Monday, June 23, 2008

Death Cab For Crappy

I don't know who listens to Death Cab For Cutie, but if you do then you may have considered going to their concert. They are currently touring with their new album Narrow Stairs. I think I should have paid attention to these thoughts from the day of the concert:
  • I don't love the new album (I really like Plans and I like most of Transatlanticism, but I only dig about 3 tracks on Narrow Stairs)
  • it occurred to me that they're a pretty chillin' band that I listen to for driving in the car or other such semi-paying-attention-type tasks
  • the tickets were $32 each, and the fact that I wondered if it would be worth the money before the concert should have told me to sell, sell, sell
  • they don't play the most difficult music ever, it's pretty straightforward
  • I considered selling our tickets all the way up until we arrived at the concert entrance
  • it's not like they're freaking Radiohead*, what could I expect!
So clearly, R and I should have listened to ourselves. Maybe we're a little too familiar with opportunity cost due to my limited background in economics and R's majoring in economics, but we just couldn't get over the fact that it just wasn't $32 worth of fun. Not to mention that we now get a babysitter, so there's another $20. They weren't bad, they just weren't worth the money. Sad! Unfortunately, it's now kind of ruined their music for me. At the very least I need a break, but the mediocre live performance might hang around in my head for a long time.

*Radiohead is truly my favorite, and maybe it's not fair to compare other bands to them. I have to mention here that I AM GOING TO RADIOHEAD IN SAN DIEGO COME AUGUST!!! I cannot tell you how momentous an occasion this is. I've never been to Radiohead even though I have adored them since high school and OK Computer. I cried when the Hail to the Thief came to Salt Lake City and Ryan and I were so poor that we couldn't go and so I bought the CD and we drove around listening to it. This has been a long time coming. You'd better believe that I'm going to be writing about this again, and again...

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Last Two Days

First, my last post was my 100th post, and I forgot all about it. I looked today before posting this very moment, and there it was, 100 posts. We've been through a lot together, huh guys? Sniff.

Secondly, M was quite ill yesterday. He had woken up during the night to throw up, or frow up depending on the person you ask, and we thought that he would be okay afterwards since he had no fever and fell back asleep. Well, we need one of those ear thermometers, obviously. After that next morning, I promptly sucked it up and paid $30 for one.

In the morning, I was washing all his bedding and then I gave him a bath. And he just started shaking, and crying, and generally acting angry and strange. This is significant, because even when he's sick, he acts pretty normal, and this was abnormal. He was burning up and had chills that scared. the. crap. out. of. me. So I freaked out, didn't even check his temperature, we did Tylenol, and then I called the doctor. He said he could see him right then or I would've gone to urgent care or the emergency room or something.

By the time we saw the doctor, M felt a little better, but he was still acting really weird, like asking me to hold him, which he NEVER does. (I always have to sneak up on him and hug him before he runs away.) So they take his temperature, and he's had Tylenol mind you, and it was 102.9. Yikes a little! I kept my cool because there was this scare once when he was 1 where we got to the doctor and his fever was 105.3, and THAT was scary. But this was scary too, because he was acting so strangely on top of the near 103 temperature.

He has a bacterial infection that is only in his sinuses and nose, not the ears thanks to the tubes or it would've been even worse. So he's now taking Motrin and Tylenol and his Azithromycin. I'm generally not medicine woman, but thank goodness for people who know more than me, and have prescription pads ready and waiting. He's much happier today, but not allowed to swim in the 105 degree weather. Mean mommy, huh?

So, while all this was happening, I was supposed to be at the dentist getting a sore tooth checked. I called them in the middle of my freak out (after we were driving to the doctor) to reschedule for this morning. That brings us to today. Finally! We get to talk about my teeth.

Beware, I'm a little obsessed with my teeth. It's because they are not so great and I must brush (with a Sonicare), floss and rinse with Listerine at least twice a day, sometimes adding more brushings in between. And yet, I still get cavities and more anxiety about "what will they find this time!?". I have an intense fear of the dentist, but I make myself go every 6 months like you're supposed to. In my defense, I think my fear of dentists would be markedly worse if I didn't face up to it twice a year. I tell myself this so I feel better about the anxiety that I DO have.

Oh, and they found 2 cavities, as per usual. One of them should be a gold crown, because it's a filling that keeps cracking. And I need two cleanings, two! And then I need to be fitted for a guard since I grind my teeth at night. AND, I need to get braces next January. Braces!!! Oh, and I have a crossbite, that supposedly didn't get fixed like it was supposed to when I was a kid, even though I wore that stupid appliance and turned the key in it every day. So the braces are for that, and also other things, like my TMJ, and the fact that I don't put my tongue in the right place when I swallow. Okay, rant is over. I'm just venting a little. A certain husband of mine never goes to the dentist, like not once on his entire mission, and then they clean his teeth and say "looks good, keep up the good genes". Unfair.

Alright, don't worry, I'm not actually as mad as I sound. I'm just a little, well, flabbergasted, you know? I'll go to my cleaning and my fillings over the next couple of weeks, and then it will be behind me. And next year you can all call me metal mouth and I'll have Awkward Adolescence Part II. But I won't swallow wrong anymore, and maybe I'll even have a sweet gold tooth like a pirate.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Massage, a Sunburn, and Two Filet Mignons

What a weekend! R's firm does one weekend every year in the summer where everyone and their spouses are invited to get out of the valley and drive to stay at a pretty sweet hotel. Then you proceed to eat and drink and play games and swim and get spa treatments and take naps. And the best part is that the tab is on the firm. Hello free massage!

(We went 2 years ago when M was almost 1 (he stayed with Grandma) and it was a blast, but we didn't really know anyone (R was a summer clerk without a job offer yet). And last year we had moved to AZ after R's graduation only 3 days prior to the retreat, so we missed it. But this year M is more than old enough to be without us for 2 days, again with Grandma, and we have no babies currently, plus we know a lot more people that were there this year. It was so fun!)

We drove up to Sedona on Friday at about noon, and it's so beautiful up there. The temperatures are much more mild, and the red rocks are spectacular. We stayed at the Hilton, so we checked in, mingled in the hospitality suite for the afternoon as people arrived, ate snacks, and then lazed around the pool until dinner. Then we walked down the road to Cucina Rustica. Let's just say that it was the best filet mignon that I have EVER had, and they're always pretty good, right?! It was served with this Gorgonzola cream sauce and crispy potatoes and vegetables sauteed in butter...yum! So, dinner was great! Then I went to bed, but R stayed up to watch all the folks that were already drunk at dinner go back to the hospitality suite and keep on going. I'm sure it was quite entertaining, but I was sleepy :)

Saturday was the laziest day I've had in a while. We got up and hiked a little bit in the morning, but it was leisurely and slow. We saw Cathedral Rock, took a few pictures, and got breakfast at the Desert Flour bakery. We laid out with friends at the pool some more and proceeded to get sunburned in the shade and in about an hour (stupid elevation). Then, we ate lunch outside and drank (virgin) strawberry daiquiri's. Around then we put R down for a nap and I was off to the spa. I had my cucumber water, and my book and waited for my masseuse, who then pulverized my muscles for about and hour and a half. I walked back to our room in a daze, collapsed in a heap and then we were off to the hospitality suite again to snack and play cards until dinner. Dinner wasn't as good the second night, but I did have another filet mignon, and it was tasty. I went to bed early again, but R stayed up again, and there was much playing of ping pong and various shenanigans.

M was sorely missed, so we left the hotel as early as we could and sped home to see the little guy. He was jumping up and down when we came in and it melted my little heart! Back together at last :)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Environmental Working Group

I'm on my soapbox today, and it's my latest discovery thanks to a friend of mine. You might not care, but I shall ramble anyhow. I have discovered that my makeups, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes, hand soaps, detergents, pots and pans, water bottles, baby soaps and lotions, wipers, sunscreens and the like have possible contaminants in them, depending on the brand. This lovely website lists them and helps you find the safer alternatives. (Hooray! I don't have to do any research!) The point is to have information and make better choices. It's not hard, and it's more of a process than an overnight retooling of life. For example, I haven't replaced any of my makeup, but I did replace my lotions and hair products. I changed M's baby soap and lotion and wipers (but not diapers and pull-ups). It's a gradual shift to a more informed lifestyle. I feel proud of myself :) is the main site
this is their database called Skin Deep (search for info on specific things in your house)

This website has given me a new appreciation of the simple life. No more millions of bath and body products, no more wondering if my shampoo has junk in it I shouldn't be using while pregnant or breastfeeding (and therefore, probably all the time, huh?), no more wondering if I'm being as safe as I can without any real information, besides a hunch. Now I have the information! I've suspected for a long time that maybe laundry detergent and baby lotion and hair products could have a few less than desirable ingredients. But I lacked the knowhow of how to find out. Other websites seemed to smack of conspiracy theories, so I didn't trust them. And even though I trusted other like-minded people, it was hard to take their information seriously when I heard from them, and they usually "heard it somewhere".

Now please don't either dismiss this outright, or read everything and freak out that it's too much. Start small and make some safer choices in the future. It's pretty easy to pick a few things and then feel like you're increasing your awareness and getting healthier.

If you think this is a bunch of overreacting, please read information on the website yourself. You can pick and choose what to read about, and then please let me know your thoughts. It covers chemicals and toxins in foods and also household products. I also just read about how plastic water bottles can leach chemicals into your your everyday water. They recommend getting stainless steel water bottles, or glass (I prefer the stainless steel). I think this might be a good place to buy one if you're interested. I'll probably get mine on

A list of things I switched to:
  • For lotion I only use coconut oil, olive oil, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Aquaphor, or Eucerin Calming Creme. The two oils are about as safe as you can get, and M thinks they're great!
  • For shampoo I use Castile Soap from Trader Joe's, because it's cheaper than the real Castille Soap.
  • For bar soap I use Kirk's Castile Soap, and I use it on my face too (no more Neutrogena face wash!).
  • Conditioner is hard to find cheap, which may motivate me to cut my hair off again.
  • For hand soap we use Castile Soap or Trader Joe's Orange Blossom Honey French Liquid Soap.
  • For toothpaste I use a Trader Joe's brand of peppermint toothpaste that doesn't have any bad stuff in it except flouride, but my teeth suck so I need it I think.
  • For dishwasher detergent we use the regular stuff, but we don't shut the little door to lock in the granules. According to the technician we asked, he recommends this anyways, since your dishes still get clean, but the soap is rinsed off twice.
  • For laundry detergent we use the environmental one from Costco called Wintree. We also don't use any dryer sheets anymore (formaldehyde) and we avoid spray 'n' wash when possible.
  • For sunscreen I splurged and bought a really overpriced $30 tube by UV Natural from Whole Foods. I later learned that there is a CVS brand that only has zinc oxide in it, so I'll look for that soon since the swimming season here in AZ has arrived.
So there you go. My big list of things that you might not ever even want to know! Things I was already doing before discovering the website include:
  • washing fruits and veggies with produce wash: Fit spray (at the grocery store) or mild Dawn knockoffs like my "Ultra Dishmate" by Environmentally Friendly Products I found at the local Fresh 'n' Easy
  • microwaving foods on paper towels or in glass/ceramic dishes, NOT plastic containers of any kind
  • cooking with stainless steel pots and pans, baking sheets, etc. NOT teflon, non-stick coated things, or aluminum
So, again, there you go. Soapbox is finito :)