Wednesday, March 31, 2010

pictures of graham

These are all from my phone. Enjoy!

Graham has figured out how to roll over onto his stomach and now immediately rolls over and sleeps face down. I think it's really cute!

Graham normally takes his baths outside. He loves it. I'd like to say that he is being modest here and covering himself up for the photo. In reality, he has just discovered exactly where his wee-wee is.

I normally get up with Graham in the morning. When I need to jump in the shower and get ready for work, I leave Graham with sleeping Christian and try my best to convince Christian to get out of bed so that Graham can have awake time and then go down for his nap later. I often find two sleeping boys by the time I get out of the shower.

Graham and Luca with Ashley on our walk at the Sawyer Camp Trail. So cute!

On our hour-long walk at Lake Tahoe. He looks unhappy, but he really was having fun.

Okay, these aren't of Graham, but look at how much snow there was when we went to Tahoe!

He LOVES this doorway jumper. (Thanks Kitty!) Although he tends to spit up a lot when he gets excited. Gross.

This was my last weekday at home before going back to work full time. It was nice and warm. Ahhhh. A lady from India saw us on the lawn and came down from her apartment with her granddaughter to hang out with us. Makes me think it would be pretty fun to hang out with the people who live around me if I were home during the day.

Kind of an old photo. Graham playing with his friend "Ducky."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

mirror, mirror

I've decided I'm not allowed to reupholster anything until 1) it's summer and I'm on break from my night job, and 2) I've finished the other projects I've started.

Look at me being all responsible and whatnot. Aww, our little Molly is growing up.

SO! Project #1: mirror, mirror on the wall.

I've figured out how to make a frame for my big huge mirror.

If you have any old picture frames lying around cluttering up your house, give them to me. They can be small. They can be large. They can be plastic. They can be wood.

dear stuff

Dear piles of dirty laundry,

Dear stacks of paper,

Dear piles of clean laundry,

Dear dirty dishes,


Dear Real Simple magazine that has all the recipes for which I bought groceries this week.




Friday, March 26, 2010


Richard swore off girls until after his mission. We knew it wouldn't last. That kid is a chick magnet.

He did pretty well for quite a while. Until a certain girl moved into town. Her name starts with an E. Suddenly her name was popping up all over the place. He tried to assure us he didn't have a crush on her. We knew better. We're not stupid.

Now we're going to dinner at her parents' house on Sunday. Um, awkward?

So tonight Richard says:

"After work I'm going to stop by E****'s house for a few minutes since I won't see her until Sunday."

Oh, the heartache of having to be away for 48 hours.

Oh, the heartache. I love it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

pre- and post- census mailings

Isn't the government supposed to be finding ways to cut back spending? I got a good laugh out of the pre-census mailing. Not the census, but the letter we got telling us the census was coming.

Okay, okay. I understand that they want people to fill out the census and send it back. And I understand that it is much more expensive to send people door to door to the people who failed to fill out the census. So let's say the warning letter is saving them money in the long run. Deal. Send it out.

But a folded, stuffed, letter and envelope? If they really feel the need to warn us, then send a postcard. It's cheaper.

But then... THEN! Then came the post-census mailing telling us we should have gotten the census. Yes. Thank you for pointing out that I got the census.

Did no one think that that might be a good place to cut spending. That's a lot of paper, envelopes, ink, and manpower. We barely had time to fill out our census and stick it by the front door when the post-census letter came.

How about give it a week and then send out reminders to those who failed to return the census? And once again--postcards, people. Postcards!

I don't rant about government much, because it's not my forte and I don't believe in getting into debates about things I don't understand. But this? This I can complain about.

Monday, March 22, 2010

the ultimate DIY project

I can't seem to think of anything but reupholstering my couch and chair. I tend to get this way when I come up with a new project.

Let me refresh your memory. Three years ago, I purchased an awesome couch and chair off craigslist for $75 total.

Whoever upholstered them didn't do a very good job. Not horrible, but not so good either. I normally advise people to admire them from a distance. And it drives me CRAZY that the pattern isn't centered and doesn't match up and doesn't even go in the same direction on the two pieces! Oh, and the back of the couch isn't even finished. It's more of a saggy patchwork mess.

Lately I have been wanting to change up my living room, but these pieces dictate the color scheme. I don't want to get rid of them, because I love their shape. So the only alternative is to reupholster. Right?

Being the list-driven person that I am, let's make a list of the pros and cons of this project. Cons first so we can end on a positive note.


1. I'm really good at starting projects. Finishing them? Not so much. This should be enough to deter me, but it never has in the past so why now? Remember the corduroy slipcover my mom helped me make for our other couch? She did most of the work. It only took us about 5 or 6 days to make...over the span of a year and a half. Mom--I promise I won't make you come do this project for me! (But if you wanted to come help a little, I wouldn't stop you...)

2. The innards of these pieces are probably more of a disaster than the upholstery job. Have you ever sat on them? It's an adventure. Could be pricey and time consuming to redo everything.

3. If I'm stripping the fabric, I'll probably want to fix the wood finish as well. (If you give a mouse a cookie...) Who in the world has time for that? Besides, I don't even know how.

4. Stains don't show up on the current upholstery. Stains would absolutely show up on whatever new fabric I chose. I'm sure of it. Not to mention the current fabric is pretty cool. I'm just tired of the colors.

5. I don't have time. Perhaps I should say that again. I don't have time.


1. I have confidence in myself. I'm pretty darn sure I can do something like this. Even if I didn't do a perfect job, they wouldn't look any worse than they do now!

2. I would finally be able to make whatever bright colored pillows I wanted. I wouldn't have to search and search for something that matched the red/gold couch.

3. Reupholstering actually sounds easier to me than making the corduroy slipcover for my couch. Don't correct me if I'm wrong! Ignorance is bliss.

4. How cool would it be to have furniture you upholstered yourself??

5. It would be a good excuse to go buy a cool upholstering book.

6. So that you guys could all ooooh and aaaah at how cool I am. My ultimate goal in life is to be blog-cool. Buahaha.

7. I love the idea of printing my own fabric. Plain upholstery fabric is quite cheap and the possibilities are endless.







See? The pros outweighed the cons. Quantity not quality, of course, but who's really paying attention to that anyway?

Friday, March 19, 2010

friday thoughts

1. Graham slept for 9 hours straight last night, then went back to sleep for another 3. Awesome. Can he do that more often, please?

2. Christian graduates in 10 weeks! Perhaps I should start planning a party!!

3. Sending a shout out to all my working mamas. It's Friday!

4. Did you know that my manager has not mentioned the piano since Monday? It was all for show. She doesn't really care.

5. If Stanford put me in charge of ticketing bikers/pedestrians/drivers on campus who were breaking laws and/or common sense rules of properly sharing the roads and sidewalks, I could probably make back a good chunk of the money lost from the endowment during the recession. Seriously. I can't stand biking/walking/driving on campus. It's a free-for-all and I'm surprised more students don't end up in the ER with head trauma. Did you know that only 10% of the undergrads who ride bikes actually wear helmets while riding? Appalling. And did you know that 75% of the students who ride bikes think they are invincible, that stop signs don't apply to them, and that they can do whatever they want since they pay tuition? I made up that last statistic, but I'd bet my life on it.

6. I want to re-upholster the couch and chair in my living room. I love the damask pattern, but I'm not a huge fan of the colors. I'm just not a red/yellow/gold person. I want something simpler. Just green and white or blue and white or red and white. Something more versatile. Not to mention they were very poorly upholstered and are in need of serious help. This project will likely not happen for a while since I have my hands full right now. Dare I even mention that it would be cool to print my own upholstery fabric? Oh, to dream.

7. I'm avoiding working. It's true. It's Friday. My mind is mush after this week. I need a nap.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

deviled egg, anyone?

Today was the big Match Day at the Stanford School of Medicine.

(Graham and I with my coworker, Caroline. And my mom making a funny face in the background. Proof she was actually there with me.)

10:00am on Match Day is when graduating medical students around the country open up envelopes to find out where they are going for their residencies, or, in other words, where they are going to spend the next 3, 4, 5, 6 years of their lives. It's exciting. It's nerve-racking. Even tear-jerking. I tear up every year.

I get to prepare the envelopes. THE envelopes. I love it. I guard the envelopes with my life until they are passed out to the students at 10am on the dot. Students scream with delight. Jump up and down. Cry for joy. Celebrate with family members. Some students aren't so excited as they realize they didn't get their top choice. Or their second. Or third. But they are happy they matched.

This year my mom brought Graham. Lots of the students wanted to see him. After all, one of the graduating students actually delivered Graham. The two of them were briefly reunited. It was special for me. The medical student is going to San Diego to become a pediatrician. Perhaps he'll be back here some day and he can be Graham's pediatrician. I would be okay with that.

The celebrations took place in the brand new LKSC building at the medical school. We were lucky enough to be the first event to take place in the building. It isn't even open yet! We had the powers that be pull some strings.

My mom even helped break the new building in. We were standing around talking and she looked down at her plate and said "Oh! Oh no! I had a deviled egg on my plate!" Only there was no longer a deviled egg on her plate. It had escaped. Slippery little bugger. Sure enough, there it was on the floor about 10 feet away. Face down. Mayonnaisey egg getting reeeal comfortable with the brand new carpet. Ha! Hey, it was bound to get dirty some time.

What a fun morning. Thank you, Christian, for getting Graham ready to come hang out at Match Day! Thank you, Mom, for coming and celebrating with us! Thank you, medical students, for giving us a reason to celebrate! Not that any medical students read my blog, but Congrats to them anyway. They're awesome.


I think I need to go to Hollister this weekend. You know, introduce Graham to the cows.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

happy st. patty's day!

{PS--See the adorable shoes Graham is wearing?? Check them out here!}

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

our piano

I tried to warn her. I called our manager and left a message yesterday asking about the weight limit on the stairs. You know, just to be on the safe side. Only I forgot she doesn't work on Mondays. Oops. I take the blame for that one. But technically, I don't think I really needed to ask permission. If our neighbors can have screaming parakeets in a "no pets" apartment, I can have a piano. (Don't get me wrong--I love the parakeets.)

Even so, I got a panicked call this morning. "Molly! What's going on?!" And then she proceeded to jumbled all her words and mumbled on about "...main management...don't know...I don't work on Mondays...too heavy for apartment...might need to ask permission?...piano already in apartment...don't know...main management..."

I had to (politely) interrupt. "I'm sorry, Gloria. I'm not sure what you're telling me. Does our contract say we can't have a piano? Is it a problem that we have a piano?"

Well, no. I guess not. The contract doesn't say anything like that. She sounded a lot less worried once I pointed that out. She gets a little worked up about things. I think she's just worried about more complaining from our downstairs neighbor. I feel her pain.


...drum roll please...

We have a piano! Christian said he got it all on video, so I'll post the video tonight. Hurray!

And to the lady below us: The piano is nowhere near your bedroom. We promise not to play it when it might bother you, but since you only complain about noise above your bedroom, I doubt you'll even care that we have a piano. Chances are you won't even hear it over the loud droning of your TV. Hummm-nummnom-nommumm-non-nom-humnumm.

Monday, March 15, 2010


By this time tomorrow, I might have this piano. Might.

It's big. It's beautiful. It's heavy. I live in a second-floor apartment. With stairs. Stairs that turn. Twice. Stairs that seem to be floating in the air on a steel beam.

I called the piano movers and explained my stairs in detail. They seem to think it's no problem. I'm not so sure.

I keep looking at the stairs wondering if they will collapse under the weight. It scares me. Not even exaggerating. I even called and left a message with my manager to see if she knew the weight capacity of the stairs. I have yet to hear back from her. She probably choked on her lunch to hear that I was getting a piano. I assured her that I wouldn't play it during any times of the day that it might upset my ridiculously sound-sensitive, annoying, complaining, downstairs neighbor. Only I didn't exactly use those words. Just some effective voice inflection.

Please tell me it will be fine. Tell me they won't have any trouble getting it into my apartment.

Why am I so nervous? Maybe I'm just having a nervous breakdown over being back at work full time and it's manifesting itself in the shape of a piano. A big, beautiful piano. I'm so excited.

Tomorrow you will find out if I have a piano in my living room or one that's smashed all over the front of our apartment complex.

Friday, March 12, 2010

free photo shoot--entry deadline TODAY!

By sharing this I am decreasing my chances of winning, but I just can't keep quiet!

My friend (and talented photographer), Julia, is giving away a photo shoot! She will come to you anywhere in the continental US!

Go to her blog for details. All you have to do is send her an email with a photo of you and a quick blurb about what kind of photo shoot you're looking for. Easy as pie. (What does that mean, anyway?)

And I promise I'm not passing this info along just because I'm the first picture you see when you go to her web site. Really. That's not it. But since we're on the topic, it's a pretty cool picture, so you might as well go look at it. We're so photogenic.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

in my lovely garden green

Heuchera teasing a bloom.

Ribes back with a vengeance.

Columbine yawning.

Squirrel-scavenged gourds offering a surprise.

Succulents thriving.

Japanese Maple waking.

Herbs sprouting.

Neglected bougainvillea peeking at the sun.

Baby splashing to his heart's content.

Welcome, Spring!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

google maps biking directions

{Thanks to Ryan for the shared link from his reader!}

I like maps. No. I LOVE maps. Shall we take a road trip? I'll navigate. Want to go running? I'll map out the route (and distance, and elevation if possible). Want to go on a bike ride? You get the point...

I also love Google Maps. It's my BFF (you know, along with the rest of my BFFs). But now Google Maps is more than just a BFF. I now have a map-crush. Google Maps now has an option for mapping out bike routes. Hurray!

I tested it out and routed my bike ride from home to work. It gave me 2 options: the route I already use (go me!) and another possibility along Bol Park Bike Path in Palo Alto. How cool is that? It actually utilizes bike paths!

Too fun. Give it a try. When you type in the addresses, be sure to choose "bicycling" from the drop-down menu.

In fact, just look up any route near your house and all the designated bike routes and bike paths in your area show up in green. So cool.,-122.319717&spn=0.346132,0.727158&z=11&lci=bike&dirflg=b&f=d&utm_campaign=en&utm_medium=mapshpp&utm_source=en-mapshpp-na-us-gns-bd

Sunday, March 7, 2010

speaking of money

Look! I have more gold than Christian in Farmville! Guess what? I DON'T PLAY FARMVILLE! Christian plays my farmville for me. SO in other words, he just passed himself up.

{He hates me for posting this...}

I love you, Christian!

{Christian just said, "At least I'm still kicking your butt in Mafia!" Note: I don't play Mafia.}

tax returns

Having a baby is awesome: It makes tax returns doubly awesome.

Tax return season means:

1. Savings for Richard's mission.

2. Savings for ourselves.

3. Lake Tahoe Half Marathon registration fees for Molly!! I've been wanting to run it for years, but it's a little pricey. Looks like I need to make lots of trips to Loomis and Lake Tahoe over the summer to train in higher altitudes. Who wants to go to Tahoe??

4. Contact lenses for Christian! I think his glasses are sexy, but he would like to be able to see while snowboarding and playing soccer. Figures.

I love tax returns. What are you going to do with yours? (Assuming you are like us and are set up in such a way that you give the government too much money throughout the year so that they can earn interest off of it before giving it back...which I prefer since otherwise I'd spend it.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

so how are your goals going?

I went in to my Google Reader hoping to have some juicy posts to read and NOTHING. No new blog posts. (Granted, I did check it and read stuff earlier today, but it has been at least a few hours.) What's up with that, people?

So I'm saving the day and giving you all something to read, since I'm assuming your reader is experiencing a drought as well.

I thought we could check in with each other about how we're all doing with our 2010 goals. Mine weren't necessarily New Years Resolutions, but happened around that time. Remember when I said I was going to be more self-reliant? Well it is now March, so let's see how I'm doing.

Education: I was already fine on this, but I'll just take this opportunity to say that Christian graduates in 12 weeks!!!

Economic: My part-time working stint is soon coming to an end. Not only am I going back full time, but I'm going back full time and then some. I decided to keep my night-time teaching job. I love it and we really need the money. It only goes thru the beginning of June and I can tough it out until then. We have been ultra good with money lately and I'm quite proud of us. Economic self reliance is going well.

Spiritual: Not too shabby. I feel like I'm figuring things out in my calling at church. I've been reading my scriptures. We have been praying together more often. We even pray with Graham. He's not very good at folding his arms and surely doesn't close his eyes. But what can you do, huh?

Emergency Preparedness: Post about this coming soon! I'm making a plan... Until then, let's just say my cell phone battery is constantly dead, our gas tanks are constantly on empty, and we keep procrastinating taking our car in to get the battery terminal changed so it periodically stops working. Sooooo, in the event of an emergency, we will probably will be stuck at home with no transportation or communication. Hmmmm...

Social: Let me repeat--I am about to start working a full time job AND a part time job with a baby at home. Sorry, friends. I may not see you again until June.

Emotional: I got mad at Richard AND Christian last night over dirty dishes. It was 10:30pm. I should have been in bed. (In my defense, they should have done the dishes, and there were other issues brewing in my mind, but we won't talk about that.) Sooooo, perhaps I can work a little more on getting to bed early.

How about you? I know lots of you posted about things you're trying to work on. Time to 'fess up. How are things going?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

hot fingers

I did it again. When am i ever going to learn? I seeded a pepper with my bare hands. I didn't think they were that hot. Stupid, stupid. Now my fingers feel burnt. Bleh.

Wait, what? You actually learn from your mistakes? Well apparently I do not.

rotting vegetables

What happens when you don't clean out your vegetable drawer for, say, a few weeks?

You find that your veggies are swimming in an unknown liquid.

The culprit? A cucumber. Fully decomposed. It was mush. Cucumber juice sloshing around the bottom of the bin.

What I'll bet you didn't know is that decomposed cucumber actually smells wonderful! Like all those cucumber-melon beauty products. Seriously. I would know. I just mopped up decomposed cucumber from my fridge and it smelled like a spring day. Birds chirping. Flowers blooming. Some little girl running through tall grass. You know, that kind of scene.

So I guess if you're going to have rotting vegetables in your fridge, I'd highly recommend you choose cucumbers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I've been thinking about sleep a lot. Not necessarily that I need more (which I probably do), but about how it affects us. This was spurred by both our recent excursions in sleep training with Graham (worthy of a blog post of its own) as well as my goal to be more in control of my emotional well-being by getting enough sleep.

The Stanford School of Medicine has a medical blog called Scope that covers a wide range of medical research and interesting tidbits. The posts are short and sweet and make for good reading.

I'm currently reading the posts that deal with sleep studies. It's fascinating.

Did you know that "compared with adolescents who reported eight hours of shut-eye each night, those who managed five hours or less were 71% more likely to be depressed and 48% more likely to consider suicide."

Or that "when it comes to helping a child adjust to a new time zone...avoiding bright light two to three hours before the new bedtime is important - as is being exposed to bright light for at least 30 minutes prior to the new morning awake time" and that "the child should initially avoid naps during the day as much as possible...that building up a child's 'sleep debt' will help him or her adjust to the new schedule more readily."

Or that the sound most likely to wake a woman is a baby's cry, whereas the sound most likely to wake a man is a car alarm?

Take a look.

"Scope is written by a team of writers at Stanford University School of Medicine. We publish Scope to provide you with high quality, engaging coverage of scientific and medical developments around the world. Scope was recently named "Best New Medical Weblog" in Medgadget's 2009 Medical Weblog Awards."

Monday, March 1, 2010

20k: i really AM super woman!

Okay, okay. I ran super slow. It took a really long time. I actually thought my quads and hips and butt muscles were all going to seize up and I wasn't going to be able to walk. And my ankle hurt.

And it was AWESOME!!

Recap of the race:

I chose the PCTR Sequoia Trail Run as my post-baby goal. It was in the hills behind Oakland. Absolutely breathtaking--in more ways than one.

Maren and I ran the 20k (about 12.5 miles). Julianne and Shayla ran the 10k. My mom and sister, Amy, walked the 10k. Ashley had a field trip and had to miss the race. Boo.

We were all glad it wasn't raining, but the trail was muddy. No, you don't understand. It was MUDDY. We were sliding and sloshing around. I saw a lady run by with mud covering the side of her face and her arm. You know this means she fell in the mud ON HER FACE! Eeesh!

The hills were steep. Maren and I walked a lot.

We had to crawl thru a tree. No joke.

Gummy bears at a water stopped sparked at least 4 miles of awesome conversation. We talked and talked and talked.

We trail blazed a little when the entire trail turned into a lake.

We ran on Graham Trail! How appropriate.

The views were spectacular. We climbed pretty high.

Did I mention it was muddy?

And my hubby and baby were waiting for me at the finish line.