Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to John

So last week was John's birthday (yay! Can anyone say 'terrible 2s?' That's kind of like saying World War II was a border skirmish) and he got some sweet presents from G&G Weist as well as Aunt Hilary. We've now got a couple more cool books to keep him quiet at church (something I'm sure the rest of the congregation will be thrilled at) and John had the grand experience of blowing out his own candles for the first time. (We had to re-enact that part over & over & over... sigh, I have to remember that he's a boy and will always think that fire is cool). And in return for the awesomeness that was his birthday (that's funny, my spellchecker didn't mark awesomeness as an incorrect word) John decided to show his appreciation by suddenly turning into a monkey and attempting to climb on every available surface in our apartment.

It started when he got a time-out and I put him screaming into his crib. After about 20 seconds the screaming stopped and I was mid-way through asking Michael, “Did that sound like a door opening?” when the plonking of 2-year-old feet was heard banging down the hall and a little head popped around the corner. We were so shocked we couldn't even be mad at him, and instead got the video camera and made him re-enact the escape.

Apparently he learned to pull himself up to the top rim, balance somewhat precariously while he swung his legs over, then slowly lower himself until he was low enough to plop down to the ground. The whole exercise took him about 8 seconds. I noted while watching this escapade that “he's going to topple over and fall right on his head” which is exactly what he did the next time he tried it during his afternoon nap. That's one major problem with having tile floors everywhere. Ouch.

Unfortunately the large purple goose-egg on his forehead did nothing to deter his enthusiasm for this endeavor because I woke that night at 2am to the pinging of DVDs on the ground next to our bed. The little goober had climbed out of his crib, retrieved a DVD from our room, taken it out to the living room to try to watch it, climbed up on a table and took a picture frame from a shelf on the wall, and who-knows-what-in-the-world-else-he-did or how long he had been awake at all!!!!! And because he was having so much fun climbing everywhere he decided the next day to climb on the kitchen counter to retrieve snacks from a shelf that's about parallel with my head.

Of course he didn't know how to get back in his crib or get down from the counter, so needless to say we've been a bit worried about the little monkey's safety. So, back to my main point at the beginning of this post, which was about John's birthday... the main present he got from mom & dad came 2 days after his birthday when we took a trip out to Ikea and bought him a big-boy bed.

He has been excited for naps and bedtime ever since and takes up chanting “new bed! new bed!” at regular intervals. He still gets up and plays for a while sometimes, but at least he can get himself back into bed when he gets tired (which, since he turned 2 is, basically, never).
Oh, and Emily is growing like a weed (6 weeks old and finally fitting in 0-3month clothes instead of just newborn stuff) and, of course, she is just as beautiful as ever.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Presidents Day

Things have been more up-tempo lately as we've returned somewhat to normal life... I've started going back to teaching Institute with Michael on Friday nights and I'm also getting back in my Primary calling. On top of that, Emily decided she wanted to start getting enormous, so she eats about every hour of the day. Thankfully she gives me a respite at night when she sleeps 3 hours at a time like clockwork, but it still means that we have fallen behind on some of our usual routines. However, John has been remarkably adaptable to everything, taking it in stride when he has to wait for something because mom has to feed the baby. He still insists on kissing his sister at least a dozen times a day and has started sharing his toys, food, pacifier, etc. Anything he enjoys and thinks she would want as well. The other day I left Emily on her changing pad and went to get a diaper. When I came back, John had lined up all of his rubber ducks next to her so she could play with them.

Another relatively new development for John is his desire to talk on the phone. He sees us use our phones and, naturally, wants to copy what mommy & daddy are doing. However, he doesn't quite understand the concept of non-face-to-face communication so he will sit with the phone at his ear not saying a word for minutes at a time. However boring this may seem to me, if Michael is out somewhere and one of us happens to call the other, John will insist on “talking” to his daddy on the cell phone. And by “talk” I mean he wanders around the apartment with the phone up to his ear while he listens to Michael tell him about his day.

His affinity for this cell phone thing was emphasized by the following experience:
One song that I am requested to sing several dozen times a day is “The Daddy Song” from the Primary Children's Hymnbook (actually it's called “Daddy's Homecoming” but John has shortened it for easier reference-- the link for the song is HERE.) John loves to follow along, interjecting a word here and there and doing actions along with me: clap hands, climb on knees, hug, cheeks, kiss.
Anyway, I was getting tired of daddy always getting the forefront in the song department so I decided to throw in “The Mommy Song” from the same book (HERE) and subsequently made up some more actions for our mommy song. The first line begins “When my mother calls me,” at which point I put my hands up to my mouth to amplify the word, as if hollering out to someone in another room. The other night we were trying to entertain John and I began singing “the mommy song” with usual actions. At the end of that first line I had my hands up around my mouth “calling” out as usual and I asked a busy little John, who was happily running in circles around the room at the time, “John, can you 'call' with momma?” To which he stopped suddenly and put his hand up to his ear as if holding a cell phone and looked at me expectantly like, “ok, now what?” It was so unexpected that Michael & I just burst out laughing. John just realized we weren't singing anymore so he continued running happily in circles. Just one small way technology has changed the way we interact with each other.

OK, so here are a few more web albums:
More Jan 2008

Feb 2008

monkeys & more

And let me leave you with a parting thought... we had rented a car for 2 months (hallelujah, it has been heavenly!) but we are on our SECOND rental because the first one failed to live up to my standard of not containing any disgusting, filthy, disease-carrying vermin. That's right, we started finding little cockroaches IN THE CAR. And these suckers were FAST. We would try to kill them (OK, Michael would try to kill them, I would try to keep from squealing with horror) but they would dive UNDER the seat and hide somewhere in the nether regions of the "boot". Thankfully the rental company agreed that this was a less-than-desirable attribute for a car that someone actually wants to SIT in, so they brought us another one. Even now it gives me the complete willies just the think about it. And now I've shared it with you. You're welcome.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

You know you're a parent when...

Ahhh remember when certain songs, smells or tastes could instantly take you back to a certain place in your life. For me when I smell nice and ripe peaches I can close my eyes and I'm transported to Okayama Japan where I tasted some of the best peaches I've ever tasted. Or when I listen to Bruce Springsteen sing Blood Brothers I am back in a tiny little apartment at BYU with my roommates. Imagine if you will an "oldie" on the radio, instead of taking you back to a memory of younger days (and I know we're new at this parenting thing), is switched to a new and.....uh different memory.

So Erin and I were driving to teach Institute on Friday night (Feb 8) and when we pulled into the parking lot an homage to the Spice Girls and their current reunion tour was playing on the radio, now what does the Spice Girls singing "Wannabe" bring to mind to you?

Is it this:

Or is it this:

If it is the second image, of Abby and Runt doing some karaoke then well you too watch WAY too many kids movies and have seen Chicken Little as many times as we have.

Here's to the memories, the ones that were associated with our pasts B.K. (Before Kids), and how quickly they're replaced......

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Happy Chinese New Year everyone! We are celebrating today by sitting around in our pajamas, taking pictures, and eating Chinese food (stir-fry beef with snow peas... mmm...) Michael bought this adorable little dress for Emily and even though it sort of drowns her we couldn't resist putting it on her to celebrate Chinese New Year. The official holiday lasts 3 days, but really it's the whole month leading up to it, even afterwards. It like saying Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 25, but really it's the month leading up to it that we consider "Christmas".

We've learned about some fun Chinese traditions while we've been here but the most interesting have to be regarding post-partum traditions for new moms. They are not allowed to bathe or wash their hair for 30 days after giving birth... they also are encouraged not to consume cold drinks or food for 100 days. It all has to do with yin & yang, which, to be quite honest, I still really don't understand. But I actually found some illuminating websites that gave overall views of these post-partum traditions, referred to as the Confinement period, and they included avoiding excess sweating, staying out of the wind, etc. Personally, I find it too much to think about when you're already trying to adjust to having a new baby. Also, I'm afraid I would go stir-crazy staying in the house and have already found myself desperate to get out occasionally. When Emily was one week old, John went with friends to the zoo and Michael took Emily & I out for a $4 hot chocolate at Starbucks.
My internet connection isn't that great today, so I'm not going to post our web album just yet... but we did want to add some pics of our little cutie. She's eating a lot and starting to fill out her newborn clothes & diapers... she's also opening her eyes more than those first pictures so we thought you'd want to see them.

I know I'm biased, but MAN she's beautiful!

I also took some "point of reference" pictures so you could see how perfectly tiny she is... here's her next to my cell phone...

...and my tweezers...

...oh, and that's right, this is her projectile vomiting. Honestly I can't believe she did that RIGHT when I snapped the picture. Nice timing.