Monday, June 30, 2008

The Many Faces of Wall-E

Have you seen it yet??

I saw Wall*E at a special charity screening a few weeks ago at Pixar. It was awesome. It's hard not to love a Pixar movie when you're in The Pixar Theater in Emeryville. It would feel treasonous to not love it. Plus, I'm completely biased because of family connections. If you want an objective opinion, go somewhere else. Disclaimers aside, I loved this movie! My kids already adore Wall*E even though they haven't seen it yet. (Although they might have seen it by the time this is published, since I'm writing this several days in advance.)

If it's possible to fall in love with an animated trash-collecting robot, then I'm guilty as charged. Who wouldn't fall in love with a face this cute?

Here I am with both Wall*E and his friend, Eve:

I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did! Let me know what you thought. So far, the critics are giving it very positive reviews. Yea!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Frozen Entrees galore

If you're reading this on or after Friday, June 27th, that means three things:

1. The scheduling feature on Blogger is working like clockwork. (Literally?) I am writing this on Thursday.

2. My carpal tunnel surgery should be done by now. I'm probably sleeping somewhere, feeling guilty about not feeling guilty about how my husband has to be a seemingly-single parent over the weekend while I play the "But I just had surgery!!" card.

3. My family is probably eating one of the "gourmet" entrees that I froze before my surgery. Feeling a surge of extraordinary energy, I tried to get really prepared for my surgery recovery period. I bought two dozen bagels, froze them, then remembered I wouldn't be able to slice one-handed, defrosted the bagels, sliced them, and refroze them. I'm hoping the boys are excited about having bagels for breakfast next week. I cooked up 2 1/2 pounds of taco meat and froze most of it for later meals. I made two pans of lasagna and put them in the freezer. I cooked up several pounds of chicken and shredded it, then put it in the freezer for use in later entrees. I used some of the chicken to make two pans of chicken enchiladas. I also made two pans of regular enchiladas. I made over five dozen muffins (almond poppyseed and banana streusel) for breakfasts. Welcome to carb-land! I am ashamed to admit that I'm guilty of even buying... corn dogs... I resisted for six and a half years remembering how unhealthy they are, but finally gave in. And guess what? They taste pretty good when you are thinking about how you didn't have to spend an hour in the kitchen preparing them. Meal times should be exciting the next few weeks.

So there is an update on what I think will be happening by the time this post is published. That, my friends, is convoluted: posting a rehash of something that hasn't happened yet. Welcome to my world.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

General Arm-nesthesia

There is one super exciting aspect of having carpal tunnel surgery under general anesthesia: I get to have a nap tomorrow! Woot woot!

I'm trying to see the silver lining. I suppose I'll be happy to have full use of my right hand again... in six weeks. In the next several weeks, I'm told, I will hardly be able to use it at all. This reminds me of cleaning out closets. Things usually get much, much worse before they start getting better.

On the negative side, I'm going to be a one-armed stay-at-home Mom for several weeks. Uhhh.... yeah, I'll let you know how it goes. I'm hoping for a miracle or two... dozen. If only the twins were potty-trained.... if only Joseph wanted to do all the cooking and cleaning... On second thought, it's good that he doesn't insist on doing all the cooking and cleaning because then I'd really be in trouble. If only I had a live-in nanny. And cook. And gardener. And housekeeper.

Send some prayers, positive vibes and happy energy my way tomorrow as I take a brief nap and wake up with my arm sliced and diced. I'm going to try to write some blog entries tonight to schedule for publishing during the next week or two. If I don't accomplish that, then: Don't cry for me, Argentina (pronounced: blogosphere). The truth is I never left you.... I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Music A'more

Have you heard the term "new money"? There are some people born into wealth and there are people who are born into middle-classdom or poverty and work their way up to wealth. I've heard that "old money" looks down on "new money." New money tends toward bragging and insecure displays of wealth... or so the story goes.

I think the same thing applies to musical talent. Some people are born into really musical families, where they learn music theory and good pitch and how to carry a tune and read music when they're young. For them, music comes so naturally that they don't have to think about it.

My husband is like this. He was born into a musical family where they had music just oozing out of their genetics. In comparison, I think I'm the upwardly-mobile "new money" of musical interests. I have to work for every ounce of proficiency. I sit down at the piano and plunk out a note at a time, forgetting melody, for heaven's sake, because I have to figure out which NOTE I'm playing before I figure out how long to play it for.

When I sing, my brain is a whirlwind of remembering to breathe properly, drop my jaw, pronounce vowels properly, keep the tone even, moderate the vibratto, read the music, remember the words, pay attention to the crescendo and decrescendo (and what the heck does that little symbol mean?!? I've never seen it before!), keep good posture, don't overdo it, don't underdo it, and most importantly.. smile and make it look effortless!

My anxiety stems from singing around "old money" musical talent. I know that they'll notice how I'm constantly underpitched, or my vibratto is just sooo not right, or I can't carry the tune properly, or... or... probably a bazillion things that I don't even know I'm doing wrong. So it means twice as much when I'm complimented by somebody who I know is musically proficient, like my voice teacher or her husband. (Her husband is surrounded literally by the best music all day long since he works at a classical music radio station!)

And yet, despite the gritty pain of working for each little accomplishment, I keep trying. Why, for heavens sake, do I keep trying when it's obvious that you just can't turn new money into old money? Simple: I love music. It cheers me up. There are few things in my life that consistently and absolutely make me feel joyful. And yes, painfully plunking out some half melody on the piano or belting out some broadway tune which I really shouldn't be belting because my voice teacher (Hi Martha!) would kill me to hear me singing that way... it makes me happy. I smile. I feel like my world has some added dimension to it that can't be defined by words or symbols.

I don't remember if I've blogged about this before, but a few years ago, I was in pretty bad shape emotionally. Postpartum depression is one of those things that sneaks up on you so you don't even realize that life could be different. That's how it was for me. I saw that my emotions were completely numb, and I thought, "Maybe I'm depressed?" but it was just such a part of normal life for me that I thought I was overreacting or feeling sorry for myself. During that time, I would see or experience something upsetting and I would think to myself, "I want to cry." But no tears would come... I was just emotionally numb.

Then one day, I was sitting in church, feeling numb and in pain and somebody sat down at the piano to perform a musical number. Within moments, I felt tears coursing down my cheeks. I was amazed! When the intense pain of real life was too much, there was one thing that could strip away the layers of emotional blisters to get to my soul: music.

So please.. if you hear me singing off-key and sooo not carrying the tune, give me a break. I might be causing your eardrums immeasurable pain and I may look like I'm just oblivious to the world around me, but my soul is soaring to a place where my pain can be embraced as the pathway to progression and where joy speaks a language of its own.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shamlessly Bragging

It's not often that I talk about my husband on the blog. However, today I have him on my mind and I wanted to brag a little bit.

It's not every husband who has seven patents awarded (all but #3 on that link) and 30+ more pending! He is one of several inventors listed on the patents, and no, he doesn't get any money from them because they were issued and are owned by his former employer. In fact, he didn't even know that a bunch of them had been filed until last night. It's still stinkin' cool. It's a fun surprise to see his name being put on patents even after he left the company. (American Express is an awesome employer, and we still run 95% of our purchases through our AmEx card.)

Good job, Josh (patent pending)!

Friday, June 20, 2008


If I feel like this on the inside:

Where did all this come from?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

World's Biggest Baby Shower

You're Invited!
I love throwing a party. If you know me well, you probably already know this. I love any excuse to celebrate... graduations, engagements, bridal showers, baby showers.... So when I heard about the opportunity to throw a community baby shower for Newborns in Need, I jumped at the chance. NIN (not the band...) is throwing "The Largest Baby Shower on the Planet" in August, with people all over the country hosting individual events for local charities.

Our baby shower will be collecting items for United Way of Utah County, who will then distribute the items as needed to local agencies such as the Pregnancy Resource Center in Orem, Kids on the Move, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UVRMC, etc.

I'm trying to decide between August 2nd, August 23rd (the Saturday after school starts) and August 30th for the event. What works for you? Leave me a comment and let me know!

We'll have some wonderful prizes and lots of fun! And stay tuned for more information as the event becomes more organized! If you'd like to help, let me know!

If you have any suggestions, ideas or questions, email jhmont (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks to everyone who has been so enthusiastic so far!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


In honor of the new Pixar movie coming out, I give you my new title:

Friday, June 06, 2008


1. I saw the driver of a garbage truck throw litter out of his window onto the street. Kind of ironic, no?

2. I chopped my hair. I look in the mirror and see a somewhat pretty boy. I like it anyway and now I have some time to let it grow before I get another haircut.

3. I'm heading to California (again!) this weekend to hang out with my sister, eat chocolate at Ghiradelli Square, and see a benefit screening of Wall*E. I'm so stoked. If anybody out there is feeling charitable, give Josh a call and offer to help with babysitting on Monday because *technically* I don't have a babysitter for Monday morning yet. And I leave in 15 minutes to drive up to the airport. Oops. Sorry, Josh.

4. It's strange to be the center of my children's universe. We bought these cute letter-shaped graham cracker cookies. Thomas was playing with them and then said, "Here you go, Mom" and then left the room. When I looked down a minute later, I saw three letters arranged for me: M-O-M. Cute!

5. My house has never been so dirty. And I'm leaving for the weekend, so Josh gets to enjoy while I'm living the good life. Sorry again, Josh. I would feel guiltier but I know the house will be just as child-friendly when I return. Kids prove the law of entropy to be a firm truth.

6. I just finished "A Thousand Splendid Suns." Wow. I wouldn't recommend it to everybody but it was quite gripping. I stayed up way too late reading it.