Wednesday, August 29, 2007


This is how I'm doing, besides singing "The KKK Took My Baby Away," over and over to the point where S has to tell me to be quiet so he can do his homework.

I mostly have my groove back. I am getting my work done. I am getting my calling done. I am cooking dinner and washing my hair and not sleeping too much. I go entire days without crying.

But I still feel like there has been a wrong turn in the continuum of my life. Like things are not supposed to be this way. And if I could just go back to the right moment and flap the right butterfly wing, get the judge to say no instead of yes, things would be different.

Or maybe there is another way to get back on track, a way I don't see yet. I pray this is true, because going back in time does not seem too likely.

I wish I could ask S (Z's mom) if she really feels right about this reunification. If she really, really believes it is in Z's best interest. How gauche would that be?

I am going to call her from soccer practice under the guise of needing to tell her some stuff about WIC. I am really paranoid about coming across as needy and whiny and unstable. I am supposed to be the competent one, you know? I'm the one with a license to parent.

I worry about Z's confusion and ability to process this. She is 9 months old as of yesterday. That's the age for stranger anxiety. Who is the stranger to her - me, or S? Can a baby's brain really process two mothers, or process a transition at such a time? Whom will she blame for this, in her subconscious? What if it's a year or more from now, and she's gone through something horrible, and then comes back to us? What would that do to her? To me?

In the meantime, we are all falling hard for K. He is hilarious and adorable. And we cannot get crap in the way of information about his case. It's frustrating.

On an unrelated note, there's construction outside my workplace that literally causes the entire building to convulse every few seconds. It's not as scary now that I've realized it's about a bus turnaround, not a high-magnitude earthquake, but it still freaks the heck out of me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The song we've been singing

Today it is two weeks since Z left.

We are still sad, but we haven't lost our sense of humor or our love for fast and furious old New York pre-punk.

It's up

You can read my letter here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Swear obsession

As you all know, my kids are obsessed with swear words. Here is the latest transgression that had me about to explode with laughter.

A (Age 6): In the Book of Mormon it says "ass," but it means donkey. In Spanish.

You have to know that for the last two words there he was doing his best imitation of Steven from Nacho Libre.

Oh yes, we have a lot of culture around here.

Nose in the paper

Tomorrow, that is. I think they are going to publish the letter. They called me today to confirm that I wrote it. I guess they maybe have had trouble with people writing bogus letters? That is kind of funny! I wonder who I could do that to? Not that I would ever do such a thing, of course.

In other news, I have thought of what I would do if I had money to burn. Well, one thing. Peruse and enjoy! I love this artist!

Today is the first day of classes on campus. I love the energy. I'm writing a ton for the faculty/staff newsletter today, so energy is an especially good thing!

I'm also feeling good because I got dinner in the crock pot before I left today. How nice if we can eat before soccer practice!

Oh yeah, I'm a soccer mom now. The big boys are having a blast and K was pining so I bought him a ball of his own. Want some tickets for a tri-tip fundraiser dinner? I can't believe this is me.

No word from S (Z's mom) this weekend. That surprised me a little bit and made me sad.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A quote I'm using tomorrow

“I am truly, deeply loved of the Lord. He will do all that I permit him to do for my happiness. The key to unlock that power is myself. While others will counsel, suggest, exhort, and urge, the Lord has given me the responsibility and the agency to make the basic decisions for my happiness and eternal progress. As I read and ponder the scriptures and with deep faith earnestly seen my Father in prayer, peace envelops my being. With sincere repentance and obedience to the commandments of God, coupled with genuine concern for and service to others, fear is purged from my heart. I am conditioned to receive and to interpret divine aid given to mark my path with clarity. No friend, bishop, stake president, or General Authority can do this for me. It is my divine right to do it for myself. I have learned to be at peace and to be happy. I know I will have a rewarding, productive, meaningful life.”

Quoted by Elder Richard G. Scott, October1981

Friday, August 24, 2007

Combo frenzy

I've given you salmon recipes. (Gosh, actually only one salmon recipe. That is weird considering how much salmon we eat.) I've given you mae ploy curry recipes. But I have never given you both together. It's time.

G thought this was too spicy. I thought, mmmmmm, gimme more!

Red curry and orange glazed salmon

2 large servings salmon fillet

1 tbsp mae ploy red curry paste
1/4 c orange marmalade
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil

Heat your broiler to high. Mix everything except the salmon together and spread it over the salmon. Broil until done.

And on the side:

Sweet and sour chopped salad

1 cucumber, diced
1 carrot, sliced diagonally
1/4 a small red onion, diced small
1 c mukimame (shelled edamame soybeans), cooked and cooled
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 tbsp sugar
salt to taste

Jus' mix it all together.

It's an entire superfoods supper! Just for you!

I just had the leftovers for lunch. It still gets a thumbs up from me, although I am starting to see what G meant about the spiciness of the salmon.

Freezing queen

I love my new ice cream maker.

Honeydew-Lime Sorbet

1 medium honeydew melon, seeded and cut in chunks
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
Juice and zest of 3-4 limes

Microwave the sugar and water together for 3 minutes on high to make a syrup. Add lime juice and stir. Pour into blender. Add melon chunks about 1 c at a time and puree. Continue until you have 6 cups of mixture. Chill thoroughly and freeze according to directions.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Sometimes I just can't help myself.

For those of you who don't know already, I have a long tradition of spouting off in letters to the editor. When I was a newlywed living with my in-laws, I got all offended that the university was remodeling the chancellor's house while cutting academic programs. I wrote a big letter and got my whole family of in-laws to sign it, including my professor father-in-law. (Now, working for a university administration, I understand the allocation of funds for that kind of thing a lot better. That remodel was probably donor-funded or some such thing.)

Within three weeks of moving to our current town, I wrote another tirade about people in a wealthy neighborhood blocking an affordable-housing development. It took a while after that to break the ice with the people in the other ward who lived in the wealthy neighborhood. The affordable housing never got built. Affordable housing is an oxymoron around here, actually.

I've just sent another missive. Let's see what happens with it. If it's not printed by Monday I'll post it here. Hint on the topic: "September Dawn" and a really messed-up headline.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Q: What does it mean when a 3 year old shouts "no!" over and over while pointing at his thighs?

A: It means he has begun to catch up on the immunizations he hasn't had since he was 2 months old. Poor baby! He was really brave for his 5 shots plus a TB test yesterday!

We are almost ready to get him in Head Start and Early Intervention now. Just have to have the TB test read on Friday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Top Ten Tips for Super Scholars

How is this for a lazy post? This is my handout for YW tonight. Enjoy!

Top Ten Tips for Super Scholars

1. BE BLESSED. Ask your dad, if possible, or another priesthood holder like your home teacher or the bishop to give you a priesthood blessing at the start of each academic year. Talk with them beforehand if you can about your goals and challenges.
2. BANISH THE TV. When you are in school you really do not have time for television, except maybe one favorite program each week and a movie on the weekend. Even then, your assignments must always take priority over your favorite shows.
3. READ. Always have a book going – for fun! This will build your vocabulary and spelling skills and help you become a better writer, not to mention just keeping your brain in great shape. Need suggestions? Ask your fellow Young Women or leaders. There are many readers in the group!
4. BE HONEST. Always do your own work. Avoid the temptations to cheat or plagiarize. When you do these things, you really only cheat yourself. And if you are caught, you risk failing an entire course and having your dishonesty recorded permanently.
5. ENRICH YOUR LIFE. Choose good activities in arts, sports, student government and/or service that will keep your brain active and prepare you for admission to college. But don’t go too far! One or two activities at a time are probably enough to keep you busy without taking away from your academic work.
6. KEEP THE SABBATH. Structure your time to complete your homework for the weekend on Saturday. Always attend all your church meetings and Sunday activities. Spend time with your family. Your brain needs a full day off, and Sunday is the perfect time to focus on other, more spiritual things. Not only will your Sundays be more peaceful and spiritual, you will be more organized and less stressed about school and therefore a better student!
7. STAY ORGANIZED. Keep a calendar or planner to track all your assignments. Break down big assignments like term papers into smaller tasks. Give yourself deadlines for these tasks if your teachers don’t do it for you. That way, you won’t be cramming it in at the last minute. Keep a separate binder for each class, and keep the textbook for that class with that binder.
8. KNOW HOW YOU LEARN. I’m a visual/tactile learner, so I do best when I take lots of notes and review them with a highlighter in my hand, or when I write about the things I am learning. I also like to make flashcards and go over them with a friend. If you are an auditory learner, consider reading your notes into a tape player or a computer microphone. You can play them over to yourself while you exercise or relax.
9. ENLIST HELP. Some of my best memories from high school are of going over flash cards for U.S. History or editing papers for A.P. English with my friend Kelly from my ward. You might also be able to get a younger brother or sister to help you go through your flashcards or listen to you practice your oral presentation. They’ll learn, too!
10. REWARD YOURSELF. When you accomplish a goal like a good grade on a test, an outstanding report card, or even just a focused, productive study session, give yourself a pat on the back. Reward yourself with some time to relax or a small treat.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vanilla frozen yogurt

So tonight was my first successful outing with the countertop Cuisinart ice cream maker. Here is what we had.

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

1 quart half and half
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten in a medium bowl
1/2 c granulated sugar
1-2 c full fat plain yogurt (try Mountain High)
1 tsp real vanilla

Heat sugar and 1 c of the half and half over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble. Pour half slowly into the eggs and stir to avoid curdling. Return to pan and heat until beginning to bubble again. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining half and half, vanilla, and enough yogurt to make 6 c. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Overnight is great.

Freeze according to manufacturer directions. For the Cuisinart machine, you pour the mixture into the already-frozen bowl and run the machine for 30 minutes. It just hums nicely on your countertop and at the end of it all you have a delicious, tangy soft-serve.

I will not tell you exactly how many servings I have had tonight. But it's fewer than 5 ... so far.

My co-worker, who is sort of an Asian Martha Stewart, made me a gorgeous apple-nut tart as condolences about the baby. So I might have to have some more frozen yogurt to go with that.

My S's 8th birthday, and a baby slumber party

Saturday we went out to Santa Cruz to celebrate S's 8th birthday at the Beach Boardwalk. We dropped a pretty serious wad of cash (I am counting $155 for the day including food but not including gas - we got four of our ride passes at Costco, which has a great deal on them) but it was really fun and I think made a memorable birthday celebration for my big boy, without the hassle of planning a party at home. He is big enough that he could ride ALL the rides, and he even went on the scary rollercoasters and the 125-foot drop (the "double shot"). We ALL had a great time!

Sunday was church as usual - I taught in YW which is always a big boost for me. I love teaching. (I use the manual very little and usually build lessons on the assigned topics from conference talks, instead. This week it was on agency. I found three great talks to help me.)

K stayed in nursery - he cried, but it is time for him to start getting used to being in nursery without me and he was eventually consoled by the teacher, so I felt good about that.

After church I napped (delicious) and then S brought Z over for a visit about 4. How fun to see our angel girl again! She seems bigger. She also seemed a little confused. She took a little while to completely warm up, although she was her happy sweet self the entire time.

I made lamb with garlic and rosemary, potatoes with parmesan,and steamed broccoli for dinner, and birthday cake (devil's food with white mountain icing) for dessert.

I was surprised S didn't come back for Z. She finally called about 8:00 to say she didn't have enough gas in her car to get over here. I offered to take Z over to her but she said no, just keep her overnight! So we had a sleepover with the babe!

I ended up not being able to get ahold of S until about 11 this morning - fortunately I had planned to take the morning off work anyway. Needless to say I was in touch with the social worker this morning. Not that it is going to ruin S's chance but if she shows any kind of pattern of this kind of stuff it might make a difference.

We are praying that S is able to see that she is not capable of being a consistent and dependable mother. Because honestly she is not. A voluntary relinquishment would truly be in Z's best interest. We are also working hard to keep a good relationship with S so that she will trust us if it comes to that. Anyway if you want to add that to your prayers I would appreciate it a lot. Of course we also understand that the big plan here might be totally different ... regardless I think we are doing the right thing trying to support S as much as we can (moral support, not monetary!)

For the first time since Tuesday's emotional debacle (believe me, you all were spared quite a scene by not being at my house or office for the last week) I am truly feeling a lot better. Just knowing that S really is following through on her intention to keep in touch with us is a huge comfort to me.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I just said no to a 3mo baby boy.

How much do I love that feeling? Not at all. Poor little toot.

How much am I amazed that the county has the gall to call and ask me to take that on right now? A lot.

How much am I glad I said no? Some, actually.


You know the toys that you wind up or turn on, and then they go until they hit a wall, and then they bounce off and go look for another wall?

I've just found a wall. Turns out it's a little jarring when you hit those things.

I'll admit I've never particularly enjoyed criticism, even the constructive kind. Ask my dad, who was also my long-suffering piano teacher for many a year (and tear). Today's poke made me feel a little like I was having an out of body experience.

My boss, a kind and good lady, ever so gently told me that I need to just take a few days off. In a kinder way than I can restate it well, she said I am neither reliable nor consistent right now. She's also cracking the heck down on my schedule, with which I have taken liberties this year.

I think she might be overreacting a little, because you know, most of the time I do just fine with my loose schedule - 8:45-9 AM to 5-5:20 PM, no lunch break most days. It seems like plenty of work time to me. But she wants me here 8 to 5. Maybe that is what I get for pushing it too far in the last month with K here and childcare issues, and especially in the last week with my total grieving distracted fog.

I just wish she had acknowledged that the only reason I was here at all this week is because she wasn't, and I thought we should at least have a warm body in the office, and we had a big emergency drill yesterday we had to get ready for and help run. That part seems unfair. I feel like right now I should certainly get credit for showing up.

Maybe it's more like I'm a horse who's just found the limit of my reins. How unfortunate that I hit it going so dang fast.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

My angels

Mom, Sally, Gladys, Mary, Molly, Marilyn, Karen, Lorena. And blog friends and board friends, all.

The errand of angels was given to you this week, and you have fulfilled it. Thank you for caring for me. I am so lucky and so blessed.

Also I'd be way off if I missed praising my dear wonderful G. There's no word for what he is to me.

I am still very empty and very hurt. But I know someday I will feel good again. Someday.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Goodbye girl

3:30 p.m. today. I can't really talk about it. I think this might be the worst day of my life.

Monday, August 06, 2007

We're here

Where the weather is cool, the people are wonderful and the Internet is s.l.o.w.

It's Alaska, and I'll blog it more when I get home next week.