Saturday, December 26, 2009


I hope you had a wonderful, merry Christmas. It was wonderful to be with my family.

Unfortunately, there was a terrible tragedy in my extended family on Christmas Day. My cousin's baby son passed away. Please please remember not to leave any baby unattended on a soft surface, especially with pillows or other soft items around, even if he or she has never moved around or rolled before.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Here are Abby and Regis with their "'nowmens," as Abby calls them.


Our local paper recently reported that "the economy sucks." On the front page. Another reporter referred to women whose "hair is always perfectly quaffed." The second I find amusing; the first is reprehensible. If this is the quality of writing we can expect from newspapers, perhaps their demise is not as tragic as I've been led to believe.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I got stuck in the snow for the first time on Sunday night. It was an interesting experience. I felt pretty embarrassed, and more than a little helpless. Luckily, I was in a neighborhood where probably 75% of the residents are in my ward. A couple of nice brothers pushed me out. When I got home and told the story to Regis, Abby was listening and had a good time repeating "Mommy 'tuck inna 'now!"

I'm ready to go to California for Christmas. It's supposed to get up to 60 degrees there tomorrow. The high for Provo today is lower than the low for my hometown.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Kids these days!

I just heard the following on the radio:

"Getting into the single digits now--it's supposed to be 11 degrees tonight!"

Someone needs to find that man's parents and elementary school teachers and slap them.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fun with Fire Alarms

As I was cooking dinner this evening, I set off the fire alarm. Because I'm that good.

The fire alarm is situated right between the two rooms where Abigail and Evangeline were napping.


Should I be worried, or just feel really really blessed? :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hazards of Parenthood

If you are a fervent admirer of my brother, Court, you've probably already read about his dumpster diving experience. For the benefit of the rest of you, I'll summarize: My mom entrusted to Court the Christmas stocking she had painstakingly designed, sewn, beaded, and embroidered for Evangeline, adjuring him to take good care of it and deliver it safely to me. You can imagine his horror when, on his way to our place for his birthday dinner, he couldn't find the stocking anywhere. After an exhaustive search, he was forced to conclude that someone had thrown it away. Disregarding his distaste, he dared the depths of the dumpster, digging through the discarded detritus until he discovered, despite delay, the decked out decoration. And it wasn't even dirty.

Well. This evening, on my way to go grocery shopping, I looked around for my phone. Considering we had given the apartment a thorough cleaning earlier in the day, it should have been easy to find. It wasn't. I searched, Regis searched. We checked the car, the creases of the couch, all pockets, Abby's room . . . . Nope. Finally, Regis wondered if it could have fallen into one of the storage totes he'd taken to our storage unit. As he went out the door to check, I half-jokingly suggested he call my phone and stand outside the dumpster, too, with Court's experience in mind. If you have any prescience at all, you know the rest. Evidently Abby, who has something of a passion for boxes, had dropped my phone into the empty box of baby wipes, which she then helped Regis carry out to the dumpster with the rest of the garbage.

So, as a warning to the rest of my family: If you can't find it anywhere, you know where to look.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's in the Blood

Abby's paternal grandfather farmed for many years. (We designate him as Grandpapa, as opposed to her maternal grandfather, Grandmapa. Regis' grandmother is therefore Grandpapama to Abby, which we love.) His mother, Grandpapama, still herds cows on her property. Well, I don't think she actually does the herding, although it puts a smile on my face to imagine this fiesty, 80-something-year-old woman smacking a few cows around.

Last week, we took the girls to the Thanksgiving Point Farm Country, and Abby just had a BLAST. Stupidly, we forgot to bring the camera, so all we have to remember it by are some fuzzy pictures on Regis' phone. (If you know how we can download those, let me know.) However, we didn't repeat the error on Saturday when we took her to see my uncle Glenn's chickens, and she was similarly delighted to feed them bread and even collect the eggs. She got a little nervous inside the henhouse, what with the chickens clucking and sneaking around and the roosters chasing the hens, but she had a good time.

With that kind of influence from both sides, we expect her to be a full-fledged farmer in a few years.

Abigail and Evangeline

My Little Gourmand

So you think your child has strange eating habits? You've already heard about the bamboo shoots, but try these on for size: raw cubes of butternut squash, and plain fresh cilantro.

Yum yum!

I hate it when I have to eat my words. Unless, of course, those words are these: "Evangeline doesn't take naps!" "She doesn't put herself to sleep!" "And she doesn't sleep through the night! Waaaaaaah!"

In that case, every syllable is deeee-licious.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Duck and Goose and Abby

Sorry my videotaping skills aren't too hot, but the sound is what's most important anyway. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Your Mama Don't Dance

Abby makes me laugh. I listen to the radio a lot whether I'm at home or in the car, and my favorite stations are classic rock and oldies. Abby has apparently been listening along with me: when Loggins and Messina came on singing about her mama and daddy the other day, she picked up on the important part. She turned to me and said, "Rock 'n roll! Rock 'n roll!" And because Mommy thought it was so funny the first time, she's repeated the performance any time it's mentioned in a song.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Convenient unless you're a cheapskate

I owe Kohl's an apology. Before we went there to find Regis a new coat for work, I pulled an old pair of shoes out of storage and slipped them on. While Rege and Abby perused the menswear section, I strolled with Evangeline through the shoe section, looking for some cute winter shoes. Regis called me over a couple of times to ask my opinion. On my way back from one of these viewings, I noticed what looked like dirt on the floor. "How rude," I thought, "someone is tracking a lot of dirt all through the store." Oddly enough, I kept seeing more and more of it. And looking behind me, it seemed to be following me. I pulled my foot up to see if my shoes were somehow dirty--and discovered that they were disintegrating. Observe:Poor shoes. Doesn't it seem like Fate was trying to hand me a free pass? Especially since Regis said, "Do you want to just buy some new ones so you don't have to walk around in those anymore?" But I am a disgusting cheapskate and instead walked all around the store and ended up buying not shoes for me, but pants for my daughters. I left a Hansel-and-Gretel style trail all through Kohl's, and no joke, the cleaning lady passed by me going back towards the shoe section. The rest of the time she must have followed me at a discreet distance. I feel bad. Because I liked those shoes.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


The life of a stay-at-home mom is strange. Today Abby took a nap because I was tired. Sometimes I think she eats because I am hungry. Eventually I expect her to start yawning because I am bored.

Evangeline slept straight through the night last night. It was lovely.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Topics of Conversation

Abby made what I think was her first unprompted sentence the other day, an important developmental milestone. It was "Bees . . . attack . . . you."

Evangeline has been smiling socially for about 3 weeks now. I'd forgotten how devastatingly cute toothless grins are.

Sometimes I feel like a mean wife. Like when I ask Regis, "What do you want for dinner? White chili, salad and sausages, tacos, stir-fry, or omelettes?" and he says "How about stir-fry?" and I say "Let's have tacos." And now you know what's on our menu for this week.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Stop Drop and Roll

My current music crush is "I'm On Fire" by Bruce Springsteen. I feel like that should be funny, for some reason--I really never thought of myself as a Springsteen fan. But the song is nice and sultry-sounding. And guess what? I just got it for free! is giving away a free MP3 download to a million people, one of which could be you. How exciting. I found out about it here. Go find your own song.

Update: Hilariously, Regis misheard me when he called to chat on his way home, and listened in some confusion as I explained what I'd gotten and that I thought he should get one too. This was only cleared up after he arrived home and I clarified, between giggles, that Amazon is not giving out free thongs.

Looked out the window and what did I see?

Children are funny.

Today as I was cleaning out the linen cupboard (a lofty title for the closet where we shove our 9,765,354 blankets) I pulled out a gray plaid blanket, which holds no particular associations for me, and continued through the pile. Abby snatched up the blanket and started to drag it towards the living room. She paused partway, and dropped it to free her hands so she could say "Pop! Pop!" and do the motions for "Popcorn Popping," one of her favorite songs. I obliged her with the song while returning the blanket to the pile. She ran to the living room and bent down, smacking the carpet while saying "Ugguhguh!" which is what she says when she doesn't know the words for what she wants.

For a while, all this triggered in me was a vague irritation, since Ugguhguh is usually said in a whiny voice. It was several moments before I made the connection. About two months ago, Abby and I had an impromptu picnic on the living room floor, the menu of which had only one item: popcorn. We'd sat on that very gray blanket. Once the lightbulb went on, I asked Abby if popcorn was what she wanted. I'm so glad she's not old enough to say "DUH!"

So we had another enjoyable popcorn picnic, and I mused on two important points: these little moments of fun with just the two of us are apparently meaningful and memorable for Abby--and we have too many blankets.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I love to read books. Fiction books, and mysteries in particular are my favorites.

I HATE reading books in which the main character or characters are stupid.

For example, there is a series in which the protagonist, Sebastian St. Cyr, is supposed to be this brilliant detective. His lover, an actress, is also supposed to be clever. Despite the author's continual harping on the facts that Sebastian has strange eyes, that his "father" has never liked him, and that his mother was notoriously promiscuous, the detective and his honey somehow don't realize (presumably until the last book, which I haven't read) that Sebastian is a bastard child, which forces them to part because Kat turns out to be the child of his "father." This would be tragic, if I wasn't so disgusted with their stupidity that I didn't care what happened to either of them anymore. The real tragedy is that I can't bring myself to finish the series, which leaves me feeling slightly guilty.

I've always liked The Scarlet Pimpernel, although recently I've noticed how cheesy parts of it are. I guess a lot of things I like are cheesy, like nachos. But right now I'm reading El Dorado, a further adventure of the Pimpernel, which has precipitated this rant. Armand is an idiot. The plot of this book better be darn good, because the main character is irritating the heck out of me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


"An executive for an anti-animal cruelty group says her 16-year-old blind and deaf dog died after she accidentally left him in her hot car for four hours."

Well, if she belongs to a cruelty group that is anti-animal, that makes sense, doesn't it?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Guess What?

I showered today.

(enthusiastic applause)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Nice Surprise

A few minutes ago, as I tried to convince Abby to lay down and take a nap, I had a Motherhood Moment. Simultaneously, Evie started screaming, the phone started ringing, and someone pushed the doorbell and knocked, and I thought to myself, What a wonderful wooooorld!* I'm sure I looked the picture of overwhelmed young motherhood as I skirted two carseats to open the door to my laundry- and toy-strewn apartment, hair askew, wearing stretchy exercise pants, with my infant wailing on the floor behind me. I think the delivery guy was smirking while I signed for my box. After several attempts, I finally got both girls down for a nap and snuck back into the living room to see what I'd been sent.

For the moment, all is well with the world.

I have thirty pounds of sleeping children and four pounds of Jelly Bellies.

I love my Brook.

*That's not really what I thought, but it's much more suitable for publication.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Evie had her first doctor's appointment today. After checking out her chart, the doc observed, "You must be making full cream." Normally, they look for babies to be back to their birth weights by the two week mark. Evie was 7 lb 2 oz at birth--she's now 8 lb even.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hooray for Grandma

My mom is here visiting and taking care of me while I get used to taking care of two little girls. Abby is having a blast with her, and it's been SOOOO nice to have another pair of arms to rock Evie. :) We're all very glad she is willing and able to come.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hey, hey baby!

I am overwhelmed.

I am overwhelmed by lots of different feelings. I have a deep feeling of love for my sweet little girls, and my loving, wonderful husband. I am amazed by how much bigger and more mature Abby seems now that I have Evie to compare her with. I am terrified of the future.

Evangeline was born on July 29th at 1:24 am. She was 7 lbs 2 oz and 19 inches.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Going the Distance

My mom went square dancing the night before my eldest sister was born. In that spirit, Regis suggested that we spend this late afternoon and evening doing this:

If you've spent any significant time in Provo, you should recognize our surroundings. Here is what Wikipedia says about it. We all had lots of fun and got very tired. I got lots of smiles, a few funny looks, and some compliments, but so far not the result we were aiming for.

In case you were wondering

I hope none of you have been waiting with bated breath, or especially baited breath, since trying to catch something with bait in your mouth has got to be unpleasant. My current bodymate has declined to become my housemate thus far, and while I can understand being cautious in the current economic climate, I sure wish I had the authority, as landlady, to evict her. This translates to: the baby isn't born yet. I wish she was. Rocky Mountain Wingshak spicy wings and a long walk have failed to dislodge her. So has cleaning the house thus far. Any other suggestions?

Monday, July 13, 2009


I've graduated from maternity to paternity clothes: My own tops no longer fit over my belly, so I'm wearing Regis' shirts. Some of them are surprisingly flattering. That doesn't mean I want to keep wearing them for long.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Last Place

I had an appointment this week to check on how the baby is cooking, and my doctor commented, "I've delivered all the babies due this month except for yours." Way to make me feel like I'm holding up the line, Doc.

My big sister had her first baby last week, and she has sweet tiny baby legs and a droll little mouth all drawn up like a bow.

I think the real reason women get tired of being pregnant in the ninth month is because people keep asking them if they are.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Keep on Rockin'

Last week, while Regis had his time off, we went up to Bridal Veil Falls. Regis and I enjoyed the scenery, while Abby enjoyed dropping rocks in the water. We were there for probably an hour, and the whole time she wanted us to provide continuous handfuls of rocks for her to drop, one by one, into the stream. I have no idea why it was so thrilling, but she enjoyed it a lot.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Birthday and Nesting

Today is Regis' birthday. To celebrate his senescence, we bought him a rocking chair yesterday. Well, to be truthful, we bought the rocker as a combination Father's Day, birthday, and anniversary gift, so I guess that means Regis gets to sit in it 3/4 of the time. June is an eventful month for us.

This weekend has been a lot of fun. Regis took a couple of days off from work so that we could get to some big projects we've been meaning to do before the baby comes. Our carpets are now cleaned, our bedroom is organized, our bathtub is re-caulked. My brother Glenn and his family came for a visit which was too short, but tons of fun. We also had a lot of time to relax and enjoy just being together as a family. We've decided Regis definitely needs to take days off more often, although we suspect it will be VERY hard for him to go back to work on Monday. Abby and I will certainly miss having Daddy around during the day.

I haven't been very good about blogging lately, so I'll try to make up for it with some fun pictures later this week.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Oh yes?

Ripped from the back of a crouton box:
"Just like the finest restaurants, each crouton is prepared slightly larger to capture more flavor."

And now you know the secret to fine dining: a bigger restaurant.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Free stuff! Ooooo!

My friend Heidi is doing a free photo session giveaway on her blog. I entered, but I'm not sure I want pictures of my great big belly at this stage. So if you're in the area, you should enter to win some free family pictures to decrease my chances! Samples are found on her blog and on my living room wall. :)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fending for Herself

Look closely at that label there. Maybe we should have named her Ling-Ling.

How I Spent My Spring Vacation

This is how my family likes to spend our vacations:

All right, so we didn't do TOO much of that. We also went to the beach:

And to Sea World:

We had a great time visiting with Mom and Dad and Coral, Brook and Jake, Tyrus and Jen and Elena, and Miriam, Ryan, Ava, and Seth. The weather was gorgeous; the traffic was not. We had Afghani food for the first time, and learned why we don't shop at Nordstrom and why GPSs are so popular. Abby developed a love for airplanes and a hatred for sand. We ate a farmer's market full of strawberries and cherries, and played a great game of Twit. I'll save the rest of the details for Abby's journal, but I hope it's clear that we really enjoyed ourselves.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Prisoner

"Bread and water AGAIN? Can't we jazz up the meals a little more, Mom?"

Apparently I need to try harder.

Win Fame and Glory!

Who knows where this picture was taken? Extra points if you love both people in it.

Close, Miriam, but not quite! Here's clue #2:

Clearing my Conscience

This doesn't apply to most of you, but it's drifted to the surface of my mind often enough that I want to address it. I have, on the side of my blog site, a listing of blogs that I keep track of, with the title "I've Got My Eye On You . . .". If you have checked that listing for your own blog and felt wounded by its absence, consider the following: I do not list blogs that require permission. I hate clicking on links on someone else's blog only to be told that I'm "not invited." It is also possible that I am simply not aware of your blog. Several choices here: either leave a comment on my blog (I usually check to see if you have a blog to follow back to), email me and tell me I should read your blog, email and insist that I add your blog to the list, or sit on your hands and wait until I find it myself.

Or I may have read your blog and decided it was boring, in which case, I'm sorry.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Puzzled at the Park

Abby and I went to the park a few days ago to feed the ingrate ducks all the stale pretzels, Cheerios, and other bread-ish food that collects around small children. They are never very appreciative, which sometimes leads to my chucking cereal AT the ducks instead of TO them. Don't tell the animal protection people.

Anyway, at the park we ran into another mom and her kids, and while we swung our respective children, she initiated a conversation. I hate smalltalk, but it does provide amusement. For example, she asked when my baby is due, and then what I "do." I replied that I stay at home, and she said "Good for you! Good." A little later in the conversation, she asked how many kids Regis and I want to have. (Again, I hate smalltalk.) I joked that while my mom only had 7 kids, Regis' mom had 11, so we're just trying to beat her--then we'll be satisfied. She said, "Oh, I admire anyone who can have 7 kids." I agreed, and mentioned that Mom also graduated from law school while raising them, took the bar exam a few days after my sister's birth, and is basically amazing. She asked, "What kind of law does she practice?"

This is the part that puzzled me. I have one young child and one on the way. She showed no surprise that I am a stay-at-home mom; in fact, she heartily approved it (or faked as much). So why would she expect that a woman with 7 children would work outside the home in a field known for its intensity and long hours? I guess she could have assumed that we are all grown and out of the nest, but since I never mentioned where I fall in line, for all she knew, Mom still has kids under 10 at home.

Does that seem weird to you?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Raising a Panda

My daughter disdains strawberry yogurt, choosing instead to snack on sliced bamboo shoots. Why are toddlers so weird?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Five

Happy Friday! It's time for a list.

Five Things that Make Me Happy:

1. Bacon.

2. Abby's dimple.

3. Listening to oldies.

4. Knitting.

5. Tickling Regis.

If "Being tickled" was only on Regis' list, my life would be so much happier.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Scaling back

I don't know why, but Regis always feels like he has to argue with me about buying butter.

Yesterday I said, "Oooo, butter is $1.79! Let's get some. Write it on the list."
He says, "You do realize that we already have a ton of butter?"
I say, "That's just silly. Our whole fridge/freezer setup doesn't weigh a ton. It doesn't even weigh half a ton."

And then we carried on for about ten minutes trying to decide what fraction of a ton our fridge weighs, based on my belief that I could move it myself if I had to.

Isn't marriage fun?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dumb Joke

Y'know, it's kind of too bad that Al Gore didn't win the presidency that time, because then when the media started plastering pictures of the First Lady's clothes everywhere, we could have called it "Tipperwear!" Ha! Ha! Y'know, like Tupperware? Only Tipperwear? Haha?

Seriously, why do we care what the First Lady is wearing? Or what the First Children dress in? Or that the First Dog likes to bite its own paws? Why are people being paid to write about these things?

Reflections of an Old Geezer

I've been reflecting recently on the fact that I'm 24 years old now. (Eeek! How did that happen?) I was married at 20, had my first child at 22, and will have my second this year. It makes me wonder if people are ever tempted to tell me to "act my age." It's not the norm these days to do that so young; in fact, it's not the norm to get married at all.

Seeing our younger siblings contemplating marriage has been stressful for me. I want to tell them to back up and think about this more deeply: marriage affects so much of your life! I want to ask lots of nosy questions that they won't know the answers to yet, because they've never been in a situation like marriage before. I want to tell them to grow up more before they even think about making that commitment.

But on the other hand, I recognize that I probably shouldn't. For one thing, it won't do any good. For another, they would probably be justified in thinking it a little hypocritical of me. I sometimes look at my marriage and think, "Wow, I sure lucked out, because I didn't even think about whether Regis would be X or do Y. It's a good thing he is/does." And then sometimes I think that marriage is really a craps shoot, anyway: there's no way you can know everything about the person you marry or how their character and behaviors will affect your union, so you might as well pick your numbers as best you can and roll the dice.

I think marriage makes you grow up a lot. But I don't advise doing it that way.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Big Old Jet Airliner

I bought plane tickets to California today. What? I can hear you all gasping incredulously. What could possibly induce Crystal to leave the Beehive State, the land of her pioneer forefathers, the birthplace of her darling daughter?

Well, how about this?

That's right, Utah, I've had quite enough of your nonsense. Dumping several inches of snow in APRIL is unnacceptable behavior, and I won't put up with it any longer.

Except that I will have to, because we don't fly out until May. By which time the weather will probably be gorgeous. I hate this place.
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Abby really enjoyed her egg hunt this morning. She was absolutely ecstatic about the candy she discovered inside the eggs, but she was more than willing to share with both Daddy and Mommy. We loved how she would find an egg, then go back to her stash to refresh herself with a jelly bean before continuing the search. Apparently Easter egg hunts are taxing.

The Easter Bunny has discovered that he has an alarming tendency to buy way too much candy for one little girl. Luckily, Mommy and Daddy are willing to sacrifice to make up the difference.
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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Nom Nom Nom

Here we see the lone survivor of the terrible Caramel Massacre of April 2009. The carnage was terrible. Worst of all, our sources indicate that this is not the first time this group has been targeted, and that similar acts of brutality occur at least twice a year.

Caramel Sticky Rolls. Our traditional General Conference treat. Mmmmm.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dr. Who?

According to my pregnancy information emails, this is what my doctor thinks my baby looks like this week:

And this is what I think my baby looks like:
The emails I get (from always compare the baby's size to a fruit or vegetable, which I find pretty hilarious. Anyone who has shopped for produce in California and Utah knows that oranges, for example, come in very different sizes.

But the real point here is that the doc and I disagree about when my estimated due date is. I say it's July 19th. He says it's July 31st, based on the size of the baby at my ultrasound. What? My baby is measuring under normal size? Well, take a look at me, Doc. Do I look like a large woman? How about Regis? Not a real big guy, is he? How about Abby? A little on the chunky side, you think? I mean, the fact that my first child was 6 lb. 10 oz. at birth when she was supposedly a week late and is still BELOW the 5th percentile in weight and height doesn't tell you anything?

I know, I know, he's just playing it safe, can't always trust patient's memory, due dates are only an estimate. That doesn't mean I have to like it.

Um, no.

I heard a car commercial on the radio today that included something like this:

"Prices for 2009 models have only gone up about $300! That's like a whole year of driving, FREE!"

Right! In the same way that . . . uh . . . kissing an alligator is like playing drums in a boy band!

Commercials like these make me want to track down the people who wrote them and sharpen my teeth on their faces.

Anyone else have any great comparisons to make?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Random delights

Try saying "blue-bummed baboon" five times, fast. And thank Regis if you get the giggles.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Take Note

We're having another girl! Our home is full of sugar and spice and everything nice, with Regis thrown in for variety. :) He's excited. I'm excited. Abby likes her new baby doll and enjoys poking my belly. We hope this baby will be just as charming.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Retro--or Not?

This last weekend, Regis, Abby and I drove up to Logan for his little sister's wedding. We stayed with my in-law's in-laws, who have a lovely home complete with the Little People sets of my childhood! Abby and her cousin Elsie had a great time playing with the house, the construction workers, and all the rest. Regis' sister and I chatted about how great those toys are, and what a bummer it is that they don't make them like that anymore. Imagine, then, my delight when I opened the Sunday paper and saw an advertisement in the Toys 'R Us flyer for--Retro Little People sets! The barn! The school! THE JOY! I rushed to show them to Regis (who, incidentally, was using the facilities and was rather startled when I came bounding in) and insisted firmly that I NEEDED these excellent retro toys. For the children, of course. Regis was, as I mentioned, a bit taken aback, but he readily agreed.

So Abby and I packed up the stroller bright and early this morning, ready to go and find these delightful toys. After a failed attempt to find them on my own, I broke down and asked a customer service person, who directed me straight to a huge disappointment. These "retro" sets are not the toys of my childhood. Sure, the barn set has a sheep and some fence pieces, but they are in the new fat style, and even worse, the "barn" is a commemorative TIN. Like a lunchpail. They basically just took a few pieces from the old sets, replicated them in the fat style (apparently so kids won't choke on them. I never heard of that happening, but I guess the old ones could slide through a toilet paper roll), threw in a crummy printed tin and called it good. My disappointment knows no bounds. Poor Abby will have to wait until we make it back to Grandma and Grandpa's house to revel in true retro style.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life's Little Lessons

I made Amish Friendship Bread last night, and after tasting it, decided it was not worth the time and effort.

There's a deeper meaning in there somewhere, but I'm not sure I want to look for it.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


It disturbs me to see shoes that I wore in the 'eighties on sale for $60. Particularly if those shoes are moccasins of a virulent hue. Like these.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ummm . . .

Yesterday we received two wedding invitations in the mail. To the same wedding. From the handwriting on the envelopes, we're guessing that one was written by the groom and one written by the bride. My name was spelled wrong on BOTH of them. But differently.

At the end of last year, we attended a wedding reception and, of course, brought a gift. Several weeks later, we received a thank you note addressed to "Regis & ______ ".

I'm feeling a little hurt.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I come to bury the week, not to praise it

Friends, Romans, countrypersons, this week has not been a good one. Any suggestions on how to make it better would be appreciated.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Abby has decided to wear a long-sleeved shirt, no pants, two pairs of socks, and her mittens today.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gabby Abby Returns

Those who find fault with the title on the grounds that they "saw a lot of Abigail and heard not much talking" are cordially invited to bite a brick.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gabby Abby

Brook demanded more videos of Abby talking. Never let it be said that I am not an obliging sister.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lost, Lost, Lost

Has anybody seen Abby's little gray plastic Fisher Price horse?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nothing but the Truth

Regis thinks I win all our arguments because I majored in philosophy.

Actually, it's because I'm always right.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

News to You?

I was caught out at church today. I was forced to admit, right there in front of the ward librarians, that my protuberant tummy is not merely my attempt to add personal insulation against the winter cold. I'm grateful that the lady who asked insisted that my due date couldn't possibly be in July, since I still look "so tiny," but as I pointed out, I must not be THAT tiny, since she did notice. I must be doing better on that insulation than I thought. :)

At any rate, here are a few things you should know.

1. Do not ever refer to my condition as "preggers." EVER. "In the family way" is fine. "Knocked up" is humorous. "A bun in the oven" is okay. Take note and tread carefully.

2. I reserve the right to be irrational. If randomness is justifiable at no other time in my life, it is now.

3. My nose is very sensitive these days, more so than I remember the first time around. I will always think there is something bad in the fridge. I will gag seemingly without provocation. If you have a Snickers bar in your pocket, I WILL smell it. You'd better just give it to me.

4. I forget.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Eat It or Wear It

Abby likes my cooking. It's delicious and fashionable.

Apparently clam chowder doubles as shampoo.

I love this picture. Maybe because I'm relieved she's not allergic to peanuts.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Winter Reading

I just finished reading Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population (which seems an appropriate title to occupy me in the winter). It is probably the most interesting and depressing book I've read in a long time. I think I've written before about my preference for light reads, especially those with happy endings, but I found my local library's "Request a Book" feature and thought this would be a good addition. I was a little surprised when it showed up on my account as a reserved book a few weeks later; apparently if you tell them it's good, they give you first dibs. Anyway, Bare Branches discusses the huge problems caused by India and China's overwhelming scarcity of females due to sex-selective abortions, infanticide, and neglect. The title refers to the resulting men who are left without wives and families, and therefore tend to congregate in groups that engage in dangerous behaviors like drug use, violent crime, fighting, and rebellion against the government. These bands of unattached men become particularly dangerous when driven to desperation by a failing economy. (Did you hear something? Oh, that was just the bell tolling DOOM.) So, an interesting read, and it made me want to find out more about how China has changed their family planning policy and whether India has become aware of the problem.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Y'know, Valentine's Day is coming . . .

I love Jelly Bellies. If you are ever at a loss for what to buy me, rest assured that I find Jelly Belly Jelly Beans perfectly acceptable. And I'm not snobby: I'll take Belly Flops. I like fruit flavors and the sour ones best. And now I'm drooling.

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny

One of these girls is seven months older than the other one.

For more pictures, see Heidi's blog.

I have birthed a midget.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Regis (to Abby): Are you playing with the Zesty Italian?

Crystal: Abby! Do NOT play with zesty Italians!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Afraid of Momma Bear

I'm sorry to say that I lost my temper at Cub Scouts today. Despite that, it was a good meeting. The boys, including one who's new, worked on making board games and learning to play marbles, then we went to the kitchen and they helped me make Muddy Buddies. A lot of the boys didn't know what these delicious chocolatey-peanut-buttery treats are, but everybody was excited about helping, and everybody was definitely excited about eating them. Oddly enough, not one of the boys was excited about helping to clean up. Why should this be? It's a mystery.

Being a Den Leader is kind of tough at times. I don't think I'm old enough for them to respect as a "mom-lady," but I'm not young enough to be a peer. Cub Scouts is not like school: I can't send them to detention or the principal's office if they don't behave. Plus, it's voluntary and we want them to like coming, so we never want to exclude boys from activities.

However, I like order and I like to be listened to. There are two boys in particular who have problems with obeying directions, though all the boys slip now and then. Today I was washing out the dishes from the Muddy Buddies at one sink, while these two boys were tease fighting about who got to wash his hands at the next sink. The water in the sink was really hot and hurting my hands, Abby was shoving her head between my knees (her preferred method of getting my attention when she feels ignored), and I was very ready to go home. The boys were shoving and running into me, so I said, "Billy and Bobby, you need to stop." No response, of course (and not because those aren't their real names; I'm protecting myself. See title).
"Billy. Bobby."
I definitely got his attention, anyway. I think I actually scared the poor kid. Sister Lefler (me) is normally such a calm, low-key person. Now he knows what happens when she doesn't get any Muddy Buddies.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crystal's Thursday Three

Top Three LEAST Favorite Songs:

  1. Maggie May by Rod Stewart
  2. The Reason by Hoobastank
  3. It Wasn't Me by Shaggy
I can recognize the first two by the initial 3 beats or so, along with the impending feeling of doom I always get seconds before they're played. I've skillfully avoided hearing either of them for years with my quick-draw channel changin' fingers. The third one never gets played on any station I actually listen to, so I don't worry about it.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Happy new year! I hope you all have some lovely and promising resolutions for 2009.

I don't. Because I'm already practically perfect in every way.

Okay, okay, I don't have any because I'm a procrastinator, but I refuse to make that the subject of a resolution. We'll probably start resolving tomorrow, for family home evening, but if you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments.