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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Misc stuffs

I have a collection of pictures and videos that are so random and unrelated that I figured I'd just stick them all in a post together.

Here's a video of Kessa eating her washcloth between bites.

Today Kessa started chewing the air. Luckily, I caught a short video of it.

And now for the pictures. BJ discovered that Kessa will hold herself up on the arm of the chair and "fly"

This is Kessa asleep in her crib. This isn't abnormal by any means. But if you look under her hand and neck you'll see a little pink thing. It's a crocheted owl blanket thing. It's a perfect crib toy, so we've left it in her crib ever since we got it soon after she was born. But this was the first time she'd ever actually done anything with it. She made it into a pillow!

We had a white elephant gift exchange. This is what we took for our gift. A white elephant! (Made out of towels, buttons, rubber bands, and ribbon.)

Bonnie let us borrow a bunch of clothes. Here is a car seat outfit. The straps go through it and around it so that she stays strapped in, but it's nice and fluffy so that she can stay warm. We love it!

The Couch

BJ's brother, Nick, is quite the inventive sort. I'm not sure he's ever thought inside the box. For many years now, he has dreamed of making a motorized couch. Recently, the stars aligned and everything came together to make his dreams come true. He brought his couch up for Thanksgiving and we all had fun riding on it.

Here is BJ and I on the couch. (Please be so kind as to ignore the fact that we both look awful.)

And here is a video of the couch in action. This is Teresa and Nick riding around the driveway, jamming to some Portuguese music. Yes, the couch has a sound system inside.

Basically, Nick is awesome. I hope to hear some great dating stories soon involving the couch.

Kessa is getting vocal

Kessa lost her voice recently. I'm not sure if it was due to a very hard day of crying or if maybe she had a cold. Either way, it made her crying so funny to me that I had a really hard time feeling a lot of pity. Here's a video of her hoarse cry:

We also got a really fun video of Kessa laughing. I've been trying to get a video like this for ages. Apparently BJ is much better at this sort of thing than I am. My favorite part is at the end when BJ tickles her and she doesn't react for a few seconds, then just busts up.

The Gym

Kessa loves her play gym. See? She loves it so much that she likes to kiss the mirror.

See? Look at her grab that stuff and play.
And when she's done with the gym, she's learned how to roll herself right out of it.

Solids part 2

So, remember how Kessa is eating solids now? Well, it gets to be more fun. Kessa loves to eat either her fingers or a washcloth or bib in between bites. On one hand, it's really annoying to have to wait so long between bites because she's so busy sucking the life out of a piece of cloth. On the other hand, she often wipes her face clean with it, making my job easier. Either way, it's really cute and funny. And as witnessed by the first picture, her favorite food thus far are sweet potatoes. (Yes, Jess, thanks to you Kessa is going to grow up thinking they're called sweet topatoes.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kessa 6 months stats

Head Circumference: 16 inches - 7.14%
Weight: 14.66 pounds - 23.4%
Height: 27 inches - 89.42%

I'll post more later (I have many pictures and videos to share) but right now I'm simply too tired and have much to do. So, for now, enjoy our still tall, skinny, and small-headed baby. Who is no longer "wonderful" but instead, "perfect in every way." I'll take it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New board games

Last week, the two new board games we ordered from Days of Wonder arrived. The first was Ticket to Ride: Märklin. This is similar to the U.S. Ticket to Ride game, except on a map of Germany. (Märklin is a German toy company best known for their model trains.) The game does add a couple new twists. It gets rid of the longest train bonus, replacing it with a most completed destination tickets bonus. It also adds passengers that you can move along your routes, picking up points for every city they visit on the way. It's a fun variant of Ticket to Ride, and Tianna and I both enjoyed it. We tied at 169 points. (We both lost, though, to our friend Bryan, who pulled more than 200 points.)

The second game is Small World. Small World is somewhat like Risk + fantasy - dice, and a whole lot shorter. Each player controls one of 14 races combined with one of 20 special powers. These combinations are changed every time you play, so the game is unique. Then players take turn conquering regions on the map and gaining points for each region they own. However, each player only has 10 or so armies, and generally won't get any more. (The Skeleton race is an exception; as they conquer other regions, they get more armies.) Thus, you eventually get to the point where your race is stalled; spread too thin to be able to grow much. At that point, you can put your race into decline and pick a new race and special power, and start it in a new area on the board. You get points from the regions owned by either race, but the race in decline can no longer attack. The game continues for 10 rounds (at least, it's 10 with two players), and whoever has the most points wins. Games usually take less than an hour.

Anyway, it's a fun game. We played this just after our TTR: Märklin game and tied again, at 106 points each. Tianna won via the tiebreaker rules (whoever has the most armies on the board wins a tiebreaker). But really, how often do you have two tied games in a row? We must be meant for each other.

So anyway, if anyone in the area likes board games, we've got a couple fun ones for you to try out. Oh, and by the way, both of those pictures are links to the game's website, in case you want more info.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Card

I've never done Christmas cards before. But this year BJ and I thought it might be fun to send some out. And I even designed a way cute card in iPhoto. And their prices really aren't all that bad. But then we figured out how many cards we'd need and figured out exactly how much it would cost… and decided that we may have to wait and do Christmas cards another year. But at least we thought about it, which is progress! So instead, I'm putting the picture on here and you can all pretend that you received this in the mail, personally addressed to you with some non-personal message on the back in a font made from my messy handwriting. And we'll have more money to spend on Kessa for Christmas! Hooray!

Friday, November 20, 2009


All of this growing, eating, teething, laughing, and singing is bound to tucker out a wee babe. G'night, sweetheart.

The Cow Duck

First, who ever thought up this idea? "Rubber duckies are too cliche. Let's make it look like a cow!" We've often said that it is simply a duck that dressed up like a cow for Halloween. Apparently her costume got stuck on?

Despite the silliness of the idea, this is one of Kessa's favorite toys. She will be crying and fussy and I'll pull out the cow duck and she will instantly start grinning. "MoooooQuack!" will often bring a giggle. The Cow Duck stays in our diaper bag because it's a quick and easy distraction. We love the Cow Duck.

It also has a nifty feature where you can put it in the bathtub, and if the water is too hot, the word "HOT" appears on the bottom of the duck.


We've already documented how much Kessa loves to sit on Daddy's lap while he plays the piano. Turns out, she also loves to sing along. Daddy played the piano in Sacrament meeting on Sunday, so he was practicing with Kessa. She obviously already knows her hymns. Listen to her sing along!


Kessa has also started laughing a lot more. She's kind of a pill about it, though. She'll laugh and laugh until the second I bring out the camera. Even if it's sitting right next to me and without even looking at it I turn it on and hope I have it pointed in the right direction. Even if she doesn't see it. She knows. And she'll stop laughing. Which results in videos like this:

Or even more often, like this:

I finally got a couple of little giggles recorded. So until she gets a little less camera shy, you're all gonna have to live with this one:

First tooth!

Kessa ate cereal one day. The next day (Nov. 15th), her first tooth finally broke through! (Not finally as in, We never thought she'd ever teeth, but as in, This tooth has been working its way out for quite some time.) It's the bottom right (your right, Kessa's left).

Sorry, no picture. It's hard enough getting her to open her mouth just right so we can see it, let alone trying to get a picture of it. But we'll try. Cross your fingers for us.


I've been thinking for a few weeks now that Kessa was probably ready to eat solids. She showed most, if not all, of the signs of being ready. But I wasn't ready. Once she started eating solids, diaper washing was gonna get a whole lot harder. At least the stinky ones. But after awhile, I realized that it was inevitable. I might as well do it. We started with some rice cereal.

I just loved the look on her face. "Mom! What are you giving me?!" She never did really take to it. We tried for a few days and got largely the same results. It never made her mad, but she'd just scrunch up her face and not be sure she liked it. 4 days later (for allergy purposes) we tried a new food. Sweet Potatoes (or topatoes as I often call them. Thanks, Jess.) Oh my, she loves those. The first time was largely the same result, but every time after she has just devoured them. This morning she ate half a container. I guess it's time to start making some baby food!

Growth Spurt!

Kessa is getting so big! I don't remember if I've blogged about this or not, but she completely outgrew most of her clothes overnight. It was ridiculous. One day BJ dressed her and didn't have a problem. The next morning I tried on about 5 outfits before I gave in and pulled all of her clothes out into the living room and laid them all up against her to see what still fit and what didn't. Then I grabbed the "way too big and won't fit for ages" bag and we went through those, too. We pulled out all but about 1/3 of those. She's just so tall! Most of her shirts, dresses and pants still fit, but her onesies simply aren't long enough for her. Can't wait to get her 6-month stats next month.

Here's what's too small (yes, that box is full):

And here is what we still have:

I know what to ask Santa for for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Birthday Card

At the end of August, I got an envelope in the mail addressed to "Birthday Boy BJ" from one of our good friends, Brad. This was, of course, a bit confusing, since my birthday is in March. I was preparing myself for one of those awkward conversations where you have to reveal that no, your birthday wasn't last week, and yes, you just missed your sister's birthday.

What I got, though, was much better than that. I opened the envelope and found this:

Brad didn't know it, but we'd actually just purchased a new iMac. The card was very well done (home-crafted!), but I still wasn't sure what was going on. Then I opened it:

This is probably the best birthday card I've ever received.* Thanks, Brad!

(If you're not familiar with OS X, Time Machine is a feature introduced in OS X 10.5 Leopard that automatically backs up your entire computer and lets you go "back in time" to retrieve any files you accidentally deleted or modified. Great technology, and dead simple to use.)

*Well, okay, cards with lots of money in them aren't bad either.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome Aimee Lyn!

My sister had her baby early this morning! Congrats, Jalin and Brett! Her name is Aimee Lyn. She's 6 lbs, 12 oz. 19 inches long.

This makes a Baker's Dozen for my parents. 13 grandkids! Whoa! It also makes an even half-dozen for Jalin. 3 boys, then 3 girls. The genders are equal for their family for the first time since they were married. Way to make a comeback, girls!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A-C-Phlegm ...

I read recently that babies are born with the ability to make all the noises necessary for every language in the world. As they babble, they go through and make all of the possible sounds. The ones they hear from others are reinforced while the ones that they don't hear are forgotten.

During Sacrament today, Kessa decided to try out the German alphabet. Or perhaps Arabic? We sat there on the third row while Kessa stood on my lap and talked. Loudly. She sounded like she was coughing up phlegm or practicing her gutterals. And she sounded like she was chewing someone out while doing it. Yeah… sounds Arabic to me.

BJ and I spent much of the meeting silently laughing and watching the bishopric trying really hard not to bust up laughing. Bishop talked to both of us later in the meetings and commented on how it sounds like she's starting to talk and how cute she is. We agree.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kessa is 5 months old!

Dear Kessa~

I can't believe you're five months old already. Time has flown so fast, yet it's hard to remember life without you. I'm absolutely loving my time with you. The first few months were hard, I'll admit. For ten days you were on a bilibed and I couldn't hold you. When you cried, it broke my heart. It got to the point where I would pick up your bed and put it on my lap, just so I could hold you when you cried. When you were finally allowed off of it, I couldn't get enough of holding you. You would start off the nights in your bassinet in our room, but when you started to cry, it was so easy to just bring you to bed with me. I loved snuggling with you to sleep. Daddy got really good at sleeping through your nighttime squawks. :)

Nighttime was about the only good sleep you got. You really struggled with naps. It was even harder because I was working full time from home. I desperately needed you to sleep so that I could have time to work. You loved walking and you loved the outdoors, so it was really easy to put you in the wrap and go walk around the track around the playground out front. Usually you were out by the first lap, but I'd keep walking for a few laps to make sure you were asleep. Plus, I got in exercise that way. Then I'd come back in and let you sleep on my chest while I worked. When you were fussy at night (which for a time was almost every night), Daddy would walk you around the track. One step outside and you'd calm right down. It was so common that even some of our neighbors would comment about it. "Saw you out on the track last night with your baby." We put you to sleep like that so often that it got to the point that you had to be held to go to sleep.

You and I went up to Grandma Lovell's for a week to help her can food from her garden. Grandma Lovell and Grandma Grace were fantastic at putting you to sleep. Then they'd go lay you up on our bed and I would have several hours to work before I finally went to bed as well. I had never been able to set you down to sleep before. Between that and a lesson from Daddy's cousin, Laura, on how to swaddle, I soon was putting you down and letting you put yourself to sleep for night time and naps. You've been a champion at sleeping. You typically only wake up once or twice at night and you take 2+ hour naps during the day. Sure, we've had our bad days, but overall, you're doing fantastically.

When you were just 1 month old, you rolled from your belly to your back. We thought it was a fluke, but you did it two more times that night. We even got a video of it. You did it a few more times in the coming days, but when I started working again, it was really hard to take time out of my busy schedule to give you tummy time. Once work was over, tummy time started again and it didn't take more than a couple of days for you to figure out how to roll over again. Yesterday you tried so hard to go from your back to your belly. You would get almost all the way over, but your arm would be in the way. Instead of figuring out how to get it out, you'd just roll back onto your back. By evening you got onto your tummy with your arm under you and you fought to get it out, but struggled a lot. Today I put you on your back, then turned to do something else. When I turned back to you just a few minutes later, you were on your tummy, arms free, having a grand time.

You're starting to get more mobile. You've had to sleep in your crib or bassinet since Conference (when you were 4 months old) because you would move around so much in your sleep (or probably in trying to go to sleep). You've gotten really good about turning in circles. A week or so ago you started pulling your legs up under you and pushing up on them. Your arms aren't strong enough to push up on, though. It won't be long before you start doing mini-pushups, though. I've started bringing out bigger blankets for you to play on and spreading your toys around, just to encourage you to move around. It works sometimes, and other times you're content to just suck on your hands.

You're starting to figure out grabbing. If we put something in your hand, you'll immediately grab it and bring it to your mouth. But you're starting to learn to reach for things to grab them. We've started putting your toys just out of reach to help you learn to move and grab. You haven't quite got it mastered yet, but it's no longer surprising to put you down without a toy, then look back a few minutes later to see you nom-nom-nomming on a toy you've picked up.

You love to "talk." You just jabber away and will often have conversations with Mommy and Daddy. We just wish we knew what you're saying…. You also have a grin the size of the Grand Canyon. When you smile, you smile with your whole body. Your head will move back and forth while the rest of you squirms. Now that your legs are getting stronger, if you're on your back when you smile, you'll push up with your legs and arch your back and almost flip yourself onto your tummy every time you grin. You're even starting to giggle… just a little. Mostly when we play peek-a-boo. You seem to be more reserved when it comes to laughing. You'll give smiles out as if they are candy, but laughs are special. When you give me a giggle, it makes my entire day.

You're fascinated by lights. You love looking out windows. You have a play gym that has colored lights that you stare at. Often we can calm you down when you're upset by standing near a window for you to look at. You also love looking in the mirror. Sometimes you'll grin at yourself, other times you'll be shy and grin as you bury your face in our shoulders.

You love to stand. You'll only sit (supported) for so long before you freak out and want to be standing. You'll probably be like your Daddy and walk before you crawl. And man, you have the feet for it. By 4 months, you had grown out of your 0-6 month socks. You're now wearing 6-18 month socks. But it's good, because you're also really tall. I mean, at your 4 month check up you were in the 97.72 percentile for height! Just the other day, you outgrew almost all of your onesies overnight! We had to go through and take out all but a few and put them in the too small box, then go through the bag of clothes that we had labeled "way too big and won't fit for ages." Apparently we were wrong on that guess. Your shirts, pants, and dresses still fit you fine, but your torso is simply too long for onesies. I predict you'll have bigger feet than me by the time you're 10 and will be taller than me by junior high.

You love watching the TV. We don't watch TV much, but you watched BYU lose miserably to Florida State. You watched General Conference. You'll watch Daddy and I play Mario Kart and recently you've started watching Baby Signing Time. With all of them, you'll only watch for about 15 minutes before you get bored and go on to something else, but for those 15 minutes, you are absolutely fascinated.

You love books already. We will read to you before bedtime (though not nearly as often as we should) and you love looking at the pages. I can't wait until you're old enough to really understand books and love to read.

Kessa, Daddy and I love you so much. We have so much fun with you. We love seeing you grin at us first thing in the morning. We love watching you learn new things. We can't wait to see more of your personality as it develops, and we really can't wait for you to start growing hair so we can figure out what color it actually is.

Love, Mommy

Photos courtesy of MegRuth Photography

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cute Kessa!

Who can't love a face like that?

She's starting to suck on her finger. She's not a thumb sucker, she's an index finger sucker.

She loves to play piano with Daddy.

This is how we look when Mommy needs two hands, but Kessa needs to be held.

We went for a drive up the canyon on Sunday, up to Vivian Park. We caught the tail end of the colors, so they're not as vivid as they once were, but we enjoyed them anyway.

She seriously is so tall! Here she is sitting on Ellie's lap. Ellie is 3.

She's figuring out how to grab. Here she is with her keys… the first toy she learned to grab.

Recently her grabbing has become comical. Despite being quite content on the inside, she appears to be frightened of her carseat and her swing.


Here are two totally random and unrelated to my cute baby girl pictures.

First, we saw this sticker on a car window. Read it carefully.

"My Child at a Charter School!"

Umm… was there supposed to be a picture of the child so that this was a caption? Or did they simply never proofread their bumper sticker to make it a complete sentence? It makes me really not want to send my children to John Hancock Charter School.*

Next. BJ has developed a really bad habit. Remember these shorts? Well, BJ replaced them with another pair of shorts and a pair of jeans. The jeans lasted approximately two months until this happened:

Seriously?! Ok, dear readership, please tell me, what in the world could BJ be doing to tear his pants like this? They're clean tears, so I don't think he snags them and rips them. He doesn't carry a knife in his back pocket. He claims his chair at work is free of knives and other sharp objects, and I don't think it's our car, because I often sit in the same chair with no tears in my pants. BJ's theory is that he pulls his legs up onto his chair at work. I'm not convinced, though, because I do the same thing and my pants are tighter. And I don't have tears in my pants. Any other theories? Help us figure it out so we can break this rather expensive habit of BJ's!

*Other than this, I know nothing about this charter school. I am not trying to slander them in any way. I'm simply commenting on their lack of grammatical skills on their bumper stickers.

General Conference

Saturday morning session Ryan and Mariam came over for breakfast and to watch Conference. It was really fun to see them both again!

Then we went down two doors (literally. We're on the third floor) to our friends, the Ruiz's, house for lunch. It was also quite fun (and really yummy, too!) Miguel is a native Spanish speaker and Kristen also speaks Spanish. They have a little girl, Katya, who is growing up speaking Spanish in the home. There was another couple there that also spoke Spanish and BJ speaks Spanish. Umm… basically, I was the odd man out. haha. Luckily, though, everyone spoke English for the most part.

Then we headed up to Riverton to spend the rest of Conference weekend. Kessa was enthralled by the television. (We already knew this, though. She faithfully watched BYU lose the Florida State game.)

Who do you think she is so enamored by? Elder Robert D. Hales!

The Homers have this adorable little dog named Jax. He is ridiculously jealous of Kessa. Suddenly there is another small creature in the house that takes attention away from him. Kessa has two little rubber toys: a cow, and a cow/duck. (We think it's a duck dressed up like a cow for Halloween. What we're gonna do once Halloween is over, I have no idea.) Jax has a bunch of rubber toys, too. So when he saw/smelled the rubber cows, his jealousy erupted and he wanted them. A lot.

Grandma likes Kessa and didn't want her to play with toys covered in Jax slobber, so she put the cows up on the counter, out of sight. Jax sat the rest of Conference on the back of the couch, staring at them.

BJ's brother, Nick, likes to torture Jax, so he moved the cows where Jax could see them, but I didn't get a picture of that, sadly. (Since then, Jax has managed to get ahold of the cow duck and take off running with it. All I could get out was, "BJ! Jax! Cow! Jax! Cow!" BJ didn't hear his name so he thought I was telling Jax to get the cow. It took a minute, then some quick action to get the cow out of Jax's possession, but we managed. The poor cow duck spent the next little while drying off from its bath in the dish drainer. Poor little thing.)

While the boys went off to Priesthood session, we girls had our own fun. First we bundled up Kessa in her jacket and headed off to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner. I wish, oh I wish, that I had remembered to take my camera with us. I had no idea how tired Kessa was until she nodded off, sitting on Aunt Teresa's lap. It was so adorable. She slept through all of dinner (which I was completely floored by. I thought for sure she'd be demanding to eat 2 minutes into it) until Teresa decided she needed to wash her hands, so she carefully handed her to me. The second Teresa was out of the room, Kessa was awake. I must admit, Teresa has a way with Kessa. Dinner was great. I tried pomegranate lemonade. It was good, though rather tart. We had fun just talking like girls do. Catching up on each others' lives, asking the dating-aged girls about their dating life, etc.

We came home to do a craft. Mom Homer and Aunt Jan were quite secretive as to what this craft was, which intrigued the rest of us, but it turned out amazing! Basic idea: melt a tallow candle onto a plastic plate so it stands up straight. Then, grab all your old, broken, discarded crayons and melt them over the flame! At first I focused on getting bright colors down the side of the candle, but after awhile I realized that I was burning down the side of the candle, so no one would see that part anyway. So instead I started working on making awesome puddles on the bottom. (They are made naturally by simply holding the crayon over the candle, but you can have some control by cutting out niches to have the wax run down different sides, or by waiting until it cools just enough that new wax won't mix in with the last color. Or by letting them mix together. Or by using glitter crayons.) It was pretty much the coolest thing I've done in years. Jalin, when you get back on your feet, I'd highly recommend doing this with your kids. Apparently Carol and Jan did this out in their carport all growing up. Seriously. So. Much. Fun.

Sunday was also spent in Riverton, but story and picture wise, it was much less eventful. Conference itself, however, was quite amazing.


Wow. It's been awhile since last I updated. I ended up going up to Idaho for Dave's (Stacie's step-dad) funeral. So Tuesday night BJ and I went up to Riverton and spent the night so that I could get up at 5:30, feed Kessa, and head up to Idaho. BJ caught a ride with a coworker from Riverton (only one car, remember?) and Grandma Homer babysat Kessa all day. The funeral was really good. I got to play with Stacie's baby, Megan, during the last part of it so that Stacie could enjoy the funeral. I even got to take a nap with her in the car at the cemetery, disturbed only when they did the gun salute. It was really good to see Stacie, Mama Loy, and Kellie again. They were like my second family growing up. It was also kind of fun to look around the people at the funeral and see so many faces from my childhood ward, before they switched ward boundaries when I was 12. It was amazing how a ward can stay so much the same, even when it changes so much. It was comforting to see all of them there and feel the stability in the support structure of Shelton ward. Even the building brought back memories. As I stood outside the Relief Society room during the family prayer, I remembered coming down as a Primary kid and standing outside those doors wondering, "What do they do in there?" I was sure it was something super fun because we were never allowed to go in until they had said their closing prayer. It made me long for they day I'd be able to go inside. It also made me laugh to see Stacie's cousins, Chris and Cory there and reminisce back to our childhood when Chris stole my shoe and I had to chase him around the church to get it back. Or the time that Cory was pretending to throw me off the rocks into the river, then slipped and really threw me (well, us) into the river.

It was a quick trip. I got to Idaho, stopped at Mom's work to change clothes and visit for a moment, go to the funeral, the cemetery, the lunch, then stopped at Mama Loy's house for a bit so I could pump. Then it was straight back home, stopping only once to get miserably off track in Pocatello, trying to find a gas station. Then it was back to Riverton just in time to feed Kessa and put her back to bed for the night.

So really, I didn't have much time to blog. And then when we finally got home Thursday, it was a bunch of cleaning and unpacking, and generally just falling behind on all things blogging. So now, let's play catchup!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Yesterday was definitely a crazy day. I learned of three different sets of people that need prayers.

  1. We got a new bishopric. We'll miss you, Bishop Davies! You were a great bishop to start this ward with. We're excited for our new bishopric, too, though. We wish you all the best, Bishop Bahr, Bro. Snow, and Bro. Barry. Our prayers are with you!
  2. My sister, Jalin, went into labor the night before last. She was 31.5 weeks along. Meaning, her due date isn't until Dec. 9. She has been put on strict bed rest and they're hoping to keep her there for at least 5 weeks. She already has 5 kids, ages 10 and under. Good luck, Brett, keeping the family in line. We love you, Jalin, and are praying for you and the baby. Don't get too stressed in bed. It's for the best. Even if you still have canning to do. The baby is more important than canning.
  3. My best friend from high school, Stacie, called me last night to let me know that her step dad, Dave, died yesterday afternoon. He has been fighting throat cancer and a few months back decided to stop chemotherapy. The doctors gave him months or less. I found out when I was in Idaho last. I tried to stop by but my schedule never matched theirs. I sent my dad over with some soup after I left. I wish I could have seen him one more time; I rather liked the guy (despite my being scared to death of him when I first met him years and years ago). My love, hugs and prayers are with you Stacie, Kellie, and Loy. (And everyone else missing that great man.) I'm super grateful that Dave was recently baptized and is now learning all of the things he didn't have time to learn down here.
So to all of you, I offer you my love, support, and prayers. Please let me know if I can do anything to lift your burden. We love you all.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Project Productivity!

Yesterday BJ and I used Kessa's nap times (and once a non-nap time) to get some stuff done that we'd been putting off for awhile now. First there was some paperwork that should have been done last month. (We still need to find a notary so BJ can sign a paper that will let me get the money from my 401K. Really? I don't have to have a notary, but he does? Weird.)

The big project stuff started when I wanted to put some cereal away. (Macey's has a deal this week where you can get Kelloggs (in our case, Frosted Mini Wheats) for $1.28/box with a $6 coupon from their ad. So every time I've gone in this week, I've bought 4 more boxes. I'm quickly running out of room in my pantry.) I decided the best way to get more room in my pantry was to get all of my cookbooks and recipes out of the pantry. What better place to put cookbooks than on a bookcase? So we moved a couple of movable cupboards to make room for the bookcase in the kitchen. In so doing, we moved the fridge a little and saw the grossness that was underneath. Next thing you know, we've pulled the fridge completely out and I'm sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing the lint and stickiness from who knows what that had gathered under there.

Meanwhile, BJ went to work on our dryer. Our dryer doesn't dry very well. Most loads take two cycles to get dry. This isn't good for our electricity bill. Ages ago BJ's parents loaned us a snake-like-thing that will clean out the ventilation duct, so yesterday BJ pulled out the dryer and started to snake it. I'm in scrubbing the kitchen floor when I hear, "Tianna… come look at this." So I went back and peeked in the ventilation duct. I saw what looked like lint and string. I almost reached in and just pulled it out. But then I saw something else. For those of you who have seen The Village, it looked like the poky/feathery part on Those We Do Not Speak Of. For those of you who haven't seen it… think porcupine quills, I guess. That's when I realized, I don't have to be brave and pull it out. I have a husband for that. So I let him go to it. Glad I did, cuz guess what it was? A bird! Ewwwww! Who knows how long it's been in there, too. No wonder our dryer doesn't dry so well. We're waiting to wash and dry diapers to see if it solves our problems. Hopefully tonight we'll know!

While the dryer was pulled out, I scrubbed the floor under it as well as under the washer. I figured I might as well since it was gross under there, too. (Though, not nearly as bad as the fridge.)

After the scrubbing-fest was over, we started rearranging books to put all of like-genre together. We split it into cookbooks, fiction (which filled slightly more than our largest bookcase all by itself), religion, programming, ANES, and other non-fiction. That way, when we go to look for a book, we have a better chance of finding it. :) We still have some books strewn across our bedroom and living room floors, but by that point we were tired and decided to call it quits for the night.

Though, we did rearrange our living room a little bit to make up for the loss of bookcase… it's bigger, but we're not quite sure how we feel about the new arrangement. Anyone is free to come visit and give opinions as to our new setup. (It's not that big of a change. Don't get your hopes up.)

We then watched Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith because I had never seen it, and remarkably, BJ had only seen it once. I have now officially seen all six Star Wars movies. But Episode III is a super sad movie. (Yes, there were tears.) So now I have to watch the original trilogy again, knowing the history of the dark side, and so I can end on a good note. I can hear BJ protesting already.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life update on BJ

Some of you probably heard a while ago that I was accepted to the PhD program in BYU's Computer Science department, and that I would be starting in the fall. In the meantime, I took an internship with Mozy in Pleasant Grove, Utah, working on their Mac Client. (It's true, guys! I got a job writing Mac software!) Even before I was hired, they were trying to convince me to stay on after the summer, even if it were part-time. My boss mentioned it again my first week at work, and it was probably mentioned three or four times within the first two weeks. I told them, though, that since BYU's PhD program essentially forbids students from working outside the department, it really just wasn't an option.

The summer went on, and I really enjoyed my job. Within two weeks, I was a core part of the team, taking on major tasks and making major contributions. This was a big contrast to previous internships, where it took three or four weeks before I even felt like I'd done anything, and I'd never really felt like an essential part of the team. My coworkers at Mozy were young, charismatic, and good at their jobs. And above all, I felt like I was making a contribution. I was still doing some work with a BYU research lab, but nothing there got me excited like work at Mozy did.

Near the end of the summer, I started really considering my options. My dad was asking if I'd considered forgoing grad school and staying at Mozy full-time. Asking a lot, actually. I could tell he thought it was a good idea. Tianna was willing to support me in whatever I chose, but I could tell she liked me coming home excited about my job better than coming home with nothing much to say. (She didn't mind the bigger paychecks either.)

To tell the truth, I wanted to stay at Mozy too. They even made me a full-time offer. My only hesitation was that last year, I'd already turned down a job offer from Amazon because when I prayed about it, I felt like going to school was the right option. (A much more lucrative offer than Mozy's, at that.) If school was right back then, why would it be different now? But I prayed about it, and felt like this one was really up to me; either way would be acceptable. Maybe staying in Utah was the most important issue, and it didn't matter so much what I did so long as I was here? I don't really know, but regardless, I felt okay about staying at Mozy.

So I did! I'm now employed full-time, loving my job, and making big contributions. We recently released Mozy for Mac v1.5, and it's definitely our best version yet. We're making some more big improvements in v1.6 that I've been working on for a couple weeks now, which should make it even snappier. I've always told people that I really want to work on the kind of software that mom and pop can use, something that's intended for the mass market. This is definitely it, and I'm loving it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Before BJ got into work today, I:
  • Read my scriptures
  • Read family scriptures
  • Rode my exercise bike for 20 mins.
  • Took a shower
  • Did a load of laundry
  • Made my bed
  • Went grocery shopping
  • Talked to one of my visiting teachees
  • Put Kessa back to sleep
  • Put dishes in the dishwasher and got it running
  • Made bread dough and had it rising
  • And almost finished writing this blog post
It's a good day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

4 months and 2nd vacc.

Well, Kessa had her 4-month appointment today, despite being a week shy of being 4 months old. I was a little nervous because it was scheduled for right in the middle of her naptime, but I got lucky and she had her best night ever! She went to bed at 8 pm, I fed her in her sleep at 11:30, she woke up fussy at 5:30, but that was because she managed to get out of her SwaddleMe (how the heck?! She's Houdini!) so I just swaddled her back up, calmed her down and put her back to bed. She was easily back to sleep in 20 mins or less. And that, my friends, is huge progress. And THEN, she slept until 8 am! That's 12 hours from start to finish with a miniscule wakeup in the middle. I am one happy momma. Because of her amazing amount of sleep, she was able to stay awake and happy (for the most part) at the pediatrician, came home and immediately went to sleep without a fuss. [Pride]

The pediatrician says she is … (anyone want to take a guess at what word he chose?) … perfect! (Haha! You were wrong!) And then later he said she is wonderful. Ahh… there it is… :)

Ok, stats!
Weight: 12 lbs 12 oz. 37%
Head Circumference: 15 in. 1.47%
Length: 26 in. 97.72% !!!!!!!

Holy cow she's tall! We've got ourselves a tall, skinny, small-headed girl. (Btw, I guess the head doesn't really grow much until the 2nd six months, so the doctor isn't worried at all, even though her percentile went down from 2.7% last time. Whew! I'm interested to see what it does during her second six months.) The pediatrician told me that growth often comes in spurts, which means that just because she's ridiculously tall now doesn't mean that she'll stay in that percentile. But I'm betting (what happened to my be-more-righteous resolve?! ;) ) that she's taller than me by junior high.

At the end of the appointment she got her second round of vaccinations. Today she got the DTaP-HIB-IPV (Pentacel) #2, Prevnar #2, and Rotavirus (Rotateq) #2. Luckily that last one was oral, so she only had to get two shots this time. She was happy through everything, including the oral vaccine which she lapped right up, and then screamed through the shots. Instant tears. It was heartbreaking. She calmed down a bit when I picked her up, but then when I tried to put her in her carseat she screamed again. She seemed to be saying, "Mom! Don't you remember what happened last time you put me down?! IT HURT!" So I held her through checkout and she cried a little bit when I put her in her carseat, but her binkie saved the day and by the time we got out to the car, so was calm. Not exactly happy, but calm. Then we came home and she went straight to bed! I'm hoping she does better with this set of vaccinations than she did with the last.

[crosses fingers]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Like a Fire is Burning

I went to the RS Broadcast on Saturday up at the Conference Center. (Thanks, Kristy!) BJ's mom, my neighbor, Kristen, and I got up there in plenty of time to sit and relax and ponder a bit before it started. I'm not sure if I was just in the right frame of mind, or perhaps it was because we were sitting on the third row (again, Thanks, Kristy!), or what the deal was, but the entire time I felt like I was being taught directly. I wasn't in a room with thousands of other people, but rather, all of the talks were written and given specifically for me.

There are two things in particular that I learned (in a very general sense. I learned many, many more in a specific sense):
  1. It was a really good meeting. I remember back when I was a youth and I would hear people say, "That was a really good meeting, "And I would think, "Huh? How was that any different from every other long, boring meeting?" Sure, here and there I'd go to some youth fireside that would really strike me, but for the most part, I simply couldn't figure out what people were talking about. I've realized recently that for the past several years I have not only really enjoyed General Conference, but I have actually looked forward to it. And I leave the meetings thinking, "Wow. That was a really good meeting." I was pondering that as I left the RS Broadcast, wondering why that was, and I decided that it has everything to do with where I was spiritually in life. The closer I grow to the Spirit, the more he can touch me and teach me. The more I want to learn, grow, and do better, the more I hear and understand and see my weaknesses. The more desire I have to do better, the more that desire is excited into action, so that I actually do do better.
  2. My friend, Kami, once said something to the effect of, "I want to live my life so that I'm worthy of being a prophet's wife. Not that I'm hoping to marry a prophet, but I want to be worthy of it in case it's asked of me." I've always thought that is very wise advice and have tried to live by it myself. Now sure, I'm not perfect and there are definitely major flaws in my life that I need to correct before I would be worthy of that, but it's a good goal to work towards. During the Broadcast I had a thought similar to that, but I saw it in a different light and it hit me really powerfully. As Sister Beck spoke (holy cow, I really admire that woman) I just felt completely enveloped in what she said. I felt strongly that Relief Society is super important and is currently and will continue to play a very large part in my life. My testimony of Relief Society was strengthened greatly. At one point I had the crazy thought, what if someday I am called to be the General RS Pres?* Would I be worthy? Suddenly the thought that Kami once shared with me was brought to mind, but with a twist. What if I was foreordained to be the General RS President and because of my own apathy for spiritual progression, I lost that opportunity? How would I feel when I sit at the judgment bar if realized the potential I had and how remarkably short of it I fell? So instead of looking at it as, "I want to be worthy of this nigh unreachable goal, just in case," I saw it as, "What if I have been foreordained to something great? Will I be worthy to live up to my own potential?" It's the same idea, but looked at in a different light.
Needless to say, I left that meeting full of fire, full of a desire to change my ways and to be better. I see several gaping spiritual holes in my life right now (anyone else struggle with reading scriptures daily?) that I can change, and I currently have the desire to do so. I also believe that growing spiritually isn't limited to Primary Answers. I believe that also being organized, having a clean house, being responsible, being physically fit, etc., is a vital part of it, a part that I struggle with as well. Today I made a list of all of the things I want to do daily, weekly, and monthly. I included spiritual and temporal things. I then put those on a calendar with the weekly and monthly things spaced out so I don't have to do them all at once. I then printed it out (along with the Scripture Reading Chart that I blogged about a few months ago) so that as I do those things, I can cross them off. I'm hoping that within a month or so, they'll become habit and next month I can take them off the calendar and replace them with the next set of things I've realized I need to work on.

It was a really good meeting.

*Please do not think, even for a moment, that I am longing for the calling of General RS President. I was once the RS Pres for a singles ward at BYU and that was super stressful. I can't even fathom how much more stressful it would be to be responsible for all of the LDS women in the world. How scary would that be?!


There are few things as precious as something like this:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tummy Time

You were expecting a video of her crying, weren't you? Well, time to be disappointed! Kessa actually likes tummy time so long as we time it for right after a nap and eating so that she's nice and happy. She'll stay down on her tummy for 10 minutes or so, then as soon as she starts getting fussy, we'll pick her up and go on to something else. (The exception being if she's fussing because she's trying to roll over. Then we let her keep going until she rolls over or becomes super frustrated.)