Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Follow-up

So, I feel like I need to follow-up on a few things for everybody.

1. Book of Mormon challenge. Success! Habits formed now and I LOVE IT! My life is so much happier and better now that I am back to reading daily. I re-challenge anyone to improve their scripture study with me if you missed out on it last time.

2. Olympics. Success! My dad had a grand ol' time, and he even got interviewed for a economic radio broadcast. Kinda random...but hilarious...Listen to it here (Skip ahead to 2:40 to hear my dad. It's hilarious) And we were at my grandparents house in AZ just in time to watch Phelps take 8.

3. Nighttime woes. Success! We realized several things to help Viana (she slept 8:30-7 one night, and 8:30-5 the next!). First, she's afraid of the dark. So she now sleeps with the light on. Works great. Second, she threw away her pacifier (I know!) and so we are DONE with that. Surprisingly that has helped a TON, and she's much happier in the day for it. Third, she was afraid of monsters, so she found this friend...
and this friend...
And now they sleep in her room with her to protect her. (and yes, Albert is now dead, and Sunshine will probably be dead soon too, but she still likes them in her little jar--they're sleeping, she says).

4. Two-step. Success. Except now it's more like the 14-step. I LOVE walking babies. Nothing cuter.
5. Church callings. Success. Hopefully. Eric is 2nd counselor in Young Men's. I'm enrichment leader. (Crazy, since I worked nights and could never be very involved with enrichment. Totally excited.)

6. Monroe. Success. Have I mentioned how living here is HEAVEN. LOVE IT. Can barely stand going to Provo.

(Oh, 7. Provo. Success. Drove 2 hours to be there for 2 hours to drive home 2 hours through the middle of a huge herd of deer in the dark. Why such a success? Got to be with these favorite friends:That's Michigan+Monroe, UT+Virginia+Provo, UT. Booyah)

Anyway, as I was saying. I love Monroe. Our entire towns power went out the other night. The same night as the opening home football game. It was so exciting waiting at half time to see whether or not power would be restored and whether or not we would be able to finish the football game. When the lights flickered on after a 45 minute half time the whole town (as seated in the bleachers) went wild. Not to mention we ended up winning 25-10. And my neighbor is the starting QB. And he completed 2 TD passes and ran one in. So fun, see?8. Cooking. Success. Remember, I've never cooked before. Ever. Even when I wasn't living on campus my mom made me a million frozen dinners. I even make cool things like Spaghetti Squash (super easy, get a summer squash, cut in half, deseed it, stick upside down on cookie sheet, bake for 35 min. at 375, then use fork to string it out, add sauce, voila, dinner--not to mention really cool and magical).

And that's all I can think of now. Except 9. Haircut. Success. Refer to previous pics of me. I LOVE short hair. Eric normally doesn't. But he likes this one!!

Cheerio friends and family, and seriously, come visit us in Heaven, oh, I mean Monroe.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mother Hen

This past weekend our family traveled down to Mesa, AZ for a wedding. Let me tell you...I was a blubbering boob! For many a reason:
1) Who doesn't love a good wedding?
2) The couple was sealed in the Mesa temple...it's beautiful
3) The spirit was so strong and the sealer shared a wonderful message
4) The gospel is real and families really can be forever, and that means I can be with Eric forever
5) The mother of the groom had 8 children and spouses in the temple. WOW!!
and, with all of these things put together...
6) I, the mother hen of R-Hall, had all 4 of my boys and their wives in the temple together.

DT was a wonderful life changing experience for me, and a large part of that was these 4 handsome men:
When you look at the 5 of us separately, I really don't think you'd match us up as life long friends (one of us was a sports camp counselor. Another was EFY). But we are. These 4 guys mean a lot to me, and to Eric, and I was pretty particular that they get good wives. Believe you me, we worked at least 4 hours a week together in the R-hall office, and these guys put up with plenty of lectures, but mostly discussions, on things of the future. Wives, happy married life, children, and how to attain all 3 included. Plus some BYU football on the side. Only the best of women would be worthy of my 4 sons. And I am proud to say, as I sat in the temple with all 8, that my boys got the BEST. (And yes, I'm going to be a grandma-HA soon! Check out those two bellies on the left!)

Moral of the story, I may have only been the Hall Avisor to these 4 RAs for 2 years, but if it felt that wonderful to have them all in the temple with their wives, I can't wait until it's my own children that I get to be with in the temple. It makes all the hard work eternally worth it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thanks Friends!

Felt role-play follow-up:
Well, it worked the first 3 times she came into our room that night. But the 4th time, we caved and Eric went back with her to bed.
And then I had bad timing because the next morning we left for a 3 night trip to Arizona, and you know how travel goes...
But she did not forget the bed game. One night when we were trying to get her to go to bed Eric had taken her back to the room and in her best role-play voice she said, "Does Daddy lay down with Viana?" Dramatic pause from a 2-year old. Then, "YES!!" Well, how do you resist Viana saying that?? You don't.

But thank you friends for the wonderful supportive comments that made me realize what Viana is experiencing is NORMAL. And being a young mother is THRILLING. And now I know why older mothers look at me and say, "I have no idea how I made it through that stage in life." (And by the way, is that a compliment when someone says that to you??)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Night time woes

Sleepless nights belong to parents with teenagers and newborns. Since Eric and I have neither one of those right now we are in a parenting funk as we find our snooze time hours interrupted one, two, three, four or more times a night by Viana. Why? We don't know. Brooke, she's great, but Veezy...The other night she walked into our room, grabbed Eric's hand, walked him back to her room, lay down on her bed, and insisted he do the same. So we're either up with her, she's sleeping (hogging) our bed, or insisting that we sleep in hers. Patience wares thin at 3am, so we're hoping for a stroke of genius to cure this little girl's sleep difficulties.

Today, I hope I had one. I got out some old patches of felt and under Viana's direction crafted the following scene. All I told her was "We are going to play a bed game" and followed her instructions from there:
Now let me take you up close and personal. Here's our family after a long day of work and play. (I really have that exact outfit by the way.)
As I told Viana it was getting dark, she said we needed to get our jammies. All colors picked by Viana.
Then, she told me we needed scriptures and milk for her and water for Brooke on the couch. I tried to sit next to Viana, but she told me I couldn't, that Daddy was sitting by her. (And she said Daddy was reading tonight--notice. And the girls are holding their cups too. No detail left undone with this girl).
Then she bravely admitted it was time for bed. As long as she had her pacifier (I know, I know...figure out how to sleep first, then ditch the bink). She escorted herself to bed as Momma put Brooke in her crib. Then everyone was in their own bed all by themselves.
We then role played some scenarios as to what would happen if Viana woke up in the middle of the night. Should she come into Momma and Daddy's bed? "Noooooooooooo" she giggled like that was absurd. If you have to go potty, come tell Momma. I will help you. Then when we are all done should you ask Momma to come lay in your bed? "Noooooooooooo" Again, the irresistible giggle. And what would happen if she did come into Momma and Daddy's bed? We would be sad...(still giggles! I see nothing funny about that)
OK, it actually was funny. Not lazy enough to flip the head and change the hair. Too lazy to turn the whole body around so the heads didn't appear...um, grotesque?
But, moral of the story, Momma and Daddy are happy when Viana stays all by herself in her very own bed.
So, I don't know if this little role play with AMAZING felt characters will help, but we sure had a great time crafting and role playing, and it was very interesting for me to take the narrative from Viana to see how she views our bedtime routine. So, here's to hoping for a full nights rest. Until then, any other great ideas??

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympics!

Were it not for a little TV set-back in our house right now, I could guarantee you that tonight I would be watching the opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics.
The Olympics mean a lot to me and my family. My dad did call me this morning from the airport on his way to Beijing though. So at least I feel connected even if I can't watch.

My dad is an Olympian. He competed as a skeet shooter in the '96 Atlanta Olympics. What a great summer! My family got to go, and my mom and I even went to the opening ceremonies to wave in my dad as he marched in with The United States of America (next to Shaq...you should see the picture...he's a BIG man). This summer though, with a few more gray hairs, he goes as the Director of Operations for USA Shooting. Look at him in all his Olympic glory:

Now in 1996, I don't now if they had even invented digital cameras, so sorry, no great pics from that.

Our Olympic journey does not stop there. My dad was a torch runner for the 2002 winter Olympics. He even got to keep the torch. I don't know why he was a torch runner, all I know is, I nominated him to be one on-line, so I like to believe it was because of me. But he's pretty amazing in a bajillion ways, so it was probably for some high-up reason--like, ya know, past Olympian.

In 2002, the Olympics were in Salt Lake City, and I was attending BYU at the time, so I once again found myself at the Olympics!! And, BYU was having a competition with Minute Maid "Juice Bucks" (buy a drink, get some bucks) in which they would auction off a pair of tickets to the opening ceremonies there. Well, my friend Kathryn and I were AMAZING. We hunted those tickets like there was no tomorrow. I may have visited a few dumpsters even. We had SO many tickets. SO many. The day of the auction came and we were pumped! And, wouldn't ya know it, we won! More than just tickets too!! Turns out we had A LOT of tickets :)

Again, in 2002, I think digital cameras, now invented, were still for the rich and famous, so imagine all my amazing pictures of those opening ceremonies.

And now it's 2008. I have a digital camera. It's Olympic time. I will not be at these opening ceremonies like I have been to the two others. I won't even be watching them like I have for at least the 5 other Olympics I can remember. But I will use my camera and celebrate my own little girl Olympics. I present to you team "boxing":

"T-ing" off with Letter Formation:The Ring Stack:Orienteering, that was new a few years ago, "Find the baby doll":(Beware, after a tough day of events your hair may look like this in the morning):Synchronized Dress-Up Dancing:
And with great excitement, a new event, the Two-step:
video
Truly, the Olympics are a exciting, unifying, trying, inspiring time. I hope that you can at least stay up with the really amazing and neat stories that I'm sure are to come from this Olympic season. And now, Let the games begin!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mini-Fam Reunion

After our Disney trip we spent the day in LA with my sister Jamie and hubby LaDon...not to mention the surprise visit from my sister Charina too!! We were hoping to visit Jamie's new baby, but she didn't come until 4 days later on Harry Potter's birthday. That's ok though, then we got to have fun family time on the LA temple grounds! You can see my perfect new niece here though :)