Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On the twelve days of April...

There are many fun things to share.  First of all, I have reached mature aunthood; two new nephews were born the same day, April 11th, 3 hours apart, 1,400 miles away from each other. They were both over 8 lbs., both have dark hair, they both had large heads and had to come by way of C-section, and they both look just like me.  We like to call Monica's baby Liam, and Carolyn's baby Grant, and I wish I could be there to hold them.  I have very tough sisters, who I admire, a lot.


And just like Matt said, a few weeks ago my good friend from college came to visit me after she got home from her mission.  It was just like before. I love Aubry.

De-veining the shrimp

We also had Easter! It comes in Virginia too.  To prepare we did some of this:

Bananas do not soak up egg dye.

We spent the first part of Easter weekend up in DC with Matt's brother Eric.  We drove up to go to the temple and to see the Cherry Blossoms during the festival time, which I hear are amazing to see in person.

I say, "I hear", because these are not our photos. The night before we were to go see them it poured, and what we saw was this (arrow up), minus the pretty blossoms.

It's okay though, we still had a fun day in the rain in DC.  We had famous Blueberry pancakes at the farmer's market in the city, then we went and drove around the famous park without the famous blossoms, and finally we toured the Kennedy Center, which was very cool.  

My favorite chandeleir in the Kennedy Center. 
It was a gift from Austria. 
I'll remember to invite them to my next birthday party.

April is fun when you have four calling birds, three weeks off, two new babies, and a husband who likes doing fun things.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hidden Talents

In an  attempt to up the quality of reporting on this blog to give it the sort of edgy, raw material it needs to be top notch (and compete with two sister in laws who are having babies tomorrow (congratulations by the way)), I decided to do a little undercover bit on the life of a mute.  Yesterday night, just like in the Little Mermaid, I gave up my voice.  Today has been quite an experience and I can already tell you--I want my voice back.  It has been a difficult day of being ignored and not being able to talk on the phone.  In addition it makes it hard to communicate even simple everday things such as "good morning,"  "What are you doing this weekend?" "Watch out for that bus!", or "That was good food."  Instead I've mostly just had to keep to myself.

According to the internet, losing your voice is caused either by vocal chord inflamation from a cold and the like, or one of these more serious issues:

1. your vocal cords are bowed
2. one vocal cord is thicker than the other
3. one vocal cord is partially paralized
4 you have spasmodic dysphonia (basically, laryngeal stuttering)  

I don't know if I have inflamed or paralyzed vocal chords, all I know is that they don't work.  I still had the ability to whisper slightly.  If Nicole would get really quiet, she could hear me; however, I lacked projection and any sort of intonation.  In fact, particularly frustrating yesterday was when our neighber who is somewhere between 93 and 142 and is hard of hearing came over to talk to me while I was putting things in the car.  Every time I spoke, she would lean in further.  Finally it became aparant she had no idea what I was saying.  

Luckily though, later on, I was also able to find another way to communicate vocally.  As young child, to the admiration of my other young friends and to the shame of my mother, I developed quite an ability to burp on demand.  Not just little baby burps, but nice loud bass-y belches.  Do to the urging of my mother, I have kept this talent hidden from the majority of the world; very few beyond my own family have actually heard me burp.  But today I decided to let loose as I found that although I couldn't use my vocal chords, I could still talk with my burps.  Mostly Nicole has just found it humorous.  So if you have some thing important you need me to tell you like, "hey, your car is on fire," give me a call before my voice comes back.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Behold the Hotness

As a budding aerodynamicist, I pay quite a lot of attention to the vehicles around me for inspiration and ideas.  Sometimes the inspiration comes in the elegance of a Porsche, or the complexity of a Formula 1 car.  Sometimes it's the actual history of a particular innovation such as the gurney flap.

But sometimes, inspiration will hit you when you don't expect it.  Such as while you're driving around lost in your very own town.  This was just the case last week.  We were trying to visit an older lady we go to church with when we unexpectedly saw inspiration in its purest form...behold the hotness.

I'd like to point out the use of ground effects and a sweet aftermarket rear wing as well as a hood scoop which isn't visible.  So for all of you middle-aged mammas out there or humble pappas that are still dreamin', this shows that it is possible to have the best of both worlds.  It will still haul stuff like a mini-van, but if the kids are going to be tipping their drinks over on the back seat anyway, it might as well be because you're pushing it up the off-ramp.  So if class is not import in the vehicle you drive, and you still don't mind having a center of gravity 3 feet off the ground with 160 hp at the front wheels mated to a 4 speed automatic transmission, this is a stroke of pure genius.