Thursday, November 29, 2007

Things that I Love (Part One)

On the plane ride home from Utah I sat quietly (in seat 33C in case you were curious) and drank my coke. I thought to myself “geez, this coke tastes good.” And it did.

I love airplane soda. Why is it that coke always tastes better several miles above the earth’s crust? Is it the clear sacrement-sized plastic cup? Does the altitude somehow magnify the sensitivity of one’s taste buds? Do the airplane ice cubes add a pleasant flavor to your drink? (By the way, on Oprah I learned that airplane ice cubes contain an unusually high amount of bacteria. I told Ryan this and it ruined his life. He no longer drinks airplane soda. I just choose not to think of this while drinking my icy coke. Bacteria shmackteria)

While sitting in 33C, and enjoying my coke, I thought upon other things that I love… things that other people might think strange… things that make me the woman that I am. Namely:

-Q-tips. Few things are as satisfying as a successful ear excavation... but I shouldn't have told you that. That is gross.

-Cattle Guards. A Robinson family tradition is saluting every time we drive over a “guard.” I was shocked to learn, recently, that not everyone does this. They should…out of respect for the guard (and the cattle).

-MAC makeup. I don’t know or care whether this product is actually better in quality than other products. It just makes me feel cool when I use it. I feel superior to those who do not wear it.

-Celebrity gossip. Who is dating who, who is in rehab, who has a bad haircut...

-Throwing stuff away… but I already went into that.


-Looking at amusement parks. I don’t actually have to go in the park to get a thrill. I beg Ryan slow the car down every time we pass one. I look at the roller coasters and imagine how much fun it would to ride them. It’s almost as good as the real thing. Talk about a “cheap date.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I rarely blog about books because I usually don't read other people's posts about books.
But this book I MUST write about because it was excellent. I will NOT be donating this book to the library.
It is about a nine-year-old whose father died in 9/11. It is about grief, joy, family, love, heartbreak...
I found it disturbing and delightful and extremely clever. I sobbed the last three chapters and then had to go in Doug's room and snuggle with my sleeping angel.
Read this book (unless you are easily offended by a little sex and a few bad words--which I am not). It will change your life.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Replacements

Monday, November 26, 2007


Evidence that I was indeed on vacation last week and wasn’t just neglecting my blogging duties:

Ryan and I came home from Utah with over fifty extra pounds of luggage than when we left with—most of the weight accounted for in blankets.

Nothing says Utah and family like a load of beautiful homemade baby blankets. I couldn’t be happier! Hours and hours and hours of work have gone into making sure that my baby, Kiana, is the most well-insulated baby in Texas! I suspect, and hope, that a few more blankets are on their way, too.

Even though the blankets are not intended for my personal use, I couldn’t feel more loved. Thank you to my mommy, my mommy-in-law, and okay…I’ll admit it… I put a little man-power into one of the blankets myself.

A few more pictures:

Oh look, the Good Year blimp flew over the stadium! Oh wait... it's just me looking very pregnant.

Go BYU! Notice all of the red Ute fans in the background. Yeah, they lost. They are pathetic.

The Lee clan. If you look carefully, you can see my belly button sticking out. Que embarazada!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Joy of Throwing Things Away

Oprah recently did a segment on hoarders—people who compulsively collect mass quantities of junk. Hoarders get a high off of purchasing products and collecting things that they don’t want or need. Eventually, they bury themselves in their own junk. I twitch and squirm at the idea.

I don’t like “stuff.” I get my high off of throwing things away. I visit the local clothing-drop religiously, I donate a paperback or two every time I go to the library, and I almost like it when things break so I can be rid of them forever.

One item in, one item out: a philosophy to live by. Every time I get a new shirt, I donate an old shirt. I will never be able to fill a whole walk-in closet. I am kind of proud of that.

One might conclude that I am a very organized person. I love storage containers and storage systems. While not a “clean freak,” I am relatively tidy (as much as one can be with a Tasmanian toddler in tow). But I wouldn’t consider myself organized. On paper, maybe sort of, but mentally, I am a jumbled mess—a scatter brain. Perhaps ridding my self of all excess “junk” is my way of making sense of my chaotic internal world.

That’s why I find it difficult to properly observe the Sabbath Day if the house is a mess. I just can’t feel the spirit if the dishes are piled in the sink and blocks are scattered across the house. And every time I lose something important, my first impulse is to clean and organize. Cleaning helps me feel less anxiety about the lost item and usually I find the item in the process.

I love receiving presents…insanely, actually. But when I get gifts that I don’t want or need, I have an intense mental battle. What is the proper etiquette for handling presents that you don’t love from people that you do love? Is it okay to throw the present away? Is there a set amount of time that you are required to have that item in your possession before you turn it over to the Salvation Army?

I am not anal… I don’t think. I just like having a simple life—free of “things” that only complicate it further.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kick the Bucket

While it has never been medically proven, I am pretty sure that I was born with only 45 out of the 46 standard chromosomes.

I am deficient of chromosome # 17: the shoe chromosome. Unlike 99% of my female counterparts, I really dislike shoe shopping. It registers on my hate scale right up there with bra shopping and grocery shopping.

Don’t get me wrong, I like shoes just fine. I just have a meticulously tedious formula for which a shoe purchase is acceptable—easy-on/easy-off, sassy, comfortable, and relatively neutral in color. Plus, shoes are expensive! The opportunity cost is too high. One pair of shoes=three cute shirts=one week of groceries=100 Taco Bell 7-layer burritos. Buyer’s remorse is inevitable.

I have been known to go years without making a single shoe purchase (athletic shoes don’t count. I go through those like water.) But the time has sadly come…

My current winter shoes decided to surrender to the chameleon banquet in the sky today. I was doing a little off-roading with Doug and his stroller, when my shoes coughed a little, looked at me kindly, and then croaked.

“Is that all you got!” I screamed. I shook my fist angrily and cursed the day I bought the pathetic pair of Sketchers.

Okay, so the shoes did give me six years of selfless service… but if the shoes had any integrity at all they would not force me to do the task I hate above anything… including vacuuming gigantic spiders off of our carpet.

I am not thankful for shoes today.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Not My Shirt

Is there anything more glorious than wearing other people’s clothing? Well… maybe a few things are… but just a few.

My very stylish friend, Megan, loaned me a bunch of maternity clothes. They are great for several reasons. First and foremost, I didn’t have to purchase them with my own money. Secondly, well… I did not have to purchase them with my own money.

No really, it is great wearing other people’s clothing because it’s like experiencing the world in another person’s shoes (literally and figuratively). You are wearing something that you may not have noticed on the rack yourself, but feel strangely invigorated in. You see yourself differently. You feel beautiful. You feel happy.

That’s why I miss having roommates—although I’m not sure that my roommates miss me for that very same reason. Thanks to the five wardrobes I had to select from, I don’t think Ryan ever saw me in the same outfit once during our whole courtship.

I love wearing Ryan’s clothes, too. Especially his socks… but mostly cuz it drives him crazy when I borrow his socks (he has an unhealthy attachment to his socks). I like wearing his tee-shirts, too. As mentioned earlier, I love how his shirts smell like him and how they fit over my swollen belly. It’s fun.

I would not like it if Ryan borrowed my clothes.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Pseudodysphagia: the fear of choking

Pharmacophobia: the fear of taking medicine

I had my driver’s license before I was able to successfully swallow a pill. I would put the pill in my mouth, take a sip of water, sense the pill at the back of my throat, and either a) cough the pill across the room or b) vomit.

I spent years battling this phobia. I was probably the only ten-year-old in the world who would ask the doctor for a shot instead of being subjected to a few weeks of amoxicillin.

When a shot wasn’t an option, and I had outgrown the bubble-gum flavored syrup, I would gnaw away at the prescribed pill bit by bit—a torture that often lasted hours.

Katie, my high school bff, suffered a similar disorder. We decided to face our fears together with a bottle of Breath Assure tablets. Time and time again we failed… but at least our breath smelled amazing for weeks.

The scrutiny of my peers and family members didn’t help the situation. When my grandpa would visit, he would make me watch him swallow his 20 daily pills with one swig. Like, somehow, seeing him ingest a handful of pills would miraculously cure me of my malady.

Finally, I took my first pill by washing it down with one of my daddy’s thick chocolate malts. I felt as though I had climbed Mt. Everest. It took months before I could swallow a pill using anything thinner than a V-8, but at least I had triumphed over my inner demons.

I am still not completely free of my phobia. I felt a little faint when my doctor prescribed me prenatal vitamins the size of footballs. I admit that a few of my morning sickness episodes bent over the toilet were due less to my nausea than to my reaction to a pill clinking against one of my teeth or teasing the back of my throat.

But today, while swallowing my daily allotment of pills, I felt grateful that I was able to do so. It would take me days to gnaw away at just one prenatal vitamin... and who has time for that?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 6th

Today I have so much to be thankful for. I had my doctor’s checkup and we set a date for the c-section. I will be having my girl on December 28th! That is a week and half earlier than we planned! Hooray! Ten less days of bodily torture and ten less days till I get to meet Kiana!

To celebrate, I went to the hospital and looked at the brand new babies. Oh my heavens! They were so little and so perfect. What a nice reminder that there is an actual child growing inside of me and not an evil parasite whose only purpose is to squish my internal organs, blimpify me, and drain my body of any hint of energy. No, she is an actual perfect human being.

I watched the new babies squirm and wiggle as the nurses washed them and wrapped them in warm blankets. I stood next to a new daddy and spent a few minutes rejoicing in his hour-old son with him. Six pounds and 14 ounces. It was a spiritual experience seeing a new baby through the eyes of a proud papa.

Since Doug was a c-section, Ryan got to meet him almost 45 minutes before I did. I wish I could have stood next to Ryan while he gazed at our baby boy for the first time. I wonder what was going through Ryan’s mind as he watched the nurse bathe our son. I wonder about Ryan’s expression as held tiny Douglas in his strong protective arms. I bet it was amazing.

I can’t believe how soon our lives are going to change forever… again. We will have another child—half me and half Ryan. I wonder what she will be like. Will she have my eyes and my temperament? I hope that she has Ryan’s nose and Ryan’s kindness. I know, however, that she is going to bless our lives more than we can possibly imagine. She is an angel. I love her.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Dead Sea

I just got back from the outlet Mill’s Mall. Once again, I dodged the countless booths of middle-eastern peddlers hassling me to try their amazing Dead Sea Salt scrub, their red jewelry cleaner, and soothing aroma wraps. I avoid these people at all costs.

They get me every time.

I am not one to be guilted into buying a product. Just because they clean my wedding ring or make my fingernail shiny-smooth doesn’t make me feel obligated. No, it is more like I am hypnotized into buying what they are selling.

You see, I loooooove their middle-eastern accents. Especially the women’s accents. They speak so softly and gently. They pronounce their words so poetically. It gives me the chills. It makes me feel dizzy. It makes me want to buy what they are selling.

This, teamed with them gently massaging Dead Sea Lotion into my palm is a recipe for a disaster… we’re talking “I’ll buy everything on your cart even if I have to sell my first-born to get the money” disaster.

One time, I left the mall with a new set of nail-polishing products for my sister. When I got home, I looked at my shopping bag and thought “Why did I buy this? She won’t want this.” So I tried to take it back. No sir. A no return policy. I tried to reason with the salesperson, but what could I say? “Excuse me, but you enchanted me into buying this stuff!”

Ryan thinks that I’m crazy. He said that those beautiful musical accents have no influence on him whatsoever. But one of my Christmas presents from him last year was a Dead Sea Salt Scrub—so I call his bluff. They got to him, too.

So today, November 5th, I am thankful for making it out of Mill’s Mall without any grooming products that I don’t need. I had to plug my ears and sing a Barry Manilow song at the top of my lungs every time I saw a peddler eying me… but I did it. I made it through the gauntlet.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

November 4th

Today I am grateful for a husband who lets his wife sleep.

All of the sudden my body has needed twice the zzzzs it once did. I am tired... to the point where sleeping has almost become a competative sport for me--Extreme Sleeping. Eleven to twelve hours a night and a 2-3 hr. midday nap. Serious business.

And my husband has forgone any hint of sleeping-in for the last several months so I can get a few extra minutes of shut-eye. He even let me sleep in on his birthday. And I am grateful! And tired. I think I'll go take a nap.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Thankful November

Following the good examples of my fellow bloggers, I will also write one thing that I am grateful for each day of November.

Today: Hamburger Helper

Ick! I know. I use to judge people who purchased such products. I would eye their shopping cart—filled to the brim with Top Ramen, frozen burritos, Hot Pockets, and Hawiian punch—and feel oh-so superior. My cart was loaded with fresh produce, whole grain bread, low-fat milk, lean meats, and ice cream—the diet of champions!

No more. I hate cooking! Actually, in real life, I love cooking. But I am STILL afflicted with morning sickness. Luckily, the barfing has subsided. The aversion to food and cooking and grocery shopping has not.

So I welcome any prepackaged, dehydrated, frozen, sugar-coated, processed, and "Just add lard and stir" foods into my life. As long as it takes under 15 minutes to prepare and I do not have to think about it before, during or after its consumption I am golden.

So thank you Hamburger Helper! No doubt it will be a brief affair—a nine-month stand—then adios amigo. Till then, I tip my hat to you.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Grapevine's Main Street was roped off for the Halloween Festival. The kids went trick-or-treating from shop to shop. Everywhere we went people were gasping at how cute my little boyscout was. I know pride is bad, but I was just brimming with it!

Good thing boy scouts are trained to deal with wildlife. By appearing larger than this vicious beast, Doug was able to thwart-off an attack.

A boyscout is generous with his time and possessions. Most of the proceeds from this evening's event will go toward the "pregnant mommies in need" fund.

After trick-or treating, we ate hot wings , french fries, ice cream, and Dr. Pepper. A Halloween feast.

We put our little boyscout to bed and watched the Grudge II. Very scary!