Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Love Notes

. . . Of a different sort (Circa 1999).

Although Boss's hygiene may be considered 'less than exemplary' she's still a pretty good roommate.

Major Dorkus J. Poopypants*


The president, Pogo, the Pope and Cher called to say congratulations on your raise. They think you're real great and also me.

Major Dorkus J. Poopypants*

(I mean I also think you're great. They think I stink.)


Ms. Schmiana Thistle--

(By any other name you would smell as weird.) I have to show up for pancreas surgery @ 5 so I can't go to dinner.

Love ya'
Major Dorkus J. Poopypants*


Hey baby-doll

I am going to take my LAST final and then I have to work -- I'll be home late b/c tonight is celebration night. Oh yeah, Elder Cuter Boyfriend called and asked to speak to "Sister Cuter Roommate." I assumed he meant me but it turns out he wanted to talk to you. You better call him back. Plus, I love you.

Major Dorkus J. Poopypants*

Major Poopypants, I love you too.

*Names have been changed.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Love Notes

In February 2004, I went to a Valentine's activity where we wrote love notes to our husbands. I decided the best way to show my affection was to make the Coach laugh. So I recorded amusing memories on little notes to hide all over the house. Apparently, I hid them well. I found the following notes this evening, while sorting through a box from my closet.

Dear Coach,

Remember when I found out I was pregnant, and I couldn't wait to tell you, but you were in the bathroom reading the Dell catalog, and it was a really great catalog so you were taking a long time, so I finally told you to come out and you did, and I told you we were having a baby, and you hugged me and were really excited? Remember that? You're a good dad, even when it means leaving your Dell catalog.




Dear Coach,

Remember when you said you were worried about me having the baby, and I said it would be fine because of the drugs, and you asked if I was just going to bite on a leather strap like Joseph Smith, and I said "No, but I'll probably still refuse the demon liquor," and you said "Bring on the bourbon!" Remember that? That was funny. You are funny.



Friday, May 26, 2006

On the Road Again

I suppose it's appropriate that my earliest memories of my father are from road trips. As a family we spent a lot of time in the van. Summer vacations almost always involved some kind of cross-country journey--all eleven of us crammed in with pillows and blankets, the luggage strapped on top. It should have been chaotic, but I felt completely secure. Dad was at the wheel. Things were under control. I'd fall asleep to the hum of the highway and wake up at our destination.

The days of family vacations in the big blue van have passed. Now Dad makes road trips of a different kind. Instead of traveling with us, he travels for us. He's crossed the continent on my behalf many times. (It’s no wonder that he knows every Flying J station in the country. (It’s true! Quiz him!)) When I graduated from college, Dad flew out to Provo to help me pack up and drive to Pennsylvania. He crossed the country for me again a few years later when I went to the temple for the first time. And again when I had Sam and needed experienced parents around to tell me what to do with him. Several months later, when I was suffering from post-partum depression he got in a car and brought my sweet sister, Teresa the Bookie*, to save me. On these occasions when I thank him for his trouble, he unfailingly replies "You're worth it."

And that's the thing that gets me--not just that I'm worth it--but to him we're all worth it. And he makes sure we know it. Take all the trouble and expense and road tripping he's gone to for my benefit and multiply that by nine. And then raise that to the power of 19 grandkids (plus 3 on the way). Factor in moves and babies and graduations and illnesses and weddings and holidays. He’s been there for all of us.

In that light, other early memories come into focus: A priesthood blessing after a scary fall, an educational session on the way to school, a dripping ice cream cone saved just in time. Glimpses of the best things in life—the things Dad goes great distances to share.

And so Dad, on your birthday, as you pack your car for yet another road trip, I want you to know how much I appreciate you going that distance. Again and again. I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Other family, get on the bandwagon

It's become a quick tradition for Boss and Coach to peruse the blogs after Sammy has gone to bed. It's fun to read what others in the family are up to. Unfortunately, my best efforts [oh, all right, I mentioned it once or twice] have failed to persuade my immediate family to jump on the virtual bandwagon.

So, I'm going to give them an incentive. I'll post photos of THEM once in a while and they will have to come and make sure that they don't appear with a fake mustache or something. Soon they'll have to get their own blogs just for revenge.

Bwaa hahahahahaaa!!! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sensible apparel

Knowing what I do about skin cancers and their increasing incidence as people deliberately tan themselves and seek that cosmetic bronze look, we try to keep Sam well protected. It's a good idea for anyone to use sunscreen, a hat, and long sleeves to minimize your risk. Hence, we've encouraged Sam to wear a hat to the park on various occasions. He has a little sailor's hat that he likes sometimes and refuses other times.

Yesterday on our daily walk, he wanted to wear a hat. Here he is enjoying the sweet UV protection as he basks in the sun.

Who has the pommiest pom of all? Nice try, little girl. Sammy wins.

Has anyone seen my moonboots?

Does my head look big to you? Funny shaped? Like a squash maybe? That's so insulting.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Play arbiter

When I dropped Sam off at nursery the other day, it took a while to distract him enough that I could slip out. When the distraction came, it was in the form of cars--which he promptly began fighting over with another child. I wanted to intervene and make him play fair, but I didn't want to insert myself back into the situation since I was trying to leave unnoticed. I mentioned that there were some sharing issues to one of the nursery leaders who responded, "Oh, we just let the kids work things out for themselves." I chuckled and then realized she was serious. One year olds? For themselves? Are you insane? On reflection, I could see the wisdom in this. I can't be there all the time to enforce truth and justice among the toddlers, and therefore he's going to have to learn the people skills to resolve disputes with his peers. I just didn't expect it to come so early. But, I guess, why not?

So, today when I was in the library and Sam kept stealing a toy from another child, my inclination was to intervene. The kid's mother didn't seem to mind, and the kids worked it out. But I realized I get annoyed when other parents don't intervene. When one kid bullies another, are we supposed to stand back and let them sort it out for themselves? I think I would err on the side of making Sam too nice--not stand up for himself. I would make him share with others, but never demand that they share with him. And this is equally inappropriate.

So, does anyone have advice for this clueless dad on how to be a toddler arbiter?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Daddy

Dear Daddy,

For your birthday, I made you this cake. I hope you like it. I sure did.



The 31 Flavors of My Love

"The only consistently satisfying and profitable way to go is ice cream."
--L. Schmane Schmopkins,* circa 1999

  1. Toasted Coconut
  2. Mint Chocolate Smarty Pants
  3. M.D. Swirl
  4. Hot Bunny Tracks
  5. Bonsai Bonanza
  6. Homemade Lindor Truffle
  7. Computer Byte Brickle
  8. French Vanilla Kiss
  9. Silly Maple Nut
  10. Daddies & Cream
  11. Chocolate Fudge Royale Majesty
  12. Death by Chocolate Cake
  13. Gold Medal Settlers Champion
  14. Hot Fudge Sunday Nap
  15. Blogger’s Jubilee
  16. Witty Vanilla
  17. Photo Brickle
  18. Garden Soil Sundae
  19. Artisan Cheesecake
  20. Licorice-free Licorice
  21. Neapolitan Dynamite
  22. Peanut Butter Humanitarian
  23. Cocoa Mocha Caramel Compassion
  24. Rocky Road of Wisdom
  25. Free Offer Surprise
  26. Taco Fudge Ripple
  27. Creamy Caramel Treasure
  28. Bowl full of Blessings
  29. Chocolate Caramel Coach Crunch
  30. Sweet Sweet Sweetie
  31. Years Old Today
Happy Birthday Coach. I love you!

*Names have been changed through an undisclosed prime-number-based unbreakable 512 bit encryption code algorithm.

His Royal Pain

Boss has quipped, "I think I must be descended from royalty because I like it when people do what I say." Now I have verification that this is true for me. Mom and Dad were here for graduation and showed me a great website that will search to see if you are related to certain famous people. I punched myself up and found I'm 3rd cousins 8 times removed with John Adams, John Hancock, and Josiah Bartlett (signers of the Declaration of Independence); 6th cousin 3 times removed with Gordon B Hinckley and 4 times removed from Joseph Smith; and directly descended from such European royalty as Alfred King of England, Andras II King of Hungary, Bejela I Uros King of Serbia, Charlemagne Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Charles II King of Naples, Charles III-V Kings of France, Christian King of Denmark, and that's only through the C's.

Wow. I knew there was a reason I started demanding that the Boss call me "Your Majesterial Sweetie" instead of just sweetie. Now she and Sam go ahead and call me Doctor Your Majesterial Sweetie. Terms of endearment ought to retain some piece of dignity, right? Oh, and I feel like I should go ahead and wear this graduation regalia from now on with the robe and hood--it seems only proper considering my pedigree.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Grad gifts

One nice thing about graduating is all the loot. Yesterday I got a little leather case in which to carry a two inch notepad. I can think of many, many uses for a two inch notepad. Like writing the letter A for example. Or S. Or even M. Using just three pages I could show Sam how to write his name.

But I did get a very nice gift today from OSAC. It was a fancy pen engraved with my name and "M.D." It was a bit alarming to see. But once I was over the nice gold letters after my name, I realized how convenient it was to have a pen with which to write on my new pad.

The best gift of all came yesterday from the Boss. She couldn't wait until actual graduation day and neither could I. Plus, I took a message from Hobby Lobby a couple days ago when she was working on a paper and they refused to tell me what it was regarding, so I had a feelin' something was coming. Turns out, my sweetie got me a framed James Christensen print. He is my favorite artist. He did the garden room murals in the Nauvoo temple as well as many gorgeous paintings like "The Widows Mite" that we've had hanging next to our door for years. The print she got me was "The Oath". I love it. Not much more to say than that.

But speaking of the oath, I was wondering if anyone would care to comment on this conundrum. The Oath of Hippocrates we will be taking during graduation is this:

I do solemnly swear by that which I hold most sacred:
That I will be loyal to the profession of medicine and just and generous to its members;
That I will lead my life and practice my art in uprightness and honor;
That into whatsoever house I shall enter, it shall be for the good of the sick to the utmost of my power, I, holding myself aloof from wrong, from corruption, and from the temptation of others to vice;
That I will exercise my art solely for the cure of my patients, and will give no drug, perform no operation for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, and far less suggest such a thing.
That whatsoever I shall see or hear of the lives of others which is not fitting to be spoken, I will keep inviolably secret.
These things I do promise, and in proportion as I am faithful to this, my oath, may happiness and good repute be ever mine--the opposite if I shall be forsworn.

My question is, should I feel conflicted at all about taking an oath when the scriptures say not to? Is there anything qualitatively different in this oath than in the kind of oaths forbidden?

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Yesterday we had an open house. We were hoping someone would actually come and look at the house this time (as opposed to the one two weeks ago) thereby actually justifying our slaving to make the place presentable and then taking the dog elsewhere for an hour.

But this time rather than just making ourselves scarce during the open house, we decided to make it into an opportunity to relish a bit of Iowa before our imminent departure. We've been meaning to get back to Pella, a little Dutch-centered town south of Des Moines, since we first went there for a humanities reading retreat about 4 years ago. Yesterday, with the tulip festival in full swing, was finally the day.

Funnel cakes, Dutch letters, several chocolatiers, a tractor rodeo, dancing wooden dolls over 100 years old, and tens of thousands of tulips later, we returned home to find our house had been shown to one potential buyer. Plus our neighbor who just wanted to see inside our house. But, all in all, this open house was a great one because Pella provided a great time.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Origin and Destiny

Sam is blooming with spring. He says a bajillion words now. He asked me for a bagel for breakfast. He often will converse with great sincerity, although I must admit I'm not entirely sure what all the words are supposed to be. We still revert quite often to grunts and pointing.

Plus, he knows several letters of the alphabet. It should not be suprising to us that W is one of his first and favorites considering we have long been in the habit of spelling W-A-L-K. Here is a photo of Sam studying up on his letters with some light reading: Man, His Origin and Destiny by Joseph Fielding Smith. That's my boy. And he's got a destiny.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Done... sort of

About an hour ago I clicked "finish exam" on the computer screen of Hardin Library's East Commons. My dermatology grade was calculated with a whirring bar on the screen (I passed), and my medical school career was completed. I have no more clinics. I have no more tests.

It. is. over.

No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks. And then I drove home, got out of the car, and opened the mailbox. There, awaiting me was the inch-thick manual for the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course I will be taking the week of residency orientation. I had approximately 15 minutes of free and clear guilt-free studyless time. And now it's over.

Welp. I'll be in the basement studying.