The Finger Song

Today, Kyle gave Ruby a bath. As he washed between each of her fingers, he made up a little song to explain to her what each of her fingers does. It went like this.

Your thumb is a rebel, that’s why it’s opposed,
Your first finger gestures, and shows what you knows.

You middle is to tell folks to have a bad day,
Your ring finger tells suitors to go away.

Your pinkie is for promises, and fancy drinks, too,
That’s why it’s important, like my Ruby Boo.

The first draft involved explaining that the middle finger flips people the bird. I told him that he couldn’t teach her to flip people off in his song. This was the best compromise he could come up with. He tried to defend his lyrics by saying that the middle finger has no other individual purpose, everything else it was useful for is in conjunction with other fingers. I wasn’t convinced.

7 days and Counting

In a week we’ll be moving out of this dumpy apartment. I’m really thrilled. Every time I run across something about this apartment that I dislike (like how the swamp cooler blows a thin layer of dirt and bugs into my kitchen every day, how hot it gets, or how the medicine cabinet looks like it came from a hospital in a horror film), I just think about how in a little over a week, I will never have to deal with it again.

Kyle’s trying to be fair and talk about how this apartment was good for us for the things we needed it for. It was cheap when we needed it to be cheap, it saw the first years of our marriage, it was close enough to BYU that we could walk…let’s just say that I’m not that nostalgic for these things. Yes, this apartment was good for a lot of things, but it was also bad for so many more things. I’m pretty sure I won’t miss it. I’m happy to have good memories of people and events that happened here, but I won’t have fond memories of the actual place.

Packing has been going slowly, but steadily. I feel pretty good about how things are going. One of my friends is coming over on Thursday to help me pack up the majority of my kitchen, which is the only room that hasn’t had a significant amount packed. A lot of what remains in the rest of the house are the odds and ends that can’t be packed until the end.

The major downside is that since Kyle has just started this job, and since we will be moving on a Tuesday (it was unavoidable), he will not be able to help us move during the work day. Fortunately, Kyle’s dad is heroically flying in to help, and a number of friends have come out of the woodwork and volunteered to help us move. I think that it’ll go pretty well with everybody who is coming out to help. The number of people who are taking work off, the people who have and will have helped us pack, and Kyle’s dad flying in–all these people volunteering to help us has really touched my heart. I couldn’t do this move on my own, and all these people who love us coming forward to help mean so, so much to me. I’m really grateful for them.

Summer Sun

So it got hot in Utah a few weeks ago. Like, in the hundreds hot.

I’ve never been so grateful for a little perspective.

Last summer, we were in Arizona with a defective air conditioner. I was pregnant, it was in the 120s outside, and it was in the 80s and 90s in our apartment. I was not a happy mama in regards to the heat.

But this summer? I’m not pregnant (thank goodness!), and our house isn’t kidding us–no air conditioning to taunt us with the hopes of a cool home. Just a swamp cooler that lets you know from the get-go that it quits on you when the outside temperatures get into the 90s. It just looks at you, laughs, and blows hot air into your house. Suck it, tenants! If you wanted cool air, you should have gotten a better apartment! Or a window air conditioning unit! Now you have to suffer my capricious whims!

But there’s a magnificent difference between it being in the 80s in your apartment and being pregnant, and it being in the 80s in your apartment and not being pregnant. Kyle has been suffering a similar amount as last year, but me? I felt so much better about it all.

Perspective, man. (Incidentally, there’s also a magnificent difference between 105 outside and 125 outside.)

But I was telling Mom about our hot apartment predicament, and she took pity on our poor souls and bought Kyle and I season passes to Seven Peaks, the water park that is about a 10 minute walk from our apartment, for my birthday. Then Amy and her roommate extended a permanent invitation to their air conditioned house if it ever got too hot for us. They’ve even let me borrow a key for the summer. It has made a huge difference. I can go to Seven Peaks in the morning with Ruby (and Amy when she’s in town), then go back to my apartment (or Amy’s if it’s too hot that day) and Ruby naps like the dead for two or three hours (which are the best kinds of naps).

Unfortunately, I apparently stink at applying sunscreen on myself, and the first day I went to Seven Peaks I got a massive sunburn on my shoulders. Massive, massive, took a week to stop hurting, blistered, then turned my skin scaly before peeling off kind of sunburn. Kyle kept rubbing my shoulders out of habit and I kept telling him off for it. Ruby has managed to avoid more than a light pinkening on her face, fortunately.

Since we’ve been going to Seven Peaks fairly regularly, I bought Ruby a little tube for infants. After going around the lazy river a few times the other day, we went to the kiddie pool which has a gradual incline into the pool. This means that Ruby can crawl around in the water with no need for the tube. And boy, when she vacated it, that tube became a hot commodity for the toddlers at the pool. They kept coming up to play with it, turn it over, and push it around. One little boy just came up, picked it up, and walked off with it. His dad made him return it, much to his chagrin. It was really funny, and Ruby was none the wiser, off making friends with the other moms so that she could use them as leverage to stand up and to lean against (the primary reason to make friends, as we all know).

It’s hot in the summer, it always is. But we’re managing. And in two short weeks, we will be moving into an apartment with air conditioning. I never knew how good I had it growing up until I lived for five years without air conditioning. It puts a different spin on things.

A Year Ago Today Was a Very Different Day

A year ago today, I was reciting mantras in my head so that I could manage labor. I managed it somehow, and we brought tiny baby Ruby home from the birth center eight hours after that.

I don’t think I slept more than an hour at a time that night. She didn’t sleep well, and I was paranoid that she wasn’t breathing, so I kept getting up to check on her when she was asleep (it was a new parent thing, that fear faded slowly over the next couple weeks).

Ruby’s been asleep for nearly two hours at this point, and won’t wake up for quite a few more. She was cranky today, and has a runny nose. I think she’s either teething or has inherited Daddy’s cold–possibly both, but no matter the reason, she has been really cranky lately.

Happy Cranky Birthday, baby girl.

Wesley came over, and in keeping with our tradition of low key birthdays, we just had cupcakes. I blew her candle out for her, and Kyle ate half of her cupcake before I asked him if he intended to let her have any. She ate some of it, but was more interested in the watermelon rind that was still on her tray from dinner. But that was ok, we took over for her on the cupcake eating front. As Wesley said, she’ll care more next year.

Mom and Amy (who had the gall to be out of town on this auspicious occasion) called to wish her happy birthday, and she smiled at their voices. Then she tried to take the phone out of my hands–to eat it, no doubt. Mom asked me if I’d gotten her a birthday present, and I admitted that I haven’t. I’m probably going to buy her a water bottle like Amy has since she really likes Amy’s water bottle, but I haven’t found one yet. Although, to be honest, I haven’t looked very hard. Kyle’s parents gave her some cute board books with pictures of baby animals in them. I’ve been using them as distraction objects during diaper changes (changing diapers on a wiggly little girl is increasingly challenging–at least once per day you can find a naked or near-naked escape artist baby crawling away from diaper changes in our home).

Overall, it was a good day. And overall, she’s a good baby.

I think I’ll keep her.

I’ll Pat You On the Back

Ruby continues doing adorable things, so I am compelled to keep writing about them.

When Ruby is crying, I pick her up and pat her on the back to help comfort her small tears. Recently, when I pick Ruby up to comfort her, she has started trying to pat my back in return–but her little arms are so small that she can only reach my shoulder. It’s a circle of back patting comfort, and everybody wins.

She is standing more and more on her own, and even takes one or two steps at a time before falling on her bum. Walking is just around the corner. Will she start before we move? I’m not sure. But it’s weird to think that we’re going to have such a tiny human toddling around these parts, getting into everything (not that the latter part will be much different).

I accidentally left my purse on the couch the other day, and Ruby managed to open it, get into my wallet, and pulled out every card, check, and receipt in it. I came into the room to find the contents of my wallet sprinkled across our living room floor.

A Glorious Announcement

Kyle got a job!

Huzzah!

We also have a new apartment to move into at the end of the month!

Huzzah!

Life just got a lot less stressful for me. All that’s left is moving, and everything will be a lot more settled.

Those Neighbor Boys Return

And by “return” I mean I just have more stories, but “return” makes a better title.

I read a study once that said that, statistically, single men are more likely to engage in criminal, risky, and otherwise silly activities than their married counterparts are. It proceeded to explain that when men get together and come up with silly ideas, they all think it’s a great idea. But when a married man comes home and tells his wife about it, she tells him how ridiculous it is, and since he cares more about what his wife thinks than his buddies, he is less likely to engage in said silly activities. Single men are less likely to have somebody they care about telling them that they’re being silly, making them more likely to engage in those activities.

The more I live next to an apartment of single guys, the more credence I give to this idea.

Apparently the slackline proved insufficiently interesting as the summer has progressed, and the neighbor boys decided to make some additions to the front yard. First, they dragged two couches onto the front lawn, one of which has sat there for at least a month through rain, scorching sun, and a deluge of pollen. I really hope that those boys own those couches and that they weren’t provided with a furnished apartment, but I guess that’s between them and the landlord.

Next, they made a drum from a washing machine appear on the front lawn. And what did they do with this washing machine drum? They started a fire in it. They probably roasted marshmallows in it or something. Now I know that it’s legal to start a fire on private property as long as it’s properly contained, but I’m unsure of whether it’s ok to do it on the front lawn. And since this was just a washing machine drum, instead of a firepit, what remains of their fire–weeks later–is a neat circle of scorched grass.

The day after this fire, I smelled gasoline fumes in my house. It started giving me a headache, but I could not for the life of me figure out where it was coming from. Kyle finally went out to look, and he found an open container of gasoline on the neighbor boy’s lawn. Now, it’s the middle of summer in a desert with a lot of dry plants around. This is, shall we say, not the wisest place to store gasoline. The wind was blowing north, and our swamp cooler was pulling the fumes into our house. I was pretty mad about it, but Kyle convinced me to politely knock on their door and ask that it be removed. I did that, and it seems as though the offending boy who had placed the container was not home, but one of his very polite roommates told me that he would take care of it. We were going to a picnic, and when we returned the container had been removed, and we have had no further problems with dangerous materials being stored in open containers on their front lawn.

And in a bit of sad news, the boy who was mowing my lawn has not made an appearance in the past few weeks. The upshot of this is that his ugly yellow truck has not been parked in front of our house taking up precious parking, either, so at least there’s that.

The Bib Problem

So many months ago, Ruby started eating solid foods, so I bought her a set of cute Pooh Bear bibs. They velcroed in the back. Not long after that, Ruby discovered that if she got a good grip on her bib and pulled, she could remove the offending bib from her person and drop it over the side of her high chair.

Freedom from the tyranny of bibs!

So, thought I, if she can undo the velcro, then I shall purchase bibs that go over her head like a shirt and she will no longer be able to get so much food on her clothes. I am, of course, brilliant, so there were no problems with this plan. So went out to Wal-Mart and purchased some cute over-the-head bibs with Elmo on them, and that evening for dinner I put one on her.

Half way through dinner, she had figured out how to pull it over her head and toss it to the ground. I haven’t been able to keep a bib on her since. Most of the time it’s not a huge deal because what we’re eating isn’t all that messy. But occasionally we’ll have pasta or something else that’s really messy and I am confronted with the question of whether to let her make a mess all over her clothes, or find some other solution.

On Saturday, this was my solution. She’s still a stinker, but at least she was an easier-to-clean stinker.

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