Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Party

Brandon and I had a Halloween party to attend on Saturday night.

We went as the King and Queen of Hearts. Simple, cute, matching costumes:)

Cole, the host of the party, was one of my best friends at Star Valley High School. Brandon and I hadn't seen him in at least five years.

I believe there were seven men at the party dressed as German bar maids. Here I am with a few of them.

My favorite costume at the party was this guy, Jeff(?), who came as Tobias from Arrested Development. The humor was lost on a lot of people but we loved it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Nice Nancy

Nancy awarded me this like a month ago and I forgot to ever post it. It's true, I'm totally fabulous.

Nancy recently awarded me the WonderWoman award. I feel undeserving since I don't work outside the home and I only have one child, but I accept, because it gives me something to live up to.

Nancy is my little brother's girlfriend's mom. Yup, that's what I said.
Nancy and my mom have a lot in common; they are both great friends to their kids, they both always look very put together, they are both good writers (Mom, start a blog!), and they are both total goofballs. Nancy and I have never met, but we have become blog buddies. She sent me a baby gift before Jonah was born and sent me a birthday card this year. Nancy, you rock! I look forward to meeting you someday soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Volunteer Work

My church encourages everyone in it to keep a (year) supply of food and water for their entire family on-hand at all times in case of an emergency. Living in apartments, Brandon and I have only ever managed to keep 72-hour kits. That can change now that we have a house with a pantry and plenty of other storage spaces.

A couple Sundays ago a sign up sheet went around the women's meeting (Relief Society) where you could purchase cans of food supply items. There were four to choose from and the prices seemed good, though I had no idea how big the cans were so I couldn't be sure. I bought one can of quick oats and signed up to volunteer at the community cannery.

Well, last night was my chance to serve. My ward (aka: parish) and one other had been assigned to work the Midway cannery from 6-8 that evening. I had no idea what I would be doing but I was excited to do some volunteer work and get involved in my community and learn something new. Basically, we canned what our wards had ordered.

There is a warehouse full of about 15 different types of food, all in very large (Costco-size) bags. We did four items last night; quick oats, regular oats, dried apples, and hot cocoa mix. We put them from the bags into more useable size (aprox. the size of a gallon of milk) cans and seal them for freshnesss (they are supposed to last 5 years). You are supposed to slowly use and replace your food storage, so it rotates and never goes bad.

It worked kind of like a factory assembly line. Some people brought food and cans from the warehouse into the front. Somebody counted out the correct number of preprinted labels (we did 101 cans of regular oats and 40 cans of cocoa, etc.), date stamped them, and then put them on the cans. Most of the time I was moving the cans from that table, into the bin in which they were filled, dropping in a freshness packet, shaking down the product so they could get filled more fully, then moving them over to where they would have a lid placed on top and be set onto the canning machine that would seal the top on (I got to do this at the end and really liked working this simple machine). Lastly, a plastic removeable lid would be placed over the top so that once the can had been opened it still has a top. Then they were placed in boxes of six each.

Maybe you found that all incredibly boring, but I was facinated and I plan to do it again. Some of the people I worked with were real characters and everyone was there with a willing heart. I seriously had a great time. I bought a can of dried apples before leaving cause there were a couple extra and they were delicious.

Sometime I'd like to go to Salt Lake and volunteer at welfare square and see where the bags of food come from and all the other welfare-type service begins.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The Benefits of Breastfeeding

-Prevents infection in infants (less diarrhea, flu,respiratory infections, etc.)
-Increases the effectiveness of baby's vaccines
-Protects against illness
-Lower incidents of SIDS (suddent infant death syndrome)
-Protection from allergies and eczema
-Decreased rates of diabetes, Chrons, cancer, Hodgkins, and Juvenile Arthritis
-Better cognitive development & higher IQs (even taking into acct. mother's economic status and education levels)
-Less adult obesity
-Better social development & more independent children
-The longer a baby is breastfed the less likely the child will need braces.

-Mothers loose their pregnancy weight faster and have decreased bleeding
-Natural birth control for mothers who breastfeed exclusively (stops when baby begins sleeping thru the night or eating other foods)
-Decreased rates of breast cancer in mothers (especially premenopausal) & other feminine cancers
-Decreased insulin requirements in diabetic women postpartum
-Decreased osteoporosis

-FREE (I bought my first canister of formula a couple days ago and it was $14!)
-More ecological (no trash produced)

The American Academy of Pediatrics says you should breastfeed your child exclusively (no formula, no solid foods, no juice, nothing) for the first six months of life. The AAP also recommends breastfeeding until your baby is 12 months old.
UNICEF recommends breastfeeding for at least two years, as do other international organizations.

I feel good about what I've been doing for Jonah (and for myself). I breastfed Jonah exclusively for the first five and a half months of his life and I continue to breastfeed. Now the big however. However, I feel this phase is coming to an end. Jonah will be 9 months old a week from tomorrow. Although he doesn't bite me with his teeth almost ever, he bites down hard now while breastfeeding now and pulls sometimes too. Breastfeeding has recently become very uncomfortable.

Yesterday I tried giving Jo pumped breastmilk in a sippy cup for his midday feeding. He screamed, cried, and sobbed. I didn't have the time, the heart, or the patience that day so I gave in and gave him the breast. I have been reading tips on weaning from books and online for the past several days. We are going to try as many as we need to.

Also (men, turn away now), I'm not sure if Jonah bit me or if that piece of skin I pulled off yesterday caused a tiny bit of bleeding on one of my nipples. Now there is a scab. I tried pumping instead of feeding from that side yesterday and I didn't get hardly anything out. I nursed on that side this morning and it didn't hurt like I thought it would (and like it did last time) but the breast didn't empty and I'm going to get an infection if I can't get the milk out. Any suggestions? I tried melting and rubbing it off gently with a warm, wet washcloth but it didn't work. Help.

Anyway, wish me luck with the weaning. I'd love tips from all you experienced mothers out there.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Weekend

Big Family News: My brother, Mark, who is exactly 10 years my junior, has been called to serve a mission for our church for two years. He will be serving in Chihuahau, Mexico and begins language training in Provo, Utah at the Mission Training Center on January 30th.

Friday night I hung out with my sister-in-law, Andy, and 4 of her friends. We went out for sushi and to see a friend's band play. Lots of fun. I was up way past my bedtime.

Saturday I went to Salt Lake and hung out with two old friends from high school. It was great catching up with them. I hadn't seen Melanie in six years! We went out for Chinese food and then saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the IMAX screen. Great movie. Afterwards we went and saw Holly's new house.

I'd spent the whole day Saturday away from Jonah so Sunday I skipped Sacrament meeting so I could feed him and lay him down for his nap (he will not nap in church and cannot miss a nap). When I got to church I found out I'd missed the primary program, one of my favorite meetings of the year!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Finger Foods

For about a week now I've been giving finger foods along with every meal so that Jonah has something to feed himself while I am feeding him or while I am making him something. He is getting better and better and getting things into his mouth, though sometimes it is a two-handed effort. His favorite is motzerella cheese. He has also tried bananas, cooked zucchini, cheerios, and avacado. He is really fun to watch especially as he pushes everything to the front of his mouth so he can attempt to chew with his two tiny teeth. It always makes him look like he's puckering up for a kiss. I think he's getting a top tooth right now as well.

And though Jo is slightly disinterested in toys right now, he is really into books.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This Morning

Jonah slept thru the night last night (yes!) and woke up around his usual time at 6:15. I changed him and fed him. I peeked out the window but it was too dark to see anything. While he was playing in the front room I checked the weather online. It said "cloudy with a low of 33 and high of 49" and I thought to myself, "hmm, no snow." It drizzled and rained yesterday and snowed in Park City when I drove thru and in the mountains, but not in Salt Lake or Heber. It was not snowing when I closed all the blinds last night around six.
When Brandon left for work this morning at about ten til eight he came back inside and said, "Have you looked outside yet?" and I said, "I don't think so." It still didn't dawn on me what I was about to see. He came upstairs and opened the front door to a winter wonderland.

I took Jonah out with me as B left for work and we touched and tasted the snow.

Recent Pictures

The frog prince from Ikea is one of the only toys that interests Jo at the moment.

When Jonah sees the camera, often he anticipates the flash by squeezing his eyes tightly shut (and smiling).

Check out these two cute teeth and the bedhead!

It cracks me up when a tuft of Jonah's hair sticks out the top of his helmet.

Park City.

Jonah being entertained by Uncle Adam.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I've been guilty of it, being blunt to the point of rudeness. I like to be known for being direct. I like to be known for being honest. I also like to be known for being kind.
Someone said something that I thought was really rude to my friend in front of me recently. I wanted to say, "That's rude." or "Could you be any less tactful?" But he didn't really seem all that bothered and I figured he could fight his own battles. I knew if I called her on it her response would simply be, "Well, it's true." or "I was just being honest." I can't argue with that but is it necessary? Do people really have to say exactly what they are thinking?
I want to know your opinions, I want you to be honest with me, I want to know what you're thinking, but not explicitly and not all the time. And I don't want you to be rude to me.
When someone gets a haircut that I don't like, I always exclaim enthusiastically, "Oh, you cut you're hair!" with a smile. I don't lie and say, "Oh, I love your haircut." but I also don't say, "Wow, I liked your hair better before." or "Why did you do that?" I'm not dishonest, but I'm polite.
I think you can be more honest with people, the better you know them, but I need to remember that does not give me the excuse to be rude. The people we know best are really the people we should be kindest to. But I have to warn you that if you go and directly ask my honest opinion, I probably won't sugar coat it much.
I think it's not really bluntness that bothers me sometimes, it's assumptions. I don't like when people assume they know what I am thinking or what I would do in a certain situation or that they know everything about me, even if they know me well, and especially if they don't. Don't tell me why I did something, ask. And don't state your opinions as facts.
Do you ever have people/friends insult your friends or family in front of you? What are they thinking?!! You can agree with me if I point out a fault in my friend/relative, but don't you dare go doing it for me or you've just lost serious points in my book not to mention I'll defend whoever you're talking about.
I also hate it when people tell you things you are already painfully aware of, like when you're tired, sick, or pregnant and definitely looking it.
Two things you should never say to me if you want me to like you:
"You look tired." and
"You're in a bad mood."/ "Are you in a bad mood?" (I am now!)
I consider myself a very curious person, but there are some things I don't want to know and some things I don't deserve to know. I think I need to get better at figuring out how to tell people that it's simply none of their business. And I won't be offended if you say that to me when I get too curious.

Along the same lines, my cousin wrote a great blog yesterday. I call it "What NOT to say to a pregnant woman." I promise you'll be entertained. Find it here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Past Week

Last Friday morning Brandon and his dad flew to Dallas to meet up with B's cousin for their second annual OU/Texas Football game trip. They had a great time, OU won, they played golf, they went to the biggest state fair they've ever seen, they ate at his favorite Mexican restaurant, they stayed in a nice hotel.
Here on Friday Jonah and I had my brother Adam come visit. Adam is working long days in Salt Lake this month, he lives in Arizona. His poor wife and kids are missing him badly. Adam slept over and we had a fun evening and a great day just playing Wii Golf and tickling Jonah.
Saturday afternoon Jonah and I took our first trip into Ikea with "auntie" Jen, my best friend. The store was enjoyable but I was disturbed by the single route you must take which ensures you spend too much time in the store, see every item, and cannot exit quickly. Isn't that a fire hazard?? After Jonah went to bed, Jen and I made cheese fondue and then I headed to a wedding reception where I knew almost no one but quite enjoyed the band. Then we sleptover at Jen's and had fun eating muffins and hanging out the next morning.
Early Sunday afternoon Jo and I met up with aunt Andy, her dog, and G-ma Linda's dog, Cody. We let the dogs play while we chatted before heading back home. We drove thru Park City on the way home just to enjoy the changing leaves and snow on the mountains better. Brandon got home about an hour after us.
Monday and Tuesday I had some sort of stomach virus and was feeling very ill. Tuesday I spent most of the day watching Season 2 of The Office online.
Yesterday I was hired as a substitute teacher for Wasatch High School and also for the Pre-K classes. I told them I would only be available on Fridays (the day they need subs the most). So now I have two weeks to find a Friday babysitter! I'm excited to start and to be back into the world of teaching.
Well, that's all for now, sorry I'm too lazy to post pictures at the moment.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Helmet Head

Yesterday Jonah got his helmet to correct his misshapen head. It will get rid of his flat spot and keep him from always tilting his head to one side. He didn't cry a bit and I think he looks just as handsome as ever. He has to wear it 23 hours a day. It makes his head really sweaty, poor guy. What a champ though.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Recipe of the Day

This is what we had for dinner tonight. Yumm-o! The parm and lemon in the crust made it fantastic. Mine was not topped with fresh sage though and my sides were sweet potato something and cabbage somethingorother.

Baked Pork Chops with Parmesean Sage Crust (brought to you by, of course)

1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 bone-in center-cut pork loin chops (each about 1 inch thick)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges (optional)
Orange wedges (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, sage and lemon peel in pie dish. Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Place flour on plate; season generously with salt and pepper. Coat pork chops on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Dip chops into eggs, then coat on both sides with breadcrumb mixture.
Melt butter with oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet with pork to oven. Bake until pork chops are crisp on the outside and meat thermometer inserted into pork registers 150°F, about 20 minutes.

Transfer pork chops to plates. Garnish with lemon wedges and orange wedges, if desired, and serve.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

8 Months

My baby turned 8 months old this week. How time flies.

You are the light of my life, it sounds cheesy and cliche but it's true. You are crawling everywhere so fast now. You still don't get up on your knees, but you have no problem getting around. I'm thinking of wrapping you in microfiber and you can be more efficient with your dusting/cat hair removal of our upstairs laminate flooring.
You still taste everything. I caught you licking the couch today.
Ever since the day you turned 6 months old, the Johnny Jump Up is your favorite place to be (when you're not being held).
You smile at everyone (unless your really tired). You make people feel special. I tell strangers, "Oh, he really likes you," but you really seem to like everyone.
I love when I can't see you but I hear you giggle and know that a cat must have come close to you. You still can't quite catch those kitties but sometimes they let you pet them when I'm with you. You said something that sounded like "cat" the other day, but since you only know them as "kittie kitties" I guess it wasn't your first word.
In addition to your "th" sound, you now also say "dadadadada". It is the cutest thing and your father absolutely loves it. I know it won't be long til you actually start talking.
You have two teeth now. You eat mostly baby food but are moving into table foods now too. You love eating! You still breastfeed three times a day as well. I both look forward and dread weaning you. I love holding you close and providing your favorite comfort.
You have finally figured out that the sippy cup is not just a toy. I like watching you drink. You don't take a bottle and don't use a pacifier.
You still love playing superbaby. You are not very interested in your toys anymore, though you still like the Quiet Book. You are much more interested in boxes, dvd cases, crumbs, packaging, shoes (yuck!), etc.
You are practically perfect in everyway. You eat well, sleep well, and behave well. You never cry for long. You fall asleep without assistance. I am a spoiled mommy. I love you more than words can say.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Images of San Fran

Me posing like a dork as usual.

Brandon on the statue/waterfall thingy across from The Ferry Building.

Serious money was changing hands at this card game in Chinatown.

Cablecar coming up a hill we were hiking back down.

In the TransAmerica Redwood park.

The TransAmerica building.

Brandon and me at night at the gate to Chinatown.

Mark and me on Golden Gate Bridge.

My favorite picture from the trip.

The first float of San Francisco's Love Parade this past Saturday. Free entertainment at its best, lots of music, costumes, and dancing.

Mark laughed so hard, I think he cried.

watching sea lions at Pier 39

San Francisco

We returned from San Francisco last night. It was my second trip to the city and it confirmed my opinion that it is my favorite of all the large cities I have visited (Chicago, Kathmandu, New York, Portland, Boston, etc.). It was Brandon's first real vacation staying in a big city, he loved it more than either of us expected. I have so many good pictures I'm not sure which to share.
I'll start with a quick trip summary.

Wednesday: arrived at our SF hotel around noon. Walked down Market street to the Ferry Building at Pier 1 on the Embaraderro. Market street is full of great shopping and interesting people. Had an interesting/delicious jicima salad with grapefruit, avacado, and pumpkin seeds. Did a little window shopping. Walked up to Chinatown, did a little more shopping and gawking. Picked up Indian food for dinner. Mark arrived.

Thursday: Brandon went to classes in the morning while Mark, Jonah, and I spent the day exploring the city (Chinatown, Union Square, the Financial District, Nob Hill, etc). Met Brandon for lunch. My Lonely Planet San Francisco Encounter (pocket sized travel book) was spot on for restaurant recommendations. Thursday night Mark babysat while Brandon and I went to dinner with his friend from dental school and his wife. We rode a cable car to North Beach (the Italian part of town) and ate a fabulous authentic dinner. We ended up walking all the way back to our hotel because we were just enjoying meadering down the streets at night. There are lots of people and lots of lights so you feel safe in most parts of the city.

Friday: Caught the last 20 minutes of the General Session at Brandon's dental convention where Barbara Walters was speaking. Then Mark, Jonah, and I caught a bus (two, actually) to the Golden Gate Bridge. Looked, ooh-ed, aw-ed, walked on it, took pictures, and headed back. Jonah insisted on sitting on Mark's lap on buses. Ordered Ocean's 13 and Thai food in our room that night.

Saturday: Mark and Brandon went to the General Session to hear Lance Armstrong speak. Mark, Jo, and I were going to head down to the Piers but all public transportation on Market was on hold. Ended up spending a couple hours gawking at the Love Parade on Market instead. The most colorful parade I've ever seen. Mark headed home late that afternoon.

Sunday: B, Jonah, and I took a streetcar to Pier 39. Watched sea lions, shopped, ate clam chowder in sour dough breadbowls. Headed home.

Wonderful trip.