Grievances: Pregnancy Edition

Being Kicked in the Belly

Sure, you expect to be kicked from the inside... by a tiny fluttery fetus. But this time around I am dealing with a crazy toddler who insists on pummeling me with his heels every time I try to change his diaper. Unfortunately, he is tall enough that if I sit far enough away to avoid the kicks, then I can't really reach the diaper. Of course, I can't just refuse to change him when he kicks either because that will just create other, messier problems to deal with. I've been trying to explain to him that he can't kick Momma's belly because Morsel lives in there.

Nasal Congestion

I don't recall experiencing this unpleasant symptom while expecting Eddie, but for the last couple months, my constant congestion has been driving me crazy. As if breathing was not already becoming difficult enough because of the increased blood volume and diminished lung capacity. If I remain this congested throughout the pregnancy, by December I'll probably just have to walk around with my mouth gaping open. And forget about eating quietly. Dave will be embarrassed to eat with me in public.

Ridiculous Dreams

As you may remember, I had all sorts of crazy dreams during my pregnancy with Ed. Most of them centered around my insecurities about being a mother. But this time around my dreams have been much more... eclectic. I would much rather be having pleasant dreams (or sleeping so soundly that I don't remember my dreams at all). I don't want to give too much away since I plan on doing a full follow-up post detailing these dreams, but here are a few featured topics: circus folk, lesbians, child abuse. Don't worry, only two out of the three were related. Any guesses?


Ten Things...

...You Should Never Have to Hear in Church (Part 3)

The trilogy is now complete (check out Part 1 and Part 2). As always, these have all been inspired by actual church experiences.

10. Disclaimers from the Elder's Quorum president that the assigned teacher didn't show up today, but not to worry, he has been flipping through the lesson manual since the middle of Sunday School.

9. That old standby talk opener, "Webster's Dictionary defines (topic) as..."

8. BYU/Utah rivalry smack talk sessions. (I promise this isn't what the bishopric means when they ask if there is anything that needs to come before the body of the priesthood.)

7. Family introductions that include the unabridged play-by-play of their first date and ensuing 2 1/2 year courtship.

6. Sunday School suggestions that, in the spirit of the passover, families should eat raw potatoes for dinner as a way of remembering the pioneers.

5. Those unfortunate "Articles of Faith" primary songs.

4.The recounting of any teenage prank that involved running around in public wearing only a thong, and how it relates to the atonement.

3. Any point that can't be properly made without bringing up your vasectomy.

2. Teachers who can't in good conscience let class out on time when they still have a few more vital food storage tips to share.

1. Heartfelt testimonies regarding the truthfulness of home schooling.


A Night in the Life of a Cub Committee Chairman

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

6:25 Since Kristen has to work until 8:00, I take Eddie to pack meeting with me. How bad could it be, right?

6:27 The church is locked. We wait for a key.

6:35 The time for pack meeting to start has come and gone, yet the Cubmaster is nowhere to be found.

6:40 The Cubmaster is still AWOL, so I try to call him. No one answers, but I leave a very strenuous voice mail.

6:42 The boys are getting restless. If we wait much longer someone is going to start carving a sharp point on the end of a stick.

6:45 We decide to start the meeting sans Cubmaster.

6:46 The Bear Scouts lead the flag ceremony while Eddie discovers the joys of flipping the lights in the cultural hall on and off.

6:47 I scoop Eddie into my arms and start the presentation of awards.

6:49 With my attentions on juggling Eddie and sorting out kickball belt loops, the boys perform one of the sorriest watermelon cheers on record.

6:51 Either Eddie's shirt is wet from playing in the drinking fountain or I have started to sweat profusely.

6:52 One of the Den Leaders graciously comes up to assist me.

6:55 Eddie has a new favorite cheer: count to 3 and scream.

7:00 The Cubmaster finally arrives, thinking pack meeting was supposed to start at 7:00.

7:01 I gratefully turn things over to him. Eddie and I then run laps in the halls of the church for the remainder of the meeting.

7:30 After the meeting ends, as I am preoccupied discussing plans for next month's Raingutter Regatta with the other leaders, Eddie horks down 16 chocolate chip cookies.


Pork Carnitas Tacos

All of my recipes have been going straight to our family recipe blog over the last few months, but since I've been on a major taco kick this summer, I thought this one deserved a spot on the main blog.

• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp crumbled dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp ground coriander
• 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 (2 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 cup chicken broth

Cut pork into 2 inch pieces. Mix together salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a crock pot and place the pork on top. Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.

Cover and cook on low until the pork is tender, about 6-8 hours. Remove from crock pot, and shred with two forks. Use the surplus cooking juices as needed to moisten the meat.

• 6 inch corn or flour tortillas
• Guacamole
• Salsa
• Chopped white onion
• Queso fresco crumbles
• Lime wedges

In going for more of a street taco vibe I have dropped "American" taco fixins like shredded lettuce and sour cream. Also, words cannot describe how big of a difference it makes to use queso fresco instead of cheddar. Queso fresco is a traditional Mexican cheese. It is mild in flavor, very soft, and crumbles easily. It can be tricky to find, but I actually located it at our Walmart Neighborhood Market in South Jordan.


One-Dimensional Movie Villains: Second Class

We watched Avatar last weekend—it was my second viewing and Kristen's first. And you know what? I think we're both good never seeing it again. However, it helped me remember I was overdue to induct the next class into my One-Dimensional Movie Villain Hall of Fame.

Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang)

Profile: Head of security for the human mining operation on Pandora, Colonel Quaritch is charged with bringing the hurt to the planet's indigenous Na'vi people while sipping back on steaming cups of coffee and spouting contemptuous lines like "that's how you scatter the roaches." As any student of cinematic redneck miltary clichés would know, heavy-handed treehuggery must be unflinchingly fought with tried and true "shoot first, shoot some more later, all while holding your breath" tactics.

Comeuppance: While his incredible lung capacity and survival skills draw the movie out a good 20 minutes longer than it needed to be, Quaritch finally meets the wrong end of some Na'vi arrows. Unfortunately no one "eats his eyes for jujubes." Maybe that's being saved for the extended cut.
"It seems diplomacy has failed."

The Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman)
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Profile: The corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham once enjoyed a fulfilling life of oppressing peasants and plotting to overtake the throne of England's rightful ruler, King Richard. But his world is turned upside down when his nemesis Robin Hood returns from imprisonment to not only rob from the rich to give to the poor, but also to flaunt his nonexistent British accent and affinity for sappy soft rock love songs.

Comeuppance: After Robin Hood plunges a jewel-encrusted dagger into his heart, the Sheriff staggers around incoherently until finally collapsing under the weight of his own drool.
"I'm gonna cut your heart out with a spoon!"

Khan (Ricardo Montalban)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Profile: After being exiled by Captain Kirk, the genetically enhanced Khan is marooned on an inhospitable world for 15 years. When he later escapes imprisonment, he isn't above dropping a mind-controlling eel or two into the ears of his enemies in the name of revenge. But perhaps his crowning achievement is becoming a formidable adversary while showcasing some of the greatest man cleavage the United Federation of Planets has ever seen.

Comeuppance: After Kirk bests him in sluggish space combat, Khan refuses to accept defeat and attempts to kill his foe along with himself, but only succeeds in the latter.


You Are What You Eat

Hey, there's a big sheet cake from the Walmart bakery with giant icing flowers in the break room to celebrate this month's birthdays! Hmm, I think I'll pass. What's that? The ward is passing out Big Daddy nougat rolls for Father's Day? Um, thanks but no thanks. I'm sure most people can relate, as I get older it gets tougher to eat just anything. Here's a few things I can no longer stomach.

Hot Pockets
I'm not proud of it, but I used to frequently pack Hot Pockets in my lunch. My bowels are grumbling even now as I recall my old standby flavors, Pepperoni Pizza and Jalapeño Steak & Cheese. My turning point came one fateful night a few years ago when some friends showed us Jim Gaffigan's Beyond the Pale comedy special. After witnessing his routine about this frozen tour de force of processed flavors, I haven't touched them since.

Sunny D
You know how it is, you're thirsty after playing flag football with your pals, so you come home and reach into the fridge. Let's see, there's OJ, soda, um, purple stuff? No way, Sunny D's the only thing that can quench your thirst! Yessiree, I drank the "orange stuff" all through college, but the last time I took a swig of Sunny D it burned my throat as it went down, and I finally understood why my dad always used to call it "battery acid." I'm going to go out on a limb and include similar "fruit" drinks like Tampico, Kool Aid, and Belly Washers in this category.

Kristen and I used to eat at Subway all the time, but as we got more into discovering all the best local sandwich shops, our Subway attendance started to plummet. Finally, in what turned out to be the last time I "ate fresh," I had an epiphany—every Subway sandwich tastes exactly the same. It makes no difference what color the meat is, or what variety of cheese and toppings you get. Everything just tastes like Subway. Call it elitism or snobbery if you must, but life is too short to eat the same mediocre sandwich over and over again.

For my final entry, instead of telling you about something I no longer eat, I thought I would share something I would never eat in a million years. Yes, I'm talking about the Candwich. Because life is also too short to eat a sandwich out of a can... EVER.


Morsel or Morsella?

Today we got to go in for our gender check ultrasound. I was thrilled that my doctor does this... even if we had to pay a small fee for it. For me, it is definitely worth paying $25 to know 4 weeks earlier than we otherwise would've.

The tech started the ultrasound by figuring out the baby's position, measuring the length, and getting pictures of legs and arms. Morsel was in a funny position for checking gender and I was initially worried that we were going to be disappointed. Luckily, Morsel was on the move, so eventually we got a look. I was pretty sure I knew the gender before the tech finally told us. She really drew it out, conceivably just to make sure she was right, but I think it was partly for the sake of suspense. Eventually she got the transducer in the right position and this is what we saw:

It's a girl!

The tech was even nice enough to show us more than once, even though it was really obvious with the baby in such a position. I am hoping that being so sure this time around will reduce the anxiety I had when pregnant with Eddie. At his ultrasound, Dave and I were baffled at how the tech knew it was a boy and I was not entirely sure I could trust her. So for the duration of the pregnancy, I had dreams that he would end up being a girl. In avoiding such unnecessary stress this time around, now I can give my full attention to buying as many cutesy outfits as possible.


Barton Family Reunion '10

Yes, it's time again for the annual Barton family summer reunion. After convening in Logan on Friday evening, we spent Saturday up at Bear Lake.

Could it be the infamous Bear Lake Monster?

Eddie took it upon himself to be as dirty as possible at all times. (Not pictured—back at the grandparents' house, he wandered off and discovered a bunch of plums that had fallen out of the tree onto the sidewalk. It didn't take him very long to figure out how much fun it is to squeeze them.)

Eddie and Kristen after a cleansing dip in the water.

Since the public restrooms were a bit of a drive from our spot on the beach, all the cousins pitched in to build this makeshift latrine. Okay, that's not really true (at least for the potty-trained ones).

As always, the food took center stage. Some culinary highlights: homemade root beer, corn on the cob, watermelon, potato salad, skookies, an 80 count box of FatBoy seconds, and the pièce de résistance, mouth-watering beef brisket slow smoked for 16 hours.

Unfortunately the weekend ended on a sour note when I woke up sick on Sunday morning. I'm not sure what caused this, but one theory is my digestive system objected to me consuming my body weight in brisket.


Cinematic Utah: Wasatch Front to Back

Previously: Magna-ficent Marquees

Since the architecture of many of these old theaters is by nature very similar, I have noticed my compositions have unintentionally become a little stagnant. So I have started looking for more unexpected ways to capture each theater and its relationship with surrounding objects and buildings. I think the shots of the Avon in Heber City are the first ones where this effort has really begun to show.

Murray Theatre #1 // Murray // 6.25.10

Murray Theatre #2 // Murray // 6.25.10

Murray Theatre #3 // Murray // 6.25.10

Avon Theatre #1 // Heber City // 7.31.10

Avon Theatre #2 // Heber City // 7.31.10

Avon Theatre #3 // Heber City // 7.31.10


Jeepers (Heber) Creepers

We spent our weekend up at the family cabin, or as Eddie calls it, "Cavin's house." I'm not sure who he thinks Cavin is—just an imaginary friend with a rustic house in the mountains I guess.

On Saturday we took a short drive over to Heber City and had lunch at the Spin Café on Main Street. Defying an unwritten county ordinance that all restaurant decor must incorporate wood paneling and/or deer antlers in some way, this surprisingly hip little eatery instead favors bright colors and brushed steel. As for their menu, it's an unusual combination of barbecue fare and gelato. 2 out of 3 Bartons recommend it, but pay no attention to Eddie's dissenting vote—his eating habits change daily.

After lunch we hitched a ride on the Heber Valley Railroad. Something like an old timey train ride deserves to be documented in black and white. Who's with me?

"Choo-choo!" Eddie thoroughly enjoyed the ride. We opted for the 90 minute Soldier Hollow Express, and that was pretty much perfect for his 2-year old attention span.

Kristen and I were high alert, so we were able to narrowly prevent Eddie from chucking his hat and sippy cup over the side.

As we passed a little creek along the way, Eddie inquired, "Swimming suit?" Then later on, as the train wound along the edge of Deer Creek Reservoir, he asked, "Get in it?" The kid loves being in the water even more than train rides, apparently.