sure that I terrify him, but--I want a cat.

At first I considered calling him Breakfast Face because so far he has only eaten my eggs and bacon, but I didn't want him to be embarrassed about having a lame name, so I ran a few by Chris: Nugget (no), Pablo (no), Scrappy (no). So we compromised and named him Gammit. It is in Chris' favor because it rhymes with something else he would like to call Gammit (he's allergic to and has a natural distain for cats), and I thought it was kind of cute. Anyhow, I secretly bought a bowl and some cat food for Gammit. Hopefully Chris will start taking more to our cat before he finds out that have been spending money to sustain him.

This weeks goal: warm Chris up to Gammit, and to get a photo of Gammit for my blog before he runs away!

8.10.2010

Hot


Whew wee! This place is H-O-T! For about the last month the temperature has held steady at a scorching 115 degrees. Some nights don't drop below 100. The situation isn't improved much by my wimpy indoor cooling system that barely keeps my house at an uncomfortable 85 degrees. Between that, my truck's nonfunctioning AC, and the fact that I haven't had cold tap water in 2 months, I am having a first memorable summer in Arizona.

To make my summer a little more interesting, I decided to try an experiment... in the name of science of course.

The myth: It is possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk in Phoenix.

Conclusion: According to exhibit A (on left) it is NOT possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk in Phoenix.

Myth busted.

At the end of the day, I ended up with an egg that was just as watery as when I cracked it, only three times more stinky.

Anyhow, this brings me to my point: I would take 115 degree summer weather over 40 below zero (Rexburg) winters. My reasoning:

1. Even though hot weather and cold weather are both uncomfortable, at least the sun is on your side when it's hot out. Although I may be a sweaty mess, my skin can happily drink up vitamin D while allowing my emotions a rest from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Goodbye gloomy, overcast, haven't-seen-the-sun-in-a-month winters!

2. There is a certain glamour associated with summer. Sunglasses, convertibles, bathing suits... you get the just of it. If you're going to be hot, you might as well be hip! Snow--not so great. It generally results in wet hair and looking like a marshmallow.

3. There is no such thing as "winter driving". Goodbye treacherous road conditions: whiteouts, black ice, loss of control, and driving 5 mph to avoid totaling your car.

4. I don't have to shovel the heat off my driveway or scrape it off my windshield while running the risk of loosing a limb to frostbite.

5. There isn't any ice on the sidewalk to biff it on! I have had my fair share of winter related wipeouts. Now I just need to keep an eye out for stray banana peels.

Moral of the story: even though opening the front door feels more like opening the oven door, bring on the heat. After 23 years of wretched winters, I am welcoming this climate change with open arms. Adios snowy days!


8.09.2010

Verified

Ah yes. Evidence supporting my prior statement in relation to my "sketchy" neighborhood has been verified once again. Tonight Chris and I arrived home at 10:00 after watching Dinner with Schmucks (do not see) and left for Wal-Mart about 20 minutes later. In that 20 minute window we were home, a car that was so badly wrecked I don't understand how it was able to function had pulled up in front of our house. Our loyal Mesa Police were on the scene, and concluded that it was a hit and run. The runner, after the crash and after causing significant damage to his own vehicle, drove far enough from the scene to park his car in a neighborhood (how thoughtful of him to choose ours), and took off on foot to avoid being caught. I was half expecting to see someone lurking the bushes of our dark back yard. Very creepy.

Anyhow, this just reiterates my support for Arizona's new law: SB1070. I don't intend for my blog to turn into some touchy political statement but obviously there is a problem here. As Governor Brewer said, "[This law] is needed to protect Arizona from violence and lawlessness associated with illegal immigrants entering the country from Mexico." Amen.

Now, I recognize that I am jumping to conclusions by suspecting that this individual is here illegally, but anyone who has an accurately registered vehicle can be located by the cops via the serial number on the vehicle. This being the case, I would much prefer to face a cop having a simple car accident on my hands than the alternative: fleeing the scene (a criminal act) and abandoning my car just so the cops can use it to trace me back to my home. Kind of a roundabout, not-very-practical approach. Secondly, while hit-and-runs are somewhat normal, abandoning the vehicle is not. The point I am trying to make is this: most people who are not under the stress of being caught by the police and deported would not act in such a strange manner.

However, this opens up a counter argument. Some would use tonight's occurrence as a perfect example of why this new law should not be in act. They would say that it forces illegal immigrants who are involved in accidents to flee thus avoiding deportation. Conveniently for them, they also get to flee their responsibility to those involved (in the unlikely case that they have insurance). So however you play it, it is doubtful that many undocumented individuals would chose to come forward even without this highly debated law in act. That being said, I am willing to tolerate hit-and-runs in front of my house if it means that a reversal of the overall problem is being resolved.

Politics are a sticky mess. No matter what way you play it, there will always be a strong opinion on one end an a strong opinion on the other, but ultimately, it is this constant pull that keeps our government somewhat balanced. That being said, to each their own!

8.08.2010

Da Hood


When Chris and I arrived home yesterday we noticed that our mail box was open and various unimportant pieces of mail were scattered in front of the door. Just as we suspected.... a mail thief! And one who grossly reminds me of a rat that. A rat with the gaul to choosily only steal the best crumbs and make a mess out of the rest.

For the last few weeks I have been waiting on the arrival of my social security card and an incoming check via mail. I am doubtful that both are lost in transit and am currently blaming our mailbox bandit. His bad behavior has me so put out that I haven't taken much time to allow the seriousness of the situation to fully sink in. However, I think it is safe to assume that my identity has already been compromised and is up for sale on the black market. Joy.

That being said--welcome to my neighborhood--downtown Mesa. Roughly 10,000 illegal immigrants cross the Mexico/US boarder every day and I think that the majority of them end up across the street. Let me make it clear that I don't have issues with Hispanics. Not in the least, but I do have a problem with people who are here illegally. It is frustrating to drive home at the end of the day and wonder if I am still in America because the signage, billboards, and store names all suggest otherwise when I CAN'T READ THEM. It makes me nervous that there is a community of undocumented people living nearby who, by simply being here, have already broken one major law. And as human nature shows: once people get away with one crime, breaking others seems less severe.

The first night Chris and I spent in our new home, we were up until about 2:00 a.m. moving things from the car to the house. About that time, we went outside for one final trip and saw a helicopter with a searchlight circling our neighbor hood. Deciding to investigate, we drove a block down the road and found that the whole area had been blocked off by police cars. The longer we have lived here, the less uncommon these types of occurrences have become. Stay up late enough in downtown Mesa and you will see the same scene: a helicopter circling the nearby area, spotlight on, pursuing the runaway suspect of the day.


In addition to both of these circumstances, we live across the street from a bar (whoot, whoot) and in the last month we have received two sex offender notifications warning us of men who recently moved into the area. Apparently those pieces of mail didn't particularly appeal to our mailbox bandit because both were successfully delivered. And... as we just learned--there is a halfway house located just down the road. Fantastic!

However, we do have to give our sweet little home a minute of recognition. It is a rather charming house for a newlywed couple, and Chris and I feel very blessed to live in number 21. Having our shotgun by the door "just incase" will simply make our first year of marriage that much more memorable.






8.04.2010

Three States. Six Days.

Last week Chris and I took advantage of Allegiant Air's ridiculously inexpensive airfare and flew home for a final visit prior to growing up and beginning our full time jobs. We flew into Montana, stayed at a cabin in lovely Island Park, Idaho, and went home to Wyoming. The trip was much needed and greatly enjoyed (especially the 80 degree weather!), so... here it is in a nut shell!



We split a cinnamon roll (Big Foot worthy) 6 ways, and this is what was leftover. My arteries!

Enjoyed the scenery in Island Park.

Did yoga.


Stood in scary places.


Went to the Play Mill and watched a comedy.

Recognized a guy in the comedy as the same guy who surprise-kissed me in college (on stage in front of 200 people). This was taken after Chris said, "Hey, you kissed my wife!"

Put dead things on our heads.

Went canoeing down a river in Island Park.

Three hours later... still beautiful.




Got dangerously close to a massive yet striking 6 point elk.



Absorbed Wyoming's finest scenery.

Tried wake boarding for the first time! As it turns out, I'm a bit of a natural :)