Sunday, August 31, 2008

My new calling is...

I know everyone has been holding there breath in suspense of what my new calling is. Well, okay, I know it's not that big of a deal. But in case you're wondering, I was called as the Relief Society pianist. That suits me well because there is no planning needed and I get to do what I love. We're still waiting to hear anything about Michael getting a calling, but he subbed for nursery today, so he still might be on that list.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain and Palin

Although I have already posted an entry today, I have more to write about, due to the excitement of John McCain naming his running mate. I have been very interested to hear who it would be, thinking that it would probably be one of three people constantly mentioned, one of them being Mitt Romney. Before McCain became the GOP nominee, I was hoping Romney would win the nomination. Once it was decided that he wouldn't, but that he was being considered for McCain's running mate, I wasn't sure whether this was a good idea or not. I still have hopes of his running for president later on and I think that being VP could have played either a positive or negative role in his future run.

I don't know anything about Sarah Palin nor have I ever heard her name before. I'm still trying to find out about her and what she has accomplished. I have done some research on her and I have liked several things that I read, but there are some matters that I have not liked so much. I'm still trying to figure out all the pros and cons of selecting a woman as your running mate.

It will be interesting to watch if this team makes it to the White House and see the history they will make there.

Talent for getting into trouble

Yesterday was a very difficult day. First of all, Michael was sick a few days ago, and although we tried to keep it from spreading to the rest of us, it was inevitable that Annabelle and/or I would catch it. Thankfully, Annabelle doesn't seem to have anything other than a runny nose. I, on the other hand, am feeling pretty terrible.

I decided that I would try and act like I wasn't feeling badly, so I showered, got dressed up (meaning I changed out of my sweats and sweatshirt), got Annabelle ready (I was so excited because I was able to french braid her hair for the first time. I had to let her play with my phone, which she is not usually allowed to play with, in order to get her to sit still long enough), and went out to do some errands. Later on, I decided I'd paint my toenails. I made sure the lid of the nail polish was screwed on tightly, knowing that Annabelle might get her hands on the bottle, and began removing what was left of the current polish. Less than a minute later, I went to grab the nail polish and this is what I found: Annabelle holding a broken bottle of nail polish, her hands thick with the polish, it running down onto her new pants that I bought less than a week ago, and a huge dark pink stain on the floor. This nail polish ordeal came after a number of other little incidents: putting her peanut buttery hands all over my freshly washed jeans, spilling her orange juice on the floor, and ripping several pages in one of my piano books.

The range of my emotions once I saw the spilled nail polish was pretty crazy. I was angry that she had played with the nail polish when she knew she was not supposed to play with it and had gotten polish on her new pants and on the floor, shock that she had broken the bottle, a tiny bit of amusement knowing that only Annabelle could have made this scene possible, and sickness to my stomach because I knew that I wouldn't be able to get to stain out of the carpet. I think I could feel my illness get 10 times worse after that. There were many tears shed, both from the culprit and me. I have looked at the bottle several times and have no idea how Annabelle could have broken it like that. If you look at the picture closely, you'll see that she broke the glass.

I love my daughter, there should be no doubt of that. She is energetic, amusing, and very cute. However, she also has the ability to get herself in big trouble. However, knowing my daughter, I should have been aware of the dangers of putting that nail polish within her grasp. It's these types of events that no matter how difficult they may seem at the time, they are great learning experiences and they are what help us as parents learn better ways to deal with our children.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Farewell nursery

So, let me give you an update of what has been going on in our ward. I think I've mentioned before that the ward we attended when we first moved to Rexburg was enormous. People filled up the chapel, the overflow, the entire cultural hall, and even the stage for Sacrament meeting. There were two Elder's Quorums, two Sunday schools, and five nurseries. The ward was probably half long-time residents of the community and half BYU-I students. That being the case, there were lots of baby blessings going on each week.

Starting in about May, there began to be a rumor that the ward was going to be split. As time went on, it became more than just a rumor. Three Sundays ago, we had our last meeting in the Rexburg 13th ward, which also meant our last Sunday as nursery leaders. In all honesty, it really wasn't that bad, but that might be due the total of six weeks that we were not in town and had to find subs for our class.

Two Sundays ago, we had our first meeting as the newly formed Willow Brook ward. Since it was a completely new ward with only the bishopric called, we only had Sacrament meeting. In the middle of the week last week, Michael got a call from the woman that had been called as the nursery leader telling us that the following Sunday, there would be two hours of church and wondered if we would be willing to be substitute leaders of a nursery class during that second hour until the real leaders could be called. I must tell you that this woman was the nursery leader in the old ward and already knew us. Michael and I both had the feeling that we would just get the same calling we had in the old ward... nursery leaders. We of course agreed and said we'd love to help out. I can't tell you how much faster time goes by when you only have 45 minutes with the kids.

Minutes after we returned home from church, I received a phone call from a member of the bishopric asking if he could meet with me Wednesday evening. That got me thinking. The fact that only I had been asked to meet with the bishop meant that perhaps Michael and I were not getting called into the nursery. I am happy to announce that I have been called as ..................

To find out, please tune back in Sunday evening after I have been sustained and set apart.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Popcorn toss

Last night, Annabelle and I were playing downstairs while Michael was upstairs talking with his folks and I decided I was in the mood for some popcorn. Annabelle, of course, couldn't resist having a few kernels herself. I thought I might try and teach her to throw popcorn in the air and catch it in her mouth. After watching me throw one kernel up and catch in my mouth, Annabelle started laughing so hard. I don't think I've ever heard her laugh that hard before. So, I did it again and got the same result. She was laughing so hard that I started laughing. Once she saw me laughing, she started laughing harder. It got to the point where I had tears streaming down my face and I had let out a few snorts (for those of you who don't know, yes, I snort when I laugh, but only when it is well deserved). After doing this for several minutes and running upstairs to show Michael, I thought about getting it on video. Well, by this time, Annabelle was not laughing nearly as hard, but I taped it anyway. When you watch the video, imagine both of us laughing 10 times harder.

Goodbye til 2012

With the ending of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing came a feeling similar to that which is felt the day after Christmas. During the last 2 weeks, there was so much excitement, so much drama, and so much national pride. I was one of the billions of people that was on the edge of my seat while watching the 4x100 meter men's relay team ( I just watched it again, and wow, it is so exhilarating to watch. You can click on the link above if you want to watch it). I cried (well, almost) when Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson each won their own gold medal. I was stunned to see Usain Bolt become the fastest man in the world. I jumped up and down when both the men and women won a gold medal in sand volleyball. Now that it's over, all those emotions have come to a halt and you're returned to the normal routine of watching all the old shows, if you watch tv at all.

To watch all of these amazing athletes do what most normal people consider impossible is unbelievable. For these people to compete for their country is probably one of the most noble things they get to do. Although I did not participate in any Olympic competition, when I saw an American win a medal, I felt as though I had a part of it. And every time I heard the national anthem, our national anthem, play during a medal ceremony, I was reminded of what a great country we are privileged to live in.

In one of Annabelle's books, there is a poem that says:
'A child's year is a wonderful thing. I wonder what next year will bring'.
I think we can apply that concept to the next Summer Olympics. Will we have another 'Michael Phelps', will we reach or pass the 110 total medals our country received this time, and what new names will become world legends? These are all good questions, ones that will answered 4 years from now. So, farewell 2008 Olympics. Until we meet again in the streets of London in 2012.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A woman who gets what she wants at age 18 months...

We had one of the attorneys from the law firm and his family over for dinner last night. They have a son that is a couple months older than Annabelle. It was so fun to see those two kids battle over the toys. They only wanted to play with the toy that the other one had. While the adults were sitting at the table enjoying our lovely dinner, Annabelle and Jack had a lovely time pulling out all of the toys and chasing each other around.

Jack was much more interested in the new toys and environment than sitting at the table and eating with us. He did need a drink every now and then and would come to his mom and ask for it. Annabelle was very interested in helping Jack get his drink and from then on, followed him around, trying to force feed him some milk. At first, Jack would take this treatment and we all made the conclusion that he learned early that it's better to just do what a woman wants and keep everyone happy rather than put up a fight. I imagine he'll have a very successful marriage in 20+ years. But, after Annabelle was a bit too forceful, he decided he was not going to give in to this woman's wants anymore.


We recently had a short frisbee golf course set up that runs right through the main open field area by our townhome. Michael and I have never played on it yet, and we thought it would be a perfect time to try it. It actually turned out to be more difficult than we thought it would be. On this field are two small playgrounds for younger kids. Having a playground right in the middle of the distance to the basket made things a little bit difficult. Add to that the wind, which was blowing as much as 18 mph. For those of you who know the movie, Mary Poppins, there is a scene near the beginning where a bunch of nannies are waiting in line at the Banks' house to be interviewed for a nanny position, but as Mary Poppins makes her entrance, there is a huge gust of wind that blows all of the other nannies away. Well, this evening, I felt like I belonged in that scene. The wind was blowing so hard that I felt like I was going to be blown away if I wasn't careful. Although it made our frisbee golf game much more challenging, it was also fun to watch and see how high and off course the frisbees went.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Dut" (Annabelle's word for 'duck')

If you haven't noticed by now, I love putting pictures on my blog. I took a few cute pictures last weekend, so I had to write another entry to go with them. Our stake has changed some of the ward boundaries last week and this past Sunday was our first in the newly organized Willow Brook ward. Since it was the first Sunday, we only had Sacrament meeting, getting us home with plenty of the afternoon left. So, we took a walk around "duck pond" (the reason for the name should be pretty obvious). Annabelle loved all the ducks and of course, threw a fit when we wouldn't let her get in the water and play with them. Michael was more into a large turtle that was in the pond than the ducks.

Part of the walkway around the park was really picturesque. It was a trail that was surrounded by trees on both sides. I thought it would be great if we could get a picture of the three of us walking through this trail of trees, but unfortunately, no one was behind us to take the picture. Did that deter Michael from figuring out a way to get the picture? NO! He found a small rock, placed it on the ground, and balanced the camera on the rock. Without even looking through the lens to see if the camera was centered, he got this result:

Pretty impressive, don't you think? Here are some other cute pictures from the outing.

Annabelle loves to drink from a water fountain.
Does she ever actually get water in her mouth to drink? Yes, but not much. It's much more fun for her to have water splash on her face. On the right is one of her great smiles we captured on our way to the park.

Monday night, we went to a barbecue put on by Michael's law firm. It was located at a reservoir outside of Idaho Falls. It was nice to see the men Michael works with. Annabelle was just excited to get in the freezing cold water. She is such a water baby. Although she was shivering so much that her teeth her chattering, she still wanted to be free of Michael's hands and walk around on her own, as you'll see in this video. She doesn't even seem to care that the water is up to her mouth.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael's written again!

For those of you who check blogs more often then new entries are written, I just wanted to let you all know that...Michael has finally written a new entry on his blog!! It's a good one that I think you'll all enjoy, especially the pictures.

I have also written a couple of entries this weekend, so make sure you read mine, too!

BBQ with old roommates

I can't believe it's already the end of the weekend. Each day seems to go by so fast, but weekends seem to be almost nonexistent, with how fast they go by. Yesterday, we went to a friend's house for a barbecue with three of Michael's old BYU roommates. One of them is a fellow attorney at Michael's law firm and hosted the get-together at his house in Idaho Falls. The other two are currently living in Boise, ID and L.A. The two families from out of town both have two kids, while the other two of us only have one. I had met these people only one time before when Michael and I were engaged.

The old roommates wasted no time in reliving past experiences and inside jokes, while the women took care of the children and shared stories of surviving motherhood. It was a beautiful evening and there was even a nice tent to block the sun.

The most exciting highlight of the night was the carnival rides, namely Michael. Michael did his usual trick of swinging Annabelle around and after getting over the shock and nervousness of what was happening, all of the other moms decided it was okay to let their kids have a ride. There were two other kids that were old enough to want to try. They all sure seemed to like it.

Here you can see all the kids flocking to Michael so they could get a turn.

In the picture below, Annabelle is up in the air, above Michael's outstretched arms. Don't worry, he catches her safely.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Constant fun

Lately, Annabelle has been repeating everything I say. Most parents would be thrilled that their little one is learning new words and improving their method of communicating with words. I, too, am excited to hear Annabelle increasing her vocabulary, although it's come back to bite me in the behind. I don't not swear, but I do have my little phrases that I say when I get frustrated or I mess something up. That phrase is, "Oh, shoot!". I never yell it or say in a mean way. It usually is said under my breath, and yet, little Anabelle has picked up on it. She tries to say it as well, only it doesn't quite sound the same. Instead, it sounds like a 4-letter word that starts with the same two letters. I had no idea that Annabelle paid attention to things I said to myself. I was seriously mistaken. I was so embarrassed when I was with another woman and she asked Annabelle a question and her answer was, "Oh, sh--!". I guess I'll really have to watch I say.

One of Annabelle's favorite games these days is playing "seek", meaning the second part of the game hide-and-seek. She loves for me to hide and then come find me. She doesn't yet get the idea of her hiding and my seeking her. It's hard to get her to give me a few seconds to hide. I have to put her in my room and close the door most of the way, but not all of the way because she doesn't know how to open doors and would be stuck in the room, and then run as fast as I can to my hiding spot because she doesn't wait any time whatsoever once I leave. I think she's starting to understand that she needs to wait until I call her. It's pretty funny to watch her look for me. Usually, she walks right past me and doesn't see me. She is really good at remembering all of my past hiding places and so I've had to get really creative. One time, I think Annabelle was trying to hide. She went over to her laundry hamper, dumped out all of the clothes in it, and then pulled it over her head. It was really funny. When she heard me laughing, she started charging at me and chased me all around the upstairs for a full 20 minutes. I was laughing so hard that it was hard for me to run away from her.

Annabelle is also really into helping with anything I'm doing. It's usually not a problem and I enjoy her help. She hands me dishes in the dishwasher to put away, throws things in the trash for me, and helps do the laundry. It's not always welcome when I'm trying to prepare a food dish. She stands on a chair at the kitchen counter and plays with anything she can get her hands on, including food, or she also likes to throw everything on the floor. The other day, she was "helping" me make dinner by crumbling up the goldfish she was eating for a snack and throwing it on the floor. Thankfully, she was just as willing to help me clean up her mess.

Here are more pictures of other things Annabelle likes to do.

She likes to carry my purse around, or here, she has a little backpack she likes to wear.

She received a puzzle box from great grandma Ellen and has put it to good use.

Here, she has a ladybug on her hand. You
may not be able to see it, but Annabelle was
very interested in it.