Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Home again

Bad: Icy roads all the way through Glenwood canyon on the drive home.
Good: Made an easy $50 when someone backed into our car in an icy gas station parking lot in Vail. No damage done to our car. And seriously? Have you seen our car? It's probably worth about $50.

Bad: After we got home we both got that nasty stomach bug that everyone else had around Thanksgiving.
Good: Jump start to some new year's weight loss-- 5 pounds between Monday and today. Although...not sure it was worth it.

Bad: House is a disaster as a result of Kalena getting into everything and us not cleaning anything up. All the laying around really gets in the way of cleaning ya know.
Good: Holiday weekend means extra time to clean up! Wait-- is that good?

I guess I get to spend tomorrow drinking ginger ale and cleaning house. Wow. Happy New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2008


When my sisters and I were younger, my mom used to tell us that if we got married in December she wouldn't come to the wedding. Why? Because December is too busy as it is, so she wasn't going to try and fit a daughter's wedding in there as well. We mostly just laughed and said okay. Who would want to get married in December anyway-- it's COLD.

I always sort of wondered though why she thought December was so busy. From my perspective December looked a little something like this:

Finish up a semester of school and take finals.
Come home to start a two week vacation.
Once home, spend most of every day doing one of the following:
~shopping at the mall
~wrapping presents
~baking cookies
~watching Christmas movies
Then after Christmas was over, go back to school and get ready for a new semester.

As it turns out, December in college and December in the real world are not the same thing. Apparently, a six month old baby and a full time job really cut in on the free time. December this year went a little more like this:

Save up vacation days all year to make sure I have enough in December.
Shop- online, in stores, whenever there's time.
Realize that spending a few days at 7500 ft in Colorado (where the low for tonight is 40 degrees colder than the low here) will probably necessitate more than the single fleece sleeper we have for the baby.
Add ward party, work party, and other possible events to the calendar.
Get pictures of the baby to put in Christmas cards.
Figure out who to send Christmas cards to.
Forget the date of the ward party, spend the day in Lubbock and miss it.
Think about putting up a Christmas tree. Realize if we get out the tree at that point it will be up for a whopping 5 days before we leave. And then we'll have to take it down and put it away when we get back. Settle for setting out nativities.
Wrap Christmas presents. Try to keep Kalena out of said presents.
Plan a 9 day trip that includes almost 2,000 miles of driving, staying in 4 different places, and seeing between 25 and 30 relatives.

The list goes on. I barely even have time to blog people! And since I don't think more kids will make December any less crazy, I'm guessing it will just get worse.

So mom? I get it. Good thing we all got married in June.
And Kalena? Just say no to a December wedding.

P.S. I took pictures of my all my nativities because I LOVE them and I want you all to love them too. But I can't post them right now. Long story. The short version is that my computer won't read my new camera card. I'll get them up sooner or later though.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What to say...

So....want to hear stories about the disgusting stuff that's been on my carpet recently? No? I thought not. I guess you'll just have to settle for a couple pictures of Kalena until I come up with something to write about.

She's started pulling herself up on the coffee table, and apparently she thinks it's delicious. Also, as you can see from these pictures, our smiley happy girl is back. (Mostly.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ah teething

Kalena is getting two teeth. I can feel them both, and apparently she can feel them too because she is a MESS. These teeth are turning our perpetually happy, smiling, easy-going baby into a needy, clingy, whining baby who refuses to sleep. I didn't even know a 6 month old could be whiny. Apparently they can. And it seems around here, 3 am is prime time for whining. Alright, it's really all day long, it just annoys me more at 3 am.

Hopefully this doesn't last too long because I sure miss my happy girl.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh Heck!

My grandma (my dad's mom) loves to play a card game we call "Oh Heck." (Not everyone calls it that.) She doesn't hear very well and she can't see much of anything, but neither of those things deters her from wanting to play. Not just wanting to play but wanting to win (because she is a Gustavson, after all.)

Basically it's a game of bidding and trying to take tricks. We do simultaneous bidding which is like playing rock-paper-scissors except at the end you put out fingers for how many tricks you want to bid. A new trump suit is picked with every hand and you can only trump if you don't have a card of the suit that was led. (If you want a more thorough explanation of the game go here.)

Now, playing this with my grandma is ALWAYS interesting. Some hands involve her trying to sneak extra fingers on to her bid, or take back fingers if she thinks she bid too high. Other hands have her asking my dad (the scorekeeper) to change her bid in the middle of the hand. She asks at least once a hand what the trump suit is (again.) And, of course, she wants us to tell her every card as it's played. Because apparently despite the giant playing cards (courtesy of Kari and Jonathan) she still can't see what's on the table.

Since playing Oh Heck is pretty much my grandma's favorite (fun) thing to do, we play every time the family gets together. Thanksgiving was no exception; we made sure to get in a couple of games.

As we're playing the last game of the trip, we get to one round where my grandma was going to be the last one to play a card. She asks what was led (diamonds), what trump is (hearts), and what the high card on the table is. We tell her the high card and let her know it's just been trumped. She proceeds to lay down a trump card higher than the one already on the table. We remind her that diamonds was led and if she has one she has to play it. She insists that she doesn't, so we motion for Kari (who is sitting next to her) to peek over at her cards and check. (It's not like it's hard to see them-- giant cards remember?) Kari sees that she does, in fact, have the nine of diamonds in her hand. So we ask again, "are you SURE you don't have any diamonds?" As she's using both hands to scoop the cards on the table toward her, she looks up at us and asks, "Would I lie to you?"

Apparently yes.

P.S. For the curious, here are the variations we use: We start with the maximum number of cards, go down to one then back up to the max. We do simultaneous bidding (as I mentioned before.) We also score a little differently. Players who miss their bid get no points. Players who make their bid get one point per trick and one bonus point. So someone who bids 0 and takes 0 gets 1 point. Someone who bids 2 and takes 2 gets 3 points. But someone who bids 2 and takes 3 gets no points. You've got to be right on.

P.P.S. Did you click on the giant cards link? What is with the creepy guy?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I always thought it was fun to have cousins my own age so I'm glad Kalena and her two cousins are so close together. I don't know that she'll appreciate it until she's a little older, but it was lots of fun watching her interact with Patrick over Thanksgiving. He's about 4 months older than she is. We'll see how things go at Christmas when they're all three there. Patrick will be 11 months old, Espen will be 10 months, and Kalena will be 7 months. I'm sure they'll be getting into everything.

Kalena: I'm not sure that hat is the best look for you.

Kalena: Here, use this tape to attach the last one.
Patrick: Yeah right, like that will work.

Patrick: Mom! Kalena's touching my walker again!

Kalena: Nice drool spot there PJ.
Patrick: Oh like you're doing such a great job keeping it all in your mouth missy.