Thursday, October 28, 2010

More than Words

Something that has been such a joy having a toddler vs a baby is the way we communicate, and how each day our communication increases. Yesterday the Dr. asked us how many words she was saying and I told him about 30. It made me think of how many words are in her limited vocabulary and to write them down. Here is the list I came up with:

Pepper (her little friend, not her favorite spice)
Poo (Yeah, she tells me when she just did it)
No (more on this later :/)
School (s-caul)
Grandpa (Gr-pa)
Ghost (Ghos)
Pumpkin (Pup)
Boo (you can tell she's gained a lot of this vocabulary in the month of October)
Whee (although technically not a word it sure is cute when she says it going down the slide

More than the things she says, or copies us on, I love watching her UNDERSTAND the language. When I say "Say bye bye" she says bye, waves, and blows a kiss. When I say "time for prayer" she immediately folds her hands and gets ready. Today she even dropped her muffin when I said it so she could be ready. She folds her hand through the whole prayer.

No has been a problem. She started saying no to me just this week. It has been exasperating, and a little funny at the same time. I asked her the other day "Isn't this dinner good?" "No." Or when I say "Time for bed," "Time for nap," "Don't do that Hannah." I hear in reply "No, No, No," in return. Today she was being disobedient and I said "Hannah that's not funny," and with a grin she replied "yes."

Life is becoming easier for her as she is able to communicate better. It is a joy to watch (I tear up every time she folds her arms for prayer and I honestly am amazed because I don't really know how she learned it except for one family night lesson when we really focused it and trying to set an example for her). She is such a sweet girl and I love her so much. It is a joy watching her get older and comprehend. I can't wait to see whats in store for her!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hannah's Surgery

Hannah is resting right now. The surgery went really well! She didn't fuss or cry at all up until the time when she was taken away from us which is VERY impressive if you ask me (she hadn't had anything to eat or drink after all in 16+ hours).

The scariest part was about five minutes after they took her away from us. Adam went to go get something to eat and I got a phone call from the hospital saying that they were trying to locate us and I had to go back immediately to the O.R. I ran back there as fast as I could with my heart beating wildly, thinking that something might have gone wrong with the anesthesia (a terrifying thought) It turned out that everything was ok, but the Dr. discovered that in addition to her epigastric hernia, she also had an umbilical hernia and he wanted to know if it was ok to operate on. He saw the panic on my face and apoligized, telling me everything was fine (they could have said that in the first place) and she was doing well.

After about an hour they came back and said everything went well. I'd french braided her hair (in hopes that I could save most of it from being shaved for the removal of the cyst) to the point of her cyst so it served as his "arrow" pointing where to operate hahaha. When we got to go back I was thrilled to see a nice nurse was holding her (rather than sticking her in the crib/bed) and she started whimpering when she saw us as if to say "guess what happened to me mom and dad." Her voice is sore because of the intubation they had to do and it makes me sad every time she makes a noise. I'm grateful that everything went well, that we had a good doctor and nurses. I'm grateful she had a priesthood blessing last night to calm my heart and most of all I'm grateful that it is behind us.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy 29th Birthday!

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday Adam!

I love this guy with all my heart! He is such a great husband and father! I thought I'd take a page out of Rosalie's blog and list ten "fun facts" You might not know about Adam.

1) He is hilarious. He cracks me up on a daily basis, saying things so out of the blue that I can't help myself. It doesn't come in handy when we are in the middle of an argument but he knows how to get me to laugh every day. Today he asked me what time "Make Day" started (referring to Super Saturday). It is one of the reasons why I chose him to be with for eternity.

2) He is passionate about technology. I hear daily updates from the technology world and Adam gets so into the latest gadgets that I can't keep up with what he is telling me. He built his first computer in 6th grade.

3) If he is ever around an Australian accent he starts speaking in one inadvertently and ever so slightly, it is very cute. I can't wait for Sean to get back.

4) He is addicted to school and hates when he is not in pursuit of some degree or another. He'll complete his second masters degree in August of 2011 and one day wants to fill an office wall with all his degrees (including his seminary graduation degree lol.)

5) He is a great reader, and enjoys both non fiction and fiction. We don't always have the same taste in literature but it is fun to read together.

6) He has a lot of faith and has taught me a lot about the gospel. Whenever I worry about anything he always reassures me that everything will turn out as it is supposed to and helps me to carry on, carry on, carry on. Another reason why I chose him.

7) He is very humble and is the first to admit when he is wrong. Although he often jumps to conclusions quickly, he forms opinions based on research. He used to think the Harry Potter series was "stupid" so he read it for himself to find out that he was incorrect in his assumptions. He used to think that "Twilight is Gay" and so he read it and came to the conclusion that it was "still gay" but he can understand why I would enjoy it.

8) He is wise beyond his years. When he was five he got the chicken pox and his parents said he could have anything he wanted. "Even a G.I. Joe?" he asked. His parents said they would give him a G.I. Joe if he asked but he knew that they were hurting for money so he didn't ask. Also, when I was in college I was playing cards with a room mate and was kicking her trash. Adam pulled me aside and told me I should give her a break because she really needed one as she really didn't have any friends. What a nice guy!

9) He was adopted, he had cancer, and he can wiggle his ears. Each of these three things was something I find absolutely fascinating.

10) When he found out we were having a girl, he was very VERY disappointed. He was looking forward to his boy. Now he says he wants a family full of girls and can do without a boy. He loves his girl and is one of the best, most loving, fathers I've ever seen. He is the best thing I could give my children.

I love you Adam and I hope you have a wonderful birthday--your LAST in your twenties!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I'm zooming through Harry Potter in hopes to be at least half way finished before watching the first part of Deathly Hallows--In theaters mid November. I'm LOVING it and although I've been reading through it mostly, I also listen to it on audio when I'm working out.

I REALLY enjoyed Chamber of Secrets this time around. I have probably read it about four times and I LOVE Gilderoy Lockhart. He has to be one of the most pompous, crazy, hilarious fictional characters that I have ever come across. How amazing is the title of his autobiography "Magical Me." I've also been paying close attention to Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and Herminone Granger. I want to try and pinpoint when exactly romantic interests start.

Also, I have to say, Jim Dale is a pretty incredible narrator. He does great voices (although I hope to one day hear Georgia's Dobby) and his Voldemort/Basilisk voice is dead on (in my mind)

I'm really enjoying reliving the series! Adam bought me a beautiful set Christmas 2007 which I haven't read so I'm enjoying breaking in the spine and smelling the beautiful "new book" smell.

I thought I'd start adding a little behind the scenes fact as I learn about the books, so to catch up on the Sorcerer's Stone:

The word "Erised" (pronounced eer-ih-sehd) is "desire" spelled
backwards meaning the name could also be known as the "mirror of
The backwards text is a symbol of the odd nature of the mirror, because
the mirror works in a very backwards way from regular mirrors in a way
...that it shows the inside and not the outside of a person. The
inscription around the mirror reads "Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi" The message backwards is "I show not your face but your heart's desire."

...and for Chamber of Secrets: For one of the most chilling scenes of all time, when Tom Riddle reveals himself to be Lord Voldemort (I STILL get chills when he waves his wand and the letters rearrange themselves...)

Spanish version, Tom Marvolo Riddle is called Tom Sorvolo Ryddle for the
scene he makes his name into "I am Lord Voldemort": In Spanish, it
would be "SOY LORD VOLDEMORT". In the French version, he is called Tom
Elvis Jedusor (forming the sentence "JE SUIS VOLDEMORT")., in the
Romanian version, Voldemort's name is changed to Tomas Dorlent Cruplud,
so it forms the sentence " SUNT LORDUL CAP-DE-MORT"

Pretty neat eh?

Book Review: Frankenstein

I purchased Frankenstein and Dracula last year hoping to read them in the month of October for Halloween. HA! With a brand new baby and working 10 hours a day, that was a lofty I was glad to be able to do it this October, and found that Frankenstein was not at all what I expected it to be.

1) I thought the Monster was going to be slow, stupid, and horrible. On the contrary, he achieves superhuman speed and agility, strength beyond any of his human counterparts--which makes him scary. Also he is very smart, perceptive, and wise which makes him even more cold and calculating when he kills.

2) I thought it would describe in greater detail the process of creating the monster. Instead it gives a brief and vague account of his creation. I thought Victor was a little whiny I didn't understand why he didn't tell people what he'd done until the end.

3) Much of the book is Victor looking over his shoulder in fear, always watching for the monster. I thought it would have more of the monster in it I guess.

I really enjoyed the book. I read it pretty quickly, and I love the story behind the conception of Frankenstein. Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and Percy Shelley challenged each other to write a "ghostly tale" and Mary was the only one that completed her story, and was successful too. She was only 18 when she wrote it. There were many profound quotes also which I will share:

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

"Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful."

"If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!"

"...learn from my miseries, and do not seek to increase your own."

"Live, and be happy, and make others so."

Great book, very spooky, now--On to Dracula (I wonder if he sparkles like Edward?)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Surgery :/

Ever since I discovered Hannah's hernia two months ago I knew this was coming. It has bothered me, although it hasn't seemed to bother her much.

Hannah has an Epigastric hernia between her belly button and rib cage. It was caused when her abdominal muscles were forming together. It can be painful for her, but does not include any intestine so it is not serious.

She also has a cyst on her head which she has had since birth but it has steadily grown larger and larger. The Dr. told us it should be removed--and that he is going to have to shave about a quarter size of hair (cry) on her beautiful head to take care of it. I was pretty sad about that. Her hair is one of my favorite things! In the world! But I'd rather get her cyst taken care of so it doesn't bother her or me.

So on October 21st we are going in for surgery. I admit, my heart aches a little to think about it, even though I know she will be fine. I even googled "Baby+Hernia+Surgery+Death" and nothing really came up so I was reassured.

Thank You!

I was absolutely overwhelmed by the birthday gift of letters from so many family and friends! I read over each of them yesterday laughing and crying! I felt so much love from each of you. My life felt so validated that so many people had so many memories with me. Oddly enough, three of my friends mentioned my love for eating grilled cheese sandwiches with Lemon Pepper seasoning--totally a Margie thing! I am humbled to be surrounded by so many wonderful people in my life--I am blessed because of your love.

Thank you for making my birthday so special!

Friday, October 8, 2010

RIP Picture Books?

"It being a part of Mrs. Pipchin’s system not to encourage a child’s mind to develop and expand itself like a young flower, but to open it by force like an oyster…."
-Charles Dickens Dombey & Son

If you follow THIS LINK you will find an article from the New York Time about how parents are no longer buying Picture books for their children. Here's the gist of it: picture books sales are way down, in part, they surmise, because people are trying to get their children reading earlier and earlier, and they don't want them to waste time with "baby books."

I love picture books, I think the best of them are works of art. For Hannah's first birthday, we requested that those closest to her, her parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles each gift Hannah a book that was dear to them growing up. Here were some of the picks:

Adam: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Grandpa Tim: The Bike Lesson by Stan and Jan Bernstein
Grandma Margie: Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman
Uncle Sean: One Woolly Wombat
Nana Kris: The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop
Aunt Allie: Madeline by Ludwig Belemans
Aunt Aubrey: Corduroy by Don Freeman
Uncle Austin: There's an Alligator Under my Bed by Mercer Mayer
Uncle Avery: Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle
Uncle Addison: Love you Forever by Robert Munch

Aunt Meggie and I both picked more advanced children's books (I picked Peter Pan, Megan picked Ella Enchanted) but Hannah and I have LOVED reading the picture books together. She love to carry around picture books and point and "read" them. Although I look forward to introducing her to Beverly Clearly, Gail Carson Levine, J.K. Rowling and many more beloved authors we are relishing in Eric Carle, Mo Willems, Dr. Seuss, P.D. Eastman, etc.

I love to read picture books, I hope that people will buy more books and that they will not go away forever.

What are some of your favorite picture books?

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

"To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

This is my 7th or 8th time reading this book, the first time was when I was just 12 years old, about Harry's age in the first book. This book and the subsequent books in the series have defined a generation and have changed literature. I have never made it a secret that I love Harry Potter and regard it as one of the best book series ever written. I have remained a loyal, devoted fan, reading the books several times, at several different stages of life.

In 2007 when the 7th book came out, I decided to read the series again to refresh my memory and conjure the mood and feeling from the books again. Adam was so adamant that the books were ridiculous and stupid, such hype for such rubbish, that he mocked me all the way home from the book store where we purchased the books. When I got home, I slyly started reading the first chapter out loud within earshot of Adam, hoping that he would feel the magic catch up with him as it did me, the first time I read it.

A few days later I was starting the third book in the series on an airplane ride (I was really cruising through each one) Adam pulls out the second book. He was halfway through. He'd caught the magic and had read one and a half books in secret. Because of work (and the fact that Adam was out of school for the summer) he completed the series before I did.

This book is truly magical. Re-reading the books only solidifies the love I have for them. When a new character emerges I find myself emotional, knowing their fate and roll in Harry's life.

If aliens read my blog, or those that live under a rock and have no clue what the series is about:

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley--a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all of that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry--and anyone who reads about him--will find unforgettable.

For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter.

It truly is one of the best books of all time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Book Review: The Forgotten Garden

"The certainty that she would find what it was she sought just slipped away, until one night she knew there was nothing, no one waiting for her. That no matter how far she walked, how carefully she searched, how much she wanted to find the person she was looking for, she was alone" - The Forgotten Garden"

What a phenomenal book! It took me a good three weeks to read, perhaps because it is nearly 600 pages and I've been reading some other books in the mean time, but when it was over I LONGED for more.

From Goodreads:

A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra's life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace - the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century - Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.

Georgia Crouch loaned me this book in July. I knew that I would love it and wanted to save it until after Mockingjay was over and I was mourning for a good book to love. I finally picked it up at the end of September and couldn't really ever leave it. It did take me a while to read, but I wanted to soak up all the delicious twists and turns. It hit several literary buttons for me. I am usually a sucker for a good romance, this book is not a romance, although one blooms. I haven't been one to ever pick up a mystery except for the Agatha Christie earlier this summer and the occasional Mary Higgens Clark, but I was very excited to know that Morton has another book coming out next month and a book previously published, which I will buy on Amazon when I finish this review.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery. Books about England, books set in the early twentieth century, books with strong female characters, books that pull at your heartstrings. I think Granma Bea would love it--so look for it Granma.

This book made me want a lovely secret garden, and a lovely book of fairy tales written by Eliza Makepeace.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Walmart Fail.

Just the other day I was remarking to my mom about how when you need customer service at Walmart you practically have to chase someone down to get help. Today, Walmart hit a whole new low.

While preparing dinner tonight, I pulled out some Salmon (recently purchased at Walmart) and noticed a long black hair clinging to the inside of the "sealed for freshness"bag draped across the fish. Discussed (and no longer in the mood for Salmon) I went to Walmart to return the bag. This was my exchange:

Me: Yes I'd like to return this bag of salmon, there is a hair stuck to one of the individually wrapped salmon.
W.M.: Well if it is on the outside we can't take it back
Me: Clearly it is on the inside, it is stuck to the fish, the fish is sealed, there is no way I put it there
W.M: (tries to remove the hair by scratching her too long, fake nail over the plastic) Do you have a receipt?
Me: No I don't
W.M. We can't take it back then. Besides, how do we know this is from Walmart
Me: (Turning the bag to point out the 'Distributed by Walmart' print on the back of the salmon bag
W.M: Sorry, that is policy. We can exchange it for another bag of salmon.
Me: I won't be purchasing salmon from walmart anymore, thanks.

After much haggling and talking to a manager they reluctantly and rudely returned the salmon. HELLO! Duh. Make sure you check your salmon because I'm pretty sure they'll just restock it.

For your viewing pleasure:

Saturday, October 2, 2010


YAY! Now I own a piece of grass :) Don't laugh at the size of my back is pretty respectable for Vegas standards :)