Thursday, March 28, 2013

When Stingrays Attack

(Turn your volume down, it's loud.)

Of course I would get the dummy stingray that doesn't know how to eat food.

Hard to hear - I say, "It didn't even get it and it was biting my hand over and over again!" and Stingray Lady is saying, "You know what? Try it again. Try it again." I don't think I've ever seen my mom laugh so hard as when we played this video on loop, except maybe for when she watched this Vine (be sure to un-mute it).

The next thing I knew Stingray Lady was physically placing my hand in the water to feed a different, less toothy species.

She told me I could get some antiseptic wipes and Neosporin in the gift shop, and I hadn't realized I was bleeding until then.

One day post attack.

In conclusion, Youtube suggested this video and it's amazing.

Stay safe, everyone. kthxbai.


My ma came to visit me!! Unpictured: A delicious walk at the park on a 75 degree day, the movie theater (Oz), Sonoran hot dogs at a parking lot food stand, Nordstrom Last Chance, paninis and creme brulee at Postino, Queen of Versailles (second viewing for me - it's on Netflix streaming, check it out), attempting to sneak into the church to play clarinet/piano but it was CLOSED....etc.

On our walk thru Downtown Glendale/Catlin Court.
Of course this was grounds for another trip to Wildlife World.

I die.

I talked her into touching a stingray, I REPEAT, MOM TOUCHED A STINGRAY. She didn't enjoy it, but she did it. (She has a weird thing with fish that preceeds the time my dad sprayed cheese whiz on her feet when they were wading in a lagoon in Hawaii.)

She'll never touch a stingray again, after what happened next.....(separate post. There was screaming and small amount of blood involved. Stay tuned!)


Her trip, on Vine:

Friday, March 22, 2013

iPhone Dump, as Foretold

This picture makes me laugh. The expression on her face...

Apparently this happened? I had no memory of it until cleaning out my phone pictures. There were multiple photos in the series, but this one's the best. Jon pulling faces at Penny:

Penny resting her head on Jon's shoulder:

Best thing that's happened in months. I left a wildly inappropriate, mostly anonymous comment on one of my favorite blogs. Fifteen minutes later, on my drive home from work, I got this text from Annie (who I didn't even realize READ that blog):

and it gets better, because the next day, I got this email from my MOM:
I laughed for a week.

Jon and I went to Costco for dinner (two polish dogs with sauerkraut and two drinks for $3. It happens frequently). I got our sodas and when I sat down at the table, this is how my hot dog had been placed on the table. #divorce

"I want a pony!"

It freaking SNOWED in Phoenix a few weeks ago. (and no one say, "It wasn't snow, it was graupel" because it was white and frozen and it fell from the sky and stuck to things.)

The sandstone rocks at Papago Park were GLOWING as we drove to our friends' house at sunset two weeks ago. Beautiful.

Penny on Jon (starting to realize I could have done an entire separate post with that title.)

Our Sacrament meeting program two Sundays ago.

THIS IS A REAL RESTAURANT in Chandler, AZ. This picture was texted to me by my friend Cara, but I've since seen it with my own eyes.

Dinner with out-of-town friends!

There were six hot air balloons, but I only managed to get four in this picture.

Breakfast at IKEA! This was my view:

and this was Jon's.
Best part is, I made us move because I wanted to sit next to the window.

Daily welcoming committee. I'll miss this when it hits 100 degrees. In three weeks.

My mom's coming TODAY!! Can't wait!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Warm Surprise

I have an iPhone photodump happening later today, but first, a blog-worthy moment. I took Penny outside to poo, and she did amazing. I grabbed a baggie from the dispenser to pick it up, but after an embarrassingly long struggle I realized the bag was completely sealed at both ends – defective. Annoyed, I tore off the next baggie, opened it up, reached inside, bent over, and grabbed the poo with my bare hand. Since the previous bag had been sealed at both ends, this one was OPEN at both ends.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Baby Bonnet Crochet Pattern (free!)

I picked up crochet to make Penny a sweater, and I've continued because I find it relaxing. The problem is, I'm not really a huge fan of the look of crochet. I'm really selective in what I attempt because there is some truly heinous crochet out there. Even when it's not a piece that's totally hid, the overall look is just not my style. At all. That being said, I stumbled across a pattern for a bonnet on that made my jaw drop. I NEEDED THIS BONNET I HAD TO OWN THIS BONNET. It took me hours and hours and hours to make the first one, and when I finished I told Corinne, "It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and I made it!" The reason it took me so long was the perfect storm of A) a beginner crocheter having absolutely no idea what she was doing and B) a pattern full of mistakes. It took me making about 6 bonnets to sort it all out, and so I now present my modified version of crochetlatte's Apricot Bonnet.

 my beautiful niece (photos by my SIL Kelsey)

Worsted/medium weight yarn (I love Caron Simply Soft for this project. It's soft and drapey and sheeny.)
H/8 (5 mm) hook for up to 3 months
G/6 (4.25) hook for newborn (quite small)
Remember, it all depends on your gauge. Don't sue me if the sizing is different for you. My gauge must be tight because the original pattern says to use a 4.5 hook for up to 6 months, but the one in the pictures was made with a 5mm and is already on the verge of being too small for her 2-and-a-half-month-old head, so.

This pattern uses US crochet terms.

Beginning puff stitch: ch2. *Yarn over, insert hook into same stitch, yarn over, pull through and bring yarn up to height of rest of stitches* Repeat once more. Yarn over and pull through all loops on hook.

Puff stitch: *Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull through and bring yarn up to height of rest of stitches* Repeat twice more. Yarn over and pull through all loops on hook.


Magic circle + ch 1

R1: 12 sc in magic circle. Join with sl st to first sc.

R2: Beginning puff st (see above). ch 2. *puff st in next sc. ch 2* repeat 10 times. Join with a sl st to 2nd ch at beginning (12 puff sts formed)

R3: 1 sc in top of each cluster. 2 sc in each 2 ch space. Join with a sl st to first sc. (36 sts)

R4: ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and 2 ch ) dc in same space. *skip next 2 sc. dc, ch2, dc in same sc* (to form a V stitch) repeat all the way around. Join with a sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch. (12 V sts formed)

R5: ch 3. 4 dc in each 2 ch space (ch 3 counts as your first dc). Join with a sl st to top of beginning ch. (12 fans formed)

R6: Ch 3. Dc in each of the next 36 sts. (37 total, as ch 3 counts as your first dc) Leave remaining 11 sts. TURN.

R7: ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and 1 ch) dc into same st. *skip next 2 dc. 5 dc in next dc. Skip next 2 dc. 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc in next dc* repeat to end. TURN.

R8: ch 3, 2 dc in 2ch space. *skip next 2 dc. 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc in next dc (middle of shell from previous row). Skip next 3dc. 5 dc in next 2 ch space* repeat until end, placing 3 dc in last space at end of row. TURN.

R9: ch 4, dc in same space. *skip next 3 dc. 5 dc in next 2 ch space. Skip next 2 dc. 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc in next dc (middle of shell from previous row)* repeat to end. TURN.

*You can repeat R8 and R9 for a deeper bonnet, but I don't. That's one of the things I love most about this bonnet - the fact that it doesn't cover the head, it cups it.

R10: ch 3, 2 dc in 2 ch space. *skip 3 dc. Sc in next dc. (middle of shell) Skip 3 dc. 5 dc in next 2 ch space* repeat until you get to last 2 ch space. 3 dc in last 2 ch space. Ch 50 (or desired length) for ties. TURN.

R11: sc in 1st ch from hook and in each remaining chs. sc evenly across back of bonnet. Ch 50 when you get to the opposite corner. TURN. (I try to keep my scs along the ch 50 pretty tight, as that's what causes the ties to curl. Apparently that's not desirable in crochet, but I like it so whatever.)

R12: sc in 1st ch from hook and in each remaining chs. Sc across the front of the bonnet. Cast off. Weave in ends.


My precioussss...

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Annie aka Manny aka Mangela came to visit me! And on the exact day she arrived, my mom bought a ticket down to see me in a couple of weeks! Family is the best.
Annie: Do you ever brush Penny?
Me: Yeah, like once a week.
Annie: What type of brush do you use? Metal or bristle?
Me: Metal. [five second pause] Do you want to brush her?
Annie: ...sorta.
Her first day here we went to the Wildlife World Zoo. IT. WAS. AMAZING. You should go. My boss has been encouraging me to go for months since she knows how much I love animals, and it did not disappoint. I've never been to a zoo like that before, where you could get so close and interact with so many of the animals. They were the most active zoo animals I've ever seen, too. It wasn't as pretty as the Phoenix zoo, but I loved it twice as much. You'll see why.
I took like a thousand pictures and videos, and please appreciate how hard it was to pare them down to these 20-odd ones, thanks.

Baby white tiger. RIGHT THERE. SO CLOSE.
Yawning baby jaguar

Playing with Jon through the glass.
FEEDING LORIES. This was the best day of Annie's life. We were at the zoo long enough to catch both feedings, a few hours apart.

It had just flung apple in her face.


Don't mind the bits of apple on my head. It happens when birds clean their appley beaks in your hair.

Jon was there.

Annie being snuffled by a baby tapir! This picture and the next two kill me.

How do you do?

So freaking awesome. We were at this station for...45 minutes? Hard to say. I lost track of time.

Jon was there.

Those are my feet, that's a three foot high barrier, and that's a porcupine. They really put a lot of trust in their patrons.

ZOMG. So the bird guy recognized us at both lory feedings and invited us to this turaco feeding. These birds looked like cartoons. They weren't as friendly as the lories, but I liked them more.

Unpictured from our day at Wildlife World: the stingray tank. I can definitively say that of all zoo visitors that day, we spent the most time at the ray tank. I bought a cup of shrimp pieces for three bucks so we could feed them, which was startling and borderline painful. The guy kept saying "They don't have teeth, they have PLATES" but they felt and acted like teeth, so.

The next day we left early morning for the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, which was as fantastic as ever, and hit BK, Frost Gelato, and Wheel Donuts on the way home. Sonoran hot dogs...drool. It was Annie's first taste and she said they were worth the wait.

Lunch the next day at Postino. Paninis and creme brulee. Drool.

At church. Sister wives!! Don't worry, we only went to Sacrament meeting ('vacation rules').
Other things from the trip, unpictured: Potato tacos, a tour of my office, Tokyo Lobby for sushi, hot tubbing at my aunt's house, coconut shrimp from "China Super Buffet" (lately it's been a weekly occurance. Nomfest), dog park/walk, a pee-diaper flopped on the Mazda's side view mirror (we love our neighbors!), Nordstrom Last Chance, pho, fondue, and the movie theater to see Warm Bodies (second viewing for all involved. I LOVE THAT MOVIE).
I decided it was easier to put the zoo movies at the end. The first one sums up the lory feeding in 6 concise seconds. Annie and I shuffling along hoping for birds, Annie expressing her love, bird flitting away unexpectedly. It was supposed to be a Vine video, looping infinitely, but Vine SUCKS and my videos only work half of the time.

Videos on Vine:
Tiny Baby Monkey Leaping at Me
A Very Diplomatic Giraffe