Archive for May, 2010

I am, indeed, twelve years old

Posted in Daily Bread on May 31, 2010 by dunnthat

Last week I went to a Singles Ward for the very first time in my life.

This is what happens when you get married in pre-adolescence.  You pretty much skip the Singles Ward scene.

I didn’t recognize that this was a new experience for me until there I sat during the Sacrament service in said Singles Ward.  It was SO VERY QUIET (I realize the irony of using the typewritten language that signifies yelling to say how quiet it was…). 

The quiet actually made me uncomfortable.  Seriously…dead…calm.

I kept looking around, waiting for someone to be irreverent.  Then it came to me…the irreverent one was ME.

It’s just that the quiet was so discombobulating.  I didn’t know what to do with it.

Then, in keeping with my immaturity, when the speaker talked about how magnifying our callings is our “duty” to God, I got kind of head silly.

Because the word “duty” has always made me laugh.   Do your duty, duty free, call of duty, in the line of duty, jury duty, etc.

Duty duty duty.

Generally I find scatological humor (this is the term movie critics use to say the movie contains bathroom humor) gross and pretty much not funny.  But I often go there in my head, and it’s just so juvenile. 

And I am ashamed of myself.

George Carlin used to ask the question:  How does a blind man know when he’s through wiping?

See, that makes me laugh.  And I think of it…well, every time I’m in that situation.

This is what my head does when it’s given free reign of thought. 

Added to all this, a few days ago I came out of the pantry strategically holding two grapefruits right where you think I’m holding them.  And this I did for the benefit of Mini, who was in the kitchen.

He looked at me, shook his head, and said, “How old are you?”

I think I’d say twelve.  About twelve.

(I just realized I have said this before.  Perhaps it is, in fact, true.)

Heaven help me…

Posted in Daily Bread on May 22, 2010 by dunnthat

I am not a gamer.  I don’t remember the last time I held a controller in my hands.  And that includes the guitar controller for Guitar Hero.  I’ve done it.  I just don’t remember when.

Through some random clicking on the internets (internets is a joke word…fyi) I heard about Red Dead Redemption.

Video games have come so far since Pong, you know? 

Most of you don’t even know what I’m talking about.

Anyway.

Red Dead Redemption is a new video game I’ve seen “trailers” for (they actually have trailers for video games?!) and I am so intrigued by it.

First of all, I’ve always loved movies and books about the Old West.  I used to read books about Indians (that’s we called them in the olden days) and at eight years old I hated the white man.

Yep.  I was that kid.

Anyway.

Red Dead Redemption is a narrative video game about the Old West.  It’s like a movie (the graphics are amazing – I especially love the muscles on the horses) where you can choose your own adventure, if you will.  (Remember those books?)  A lot of the backgrounds look like Utah.  A lot of Monument Valley shots.

John Marston is looking for some guy who he used to be in a gang with who double-crossed him or something.  The gamer can choose whether the Marston is a good guy or a bad guy by the actions the gamer chooses.  Value of some kind is given if Marston brings in outlaws alive rather than shooting them.  But the gamer can also choose to take the low road by killing prisoners, innocents, dragging a guy behind his horse (actually looks pretty cool), all kinds of mayhem really, which loses points but may earn cash.

SO COOL!

Or, the protagonist can go hunting.  Or be attacked by wild animals.  Or play poker.  Shoot bottles.

SO…MANY…CHOICES!!!

And, SO not important, but I love Marston’s swagger.  I just do.

I don’t even understand the game.  I don’t want to play the game (I think).  I’m not sure I want my kids to play the game.  If I purchased the game I would probably never play it.

But I find the concept and the story so compelling.

It is rated “M” for mature.  Because it’s bloody.  Cartoon blood.  And, to be honest, looks like it can be kind of gross.  Blood spatter hits the camera “lens” if the shoot-ee is too close to the shooter.

But, I’m sorry, I kind of love it.

Here’s one trailer if you’re curious.  I’d love to know what you think.  Are you intrigued as well?

A family of engineers

Posted in Daily Bread on May 13, 2010 by dunnthat

On Mother’s Day we piled in the car and drove north to Bountiful to visit my mom and husband’s mom. 

In the car were husband, a structural engineer; second son, a construction management graduate who does, um, construction management stuff; third son, a structural engineering college student; fourth son, a college student in the professional pilot program; Mini, an all-round smart kid who skipped a grade and has a cumulative 4.0 as a sophomore; and me, an English and speech communication college graduate. 

For the entirety of our children’s lives, husband has tested their brain power whenever we are together.  The boys have always loved this.  I enjoy the final answer, but not the thinking-through part.

Imagine that.

So on this particular trip, husband lays out the following story problem for the car (which he’d read in Parade magazine):

“A friend and I once went from his house to mine with one bike. I started walking and he rode the bike. When he got a couple of blocks ahead, he left the bike on the sidewalk and started walking. When I got to the bike, I started riding, passing him, and then left the bike a couple of blocks ahead. When he got to the bike, he started riding. We did this the whole way.

“At least one of us was always walking. At times, one was riding; at other times, we were both walking. I’m sure this was faster than if we had no bike. But some people insist that it was no faster because somebody was always walking.”

I immediately gave my opinion that it was not faster at all, since somebody was always walking.

Number three immediately told me I was wrong and that it was faster to bike and walk.

Husband laughed.  At me.  Kind of.  And tried to explain why I was wrong.

I stood my ground.

DANGIT.

The entire car jumped into the conversation, all voicing their opinions about the “correct” answer.  It got kind of heated – in a very friendly way.

Then, in a perfect moment with just the right pause, Mini deadpanned, “I wonder what normal families talk about.”

Indeed, Mini.  Indeed.

[FYI – it is, of course, faster to ride and walk…as explained by number three:  Imagine just one person made the journey.  Say it normally took one friend ten minutes to walk to his friend’s house.  But if he walked halfway – taking five minutes – and then rode the rest of the way – taking one minute, it would take less time to bike and ride.  Now, add the other person.  To simplify, he bikes halfway for one minute, leaves the bike and walks five minutes to the house.  Second person takes five minutes to walk to the bike, (halfway), hops on and then rides one minute to get to the house.  They arrive at the same time, having taken six minutes to get there.  I know.  My head hurts as well.]

Completely NOT sentimental

Posted in Daily Bread on May 8, 2010 by dunnthat

Recently a young mom friend on facebook asked the facebook universe:  Do you give your husband an Easter basket?  And if so, what do you put in it?

My response:  I don’t even give my KIDS an Easter basket.

This year I didn’t even cook an Easter meal.  But I had a pretty good excuse.  AND I have a daughter-in-law who generously picked up the slack (Thanks A!)

So, I know this makes me look like a cruddy mom.  And in so many ways I am.

I have a friend who sent her missionary son a CHRISTMAS TREE while he was on his mission.

I sent my South American missionary sons plastic snow.  And nerf guns.

I’m just a different kind of mom, I guess.

But one of my boys gave me a great compliment a while ago.  I think he was trying to explain me to someone when he said something like, “Even though my mom doesn’t do all the traditional ‘mom’ stuff you might expect, we always know that when we need her she will do anything for us.  And she has.”

Okay, so it’s been awhile since he said that.  And he could easily refute that statement right now and say that this isn’t at ALL what he said.

But let me enjoy my memory as best I can right now.  THAT’S how I remember it.

Because, you know, when it comes to sewing stuff or cooking stuff or being sentimental with gifts and food and holidays, I’m not really your “guy.”

But when it comes to helping my kids with a resume or application essay or proofing their work, I’m their “guy.”

When something needs to get done and they don’t have time to do it, I will do whatever I can to help make their deadline.

If I think I can make something easier for them by doing some legwork, I will do it. 

Sometimes this is not good.  I know this.  I am learning this.

I think the most difficult thing for me as a mom is to stand back and allow my kids to find out things the hard way, even when I know that if I jumped in the situation would be easier for them.

Have you ever done something as a parent and then thought, “Oh my.  THAT’S going to come out later in therapy.”

Yeah.  Me, too.

When all is said and done, I just hope that one day my boys know that all I have done for them I’ve done for love of them.  Even when I’m misguided.  And you would think that I’d learn that lesson by now.

But I have to keep learning it.  Because I’m kind of slow.

Thank goodness I have boys who recognize my offerings and love me for what I’m able to give.

For the record

Posted in In the News on May 2, 2010 by dunnthat

I delivered FIVE children who were larger than this horse (three boys over 9 lbs.).  I do have to give snaps to the horse mom for delivering hooves, though.  Don’t think I could do that.

Weighing in at a hefty 6 lbs. at birth, Einstein was welcomed into the world April 22, 2010.

If the photos aren’t enough cuteness, here is a video of Einstein… ADORABLE!