Thursday, June 30, 2011
Unfortunately, it's already July tomorrow and I still have two weeks of June that are completely MIA.
I'm really excited because tomorrow one of my best buddies is moving into town from California. You might remember her from our days in Egypt. I certainly do. Rachel was good friends with her son, Sam, and we just about died when they moved away. But then we didn't.
Anyway, whenever Sam didn't want something he'd say, "No, not!"
"Sam, it's time to brush your teeth."
"Sam, come and eat your snack."
"Sam, be nice to Rachel."
One day Sara asked him what the opposite of "No, not!" was and he said, "Yes, do!" Only he lisps so it came out "Yestha do!"
The reason this is pertinent to our life now is that Miriam has created a contraction of sorts. Instead of saying, "No, not!" she simply says, "Non't!" (rhymes with "don't").
"Miriam, let's brush your teeth."
"Miriam, that's Rachel's doll."
"Miriam, it's time to go potty."
It's hilarious. I'm not quite sure how she came up with it—it's like she merged don't and no and not and won't. Its meaning is all encompassing and it's quite an ingenious coinage, I think.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
We knew we had to visit Grandma's cousins—Marie and Monte. The problem was that we had been planning on taking Monte's carriage ride the day before but just couldn't squeeze it in. Instead we did a carriage ride this morning. While we were waiting for the ride to start, people were talking and somehow it came out that we were from Orem, but our baby was born in Egypt.
This woman across the way got excited and said, "I know you! You're Heissatopia! That's Miriam and this is Rachel!" Then she got a little embarrassed and admitted, "I read your blog. I'm Doug's mom...Geneen linked to it and I just started reading it one day and..."
Saturday, June 25, 2011
We have a few gassy stories to share and, I suppose as some sort of an odd birthday present to me, Andrew gave permission for me to (and even suggested that I) share them on the blog.
The first happened a few months ago. Auntie Sarah was over and Rachel gassed.
"Who did that?" Auntie Sarah asked.
"I did," Rachel offered honestly. "But do you know what?"
"What?" asked Sarah.
"Sometimes in the morning when my daddy's still under the covers..." Rachel began. Then she brought her voice down to a whisper and finished, "...he gasses in the bed!"
This elicited uproarious laughter from Auntie Sarah.
It's true. He does gas in the bed. But who doesn't?
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
This morning Miriam spilled her breakfast.
Miriam: Clean me up!
Now, that doesn't sound as funny written down as it did coming out of her mouth. Mostly I think that's because she's only 19 months old so it came out more like "Keen-me-yap!" That, and the fact that she's putting words together in full sentences is just cute beyond belief.
Later the girls were trying to colour together. Miriam ripped Rachel's paper and a fight ensued.
Rachel: Fine! Then I'm just going to get a new piece of paper!
Rachel: Don't rip it this time, okay, Baby?
Rachel: Do you promise you won't rip it?
Rachel: Well, you already said okay so that's already like a promise.
I've tried explaining to Rachel that Miriam's comprehension level isn't quite at 100% yet but she just doesn't get it. Apparently Rachel's comprehension level isn't at 100% yet, either. I did, however, convince Rachel to colour at Daddy's desk so that Miriam couldn't reach her paper. Unfortunately, the chair at Daddy's desk spins.
Rachel: Stop twisting my chair around! I can't colour when you're twisting my chair around!
Me: Miriam, I think you're being a bit of a bug. Leave your sister alone, please.
Rachel: Mommy is right, Meme! You are being a bug! You always ruin everything!
Miriam: Mommy? *pause* Naanii. Naanii. Naanii. Naanii. Naanii. Naanii. Naanii. Naanii. Naanii.
Rachel: Miriam, just stop saying Naanii!
Rachel: You've said it like twelve times and she's not even here! If you don't stop I'm going to count to three and then throw my crayon at you! One, two, three, four, five!
I grabbed Miriam up and plopped her on my lap and asked Rachel to cool off. Miriam's been on my lap for approximately two minutes. She just hopped down.
Rachel: Miriam, come spin my chair now! Spin my chair, please! Do you want to help me do my rainbow? I need orange for a little bit. Can you find orange for me?
Miriam: No. Pink.
Rachel: Do you want to help me draw my rainbow?
Miriam: No. Princess.
Rachel: It's okay if you scribble because sometimes I scribble, too.
I'm so glad that they miss each other enough after two minutes to get along nicely.
I also predict that they will have a major fight within the next five minutes.
On their way back to the hotel, they saw a turtle in the road, so Andrew pulled over the car and moved the turtle off the road so that it wouldn't get hit by a car. Hopefully he moved it to whatever side the turtle was trying to get to!
While everyone else was at the temple, we took the girls to go see some more of the sites of Nauvoo. We visited the Pendleton School, where the girls got to draw on slates—they were asked to draw their favourite animals. Rachel drew a bunny and Miriam drew scribbles.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
The first show we went to was called Just Plain Anna Amanda. It's about a girl named Anna Amanda Amelia Applebee, who is the namesake of her grandmothers, Anna and Amanda, and her mother, Amelia, and her quest to discover her sense of self. She feels like she's just a conglomeration of everyone else instead of an individual. At the end she's convinced that she's a "walking legacy," and understands that that's a good thing.
At the beginning of the show they made an announcement to be sure to keep the aisles clear because the actors would be using them throughout the show. Just after they said that, Miriam wiggled off her seat, ran over to the stage, and started climbing up the stairs. She's so silly—that face she's making is her "Is this a smile?" face.
Rachel got called onto the stage during the finale, as the actors were telling the children to celebrate themselves. She was tickled pink.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Other than that I've travelled I-15 from tip to tip several times: California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana. I've also been to Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona. If we count Four Corners, I've been to New Mexico. Anyway, my point is that I've spent most of my life in the Rockies. Alberta, Utah, British Columbia, and California are all places I've called home. And they're all in the Rocky Mountain region. You could say the Rockies have been my childhood canvas since they've been east or west of me for most of my life.
It's no secret that I suffer from wander-lust, though, so when the prospect of taking a road trip "east" appeared I jumped at the chance. I will never fully understand the geographical terms for the United States because technically we only went to the "Mid-West" but that felt really east to a west-coast gal like me.
We set off from Orem, Utah and drove clear through Wyoming, stopping only when we'd reached Omaha, Nebraska. Then we drove through Iowa and into Nauvoo, Illinois, where we spent a few days soaking in church history before setting off for Des Moines, Iowa. After spending the night there we headed up to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore, among other things, and then struck off to Wyoming once more, visiting Yellowstone National Park and making our way through a bit of Montana and Idaho before returning to Utah once more.
That's eight states in nine days.
We're home now so I'll be slowly catching up you all up with our adventures. For now I'm going to finish unpacking and doing laundry—a couple of "favourite blankeys" I know smell like they've been dragged through cow pastures, smoke-ridden hotels, and a sticky factory.
Saturday, June 04, 2011
Anything can be verbed and from there turned into a gerund.
For example, when I took Miriam out of the bathtub today she informed me that she was "outing."
Another one of our favourites is "pantsing." This describes the act of putting pants on, contrary to the more widely known definition (at least in junior high schools) of pulling someone else's pants down. Still, it's humorous to hear our little baby walking around saying "Pantsing! Pantsing! Pantsing!"
I can't say, "Let's get dressed!" in the mornings, otherwise we have to rifle around through her drawers to find one of two play dresses. Skirts, shorts, pants, shirts are all out of the question. If I say "get dressed" Miriam has to put a dress on. I've been making an effort to say "Let's put some clothes on!" instead but old habits die hard and I'm still more prone to saying the former term.
Rachel is still asking for help with un-insiding-out things, and it's still wonderful to hear her use that jumbled up term. She recently made up another word: yewerit.
It sounds like a horrible creature, but really it's part of the game known as "tag."
Since lots of my posts from Ghana were posted at random times (and some like a month late…), and because I’m using all these blog posts as my required (and graded) trip journal, here’s a list of all of them in one convenient place.
- The Journey (April 26–27)
- First impressions (April 26)
- Ghana, Day 1 (April 26)
- Client visits and the temple (April 27)
- Forward, ho!… to Ho (April 28)
- Waterfalls, nails, and monkeys (April 29)
- The Island (April 30)
- Unexpected General Conference and Tour Buses (May 1)
- Makola Market (May 2)
- Koforidua and Burro (May 3)
- The most intense market I’ve visited. Ever. (May 4)
- I looked out my window and what did I see? (May 5)
- Third world field research = chaos (May 6)
- Slave castles, jungles, and crocodiles (May 7)
- New Life Orphanage and the Ghanaian LDS Church (May 8)
- Back to Accra… with more dancing! ( May 9)
- The calm before the storm (May 10)
- Final presentations and the end (May 11)
You could also just look at the Ghana label, but you’d get them all in reverse chronological order, and that’s lame :)
After a fitful sleep last night (I was still completely stressed out by this presentation. I don’t know how I can convey the extent of the data that we weren’t able to collect or the lack of any tangible conclusion or recommendations for the PEF), the three people in my team that were chosen to give the actual presentation (me, Talia, and Hugh) woke up early to run through our PowerPoint a few times during breakfast.
We were scheduled to present to the PEF missionary couple, the head of the Employment Resource Center (ERC), one of the heads of PEF, and possibly Elder Sitati, a member of the Area Presidency (and member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy) at 9 AM at the area offices in the temple complex. A few of us left the hotel early so we could get everything set up—they were supposed to provide a projector for the laptop, so we wanted to make sure everything was set up and ready to go.
Friday, June 03, 2011
Or maybe the storm before the even bigger storm.
Today has been chaotic and extremely stressful. Because of random national holidays and miscommunication, we haven’t been able to visit the vocational schools we wanted to until today, the day before we give our presentation to the PEF missionaries and probably someone from the Area Presidency. The IDE market group has been done with their visits for a few days now and has had time to gather their thoughts and plan out what they’re doing. As of this morning we still hadn’t even finished our research.
We left our paradisiacal hotel fairly early this morning and headed back to Accra for the final (stressful!) part of this Ghana trip. We’re done with all the touristy things now—all we have left is project work. All those PEF interviews that we (haven’t) done so far? Time to synthesize them into some logical report that will actually be useful for the PEF.
For our second Sunday in Ghana, we headed off to church again, which was fortunately a far better experience than last week’s sleepy General Conference sauna. Because Cape Coast had done their conference rerun last week, today was fast and testimony meeting, which ended up being completely fascinating. Most of the members bore their testimonies in some mix of English, Twi, or Fante, and a few Ivorian refugees spoke in French.
I was reminded of how much I like Ghanaian English when one of the members of the bishopric praised all the mothers in the congregation (apparently it’s mother’s day in Ghana today too), saying that they “discharge [their] maternal duty with great diligence, even when it must be done with single-handedness.” I feel really bad missing out on Mother’s Day today, leaving Nancy home alone with the girls, but she’s a fantastic mother who truly discharges her duty with diligence. This evening I was able to eke out a short Mother’s Day Skype call over this hotel’s horrible internet so I could tell her. She rocks.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
My poor children never want to hear the phrase “we’re almost there” ever again. I think I started saying it somewhere in Montana. Their poor mother never wants to hear the phrase “are we there yet?” ever again. I think they started saying it somewhere before we even turned off of our street.
It’s funny to be on this side of childhood. I remember doing exactly the same things my children do…well, at least some of the things they do. When we were saying goodbye this afternoon (yup, I’m writing about our trip TO Canada on our way HOME) my niece, Piper, was going around hugging everyone and when she got to her mom she hugged her, too, and said, “Goodbye, Mom, see you later!”
My cousins and I did that all the time. And we thought we were both hilarious and creative for doing so. Now my nieces and nephews are doing the same thing. And they think they are both hilarious and creative for doing so.