Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not-so-sick baby

Today we had our first sick baby visit to the pediatrician since Katrina's jaundice issues. Katrina has been breathing weirdly while on her back sporadically in the last few days, with big gasping breaths. Today I felt her chest when she did this and noticed that each time she wheezed, her chest sunk dramatically. I remembered that that was a symptom that the toddler son of a friend of mine had when he was having an asthma attack recently. Katrina has been very happy and when she breathes like that she isn't in any distress, but I got nervous enough to call the doctor. The nurse told me to bring her in, so Adam left work early and we headed on over to the doctor. According to her, Katrina has a floppy thing in her trachea that she will grow out of. So nothing to worry about, but it can sound quite alarming. It most often happens when she's animated, like when she's excited or laughing. I think it might have been tracheomalacia that she called it. Something like that, at least. We may notice it more if she gets sick, because the mucus will catch on the floppy part. Hopefully she'll continue her healthy streak and we won't have to worry about this any more!

Other than that, it was a pretty quiet day. I'm enjoying doing family history. The quiet books are done except the covers and some stuff with fabric markers. I'm very happy with them.

Just a couple of days ago, Katrina finally figured out how to use her jumperoo for actual jumping. It's hilarious to watch her go to town in that thing. I keep trying to upload a video but it won't work. Oh well. Stay tuned. Here are a couple cute pictures instead.

Well, tonight was the second night in a row of putting her to bed at 7 instead of 8. She was tired, fussy, and wiggly, so off to bed! Adam is at scouts, so I have tons of time to myself. I'll probably waste it all instead of cleaning or doing something productive.

Monday, September 29, 2008

New FamilySearch

The Church has developed a new FamilySearch that they are implementing by temple district. We're in the Washington, D.C. temple district and just got it. Adam has been looking forward to this for over a year, ever since he got to beta-test it back when he was working at the family history lab at BYU. I've always enjoyed famly history but my desire to do it has waned a lot since leaving home. I liked helping my mom, but when it comes to doing my own research, I haven't done much. However, this new FamilySearch has increased my interest once again. It kind of mixes together PAF and IGI and the old FamilySearch and the even older Ancestral File. So anyone can submit information and it combines it all. The old AF did that too, but it had definite flaws which this new site has mostly fixed. Oh, and the coolest thing is that this new site makes TempleReady and floppy disks obsolete! Now you can just print a name of your family member off the internet with a barcode, show up at the temple, and they'll use the barcode to create a little blue or pink or yellow card.

So yeah, if you're interested and you're not in Utah, which will get it last, you can go to new.familysearch.org. Actually, you can probably use it in Utah as well, you just can't set up your own account yet. Also, familysearchindexing.org is the new way that the Church does indexing. It's much easier than staring at a sheaf of paper with a magnifying glass, and anyone can sign up to do it. The site pilot.familysearch.org has all of the indexed records for anyone to search. So if your family history has stalled, maybe you'll find ancestors on one of the newly indexed records!

If you hate family history and this post has bored you to sleep, sorry. I like it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Deja vu

Well, this is a familiar situation, just one that hasn't occurred in awhile. I am sitting on the couch with Katrina sleep-nursing on me. I can't move or she'll wake up. She wouldn't go to sleep in her crib. I can't even reach the remote to change the channel, so I'm stuck on some mildly interesting space show. Adam is sleeping in the bedroom, so I'm also bored. Last night he went camping with the stake young men. It was his first time camping since before we met! He enjoyed himself, except the part where his tent leaked and everything got wet. I was fine by myself. I just sewed a lot and talked on the phone to both sisters and my dad.

The weather is cooler here, but I'm starting to go a little crazy because our apartment is so dim. With the perpetual cloud cover I have to have the lights on all day. I really prefer natural light. Staying inside all day with artificial light makes me kind of anxious. I don't mind cloudy days. I actually really like rain. But I also like being able to see during the day.

I'm having some really strong cravings for milk, which is not convenient because we have none. And I'm stuck with a baby on me. Ahhhhh. This is why the early months of new motherhood were so hard! I was always stuck. A sleeping baby meant a happy baby, so I would always do whatever was necessary to make her sleep, even if it meant not eating, showering, or going to the bathroom for hours. I'm actually starting to feel claustrophobic as I write. She's awake now and eating on the other side, so I probably will be able to get up soon. But wow. I forgot how trapped I could feel just from nursing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I was a little ambitious...

These aren't the best pictures but they give you an idea of the scope of this project of mine.

Fantasizing about the Future

Today has been a day of fantasies so far for me. From thinking about mass-producing quiet books to moving to a cheaper apartment to buying a house, my mind has been a little in the clouds. I can't really work on the book any more until I get my package of fabric markers from the post office, so I have nothing to do while Katrina naps (nothing that I want to do anyway). So I've been calculating the cost of making books and looking for bulk thread and eyelets, etc, online. Also, our apartment is quite expensive, so occasionally I entertain the idea of moving to a cheaper apartment when our one-year lease is up. Looking around, there are some really nice apartments farther away, which would be super inconvenient for Adam's commute and our one-car situation. There are also plenty of cheaper, but lower-quality apartments. Just down the street is a complex that we considered that is pretty nice, but they don't have a washer and dryer. So I don't think we'll be moving, but occasionally I look! Also, I like to look at houses and condos sometimes. We could actually afford some of the things around here, but with the whole mortgage-loan crisis, I'm not sure what that means for getting approved for a loan for a house. Plus there's that whole down-payment thing. I know that some people are buying foreclosed houses for really cheap without a down payment, but I'm not quiet sure how to get in on that action.

So that's my life these days--dreaming about other things. Not every day, just today. What I also need to do is go daydream about what to make for dinner. I've been super unmotivated lately to cook and clean, so I'm trying to pull myself out of that rut. I've made dinner the last two nights! Let's see, if I quickly go over to my Excel document with recipe ideas organized by type of meat and with a list of ingredients...Yes, I have everything for chicken curry salad, except the celery. Today's such a cool day that a warm dinner would be nice, but I think I'll stick with that.

Here's Katrina in her high chair while I made dinner. She put the turtle in her mouth, took her hands away, but left it hanging out of her mouth by its foot. Way funny.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More quiet book pictures

Here are more partially completed pages. I'm pretty happy with them. Not every page turned out perfectly. For instance, the zipper catches on the ark, the snaps on the manger scene are really hard to unsnap, the stone only moves back and forth an inch or so... But in general, I'm really pleased. Once I've completed the pages, I'll take some close-ups of each one and post them in a picasa album or something. I only have three pages left that I haven't worked on at all. Two of them are more involved, so I have to brainstorm a bit before I can work on them. Both involve drawing animals, which are a lot harder than trees and clocks!

I'm still waffling a bit on whether or not to put batting between the pages to add some thickness. I'm pretty sure that I want batting, but the book will be about half a foot thick. Adam's mostly convinced me to make two separate books. I'm attaching together the pages with rings, so I can add and subtract pages at anytime. We'll see.

Oh, and I made it so you can click on the pictures and see them closer. I'll go back to the other post and do the same. (Edited to add: okay, I can't figure out how I managed to get the pictures on this post to work but can't get the other one to do the same. Grr.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

High Chair

We bought a high chair for Katrina last week. Her doctor said I could go ahead and feed her stage one baby foods since she has been doing so well with cereal. Though she said I could feed Katrina twice a day, I usually only get around to it once, either in the morning or in the evening. Sometimes she only eats a few bites, sometimes she gobbles up everything that I give her. I'm starting her on green vegetables first, currently green beans. Yum (read: yuck!!!). At least she likes them. I'll eat spinach, I'll eat lima beans, but I hate green beans.

We're really happy with the high chair we chose. It's not the ugly one that we were originally going to get (phew!). We considered a wooden one that Graco makes. This one, though, was cheaper, folds up neatly, and is portable enough that we can take it to her grandparents' house in New Jersey. I hope it holds up well. I like that it doesn't clash with our furniture and is more pleasant to look at than some of our other baby gear. I also bought her a Crumb Chum bib, which, while pricier than a normal bib, doesn't have to be washed each time. I can just wipe it off with the same rag that I wipe off her face, hands, and high chair. I'll admit, I'm sad to be starting this new stage! I like nursing her and having her rely so much on me. But she'll be nursing still for awhile, and it's a lot of fun to see her reaction to new experiences, so I won't stay sad for long.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

First Quiet Book pictures

Here are some pictures of my first quiet book pages. None of them are finished yet because my fabric markers haven't come in the mail. I'm doing the handsewing parts first. I've been surprised how much I enjoy sewing by hand. I'm particularly proud of my piggy bank and the two kids that can be dressed! I'm amazed that after only a week of working on this, I have eight of twenty pages mostly done. It's been so much fun. I'm not sure what I'll do when I'm done with this. Sewing is an expensive hobby, especially the projects I've picked so far. We'll see. For now, I'm going back to working on a few more pages.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea...

Beach day! Adam and I have been awaiting this day all summer. We've tried to do it other times but I could never get excited enough about the two-hour drive and figuring out when and how to feed the baby. But today we both wanted to go and made it happen. I guess I should phrase it accurately. We went to the shore. Around here it's the shore, not the beach. We decided to go to Ocean City, which is family-friendly (no booze). The picture at the top is the boardwalk. I've been there with Adam once before, the week before we got married. The day was beautiful, hot but with a nice breeze. Katrina did well. She's happy enough playing with her rattle and her feet anywhere we go. We let her try out the sand and she didn't look too enthralled. The only problem was on the way home when she decided she was sick of her carseat. The screaming was awful and we stopped to feed her again. She bit me so badly that I had pulsating pain for hours afterward. Other than that, the day was good!

She kept refusing to put her feet down. I guess the sand felt really weird to her.

This wasn't the best of our family pictures, but the baby is smiling in this one. A nice couple saw us taking pictures and came over to offer to take a family one.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Have you ever heard of "gurning?" Neither had I until recently. Apparently in England they have contests with people making the most grotesque faces possible through a horse's collar. Here is this year's winner.
Sometimes when Katrina screams we pretend like she is just in a gurning contest. :] Here she is with a scowl because she want to go to bed, which isn't very scary. However, some of her frowns right before she starts screaming...Yeah, those are pretty intimidating.

Just a few notes

I'm being a busy little bee with this quiet book. I keep telling myself to work on the pajamas, but yeah, this book is more fun. I've been to JoAnns three times so far this week! I think I have bought virtually everything I need. Today I've been sewing together felt shapes for one of the pages. Last night I created a foam temple puzzle. Once I cut out the muslin I can start making actual pages and I'll post pictures.

Yesterday I went to the lactation consultant and got some help and advice. We'll see how it works. Katrina was feverish the last two days, I'm assuming from her shots. It made her pretty miserable. Today she's been a bit better with her fever gone, but she still is crying a lot more than normal. I fed her more cereal and she's doing great with that. It distracted her from crying, which made me happy! Adam's mom and grandma came over today and spent a few hours with us. I always enjoy that. Living near family is so nice.

Well, I think I'm going to go sew a pig. A piggy bank, that is.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Five-month visit

I just got back from Katrina's well-baby checkup. She is apparently extremely healthy and still cute enough that she got compliments from all sorts of passers-by, nurses, and the doctor! Since part of my self-esteem now is tied to my baby, that always makes me feel quite nice. :] Katrina doesn't weigh nearly as much as I thought she did, so I guess our scale is just way off. She's 14 lbs 11.2 oz, 25 in long, 17 in head circumference. Basically, she's almost exactly average for height and weight, but is in the 85th percentile for head size. I'm glad that she has a good seven pounds and three inches before she grows out of her carseat.

I went crazy over this new quiet book project of mine yesterday. I came up with a bunch more ideas and have plans for 20 different pages. I quickly realized that Katrina won't be old enough for this book for awhile, so there's no rush, but I'm so excited still. I went to JoAnns last night and bought some material and a bunch of cheap felt (made from recycled plastic bottles! How random.). I could do most of this book with fabric markers and glue, but since there's no time constraints, I plan on hand sewing a lot of it. I bought an embroidery hoop too so I could do that. All the notions (buttons, snaps, eyelets, etc) are going to be pretty pricey, so I plan on spreading it out over several months. I also bought a cutting board so I have some place other than the hair-covered floor to cut out the pattern for her other set of pajamas. Those are much more necessary than a quiet book, so I should be concentrating on those.

Since I'm so excited about this project and one of my friends wants to make one too, I will list off all the pages I'm planning. Some of the ideas were mine, a few were Adam's, and a bunch were taken from other websites.
-A Noah's Ark that unzips with animals on cards inside. On the adjacent page, there is a place where she can play Old Maid with the cards. They will have magnets that attach them to the book.
-A plan of salvation with buttons attaching the earth, premortal life, spirit world, three degrees of glory
-a manger scene that attaches with snaps
-Nephi's boat with felt that she can weave
-A Word of Wisdom page with flaps that hook and unhook to show foods and drinks that are and aren't allowed
-a page showing Lehi's Dream with an "iron rod" that a little figure will slide back and forth on
-a Garden of Eden page with animals of different textures--maybe I'll put bows around their necks so she can tie bows
-a pioneer handcart with a wheel that turns
-sliding notes on a music staff ("For the Lord delighteth in the song of the heart" D&C 25:12)
-drawstring bag with tokens in it, one that goes in a tithing envelope and nine that go in a piggy bank
-a tomb with a stone that rolls back and forth
-a page with gold plates and a Book of Mormon that open and close
-clothes on a clothesline that can be used to dress a little boy and little girl (Help us get ready for church!)
-King Benjamin's tower with a tent that can laced and unlaced
-a clock with hands (It's time for church)
-a temple-shaped puzzle with pieces that attach through velcro
-setting the table (Can you set the table for Sunday dinner?)

Some of them are a stretch to get them to relate to church or the scriptures, but I wanted to continue the theme if I could.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Little Demon

See this little demon? "What?" you say. "Surely not this angel!" Well, that's part of her disguise. She charms the pants off of anyone who comes up to her at church, smiling, looking cute. Then she makes life miserable for her parents.

Yesterday and today was Stake Conference. I knew last night would be an issue because it was from 7-9 and her bedtime is at 8. Sure enough, both Adam and I missed a significant part of the meeting from walking around with her and nursing her. Today I was in the choir for our session. I had to be there over an hour early, which turned a two-hour church meeting into a normal three-hour block. After practicing for an hour, I went to find Adam and the baby. I found him sitting on a chair underneath the coat rack, with a look on his face that I can only describe as having had his soul sucked out by dementors. We switched off for the rest of the meeting, but over the next two hours I ended up in the nursing lounge three times feeding her to soothe her and get her to sleep! Bad, bad baby.
Here's Katrina trying out being blonde.

The other reason that Katrina and I aren't really on speaking terms right now is because after five whole months of breastfeeding, it still hurts! I'm not really sure why, but it could have something to do with how she refuses to nurse on the left side unless her head is really far back and her hands are pushing me away from her. If I try to pull her closer so I'm not so, well, stretched out, she unlatches in protest. Only the left side hurts. Oh, and most meals she latches and unlatches repeatedly. All this combines to make me a very upset mommy. I got so close to throwing something breakable just a few minutes ago. Part of the problem is that it's super painful while nursing and burningly painful for an hour or so afterward. I have cream for yeast that isn't doing anything, so it's probably not that.

We were singing "Book of Mormon Stories" here and I was trying to make her look like a Lamanite.

At Stake Conference last night, Katrina was fascinated with the zipper on my diaper bag. Because of that, I've decided to make her a quiet book. If you don't know what that is, it's an activity book for little kids so that they have something to do during church to keep them quiet. I made one for my niece Anna years ago with my mom's help. I've been coming up with ideas for it all day. I want it to be church-themed. The trick will be that since she's younger, I'll need to make most of the things attached to the book so they don't end up getting swallowed. Some ideas that I've seen on the internet or come up with are:

A Noah's Ark that unzips with animals inside

Little tokens that she can put in a tithing envelope or in a piggy bank

A pioneer handcart with a wheel that turns

A music staff with notes that slide back and forth

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Outing

We went on an outing today to get out of the house. Usually Saturdays are for lounging around, cleaning, watching movies, and eating junky food. Today we headed to Manayunk, which is supposed to be a cool little part of Philly. After fruitlessly looking for a parking spot, we got frustrated and headed back towards home. We had fun driving around and looking at houses, then decided to walk around the main street in our own town.
Don't worry, we only drive like this around town.*
We were curious how Katrina would do in her stroller by herself, not in her carseat.
She did just fine, but I prefer to be able to see her face, so I think I'll keep her in her carseat for awhile. We had fun wandering around toy stores, a baby boutique, a jewelry store. The best part was the boxed lunches that we bought at this one store. Mmm-mmm, yum.
* Please don't believe that; this was a parking lot.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fun with food!

Today Katrina just wasn't acting like normal and kept being hungry. Finally I decided to try some cereal again. We don't have a high chair yet, so I had to use the swing. The last time I tried was about a month ago, I think. Well, this time was a lot different. After just a couple of bites she was opening her mouth wide for each bite and eagerly accepting it. Hooray! She's been really interested in our food lately, unlatching to stare whenever I eat or drink anything. Plus, I give her spoons to play with and she does really well.

So I'm going to start feeding her cereal once a day and see how it goes. Once we get a high chair next week I can feed her more.

Look at this grin. That's one happy baby!


I forgot to mention September 11 yesterday. I can't believe it's been seven years. Exactly seven years ago I was sitting in front of the tv with my mom, watching the news almost constantly. School was cancelled for us on the 12th because we had schools in our district on the Air Force Academy, which was on lockdown.

I was in the auditorium during my 1st period class when someone ran in and told us that someone had attacked the Pentagon and the White House. We all thought they were joking. But when we went back to the classroom and turned on the tv, we realized how serious it was. I didn't really know what the World Trade Center was, though it sounded familiar. The tv was on in every single classroom that day. We knew that planes all over the nation were grounded, and a lot of kids who had pilots for parents were worried. A lot of parents came and took their children home.

Being so close to the Air Force Academy, we really felt the after effects of the attack. Air Force Academy High School was cancelled for months and there was talk of having those students join other high schools. When they finally began school again, they had to go to the mall to catch a bus, where they were all searched before being let on the Academy. It was crazy. Also, planes were patrolling the skies constantly, so while lying in bed at night I would listen to the distant thrum and feel both protected and scared.

Adam was a freshman at BYU. When he heard the news, he was trying on his new uniform for the Air Force ROTC. Ironic, huh? I'm sure he had quite the mixture of feelings as he realized that our country was under attack and he was now in the military. Funny story: he went home for Christmas that year wearing his uniform (I can't remember why). While sitting in the coach section before takeoff, a group of flight attendants approached him and told him that they had a seat for him in First Class if he wanted. They then escorted him to the front of the plane, carrying his baggage, while the rest of the passengers clapped!

I had a friend on a mission in Russia at the time. He and his companion were on their way to a dacha (a farm-like thing) to help a member pick his potatoes. They were picked up by police who were suspicious of them being so close to the border and brought in for questioning. Their passports were at the mission home in St. Petersburg. Only a month earlier, a missionary had been detained and forced to sign papers saying that he would leave Russia and not come back for thirty years, so the mission president had told them to not sign any papers. The missionaries were understandably confused, but then someone told them that a nuclear bomb had gone off in New York City and that World War Three had started! They were detained and questioned for hours, and finally ended up signing some papers and leaving.

I definitely am a lot more patriotic than before 9/11. I loved how our country came together to support our government and our troops. Everyone was flying an American flag for months. I'm really sad to see how divided we are again. But I hope we never have to deal with another tragedy like it again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Then and Now

I like to show Katrina old videos of herself to amuse her sometimes. I really have a hard time remembering how little and fragile she was until I watch the videos. Crazy how much she's grown in just five months. She has a doctors appointment next week and I'm excited to see how much she's grown.

This is her first video that we ever took of her at two weeks old in her bouncer. Her lips are purple from the gentian violet we were using for thrush. This was back when she actually used pacifiers. Her hair was also a lot darker and longer on top--we used to put it in a mohawk!

The second video is the one I took of her today while she was playing on the floor. She is a lot more chunky and looks more human and less alien. She weighs twice as much and is five or six inches longer!

Anyway, it's kind of fun comparing Katrina then to Katrina now, and imagining how she'll be different in just another five months.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Russian Art

You know that teen phenomenon, Twilight? Well, I enjoy the books, though I'm definitely not obsessed with them and I achnowledge that they aren't the most well-written of literature. But they are hard to put down once you start. So I borrowed a copy of the fourth book on Sunday and started reading it around 10:00 that night. Adam went to bed at 11:00, but I stayed up reading until 12:30. At 1:00, since I was still awake, I decided to read more. So for the first time in years, I read under the covers with a flashlight! I went to bed at 2:00 since my body was literally shaking. I think that's particularly funny aftermy last post about how I'm an adult and should be treated like one! :]

Because of that I was exhausted last night at about 9:30. Adam turned on Star Trek: Next Generation as a break from studying for the series 24. I really like that Star Trek, so I watched as well. It was the last episode of the series, which I had never seen, so I was pretty interested. Alas, Jean-Luc Picard and Q weren't interesting enough to stave off my tiredness, so I fell asleep soon. At about 10:50, I jolted awake, stood up, grabbed the boppy pillow (my nursing pillow), and was really confused. I'm pretty sure Adam was laughing on the inside as I stumbled into the bedroom. He came in later and woke me up (grr) to read scriptures. He claims I fell asleep again during them, but I was listening! I have no idea what we read about, but Adam said it involved the Philistines, the ark of the covenant, and idols falling on their faces. I then slept like the dead all night. In the morning I wondered why I had never heard the baby, but I had left the monitor in the living room. Oops. If she woke up, oh well. She apparently fell back asleep again.

Katrina napped for 2.5 hours this morning, which gave me plenty of time to start a new passion. Or rather, research an old passion. When I was in Russia, I really liked the Russian art that I saw at the Russian Museum of Art in St. Petersburg and at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. While there I scribbled down the names of artists that I especially liked. I've been meaning to look them up for years, but never got around to it. It was kind of difficult because I had written them down in Cyrillic, and figuring out how it's spelled in English isn't always easy. Luckily, I ended up finding 17 of the 27 names I had written down, plus about 10 more that I really like. The greatest victory was finding a specific work of art that I had really loved, but in my searches since then haven't been able to find. This is it:

The internet doesn't really do it justice, but in real life this picture practically glows. It's so awesome. I'm happy that I found it. It's Moonlit Night on Dneper, and the artist is Arkhip Kuindzhi. Yeah, that's a mouthful.

Here are a few more that I really like.

The Tenth Wave, Ivan Aivazovsky

View of Valaam, Island, Ivan Shishkin.

At the Door of a Mosque, Vasily Vereshchagin.

View on the Hermitage Library, Alexey Tyranov.

It was really fun finding all of these, so I found some books on Russian art on the library catalog for our library and I'm going to look them up next time I go.

Katrina is rocking around from side to side complaining, probably from boredom, so I'm going to go rescue her.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Moping around

Sometimes you just feel mopey and don't know why. I'm in one of those moods right now. It's probably because I haven't had much food today. Two bowls of cereal, a bagel, and a peach. I'm not really hungry, but I'm to that point that I'm kind of weak from not eating. It's so late now that I want to go to bed, but I don't have the energy to decide whether to sleep or eat. I would have eaten, but we went down to Jersey and the baby took a lot of energy and attention. Plus I'm in a bad mood because I realized that my visiting teacher basically considers me to be the same as one of the young women. She made a comment to that effect yesterday and it really took me aback. Hello, I have a baby! I'm a college graduate. I try to be open and friendly with her and treat her as an equal, but the fact that I'm half her age seems to really deter her from treating me the same. It's depressing because I'm really in need of friends. Adam and I want to be friends with young couples in our ward, but the ones closest to us in situation are farthest away, and our ward has huge boundaries. Oh well. It's not worth getting depressed over.

I think I see teeth coming in the top of Katrina's mouth, which might explain her awful moods today. She did wonderfully at church when I had her, but in Jersey she screamed a lot. Her smiles are precious and make up for the bad moments, but wow, she can cry. Usually she'll be better as long as you walk with her, but I get tired of that fast. She was demanding being walked today at the end of Sacrament Meeting, and since it was fast and testimony meeting, I decided to just take her up with me while I bore my testimony. Worked perfectly! I got to feel good and she got to walk.

I'm going to the zoo tomorrow with Adam's sister and mom! I'm hoping Katrina will enjoy it, since last time she was only two months old and slept.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Temple Trip

I am just reveling in the fact that my feet are warm and dry right now. They were wet and cold for about five hours, so this is especially nice.

The reason my feet were so wet was because we encountered the remnants of Hurricane Hanna while in Washington D.C. today. My visiting teacher, Michelle, offered to watch Katrina for us while we went down to the temple for Stake Temple Day. We had to get up at 5:30 this morning to be there for a 9:30 session and 11:30 meeting afterward. It was wonderful because I haven't been able to go to the temple for six months. I love the peace of the temple. It was so nice to just be dressed in white and relax and think about nothing except the ordinances. I did worry occasionally about how Katrina was doing with her first non-family babysitter, but I trusted Michelle. The D.C. temple has a meeting room on the seventh floor that stakes can use for meetings. Well, for some reason, today was the temple day for three stakes! It was so crowded! We were slightly late because I had to feed Katrina right beforehand. The session was so crowded that they had an overflow session. Afterward though, there weren't enough workers and it was already 11:30. They let the people with the stake meeting go first and I left to go back to the stake center and switch off with Michelle. However, the rain had severely picked up, as well as the wind. I felt sorry for the poor, poor bride and her wedding party who were futilely trying to shelter underneath the overhang. Finally I just went for it and ran out to find Michelle's van. I had a bit of trouble finding it, largely because it was raining so hard that I felt like I was trying to open my eyes underwater. As you can imagine, I was soaked all the way through. I never completely dried.

Katrina had done very well with her babysitters and had even taken a nap. She was quite happy and I feel much better about leaving her with a babysitter in the future. I was doubtful that our good luck with her would keep lasting, but she slept the entire three-hour drive home.

So while I'm happy to finally be warm and dry, I really enjoyed today. I also met another lady in my ward who moved here a few years ago from Zimbabwe. She has some crazy stories. Apparently it's really dangerous for old, white people there right now. There's an 80% unemployment rate and people get murdered and robbed by people who can't feed their families. She got out of there and is living with her son and grandchildren. Crazy.
The above and below pictures are of Katrina in the same dress. The top picture was at two weeks or less old. Below was taken yesterday. Crazy, huh?

And this is just cute. Katrina and her penguin.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage

MyHeritage: Celebrity Collage - Dynasty - Ancestory

Memory Lane

We're having the missionaries over for dinner tonight and there's a lot of tidying up to do. Yesterday I started on all of it so that I wouldn't feel swamped today. I happened to pick up my old journal from before I went to Russia and decided to read some of the old entries. During the first semester of my sophomore year, I had a Doctrine and Covenants teacher who required us to write in our journal every day. It was fascinating reading about my life that semester. All I wrote about were guys! I know a lot of girls have journals like that, but I didn't think I had been so fixated on guys and dating. Then I flipped to other sections of the journal and I realized that it was pretty much just that semester. I didn't really date during my freshman year of college or during high school. So that semester, when all of a sudden guys were asking me out and I was hanging out with returned missionaries instead 18-year-olds... That's all I wrote about! I laughed and cringed a little as I read the different names--the guy from my Russian classes that was so incredibly cute but unattainable, the guy from my freshman ward I was so in love with, the RA from my freshman ward who I liked so much and then we went on an absolutely awful date, the guy who I went on lots of dates with and everyone wanted us to get together, but I just didn't like him "that way," the guy who I had a crush on and who commented all the time on my blog... Oh goodness, it really brought me back. I loved those days. My two single years in college were so much fun because I had great friends and they brought out the spontaneity in me. That semester was fun because guys were finally taking an interest in me and not just my more attractive and skinny roommates! I had such wonderful roommates and still keep in contact with them.

Unfortunately, once the semester ended I stopped writing in my journal. That means that I don't really have much of a record of dating Adam. But I do have some funny entries that I thought I'd share.

Monday, November 28, 2005: "Adam James from White House South, who I've talked to a few times, sat behind us and I got the feeling he was trying to initiate a conversation. Afterwards, he asked me to his ROTC ball on Saturday. Yay! It's formal, and Camille says fun."

Sunday, December 11: "I'm bummed that it's going to be Christmas break right when things are starting to get nice. I really like looking at him. He gives me such nice looks! I wasn't attracted to him the first few times I talked to him [before he asked me out], which makes me laugh now that I totally think he's so attractive!"

Tuesday, December 13: "I've decided my favorite feature of his is his smile. I really like his eyes, but his smile disarms me completely. Something about the way his cheeks bunch up--gushy, I know! I'm pathetic. . . Oh, he got a job as a family history t.a.! I'm excited for him. Besides, a job is good, right? He can afford a girlfriend then, right? Oh, I'm crazy."

Wednesday, December 14: "This is a red-letter day. Okay, that was super cheesy. This is an amazing, significant, fantastic day! Why? Well, simply put, ADAM KISSED ME!!!!!! . . . I find him so incredibly attractive it's not even expressible. Now I guess I know that he likes me too!"

Friday, February 24, 2006: "I could totally marry Adam. That's the really scary part. Wow, it's really tough to write. My hands are frozen from walking outside with him until 3:10."

The very next journal entry, Sunday, April 16, 2006: "Well, I have had quite the eventful couple of months. In the last two months, I have decided to marry Adam, felt kind of doubtful, gotten engaged, received a confirmation about marrying him, received a ring, and yeah. I'm marrying Adam on August 19th in the Salt Lake Temple! I'm leaving for Russia on May 10, getting back on August 6 in New Jersey, meeting Adam's family and staying there a week, having a reception, flying back on the 13th to Utah, receiving my endowments, getting married on Saturday, flying to Florida on our honeymoon, flying to Colorado the next Friday, then having a reception there on the 26th." I then list off all of the details of our reception center, my colors, flower arrangements, and even my dress. I had gotten engaged on the 1st! Can you believe that we had so many of the major details figured out only two weeks later! I can't.

I flipped to my next journal to the week before we got married. Sunday, August 13, 2006: "This will be a super busy week, but on Saturday we'll get married! I love Adam so much. I just stare at him all the time and try to comprehend the fact that I'm marrying him. I have so much respect and admiration for him too, especially having watched him study and become so involved with this securities stuff. Life will be fun together!"

So anyway, I just wanted to share some of my memories in my own words. It's almost surreal reading those journals because it takes me right back, and then the baby will babble and I come back to the present with a start, and then I just marvel at how much life has changed. I am exactly where I want to be!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hallowed Ground, Sacred Journeys

A few years ago I walked around the JSB on BYU campus and dropped off my resume, a recommendation from my boss, and a cover sheet to all the religion professors' boxes. My efforts paid off because two professors called me and hired me as their TA for that year. For one professor I managed his seven classes through Blackboard and it only required a few hours a week except during tests and finals when bunches of students would get "locked out" of their test and emailed and called me frantically. For the other professor, John Livingstone, I assisted him in a project called "Hallowed Ground, Sacred Journeys." The book was already written, but the software part was only in its initial stages. I worked for him for eight months until I went to Russia, and it was a really great experience. The project was a virtual tour of Salt Lake City, with pictures from the 1800's and pictures and other media from the current day. I learned so much about Salt Lake City! Adam and I would go there for concerts or for our anniversary and I would point out various random sites. Anyway, Brother Livingstone emailed the other day with the good news that the project was finally completed! Of course, it's a project that will never actually be completed, because they are now working on the New England portion and want to go to Nauvoo, Missouri, England, and even Jerusalem! But I'm proud that I was on the ground level and got to test out all of the software and streamline how they put in information. Anyway, you can go to the site and see it yourself. I got a free copy of the book and DVD and I really enjoy it. Even though it's been over two years since I worked on it, most of the stuff on the DVD is my work (as in, other people took the pictures and created the videos and text and even the software, but I did the techie stuff to bring it all together). There's also a walking tour book that I didn't get a copy of, but I imagine would be really cool to have for a day trip to Salt Lake. Here's another link from the guy who produced all the footage. It has some sample videos. The main site has some too, I think. You may recognize Brother Lloyd Newell on the main page. "Welcome to the 178th Semi-annual Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints..." Yep, he's the "voice" of General Conference and Music and the Spoken Word. Having him work on the project was really cool.

Most of my jobs have been pretty boring or have had little lasting impact: serving food in an assisted living home, scanning and filing charts at a surgery center, being a student cataloger. Okay, the cataloging was cool because I was working with Special Collections books and I singlehandedly barcoded shelves and shelves of Rare Books. But it's really cool to see my work published (in a round-about way). I even get mentioned in the introduction to both the book and DVD! I can show it to my kids and say, "Look, I inputed all this information to create this DVD and tested the kinks out of the software." Hey, maybe they'll be impressed!

Well, back to moping because there's not any good breakfast food left in the apartment. No milk, no cereal. No cream cheese for my bagels. No bread for toast to go along with eggs. There is still canteloupe, at least. I hear the baby waking from her nap, which is always a signal for me to run to the kitchen and gobble something down quickly.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A couple of videos

This is from Monday. I think it's self-explanatory!

It's been a couple of fairly boring days. It's always a little disappointing for me to start the normal work week after a long weekend. I have no motivation to clean, cook, or do anything productive. Yesterday I got dressed. And read a book. And that is all. Today I at least took a shower during Katrina's first nap and figured out what I'm going to make for dinner. I also threw a load of whites in. Oh, and I just went and killed a fly. Unlike the flies from our infestation a month ago, this one was a fast one, but I prevailed! Ha!

I think Katrina is falling into a schedule (finally!) that is pretty predictable. Eat five times a day--around 8:00, around 11:30, around 2:30, around 5:00, then at 7:30 or so. Everything is approximate and depends on when she first wakes up. If she wakes up earlier then there is another feeding at about 9:30. But for the past few days she's also been taking slightly longer naps sometimes. It's all still up in the air, but at least I can plan doctors appointments and other things around feedings with some degree of accuracy! She still throws us curve balls, like yesterday, when she woke up several times during the night and just laid in her crib talking to herself and keeping us awake. That was weird. We didn't have to go get her or anything, but it was a poor night of sleep for all of us!

Many of you know that Adam has an eye condition that prevents him from having depth perception. He manages really well in spite of it, but he probably won't play on many church softball teams. Everyone wonders how he can drive, but he does just fine. In fact, he can back up better than anyone I've ever driven with. You know those movies where Bourne or Bond or whoever puts their car into reverse and drives down a busy street that way? I swear, Adam could do that.

But anyway, he was born with very crossed eyes and had surgeries to fix that. It means he can only focus out of one at at a time, or else have double vision. We've been monitoring Katrina's eyes closely ever since she was born. At each doctors appointment I would ask about her eyes and they always said it takes a few months for babies' eyes to be normal. Well, Katrina has an appointment in two weeks, and this time I'm not accepting that answer! She'll be five months old, and most of the things I've read say that babies' eyes should normalize by four months. Hers aren't normal. Sometimes they move perfectly together, but often one eye is slightly off. It's not super serious, but now is the time to fix it. From what I've read about strebismuses, there is even a chance it can be completely fixed if treated soon enough. Prism glasses, shots to relax the eye muscles, and surgery are all possibilities. I'm planning on pretty much insisting that she get a referral to a pediatric optometrist. I don't know why I feel so urgent about this. After all, her eyes are barely off cosmetically and the damage could already be done to how her brain sees images. But I don't want her to be held back at all because of her eyes. I mean, she already has to deal with my extremely non-athletic genes! Imagine how much worse gym class would be if you couldn't see how far away the ball was.

This second video is from this morning. I usually pop Katrina in her jumperoo after she's fed and let her entertain herself while I eat and do stuff on the computer. I looked over and had to catch a video of her like this!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Post #100

Wow, I've posted a lot since we started this blog. It's become a little bit of an addiction, I suppose! I love keeping in contact with everyone. This blog entry is a mixture of several unrelated thoughts, but my posts are usually like that, aren't they?

I haven't worn my wedding ring regularly in months. Probably more than six months. I really miss it, and in the last week or so I started wearing my sixteenth birthday ring just so I could have some sort of ring on my finger. Saturday, I put on my wedding ring and decided to try it out. Usually I take off my ring every night and play with it all day, but now I'm making myself leave it alone since pulling it over my knuckles isn't exactly comfortable. It's really nice to be wearing it again! It sticks out really far, which is part of the reason I haven't worn it. But now that the baby kind of lifts her arms up when I lift her up, I don't scratch her. I still have to be extra careful, but at least I have my ring on finger again!

This was the weekend of the King of Prussia mall. Adam's phone died completely last week and wouldn't even turn on while charged. Mine is a great phone but has about twenty minutes of continuous battery, which can be understandably limiting. So on Saturday we headed over to the mall to check out their Verizon store. It was crazy there because of the holiday and I quickly became frazzled with the stroller and the fact that my eyes have gotten worse in the last couple of months so that I really need new glasses or contacts. When I go around in public places my stress level goes up because I have to squint. I know, I should just go to the optometrist, but I can't figure out whether I want glasses or contacts, so I keep putting it off! Anyway, Adam couldn't figure out which phone he wanted and we decided to leave the craziness and come home so he could browse online. We went back in the middle of the day today and tried to buy a new phone for him and get the accompanying free one for me. Their system was down, so we headed over to DSW to pass the time. I bought some shoes! They're just some simple moccasin-like shoes, and they pass the Adam test (he's surprisingly picky about which of my shoes he likes). I loved that store because they had a whole separate room of clearance shelves with several rows of size 5.5-6. We went back to Verizon and they were still having problems, so we went home. The very moment Adam put the car into park in our parking spot, the sales guy called. Grr!! We went back later on and picked up everything. The mall is only ten or fifteen minutes away, but we definitely got tired of the ride.

Our table with new placemats and flowers that Adam got for me!

Katrina loves pulling her dress over her head, just like her blanket. Maybe she's playing peekaboo? I thought she was too young to do that, but whatver the reason, she loves pulling things in front of her face.

I thought she was so far from sitting up by herself, but guess what she was doing today? Yep, sitting! Well, it's pretty awkward sitting, but I have more confidence now that she'll be able to sit up by herself in a month or two. She can't sit like this for long without falling forward onto her belly, but it's progress!

The naughty girl won't fall asleep, so Adam just went and got her so we wouldn't have to listen to her screeches over the monitor. She napped on the way home from the mall; maybe that messed her up.