Friday, February 29, 2008

Baby Friday - look at what I can do

We are close to the end of our ear infection fight and almost finished with the antibiotics that have messy, squishy, yet odorless side effects. The teeth have all broken through and the 4th molar seems to have made a slight appearance as well. This week, Elliott has added the sound of snake to his growing animal sound menagerie as well as a super cheesy smile whenever he really likes something. I even got him to walk holding only one of my fingers yesterday from the mailbox to the house! Yes!!

Most importantly however, he's learned to get off of the super tall squishy bed. It's taken him a bit of practice and boy oh boy does he get some momentum going on the way down, but he can get himself off the bed all on his lonesome.

However, he still needs to be caught because the landing is a little rough.

video

Monday, February 25, 2008

Being Unforgettable

I've been in a rut. An emotional, physical, mental, creative rut. I get this way sometimes and rather than try and fix the rut, I just get a little bit mean and a tad bit nasty and become rather unpleasant all together. And, It's come to my realization lately...well tonight, right now, that I've been in the rut because there is a little too much "I" - meaning me, in my life right now. I, I, I....it seems that the little world that consumes my existence is all about me. I'm mad, I'm bugged...yada, yada, yada.

This isn't what I want. Though work is the #1 item on the evening's agenda right now(waiting for a download so there's time to kill), it was a tad bit more important to seek out a bit of inspiration so a website hopping I went and came across this. I found a great article on Real Simples website titled, How to Make Yourself Unforgettable. The article is good. The author writes about her dad and how he was so unforgettable. I want to be like that. There is no I in team, right?

Dad’s 4 Steps to Being Unforgettable — and “Heavy” (not my dad, the author of the articles dad - but my dad might think these things to be true as well.)

1. Make it fun: Walk into any room or meeting or onto any stage with energy and optimism. Anticipate a positive response.

2. Remember — it’s not about you. Shift your attention from yourself to your audience. Don’t ask yourself, Do they like me? How do I look? but rather, What do they need? What can I give them?

3. Love your audience — however big or small — and they’ll love you right back. Let them know you’ll do absolutely anything to get your message across, to give them exactly what they need.

4. Show them your passion. Charisma is passion demonstrated. Don’t hold back. People need to feel your conviction, then they’ll believe in you.

So, I'm going to try. Better listener? That's me! What does the audience need? I'm all over it.

Please, help me stick to it. Living in mopey self absorbed land just isn't that much fun.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

13 months

Well kiddo, you've managed to survive your first month of being a one year old and it sure didn't come easily. Three ear infections, two colds, three molars, 2 tumbles down the stairs, and a bloody lip later, you made it. This past week has been a tough one for the both of us (both ears infected and three teeth), but we luckily and gratefully made it through. As you slept peacefully in the back seat of the car while I just drove around aimlessly, the lack of look in your face said it all. The two of us were just plum tuckered out.

absolutely and completely worn out!

As with every other month of your life, it's been full of achievements and amazing feats of soon to be "toddler-ness".
  • You tried learning to go down the stairs, but you were completely unsuccessful. No bother though, throwing everything in the house down the stairs is just as fun and a little bit safer than hurdling yourself down the stairs. Besides, throwing yourself off the bed doesn't hurt as much - you haven't as far to fall.
  • You are starting to talk a little bit more and are learning some animal sounds. You can do a fish, a puppy, a sheep and an elephant. Yes, your elephant is silent, but you sure do a mean trunk impression.
  • You can take your shoes and socks off, turn the bathtub water on, flush the toilet and unwind an entire role of toilet paper.
You have taken a keen interest in feeding yourself with utensils in the last little bit. Sometimes you are pretty successful and sometimes you just paint the kitchen with yogurt. Either way, it's more proof that you are my kid because you can't stand to be dirty and want your hands washed immediately.


ick - my hands are dirty

We are starting to have fun together, you and I. You laugh when I tickle you in just the right spot, you have conversations with me even though I don't know what you are saying and just this week, when you give me hugs, you've started patting me on the back. Oh, it just melts my heart every time.

You like to drink coke from a straw and I've finally broken down and put Hershey's syrup on your ice cream when we have special afternoon treats. Oh how you love chocolate and sweets. You are a junk food kid...it must be genetic.

finger lickin' good

Lucky for me though, you share and are so good at sharing your food with me. Even if it was in your mouth first.

I can't wait for you to walk, because carrying you and the key to the mailbox every day and everywhere else is getting a bit tiresome. Come on kid - use those legs! You, my son, are getting braver by the day and one day you'll walk, and I will probably cry because I will be so happy and sad at the same time. Happy to see you moving on and knowing that I don't have to lug your almost 27 pounds around and sad for the same reason.

Yes my son, you are growing up and growing up fast. Next thing I know I'll turn around and rather than seeing you peering from the kitchen stool, I'll be looking up towards the heaven's just to see your eyes at the top of your 7 foot frame.

can I have the camera?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Organization, please

Ross and I try hard to be clean and neat and tidy. The main level of our home, except for the kitchen table is generally clean, vacuumed, and orderly. Our office is a disaster with a mind of it's own, but the rest of the house seems to do okay.

I've been meaning for some time to work on our closet. It was a disaster, see.
before - what a mess

Clothes every where, shoes everywhere, overflowing hampers galore! It was time for a change. Do you ever get a bit clostrophobic when things like this are out of order? I do. There was only one thing to do in a situation like this - head to IKEA.

I had a little drawing and a vision of how to clean up the closet and yesterday was the perfect day to tackle this project because Ross had the day off and was willing to paint. You see, that was another problem - we had primed the closet but never really painted it properly.

By the end of a long day (projects, messes, teething grumpy snotty baby, etc.) we got things back in order and have a finished product that looks like this:

organized

I am so proud. We have matching hampers, organized and color coded clothes and shoes, and room to spare. It was easily determined last night that Ross has WAY more clothes than me and he was a brave, big boy and finally parted ways with some items I have never seen him wear in the 6 years we've been hanging out.

This feeling of "clean house" is infectious. I wonder what room I'll hit up next? Maybe, I can come to your house and throw some of your junk away?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nostalgia

I've been attending University of Utah Runnin' Ute basketball games since I was a baby. That's 29 years of basketball. 29 years of living and dying by the Utes. I don't think that my sister and I really ever paid much attention to the games for a really long time, but now, looking back, I've had more fun at the Huntsman Center than I've had in most other places. I remember when my grandparents and great grandparents had season tickets with us and we'd go visit them in the lower bowl at half time. I remember keeping score and doing my own stats to keep my attention and waiting to see if my score and stats matched up to the real score at the end of the game.

Yesterday at the Utah game, the all century team was honored. It was awesome to see all the old time players and guys that I grew up watching in once place. There were over 100 Utah players in attendance and some of my personal favorites like Josh Grant, Walter Watts, Brandon Sluga, Keith Van Horn, Andrew Bogut and Michael Doleac.
Oh, Dork-attack, how I still have a soft spot in my heart for you. Remember those times I intentionally parked at the Huntsman Center every morning even though none of my classes were any where near the Huntsman Center hoping, just hoping that I might see you (I did quite a bit), bump into you, and have you ask me to marry you? Oh yeah, you didn't know about that. It's okay. I'm happy now and I hope you are too.

The air in the arena yesterday was reminiscent of years when the Utes were awesome, I lost my voice at ball games and the fans came out in throngs. It was a great day.

Go Utes!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Baby Friday - I'm just too busy

Elliott is one busy monkey. He has places to go and people to see. The calendar of this kid is just booked. Between appointments with doctors, grandparents, aunts and uncles, trips to target and the mail box, and his much needed daily computer time, this kid is over booked.


Yesterday, Auntie Haley had a snow day and Elliott was more than happy to hang out for a bit - especially because stupid mom forgot to leave the car seat. While hangin' with Haley, Elliott had a coke and made cookies. What else does a kid need on Valentine's Day?
making cookies

drinking a coke

With all his moving and shaking, and popcorn popping (thanks grandma for the vd gift) it's no wonder that sometimes, the kid just gets plum tuckered out.
alseep on the floor

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm getting better...

I really like using Photoshop. I'm not that good, and I usually use Elements, not my version of CS2 because it intimidates me. Anyway, I'm starting to think that photo restoration is a pretty cool thing and this is what I did today.

I went from this picture,
Before

To this picture.
After

It is a picture of my grandma, her sister and brother, and my great grandpa when they were kids, during the great depression, I think. I have always loved this picture and it was fun to "restore" it.

Not only that, but at work, I get to do live training sessions and I did one today using this picture as one of my examples. If you've got 30 minutes and you want to watch it, you can watch it HERE

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Up to no good


Up to no good, originally uploaded by bookemdano1978.

Our dad is out of town. He's in New York again and we've been left to our own devises since Sunday afternoon. We do alright but we miss him. We want him to come home and bring us prizes. Good prizes - from Tiffany's.

He won't, but a lonely housewife can dream the week of valentines day even if we don't recognize the commercial holiday in our home, right?

Elliott seems to know that his dad is nowhere to be found. Yesterday, when I talked to Ross on the phone, Elliott just tugged on my leg repeating, "da da" over and over again. I also have to keep the office door closed to prevent my crawling computer virus from getting into everything and he's convinced that his dad is behind the door. He tried to open it every time he passes and when he isn't successful, he just sits on the floor and bangs his head on the door.

To keep himself busy, Elliott has found a new hobby. Wedging himself between the bed and my nightstand, getting his hands on whatever he can reach while stuck upright. He seems to enjoy this spot. It's like his sneaky hiding spot, except he does it only when I'm in the room, folding laundry or making the bed. He likes the Eiffel Tower lamp. Maybe the two of us can go to Paris next time Ross goes out of town.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

At Pictureline, with Jared

She asked if I was his beautiful wife.

She was wrong on both counts.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Go figure

My dad actually commented on the last blog post. He never does that. He said we're a lot alike. We are.

Dad, Europe circa 1975
Dad, in Europe, circa 1975

me, europe, circa 2005
Me, in Europe, circa 2005

Even with 30 years between visits, his being years before I was even born, we've still got something in common.

How about that?

Monday, February 04, 2008

Okay, here we go...

I was so excited to vote in my first presidential election. Almost giddy. Not only did I get to have a voice in who our nation's president would be, but I finally got to see what went on inside those booths and punch holes in those sweet little cards. It was heaven on earth for me. In that first election, I voted for Bill Clinton. I thought he was hip, suave, young...all the stuff many of the people of my generation thought he was. Since that first vote when I was 18 years old, I've always voted and always felt cool and important doing my civic duty.

Flash forward a few years to college. I was a political science major focusing mostly on international policy and relations, the United Nations, and all things not revolving around American government and politics. I got my United States fill by being a history minor, focusing on American History and WW II. I wouldn't say that I regularly got my "panties in a bunch" when conversations turned political, but I definitely had my opinions, knew what I was talking about and considered myself, if I had to choose a label, to be pretty "liberal".

That being said, in the years since I graduated from the University, I've mellowed. Maybe teaching high school does that to you, or I came to the realization sooner than most that politics doesn't matter a whole lot and whomever is elected to be President of the United States doesn't directly impact my life a whole lot. Regardless of the person that is our "fearless leader" my life will go on pretty much as normal. Being average middle class seems to do that to a person, right? I just learn to deal and to cope like most Americans. Maybe that's apathy or maybe that's just common sense.

I've been through a few elections now, and I can't say that I've ever been inspired of whom to vote for(except Ralph Nader - I really did believe in him for a little while), just whom to vote against. I think that's how it's going to be for me this year, too. Lesser of evils? Male vs. Female? Black vs. White? Gimmicks vs gimmicks? It's all the same. Politics these days, for me, are less about "change" and more about promises that can never be kept. It's just like when you ran for 6th grade president and promised soda pop in the drinking fountains. Like that will ever happen. The candidates are all the same, they just come in different packages, shapes, sizes and promises and skeletons. Whether it's muslim schools, drug addicted wives, cheating husbands, kids that kill puppies and try to smuggle guns onto planes or being a mormon, every candidate has a crutch.

I guess you vote for the candidate that makes the most promises FOR YOU? They all want you to believe that they stand for something, and want to make your life better and in my humble opinion, if you believe that, then you're a sucker. Every candidate, is looking out for one person - himself! Why else would you want to be president? Your endearing belief in the good in people? Your altruistic heart? Um...the power trip you get from hovering your finger over the magic red button that will end the world as we know it? Yeah, I think it's choice #3. George Washington had it right hundreds of years ago when he said that the office of President isn't one people should seek.

I don't support a candidate right now. I'm not voting in tomorrow's primary because I know that in the good ole' UT the primary is just pomp and circumstance. If the election were today, I'd probably vote for Hilary...the only reason being she's female. I don't care about her history, who she, according to my husband, has had killed or cheated out of money, or her motives. I want a female to be president and think it would be wicked cool. My mom always fills out her NCAA bracket during March Madness based off of team colors, mascots, and who the underdog is - why can't my presidential selection be the same? Maybe I'm voting for red power suits, short hair, a few choreographed tears here and there and someone who is a mom.

Above everything else, I don't think it's worth fighting over. Ross picked a fight today on Jared's blog in the comments. He got quite a rise out of a few readers - he's good at that. He's good at slinging the mud and doesn't necessarily care who he is slinging it at. It's good that Ross has opinions, even if they could potentially threaten friendships that are years in the making and I'm glad Jared has a candidate he believes in, someone he thinks is going to change the world. Let him and we'll let the flawed party conventions and even more flawed electoral college decide in November.

Until then, I'll let apathy rein and hope that somewhere along the line, there comes a candidate who doesn't need celebrities and gimmicks to win - that doesn't divide the nation, but someone who really make a difference. Here's to pipe dreams...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Snow Day!

the back dor



In my entire life, a few months shy of 30 years, I think that I've only ever been lucky enough to have 1 snow day - a day off of school. In this state, that doesn't happen because we know how to handle snow.

I awoke this morning to a pretty good storm. No where near a blizzard - we just don't get those in UT and I could still see pretty far through the swirling white stuff - but a good storm with giant soft fluffy flakes.

Ross just went out to shovel because it stopped snowing and the sun came out about an hour ago. It's beautiful and bright and very deep. A foot or more perhaps?

Anyway, it wasn't that bad of a storm and most of it will probably melt off by the end of the end of the day, but it was a good storm. Regardless, we got a phone call around 10 am this morning (our church is at 11) telling us that chruch was canceled because of the snow. Are you kidding me? Canceling church because of a snow storm? In Utah? Come on. It's okay though - I really don't mind. I've just never had a snow day for church before.

piles of the white stuff

Friday, February 01, 2008

Baby Friday - some monkey's for the monkey

oh, the talents and sweet skills of a 1 year old. In Elliott's first week of no longer being a baby, he has reached new heights. He has gotten sick (croup and an ear infection), fallen down the stairs twice. crawled under the kitchen table and bonked his brain, become a voracious reader, and figured out how to climb up onto the stool in the bathroom.

This isn't the most important feat however. Sleep, is. Ross and I have been contemplating in the last month or so, whether we just go with the flow or whether we try to "sleep train" our sweet boy. Elliott just hasn't slept soundly for quite some time and we were starting to get nervous that he would never return to the good sleeper he once was. Well, maybe it's because he's been so sick and exhausted this week, or maybe it's because he's growing up too fast, but at least for the last two days, sleep hasn't been a problem.

Yesterday afternoon and just a little while ago, the kid got tired. He begged me to put him in his crib. I did and then I walked away. Something I haven't been able to do since he learned to stand up and eat his crib. I walked away with confidence that he was okay and content. Plenty of blankets, a couple of books, and his mobile. Elliott turned his mobile on, and in about 10 minutes was sound asleep. ALL BY HIMSELF! Awesome. Sweet! Hooray for you!

he put himself to sleep

I know this won't last forever, and I've probably jinxed myself for mentioning it now, but I am just so happy and so proud of the little monkey. So grown-up he is.

And, because he's so grown up, we got him some playmates the other day at Target. Vinyl sticker monkeys on his wall.
monkeys for the monkey
He loves them, points to them, plays with them and wants to show everyone who comes to his house, his new friends.

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