Friday, June 27, 2008

Animated Reed

This afternoon:
Reed: "Mama, what if I was in[side] a cartoon?"

Me: "'d be in a cartoon."

Reed: "Would you watch me?"

Me: "Every day and every hour."
Reed, smiling: "Why?"

Me: "Because I love you!"

This morning at breakfast:
Me: "If you give a Reed a pancake..."
Reed: "He will ask for some milk! Mama, can I have some milk?"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reading Reed

I've been teaching Reed to read (hee hee) from the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (the title cracks me up). We're just a few lessons into it, but he is learning so fast and so well!! He knows his letters, but he's learning now what sounds they make (at least better than he already does), and I can see the wheels turning. I actually tear up a lot while I teach him because I just get so proud of him when I can see him grasp a concept or remember something I showed him. It really is thrilling!

I remember sitting in my mom's lap while she was teaching me what sounds the letters made. I remember her showing me c, a, and t, and I remember the moment when I realized that those three sounds together made the word cat! It's imprinted in my brain, the way that moment felt. I realized that I had started to learn something that would be integral to my being, integral to life, integral to functioning at all in society. (Well, I realized that the way a 5-year-old realizes it....not in those exact words, but if I had been able to describe it, it would have come out something like that.) I knew that this was very, very big.

So it follows that I would tear up when Reed sounds out even the two-letter words. But today, he saw the word "cat" in a book, and he put the sounds together, and lo and behold, I watched with wonder as the lights went on and he said with almost reverence, "Cat. Mom, that says 'cat'!!" He was almost shaking with happiness. And I'm really, really happy that I witnessed that moment, and not his kindergarten teacher. That's mine! :)

On the subject of words, reading, literacy, etc....I am in love with this school district. Already. Yesterday night was a literacy meeting for the parents of those going into kindergarten this fall. First they showed a video about how important reading is (duh) featuring our pediatrician from Cedar City (miss him so much) and people from the Iron county district (totally nostalgic). Then they gave us kits with all kinds of wonderful supplies to help our children with their reading skills through most of the school year. I love that. I love that they gave us physical proof that they believe and support that we are our children's first (and most important) teachers. (Or maybe I chose to interpret it that way, and maybe they actually don't believe we'll teach our children to read without awesome kits provided. I'm sticking to the nicer motivation for this post, and because I like to believe people are good at heart and trusting of us mamas and daddies.) And the supplies are awesome!! Since we have to give the kit back, I'm already formulating how I'd make one for ourselves. It was like Christmas last night, walking around from group to group and gathering all the materials for the kits. I seemed to be way more excited about it than anyone else. I'm especially baffled as to why no one else (except my friend next to me, and one of the teachers) was as thrilled as I was--I think I squealed, although I prefer to forget whether I did or didn't--about the scented markers! (Such a classic!) Those didn't come in the kit. They were just part of a little work center. (Sigh) No worries. I'll eventually buy some, I'm sure. Eventually being in the next five days, probably.

The kit included so much cool stuff, and I'll take a picture (eventually). Eventually being in the next two months, as it is not as high on my list of priorities as the actual use of the kit. :)

Reed and Jaxon are playing. Reed just said, "Come to school, son. Come to school. Today's lesson is about fruit. And speech."

Monday, June 23, 2008


Nope, I'm not pregnant.

Nope, we didn't buy a house.

Nope, we haven't bought a natural gas car.

SAVVY TOOK HER FIRST STEPS!! On Saturday night, we were just playing with her, and Phill (who is REALLY excited to see her walk) decided to see if she would walk a couple steps to me. He let go of her little waist, and she really shakily covered the two steps to get to me! She did several more that night, though usually not more than two in a row. She doesn't really trust herself yet, and gets a little freaked out when she realizes that she just walked a couple steps on her own. :) With Reed having walked at 9 months, Jaxon at 10 months, I haven't been overanxious to see our third delight running with the boys--she gets knocked over enough as it is! But it was really adorable and as exciting as ever to see. Yay for Savvy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Roald and Reed

"She was a selfish grumpy old woman. She had pale brown teeth and a small puckered-up mouth like a dog's bottom...Most grandmothers are lovely, kind, helpful old ladies, but not this one. She spent all day and every day sitting in her chair by the window, and she was always complaining, grousing, grouching, grumbling, griping about something or other."

-George's Marvelous Medicine, p.2, Roald Dahl

Me: "Reed, can you make the same face as George's grandma?"



My awesome friend Jenn came to visit Thursday from SLC. We took the kids to the splash pad yesterday and ended up staying for almost three hours! But it was great to have her here, because I was starting to feel pretty lonely! And when I don't have sisters very nearby, it's nice to know I have a really close friend who can help ease the ache until somehow all five of us sisters will live close to each other again! (Hm. Probably not in the next twenty years will we all live within 100 miles of each other, just because of our husbands' various occupations. But a girl can dream, right?)On a related subject, the gas prices continue to soar, and I keep wondering if soon it's going to be cheaper for Jenn to fly to visit, instead of driving. I get really worked up about the gas prices, mostly because I feel helpless to change them, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. We've looked into converting our van to natural gas, and it would be $7,000. Sadly enough, it would be worth it, because it would balance out in the end! I don't know whether to just accept that it's going to keep being expensive to go anywhere at all, or to become angry to the point of some sort of more aggressive action. What kind of aggressive action, I have no idea! I just know that I feel rather imprisoned by the gas prices, and I don't think that's very American. I mean, we're #1 for consumerism and materialism and money, money, money, but aren't we supposed to be free, too? Shouldn't we feel that there is some way to fight the rising ceiling of gas prices? Am I alone in my thinking? It's really frustrating....we need fuel. And so we keep getting bled dry, because there is the demand.

Speaking of another kind of fuel, I am completely unmotivated. I should exercise, but I don't feel even 2% like actually moving past the Should to the fact, I fight against it. For instance, making brownies instead of exercising. That's definitely fighting it, huh?! And although I've been keeping the house at least minimally clean, I'm also completely unmotivated in this area. I don't know what my problem is! Usually after a few days, I'm absolutely losing my mind from it, and totally ready to tackle whatever mess there is. And usually I kind of enjoy keeping house, because it's satisfying to see the visual effects of my efforts. I know I just need to go ahead and clean, instead of waiting for motivation to kick in, but.....I just don't feel like it. :)

And on that note, I'm going to go do several things I don't feel like doing. This post has accomplished its purpose--I'm motivated, or at least slightly ashamed of myself, enough to go do something!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boston Celtics!!

So we watched the game tonight, and holy COW what a win!! At first I thought it was going to be a close game as they stayed within one point of each other for most of the first quarter, but then the Celtics ended up pulling ahead by so much that they won by 39 points. It was fun to watch! Anyway, during all the celebration afterwards, the team sat down for (what I assume was) a group picture. As they got comfortable, Ray Allen reached over to his toddler son behind him and tenderly cupped his chin in his huge hands, gently bringing his little face in for a quick kiss. Out of that entire game, I think that's what I will remember the longest! I have such high respect for great athletes in general, but when they display tenderness and unexpected softness, you can knock me over with a feather, I'm that impressed.

Love it.

Birth announcement

Although I already posted photos of this shoot, I just today made their birth announcement, and I had to share it, too. :) Oh, and by the way--I have not died from the 3-in-1 oil poisoning, and I don't have chemical pneumonia, although the 36 hours after initial inhalation were pretty terrible! (Dramatic wording totally on purpose.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Baked sewing machine oil, anyone?

That is by far the strangest blog post title I've ever written.

We went on a date tonight, just out to dinner and a movie. When we got back into our car, we noted that there was an incredibly strong smell of lemon Pledge. As if someone dumped lemon pledge oil onto our car mats. So we looked for the source (a couple of times) and then realized that some clothes I had left in the car (from our splash pad adventures) all had some of the nasty-smelling stuff on them! So, as a raging headache began to grow and I coughed and had mild chest pain, we drove home, wondering who on earth (bored and mischievous teenagers?) would dump lemon Pledge oil on clothes in a car in 105-degree heat, and why?!

In fact, as I started to feel worse, we went as far as thinking we needed to report a little spot of vandalism to the police, although we were perfectly sure we had kept the van locked! So we did. We reported it, calmly of course, but still completely baffled as to this weird "crime".

Well, I am feeling mighty sheepish. Phill discovered that a random bottle of sewing machine oil that was inexplicably in the glove box (inexplicably like we were moving and strange things get put in strange places?) had broken open, pouring through the bottom of the glove box onto the pile of clothes. Luckily the police were very kind when we called them back and told them it would not be necessary to bump up the manpower around the movie theater.


I'm starting to feel a little more detoxified now, though I'm still not feeling so great. Maybe I'll call poison control and ask them about it. I wonder if they've ever heard that kind of call. Ha. How would that call even sound? "Um...hello? Yes, I was just machine oil that was dumped in a car in 105-degree heat and left to sit for almost two hours, then accidentally inhaled for a few minutes?" I imagine they've heard stranger things.

Update: After googling "poison control sewing machine oil" and learning that it is a hydrocarbon and inhalation of such is potentially dangerous, I called Poison Control. They told me that typically the worst things (you know, arythmia, death...) just happen to those who actually inhale hydrocarbons on purpose, and that I just need to be aware of my symptoms and be mindful of whether I need to go to the doctor or not. I'm still coughing a little and having chest pain, but I don't have a headache anymore. I don't think I'll get chemical pneumonia. :) I think I'm going to be just fine. Oh, and it was 3-in-1 oil--not sewing machine oil.

Postnote: Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Our House!

Finally-photos of our house. The rental that I really wish we could buy. Just click on each photo combo to see the bigger picture.
I had to post a close-up of Reed reading on his bed, because at the time I took the overall picture, his awesome quilt--made by Camilla, amazing seamstress and friend--was in the wash.
I know it's a little weird for me to post a photo of the pantry, but it's gigantic and I love it, so I had to. The living area

Our red, dusty backyard....sometimes I'm happy we don't have to water grass, but most of the time, I gaze out the window really wishing we had some green back there. :)
The hallway leading to three of the bedrooms

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Latest shoot

The studio is officially "broken in"! This is the little darling whose birth I witnessed. She's two weeks + in these pictures, and did I mention her dad came home from Iraq just two days before her birth? They are such a sweet family--three more kids to appear in photos later on--and it was a blast to do this for them.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Legless Barbie and other joys

I have rolls in the oven (ambitious for me!) and the boys have just been put to bed (although they're actually jumping on their beds, as opposed to sleeping in them), so I thought now might be a good time to try and play catch-up!

The move went well. It was long and hairy, as moves are. I'm still working on getting all the miscellany put away, as it turns out, there is much miscellany to be placed. That's my least favorite part! But I have most parts of the house really clean, and I finally did the dishes today after having a two-day standoff with them. (I win!)

Savvy's birthday--May 31st--was so much fun! We had a few friends over; two of the families were friends we've already known, and one family our neighbors from across the street. I made Savvy's cake, made the frosting, and used baggies to decorate it. Although it was really kind of funny-looking, I liked it. :) My friend brought a cake for Savvy that was AWESOME--so I am including that photo, too. Savanna herself was kind of tired by the time we gave her a piece of "her" cake, so she wasn't nearly as enthused as I thought she'd be. She was so clean! Well, clean compared to how the boys ate their first-birthday cakes, at least. As for presents, I couldn't resist buying her a My Little Pony, and we got her a puzzle with handles on the pieces. (Her favorite thing right now is taking things out, putting things back, etc...)

The fourth room in our rental has been named The Studi
o. It has three windows, and it really is perfect for photography, although I do wish it were bigger, and had wood floors. (All in due time!) I've tested it with the kids, who were more than willing to help. Later on, I'll have to share a particular picture of Reed that made me guffaw. I asked him to imitate a character from one of the Roald Dahl books we've read. He did it flawlessly. (I'm waiting to find a picture of that character, so that I can make a side-by-side comparison.)

Savanna can stand on her own for a second, provided she's unaware she's doing it. Sometimes I help her "practice", but she seems mad when she realizes what I'm trying to get her to do. I'm not all that anxious for her to walk, anyway. But I think she'll be quite happy once she realizes how useful it is!

Lastly, because I can smell that my rolls are about done, I had never even heard of a splash pad before. Have you? Has everyone heard of them,
and I'm just strangely ignorant of them? Well, they are GENIUS! Our ward's play group meets once a week at one of the pads nearby, and the boys (and Savvy, too) love them!

This post was not nearly as cohesive and eloquent as the thirteen posts I composed during moving and offline boredom.

Enjoy the photos!

The awesome, uber-girly, Ballerina Barbie cake my friend made for Savvy. (She took off the Barbie's legs to get her on there like that. I thought that was the best part--Barbie maimed in the name of a good-looking cake. The girls in my family have a long and violent history with Barbies, including my younger sister being sent home for frequent grisly beheadings of Barbies, and culminating in our oh-so-mature teenage years highlighted by a fun game called Bop the Barbie. More on that if you ask.)

At the splash pad: Jaxon in the hat he hasn't taken off for longer than an hour since we got it....he sleeps in it. Later I'll post a photo of him with his sleeper on, AND the hat.

Savanna in her darling swimsuit.Reed, looking more boy and less baby by the second.

The cake I made for Savvy's first birthday. :)
A google-image photo of a splash pad, because the photo I had was not good enough.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hello again, you!


We are finally, finally online again. I have felt as if my lifeline to the world was temporarily severed! (Very dramatic, huh?) Well, there are too many photos to post and too much yet to be I'll make this really short and just say:

I'm loving the heat. (Never thought I'd say that, but I guess I've been craving it.)
I'm loving the close proximity to a wide variety of budget-friendly shopping options!
I'm loving the house!
I'm not in love with the dust.
The ward was wonderfully welcoming.
Savvy turned one! (And that will be its own post.)
The kids have already made a few friends, and so have we.
We miss all of you.....
and lastly.....thank goodness I have back my link to all of you!

More photos and information and updates later! Must go unpack the last bunch of And I'm the anti-packrat! Somehow there is still so much.