Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why-bin

I felt just fine when I left to go running tonight and I felt just fine while I was running but as soon as finished running, left the track, and stepped outside I felt the beginning of a sneeze coming on. My nose has since taken up running, too, and I don't think I've stopped sneezing since. And here I thought for sure I wasn't going to catch this cold.

Rachel has been sick since Friday. She woke up coughing in the middle of the night and begged for some medicine because her "cough is stuck and can't come out."

"Does your throat hurt?" I asked her.

"Yeah. Because my cough is stuck," she said, and then coughed some more.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Musicality

Last week Grandpa came home from a long day at church with some black mark on his shirt. His Sundays are long days—he leaves early in the morning and usually doesn't come home until around 9:00 PM. He's a bishop for a BYU single's ward, so he's busy. This was our conversation about the shirt:

Karen: What did you do—lean up on something?

Reid: I dunno...but you can lean on me.

Andrew: When you're not strong.

Me: I'll be your friend.

Karen: I'll just spray it and see if it comes out.

Reid, Andrew and I burst out laughing. We had all been expecting her to say "I'll help you carry on" but she hadn't even realized that we were all singing. She was just concerned about getting that white shirt clean. Maybe that doesn't sound too funny when you read it, but if you were there you would know that she said "I'll..." right on pitch so we were sure she was going to sing the next line of the song.

Today Grandpa came home from church and told us that when he had typed up the bulletin he typed the name of one of the hymns wrong. Instead of typing "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" he had typed "Hark, the Herald Angels Sin."

I'm just jealous that their ward sang Christmas carols because ours didn't. And I feel a little gypped because there are only a few weeks left until Christmas. I love Christmas carols but since so many people feel they can't be sung until after Thanksgiving it leaves very little time to get them sung.

It's after Thanksgiving now—we've just lost a whole week of valid Christmas caroling.

Miriam at 13 months

Rachel was too sick to go to church today so she stayed home with Grandma and we took Miriam thinking we'd have a nice, relaxing Sunday without having to worry about children squabbling over crayons and toys or hitting, pinching, hair-pulling, and fights over who gets to sit in mom's lap. And we were right about that part, really, because we didn't have any of that this week. But it wasn't a nice, relaxing Sunday at church because today was the day Miriam decided to start walking.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Heiss Holiday Humbug 2010

Writing the Christmas newsletter is one of the highlights of my year; it's a beautiful tradition. I love looking back at what we've accomplished—the trials we've overcome, the adventures we've had, how much our children have grown, that kind of thing. It's amazing how much can happen in just one year.

Sometimes I feel like I'm writing it more for us (me) than for you (because I love doing it so much) but I hope you also enjoy the annual synopsis of our lives.

Here's this year's letter, bright and early...before December, even. That kind of makes up for how late we sent it out last year, right?


Like Rabbits

We had a small gathering of our high school friends over today: just me, Andrew, Marquita, and Joy. Back in the day this really would have been a small gathering. Today? It was a little wild. 

Joy brought along Joe (her husband) and their girls: Karen (4), Rachel (2), and Alice (6 mos).

Marquita brought along Daniel (her husband) and their girls: Maya (5) and Vivian (2).

Andrew and I, of course, contributed to the pool of estrogen with Rachel (3) and Miriam (1).

Between us all there are seven little girls. SEVEN!

The house was full of all the fun and energy seven girls ages six and under offer. 


Who would ever have dreamed this up in high school?

We've been as far as Nebraska/North Carolina, Korea, and Cairo but we still keep in touch and when we manage to be on the same continent, in the same country, state, and town...well, we like to get together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving toes

Apparently we didn't feed Miriam enough of our Thanksgiving feast.



In truth, she is always putting her feet up at the dinner table and will chew on them if you mention anything about it. We had to help her a bit for the video because she had stopped doing it by the time we grabbed the camera...but the second time, when she's kicking herself in the face and gets her foot into her mouth without using her hands? That's just classic.

The "doo-doo-doo" is in the movie because she was snacking on Bugles and that's the noise that we make when we eat Bugles. What other noise could you make?

We only recently started giving them to her whole but Grandpa didn't know that so he broke them up into little pieces for her. She was not impressed and held up a crumb to him and ask, "Doo-doo-doo?"

Roughly translated that means, "Why'd you break my Bugles, Grandpa?"

She looked so crest-fallen that he gave her a handful of whole Bugles so that she could hold them up to her lips one at a time and sing out "Doo-doo-doo-doo!" before eating them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lend me your ears

It's a good thing November, and thus NaBloPoMo, is almost over because sometimes our life is so mundane and humdrum that I am not sure I have anything left to say. Today was unique, though, because Daddy was home all day long and that hasn't happened in a long time. He watched the girls this morning while I worked which was a real treat. Then he worked while I watched the girls. Then we cleaned the house together while Karen made something like seven or eight pies. I'm not even kidding. Thanksgiving is going to rock!

Andrew was recently accepted for a field study trip to Ghana this spring. We're both really excited about it because it will be a wonderful opportunity for him to apply what he's learned, make some great contacts, and be of service to the people of Ghana. There are a few drawbacks, though, which include two weeks of separation since he'll be going alone and the fact that after we pay for next semester's tuition we will be morally, ethically...positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably broke. And I mean not only merely broke, but really most sincerely broke. It's really actually a miracle that we managed to earn enough money this semester to cover next semester's tuition.

So we're currently brainstorming fundraiser ideas—both large and small scale. We mostly need ideas that take very little capital since we have very little of that (and the 16 other people planning on going to Ghana are in the same boat). I suppose I'll just list what we've come up with and then beg you all for suggestions.

Idahoax

Due to the blizzard warning (that shut down basically the whole state plus a few neighbouring states as well) we had an Emily pity-party this evening. She had been planning on going up to Morgan's for Thanksgiving but because of the storm she wasn't able to leave today. She was devastated.

And I totally know how she feels. At least, I think I do.

It's kind of like how I feel when I'm planning on Andrew coming home at 5:30 but he doesn't end up coming home until 6:00 and ends up walking through the door just as I'm screaming, "Wait until your father gets home!" because staying patient sane that extra half hour is just too much to handle.

I think that's probably how she felt when the weatherman said "Do not go outside or you will die!" (or something along those lines—it really was a severe blizzard warning; they closed the highways and everything; we ended up getting very little snow here but it did get windy and really cold).

Anyway, we ended the evening by playing Hand and Foot. Naturally, Idaho, Morgan's homestate, figured into the conversation and we started wondering about how it got the nickname of Gem State.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miriam is "reading"

We were just in the girls' room reading books and playing library and Beauty and the Beast (because you can't really do one without the other, can you?) when Miriam thrust the book Fuzzy, Fuzzy, Fuzzy in my face. I told her that she'd have to wait for a minute so she started to read to herself.

Now, I don't want to say that she can read or anything, but...

When she got to the page that says, "Smoooooth!" she said, "Moooooooooo!"

So she can basically read.

Just thought you might want to know.

You shall neither smile nor laugh

My friends and I used to play a party game called "Darling, if you love me." I haven't played it for years and can't really remember when I stopped playing it but it must have been when I moved down to the States because I can only seem to find a sprinkling of references to the game online—perhaps this will be my foray to writing Wikipedia articles—most of them British or Canadian.

Basically, the game runs like this:

One person is selected to be "it" and stands in the middle of the room. All other participants sit in a circle. The person who is "it" has to try to make someone laugh by saying, "Darling, if you love me, won't you please, please smile," in the silliest manner possible. Anyone in the circle can laugh except for the person being addressed. That person must answer, "Darling, you know I love you, but I just can't smile," in the most solemn manner possible, without smiling or laughing. If the victim laughs, they become "it." If they don't, then the person being "it" will choose another person to approach.

The game gets quite silly, as illustrated in this video of school children in Victoria, BC, playing the game in class.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

First snowman of the year

This morning Rachel woke up before anyone else. Except for Grandpa who was already gone for the day, and Grandma, who was just getting read to head out the door to join Grandpa at church. Grandma got Rachel some breakfast and then left. A while later Rachel came to wake me and Andrew up. We played around on the bed for a while and then asked her if she wanted breakfast.


"Oh, I already had breakfast," she informed us, and then told us that she wanted to get dressed because it had snowed. 

I convinced her yesterday to wear one of her red dresses (that has been hanging in her closet, neglected, for months now) because it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and because red and pink are basically the same colour. So this morning she chose one of her red dresses, pulled on some red socks to match, threw on her Sunday shoes and was out in the backyard before Andrew or I had even gotten dressed. We hurried to catch up with her and eventually coaxed her inside to put some more adequate clothing on—unfortunately the most adequate we could muster were some boots and mittens...not that we don't have coats or pants or hats...she just wouldn't put any on.

Yikes!

Like my friend Lauren I almost went to bed without blogging tonight. Luckily for me my husband is home (yippee!) and he reminded me that I hadn't blogged yet today. And since it's November, and NaBloPoMo, I got out of bed to blog. So following in Lauren's blog-zample I will just list a couple of things today. Probably things that I'm grateful for because I'm not original enough to come up with a question other than the one she used (which was: will I ever sleep through the night again?).

I am grateful...

...that Andrew is home.
...that I got to spend the day with my mom.
...that my in-law took such good care of me while Andrew was gone.
...for the clothing exchange I went to today.
...for my bed.

And that's where I'm going right now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

At dinner tonight

At dinner I asked Rachel to bless the food. First she tried to make Toto say it by repeating each phrase she said in a doggy voice. I interrupted and asked her to say the prayer by herself.

"But Toto wants a turn," she insisted.

"But it isn't very respectful to Heavenly Father to have a stuffed dog praying to him at the dinner table. Will you please do it? Just you?"

Somehow I finally convinced her to say the prayer solo—she's a tricky person to convince to do anything so I'm pretty proud of myself for succeeding without having her morph into a superhuman fit-throwing machine. Once she started, though, she wouldn't stop. She just kept praying and praying and praying.

My favourite part was when she said, and I quote, "...and I'm thankful for Toto and for my Dorothy dress. And please bless that my mom will do the laundry so I can wear it again..."

I took that as a hint and am doing laundry right now.

The Land of Oz

Rachel did not end up going to school this morning. She was all geared up to go to school but things fell apart completely when I asked her to get out of her jammies and into her school clothes.

"Where's my Dorothy dress?" she asked.

"It's dirty, sweetie."

"I'll just get it out of the laundry basket," she said and took off down the hall.

"Uh...veto!" I called out after her, "You've worn it two days in a row already. It needs to be washed."

"Then wash it!"

"Even if I put it in the wash right now it wouldn't be clean and dry in time for you to make it to school. You have to be there in twenty minutes."

"But I want to wear it!"

"You need to choose something different."

"Okay, fine. My other Dorothy dress."

"Also dirty."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ramblings

Does having Andrew post on the blog count as me posting for NaBloPoMo? No? Bummer.

I'm not sure which one of us is more exhausted. Last night I got four hours of sleep—the girls (yes, both of them) have been on a bit of a sleep strike—but tonight I'm aiming for more like eight. Or six. Or even five. The first few nights that Andrew was gone I think I got like two hours of sleep. I feel like a zombie of sorts.

Right now I'm definitely glad we live around family. They sure are taking good care of me!

Rachel didn't want to go to bed on Sunday night because it snowed. While we were getting ready for bed. And she wanted to get ready to go play in the snow instead. So I said no. And she acted like I had grounded her for life.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DC Career Trip, Day 2 (November 17)

Today was incredible! One of my main reasons for coming on this trip was to visit and become acquainted with some of the major federal agencies. Two of our four visits on Monday were to federal locations, but both CRS and the Department of Labor are relatively small compared to the heavy hitters like the State Department. On Tuesday morning we went to the biggest hitter: the Department of Defense.

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DC Career Trip, Day 1 (November 16)

We started the day relatively early—our first visit was scheduled for 8:30 at the Library of Congress, and since our hotel is over by the White House at McPherson Square, we figured we would have to leave at 8 to get there on time. The hotel breakfast was amazing and included a waffle bar, bacon, sausage, potatoes, cereal, fruit, English muffins, cereal, and everything else your breakfast-loving mind could imagine. Glorious stuff.

Tonight we're going to party like it's 1989

My friend Kevin (who (long story short) got hold of my older sister's long-lost (as in 20 years long-lost) photo album from a friend of a friend) just sent me some photos of myself. From 1989.

The first is from my fourth birthday when we lived in Burnaby, British Columbia.

I got a tricycle that year, along with a couple of My Little Ponies. The ponies went unnamed but I named the tricycle after my cousin Elizabeth. I loved that tricycle. I learned to braid by playing with the tassels on the handlebars and put just about anything I could into that little basket on the front. The only sore point about it was that I wanted a pink tricycle. 

But as Rachel is currently so fond of pointing out, "You can't have everything you want..."

This next picture is of me holding my little brother, Patrick. It most likely is also from 1989 though it could be from early 1990. 

I believe we're sitting in front of my mom's old turntable. I used to love to put on records and dance around the living room, much like a little girl I know now.

Here's Rachel haf-way dressed up as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and half-way dressed up to go play out in the snow. She had been dancing in the living room to the soundtrack of the aforementioned movie when she noticed that it had begun to snow, so we threw on her winter boots and a jacket so she could rush outside to twirl in the snow.


I think she kind of looks like me. (She's cute).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Anderson Reunion, Day 3 (Saturday, Oct. 16)

Finally, right? It’s only a month late…what fun, warm memories, though. Even in the morning when we got up it was warm, or at least warmer than it had been the day before. It was less windy and I think that helped.

When we walked past the camping area I couldn’t help but snap a picture of the matching tents. There were a bunch of Germans staying in the campground—they rented equipment so all of it matched. It was just so quaint.

IMG_9933

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gingerbread Festival 2010

This afternoon we headed out to the Gingerbread Festival with Grandma to do some more strictly non-Christmas things. Like looking at gingerbread houses while being surrounded by Christmas trees and listening to Christmas music. This year’s festival was at the Boy Scouts of America/Utah National Parks Council building.

DSC00080(For future reference: standing beside the statue was her idea so I don’t know why she flipped out—perhaps her idea turned out to be too big for her to carry through with).

The girls

Before going to bed Rachel likes to show off some tricks, which she calls "fwicks." The other night she was bounding around her room, trying to get Andrew's attention.

"Look, Daddy! Watch my fwick! Ready, okay?"

She did a trick of sorts and apparently messed up because she. I can never tell when she messes up her tricks because, truthfully, they look the same as when she doesn't mess up.

"That wasn't a really trick. I'm having issues doing my tricks."

And today Miriam took six steps to get at a duck that was sitting on Rachel's desk. Usually she only does three steps: R-L-R. If she does more it's usually because she goes R-L-R-R-R-R-R until she falls over. For some reason she just can't get that left left moving. Today, though, she took six fairly steady steps before she reached the desk. And the duck.

Miriam also took a few steps in the kitchen. I had just put her into some flannel pyjamas without those little tread stickies on the bottom (Rachel thinks they are derived from peanut butter fish; this may or may not be because she asked about it one day and so I told her that, yes, indeed, peanut butter fish are harvested and then stuck to the bottom of our socks for traction). It was like watching someone get on an ice rink for the first time. She was slipping and sliding all over the place but was determined to get her six steps in again.

Right, left, slip, right.

*pause*

Right, left, right...right...

*plop!*

Welcome to Washington, D.C.

I’m in American history nerd heaven right now. For the next week I’m going to be gallivanting around Washington, D.C., visiting over a dozen different government agencies, lobbying firms, and international organizations (and maybe even NPR!) with a group of 11 other MPA students. It’s going to be an awesome week!

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I didn't do anything related to Christmas today (psyche!)

This morning after the girls and I had woken up, showered, and dressed, I pulled out one of the MoTab's Christmas albums. And then I played it. And no one complained. Why?

Because Andrew left this morning for Washington, DC, and will be gone all week.

So we reverently rocked out to Christmas music during breakfast. Reverently because, you know, it's MoTab, which doesn't actually lend itself well to rocking out. But there was a bit of ballet.

We were still working on breakfast when people started showing up for choir practice—we're a little sluggish in the morning—so it was a good thing that someone finished arranging the basement for me (thank you, Someone) because I'm pretty sure all I did last night was move the couch. Choir went well, although I was singing solo as the lone, and rather distracted, soprano. My kids were crawling all over the place, pulling on sheet music, and fighting over toys. Choir ended a little late so we had to rush to get through all the finishing touches of getting ready for church (hair, potty, socks and shoes, diaper bag, etc). Mirim chose to scream her head off during the whole pre-church rush. She was ready for a nap but it was too late for that. It was too late for a lot of things. Take lunch for example: the girls shared baggie full of a variety of cracker-type-things.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just like a big girl!

Miriam has been standardizing her vocabulary. She recently figured out how to say "quack" so the word "duck" has been, for the most part, repressed. If you catch her off-guard she'll still say duck. For example, I just showed her a rubber duck and said, "Meme, what is this?"

"Duh....k!" she said. "Qak, qak, qak, qak, qak, qak!"

But now that "qak-ing" has taken over and she won't say "duh...k" until she forgets about how fun quaking is. It's her new word so, trust me, she thinks it is a lot of fun.

Last night Andrew and I went out on a date and Grandpa was playing with the girls. Meme started quacking her little "qak-qak," which sent Rachel into a proud sort of tizzy. She just had to bring Grandpa's attention to Meme's new skill.

"Listen, everybody, listen! Meme can say 'fwack' just like a big girl! 'Fwack-fwack,' Meme, say, 'fwack, fwack!' She can talk! She can say 'fwack, fwack, fwack' just like a big girl!"

Oh, the irony...

That was...weird

Recently I applied for a job at BYU and I got called in to interview for it. I was excited about this because I applied for this same job a couple of years ago and got a dismissive email almost immediately. It's a fairly competitive position—the pay isn't great but it comes with free room & board and a benefits package. so that kind of makes up for that, plus a large chunk of the "working hours" are "on call."

Everybody wants this job.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited to get an interview. It kind of made up for being rejected so quickly the first time I applied—and I was also excited to actually have a shot at getting the job. After the interview, though, I wasn't so sure I wanted the job so when they called last night and said, "We made up the list for second interviews and you aren't on it, but thanks for coming in to interview," I answered rather enthusiastically, "No, no, thank you."

Andrew was like, "What's up?"

And I was like, "I didn't get the job, isn't that awesome?"

The interview was, to put it politely, the most peculiar interview I have ever had. Ever. And I've had several.

Friday, November 12, 2010

5 o'clock shadow...on your head

On Tuesday night Andrew whimpered and whined about his long hair until I gave in and agreed to cut it. We got out the clippers and I set to work. Everything was fine until I decided to make the sides a bit shorter than the top. Then...

"Ooops...okay, ummm...that's, like, really short."

Andrew felt his head with his hands.

"Just make it all that length," he suggested.

"Are you sure? It's like really, really short."

"What other options do we have?"

"Good point."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Miriam and her utensils

Since her introduction to utensils, Miriam has become quite fixated with forks. She won't eat anything unless she's holding one (or more). In the morning I usually just plop her in her high chair and give her handful of dry Cheerios and some raisins to pacify her while I get breakfast for Rachel and myself. She used to be happy with this routine but recently has taken to squawking after I walk away. 

"What's wrong, Meme?" I'll ask.

She'll urgently grunt and open and clench her fist repeatedly. Roughly translated, this means, "But what about my fork, Mom?" 

Cheerios and rasins have been staple finger foods for her since she sprouted teeth and yet she will no longer eat them, or anything else, unless she has her trusty fork. She's really pretty good at stabbing food and getting it into her mouth, considering she's one, but even when she's not successful with the fork she still insists on holding it with one hand while she shovels food into her mouth with the other. 

After mealtime is over she still won't relinquish her fork. Instead she carries it with her away from the table. We took her out (somewhere, I can't remember where) a few days ago and she held the fork the whole way in the car, the whole time we were there (wherever we were), and the whole way home. She finds them quite entertaining...

 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chore Day

Today Karen thanked me for cleaning the microwave. It had been a while since anyone had cleaned it, aside from doing damage control by haphazardly smearing wiping up epic explosions of refried beans or popcorn butter but the other day I went to warm something up and decided enough was enough. So I gave it a good cleaning.

Or at least a decent cleaning.

My whole theory of housekeeping can be summed up by one of two phrases: "It's better than it was," or "Good enough." If you look around my house it will be plain just how low my standard of "good enough" is and your mind will be sure to run rampant with terrible imaginations of what my house looked like before it became "better than it was."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Everyday the sun comes up

Last night Andrew and I watched Thirteen Days—it was part leisure, part homework. I think it's kind of funny that it was homework because the last movie Andrew was assigned to watch, for the same class, was Twelve Angry Men. If this pattern holds, the next movie we will watch for this class will be Fourteen Hours.

Thirteen Days is about the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis and it was a fascinating watch. I don't want to give anything away or anything but in the end everything works out fine and the USSR doesn't use Cuba as a missile launch to blast the United States. Still, it was a rather intense movie. Our world leaders are under so much pressure. I've heard a lot of griping in the news about the president "taking a vacation" here and there. After watching this film all I have to say about that is "more power to him." I wanted to tell all those men to take their families and relax somewhere for a long time.

I was stressed out just watching the movie. Politics is hard.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The perfect storm

Miriam is sick with something. She had a high fever a few days ago and now has a rash. I discovered it at church while giving her a diaper change. She didn't have it this morning so I don't know when it started. She's already had roseola and I'm not sure that you can get roseola twice since the going theory is that contracting it in childhood offers life-long immunity. So perhaps chicken pox?

I don't know. I've circled some of the bumps on her tummy with a pen so we will see how they look in the coming days.

When she got roseola she had a lacy rash; this time it's just bumps and it definitely started on her torso.

Poor baby hasn't been sleeping well and has been so, so miserable. Usually when we lie her down she takes, at the most, fifteen minutes to fall asleep. Lately she's been taking hours. She stayed up until nearly midnight a couple of days in a row, just fussing. It's clear she's uncomfortable.

Tonight she was asleep within half an hour of going down so hopefully this means she is on the mend.

I could sure use a full eight hours, if you know what I mean.

But, I suppose I should still be grateful today. Today I'm thankful that Karen came home from church and made apple crisp. Our block of church gets out at 4:00 and it was fast Sunday and daylight savings reversal and the rehearsal for the primary presentation and my baby is sick so it was a pretty much the perfect storm. I was sitting in the back of the primary room with Reenie, juggling Miriam and watching the kids struggle through the last twenty minutes of primary.

"What is this—the full moon?" she asked, "No, wait! It's 5:00 for them. They're tired and ready to be home with yummy food in their tummies! Poor things!"

Not that many of them were fasting, anyway, since children don't usually fast until they're older. But still. Being at church until 4:00 is hard enough without your biological clock thinking it's 5:00.

Thank goodness for mother-in-laws and their apple crisp! It was hot and ready right when we walked in the door!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Dry Canyon Photo Shoot

Today we packed up the kids, camera, and tripod and drove out to Dry Canyon to take some family pictures. I’ve never been to Dry Canyon before which is really kind of a shame since it is right up the street. Literally.

One of these days—when the days are getting warmer instead of cooler—we need to head back up there and hike to Mt. Baldy. We meant to do that this summer/fall but somehow we never got around to it.

This fall has been so long and lovely. It’s November and the girls (mainly Rachel) refused to put sweaters on—the high today was over 70°F. That’s amazing for November. The best part, though, is that the trees are still sporting their autumn leaves in dazzling hues of red, orange, yellow, and brown.

It’s so beautiful I can hardly stand it.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Acronyms

Last night Andrew and I were talking about The Future. He has this hierarchy of choices, some of which may prevent other options from becoming available if we don't plan carefully. Most specifically we were talking about when to take the Foreign Service Officer Test, or FSOT. If we take it too early, we might not be able to do this other thing that Andrew wants to do.

"What about the AFO?" I asked Andrew.

He answered me with a blank stare.

"Or whatever it is. I don't know—I'm just throwing out acronyms here."

The Lizard of Oz

Yesterday I spent much of the day fostering Wizard of Oz play. Rachel is obsessed. She has a blue dress that she insists on wearing very often—because Dorothy has a blue dress—except for when we dance to the soundtrack of The Wizard of Oz because then she has to wear her ballet clothes. I think she probably danced to that soundtrack at least once, if not twice, a day. Or more. 

I think it's a great alternative to watching movies, which is also something she asks to do everyday. I always (usually) say yes to ballet. I try to say no to movies as often as possible which isn't very often because Rachel is very persuasive when she wants to be (read: she throws an awesome temper tantrum). But ballet is a creative, physical outlet, and is something she'll usually do by herself so I encourage it. A lot.

We played with play-dough yesterday and Rachel requested the yellow play-dough. I found this a bit surprising because she had gotten pink play-dough while we were out trick-or-treating. She rolled the play-dough around for a bit and then started smashing it all over the table. I asked her what she was making and she informed me that it was The Yellow Brick Road. We also worked together to fashion a ruby-red slipper.

My elephant

So, we're kind of honorary members of Reid and Karen's BYU single's ward. We fit right in...only we're not single... Most of the "big kids," as they are known in our household, know this (now) but a few rather awkward conversations took place. Like this one time a girl asked me if she could sit next to me on the couch so I said yes and so she did but she missed and kind of sat on me. At first I wasn't sure if she noticed or not because she didn't move over and she just kept on talking.

"What apartment are you in?" she asked.

"Actually, I live here. I'm the bishop's daughter-in-law."

"Oh," she said, and finally moved over.

I don't know if she was just looking for an appropriate moment or if I intimidated her so much she felt like I had to give back my personal space. Either way it was kind of awkward.

Anyway, there's this kid in their ward who is really cool—he speaks Russian and everything. We once considered setting him up with Emily but then she returned home from her mission practically engaged and now is engaged so that didn't ever happen. Still, he's cool, and his name is Paul.

The funny thing about Paul is that I see him nearly every time I am on BYU campus. It's bizarre, really. I mean, I'm not on campus very often and the times I go are very sporadic yet every time I go, I run into Paul.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Today was better

8:15-8:24 AM Work while nursing Baby

Break to take baby potty, shower with girls, feed and clothe self and children, sweep kitchen floor, scrub a pan, make some phone calls, dress Oldest in ballet clothes, turn on music and dance in living room.

10:10-10:22 AM Work while nursing Baby

Break to put Baby down for a nap, dance in living room with oldest, fix paper crown.

10:27-11:07 AM Work while Baby is sleeping, spend last two minutes of work trying to work while repeatedly explaining to Oldest that I really, seriously only have two minutes left to work so if they could just wait for two minutes I'd be all done for the day and completely at her disposal.

A league of their own

This evening Andrew and I went to a "mingle and mentor" session-conference-convention thing that the Marriott school hosted. In years past it was specifically for MBA students but this year they also encouraged the MPA students to attend. It was so fancy and so not-us.

We had been warned that the MPA and MBA students at the Marriott School were a bit like the Sharks and the Jets--today I got my first taste of that. We didn't seem to fit in well at all.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Do you or I or anyone know how oats, peas, beans and barley grow?

A few days ago Andrew and I were talking about noses. Andrew once told me that if you pinch a baby's nose closed that they would automatically open up their mouth to breathe. The funny thing is is that Miriam doesn't do this. Instead she throws her head backward hoping you lose the grip on her nose. It's really kind of funny. This led to a discussion about noses and my teasing Andrew that his nose would only get larger as he gets older.

"No, it won't!" he said, slightly offended.

"Sure it will. Have you ever seen a picture of a young apostle and compared it to an older picture? Their noses always grow to be huge. It's just what happens."

"What? No way!" Andrew said, incredulously, "Noses are like eyes, aren't they? They stay the same size your whole life...Wait, that's obviously not the case because I don't have a baby nose. Never mind."

We laughed and laughed about that one. And I just learned that at birth babies' eyes are usually about 75% of the size of an adults' eye, so they actually do grow, just not much. Noses, on the other hand, grow a whole lot. Obviously.

Today I'm grateful for my nose since it helps hold up my glasses. My new glasses just came in today and I can see so much better now! My prescription hadn't actually changed that much in the past two years (which means I can still read the top letter, and only the top letter, on the chart...go me!) but my glasses were so scratched up (thanks, Egyptian sand) that a new pair was duly warranted. I suppose I'm also thankful for my eyes today, as well as for corrective lenses.

Also, in case you're wondering, today's title comes from the chorus of a traditional British and American song that popped into my head while I was wondering what to title this post. I suppose thinking of "growing noses" made me think of "know" and "grow" and then this song just flooded into my mind.

Andrew and I are going to go chillax now by watching our noses grow while eating some odd dessert he's concocted using cake mix, cherry pie filling, canned pineapple, and a can of cherry 7-Up. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Vote early and vote often

I voted in person for the first time in my life today--I voted two years ago but from overseas with an absentee ballot--it wasn't even that scary. My own family isn't very politically active, but Andrew's family is. Andrew's dad enjoys propagating the phrase "Vote early, vote often." He (and Karen and Andrew) even did vote early this year, though only once. I went to vote today after picking Rachel up from school.

When I told her that we wouldn't be going straight home but that we'd be going to vote first she clapped her hands together and declared, "That's perfect, Mom, because we didn't go on a field trip today and so going to vote can be our field trip."

Right foot forward

Miriam took her first steps today! We were dancing in the living room and she scooted her right foot forward a couple of times and got such a rise out of everybody that now if she’s standing up you can get her to move her right foot forward pretty consistently. But only the right foot.

I guess we’ll work on the left foot later.

It’s a step in the right direction, though. She’s almost walking…

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaBloPoMo

Participating in NaBloPoMo might actually present a challenge to me this year since I'm not in the habit of posting daily. This will be nice; I can use a good challenge. Something a little less challenging than running 13.1 miles but challenging nonetheless.

Today Grandma starting taking down the Halloween decorations and putting up the Thanksgiving decorations--from here on out it's holiday, holiday, holiday until 2011. And I'm kind of glad about that because winter can get so depressing. I am still trying to gear myself up to survive the winter. I'm almost positive I will never go outside unless pressured.

Andrew applied for an internship with the State Department. We have an itch to head back to the Middle East so we're hoping it pulls through. And that it comes with funding. Otherwise it will probably be a no-go. Or an Andrew-go while the girls stay here all summer but that option doesn't sound like as much fun as all of us going. We'll find out about that in December. If it doesn't pan out we have several other opportunities we're looking into. I'm sure something exciting will happen this summer one way or another.

I thought it would be a good idea to end each post this month with something I'm grateful for--and maybe that will give me motivation to write on the days I think I haven't anything to say because surely I can at least think of one thing to be thankful for everyday and write about that.

So today I'm thankful for...my sweet, little family: Andrew, Rachel, and Miriam. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Sally-lantern

This morning Rachel ran into our room at around 7:30 AM to ask if it was "real Halloween." We saved the pumpkin to carve today... accidentally... and she's been looking forward to it since Friday. We fully intended to do it yesterday, but with the half-marathon and Kayl's birthday party and trick-or-treating and everything we simply ran out of time. We didn't do it earlier because we hadn't bought a pumpkin yet. Andrew and I went on a date on Friday night and on our way home we stopped to buy a pumpkin at Winco--there were probably only twenty pumpkins to choose from and they were all so, so sad-looking. But at least we found pumpkins and it only cost us a dollar. Last year's pumpkin cost around $10, which really isn't bad considering our friends in the UAE could have spent $30 on a pumpkin had they chosen to (they didn't).

I told Rachel we'd be doing the pumpkin after church, after dinner. As it was we barely ended up squeezing in the carving before bedtime. But we did it. And before November, too. 

Andrew drew the face on the pumpkin with permanent marker. Rachel was begging to help the whole time but Andrew kept telling her no.

"This is a dangerous marker," he told her, "If you draw on something it won't come off because the ink is permanent. You can help with the carving."

"Ummmm, honey," I said from across the kitchen where I was doing dishes like a good, little wife (Andrew made dinner so it was only fair), "I would really rather she use the marker than the knife. Just sayin'. I mean, permanent marker might not come off very easily but fingers don't go back on any easier."