Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween is stupid, but this is funny.


This is my cousin Alex. He doesn't really look like this. This is his Halloween costume, I think. Alex is very young and just recently got married.







This is my uncle Jerry. He is Alex's dad. He is a good man and a good uncle. I bet Alex thinks his costume is funny, which it is. However, I'm not to sure that he realizes he looks exactly like his dad, even without the costume.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Warriors or Wolverines?

studly brother

As Ross, Elliott and I drove to Bountiful for the last football game today, we were happy to note that the season is finally over. No more losses, no more sitting in the snow and the rain, and finally we get to move on to basketball. Yeah!

The Wolverines won and Willie had a great game both on offense and defense. Yes, the center got to be a defensive lineman today just for kicks.

After the game, as the boys do after every victory, unless of course they are spurred on by angry parents to taunt Kearns, they line up and do the Haka (sp?). You know, the Polynesian warrior dance. I'm sure it's bad to say that it's cute, but it is. Cute! It's the closest I'll ever get to seeing Willie dance, I'm sure. It's taken him several seasons, but he's finally mastered the movement, though he doesn't seem to have a clue what to chant and when to chant it. Maybe next year he'll figure it out.
video

Unfortunately, we found out after the game that there is one more...next week. We're playing in what is affectionately known as the "toilet bowl". Yipee. I can't wait.

A visit from the bug


play date, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

Little Lucy Bug and her mama Codi came to visit Elliott and me yesterday. We had a great time. Lucy and Elliott are quite opposites, thought they are pretty close in age. However, both are completely edible in their own ways. Elliott is our food storage, in case we ever need it (kidding, kidding) and little Lucy Cate is just so adorable that you just want to eat her up and sniff her sweet baby head.

Want to know one of the best thing about having such good friend and her sweet baby come to visit? Swapping kids! I got to play with Lucy and take lots of pictures of her and Codi read stories to Elliott. It was awesome.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dingleberry Nation

Dear Internet,

This post should probably be retitled to, "Stupid, stupid, stupid!"

This week has been a doozy, to say the least and the details aren't important. What is important is that today, after taking care of some business in the bathroom, I dropped my cell phone in the toilet. It was in my back pocket, blah, blah, blah. Like I said, details aren't important.

I fished the phone out and wished it a fond farewell. The screen flooded and by the time Ross got home from work, it was starting to rust. Off to the AT&T store we go.

Our contracts are up in January, so both of us were planning on getting new phones in just a few months. Mine came early! Merry Christmas to me! (stupid, stupid, stupid).

What did I get? Something more functional than what I had and a little too big to fit in my back pocket. I got this:
Nope, not an iphone, a blackberry. I'll save you the details of the decision, blah, blah, blah.

I've lost all my phone numbers. If I know you, yours was probably one of them. Please e-mail it to me.

Thanks,
Stupid

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Here's a story for ya!


The England Picture, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

I met Ross in 2002, right before the Olympics started. He worked for SLOC (Salt Lake Organizing Committee) and thought that he was going to manage events for the rest of his life. In June of 2002, he accepted a job to spend the summer in Manchester, England working the Commonwealth Games.

By the time he left, I had decided that I really liked him and was extrememly bummed that he was leaving for the WHOLE summer! What was I supposed to do? Oh yeah, redesign my curriculum for the upcoming school year.

Anyway, he asked for a picture of me to take with him to England. I wasn't a fan of the idea, but I obliged none-the-less. At the time, I refused to have someone take my picture and I had a camera (film) with a remote control. I spent the week before he was to leave taking a roll of self-portraits with my camera.

Ross was to leave on a Sunday morning and was coming to say goodbye on his way. I took my perfectly composed roll of exposures to Walgreen's for 1 hr. developing. At the designated time, I went to get my images and the snot-nosed, zit-faced punk moron kid who was working the photo lab ruined my roll of film during processing and my images were lost and gone forever.

I was devastated to say the least. I came home sobbing and told my mom what had happened. She called Walgreen's and yelled at them and they apologized and said they'd develop a roll for free. So, my mom busted out her camera and we started taking pictures. It was awful. My hair had been in a ponytail all day and was dented in the back. My eyes were puffy and my face all red from crying that my stupid film was destroyed.

My mom got me to relax and laugh a little and we got through a roll of film pretty quickly. She took it to be developed, probablly threatened the stupid nerd kid at the camera bar, and an hour later, I had this picture.

This is the one I gave to Ross. I was looking for some frames in the basement yesterday and found it in the container I was rooting through. Notice the length and overall blonde-ness of my hair. And, I don't have a double chin. And, I am wearing a size medium t-shirt with a sun tan. Oh, those were the days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

9 months in, 9 months out

After getting off to such a rough start, who'd have guessed that the little monkey that livest at my house would be such a busy, thriving, active little fart. The last nine months have definitely gone by much faster than the previous nine did. I keep having flashbacks about what I looked like and felt like last year around this time and boy oh boy, I'll take this baby on the outside over the baby on the inside any day.


I can't believe that my baby is such a big kid and so much fun. He is getting taller and skinnier and when we measured him the other day, he's already nearly half my height. I think I really do have a giant on my hands.

mugging for the camera

New Likes:
  • People Food (apples, carrots, all bread products, crackers, bacon, ham, cheerios)
  • Standing up in and shaking the crib
  • Auntie Haley and Uncle Willie. Willie has always been a favorite, but Elliott has a new found appreciation and love for his Auntie.
  • The windy metal things that stop the door from hitting the wall
  • Chewing on clean, unused diapers
  • Talking
  • Sleeping
  • Singing and Dancing
  • Laughing. We've known for some time that the kid has a strange sense of humor, but it's becoming more obvious. Lately, throwing pillows at him is hilarious.
  • Not wearing a helmet
  • Baths in the big bathtub and splashing
  • Helping mom make the bed and getting covered up with the sheets
  • Spitting. Lots of spitting
  • Climbing up the stairs 100% assisted
  • Biting. Elliott bites noses, toes, food, toys. He has 7.5 teeth, so it's no wonder, right?
  • Pulling hair
  • Pulling glasses off Grandma and Mom's face
  • Shredding toilet paper
New Dislikes:
  • Being told No
  • Not being allowed to roll off of the changing table at will
  • Getting out of the bathtub
  • Undershirts and long sleeves
  • The flavor of Benadryl
  • Being tired
  • Staying up late. We have a new bed time: 6:30 pm. It's heavenly
  • Boogers
  • Haircuts with clippers. In the last month, Grandma Judy and Mom have cut Elliott's hair twice. He's needed it and on Sunday it was with clippers. He's not a fan.
  • Bed head. Having a nap with wet hair just doesn't make a boy a "dapper dan" when he wakes up.
  • Eating shredded toilet paper
One True Love:
Elliott's intense love and admiration for the laundry continues to grow. I guess you could say he has a "love-love" relationship. He LOVES the washer and he LOVES the dryer. I think that they appreciate him back because without him and his dirty clothes, they wouldn't be as busy.






Elliott also had his first "blow-out" this month. I had to run to the pharmacy to get a refill for one of my insulin's and when I got home, Ross said that they had experienced a code red and that I had better look in the bathroom. Before throwing it away, Ross saved the soiled, sick undershirt for me to look at. How sweet. The short of it, Elliott exploded and Ross had to clean it up. Perfect timing. The one and only time in 9 months that we've had to throw an article of clothing away because it was soiled beyond repair.

Ross and I are fairly positive that Elliott will be walking in the next month or so. That's all he seems to be interested in. He can't sit up from lying down yet or stand without falling down but he will walk. Oh yes, he will walk.

pensive


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Who did this?


Yes, I'm working on a Sunday. Sometimes, I just need to wrap up a few things before the new week starts. As I went to my work home page www.uen.org I saw that my picture was there, front and center.
Who did this? Why?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bonne Anniversaire Momacita!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thank you for being my mom. Thank you for teaching me right from wrong. Thank you for letting me experience the world, learn about all kinds of people, showing me important things, and helping me develop an appreciation for the good all around.

Thank you for teaching me to make my own decisions even if the statement, "You're a big girl, you can make your own decisions" sometimes burned my ears. Thank you for always being around and helping me whenever and wherever. I know that I can count on you, even now, when I'm a grown up.

Thank you for being not too crazy, but just crazy enough, singing along to the radio with all the wrong words, taking us to Disneyland and Yellowstone and Washington DC and the Zoo, and always asking the kid at the drive-through window if the French fries are fresh and if he likes his job. Thank you for having a baby when you were "old." I love him and am glad that he gives me something to do on Fridays after school and that I can spend my whole weekend hanging out with him - even if it means freezing on a sideline somewhere.

Because of you, I have a plan and always will.

Most of all, thanks for being such a good grandma to the monkey. He loves you. I love you, too.(Photo courtesy of Haley Binggeli)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Showing Off

Elliott wanted to show off some of his sweet skills. He's getting very good at standing up skills, lip smacking skills, "mama" and "baba" skills.

Take a look!


video

Customer Service, part 3: The epic saga of denim

If you remember, back in August, I was trying to find a pair of jeans that fit. I had a rough evening at the mall and came home with the ugliest, stretchiest pair of fake denim you ever could find, and a bad attitude.

After I returned those jeans I decided to see if the internet would be my friend, particularly Eddie Bauer online. I ordered two pair of jeans, the same style and size, just in different colors. I went for a size bigger than my pre-baby size to ensure fit and ordered them, of course, in tall. I did this around August 21, 2007. I hoped that they would arrive, and fit, by the time we went to Yellowstone. They didn't and I went to Yellowstone with only stretchy pants to my name.

When we arrived at home, my jeans were here. They of course came the second the car died in Pocatello, I'm sure. I was excited and even more elated when the jeans fit. At least the lighter colored of the two pair. The darker wash came in regular length, not tall. I need tall. I'm positive I ordered tall. I depend on tall to make me look like I can actually find clothes that fit. After reading through all of my return/exchange options, I found that the most simple was to return the pants with the pre-paid label and exchange them for the TALL pair.

I returned the jeans. Two weeks later, I get an e-mail saying that my return has been received and that my account will be credited. This is so stupid! I return the jeans to exchange for a bigger size and this is EB's policy. They credit me what I paid for the jeans, and then redo the order for a new pair and charge me again.

ARG! So stupid. About a week after the e-mail that my return has been returned, I get an e-mail saying that the new pair of jeans has shipped.

I got them last Friday. Nearly two months after I ordered them in the first place.

Talk about efficiency.

Monday, October 15, 2007

How do you keep Annie from spending money?

Make her carry a 25 lb. baby that won't sit in his umbrella stroller and insists on grabbing everything heavy and glass and laughing about it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yeah, they won again!

Willie's football team won it's third straight game. They seem to enjoy playing in the cold weather and their opponents do not. Three weeks ago it was so cold that in the 4th quarter, Taylorsville's team just quit. Last week, they got snowed on at Skyline and this week we were a little cold, but the sun came up and things warmed up a bit. Willie is becoming a very good football player and a great center. It is fun to watch him play, even if his back hurts.

I'm a bit behind on pictures because I haven't made it to the last few games but I took some today.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

8.5 months, it's worth the update

Life in Monkey land has gotten interesting in the last few days. Interesting enough to warrant a mid month update.

First, yesterday, the monkey wore his first pair of jeans...all day long. He wore a pair once, just for a few hours to a baseball game, but he was in it for the long haul yesterday. I'm not a fan of denim on babies. It's not soft and sweet, and squishy, but he did look super cute in his jeans.
wearing denim

Second, the kid has yet another tooth coming in. It's on the bottom and makes for goofy toofy #7. Ross and I should have known when last Friday, in the span of about 25 minutes Elliott pooped three times and puked a little, that something was up but it wasn't until later when we finally looked in his mouth, that we saw the cause of his upset tummy. That's 7 teeth at 8.5 months old. I'm not sure that's a record, but it's pretty exceptional. Because of the great tooth progress, Elliott has started eating cheerios and Gerber star things. He loves them equally and it's just about the cutest thing to watch him pick them up and struggle to get the tasty treats into his mouth. He's doing a great job though. If he gets any more teeth soon, Ross is ready to just give Elliott a steak and see how he handles it.

Third, we've officially graduated from the baby bathtub on the counter top to the real bathtub. Bath time was getting a little out of hand, and very wet every morning so over the weekend we made the switch. Who's have guessed that this baby loves the bathtub? We should have switched a month ago. He's just growing up so fast. He loves to splash, and stick his head under the faucet and have the water run over his face. He's also figured out how to turn the drain and stop the water from running out of the tub. Smart fart.

big bath tub

Fourth, and perhaps most exciting, occurred today. Everyone in the family has been trying to get Elliott to wave bye-bye for weeks now and he won't do it. The only person whose made any progress is Willie, and all he can do is to get Elliott to frantically wave his arms. Well, this morning, as Ross was walking out the door to work, I said to Elliott, "Wave bye-bye to dad" and guess what, he did! Yeah! It's a silly little wave, and only involves his fingers, but it's definitely a wave and I couldn't be more proud. The second milestone today? With very little help from me, this afternoon, Elliott pulled himself from sitting to standing in his crib. We've been working on it for a while and he's finally starting to figure it out. Now all he needs to do is figure out how to sit up, and he'll be in business.
chewing

Monday, October 08, 2007

Whose your candidate?

We don't talk politics in our house. It's a rule. Ross and I don't agree so it's best that we save all political discussions for when we are with people of like mind and interests. That being said my mom sent me a link this morning to see who my political candidate is.

here's the link:
Select a Candidate 2008

In case your intersted, here's my family breakdown so far:
Annie - Hilary Clinton
Ross - Tom Tancredo and John McCain
Haley - John Edwards
Karl - Mitt Romney
Judy - Hilary Clinton
Willie - Duncan Hunter

As you can see, in a single family, we're all pretty divided on our political views. It often makes for interesting Sunday dinners.

Check out the quiz and see who your candidate is.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Annual Fall Drive

Fall is my most favorite time of year. I love the colors, the crispness in the air, drives to see the fall leaves and sweaters. T Every fall at the end of September or beginning of October, we go for a drive. It was a tradition (and still is) that we go on a fall leaf drive when I was a kid where I spent most of the time asleep. Now, as a grown up, I stay awake (it's Elliott's turn to fall asleep) and I love the scenery. It's even okay that Ross makes me listen to football. As long as I get to see the pretty leaves, I can handle just about anything. This year, we did the Butterfield Canyon drive and it was great. We encountered a bit of snow, some deer and strange birds, and a lot of other folks who had the same idea as us.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

early preview of the halloween costume


give me the camera, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

Many of you know how much Ross and I love holidays, especially Halloween. We thought that you might like a sneak preview of Elliott's costume.

This year, he's going to be a baby. WIth a spoon. And a bib that says "baby's first halloween".

Isn't it scary?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Not In Our House; The Augie Curse!

I hope that all of the Cub fans that wore blue and painted their faces and paid for tickets at Chase Field enjoyed getting spanked two consecutive nights by a bunch of rookies and role players.

$300 MM for a bunch of guys that give up gopher balls and go 4 for 26.

Props to the dbacks pen even if Valverde is a kook.

How this team is in the playoffs is a mystery to me, but they just keep winning by playing the right way. Even fill in Augie Ojeda is tearing it up (Cubs fans should remember him).

It make take another couple of games, but we are off to the NLCS (along with the Rockies). Nice work NL West (best division in baseball) and nice work to two teams with homegrown talent - I love how all of the east coast broadcasters that have focused on the Cubs and Phillies are now scrambling.

The picture doesn't do it justice


ouch, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

Ross is a good dad. He really does his fair share of baby duties and most of all, he gets up with Elliott in the night. I appreciate that more than he'll ever know.

Early in the morning on Thursday, as he got up with Elliott, Ross crashed into a small ottoman in the room. He hurt his toe. Not just any toe but his defective, scary, looks like the top has been chopped off toe.

He needs some sympathy and he's not getting it from me. Please, feel sorry for his nubby toe and his very dry, very scratchy feet.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Customer Service, Part Deux: The unwanted visitor at the table

As if things can't get any worse. I obviously have cooties. As I mentioned to Ross a couple of weeks ago, you all better start rockin' the "FBP" because apparently I am a carrier. Or I have leprosy without being able to see it.

Today, I attended a conference in Provo on differentiated instruction. Yes, an education conference and it was good enough that I'll actually go back tomorrow. I got stuck in a terrible traffic jam on my way to Happy Valley and though I wasn't late, I cut it pretty close. As I walked into the ballroom I realized that my tardiness may have cost me a seat as the room for the workshop was full, maybe 600 people or so squeezed together like sardines. I started scanning for an empty chair in one corner of the room and as I worked my way across saw that right in front of me was a table with empty seats.

There were 10 seats at the table and 4 of them were being saved by stuff. I took one of the empty seats. Big mistake. Little did I know that the other 6 seats were being saved by invisible stuff. I should have smelled the marked territory, but I didn't. As the conference got started, the 4 saved seats showed up and soon their friends followed and guess what, there weren't enough spots to rest all their cutesy, groupy butts because I took one of their chairs. I thought nothing of it until we were told to discuss a couple of questions with the people seated at our table. As I turned to discuss, all the women of whom were now scorning me for being a loner and taking one of their seats looked at me and then turned away, allowing me to have a discussion with their hair and shoulder pads.

This happened all three times we were told to discuss. I finally found someone else to talk to but she was stupid. I told her that I work for UEN and she asked me if I could help her find a new reading specialist for her district. Um, sure! That's what I do. I'm my own monster.com, I walk around with people's resumes, and am all about content literacy. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

After lunch, I sat somewhere else.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Customer Service

First and foremost, Elliott is finished with his helmet. After 3 months he improved from a 12 mm differential to a 6 mm one. The goal was 5 mm or smaller but at this point, we'd be keeping it on him for another month for 1 mm. That's the good news, no more helmet. Elliott and I were very pleased. Yeah!

video

Though happy to have the helmet off we are, the experience at the doctor's today was less than pleasant. I was completely positive that our appointment today was at 1:00 pm. I checked my planner and thought I read 1 pm. We got to the office of the plastic surgeon who has been supervising our helmet experience and I checked us in, noting that we were 10 minutes early and would be happy to wait. The first receptionist ignored us, pretending not to see us at her desk. Maybe her multi-colored spikey hair was in the way. The second receptionist, let's call her Big Boobies, looked at her schedule and told us that we were supposed to have come at Noon. Big Boobies wasn't nice about it. Neither was her clone, Bib Boobies II, at the other desk. I'm not sure who was at fault, me or them but regardless, Elliott and I were 50 minutes late for our appointment. All the helmet kids were gone and replaced by women seeing the doctor for, you guessed it, new boobies.

Now, I realize that I made an error, and I apologized profusely. Boobies I and II were not in any way receptive to my apology. Neither was Boobies the Bombshell Nurse who took us back to a room or Boobies the Head Measurer. (They must all get a discount) I'M SORRY WE WERE LATE! Apparently, no one is every late to the plastic surgeon's office. They squeezed us in (no pun intended) and I think because they were ticked off at me, told us that Elliott graduated! No more helmet. That was nice. The doctor however, told me to schedule an appointment for 6 months from now to check on his progress and the small dent in the back of his head. As I went to the front desk, the Boobies were no wear to be found. Elliott and I just left w/o making a follow-up appointment.

Here's the thing that bothers me. I readily admitted that I made a mistake. I was as cordial about it as possible. They could have told me that I needed to reschedule, or as nicely as possible told me that they'd get us in. Or, they could have called the day before like all other good doctor's offices and reminded me, avoiding the error in the first place. I just don't understand why people who are in the customer service industry are so rude sometimes. I realize that, unlike all the women (and it's only women) who work for the plastic surgeon look like the just stepped off of of "Doctor 90210" and I am a lowly house wife with an 8 month old helmet baby who spends less time making herself presentable for public outings than they do putting on lip liner, but holy cow! Be nice! Why is it so hard to be nice? It's your job. You are the receptionist! You receive people! Be hospitable!

Good grief. At least we don't have to go back. Yeah!

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