Monday, March 29, 2010

Know your Fork: Canyon View Park and Little Acorn Drive-in

Here's a little Spanish Fork Saturday-afternoon-in-the-spring-time activity for you, inspired by a recent North family Saturday:

1. Load up your entourage and head up Highway 6 towards Spanish Fork Canyon. Ooh and aah at the awesomeness of the windmills.

2. Stop at the Little Acorn Drive-in for a taste of some old-school fast food. Be prepared for it to not be very fast. Nick and I really like that Little Acorn serves their sandwiches on homemade bread, which really adds to their menu. We liked the BLT and the Turkey Avocado and Swiss. If you get a combo meal, try not to laugh at the world's tiniest bag of chips. Also, try their fresh fruit shakes. I'm not much of a shake girl, and I enjoyed the raspberry shake, so that's saying something, yo.

I hear rumors that the interior is pretty awesome in the sense that it sports about four different restaurant styles at the same time, but we had a sleeping munchkin in the backseat, so we opted for the drive through (No, I will not be using the alternate spelling for that, thank you). There is also an outdoor seating area with a charm all of its own, but what you really want to do is this:

3. Take a right just after the Little Acorn onto Powerhouse Road and then head over to Canyon View park for a picnic. Share your sandwich with the ducks (or don't, seeing as bread is actually not that great for them) and take a little stroll around the park. As you can see, Espen found the whole experience pretty thrilling.
Honestly though, we love this park, to the point that I'm actually slightly hesitant to tell you about it. It's big, open and beautiful and never crowded (besides Macey's on a Saturday, is anything in Spanish Fork ever crowded?) and has lots of big grassy areas and a playground to keep everyone busy. Or not even busy at all.

4. Soak up some sunshine, breathe some fresh air and enjoy that it's finally spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Project Computer Fast: One week later

Please note that this post has taken four days to write due to Espen deciding to give up napping and take up grumping*.

I am back and ready to tell you about my computer-free week!

I was a bit nervous before starting this project because I was simply not sure if I could do it. I've gotten so used to using my laptop for pretty much everything that I was a bit worried that I'd end up spending the entire week going through miserable withdrawals before eventually yielding to the siren call of my trusty old iBook. But that was really a bit of the point. With the notable exception of my husband and son, I hate feeling addicted to anything. The idea of letting something, anything - a THING! control me is not a comfortable one to me. You ain't the boss of me, laptop!

So I put it away, fully expecting a week of jonesing for a Facebook update.

But then Monday morning came with a little guy with a really sore tummy who just needed all my attention. So I gave it to him, without much thought for my beloved internet, beyond a burning desire to google "4 week old baby gas pains." Which may be just as well that I didn't.

Tuesday was a warm and sunny day, and Espen slept for most of the afternoon. I spent the afternoon cleaning the kitchen and weeding a flower bed. I was able to eat and shower and take a nap and do lots of little things that I've been wanting to do, without being able to find the time. It turns out that the internet might be a bit of a time thief, you guys. Shocking, I know, but there it is.

The rest of the week passed much the same. I did laundry, cooked dinner, cleaned our bedroom a bit and even snuck in a little HGTV. And I liked it. I really, really liked it. Staying away from my computer felt a bit like a mini-vacation. I was free to spend every day exactly as a chose to, instead of wasting big chunks of my day on my computer. Of course, I might feel differently if last week was cold and snowy instead of sun shiney and springy, but life without the laptop was really calm and relaxing, even though I actually ended up staying much busier than I do with full access to my computer. I really didn't miss my computer much at all.


Computerless living is just not practical. And here are a few of the reasons why:
  • This is a bit of a double-edged sword, but a lot of people had no idea how to reach me. And if they weren't friends with me on Facebook or loyal readers of my blog (What? Doesn't everyone read this thing?!?) they were left wondering why it took me a week to get back to them. On the upside, however, my cell phone got the biggest work out it has ever had. I swear only about two people ever call me on that thing.
  • On a similar note, missed information. Not having access to my email meant that Nick and I got Espen all dressed up for church on Sunday, only to discover that we had missed the announcement that we had stake conference (a conference for our local region) on Sunday, and we were three hours late. Lame.
  • I couldn't check accounts online or pay bills, which was extremely inconvenient. Here is where I cheated and had Nick do it for me.
  • I've started listening to music with Espen (insanely cute!), and usually do that on my laptop. Instead I had to use my ipod or go crazy old school and use these weird round things called CDs. Sheesh.
  • I've been trying to put together some birth announcements to mail out, but not being able to use my laptop has put me even further behind schedule. So, surprise! We had a baby - six weeks ago.
  • This didn't really come up in the past week, because my mama was off jet setting the globe, but we often use Skype to chat so my parents can see Espen. That alone is reason enough to not go completely computer free.
  • And on a similar note, I keep an online album with new photos of Espen for our families, and it was all kinds of annoying to not be able to put photos of him in his cute bear suit online for them to see. So I've included one in this post instead*.
  • I missed my blog! What started as a little bit of silliness/kicks and giggles for myself has entirely remained as such. But it has also become a little bit of a creative outlet for me, which I feel like I need. I studied theatre and art history, people! What do you want from me?
  • And yes, Google left a little hole in my heart. How could I live without the fount of all wisdom and knowledge?

So, in conclusion: While computerless living is relaxing and incredibly productive for a short time, it's also not at all practical. You'd basically have to scoot your lifestyle back to about 1992 to make it work, and endure the annoyance of everyone that ever has to deal with you. As in so many things, moderation is probably the key. If I can manage to peel myself away from the thrills and spills of Facebook and Google Reader, and actually put away my laptop for a few more hours every day, I'm pretty sure I can manage to get the benefits I enjoyed last week on a regular basis. It will take some discipline (especially now that no one really expects much more of me than to keep my baby alive and occasionally bathe), but I can expect more of myself.

Especially if y'all stop filling the internets with such interesting content.

*Please note that this photo was taken before Espen issued his 'cease and desist' ban on naps.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Project Computer Fast: In which I will give up my computer for one whole week.

That pretty much sums it up, really.

I realize that swearing off computers doesn't really bode well for a life of active blogging, but bear with me for a moment while I tell you what this is all about:

Since being pregnant and having a newborn allows plenty of time for sitting around, I have spent the past couple of months taking plenty of time to sit around. After all, if Espen is asleep on the couch beside me, the responsible thing to do is sit on the couch and keep an eye on him until he wakes up. And hey, seeing as I'm just sitting here, I may as well pull out my laptop, read some blogs, check Facebook and look into exactly what it was that Casper the friendly ghost died of anyway. And, oh look at that, Espen just woke up from a three hour nap, all of which was responsibly supervised by me and the contents of my Google Reader.

In short, I have become a bit of a couch potato and an internet addict.

So, as a little bit of a wake-up call to myself, I am taking the week off, not only from the internet, but from my computer itself.
No more playing Solitaire during movies and phone calls means that I will hopefully pay closer attention to what I'm doing and the people I'm with. No more blog reading or Facebook means that I will hopefully get hours of my day back that I can spend on other things like my baby, my husband, my house and myself.

I'm not sure exactly how this week will be spent, and am trying not to place too many expectations or requirements on myself. This is more an experiment in where I might end up once I allow myself the freedom to get there, than any sort of forced attempt at productivity. I might bake cakes, clean my house and teach my four week-old baby sign language. Then again, I might watch What Not to Wear marathons on TLC and eat dry cereal straight out of the box. And that will have to be OK too.

So. As soon as I've finished this post, my laptop is going off and into its case for a whole week until next Monday when I will pull it out and report back to you on how it all went. Who knows, I might even make a few notes with a pen and paper! Goodness!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Project Baby: Giveaway Winners!

Seeing as our little guy is going to be two weeks old tomorrow, it seems like it's about time to post the giveaway winners!

So, without further ado, here are the stats:

Date and time: February 16th, 2010 at 3:26 AM.

Height: 21.5 inches/ 54.61 cm.

Weight: 9 lbs. 6 oz./4266 gr.

And I've included some photographic evidence for you. Which is a little blurry and hard to see, but I think that Espen's enthusiasm in this shot really makes up for it. He is excited about this competition.

Let me draw things out a little longer before we get to the winners by telling you who I am glad didn't win:

  • Sigrid, for her guess of 5.8 kg. That's 12 lbs.13 oz.! They would have had to air lift him out of there!
  • Uncle Dan for predicting Espen would be six days late. Based on how I was feeling the day before he was born, I'm really glad he wasn't right. I'm not sure I would have made it!
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Holly for guessing our baby would only weigh 10 oz. That's a heck of a lot of weight for a girl to gain for a 10 oz. baby! However, as that was obviously a typo, we'll forgive her :)
  • And finally, Liz and Merete for guessing he'd be born on Valentine's day. Much as that would be a cute and memorable day, I am so glad I don't have to spend the next 10 years worth of Valentine's days up to my ears in sticky children and birthday parties. Now Espen can have his day, and we can have ours. No Valentine's Day at Chuck E. Cheese for us!

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for! Ladies and gentlemen, let me give you our winners!

Date and time: Aubrey! She claims to be an awful guesser, but guessed within 40 minutes of Espen's arrival.

Height: Tischia! With her guess of 55 cm, Tischia was less than 4 mm off Espen's height at birth.

Weight: Stepper! She was right on the money with a perfect guess of 9 lbs. 6 oz. And extra props to Stepper for guessing that his adorableness would be off the charts. Obviously, this is true.

Ladies, expect your prizes to arrive at some point in the future. Until then, please email me your addresses at tamsinrobole at gmail dot com.

And now I will return to the foggy mists of new parenthood. Expect Project Project to be even more sporadic than usual as I attempt to figure out the logistics of motherhood. I'm hoping to eventually return this blog to it's usual format of both weekly and long-term projects, but until then, expect a spasmodic and ill-conceived mish-mash of whatever makes it from my brain to your computer screen.