My little bag of sugar

Our unborn child weighs about 5 pounds, and I can feel each one of them. His movements are so strong lately- not forceful, but weighty. I think this experience of feeling him writhe inside of me will be the main thing I miss about pregnancy...the rolls and quivers and hiccups are comforting, ethereal, and breathtaking, yet still at times uncomfortable & surprising, when it seems he's trying to remind me that he's there. (but who is forgetting?)

What a change it will be to have him on the outside, in a world where he'll no longer be safely tucked inside my body- the only home he'll have known. I can't imagine the harshness of the contrast between the inside and the outside; experiencing hunger and cold; bright lights and unmuffled sounds for the first time. I hope I have the ability to soften that transitional state. I'm preparing myself to go into a sort of winter hibernation, where I'll have no plans other than hazily drifting from one period of wakefulness to the next as I learn how to take care of this new little boy. It will be a transition for both of us- all of us. I waver between feeling terrified and questioning, and thrilled and confident and capable. The fear that I'm fooling myself if I start feeling too confident or capable. It seems that babies are something you shouldn't assume you know anything about until you have one of your own. And so I wait- wondering about the unknown and ready to see for myself- and mostly- ready for change. (I only hope the wait isn't too long; at 35 weeks I'm already feeling like an impatient child at Christmastime; filled with anticipation yet it's only December 1st...)




I am definitely staying in tonight

I am so introverted that when I spend more than 2 to 3 consecutive hours at work interacting directly with people (e.g. today), it's like I hear alarm bells in my head telling me to retreat from battle. And then I go into my office and shut the door and pretend I'm really busy when I really just need time away from co-workers (who are the nicest people in the midwest, so it's hardly personal).  This is pretty much the case for all people, except close family members...I can be with family for probably 3 days at a time before needing time apart. I think Aaron is the only one I could be with for 24 hours a day, 100 days in a row, and not feel a need to withdraw. I'm so curious to see what category my future children fit into???  Crossing my fingers for the 100 days one....but perhaps it will depend on whether their personalities are introverted or extroverted?  Is it possible for two introvert-leaning people to produce an extroverted child?  My parents are an interesting example- my dad was pretty much full extrovert, and my mom is about 80% introvert/20% extrovert.  Out of their 3 children, I am 95% introverted (from age 5 onward, I was completely content spending entire days in my room reading and writing in my journal), Matt is about 50/50%, and George is 100% extrovert. So based on that extremely small sample size, I would posit that genetics plays a role.  However, I cannot be certain (I think birth order is also hugely influential- in several families I knew growing up, the youngest child was the most social, while the oldest tended to be more quiet and studious). It will prove interesting to see what type of people we create someday.  (Is it wrong to hope they want to stay in every night? :) 


(*An excerpt from my google doc journal- i should try to post on here more often)
Today I caught a glance at my sideways self in the mirror at work. I looked so pregnant at that moment and felt so happy about that fact that I almost skipped back to my office. Yes, I'm a little nutty. I think the craziest thing for me about both being pregnant and bringing this child into the world is how it all tends to feel so huge, exciting, important, awe-inspiring, etc. etc., yet at the same time it is such a common and universal experience. And I feel like I have to keep myself in check, like, "Woman, calm down. Everyone does it. It's not that big of a deal, right?" But then I'm like, "OH, BUT IT IS! (to me!)"  I am so delighted and intrigued when I think about this little person who will be some random mix of Aaron's and my genes. Which chromosomes of ours did he inherit? He could be anybody! (Will he seem familiar, or a stranger I must get to know? Will he be the type of person that I would want to hang out with if he weren't mine?) I am so curious to find out--  even if I don't get most of the answers until many years down the road. 



I have this theory that most of life's problems can be made to look ridiculous, manageable, or insignificant if you envision that you're looking down at them from the top of the world's highest mountain.  For years now that's been my modus operandi. I think I figured that out when I was learning how to ski. The mountains somehow changed my life...

Aaron's been working from home a bit lately.  Even though I only work 1.9 miles away, it's been really hard not to bombard him with demands knowing he is so close, just sitting at the kitchen table (not 'just' sitting of course)-- "BRING ME FOOD".  "Do the dishes if you have a chance? :)"  (always an emoticon for good measure :)  "Meet me for lunch, ASAP".  "The weather says strong rainstorms and I forgot my raincoat...help!!!!!!!"   (That one is actually from today- there's even a tornado watch, my favorite! *Only my favorite if a tornado doesn't actually occur!)

I ordered this hot cereal in bulk from Amazon, after eating it at my grandmother's house last month. For the first time in 4 years I eat breakfast at home now. It only takes 3 minutes to cook! Normally I oppose 'instant' foods but not in this case. I want to eat it all the time. Steel cut oats are a thing of my past. (I mean- 30 minutes vs 3 minutes...there's not even a choice here)

The craziest rain just occurred outside my window- it was like the rain was trying to flood the earth in one minute's time. I only caught the tail-end of it on this video. You'll notice that I have a green thumb. (figuratively) (nay, sarcastically).

Good bye for today.


Twenty-Three Birthdays, age 3-26.

1990: Age 3. Wearing a favorite dress, at my grandparents' house. Last birthday in Massachusetts.
1991-2004. No photos but: Cake, the clothespin game, the golf ball game, my family, and probably Jessica. 
2005: 18. Unknown. Last birthday in PA. No photo evidence and therefore no memories. I looked like this.
2006: 19. Also unknown. First birthday in Utah. No photos. But here is me that month.
2007: 20. Liberty Square apartment with roommates. And Coldstone cake.
2008: 21. Dinner with roommates at Cheesecake Factory. Homemade cake by Meagan. Aaron came too.
2009: 22. First married birthday, at our apartment. Flowers & cake. (and friends!)
2010: 23. Unknown??? Again, no photos = no memory.  This photo is from that month.
2011: 24. A big present wrapped in a blanket. And finally taking advantage of free birthday treats in Ann Arbor.
2012: 25.  More free birthday treats. A U-M hockey game with my lover. And a gift basket from my mom.
2013: 26.  I made Jamaican rice. Aaron made me a cake. We ate it all. (in one week.)

(Inspired on a whim by my 2009 Thanksgiving post)


All I think about during the day...

...is what I'm cooking for dinner that night.  And what will need to be chopped. And also: what Aaron and I should watch on Netflix (though with two episodes of Downton Abbey series 3 left, that's not really a question). The question is more-- where? (couch, love-sac, or under the covers?) (and, popcorn?) And if we should exercise before or after. And if I can fit in some reading time. (in bed? Will my book light keep him awake if I try to read when I should be sleeping?)  And when is the earliest I can leave work to make it home and start (finally! oh the agony!) chopping the vegetables? (Will they notice if I leave at 5:30 when really I should leave at 6 because I got in late?)  What else is there to think about, really?*

*Ok fine, there's also babies. (ones that don't exist but yet invade my thoughts) And the burdens of others. But on the surface, is the paragraph above ^


That time the gate attendant made me grin

It was midnight after New Year's Day and we were catching the red-eye out of SLC. I was busy trying to hide my massive carry-on suitcase from the gate attendants.*

(*on every 1 out of 3 flights, give or take, they will yell at me and make me try to fit it into the carry-on size-checker [example] and it never fits, and then they make me check it, even though it easily fits in the space above the seats on the plane. grumble. I should insert a funny story here about the time Aaron grabbed the suitcase from the sizer, and ran away down the tunnel with the lady yelling after him, but you get the picture).  

Anyway, this time around, I handed my boarding pass to the attendant to scan (while using my body to shield my over-sized luggage), and he said,

"Ohhhhhhh Jennifer!  You look just like an ice cream cone!  How very sweet for the New Year!  Good bye Jennifer!"

And that was all it took, I smiled for like 6 minutes straight.
(and, p.s., made it on the plane with my luggage intact)


Four (4)

"here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)"
 -e. e. cummings


October 15th 2012

Below is a list of old movies (>30 years old) i've watched over the past couple months, along with some scanty thoughts:

1) The Fountainhead (1949)...I loved it (not quite as much as the book but still so good)

2) Splendor in the grass (1961)....A little dramatic, but...i like natalie wood. (and i liked the ending)

3) Bob & Carol & Tim & Alice (1969)....It's about swingers and thus a tad scandalous! (but it has natalie wood, see above)

4) Dial M for Murder (1954)....Excellent sort-of murder-mystery. (why 'sort of'? you'll have to see!)

5) Seven Year Itch (1955)....kind of hilarious & innocently risque.

6) The Apartment (1960)....Another slightly scandalous movie, but it has an excellent ending. Jack Lemmon is adorable. And after seeing only have seen Shirley MacLaine in Bernie, it was fun seeing her in an actual likable role.

7)  The Heiress (1949)....Olivia de Havilland! (aka Melanie from Gone with the Wind)



I remember when facebook introduced the 'status update' in September 2006. Here are the vast majority of mine, for archival's sake. (And isn't twitter referred to as 'microblogging?' therefore, these status updates are like dozens of micro-blog posts, thus making up for the fact that I'm not a prolific macro-blogger)

October 23 2006...at the library
October 25 2006....so not at the library.
November 18 2006...at the library because she's always wondered what kind of people go there on a saturday night
January 2 2007...enthusiastic about her new and improved GPA, infected with a virus, and watching Desperate Housewives marathons with her mom...Happy New Year!
January 7 2007...waking up at 4 in the AM to fly back to Utah! All this in the midst of turning 20...who can believe it's been 2 decades?
March 27 2007....riding the bike all over Provo
October 22 2007...so grateful for her parents, holy cow
October 31 2007...weirded out by the people who wear their costumes around campus; i have very minimal halloween spirit.
November 3 2007....is on her bike pulling Meagan who is on rollerblades.
November 8 2007....trying not to be annoyed with things and people, oh there's sunshine in my soul today.
November 29 2007....is quick with a joke or to light up your smoke but there's someplace that she'd rather be....like the Billy Joel concert tomorrow night!
December 10 2007....is going to ride her bike all winter long.
February 6 2008.....is BADA$$
February 8 2008....admits that she is not BADA$$
February 14 2008....would like to warn that this season's flu shots were not effective. You can run, but you can't hide. Happy day of love & sickness.
March 3 2008....probably shouldn't shower with her phone anymore.
March 9 2008....it's GO-TIME!
April 14 2008....is the world's foremost expert on breastfeeding, no joke.
April 25 2008....doesn't care what the cleaning-check lady says.
May 5 2008.....is mountain biking in Moab
May 12 2008....is flying to Madrid
May 20 2008....if it's tuesday, this must be Rome
May 23 2008....is crazy in love with Naples
July 8 2008....is the jack of all trades.
September 17 2008...will graduate after 4 years and 3 majors
October 28 2008....sold her plasma for some quick $$$
November 8 2008....would like to bear her testimony of the truthfulness that Smith's is superior to Macey's. [Amen]
November 21 2008....has never bought jewelery for a man before.
December 14 2008....loves GNO's
December 16 2008....3 days till holy matrimony
January 7 2009.....1/4 of the way through life, or thereabouts
February 11 2009....believes today is a day of independent study and pizza dough
March 22 2009...is hiking the Y for the 9th time, making the goal of 10 times before graduation a little more in reach.
April 29 2009...has relocated from Provo to Bountiful until the end of july
May 15 2009....went to a life-changing devotional 2 years ago today.....but don't ask me what it was about
July 10 2009....FREEDOM!!!!
July 11 2009....I'm back at that library that smells like cats, and just reserved a hotel room in Ogallala Nebraska. The Utah exodus planning is underway.
July 31 2009....Michigan, hola
August 3 2009....Full-time employed, this will be interesting. http://www.chear.org/
August 22 2009...got on the public health blog, I have arrived: http://byupublichealth.com/2009/08/21/jennifer-larose-adams
September 7 2009...ordered a bed on the internet, hope it works.
September 23 2009....thinks it's great that no matter how much you butcher the spelling of 'google'.com in the address bar, it always takes you to the right place. gooogle, googel, gogle, googlee.
September 25 2009...despite 'alumni' status I still get the BYU mass emails...today I got one about the campus "SINGLES SAFARI". All you singles, you should go to that. free t-shirts. and Inflatables. joy!
October 6 2009....i'm missing that old feeling of dangly loose baby teeth.
October 26 2009...."I think your business ideas are more beneficial to the consumer than to us...it's kind of like, 'let's open up an ice cream shop and make the ice cream FREE! and serve ALL the flavors!!'" -Aaron, on why i am not the businesswoman of the family.
October 28 2009....whenever I wear a turtleneck, i always forget to tell myself in the morning, 'hey remember how you don't like turtlenecks?" Someone get me out of this restrictive piece of apparel.
November 5 2009....Discovery: it can be hard to focus at work, when all I want to do is go home & make tomato sauce...I'm a housewife at heart, forget that feminism crap! (however I still support people who study it- Save the BYU women's research institute!)
December 11 2009....where do the squirrels go in the winter, i am concerned.
December 18 2009....my husband is 25 years old today. que loco! i think i'll feel really young for the next 20 days while I'm still 22.
February 24 2010....fun factoid: I am neglectful of people who don't live with me.
April 6 2010.....half of the time we're gone but we don't know where....
May 13 2010....this morning, we stayed all wrapped up in bed listening to the pouring rain and thunder until 8:30...it was like a little piece of heaven all bottled up.
May 21 2010....i really need to stop playing pac-man on google....it's business time.
July 24 2010....Sunrise....i never knew its splendor before today.
July 25 2010...."People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road, doesn't mean they've gotten lost."
September 1 2010....It's almost never good when you can smell someone's lotion or perfume, and you're further than 12 inches away from them. Just a thought i have often.
November 8 2010....It feels really delicious to unsubscribe from all email lists.
December 19 2010....2 years of joyness.
March 14 2011....pi without pie....oh my.

(The end)



My favorite thing to make in a blender, as of late, is below....it's kind of spicy, & awesome, and yes: green. Technically, it would probably be best in a juicer, but, no tengo el juicer machine.*
(*a few times I've strained the blended ingredients through a mesh strainer into a bowl which made it turn into juice, but that's an extra step, & in the mornings before work I'm already late enough as it is. story of my life)

(Makes 2 servings, or about 24 ounces)
2 handfuls of spinach (or kale, de-stemmed)

2 granny smith apples (peeled & chopped- you could leave the skin on but it'll be more pulpy and: non-organic apple skin is bad!)
1 cucumber (peeled and chopped)
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (more is better when it comes to lemons....my motto anyway)
Fresh Ginger (thumb-sized section, slice off the brown outer skin)
1/2 to 1 cup of water


1) Add about 1/2 cup of water to blender. (add more later if needed)
2) Add spinach, followed by apples.

3) Pulse together until fairly well-blended (you might have to stop the blender and stir everything with a spoon to help it along)
4) Add cucumber, ginger, and lemon juice.
5) Blend (on 'liquefy' setting, if available)

6) Add up to a cup of ice and blend, one last time.
7) Taste-test...add more water if too thick, more ginger if not gingery enough, etc.

8) (Drink)
9) The end.


Google red alert

The other day I was googling myself, because...well, it's good to know what's out there! And apparently there's not only another Jennifer LaRose in the land, but a Jennifer LaRose who's an author of erotic literature! One who writes books such as "Trouble, Toys, & Tempting Cowboys" (!)

I guess my purpose here today is just to inform everyone that she is not me.  In case you were wondering.  (And that if I suddenly officially change my name to Adams, you'll know it's because the aforementioned title became a bestseller)



...that the end of August feels like a peach at the tail-end of its ripest point. (or a glass of water that is filled to the brim and about to over flow?)  Like August just can't handle anymore of itself, and September comes right in time? Something like that.


The sound of coming home

Whenever our neighbor gets home and his garage door opens, I have this funny feeling of being transported back to age 14. My family moved into a new house the summer before 9th grade, and my new bedroom was right over the garage (as ours is now).  Every day around 5:30pm, I'd be up in my room reading when suddenly the loud rumbling of the garage door alerted me that my dad was home from work.  That sound makes me feel the same way now-- that Dad's home. But instead, it's the stranger neighbor who we've never met.



Today marks the end of my 3rd year of working full-time (Aaron too).  We started our jobs on August 24th 2009. Since then, we've both switched jobs exactly once.  My first one was fine overall, perfectly bearable, but the pay was shameful, I despised taking the bus downtown, I lived in a dark cubicle, and my super nice but crazy asian doctor boss stressed me the heck out. (Throughout this time, Aaron was busy becoming disenchanted with public accounting.)  In summer 2010, I got a raise of $600. I guiltily started perusing the U of M job postings (guiltily because, well, I was at work). I gleefully applied to my current job (located just one stoplight away from my house!), and was interviewed by phone while in Provincetown, overlooking the harbor. In September, I gave my 2 weeks (+ a few days) notice. "Are they paying you more?" my boss asked.  "Yes....~$8000 more..."  "Ah....", she nodded, as if understanding. I didn't tell her that wasn't the only reason I was leaving. I've now been at my current job for 22 months, & will probably stay until we move or birth a child. I feel funny when I reflect over the last 3 years. It makes me think of what people tell new mothers of babies, to remind them to enjoy it: "the days are long, but the years are short."  The last 3 years seem similar. I think it's because at the beginning, the end of 3 years was a big occasion for us-- it would be when we'd reach our savings goal, it would be when we would send our babes an invitation to come join us. And back in 2009, three years felt so far away. Now we look back and think, that was so easy! Let's just keep saving and living and enjoying things as they are. What was originally a challenging new adjustment (moving to Michigan, starting work) has become a comfort zone. Every few weeks, Aaron remarks that it feels like we're on an extended honeymoon. I think this signals to us that our 4th year of working (and 5th of marriage, oh my) should involve change. [To be determined] As the Savage said, "isn't there something in living dangerously?"

To celebrate all these years of sitting behind a desk & staring at spreadsheets, we will eat a pizza and watch this movie (already reserved from Redbox, I'm a plan-aheader!)

P.S. That movie above was very good, but then we got on a roll and watched this one too- highly recommendable. Jack Black. Bernie. Check it.


A dialogue

(from the book Brave New World, written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley- I posted this on a blog of mine back in August 2005. I think it was my favorite book at the time)

"The Savage interrupted him. 'But isn't it natural to feel there's a God?'

'...that's philosophy. People believe in God because they've been conditioned to believe in God.'

'But all the same,' insisted the Savage, 'it is natural to believe in God when you're alone- quite alone, in the night, thinking about death...'

'But people never are alone now,' said Mustapha Mond. 'We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it's almost impossible for them ever to have it.'

'...What about self-denial, then? If you had a God, you'd have a reason for self-denial.'

'But industrial civilization is only possible when there's no self-denial. Self-indulgence up to the very limits imposed by hygiene and economics. Otherwise the wheels stop turning.'

'You'd have a reason for chastity!' said the Savage, blushing a little as he spoke the words.

'But chastity means passion, chastity means neurasthenia. And passion and neurasthenia mean instability. And instability means the end of civilization. You can't have a lasting civilization without plenty of pleasant vices.'

'But God's the reason for everything noble and fine and heroic. If you had a God...'

'My dear young friend,' said Mustapha Mond, 'civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. There aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving anyone too much. ...And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now...Christianity without tears- that's what soma is.'

'...What you need,' the Savage went on, 'is something with tears for a change. Nothing costs enough here...Isn't there something in living dangerously?'

'There's a great deal in it,' the Controller replied. 'Men and women must have their adrenals stimulated from time to time...it's one of the conditions of perfect health. That's why we've made the V.P.S. treatments compulsory.'

'What?' questioned the Savage, uncomprehending.

'Violent Passion Surrogate. Regularly once a month. We floor the whole system with adrenin. It's the complete physiological equivalent of fear and rage. All the tonic effects of murdering Desdemona and being murdered by Othello, without any of the inconveniences.'

'But I like the inconveniences.'

'We don't,' said the Controller. 'We prefer to do things comfortably.'

'But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.'

'In fact,' said Mustapha Mond, 'you're claiming the right to be unhappy.'

'All right then,' said the Savage defiantly, 'I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.'

'Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.' There was a long silence.

'I claim them all,' said the Savage at last.

Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. 'You're welcome,' he said."



I just wanted to remember how the other night, Aaron and I stayed up late brainstorming all the different pranks we could play on people by mailing them a bottle of Mrs. Meyers hand soap. I cried from laughter and the brilliance of it all.


10 years of blogging, sort of

I realized that today marks 10 years since i started my first blog. For realz. I was 15, a freshman in high school. And I didn't have much to say other than how much I hated school and how many kids I was babysitting that weekend.  But despite all of its teenage angstyness, I'm glad it still exists. (It's here, and these are my first posts)  I created another xanga blog in early 2004 where my great writings continued throughout high school and early college. Now if only I could say I've been blogging 10 years consistently...that would be something to blog about!

P.S. In April 2006 I optimistically joined a blog group called "Mitt Romney for President".

P.P.S. On another note, we now have an inflatable kayak, & life vests too. I think this will be the weekend of its official launch. Conditions are perfect.


This made me laugh out loud today

In honor of our 3rd anniversary last month: A few weeks after we got married, my mom sent me that photo of the italian side of my family in the mail. I read what she wrote on the back, and then felt awkward for a bit. I still have no idea what I was doing, truly. (but look how cute jake the dog is, sneaking in from the couch on the left side? i think he wishes he were italian)


Business time.

I've got business cards now.

Aaron: "Does this mean Jenny gets to go on more business trips?!?"

(In June 2010 I went on an overnight jaunt to Florida for a research conference...and ever since we've joked about my first 'business trip' (i was literally gone for about 20 hours). Funny enough, that was the only time we've ever been apart overnight in 3 years...all my fault)