Monday, July 30, 2007


This weekend, the monkey figured out how to sit up, all by himself, and hardly tips over, ever!

And, as of this morning, his two front toofies have broken through. He's soon to be a biting machine.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

As if life isn't tough enough...

(paraphrase of a recent conversation at the zoo)

Mom: Elliott definitely seems to be center stage these days. Willie, does that make you feel bad?

Willie: Not really, it's okay. I'm alright. It's like I've moved from center stage to being Elliott's opening band.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Brushes with fame

In my life, I've had a few brushes with fame.

In junior high, when the NBA All-Star game was in Utah, I met Bill Lanier because my school got to go to the NBA Stay in School Jam. Also in Jr. High I met Mark Eaton, and the "don't waste Utah" guy, if you remember those adds.

Once, some family members and myself watched a basketball game sitting next to Bill Wennington (he used to be an off the bench center for the Bulls in the early 1990's).

When I was in high school, the quarterback for the University of Utah football team came to a bunch of family parties.

At Disneyland, once I saw one of the T-Birds from Grease (the short chubby one with curly hair) and another time, my dad and I were in line at the Matterhorn and guess who walked past us - OJ, Nicole, and their two kids...right before he killed her.

Haley and I have met the Barenaked Ladies. We drove to Lost Wages for a concert and managed to get ourselves in to the special local radio contest lunch at the House of Blues. We ate some food, watched, and then were introduced to all the members of the band. Haley has a picture to prove it. Then, that night at the concert, Kevin, the piana player, said as the band was leaving the stage after their encore, "To those girls who drove here from Salt Lake City, thanks for coming and drive home safely." "those girls" was us!

Finally, on occasion, if I'm lucky, I get to run into Annie the Spazz (It has to be a double zz because I'm in Utah and everything is a double zz). She's a good friend of mine and always pops up at the most unexpected times. I've run into her when I was teaching high school. She helped me walk head on into a plate glass door and smear my greasy forehead with 50 high school students watching. She helps me trip on sidewalks, choke on chocolate milk, and loose stuff all the time.

Well, Annie the Spazz and I met up on Monday afternoon for a doozy of a reunion. This time, the Spazz helped me walk into a sharp pointy corner of a low hanging roof. I was in the Mountains on Monday at a cabin in the woods and to make a long story short, I walked into a roof at a full speed walking pace. You see, I have this problem where I walk looking down, because I'm always afraid of falling. Well, that's a problem when things are hanging at my eye level. I can't see them.

Two days later, it's obvious that I am not concussed, but my head hurts like the dickens. I've got a big red mark where the point of impact was and this morning I can finally turn my head without sharp pains going down my neck.

Of all my brushes with fame, meeting up with Annie the Spazz is the only one that ever hurts.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Death of the NBA

If you thought that the NBA Playoffs were a travesty and that the league is a joke - you were right! No more kooky conspiracy theories. The FBI pulled back the curtain on Stern's sham of a league this past weekend.

Thanks commish for making sure that all of the players abide by a dress code while at the same time your officials are fixing games. Way to go. It is worse than Italian soccer.

This is what Bill Simmon's had to say.

I cannot agree more. Time for Stern to go.

Imagine being a Suns fan right now. You just spent the past two months believing that your team got screwed by the Stoudemire/Diaw suspensions, that you would have won Game 1 if Nash didn't get hurt, that you would have taken Game 3 if you hadn't been screwed by the officials, that you would have cruised in Game 5 if two of your best guys weren't suspended for running toward their best player as he lay in a crumpled heap. Now it looks like an allegedly compromised referee worked Game 3.

Well, how much did Donaghy affect the game? How many calls did he whistle on Stoudemire? How many of Bowen's potential fouls did he not call? Was he the seemingly incompetent schmuck who made that three-seconds-too-late call on Ginobili? Did Tim Donaghy cost you that game?

If David Stern wants to do right by the fans, then he should order NBA TV to rerun the tape of Game 3. We need answers. We need to know for sure. Hell, they can start a series called "NBA Hardwood Classics: The Tim Donaghy Collection" and we'll spend the rest of the summer combing through games and figuring out how many Donaghy could have fixed. Like Game 6 of the Raptors-Nets series, which New Jersey won by a point in the final seconds. Did he swing that one? What about Game 2 of the Orlando-Detroit series, when the Magic rallied for a late cover in the final seconds with Donaghy jogging around? What about the Heat-Knicks game from last February in which the Knicks were given a 39-8 free-throw advantage and covered a 4.5-point spread by 1.5 points? Did Donaghy call those two technical fouls on the Miami coaches? Is there footage of Pat Riley screaming at him?

Stern promised us that "we would like to assure our fans that no amount of effort, time or personnel is being spared to assist in this investigation." And really, that's great. Thank you. But I'd rather see tapes of those games. I want to see all five playoff games that Donaghy worked last spring, as well as that Heat-Knicks game and any other contest that's relevant. Before we worry about justice, let's get some answers. Especially for Game 3 of the Spurs-Suns series. I left that series believing that the Spurs were better, that their offensive execution was unparalleled, that Tim Duncan was the best player on the court, that they would have figured out a way to win that series whether the suspensions happened or not. Now? I'm not so sure. What if an allegedly crooked referee hadn't been working Game 3? What if the Suns won that game? What then?

If you're a diehard Suns fan, this now becomes the toughest playoff loss in NBA history. You have a legitimate case that you were screwed.

Friday, July 20, 2007

6 months

Hey cute baby! You are 6 months old this weekend. Can you believe it? You've been alive in this dumb old world for half a year, and I'd say that you are off to a pretty fine start.


In the last month, you've learned to do some pretty spectacular things. You can grab your toes and pull them to your mouth, you could win a gold medal at the slobber Olympics, and you've become quite the talker. You bable and bable as if the whole world is waiting to hear what you have to say.


This month, you are all about standing, sitting up, drinking from a sippy cup and even using a straw. You seem to get more and more independent every day and never let me hold you or rock you to sleep. It seems that you would rather do everything yourself. You are getting good at standing alone, as long as mom or dad are nearby and just this morning I timed you and you sat a whole minute by yourself without tipping over.


Most importantly this got your helmet. It's a cute helmet. You definitely can rock the helmet and everyone who sees you in it thinks it's awesome. We've heard all kinds of comments (A little girl at Target told her mom your helmet was cool and a guy at the church thinks your training to play football already) and received lots of double takes, but it's all been good. You've taken to the head gear splendidly and have even figured out, in a few short days, how to sleep with it on. Good boy!

In the past 4 weeks you've been swimming a lot, had your first major holiday disaster on the 4th of July, have started to get your two front teeth, and even went to the zoo.

No wonder you're tired all the time. That and this whole growing out of control thing must have you exhausted.

Tomorrow, we're off to buy more 18 month sized clothes because your 12 month stuff is just too short.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Braving New Frontiers

Though hobbies really aren't my thing, I do enjoy taking pictures. Every once in a while I take a good one, or at least one that I really like. Whenever such a photo occurs, I stick it in a folder on my computer called, "contest pictures". Just in case I ever see a photo contest I want to enter, or decide to submit a photo to the county or state fair, I've already got them narrowed down.

Problem is, I never do it. Last summer, I was determined to enter some pictures into the state fair, and even went so far as to have Ross get me the necessary paperwork. What happened? Nothing! I used being pregnant as an excuse to do nothing but lay on the couch and feel sorry for myself most of the summer last year.

This year though, I want to be a little more brave, a little more outgoing, and a little more bold. If I could take pictures for a job, I'd be the happiest girl around. I've got no real training, just an eye for good shots, but I think I could do it. I don't know how to get started exactly, but I'll figure it out.

I did however, just the other day, submit a photo to a gallery of a magazine I read and they put my picture up on their site. I subscribe to a photography magazine called PC Photo. I love reading about cameras, cool gear, and photo shop techniques. This kind of stuff is my dungeons and dragons I suppose. My obsession and hobby. I saw a section on their website the other day where subscribers can submit their "best shot" so I uploaded a picture of Elliott with his helmet on. Guess what! They put it up on their site. I checked today. Cool!

It's not a contest, and I don't get a prize, but I do have my photo on the Internet, which I think is kind of neat.

(My picture is in the bottom left hand corner, in case you can't see it)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This is what they do when I'm not around

easy transportation, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

Elliott and I are like peas and carrots. Except, neither of us likes peas. We are together all the time and for the most part, enjoy each other's company immensely. I let Elliott eat my face and puke on my clothes and he lets me pinch his fat legs and smell his head. It's a match made in heaven.

No matter how much the two of us like hanging out together, there is just something about Dad being home that makes the world seem right. I get some time to myself and Elliott doesn't have to follow any of the dumb "rules" mom establishes during the day.

Last night, I was working upstairs in the office and Ross called me down to see what was going on. Elliott was in his high char without the tray and without the buckle just chillin' on the living room floor. They were watching baseball. Perfectly happy, perfectly content.

Explain to me this: Why can Ross get away with this? Why must I entertain, feed, clean, and make the boy laugh all day long and all Ross has to do is turn on a baseball game, and they both spend the evening with glazed over eyes, watching a game neither cares about and checking the minute by minute update of fantasy baseball on the computer?

I just don't get it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's back in action

This is my wedding ring on a crumpled tissue:
ring on tissue - glow effect

This is my wedding ring on my wedding ring finger:
ring on finger

Why is this blog worthy you may be asking? Because it is! I really like my wedding ring. I remember the night Ross and I went ring shopping at some local jewelers and I found this setting. Ross of course, took care of the rest, but, the ring is important right? It was just simple, yet elegant enough that I felt comfortable wearing such a piece of jewelry for, you know, the rest of my life.

Well, time passes, I got fat, then pregnant, then had the baby, then stayed fat. This, coupled with the fact that I haven't worn my wedding ring since April, 2006 because it was eating the skin on my finger, making my finger red, itchy, swollen, and look like I have leprosy has made yesterday so much better. We finally found someone who Ross trusted enough to re size my ring and clean it up. Yeah! Now, it is two sizes bigger than it started at when he gave it to me on November 8, 2002, but I get to wear it again.

It makes me happy. I'm not one to believe in omens and signs, but maybe the fact that I've got my ring back on will cancel out any of the negative impact on our relationship that might occur because Ross lost his ring. Again! The second time!

He swears it's in the house somewhere.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Call me Captain Elliott, private!

bored with the helmet, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

Elliott got his helmet yesterday. He starts wearing it on a trial basis today, one hour on, one hour off.

Minus not having a nap all day yesterday until the helmet appointment was over, he did remarkably well and this morning, doesn't really even seem to notice that he has it on.

I was nervous for him yesterday, but now, seeing his disregard for the whole thing, and how cute he looks with it on, who cares. The kid is making a fashion statement, while reshaping his very flat head. And he looks good doing it.

Amazing what we can learn from kids (patience, tolerance, acceptance). Even when they are only 5 months old.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Does Boo Live By You?

Boo Radley's House, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

This house is close to my neighborhood. Lately, I seem to drive past it all the time and every time I do, I think of one of my most favorite books, "To Kill a Mockingbird". If I ever saw a house that I thought Boo Radley would live in, it's got to be this one.

My sister once wrote a paper for an English Class titled, "There's a Boo Radley in every neighborhood". It was a good paper, I think. I probably didn't read it, but I'm sure she told me about it She talked about Larry the Lawnmower guy in it...he lived by us when we lived in our old house.

I know this house is vacant, because the land it sits on is for sale, but I can't help but wonder why the house, and the trees surrounding it, haven't been demolished. to make way for a quickie mart, or something like that.

This house definately has a history. It has to. And, beleive it or not, I really wish I knew what the history was.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Vanity is not something that I rate real high on the "important in life scale". There are so many other things to worry about than all of that stuff. However, if I were to be vain, the one area of my life where I dwell and nitpick is my hair. I'm obsessed about it's color, texture, symmetry, and overall condition. It's never the right length, style, or shade of blond. Now, that I've got the little monkey, my hair is an even greater area of concern because of all the things I NEED to do in a day, combing my hair is not on the list.

So, after an hour visit with Romela, whom I love and cherish dearly, the hair is gone. All gone. She cut so much off that in the middle of the cut, she had to sweep the floor after blowing it all off my lap with a dryer.

It's amazing how a hair cut, for me at least, can be so empowering and give me a sense of relief. I still had to do a bit of trimming when I got home, and wet it down to get rid of the poof, but it's the beginning of a new me! The first step was the hair, the next step is the body image. I'm hoping that the mind and soul will continue to thrive, especially in light of my new found motivation.

To commemorate this new found clarity, enjoy some pictures of my recent hair-capades over the last 6 years or so. Minus the dabble into the purple, you'll notice that it always looks the same...that boring news anchor look. I'm hoping that I'll turn a new leaf with the new cut and avoid the 5 pm nightly news.

Thank heaven for scissors and razors.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Yes, Virginia, I do have a father

Someone who calls them self "blogfan" wrote this in the comments to my flooded basement post:

you have a dad? i have been reading your blog for quite some time now. you seem to worship your mother. she is mentioned and praised over and over. what about daddy? does he not inspire you like your mother?

I started writing a response in the comments, but thought that what I was writing deserved more than a "comment" so here it is:


I don't know who you are, but thanks for reading. I didn't realize that anyone but my family and a few friends read anything that I write....ever!

Yes, I have a dad. He is a wonderful and amazing person. He is a role model, can wear a mustache with a swagger, and is a fantastic grandpa.
He comes to my rescue more than anyone else ever has, helping me move, rescuing me from a dead car on the freeway (and the credit union parking lot) or standing in inches of water and he never asks for anything in return. One day, when I was in college, he even drove out of his way early in the morning, to campus to put my parking pass in my car because I left it at home and I didn't want to get a parking ticket. He even has magic powers because he didn't have the right car key, but he got my door unlocked anyway.

He loves to read books, and we love to talk about history. I've got great memories of driving to University basketball games and talking WW II in the car to and from because we both just finished the latest book. Or arguing about minute details from something that we both read, and he was right, even though I insisted that I was.

I like that I can teach him computer stuff over the phone and that, unlike many of the teachers I work with on a daily basis, he remembers what I told him and can do it again.

I think it's funny that he does Sudoku puzzles and won't write in pen just in case he makes a mistake. I like that he is protective of his kids and likes his girls just as much as his golden boy. When Willie was born, a gentleman that we referred to as "dick-and-he-is-one" said to my dad, "Aren't you so excited that you finally have a son that you can play catch with," and my dad replied that he's been playing catch with his girls for years!

My dad is a thinker, and a ponderer, and a pretty spiritual guy. I trust him with anything and everything.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot!

Today, the gang went to the zoo. We got started late, and it was not only free day for the military and their families, but it seems that every single school group (or young adult county rec soccer team) that owns matching t-shirts showed up wearing their matching t-shirts. That, plus some major heat made the zoo a little trying.

Elliott was a very good and happy boy, even falling asleep in his stroller for a bit. We didn't see too many animals, but went to lunch at Hires after sweating to death. Yum.....Hires.

Dead men tell no tales

Believe it or not, I'm not a fan of celebrations or national holidays. I know that in the history of this blog, I've shared my disdain for many holidays, but have I whined about the 4th of July yet? Who cares, I'll whine now.

Here's the deal. As a kid (I mean, oh, 15 years old, now), the 4th of Joo-lie has always stressed me out. With parades, and luncheons, and barbeque's, and all family tugging in every direction at the same time, the day is just one that I try to skip. There are too many places to be at the same time and it stresses me out (because I'm that kind of person) and I do my best to avoid the 4th. The first year Ross and I were married, we went backpacking. The second year of our marriage we stayed and though I can't really remember, I'm pretty sure I was grouchy and not too much fun to be around. The last two fourths, we've been in California, San Francisco and San Diego, respectively.

This year, with this whole baby thing, we stayed. I wanted to go to Yellowstone but we're going to do that over labor day. We decided that this year, we'd do the Petersen barbecue in Ogden and that I'd be grouch free.

The morning got off to a little bit of a rocky start with some timing problems, car problems, work problems for Ross and Annie almost breaking her grouch free oath problems. But, we pulled through and eventually, got things rolling and had a great day. Don't believe me? Look at these pictures to prove it!

Pleasantness abounds, right? I mean come on, we even did a group photo to commemorate the day. My little family and I had a beautiful, leisurely drive home and things seemed to be ending on a high note. The timing problems, car problems, work problems and Annie the Grouch problems all seemed to dissolve. That is, until we got home.

You see, Ross bought this thing called a soaker hose. And, well, to make a long story short, it does what it claims to do. The water running down the alley could have been my first clue that something was amiss, but you see, I didn't know that Ross had turned the soaker hose on at 7 am. So there was no reason to think that all the water was mine. Even when I saw it running down the driveway, and storming out of the garage where it leaked through, I said nothing. However, once I got into the basement and sloshed through enough water that it hit the bottom of my ankle, I realized that something was amiss.

Our basement was flooded. The whole basement. It is a disaster. Hundreds upon hundreds of gallons of water sloshing around on the basement floor. We now know where the high spots are, and unfortunately, where the low spots are. The TV and play station? Safe! My precious school files, books and important documents? Gone to soggy paper heaven. It's amazing sometimes how, when stuff that you haven't looked at for years gets ruined, that you cry. Yes, I know it was just stuff, and that I have electronic copies of a few things, but holy cow, it's pretty rough to see things you've collected and used over the years totally destroyed.

We wet vac'd as much water out last night as possible. I owe my parents a lot (you guys name your price) for rushing to our rescue last night and helping us with the monkey and the bailing. Good thing we're all strong swimmers, because we came close to putting our skills to the test!

This morning, the basement had filled again, but this time just with about half an inch. Dad, thank you for spending your day with the swimming pool pump cleaning out the water while Ross was at work and I was playing at the zoo. You are a lifesaver and a wonderful dad.

You ask, what lessons have I learned from all of this? Several:
  1. The fourth of Joo-lie is cursed and never to be celebrated again. We are going back to running away!
  2. Flooding your own basement is a great way to motivate cleaning and reorganization in a hurry. Everyone should do it.
  3. Cardboard is absolutely disgusting when it has been soaking in water for 12 hours.
  4. My window sills are full of giant wolf spiders.
  5. You don't have to say a word to your husband after something like this happens. Staying quiet and keeping your mouth shut seems to inspire more guilt than yelling and carrying on like a fool.
  6. I still LOVE Ross, even after he flooded my basement and even though he is turning into an absent minded professor.
  7. My family is wonderful and oh so helpful! Cookies for a year won't even begin to repay them for all the help and support. I am offering cookies for a year though.
  8. Once things get cleaned up, it's really not a big deal and I'm happy that I showed some self-restraint and didn't get mad.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

He's just too cute. What else am I supposed to do?

We had the helmet fitting yesterday. It was okay, minus 10 minutes of total suckage where monkey screamed so loud and fervently that he turned purple. He gets his helmet next week. He'll wear it at least 6 weeks, but probably more because the kid's head is super flat!

However, today was a good day despite the trauma yesterday. We went swimming and monkey loves to swim. I dunked him under the water and, welll...he didn't hate it.

When we got home, I played with my new toy. A remote control for my camera. Yeah! Now I can take pictures from up to 15 feet away. Very cool.

Whilst playing, I took these. I can't resist. Could you?



Monday, July 02, 2007

No! Not hammer time, Helmet Time!

On Friday, my Mom and I took Elliott to the helmet doctor. To make a 2 hour appointment short, the monkey needs a helmet. His head is flat and lopsided a bit (see illustration) and needs to be fixed. Today, we have an appointment to get a mold of his head made for the reshaping head helmet. He will have to wear it for as little as 6 weeks up to 6 months, depending on who we talk to.
(Illustration borrowed and adapted from

I'm a little disappointed and nervous about the whole process. It makes me think I'm a bad mom and I couldn't keep my little baby's head round and that, when he is wearing his helmet, people will think there is something wrong with his cognitive ability/ability to not hurt himself, etc. But, on the bright side, he won't grow up with a grotesquely misshapen head, and I can get him any color of helmet I want. It will be so red, you'll see him a mile away!


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