Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let's Go 50-50.

I didn't make any resolutions this new year.  Well, I didn't write any down, but I had a few in my head so I might as well have not had them at all.  This is the first year in a few I haven't made my yearly goals*, so I decided it's better late than never.  THEN I thought of a theme that I can have for the things that I want to do: 50.  Without further adieu, here they are:
1) Try 50 new recipes (I've already done 6: baked fish sticks, key lime pie, chicken asparagus mushroom bake, sweet potato stew/soup, oatmeal chocolate chip craisin cookies, rice pudding.)  I'm not going through one specific cookbook or only doing dinners, but I want to expand my knowledge and repetoire in the kitchen.  I'm a little behind since I only decided on this last week, but I am excited to try new things!
2) 50 Book Talks.  There's no way I'm reading 50 books, but I do need to up my reading lots, so I decided I would read at least 5 books and talk to/post about/share with others about it. Seriously, I read slow (mostly because my mind wanders/I fall asleep/get distracted by something else/play out what I just read like a movie) and I would much rather talk than read, so I need some kind of accomplishable reading goal. 
3) 50 Visiting Teaching visits.  My VT partner and I are assigned 4 ladies in our ward to visit.  It just so happens that we are way lucky and they're all awesome, already active, and friends.  I have to do my monthly visits plus a few here and there just because (maybe to share my latest recipe with!)  Anyway, I should be doing this, but it's important to
4) 50 Names.  Family History/Geneology is important.  I am lucky to have many who have helped fill out our family tree on my side of our little family, but my knowledge of Russell's side (and his, too) is meager.  I want to put 50 names into our family tree and get to some of our families roots!
5) 50 Random letters/emails.  I hate that I don't keep in contact with people very well--it's hard!  Plus, I feel like there are SO many people that I want to stay in touch with because they mean a lot that I would never be making new friends because all of my time would be spent reconnecting with old ones.  Anyway, I want to send letters/notes/love poems when I think about someone. 
6) 50 Blog Posts--I'm well on my way!  I like the idea of having a record of little and big things that have gone on.  I especially love having somewhere to put pictures.  This one (uh...along with the rest) will happen for sure.
So, there we go. I feel like there's something I'm forgetting, oh yeah--exercising.  I haven't quite decided what I want to do (50 hours?) yet, so I'm not setting it as a goal yet.  Good luck with your resolutions, me!
*Warning: self-motivation will be required.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ty Update--7 months!

Alright, I suppose it's time for a good ol' Ty update since I am "caught up" (almost...okay, I'm not) on other stuff that's happened.  He is now officially 7 months, 1 day old and a cute little bugger!  At his 6 month check up he was:
   -Weight: 19 lbs. 1 oz. (75%)
   -Height:  28.25 inches (96% <--Russell's proud of that)
   -Head: Big enough (85%)
We weighed him on Valentine's Day and he was just over 20 lbs, so he's definitely not little!  His hands are still big and sausage-fingered and his cheeks still attract a lot of attention, in an adorable way.

He's a GREAT eater when he's not distracted by other stuff and does a good job of keeping his plumbing going.  He eats baby food (rice cereal, fruit, veggies...) and the occasional big people food (bananas, teeny pieces of bread, rice) in his high chair, which we all dig (thanks, Mom and Da').  We're going half-and-half formula and nursing, although he's getting wishy-washy as to whether or not he wants to keep nursing.  Ty's just super distracted; even if there's nothing going on and we're in the dark in his room, he arches his back and looks at the door where he knows something could be happening that he might miss!  (Sounds like why I always went to bed last out of all my roommates in college.)  Anyway, we'll see how that plays out. My goal was to nurse until he was 6 months old and figure it out after that, so whatever.  He's currently experimenting with a sippy cup, which he usually just chews on...
In other Ty news, he's a great sitter-upper and will even "fall" (I can't quite tell if it's intentional) onto his tummy if he really wants to play with something.  He loves mirrors (who can blame him?!) and is starting to like baths more and more.  Ty still drools like there's a drought coming and chews on stuff.  One of his favorite toys is the box that our toothpaste came in. Actually, he likes playing with the tube of toothpaste, too!  He has discovered how fun his feet can be ("wee, wee, wee, this is how fun toes can be!") and sucks on his socks until he finally pulls them off.  Simple pleasures, ya know?
Ty likes playing with the computer/keyboard so Russell bought him his own.  He looks like so dweeby in this picture, but I think that's why I like it!  

Ty and I take lots of trips together; we try to get out at least once a day even if it's just to go check the mail so that we can stay sane.  He likes to "sing" in the car and will sometimes just "yell" randomly.  He's not quiet, that's for sure.  When he's in a good mood, he'll stare at a stranger until they look at him and then he'll smile--it's fun to watch.  He really likes being around other people, especially babies.  Remember that post about holding baby Addie girl's hand?  Yeah, he still likes her lots, too.  We had to stay in last week, though, because Ty caught that sickness that's going around.  This was taken about 10 seconds (literally) after I wiped his nose.  He had the triple dribble going on down his face.

Oh, and sleeping!  He used to sleep through the night (from 8 weeks until 5 1/2 months) then stopped when he was teething and he is just getting back into the habit...sorta.  We finally moved him out of our room after we were back from holiday vacations and visitors were no longer here and he's totally fine in his crib.  It's kinda nice, actually...  He's a good boy at going to sleep and doesn't need to be rocked lots or cry it out; he sometimes will play some and then sleep.  Anyway, we're happy to have him and it's so fun to see his little personality start to come out and see him pick up new things.  For example, he now will put his arms out when he's getting picked up.  Did I mention he's a cuddler?  There are few things better than having the Ty Guy curl up on your shoulder, both arms huggin' ya.  Come and try it. 

Criminal Thoughts

Sometimes I think really messed up things.  For example, yesterday when I was eating a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie I thought, "I wonder how hard it would be to steal the Girl Scouts' cookie money."  Isn't that awful?!  So, then of course I started scheming about where I would need to have my car and how I would grab the cash box and if I could out-run them or what.  If the cops caught me, I'd have to tell them, "No--really, Officer, here's the money.  I don't want it, I just wanted to see if I could take it." Of course I would never in a million years actually do that...I sometimes just wonder if I could and not get caught.   I think that's what got me into so much trouble as a kid; I just wanted to see if I could get away with something.  Usually I didn't and my adventures ended up with a spanking, but I was the "Champion Snitcher" of the treats in the house and I wasn't always caught.  ;)  Now let's all pray that no Girl Scouts get robbed in the near future because I'll probably be a prime suspect.

Then again, the REAL crime going on is the big scam those dang scouts are pulling on the general public: $4.50 for a box of mediocre cookies?!  Maybe they deserve a rob here and there...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Confession: Bachelor

Although I don't feel awesome admitting it, I've recently seen a couple of episodes of The Bachelor, the reality show where a bunch of women "compete" for the love of one man as he narrows down the field to one woman to whom he proposes marriage.  I find this show mildly enjoyable from an entertainment perspective, but more interesting if you look at it from a social standpoint.  I mean, check it:

1)  It's incredible to me that we as an American cultural society are generally opposed to arranged marriages, however we expect (and force, really) one guy to select a wife from a bunch of potentials chosen by some producers/casting director.  What's the difference? Plus, if he's supposed to find "true love," why does he only have a few weeks to spend narrowing his choices down?  I know some people can fall in love quickly.  It's no wonder lots of these relationships don't work out in the long run.  I realize that matchmaking is an old and successful business, but the matches generally aren't made on national television.  The Bachelor=Arranged Marriage in not-so-great of an environment.

2) The women are SO unrealistic!  If you haven't found love in the 20-30 years you've been alive with all of the guys you've run into before, what makes you think that the one dude your cat-fighting with 20 other girls for is going to be "it?"  He really can't be it for everyone.  Why don't more of the girls leave on their own accord because he's not for them?  Granted, they usually don't choose some ol' bum as The Bachelor and they make him out to be quite a catch, but who wants to keep everything they win?  True story: once I won a rice cooker (okay, my sister Tina did) and although it was an awesome prize, it didn't fit my needs because I already had one.  Bad analogy...I couldn't think of anything else that I won and didn't want...sorry.  Still, Bachelor girls, read my blog and realize that not every girl fits with the same dude.  Duh. 

3) How can you fall in love with someone when you have to share?  "I was so in love with him!" and 30 other girls.  Kinda reminds me of a tween's crush on Justin Bieber.  (Way to make national news with your haircut, though, Biebs.)  These ladies are blowing their ideals out of the water.  Get real, girls.  I get that it doesn't take very long for some people to know it's right between them.  Russell and I were dating for only 4 months before we were engaged, but we were only dating each other and were able to communicate with each other.  I think it's bizarro that some girls are expressing their love to the Bachelor guy and they've gone on like 1 date.  Bravo for the Ashley girl saying that she's not sure about the relationship; way to actually think about it. 

And last, but not least:
4) Russell wondered out loud what a Polygamist version of the Bachelor would be like.  I said it would be, "Roses for everyone!" 

So, to all of you "Bachelor" die-hards, sorry if this bursts your "The Bachelor is such a romantic, perfect show" bubble.  Clearly, to me it's not.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Tooth Fairy Came for a Visit!

...Except she must have been a little confused because she deposited teeth instead of taking some.  Anyway, about a month ago Ty started crying extra and we could see his little gums a-rumbling until one of his little teeth on the bottom popped through!  The right-middle-bottom tooth soon followed.  They're still pretty little, so I'm not sure if they're going to be growing anymore.  He is a smart little dude and figured out how to use them fast!  He always liked chewing on Russell's finger (more than mine) and now sometimes Russell gets bit hard.  I really tried to take some pictures of his teeth, but this was what I got.

Here's a before picture of a cute gummy smile
 Ty's always been a chewer, but it was increased as he was trying to push those little teeth up.  I thought he was just sucking on this toy...
 ...But apparently I was wrong.  Lead-free paint, right?  This was how we knew for sure that his teeth were poking through!
 He wasn't so much happy at the time, but I probably wouldn't be either if I had bones pushing through my skin.
 I love this picture--check out those eyes.  (Oh, yeah and the teeth.)
 Got 'em.
 Now they're just a regular little part of him!
 Look at how good he is brushing his teeth on his own!  This is one of his favorite spots in the house--the bathroom counter in front of the mirror. We gave him a toothbrush and he went right to work. 

(P.S. I am fully aware that 0 of our future children will get small milestones recorded like Ty has.  Enjoy it while it lasts, only child!) 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Now, I don't entirely miss teaching, but I was reflecting on this today and thought I'd share:

One thing I liked about teaching was having my own classroom.  I realize that I had to share this room with students every day, but if you play your cards right, you still get your own space.  (Unless you have a mouse that crawls up in your metal desk drawers and eats your snacks--nasty.)  I got to decorate and rearrange the furniture to my liking so that I was comfortable.  Sure your stuff might get broken by the token punk in the room, but I was smart enough to not bring things in I really cared about.  Plus, you don't have to share everything.  You make your own rules and make up consequences for not following them.  You really have a lot of freedom as far as what goes on and how it goes on in your classroom (which is a huge flaw in our education system, but that's another story) and have the opportunity to make your plans for what happens every day.  How many jobs can you say that about?!  Now, through my careful calculations, I've also concluded by factoring time, effort, and continued schooling required, teachers get paid like poo.

So, since I'm not teaching, I decided that I can still be a substitute teacher in the Clark County School District on Fridays when Russell doesn't have class.  No big deal, right?  Should be easy, especially considering that the application was online, I already have my substitute license (attached to my NV teaching license), and I've just completed teaching for real for 2 years.  WELL, I did my application in September, waited for an email saying "We got your application, now register online for an interview time...and print out your application and bring it."  Seems like we could have cut out a middle man or 2 there.  Anyway, there were no interview times until mid-October and according to the interviewer, I pretty much aced it.  Tell me why, then, did it take until January for me to get my hiring paperwork?!  My fingerprints were done (just like they were taken for the city of Reno and Washoe County School District recently--can't we share?) and they take 4-8 weeks to clear, so we can add another month on.  I just got an email saying that I need to go to orientation on March 2nd.  In essence, it took 2/3 of the school year for me to be hired as a Substitute Teacher.  In conclusion, education is good.  Our system for substitutes?  Not efficient.

And now, for your viewing enjoyment and as a prize for making it to the end, here's Ty sporting a lovely Viking helmet that once was in my classroom:  
poop  (<--Russell wrote that.  Now we can't say he never writes on the blog.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

That's right--we went to Disneyland!  Considering my family heritage, this should come as no surprise.  Russell went willingly, but not incredibly enthusiastically.  We had a fun time, though, and got to spend time with my parents and the Swifts (my sister and her hubby and kid).  I was very grateful to have others volunteer to wait with Ty off of the rides because, let's be honest, I like riding them!  The park was a little more crowded than we had hoped, but the weather was great and we still enjoyed ourselves...mostly.  Ty took as many opportunities as he could to mess his diaper including an explosion all over his clothes (and his not-so-smart mom didn't pack extra pants...) and a messy diaper which turned much messier when he decided to pee in the 2 seconds his diaper was off, which ended up all over himself and the floor in a Disneyland restroom.  Yuck.  Anyway, Ty did enjoy looking around at everything and was a great stroller-rider. 
Here we are getting ready for the park to open our first day!
 We took a few trips on the "Tortilla Factory Ride" and let Ty lick a tortilla for a few seconds. 
 This is a picture of the picture taken at the top of Tower of Terror (Russell's favorite ride).  So fun!
 Waiting for Soren to drive us somewhere in our Monsters Inc. taxi cab.  This was one of the few rides that Ty actually went on awake!
 Russell's either smiling because he's happy he's not on a ride or he's sitting next to his favorite wife...probably both. 
The quintessential Dumbo ride!  Russell was a fabulous photographer.  Ty and I were fabulous Dumbo-riders.

 Waiting in line (it's Disneyland--that's what you do) for Peter Pan.
 Russell's Magical Kingdom dream came true--he just wanted a turkey leg and boy, did he get one!
 Again, picture of a picture, but this time it's on Space Mountain, another favorite.  We were making our "intense" faces, in case you couldn't tell.
 Of course we couldn't leave the park without Ty getting a picture in one of these little beauties.  We're too cheap to buy a hat that he probably wouldn't wear for long and wouldn't care about, but it's free to take a picture!  He's such a sweet little sleeper, too.
 Awake or not, we're taking a family picture in the teacup!  Ty was so tuckered out.
 We stayed at a hotel for 2 nights then spent another day or so at the Swift's place.  Soren was nice enough to let Ty sleep in his bed.  He even came in in the morning and dropped a truck or 2 in for Ty to play with!
 There is a gorgeous view of the ocean from the church parking lot that these guys (my dad and my Ty) are showing off so well.  (Okay, so you can't really see the ocean, but it's there--promise.)
 Mor-mor (my mom) read stories to Ty, too.  He actually didn't try to eat the pages of this book!
We really did have a fun time and are grateful for family that lives close enough to drive and visit.  If anyone ever scored free passes and needs buddies to go to Disneyland with, Russell will probably be busy, but I'll be so ready to go again!

Good Morning to you, too, Sweetheart.

We had a couple of dishes in the sink, Russell's breakfast bowl and spoon included. 
Carolyn: "Ya know, the dishwasher is dirty."
Russell: "Why are you telling me that?"
Carolyn: "Because your breakfast dishes are in the sink."
Russell: "Oh, I didn't know I was a woman."
Carolyn: ...............
Russell: (After about a minute) "Are you going to talk again?"
Carolyn: "Yes, but I like you to feel a little guilty."
Russell: "I don't like it when you stop talking to me."
Carolyn:  "Then how come you quit listening?"
Russell: "That's different."

Happy Valentine's Week.

P.S.  I love you, Russell.

Monday, February 7, 2011

We lost him...

...So, it's a good thing he can find himself!  Ty's getting so interactive and we love it.  This was after he ate for the night and I put him down to get a diaper to change him and put him to bed.  Before this he was just about asleep, drifting off.  Clearly, he changed his mind as he continued to play and wiggle and squeal for a good half hour.  Oh, Ty, you crack us up.