Wednesday, March 25, 2009

NAMES 2008!

It has arrived! The Annual Madison Memorial Hospital Birth Announcement Extravaganza is here. I spent an hour last night cackling to myself and taking notes. Let’s have a look back at the best of the worst Rexburg baby names of 2008, shall we? (if you’re lost, check out the second half of THIS post)

The “To-Be-Expecteds” (ie, mix-n-match): As bad as they are, we knew these were coming.
Harlee (THREE little girls named this. I really wish whoever had decided this was okay had run it past me first)
Blah blah blah. I got sick of these names. There are dozens of them, in every variation imaginable. Eventually I quit writing them down.

The “Sound-it-Outs”:

The “Completely Unnecessary Extra T’s”: Interesting emerging trend.

Hilarious Twin Combinations:
Boisen and Payah (is that like, someone from Boise?)
Brinley Sue and Augree Lynn
Tylenn Braylee and Tyken Raylee (my favorite of these three sets, obviously. Though Augree is pretty fantastic, too.)

Aaaand the moment we’ve all been waiting for….the “What the EFF?!?!!’s”:
Creedon (cretin?)
Chasitie (not a typo…cha-sit-ee)
a ‘Tavian’ and a ‘Tayvian’, two boys who are seemingly unrelated. How is that even possible??
Taicyr (?)
Taggart (HAHAhahHahaAHA)
A poor boy named Traigyn Azure (GYN?? GYN?? Are you serious??!)

Please note: There were also THREE Ridges, TWO Drakes, and a little boy named Ashtynn. Plus, remember how many Braxton/Braxten/Braxtyns there were last year? It’s been replaced by Ryker. RYKER!! As in Commander Riker from Star Trek. There were FOUR babies named that in Rexburg last year! Every time I ran across another one, I screamed even louder than before. Ask Jon. Amazing.

PS- If you knew I had a crush on Commander Riker circa 1992, you’re a winner. Corinne liked Wesley Crusher. Annie liked Data.
PSS - My spell checker is going nuts.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Overall, I'd say two thumbs up, one thumb down.

The dreaded dentist appointment was yesterday. It was about as comfortable as having four teeth drilled out of your head could possibly be. Srsly. I had a blanket, ear phones playing Norah Jones, sunglasses, a memory foam pillow, and copious drugs during the procedure. The aftermath has been what’s killing me – who cares about having the actual work done? My face and jaw STILL hurt. And I can’t open my mouth all the way. Apparently the old fillings the dentist replaced were worse than he’d originally thought, so he let me know ahead of time that I’d probably have pain. And I do. Really bad. Jon did such a good job taking care of me, though, and I really am grateful that I was able to get this work done. Thanks to dental insurance it only cost just over $100 bucks to get my entire mouth fixed. And the office I’ve been seeing has been great. The dentist even called from his home last night to see how I was holding up and to say I’d done a great job, which made the five-year-old inside me beam. And Jon stole me a Kern’s mango juice from the mini-fridge, so you can imagine that I’m looking forward to THAT. But I can hardly eat anything – Jon made me Jello and mashed potatoes for dinner last night. I had yogue and some soup for lunch today. At least I came into work, so I must not be too bad off. Just sore. Plus, the molars he worked on are all ground down and flat now, so that’s pretty weird. Getting used to it. Gumming my food. And I sound like I have Bell’s Palsy when I talk. Other than that, things went well, thanks for asking.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


WARNING – this post jumps around a lot.

To begin, I’ve been made aware that BYU-Idaho has removed all Naked Juice products from their bookstore. Why? Because it’s called Naked Juice. (WOW.) I guess at this point, all you can really do is shake your head and say, “Rexburg, you are a silly, silly town. And everyone thinks you’re weird.”

And THAT’S being NICE.

In other Rexburg related news, my mom has promised that she is mailing the annual listing of birth announcements from Madison Memorial Hospital to me TODAY. I could not possibly be more excited to make fun of the words Idaho parents have written down on their newborns’ birth certificates. The words their children will go by from now until eternity. So stay tuned for THAT.

Speaking of birth announcements (sorta) - CORINNE’S HAVING A GIRL! I thought it was a boy for sure. But I always tend to be wrong on these things. Corinne’s thoughts on the ultrasound [exact quote, because it was via email and I copied and pasted] “It's so amazing. You get to see everything, though a lot of it just looks like blobs. And the baby turned and looked at us and it was absolutely terrifying!!”

So, I just got back from the dentist about an hour ago. Today it was a typical cleaning, but on Monday at 3:00 the horror begins. I have to have TWO cavities filled and TWO fillings redone. Before you think I’m some revolting swamp creature, let me just say that the dentist spent nearly thirty minutes complimenting me on my beautiful teeth and telling me what a wonderful job I’ve done with my home care before breaking the news to me. I was feeling pretty smug, but then he knocked me down a few notches. I screamed for an hour. PS- I never know what to do with my tongue during cleanings. It does an awkward dance with the hygienists fingers. Like when you meet someone in a hallway and unsuccessfully predict which way they’re going to go. Anyone else ever have that problem during a teeth cleaning? Yes? No? Yes? Maybe? A little? Just kidding..

Remember when Jon got smashed in an elevator? Seems forever ago. Because it was. Well after over a year of the building management company avoiding his phone calls, he’s finally in talks with a serious lawyer. And WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT, the second there’s a serious lawyer involved, Jon’s on the phone with management’s insurance company. Funny how that works. Hopefully they’ll settle with us, because going to court would be stupid and non-fun. Not to mention lame.

And that’s the news for now. Kthxbai.

Oh yeah, we made banana bread on Sunday and it was really, really good.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

Neighborly love

Well, it’s Monday. I can’t complain though because we had a really great weekend in Phoenix. Friday night we had delicious Mexican food for dinner and spent time catching up with my aunt Stacey and uncle Dave. On Saturday, Jon and I went to the temple and afterwards we all went on a short hike. Jon caught (and was bit by) a green racer snake. It was a little too cold to swim in their pool so we spent some time in the jacuzzi instead. Penny was hilarious – standing on the edge, she kept putting her face in the water trying to catch the bubbles in her mouth. Inevitably she started pawing at the swirling surface until she fell in. I scooped her out, but apparently she didn’t mind the warm water because she kept diving back in and swimming around, all the while chomping at the bubbles Pac-Man style. I laughed until I cried. That night my aunt made us a gourmet steak dinner and Jon ate at least six pounds of beef. After church, lunch, and an accidental nap on Sunday we headed back to Tucson. Which brings me to the next point of this post. Remember this neighbor? Could he possibly be any more frustrating? Answer: Yes. Before leaving for our weekend, I stood just outside our door with a pen and a piece of paper and took inventory of all his junk that has taken residence in our entryway. Here is the list – no hint of exaggeration:

2 strollers
2 of those big plastic kiddie push cars
1 SteamVac
1 small yellow chair
An upsidedown broken bike
A scooter
Inflated pool toys (notice the wording – I didn’t say “inflatABLE” pool toys, I said “inflatED” pool toys)
A ‘fun noodle’ pool toy

This crap heap has been slowly accumulating over the past few weeks. In addition to these constants, there is on occasion a nice garbage bag full of noxious diapers sitting out there for hours at a time. You know, in case their next-door neighbors happen to enjoy the smell of human fecal matter greeting them after a long day’s work.

Well, since I’ve already complained on this particular person before, I made Jon do it this time. His exact words to management were “Tell our neighbor to clean up our entryway, it looks like a junkyard”. That was right before we left for Phoenix. Upon arriving home Sunday evening we were teeming with anticipation. Did management take our complaint seriously? Was everything spic and span? Nope; Even better.

Someone spent at least three minutes shuffling things closer to their wall. Look at how nice those strollers look, all lined up like that. And you hardly even notice the vacuum sitting there now that it’s partially blocked by the yellow chair. And really, I could not even think of a better place for that broken bicycle. Very feng shui. Great work, neighbor. Great work. Just kidding! I’m being facetious! Remember when I was pretending to be impressed with my neighbor’s organizational skills?? That was funny. No, actually, I’m not impressed. In fact, you could say that I’m the exact opposite of impressed. I’m non-impressed. We really do win for the worst neighbors ever. As if it’s not bad enough that he looks in through our windows. He’s also a GROSS SLOB. Ha! Take THAT!

So what do I do at this point? Complain to management again? Continue kvetching to Jon every time I have to look at it? Leave a passive-aggressive note? Slowly begin making their stuff disappear? Call it in as a fire-hazard? (That was Corinne's suggestion. I like the way she thinks.)

PS – I guess in all fairness they DID get rid of the pool toys. And either the scooter is gone or it’s not visible from this angle (my guess is it’s in front of the bike alongside that wall). BUT THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Saturday is a special day

This weekend I set out to recreate Café Rio’s sweet shredded pork and cilantro-lime rice, and thanks to this recipe and this recipe, I came pretty close. Hooray for Google!

2 to 2½ pounds pork loin
3 cans regular Coke
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 cup water
1 can diced green chilies
1 can green enchilada sauce

With the least amount of touching possible, rinse the pork (ew). Trim the fatty and sinewy pieces off (I almost threw up). Put it in a heavy-duty Ziploc with a can and a half of Coke and ¼ cup brown sugar to marinate. We put the bag inside of a bowl and set it in the fridge overnight.

Next morning: Transfer the raw pork to your slow-cooker along with ½ can of Coke, ¼ cup water, and a dash of garlic salt. Make your husband discard the filthy marinade.

Cook on low for 6 hours, then remove the pork and shred it up. Dump out the leftover juices. Blenderize the enchilada sauce, chilies, ½ can Coke and the remaining brown sugar (1 cup) and add it all back into the slow cooker for another 2 hours on low. Tamp down the shredded meat so as much of it as possible is covered with the liquid.

Prepare 3 cups cooked rice (add a teaspoon of lime juice into the water for the cooking process).
Combine 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro into separate container. Using some sort of utensil, pound the cilantro to pieces so that it really gets ground into the mixture. Slowly add it to the rice as you fluff. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I just now realized that’s two TEASPOONS of sugar. Our rice definitely had two tablespoons of sugar in it.)

1 cup Herdez Salsa Verde (it’s a tomatillo sauce, and we were able to find it at our Safeway)
½ cup ranch dressing

The original recipe called for equal parts of each, but we found the ranch a little overpowering. Also, to true Café Rio fans – I didn’t set out to make the sweet green sauce they pour all over the burrito to make it “Enchilada Style”, I wanted to make something similar to the creamy tomatillo sauce they serve on the side. This is a little spicier than that other stuff, but still good.

We threw in some black beans and combined the elements into burritos, but it would also be amazing in a salad. The general idea is that the pork is delicious, and it smells delicious, and when you eat it it makes you full. So, really, it’ll be an overall great experience for everyone involved.DO IT NOW.


…After typing the words “Grand Finale”, I can’t not tell this story. My family and I drove the Al-Can highway when I was 8 years old. From Anchorage, Alaska to Stafford, Virginia, my dad led our procession in his old red Dodge Ram with a canoe on top, pulling our pop-up tent trailer. My mom followed close behind him with all the kids packed into the suburban pulling the horse trailer. We communicated by CB radio and made our home in a different fairground each night so that our horse, Fancy, could stretch her legs in an arena after 10 hours of cramped standing. We’d all pitch in to set up camp, eat some form of hot dog creation for dinner, then we’d settle in to our beds for the evening. And each night without fail, when the lights were out and my mom would try to discreetly remove her bra from underneath her T-shirt, my dad would draw attention to the fact by announcing to everyone, “It’s the grrrrraaaand finaaaaaaleeee!”

Sorry, mom. But aren’t you proud that I spent my entire Saturday cooking?