Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let's talk politics

***FYI, this is a LONG one, and you may be offended if you choose to be.... you have been warned!!***

Ok, so I have been very hesitant to talk about this on here, but this is my blog, and I cannot remain silent any longer. Please know that I am not attacking anyone here, or judging you for your beliefs or decisions, merely trying to understand. I don't think that anyone is "right" or "wrong". I know it's a personal decision for everyone. But... honestly, I just don't get it. Even though the election is now only days away... I just have to know where some of you are coming from. 

I think I must be getting some different kind of news coverage out here or something, because from what I hear and see, John McCain and Sarah Pailn are complete morons who don't know what they are talking about, and use nothing but scare tactics to promote their campaign. In all honesty, I don't know a ton about what McCain "promises" to do for our country, because all he ever talks about is how supposedly horrible and "scary" Barack Obama is. I'm sorry, but I just don't see anything scary about that man or what he proposes to do for our country. From the very beginning of the primaries, when there wasn't a thought of voting for him in my head, I have only ever thought that he was a kind hearted, good man. He's a family man. I personally (emphasis on personally) think that John McCain is mean, manipulative, malicious and stupid for choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. I mean really, if he dies, SHE will be our president. Talk about no experience. And I don't know about you, but I don't want someone who is "just like me" to be running our country. Would you want a doctor who is "just like you," "your average Joe", to be doing your surgery?? I wouldn't, I would want someone more educated and experienced in that area. If she is "just like me" (and I know hardly anything about the economy or foreign affairs or energy solutions, as many Americans don't) then that would be pretty scary for her to be leading, or even assisting in, things. What she is saying to the American people when she says that, is that pretty much anyone could run the country. Hmmm... If on the other hand, what she means when she is saying that (that she is the "average Joe"), is that she has come from a middle class home and knows what it's like to struggle and have to work your way up, then I believe Obama, and Biden for sure, are able to relate to the American people just as much as she. 

I don't pretend to know what is best for the economy, or our country, because I don't. I really don't. But what I do know, is that the healthcare & tax plan that Obama is suggesting is not socialist. Basically all he will be doing is giving people who are uninsured the option to have affordable health insurance. He has corrected McCain time and again during debates, that people who are already insured through their employer or wherever else, will by no means have to give up their insurance, or change anything at all. But people who need insurance but can't really afford it (like our family, for example, who happens to be self-employed as well as students), will be offered an affordable option. I don't understand what's bad about that. 

The whole raising taxes thing... ok so paying more taxes stinks, but honestly people, all he is going to be doing is taking away the tax cut that President Bush put into place. It's like a 3% difference. You will be paying just as much in taxes as you were before that happened. And your hard earned money will not be going to people who have been sitting on their butts all day. Let me tell you, just because you are poor DOES NOT mean you are not hard working. And, there are other areas where taxes will be cut, like the capitol gains tax, for example, not to mention the 90% of Americans whose taxes will be LOWERED!! AND, I don't see how these particular taxes are any different from all of the other taxes that we pay that go towards all the government funded projects and organizations that have existed for years and years. Is it just because he used the words "spread the wealth"? Oh, and also, this is exactly what John McCain was proposing to do during his last presidential campaign! So if this is in fact socialism, wouldn't that mean that McCain supports socialism as well??

Ugh, see? This is why I hate politics... skewed truths, outright lies, name calling... it's all about who said what and did this and that 10 years ago, bringing up past issues that aren't even relevant, saying he contradicted himself here and there. It's all just so stupid. Why can't they just say what they want to do, and have it be done with? If that were the case, then I might actually vote for McCain, because I wouldn't be able to see what a mean nasty man he is. Which leads into my next point... 

I don't agree 100% with all of Obama's issues... 

I am very much aware of his views on abortion and gay marriage. Lest any of you think that I have gone and lost all of my morals, I am very much pro-life, and would vote yes on Prop-8 if I were in California right now. I know that everybody has their own reasons for voting for a particular candidate... some are strictly moral, some are based purely on their character, and some are based purely on what they propose to do for our country, and some are a mixture. I find it hard to believe that people can agree 100% with every word that comes out of a candidates mouth. 

I think for me, one reason is that I sincerely do not like John McCain and never have. I just haven't been able to get rid of the sour taste he left in my mouth during the primaries with good ol' Mitt. That was what originally forced me to pay closer attention to this election and even consider voting for a Democrat. It has actually been a little bit of a struggle for me to come to this decision. My family is very much Republican, so it has taken a lot for me to convince myself that I am not a horrible, immoral, person for voting Democrat. I realize that it doesn't even matter which way I vote, as New York is hands down for Obama, but it's still important to me that I make a decision for myself and show my support one way or the other, and do my part, even if it goes unseen.

What the rest of it boils down to, is that I think Obama would do a much better job getting our country out of an economic crisis. A friend of ours put it simply, that it's not necessarily what the person says they are going to do during the election, it's those unseen crises that come up and need to be dealt with... who is going to be able to look at the crisis from all angles and deal with it in the best way?? Who is going to use the knowledge that he has to do what is right and best for our country? 

For me, I trust Obama to do that. Nate pointed out that he seems very thoughtful and careful about the decisions he makes. Even Republican Colin Powell, a huge military guy, has complete confidence in his ability to handle things. He said, during his interview with Tom Brokaw, that that was what decided his vote, when the whole bailout issue was going on, Powell said that McCain seemed very unsure and kept changing his mind from one minute to the next, but Obama was very careful and wanted very much to understand everything. I take confidence in that.  Who knows, I may totally eat my words in a few years.  We shall see.

After all of this, in all honesty, I think either candidate will do just fine.  I really don't think it's as dramatic as everyone makes it out to be.  But what do I know.

Ok, so I have said what I want to say, now I want to hear what you have to say. Please be nice to me. I don't want to get into a big political argument or anything.  I don't imagine that I am going to be getting a lot of "Amen Morgan" or "I hear ya sista" comments, but an example of a nice comment would be...

"that's a very interesting point Morgan, thank you for sharing. this is why I am voting for McCain..."


"Morgan, you are a genius, you have totally changed my mind!"

Haha, just kidding. But really, I would love to hear everyone's views and opinions.

I will say though, that I am with you all on this point... I am SO done with this election.  It seems like it has been going on FOR-E-VER.  I'm so sick of thinking about it!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Tonight Nate and I went to a fireside by the artist James Christensen. It was so awesome to see some of his paintings and hear his perspective on them and why he painted them and what he was thinking when he did. On our way to the bus stop to go to the fireside, we were passing a pile of garbage bags (that's how people put out the garbage here... there are no garbage cans like in the suburbs, just piles of bags and the garbage men actually get out of their trucks and throw them it in the truck) and all of the sudden a huge rat whizzed right past my feet and into the alley way.  I literally almost stepped on it.  Needless to say I totally freaked out. We saw a tiny mouse in central park a couple weeks ago, but this was my first experience with a huge, nasty, disease infested rodent in the city. Eeewww... it gives me the heeby-jeebies just thinking about it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good morning to me

This morning Asher woke up in "devil child" mode... again. He kept saying he wanted "dinner", which in Asher language, means he wants to eat whatever meal it is that we are currently on during the day. In this case, it was breakfast. I asked him if he wanted toast... "NO!!" Do you want cereal? "NO!!" Do you want applesauce? "NO!!!" Ok, Asher, I don't know what you want... what do you want? "Chicken". So I show him all the chicken items we have in the fridge, to which he screams no. Finally I try a frozen chicken dino, and... "YES!" What? So for breakfast this morning, Asher ate 5 or 6 chicken dinos and chocolate milk. Breakfast of champions I'd say. And now, it just might be a good day after all. But you never know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh happy day

Dude! I was a total rockstar today! I woke up at 6:30 am to go running in the freezing cold weather (thanks to Nate who both woke me up, and convinced me I would feel better if I went)... it was great. I came home happy and awake to a quiet house, where Nate and I could talk and have a few minutes to ourselves. When the kids woke up, I was happy to see them and they were both in good moods. I was super productive... baked 2 loaves of whole wheat bread, some fococcia bread, hamburger buns, and 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, and made and grilled hamburger patties, all in my tiny kitchen... I knew I wouldn't let that thing slow me down!

At 5:30 pm, we sat down to dinner. After dinner, the house was a mess, Nate had to leave at 6:00 pm to go to class, and I had to leave at 6:30 pm. By 6:15, I had the house cleaned, Asher in bed, and Sayer ready for bed, and was ready to go out myself. I don't know where my sudden burst of energy came from... oh yeah, my RUN this morning!!!
Asher "helping" me make the pumpkin bread
I set the hamburger buns on the table while I was getting everything else ready, and Asher took a bite out of each bun and put it back. We thought it was pretty funny. We still ate them.

My babysitter was late, so I had to seriously sprint to the subway station, where I was keeping Kendra waiting. When we got off at 50th street, we had to sprint to 46th in order to catch our 7:00 pm show...

It was AWESOME! It won 4 tony awards this year, including Best musical, Best original score, Best choreography, and Best orchestrations. The dancing was so awesome, with some hip hop, salsa and modern. The music was a really cool mix of your traditional "broadway" sound with some rap-ish singing as well. Mostly the women sang super powerful, and the guys were more of the rappers. I am not normally a fan of rap, but it really fit the show, and it wasn't ghetto rap, more just rhyming with the music. It is about a neighborhood in Manhattan, Washington Heights, which is about 50 blocks or so north of us. The area is made up of mostly Dominicans and Latinos, and the musical is about a particular street where everyone knows each other and are a part of each other's lives. The show takes you through relationships and changes in their lives. It is great musically, funny, emotional, and every thing else you want in a Broadway musical.

When I saw that the Teacher's College was having a special ticket price on this show, I asked Kendra if she wanted to come, as she lives in Washington Heights, and has wanted to see it for a while. She loved it too and said it was a very good representation of the area. After the show we went and had a little Junior's cheesecake, which was scrump, and then came home.
The set

Kendra and me

All in all, a pretty awesome day, wouldn't ya say??

Monday, October 20, 2008


It's official... Asher, Sayer and I, are all on our THIRD really bad cold in ONE month. Aaagh! It is so frustrating and annoying and stupid and annoying... Not to mention that Asher is a complete devil child when he is sick.  Every little thing sets him off... he asks if we can go to the toys, I say yes, and he flips his little lid.   Apparently he is trying to see how many times a day he can push my patience to the absolute max... or in other words, when I reach the point where I want to throw my child across the room. Sorry, is that awful to say?? Oh well, I am not going to take it back, because it's the truth. So far, we are at about twice a day, sometimes three. Lovely, no? So, I just throw him in his crib, instead of across the room (no, I don't really THROW him), and I just have to leave and sit on the couch and listen to him scream himself hoarse for about 20 minutes. That's after he has already been screaming and dramatically throwing himself on the floor, for about 10 or 15 minutes. I find that I can ignore that part pretty well, it's when I try to talk to and reason with him, and when he starts hitting and pushing me, that's when he goes to the crib. He actually climbed/fell out of the crib yesterday, but thankfully he hasn't done it again. Hopefully he will remember that it was a painful experience. So anyway, that is my life right now. Nate and I are going on a cruise with his family in a couple weeks (without our children), and I CANNOT WAIT!! I have needed this break since Sayer was about 2 weeks old. It's not too far away to start counting down the days is it? I know it sounds horrible, but what can I say?!
This picture is really for me, so that I can remember how cute and sweet he really is

Poor Sayer always seem to get the worst cold of us all. Here's to healthier days ahead!

P.S. The baby carrots I have been munching on while writing this taste like dirt. I just thought you would like to know that.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Date night

We belong to a Co-op in our building, which has been so nice for everyone to be able to get out and enjoy the city. On Friday night we got to go and do just that. We went and had a nice mexican dinner at a restaurant called "The Heights" just a little ways south of us. It was delicious food, but not really our ideal atmosphere. It was very loud, which isn't really the ambiance I want whilst trying to wind down from a long day of 2 crazy boys. But whatev. After that, we went to the Gugenheim on the East side to meet our friend Josh who was in town visiting. They have this really cool exhibit that lights up on the building from dusk to midnight, or 1 am, or something like that. It was pretty cool. After we had had enough, we walked back through Central Park to the west side, where Josh parked his car. We walked around the Jackie Onasis running track that surrounds a little reservoir, and it was so beautiful. These pictures don't do the views justice, but you can get an idea. 

Just imagine it without all the blurriness.  Such a cool view of downtown NY!
This is the same track that I ran on the next morning with some gals from my ward. They are much faster than me, and I was very proud of myself for keeping up with them for 6 miles, at a pace that is a whole minute faster than what I usually run.  Pushing the stroller up and down hills all day must be doing great things for my calves!  I plan on running with them every Saturday, and I'm sure it will work wonders for my speed! 

Oh, and P.S., Asher woke up this morning, with the beginnings of his 3rd cold in a month. Aaaagh! With all the playgrounds we visit, as well as the community play room in our building, I really need to be better at washing his hands.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Blog Makeover

Our friend, Hannah, from our old BYU ward is a graphic designer, and did a blog template for us. I love it, and am so excited to have some color and design on our blog. She actually just started a design company, Craner Design Studio, where she does templates, banners, christmas cards, and a bunch of other stuff. You should check it out!

Thanks again Hannah.  I'm lovin' the new look!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Boeing Boeing

On Friday night I got to go out again and see a show, while Nate put Asher to bed. I still haven't found anyone to go to shows with, so I just went by myself again. It was nice though, to just walk around downtown, have some dinner and dessert, and read my book. I saw the play Boeing Boeing, which was hilarious. It had that guy from Ally McBeal in it, as well as that one chick who plays the best friend on how to lose a guy in 10 days... you know, the one who pretends to be their therapist? She was so funny. It also has the lady who played in the Grinch. I can't remember any of their names, so you will have to go to the website to know for sure. But it was very entertaining. It's about a guy who has 3 fiances that are all airline attendants, and how he has to balance them so they don't find out about each other. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good laugh. There were some inuendos (sp?), and of course the whole plot of the story is a little immoral, what with the guy having 3 fiances... but nothing terrible. And it's not a musical, so even the men in your lives won't mind seeing it! :)

Lovely, just lovely...

Today Asher went down a little late for his nap, so it took him a while to fall asleep. I heard him in there talking, but decided I didn't want to go in there, so I didn't. After a while, it got quiet and I assumed he feel asleep. Well, I assumed correctly, but what I did not anticipate was the way that I found him sleeping...

... in the buff. Well, he still has his shirt on, obviously, but he apparently thought his diaper was in the way. It's my own fault really, I should have put a pair of sweat pants or something on him, as he sometimes tries to take his diaper off. He was wearing jeans today, and those just don't seem comfy to sleep in, so I took them off. Of course there is no way that I am going to wake him up to put a diaper on him. If he pees or poops during his nap, at least I am prepared for it, and it won't be a shock. I would much rather have some time to myself and deal with a mess later, than have a tired toddler running around. Oh well. Lesson learned.  At least he looks cute, right?!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I am a bread making machine!

...or at least I'm trying to be.

It will come as no surprise when I tell you that groceries in NY are a little pricier than groceries in Utah. One of our staples is bread. Asher eats about 4 pieces of toast for breakfast, usually some kind of sandwich for lunch, and often times will have a piece of "toastie" for a snack some time during the day. That's not even counting the sandwiches or toast that Nate and I eat. So yeah, we eat a lot of bread, and at $3 or $4 a loaf, it adds up pretty quick. So, I have decided to start making our own bread. I remember back in the day when my parents made our bread every week, and I hated it. I wanted good old processed white bread like my friends always had for their sandwiches. If only I knew how yummy it was back then. Nothing beats a piece of bread fresh out of the oven with homemade jam on it. Oh so good.

Well, today I attempted my first batch of bread, and it turned out scrumptious (if I do say so myself!!). I am still getting to know my oven, I don't know if it's the small size, but everything seems to cook faster, so I am always having to adjust the temperature and time. I just happened to check on the bread after about 25 minutes (they were supposed to take 35-40 minutes to cook... and I had turned the oven to 25 degrees cooler than recommended) and they were perfect, as you can see...
Nate thought it was delicious as well. Hopefully Asher won't have any problems eating it.

I just used a whole wheat bread recipe out of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (which was actually half whole wheat and half all purpose flour), as all the other recipes I found only said the amount of pre-ground wheat to use, so I didn't know how much whole wheat flour that would translate in to. But I do want to try different recipes, and find which one we like the best. I would like to use one where I only have to let it rise once. I found one on a blog, but like I said, it only mentions the wheat before grinding, so if anyone knows how to figure out how to convert that to regular store bought flour, that'd be some useful information!

I also made some lemon bread from the same cookbook. It was pretty good, but I think I am going to keep looking for a better recipe, as it wasn't my fave. So if anyone has a really good lemon bread recipe, please do share!

Just being boys...

It's starting! Asher and Sayer are starting to play together, and it is pretty much the cutest thing in the world. I have already mentioned before that Sayer adores Asher, he just laughs and laughs at everything he does. He loves it when Asher comes and sits or leans on him, and likes to play with his hair. The other day Asher was seriously rolling all over Sayer, and they were both just giggling and thought it was great fun. I just let them have at it as long as Sayer's not bothered by it. I figure they are going to be wrestling and beating on each other for the rest of their lives, they might as well get used to a little discomfort.

Asher also likes to help Sayer drink his bottle. Anytime Asher sees me giving Sayer a bottle, he has to do it. It is a little annoying, but I know he is just trying to be helpful and involved, so I try to be patient. But he likes to take the bottle out of his mouth every few seconds to see how much is left, and Sayer is not a big fan of that game. Sayer is not shy about sharing how he feels about being hungry.

I love my sweet little boys!

Night on the town

Me and Nate at Pete's Candy Store (that's the name of the bar!)

A friend of mine in our building organized a co-op for babysitting so that we can all take advantage of the city. So on Monday night Nate and I took a little train ride to Brooklyn to see a celtic singer and fiddler, Lissa Schneckenburger. Yes that is her real name. She even got married and kept THAT last name...

Anyway... we went to dinner first and then to the concert, which was at a bar, starting at 10:30 PM. So even though it was late, totally out in the middle of now where in Brooklyn, and we had to pay $4 for 2 diet cokes (with NO free refills... bars are ridiculous), it was a really great show and totally worth the trip. It was so nice to listen to some familiar music. I think it was much needed for both of us, especially Nate, as he hasn't gotten to play much since he has been here. It was also so nice to go out just the two of us, which was much needed as well.

Central Park Zoo

Asher and Ella watching the polar bears

On Monday, a new friend of ours, Kendra, (introduced to us by Michal) invited the kids and I to go to the Central Park Zoo with her and her youngest girl. They have season passes which gets a guest in for free- sa-WEET!! I didn't get a ton of pictures, as Asher was mostly just running around, but we all had a good time. They have a little children's zoo with birds and fish and bunnies and a petting zoo, and all that kind of stuff. The actual zoo isn't very big, but I thought the exhibits that they did have were great. Apparently we totally lucked out and came across the polar bears on a very active day. Kendra said they are almost never out and about, but one of them was just swimming back and forth for the whole time that we were there. It was so cool to see how enormous they are, and to be so close.

Here's Sayer watching the polar bears

We also saw the penguins (which, like ALL penguin exhibits, totally reeked. Blah!) and the seals. It was also a nice little walk through Central Park to get from the subway to the zoo. And, I successfully maneuvered the stroller down the stairs of the subway, by myself. Good to know I can manage that as I am always really nervous to go on the subway with the kids without Nate because of the stairs.

Anyway... thanks again Kendra, we had tons of fun!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Happy birthday to Asher...

Kind of a bad picture of the table. I'm sure there will be many more pics of it on the blog in days to come, so you can get a good look at it then. Oh, and notice how Asher has already demolished everything that Nate and I so lovingly set up for him? He has also already taken off a bunch of tracks. Maybe I will have to glue them in place.

...only 2 months late!

Earlier this week, Asher's train table was delivered. Nate had to go to class, so I put it together all by myself. Does anyone else find it odd that I am the only one in this household that uses an electric drill, or a level, or one of those little wrenches that the table came with? Isn't that supposed to be the man's job? Ok, so Nate did put together my desk and Asher's little table from Ikea, so I guess those do count for something. Anyway... so yeah, I did an awesome job, if I do say so myself, and it turned out to be such a nice quality table and train set. I got it all set up and left it in the family room for Asher to find when he woke up. When Nate got home he helped me set up all the people and buildings, and he mentioned that it felt like Christmas Eve, how you get the big gifts all set up for the little ones, which is exactly what it felt like.

I didn't get up with Asher the next morning, so I didn't get to witness his reaction, but Nate said he ran straight to it and started playing, and didn't stop for anything. He didn't even ask for breakfast, which, if you know Asher, is saying something. He has been loving it all week long, and I think will continue to love it for a long time to come.

**update on the binky... all is still going wonderfully. He usually asks for it a couple of times a day, before nap and bedtimes, but he never so much as whines when I tell him that we don't have it any more. Part of me thinks he just asks for it out of habit. He is doing so well, and I am actually quite proud of him. What a good little boy!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The beginning of the end, of a love-hate relationship...

It all started on Monday, when on the way home from the Central Park Zoo, Asher dropped his beloved blanky, which I didn't notice until we got home. I think I was more upset about it than he was. When I put him down for his nap, he asked for it once, but I told him it was gone, and gave him a stuffed pig instead, and that seemed to make him happy enough. So, even though he seemed to be fine, I decided to purchase the one that I miraculously found on ebay (have always been on the look out for a replacement one to switch out for washing... never have found one). The biggest bummer, was that I was going to take his binky away on Tuesday (we had a babysitter Monday night), and what kind of mother would I be to take his binky away when his blanky was MIA?? So I decided to wait. Well, the replacement blanky arrived today, and he was so excited. He immediately asked for "bee-dee", as if the pair had been reunited and that was just the way things went... binky and blanky go together. I thought, "oh great, this is going to be pleasant..." I decided to go ahead with my plan to get rid of his binky anyway, so I told him that we were saying bye-bye to binky today, that we were going to throw it away in the garbage and that he wasn't going to have it anymore. So while I was feeding Sayer, I asked him if he wanted to throw it away for me (as kind of a practice for him for later), and he went and put it in the garbage, which he has done in the past, but just to be silly, so I didn't think much of it. He went and took it out a second later. He did this a couple of times, and then, surprisingly, he went and put it in the garbage, and never went and got it back out. I don't know if he forgot about it or what, but apparently that will be "bee-dee's" final resting place. When I went to put him to bed, he asked for "bee-dee" and I told him, "no Asher, no more binky, you threw it in the garbage, remember? It's all gone, we're not going to have it anymore." He didn't protest. We read some books, then he asked for it one more time, and I said the same thing, then put him in bed with his new blanky and the pig, and I didn't hear a peep out of him. 

....So, yeah... apparently he's fine... which is great, just not what I expected. I have to say, that it makes me a little sad. As much as I have hated doing the binky-search, I have loved the fact that Asher had something that made him feel better instantly, and something that he loved so much. When he would see binky lying of the floor he would exclaim "bee-dee", and his eyes would light up like he had just won the lottery... it really was like his best friend. But... he is over 2 years old, I have been concerned about the binky affecting his teeth, and I needed to get rid of it before we move Sayer into his room (as I was expecting a sob-fest), so it needed to be done, and now it is. Hopefully his positive attitude will hold up. I will definitely let you know how tomorrow and the rest of the week goes.