Saturday, May 28, 2011

things i'm afraid of

I'm obviously not afraid of ending a sentence with a preposition.

But let me tell you about the strange things that scare me...


1. That my phone will fall out of my pocket and into a toilet.

2. That an alligator will come out of the drain and bite my toes if I stand on the drain in a shower. (Yes, I realize this makes no sense.)

3. That something will grab my ankles if I walk down a dark hallway.

4. That something (as in a swamp monster) will grab my ankles when I'm in open/dark water.

5. That bugs/reptiles will crawl out of the toilet while I'm sitting on it.

6. That I'm going to find a dead person every time I open a public bathroom stall.


I know. Weird. What kinds of strange things scare you?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

my commute home

My commute home today included a 3.2-mile run from my office to Christian's office.




Not a bad commute if I do say so myself.

more snow??

Remember this photo of Tahoe? Remember how I wanted it to warm up so we could do our triathlon in 5 weeks?



This is what it looks like today. Waaaaah!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

toot toot

Can I toot my own horn for a minute? (Okay, okay--I'm pretty sure most of this is genetic and not really grounds for tooting my own horn, but I might as well take credit anyway.)

I went to a health assessment this morning here at Stanford. The guy who went over my numbers with me last year was excited about my numbers and really motivated me to want to keep working hard on my health! The girl who went over my numbers with me this year was boring as all get out. Seriously. I think I left there asleep. But my numbers deserve some excitement! Here are my stats:

Bad Cholesterol (should be below 200): 137
Good Cholesterol (should be above 40): 59
Fasting glucose (should be between 70-99): 91
BMI (should be 18.5-24.9): 22.6
Waist circumference (should be less than 35): 28
Blood Pressure (should be below 120/80): 105/67
Heart Rate (see chart below): 50

I once had a BMI of 19. That was awesome. Maybe some day I'll work back to that. But this mama-of-two is not complaining whatsoever about a BMI of 22. You'd have full permission to slap me if I did. Here's a BMI chart for you. (Keep in mind that BMI doesn't take into account muscle density or fat distribution, so isn't always an accurate health measurement for everyone.)

Source

I think the most entertaining part of my health assessments is always my heart rate. Last year the guy looked at my heart rate and said, "Are you a runner? Because otherwise we'd have to tell you to go see a doctor about your heart rate." This year the (boring) girl said, "And, um, yeah, your heart rate is a little low..." Thanks.

Source

As most people increase their exercise, their resting heart rate decreases. This is a sign that your heart is becoming stronger and more efficient. It's comforting to know that I have an efficient heart. So all you people out there who roll your eyes at those of us who like to run/bike for long periods of time... let's compare heart rates. :)

Just don't ask me to stand up quickly...

When's the last time you had your numbers checked? Get 'er done, people.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

the ultimate packing list

{Note: We are light packers. I would never pack all this stuff for a trip. It's just a big list you can quickly skim through it to see if you missed anything you meant to pack.}

Came across this packing list today. I didn't write it. I borrowed it (and added one or two things). Thought I'd link to it (here) and share it in case it helps anyone else! Obviously not everyone needs all this stuff, but it's a good way to check what you may have forgotten...

Side note: My favorite thing on the list? Post-it notes to cover up the sensor on automatic toilets. HAHAHAHA!

Things to check 1-2 weeks before you leave:
Resort reservations
airline reservations
ground transportation
ME if you are using that
all your ADRs
car rental (if you are driving once there)
grocery delivery time and arrangements if you are using a grocer service

Essential items you can't get:
prescription drugs that you have to take...make sure you have enough to last the entire trip.
address book for postcards if you are sending them
driver's license
credit cards
traveler's checks
disney dollars
medical ID bracelette if you have a serious allergy or medical condition
note from doctor if you are going to need a wheelchair
spare glasses, contact solution, & glasses repair kit

Important stuff to take just in case:
receipts for all traveler's checks
Credit card 800 numbers in case you lose one
duplicate copies of all travel documents (reservations etc)
photo copies of ALL park passes with their receipts
phone card (you never know)
ID's for your children to carry in case they are lost. Something with your cell phone and resort information (don't forget to take a snap shot of your child every day or write down what they are wearing. You may not remember if you are in a panic looking for them)

First aidish items that cant' hurt to pack:
bug spray
benedryl spray or ointment
benedryl pills
asprin
minor cold meds
aloe
sun screen
band-aids
mole skin
neopsporin
burn cream
ear dry (stuff to use when you get out of the pool)
any other medical kind of items you use regularly
hand sanitizer
lysol
stinky foot spray or powder
tums, immodium, etc.

Outerwear:
sweatshirts
light jacket
poncho
*for winter travel* take a few sweatshirts and a light jacket. If you are from a cooler area like I am you will probally travel with your coat on...take a spare lighter one. It gets cold sometimes, but not enough for that winter coat us yankees wear.

footwear:
sandals
flip flops
2 pairs of walking shoes
slippers if you use them
one pair of socks for each day + 2-3 spare pairs

Nightwear:
PJ's for length of trip
Robes
bring at least one dressier or nice owfit for a nice dinner...more if you are planning to go out more than once (don't forget matching shoes)
1 pair of jeans
1-2 pairs of sweats (gets chilly at night)

Daywear:
1 outfit per day + 1-2 extras just in case
*For winter travel* - Layered outfits work best.

Underwear :
1 set of undergarments per day + 1-2 extra just in case

Toiletries:
shampoo/conditioner
hair products that you normally use to get ready
hair dryer
curling iron
razors, shaving cream
soap, poof or loofa
lotion (body and face)
brush, comb or whatever you use
things to pull your hair back
hat and/or sunglasses
make-up
toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouth wash
nail file, clippers and tweezers

Other items:
phone
phone charger
laptop
laptop charger
small pair of scissors and a travel sized sewing kit
camera, spare batteries/battery charger
stamps
bag you are going to use to lug stuff around
emtpy tote bag inside your luggage for the stuff you buy
trash bags, dollar store laundry bag or pop-up hamper...you have to put the stinky clothes somewhere!
baggies for your liquids (shampoo etc)
head phones and CD's
portable DVD players and movies
books and other entertainment (games) for the plane ride or a relaxing night
Bathing suit(s), cover-up and beach towels!
Notebook
Cell phone and charger
plastic cups, bowel and cutlery
cork screw for you winos
massager for sore bodies
booklight for you readers
post -it notes to cover the automatic potty sensor
child sized hangers
spray starch
bath toys
straws
clothes pins to hang wet bathing suits on clothes line in tub
power strip / multi plug : plug lots of things in 1 outlet
over the door shoe holder: clear plastic type to hold toiletries & misc.

Baby List
BABY
Diapers
Diaper Cream
Body Lotion
Baby Bath
Wipes
Swim Diapers
Bathing suits
Min of 2 outfits per day
PJs (1 for each day)
Min of 2 pairs of socks per day
Shoes
Blanket
Sheet for crib/playpen
Formula (if applicable)
Bottles or Sippy Cups
Bibs
Disposable Table Toppers
Baby Food (if applicable)
Baby Snacks
Utensils (fork, spoon and plastic bowls)
Baby Toys (something musical, few books, special stuffed animal)
Hat
Sunscreen
Hand Sanitizer
Baggies
Infant Tylenol or Motrin...just in case
Jacket or sweater for evening

Toddler list
toddler (optional..lol)
Min of 2 outfits per day
Min of 2 pairs of socks per day
2 pairs of shoes
Underwear (min 1 per day, plus extras)
Bathing Suits
Books to read
Activity Books (writing, coloring)
Hand Held video game (Leapster, V-Smile, etc)
Hat
Sunscreen
Hand Sanitizer
Jacket/sweatshirt for evening
Baggies
Children's Tylenol or Motrin
Dress-up stuff to wear

Thursday, May 19, 2011

grammar lesson: misused phrases

{I didn't mean to post this so quickly after Liam's 5-month post, but I messed up the timing and here it is, so I'll leave it up.}

Amy suggested I give a grammar lesson on homonyms, which led to a more general post on misused words and phrases. Enjoy!

just as soon v. just assume

Don't just assume you're God's gift to women. I'd just as soon go on a date with a pig. (Ouch!)

affect v. effect

To affect is a verb. The resulting effect is a noun. Did you know that being obnoxious can negatively affect your social life? The effects can be devastating.

accept v. except

I accept your apology... well, except for the part where you rolled your eyes.

immigrate v. emigrate

You emigrate from somewhere. You immigrate to somewhere. My ancestors emigrated from Europe. They immigrated to the United States. If we're talking about people who come to the US, we are talking about immigrants. If we talk about people who are leaving their country, we talk about emigrants.

than v. then

Than is a comparison. Then denotes chronological order. First I told you I was way cooler than you. Then I tripped and fell on my face.

its v. it's

It's not the same word when it loses its apostrophe... One is a contraction of "it is" (hence the apostrophe showing the contraction). The other is a possessive: my, your, his, her, their, our, its.

lie v. lay

These confuse me to no end. I never say it right. Lie is the action you do--physically moving from a standing position to a lying position. I'm tired, so I am going to lie down. Lay is something you do to another object. Lay your jacket on the bed so it doesn't get wrinkled. Chickens lay eggs (setting them down in the bedding). Even, ahem, "laying" someone makes sense grammatically... Although the child's prayer "now I lay me down to sleep" refers to you laying your body down. Something you do to your body as if it were a separate entity--hence the use of the word "lay" instead of "lie," which should probably say "lay myself down" if we really want to get technical.

sit v. set

No one confuses sit and set, but these make for a much easier way to remember lie and lay. Lie is like sit, and lay is like set. Now it makes sense, doesn't it?

Supposed to

It has a "d" on the end of it. It's not "suppose to."

Used to

Same story. "D" on the end of "used."

Nip it in the bud

A dog might nip you in the butt, but if you want to stop something before it goes to far, you have to nip it in the bud. On a related note, I find this phrase humorous, because if you nip off the buds of a plant (pinching), you actually encourage more growth. Anyone else find this amusing? Nope. I'm a nerd all by myself.

Hone v. home

As of last year I had this all wrong. All wrong. If you are trying to get closer to an idea or target, you don't hone in on it. You home in on it. Think of a homing pigeon. They can find the target/goal. To hone means to sharpen, so you can hone your skills. In fact, you can hone your homing skills.

All of a sudden

It's not "all the sudden" or "all of the sudden." I can still remember the moment my mom pointed this out to me. I was probably 10 or 11 (or 16--I have no sense of time in my memory).

Alzheimer's v. Oldtimers

Very funny mistake about a not-so-funny topic. Yes, many people with Alzheimer's Disease are elderly. But, please, don't call it Oldtimer's Disease.

And for Lindsay...

Hanged v. hung


People are hanged (as in a way to put to death). Everything else is hung. There is no non-gruesome way to give an example of this, so here you go: After the man was hanged, his body hung in the plaza for all to see. Eesh. Talk about a grim picture.

Perhaps another day we can talk about punctuation, because "Let's go eat, Tom!" means something very very different than "Let's go eat Tom!" I'll bet you can't wait for that post...

Liam: 5 months



Baby Liam is 5 months old today! We love love love this little boy.

Liam...

* is all smiles.
* loves to watch Graham play.
* slept through the night for the first time this week after only 2 nights of sleep training.
* started rolling over when he turned 3 months and is now a pro.
* sucks on his forearm, giving himself hickeys.
* loves to play in his exersaucer.
* fell out of his swing and didn't even notice...

A few weeks ago, Christian put Liam in his swing in order to take a bathroom break. He didn't latch down the little tray. When he came back, Liam was on the floor under the swing. (See the picture above.)

What... the... heck?

What baby wiggles enough to fall out of a swing and then doesn't even complain?

Liam does. That's our baby.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

grammar lesson: myself

Grammar lesson of the day. 'Myself' is a reflexive pronoun, meaning it points back to you.

How did you get that bruise on your face? I accidentally hit myself with a frying pan.

Who gave you that super cute necklace? Oh, I bought it for myself.

You see? It's used for something that you do to yourself. You to you. He bought it for himself. She bought it for herself. I bought it for myself.

Incorrect: Patty, please let Tom and myself know when you are finished.

You aren't doing anything to yourself, so there's no reason to say "myself." Patty is supposed to let you know when she's finished. Her to you.

Correction: Patty, please let Tom and me know when you are finished.

Sure, sometimes it sounds all fancy and formal to throw "myself" in everywhere. People do it all the time. People on TV. Even people who write for a living (yikes!).

But do yourself a favor (eh? eh? see it there? you do something for yourself), and don't use "myself" where you should use "me" or "I."

You wouldn't ever say "Myself will take care of the registration forms," so you probably shouldn't say "Barney and myself will take care of the registration forms."

Are you thoroughly confused? Sometimes I confuse myself, too. If you don't believe me, go look it up online and find out for yourself.

But don't be too self conscious about it. Go ahead and say it wrong. I won't criticize you for using the reflexive incorrectly. Everyone does it. I'll just notice in my own quiet way. But I won't love you any less.

triathlon

As I've mentioned, I'm signed up to do the XTERRA Tahoe City Sprint Distance Triathlon in 6 weeks.

I like to blame my brothers for convincing me to sign up with them, but really I'm excited for it. Do I think I'll be ready for it come June 25th? Not in the least. But I'm excited.

However, the weather has not really been cooperating up at Lake Tahoe. T minus 6 weeks and this is what the webcams are showing:

Webcam of the water near where we'll swim (do you see the snow on the dock?):


View from up on the mountain. Um, how are we supposed to ride on trails that are still covered with snow?


Dear Mother Nature: It's time to crank up the heat. And fast.

Monday, May 16, 2011

the job hunt



A couple weeks ago, Christian was helping a lady at Banana Republic (where he works part time). She was so impressed by his great customer service that she asked who his manager was so she could put in a good word for him. The manager was busy at the time, so Christian kept doing what he does and continued helping the lady. He noticed she was wearing a Tesla jacket and asked what ties she had to Tesla.

{For those of you who don't know, Tesla Motors makes all-electric cars. Expensive all-electric cars, but working on less expensive models.}

Turns out she's a customer service manager at Tesla.

In the words of the wise Gru... "Light bulb."

You know it's a good sign when a customer service manager is impressed with your customer service. Now Christian has a 2-month temp job working with this customer service manager at Tesla. Of course we are crossing our fingers that his time at Tesla opens some doors and leads to more, but for now we are happy that he is getting more experience.

FAQs:

1. Will he get to test drive a Tesla? If by test drive you mean look at them in the parking lot, then yes.

2. Does he get a discount on Tesla cars? Um, first he would need to be an actual employee. And then probably no. And even if he did, us getting a discount on a $110,000 car would be like, um, us getting a discount on a $110,000 car. Wouldn't exactly make any difference, you know?

3. What about your kids? They don't get a discount either. Oh, you mean what are we doing with our kids? One day a week my mom is coming up to watch them (thank you, Mom!), and the other 4 days we are doing a sort of nanny share with our good friend Robin. We drop the kids off at the nanny's house in the morning and they seem as happy as can be when we pick them up. What a relief. Childcare is stressful. But I'm excited Graham and Dylan get to hang out now!

4. Is Christian still working at Banana? Yes. Until he finds a fixed position, he will keep his job at Banana. Don't you fret. We still have our discount.

5. When will he know if it turns into something permanent? You never know that. Sometimes temp jobs lead to something. Sometimes they don't. People tend to like Christian, so our best chances are for a job to open up for which he qualifies. So we'll just cross our fingers and wait. And if you know anyone who works at Tesla, tell them to swing by and say hello to Christian. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

weekends

I'm 2 months behind on my weekend fun posts. If you read my blog on a reader, be prepared to see quite a few posts at once. Going to pre-date these posts so they fall in my blog where they should... If you don't get my feed on a reader and feel like reading them, you can click here: http://mollyauf.blogspot.com/search/label/weekend%20fun.

Monday, May 9, 2011

weekend 19:52 - Los Altos Pathways 10k

I signed up for the 10k.

I decided to run the 5k.

I showed up and Maren convinced me to run the 10k. "Molly--I haven't been doing over 4-milers lately either. I'll be running so slow. I'm planning to walk, too."

She left me in the dust a quarter of a mile in...

(Just teasing, Maren. I didn't ever expect to keep up with you guys.)

Oh my, is this race hilly.

The most I had run since having Liam was 3.9 miles--on flat roads with mandatory traffic light rests. I had run the 3.5-mile dish loop once and walked it once. That was as much hill training as I had done.

Even so, I just kept telling myself that if I didn't push myself now, I would be miserable in the triathlon next month. So I (slowly) ran the 10k course. Sure, I may have been one of the last people to cross the finish line (I'm convinced I was the last person--they didn't even take my race bib tag, so I don't have an official finish time) but I did it!

Looks like I have no more excuses for not running long distances and hills.

tidbits

1. Christian got a temp position at Tesla Motors. Yay! Cross your fingers it leads to something more...

2. Christian and I carpooled to work today, so, of course, we listened to his talk radio station. Didn't occur to me 'til later that he is joining MY commute. Tomorrow we are listening to my audio book. Don't ask for whom the bell tolls, Christian. It tolls for thee.

3. I'm not positive how I feel about the skirt I'm wearing today. It's cute on the hanger, so I'm trying not to have second thoughts.

4. Liam sleeps on a blanket on the floor by my bed. We're classy like that.

5. I wish I were as interested in current events as I am in whether someone spells their name with one 'n' or two.

6. Why can't I just get up an go to the bathroom as soon as I have to pee. Do I really need to procrastinate everything I do?

7. We're sharing a nanny with Robin in Mountain View. Hurray! One of the best parts--I'll get to run on the Steven's Creek Trail after pick up on Thursdays!

8. I'm going to a work conference in Miami, so I'm taking the boys with me (grown boy included). Vacation, anyone?

9. The boys' nanny is going to speak Spanish to them. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. (I'm excited about this.)

10. Graham has started saying his own "prayer" at night. In fact, last night he said 4 or 5 of them before we had to call it quits and make him lay down.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

dear christian

Dear Christian,

I know it's Mother's Day weekend, but I can't help but want to celebrate you. You have watched our boys for the last year and a half. Some days were harder than others, but we have two very happy boys as a result of the loving care you've given them. They will miss being with you all day long.

You feed them, change them, comfort them, play with them. You help me every day, you make me laugh, and you put up with all the many projects I dream up.

You are the only reason I can make it out the door anywhere close to on time.

I may be the mother, but my job is a lot easier with you as the father.

So in honor of Mother's Day, this mama thanks you and loves you.

Love,

Me

Thursday, May 5, 2011

shayla

Shayla will probably hate me for putting her in the spotlight like this, but I just finished reading my friend Rachel's blog post. It gives such a PERFECT example of our Shayla that I had to include it on my blog. Yesterday I tried hard to convince our property management company to let Shayla's family move in next to us even though they have a dog. Alas, the management company wouldn't budge an inch on the "no animals" policy. Booooo. I mean, who in the world WOULDN'T want someone like this as their tenant? Click here to read about the amazing Shayla.

Don't you guys love Shayla?

Monday, May 2, 2011

weekend 18:52 - Mormon Helping Hands

This weekend was the Mormon Helping Hands service project. Members of our ward (local congregation) gathered at a park in Sunnyvale and had a great time helping with some landscaping improvements.

We spread mulch, dug holes, and planted rose bushes and trees. The weather was beautiful, the service was fun, and the company was delightful. (I spent most of my time chatting with Lorraine, who told me stories about growing up Eskimo in Alaska and all the fruits and vegetables they used to pick in the wild.)

On Sunday I went for a mountain bike ride at Arastradero and discovered that I'm not very good at going down hairpin turns (specifically to the left). Ouch. Dirt hurts. I have some scrapes and a big bruise to prove it.

Topped the weekend off with a yummy dinner at the Horsleys'. Glad to be in their ward again!