Thursday, October 30, 2008

This one has a mind of her own

Dinner was funny tonight, if a little exasperating. Every time a spoon went towards Katrina's mouth, she closed it as tight as possible. We tried both the cereal and the pears, but no luck. I stuffed a carrot into her mouth and out it came. I forced a bite of cous cous in, and she grimaced and spit it out. When I gave her pieces of carrot on her tray, that had more luck. She actually tried to pick them up and put them in her mouth. However, her pincer grasp isn't too developed, so the carrots slipped out of her hands and plopped everywhere kind of humorously. I tried some pears again but she grabbed the spoon out of my hands, and then stuffed it into her mouth herself. Hmm. I tried it again and it worked. After each bite I had to wrestle the spoon out of her hand, but then as soon as the full spoon came back, she grabbed it and stuffed it into her mouth. Once she started waving the spoon and banging it into the seat behind her, I gave up entirely. I guess she wasn't hungry? Or pears are not a winner. Whatever the reason, we're going to have to try something different.

Our neighbor came over tonight and said that our water heater was leaking into his closet. He used to work for the maintenance here and was able to shut off the correct knobs and give us the number to call to get someone over. Luckily nothing got wet, and we currently have a carpet blower in there drying off the carpet. It turns out that it was really our upstairs neighbors' water heater. This was the first maintenance issue that we've had, so it's nice to know that in case of emergency, someone can be over right away.

After that little adventure, we had fun making fried wontons for a party tomorrow. It was lots of fun cooking together. Adam is the one that really loves making new recipes and experimenting. I just like to cook fast and get it done! I made some tasty cous cous and chicken and carrots for dinner, but I think it took only fifteen minutes to make. Anyway, we enjoyed our evening.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bloggy giveaways, photo caption contest results, and the Eye Doctor

Do you really like online shopping? Do you also like winning contests? Do you also like free things? So do I, and I have to share my discovery this week. I Googled "blog giveaways" and found this site, which is doing its quarterly weeklong Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. Last I checked, they had 1289 blogs participating. Most of them are mommy craft blogs or mommy review blogs (Did you even know there's this huge Mommy Blogging culture? Neither did I). I went crazy during Katrina's naps yesterday and today. I warn you, though. If you don't want to spend hours, and I really do mean hours signing up for contests, don't click on that link! I entertained myself looking for things for Katrina, her toddler cousin, two of my nieces and nephews that I need to get Christmas gifts for, and of course, myself. Adam even got involved in one contest for a free Wii. After entering dozens of these giveaways, I hope I actually win something! Plus, since it's quarterly, I'm assuming there will be another one at the end of December. Most of the contests close by Friday, but some go until Sunday. Some have hundreds of people signed up, but some only have ten or twenty. If I win, I'll tell all about it! Unless, of course, I use it as a Christmas present.

Second, the results are in for the photo caption contest at Babycenter involving the picture I sent in of Katrina staring down her stuffed penguin.

Baby: “I’m bashful around new people.”

Penguin: “It was hard for me to come out of my shell, too!

Cute, huh? There were something like 55 or 60 entries, all chuckle-worthy, some cuter than others. I keep trying to come up with a good caption for this week's photo but my creative juices aren't flowing.

Third, we went to the eye doctor today. Katrina did so well with the long wait, the examination, the eye drops and more waiting, and even more exams. She also flirted with a seven-month-old and impressed everyone with her darling smile. The consensus...

She has pseudostrebismus.

That's a long word which basically means nothing at all is wrong with her eyes, they just look cross-eyed because the bridge of her nose is wide. We were told to come back in two years.

Isn't that great?! Even in the month and a half since I made the appointment, her eyes have been getting better and better, so I wasn't at all surprised. But with her family history, I thought getting it checked out now would be the best. So a big sigh of relief that Katrina won't have to go through major eye surgery where they take her eye out of her head and fix the muscles, like Adam had as a toddler. Whoo-hoo!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rained out

Ahhh! The Phillies got rained out last night! The game has been suspended until tonight, but it's still raining like crazy outside. Grr.

I have never really been a fan of any baseball team, so I have adopted the Phillies because Adam loves them so much. They are currently playing in the World Series against Tampa Bay. I have watched more baseball in the last two weeks (NLCS, ALCS, etc) than probably the rest of my life combined. Other than a few BYU football games, we've never really watched sports. But it's all right. At least Adam lets us watch other interesting shows (House, Scrubs) during the commercials. :]

So anyway, game 5 was rained out last night. They suspended the game in the middle of the sixth inning. If the Phils win this game, they win the series. Here's hoping the rain stops, they win the game, and I can start my goal of going to bed by 11 every night! Besides, we got Indiana Jones 4 in the mail from Netflix, and I really want to see it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A park! A park! A park!

I've been doing so much better lately about getting out of the apartment and going on walks with Katrina. Today I searched around on GoogleMaps to try to find a nearby park or a school with a playground. Nothing is very close. I didn't really feel like going on the Radnor Trail again, even though that is a really nice trail. I finally decided to just go walking in the direction of a park close by that has a couple of baseball diamonds. I've driven past in before and I figured I would try looping back around to our apartment and see how long it took me.

Off we went. I didn't need a jacket, just my thick sweater, and Katrina seemed happy enough with a blanket and her fluffy hat. One really annoying thing about sidewalks around here is that they are super uneven, cracked, and kind of a pain to use. That is another reason I don't like going on walks around here. But we persevered and made it to the park. I searched in vain for a playground, even though I knew there wasn't one. We kept walking and passed the park. Then, on the other side of some trees, was a second park with another baseball diamond. I had seen this on GoogleMaps and wondered whether there was a playground, but couldn't tell online. Well, to my happy surprise, there was a playground. It's only about twenty minutes away, walking.

I put Katrina in a swing, more for a photo op than anything. I think she has quite a bit of growing to fit into these swings! I called Adam, and our conversation went something like this:

"I found a park only a 100 yards away from our apartment!"


"Yeah, but it took me twenty minutes to get here."


"Because you can't get to it from the apartments. It's by that other park with the baseball diamonds. There's a bunch of trees and bushes. But I can literally see the apartment building next to ours from here."



There was a path between the park and a subdivision, so I decided to walk around there and try to find another route home, just for fun. I also wanted to make sure there weren't any unofficial paths that residents of our apartments had made through the bushes. To my absolute joy, there was a pathway! Yay!

Summary of today's fun walk: Twenty minutes to park. Twenty minutes walking around subdivision just for fun (see picture of beautiful changing colors). Two minutes back to apartment. Success! And lots of future walks and playground visits will surely follow!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Music mania

I know I post all the time and that might drive some of you crazy, but blogging helps keep me from going crazy, sometimes! :] I'm waiting right now for Adam to get home from home teaching/exchanges with the missionaries. We've had a crazy weekend in which we've barely seen each other for longer than half an hour at a time until 8:00 at night. After he gets home, we're going to the church for the first rehearsal for the Messiah sing-a-long in December.

Yep, I'm playing violin in the Messiah! I have the 1st Violin music because my grandparents gave it to me years ago, so I am already familiar with a lot of it. I played through the five pieces last night, and I was pleasantly surprised that even though I'm rusty, the 1st Violin part won't be too difficult for me. Katrina cried, like normal, when I practiced. Then I kept playing, so she just sent me a few whimpers, and finally she just ignored me and jumped in her jumperoo without complaint. Maybe she doesn't like how shrill it is? I don't know, but it sure feels nice to play. I am nervous to play in an orchestra, though, because my school district only had band and I haven't had many opportunities to play in orchestras. Orchestra playing and solo playing are a lot different. Though there was this one time that I thought I was playing in an orchestra for a musical, and then it turned out I was the only one on the part, so it was like an orchestral solo... That was crazy. I sightread 70+ pages of score for A Christmas Carol. And then I got stranded at the theater. No fun.

Anyway, I also committed to singing in the ward choir. I was pleasantly surprised today at the first rehearsal to sing with two other very good altos. Sure, we all made mistakes, but we were all fairly strong. Plus, the sopranos sing in tune and we have at least one strong tenor and one tenor who can masquerade as a good bass. How awesome is that compared to some ward choirs?! :]

Oh, and I agreed to play a violin solo for Christmas. I'm not sure yet what I'll be playing. I don't have much Christmas music. I do have one medley, but it's a little boring.

Lastly, I volunteered Adam to sing bass in a men's quartet for Thanksgiving. It was with his permission, and he doesn't mind, don't worry! He doesn't really enjoy singing regularly with ward choirs, but he does enjoy singing on occasion with other talented people.

Katrina shrieks and squeals and yells out "Dadadada" during the Sacrament, but we have yet to figure out which instrument she prefers. It looks likely that she will at least play the piano though, judging by how much she loves to bang on the keys.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Adam is at another campout, so I have found fun ways to entertain Katrina and myself today. Well, they are fun for me, at least. I have been trying to get Katrina to roll again from her back to belly, which she first did two months ago, did for a week, and then stopped. She can sit up pretty well now after a week or so of me coaching her, so I'm hoping for the same results with rolling over. Some people may call it "teasing" or "tormenting," but I call it "learning." :]

First of all, there's this video. I really am not sure what's going on here, but I think we're communicating. (Hint: some of the noises are me behind the camera. It's hard to tell the difference, sorry.)

Second, there is this video. I was quite frustrated at this point, but I decided to try once more before giving up on the rolling practice. Maybe only Adam and I find it captivating to watch her trying to roll over, but I'm sharing it here because I'm excited!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween party!

Tonight was our ward's Halloween party and Trunk or Treat. We had tons of fun dressing up, even though we were some of the only adults in costume. Katrina enjoyed it too, or at least she enjoyed the part where she got to suck on some bell peppers.

Little Miss Pea-in-a-Pod.

Pippi Longstockings. I wish the picture showed my awesome black and red stockings. My hair was a real hit with adults and kids alike.

Adam was sufficiently scary as a vampire! He even has a tuxedo and genuine WWI medals, from his mortal life. :]

Family picture.

One of the coolest costumes I've ever seen. Do you recognize the trashcan-like robot from Star Wars? The crazy thing is that that is an adult in there! He's all hunched over. His sons went as Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, so they had a fun family theme going on.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Short note

Today was an excellent day. My mother-in-law came to visit and we went grocery shopping and on a two-mile walk. So much more fun than my usual agenda of sitting around on the couch a lot. :] I got ingredients for a chicken cordon bleu recipe I have from a Rachael Ray book. I wanted to make it for Adam, but he ended up making it. It was tasty.

This picture was taken a couple days ago when I took Katrina on a walk. It's cold enough that I really have to bundle her up. I thought it was cute enough to share. :]

Oh, and if you look carefully you can see that her eyes seem to be slightly off. I have an eye appointment for her next week. It's so slight that I'm not sure what the doctor will want to do. Maybe her eyes are actually fine and I'm just seeing problems that aren't there. If that's the case, I will be very happy. Oh, and her breathing problems seem to be all better. Today I only heard her having problems once. I'm very grateful for that too!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First "Words"

Here's a slightly repetitive video that is still dang cute.

Adam gets a little giddy when he watches this. Who know, maybe we'll get a genuine "Dada" or "Daddy" soon.

Photo Caption contest

I sent in a photo of Katrina to a Babycenter blog and it got selected for a photo caption contest. Here's the link. People are so creative!

Here's the photo larger:

So last night I went to Adam's Court of Honor for Scouts. I enjoyed getting out of the house. I also took Katrina for an hour-long walk yesterday on a nearby trail. Even though it was chilly and rather windy, I think we both enjoyed it. I plan on going again later on today. I have a tradition every fall that I got from my grandmother of catching a falling leaf. Yesterday I kept trying to catch one, but the wind was too strong and I kept having to stop my efforts and continue pushing the stroller casually whenever other pedestrians were near. Katrina seemed to think it was funny. She just started babbling with consonants and has been "talking" and blowing raspberries like crazy.

Last night we thought we had actually gotten Katrina to sleep through the night for the first time in a couple of weeks. She didn't wake up three hours after going to bed like she has been. This morning I was awakened by her crying. In my drowsy state, I went to get her, thinking that it was about 7 am. I noticed that the light from outside was rather dim, so I turned on her lamp and changed her. (I think I am going to leave a note on our upstairs neighbor's door apologizing for the bloodcurdling screams coming from my daughter in the middle of the night lately. Katrina has issues with me changing her diaper when she wakes up sometimes.) I took her back to the bedroom and realized it was 3 am, not 7. I'm just glad that my body reacted instinctively to go and get her even though my brain was way behind. Anyway, I hope she starts sleeping through the night again, like she was doing for three whole months before this crazy new stage.

In closing, here are some pictures of Katrina's new sitting up skills. She needs me to prop her up initially and still topples without warning, but we are in whole new territory now! I sit her up and give her a basket of toys to dig through and she's set for like half an hour.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Home Evening fun

Adam and I are kind of bad at doing Family Home Evening consistantly, but we're trying to do better. Last night we had a fun time. First, we took a walk to Acme and KMart to get some supplies for Adam's Court of Honor and a few groceries. I love living so close to the store. I don't get much exercise these days, so having an excuse to go on a walk to the store is nice. We also picked up a pumpkin carving kit.

We also tried to put Katrina up on our shoulders for the first time. She loved the new perspective!
Then we carved our pumpkins that we got on Saturday in Jersey. I decided to try one of the patterns that came with our carving kit. By the way, those kits are definitely worth the few dollars they cost. It was so much easier carving with those tools than with a steak knife, like I'm used to.
Here's mine.
Adam carved an angry pumpkin.
And Katrina's pumpkin features one tooth, which we thought was appropriate.

It's been years since I carved a pumpkin, so this was lots of fun. We're also going to be dressing up on Friday for the Primary Halloween Party and Trunk or Treat. I definitely will take pictures!

Cute pictures

I also wanted to post these pictures that I took of Katrina yesterday. I gave her more blanket to play with, and when I checked on her a few minutes later this is what I found. I usually tuck her blankets in so that they don't go above her armpits, but her hands and arms were so freezing to the touch each time she woke up. I decided to give her more to work with since both of her blankets are loosely knit/crocheted and even if they end up on her face, she can breathe. Besides, I check her often. Just reassuring anyone who would be worried by these pictures!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I used to have vivid dreams when I was pregnant with Katrina. A recurring element in them was that I forgot to feed her for days or hours at a time. I think it reflected my nervousness about breastfeeding.

Fast-forward to her first night in the hospital. I fed her, someone swaddled her and put her to sleep, and Adam and I tried to get some rest too. I was exhausted from two sleepless nights and almost 24 hours of active labor and birth. Several hours later I woke up and realized Katrina hadn't eaten for five hours. After I made sure that she was still alive and breathing, I called a nurse and said hesitantly, "My baby hasn't eaten in five hours. Should I wake her up?" They reassured me that babies sometimes need to rest from labor too and sent a nurse to help me feed her. It was particularly scary for me because it was almost like my dream had come true.

So today Katrina woke up and ate at 8:30. She only woke up once in the middle of the night, at 5:00, and that was because she had crept up to the top of her crib and had ended up squished into the side without any blankets. It was much better than the night before. We went to church, where I left during Sacrament mtg to feed her, like always. She fell asleep while eating, so didn't eat quite as much as normal. Ironically, she then threw up all over Adam during Sunday School, not once, but twice. His suit and Preach My Gospel book suffered a bit. On the way home from church she fell deeply asleep and I couldn't bear to wake her up when we got home, so I just stuck her carseat in her room and let her sleep. At 3:30 I noticed that she was still asleep, but I figured she would wake up in a few minutes. We took a nap (I love Sunday afternoon family naps!). At 5:00, I woke up with a start and realized my baby hadn't eaten for over five hours! It's not like it was the nighttime. During the day she usually eats 5-6 times plus some solids at dinner. I sent Adam to go check and make sure she was still breathing. Her eyes popped open when he went in there, and then she fell back asleep. I dragged myself out of bed (it was cold!) to go eat something myself and wake her up. By then she had woken up and was kicking around in her seat. Luckily, she still had a cardigan on and tights too, otherwise I think she would have been freezing.

Everything ended up just fine. I just fed her, she's about to eat cereal and bananas, and we all got naps. But it still seems wrong to go for so many hours without feeding a little baby!
She loved snuggling with her dad a few minutes ago. I think we need to consider turning the heater on. Or Adam needs to wear sweaters. :]

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fun day in Jersey

I had excellent luck today at JCPenneys. My sister got a dress there and my mom found an excellent find too during their current sale. I headed on over and sure enough, everything was 50% off until 1:00 pm. I found plenty of beautiful red dresses to try on and narrowed it down to four choices. Adam hung around the door and I showed him my choices. I couldn't decide between two of them and so bought them both with the intention of returning one or both if they ended up being unsuitable. One is a slinky one with rouching and straps, and the other is a halter that sure emphasizes my curves. They both have their pros and cons, and I will have to wear them with either something underneath or a jacket on top. I took some pictures to send to the bride, but I'm so unhappy with the angle, brightness, and how I look that I won't post them. I'm not sure if I'll choose either. I'm just not really happy with my size and shape right now, so it's hard to look at pictures of myself. I tried on another dress that didn't fit a few months ago and it fits now, so I know I've made progress since moving to PA, but it's hard to tell how much.

Anyway, we went to Jersey for the afternoon. Fun times! Adam and I left Katrina during her nap and took a little trip with his sister and brother-in-law to the nearby pumpkin patch. We each bought a little family of pumpkins and just had fun hanging out without the kids. We always love doing things with his sister and her husband. It makes us feel like we're actually young, fun people and not just parents!

Adam's family loves The Nightmare Before Christmas. I saw it for the first time last year in theaters in 3-D. We all watched it together and I had fun watching them all sing along the entire movie. The songs are running through my head now.

I mostly wanted to post some pictures from the day. Katrina was excellent all day, which almost made up for waking up last night at 10:30, 1:30, and 4:00. This better just be a growth spurt. Unfortunately she's been waking up lately a lot more than before. Usually it's just once at 10:30 or 11:00, but last night was particularly bad. She actually woke up a half an hour ago, like clockwork, but we decided to be hard-nosed and let her cry. It only worked because she wasn't hysterical, but she quieted back down after a few minutes. We'll see if she wakes up again. If it happens again, she'll likely be too upset to ignore. Plus, I don't know how much the neighbors can hear, but I don't want to bother them.
Hanging out with Grandma.

Seeing bubbles for the first time.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Routan Baby

Have you seen those Brooke Shields commercials for the VW minivan? You can make a Routan virtual baby on the VW website. This is our virtual baby. Aren't you glad that our real baby turned out much cuter?

Remember, have a baby for love. Not for German engineering.


Katrina popped up with her first tooth. It was a cause for both celebration and mourning. Her big toothless smile was so cute! What if she is never as cute again?!

She's already bitten me once. It wasn't very hard, but I kind of froze. Do I flick her? Do I pull her forward so she can't breathe and unlatches? I ended up just saying "ow" and while I was debating, she unlatched and grinned at me. She bites me all the time with her gums and just grins when I show any sign of pain, so I think I'm in trouble.

I also have bruises from her on my right arm. As I write this she is pushing as hard as she can with her foot into my upper arm while nursing. I have no idea why she does this. Maybe she doesn't like me being on the laptop? If I try to restrain her feet she'll get mad. She definitely pays more attention to what I'm doing while nursing her than she used to. I can't eat or she'll stare up at me and grab at the food or drink. If I watch tv she turns and watches too. If I talk on the phone she stares at it and tries to grab it too. She also likes to put her arm behind her and bang on the computer keyboard. It reminds me of that commercial where the guy reaches a long arm behind him and plays with someone's iPhone or something in the booth behind him.

Katrina also likes to bang on the piano keyboard. I can't play piano with her on my lap at Primary anymore or she'll interrupt the song with her own banging. She is also fascinated with all of the knobs and buttons on my keyboard. Hey, maybe she'll be a musical prodigy!

So tonight I am going to JCPenney to look for red dresses. My sister found one there that she really likes and I found one online that I'm tempted to get. Adam's mom and I came up with a design that she's willing to make for me as well. She's a really good seamstress and has the ability to make wedding dresses even (she did my alterations, actually), so I have a really great resource there. I also bought Katrina a fun red dress for a few dollars on eBay and some silver shoes as well. So fun!

Anyone have any good ideas about how to make a baby learn to roll over and crawl? Katrina has completely lost any interest in rolling over from her back and hasn't done it for weeks. I put toys just out of her reach and she ignores them or gives up after a few tries. I stand behind her head so she'll look at me until she gets bored and goes back to playing with her feet. I put her on her belly and she immediately rolls onto her back, but if I try to hold her there she gets mad. She's getting a flat spot on her skull, so I'm trying to get her more interested in other kinds of movement. I also try to get her to sit up by herself but she's not very interested. My solution there has been to sit on the floor, have her sit between my outstretched legs, and put her toys in front of her. She'll play that way for awhile, and I just have to brace her. But today especially she's grown really impatient when I do that. All she wants to do is stand or lay on the floor and play with her feet! Oh, and she likes to hit me really hard repeatedly and pull on my hair. I'm finishing up this post with her yanking on my hair with both hands like I'm a marionette. At least she's having fun, right? Ouch. Okay, gotta go save her from eating my hair.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A bit exposed

I haven't had any patio doors for the last three hours. The grounds crew is working today and without doors it's extremely loud and a bit grassy and leafy. The breeze is nice, but the bugs aren't. We're in a ground floor apartment, so I don't feel comfortable leaving the living room on the slight chance that someone will steal something. Katrina can't sleep because it's so incredibly loud, and I'm getting a bit tired of the wait. I think the workers went on lunch break or something. It will be nice to have newer patio doors, but at this point I just want a little less exposure!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I've been tagged

This is a fun little photo tag from Katie at Parental Supervision. The rule is that you pick the fourth photo from the fourth file in your pictures and tell the story. Then you tag four people. Here is my photo:

This is from my three-month Study Abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia two years ago. The sign on the wall says: "Attention! During an airstrike this side of the street is more dangerous!" The plaque underneath says: "In memory of the heroism and courage of the Leningradians during the 900-day blockade of the city, this inscription was preserved."

First of all, I am impressed that I was able to read and translate that after not studying Russian for two years! Second, I think that is a kind of funny sign. Of course, the 900-day seige of St. Petersburg was definitely not amusing, but the sign is a bit quirky.

Good memories! I got to look at a lot of my pictures from Russia. Here's a really funny one:
The plaque says something like, "In memory of the female parachuter who fell here." Don't take it too seriously. Just look at the tree closely and you'll get it. :]

If you want to be tagged, do it! But for my four offical tags, I tag Natasha, Jolena, Elise, and Shalyse. Oh, and Adam. I tag my husband Adam.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Junior Primary Wisdom and Senior Primary Chaos

I don't have much in the way of Junior Primary Wisdom today. I guess they just haven't been as funny lately. But here we go:

Teacher: "Does anyone know what month it is?"
Child: "July."

Teacher: "On Sundays we don't labor. What does that mean?"
Child: "Laborhead." (What the heck?)

Teacher: "Have you seen the scripture videos?"
Kid: "No."
T: "Could you watch those?"
K: "No."
T: "Could you look at pictures from the scriptures?"
K: "No." (Seriously, kid, you're being rather uncooperative.)

Teacher: "What else can we do on Sundays?"
Girl: "We can go and get food if we run out."
Teacher: "Well, no, shopping is one of the things we don't do on the Sabbath."

Teacher: "What are some quiet games you could play with your brothers and sisters?"
Kid: "Duck duck goose!"
Kid 2: "Candyland."
Kid 3: "Tag!"
Kid 4: "Wii!" (Hmm.)

Anyway, that was all. It's enough for a little chuckle, at least!

Senior primary was another matter. Between junior and senior primary I was playing the piano and all the teachers and presidency had somehow vanished. Two kids were throwing paper balls at each other and I asked them to stop. They didn't, and I almost let it go, but I really felt like they should be reverent and have some respect for my authority, so I stopped playing, went and asked them again, and requested that they think about how to keep the Sabbath day holy because that was what our lesson was about. That worked.

Later on during sharing time, I had Katrina and was in the back. The older class doesn't have a teacher right now and they were wild in the back. Two boys were wrestling and causing a disturbance in the back and I really felt like I should do something even though every other leader was ignoring it (I hate how unruly everyone lets the older class act). I tried to separate them, but then they shoved past me forcefully to throw something in the trash can, and then again on their way back. I was holding a baby and it was really inappropriate. I only knew the name of one of them, so I grabbed him, held on tight, and made him look me in the eyes while talking calmly. I told him that I noticed he was having a hard time concentrating today, and that he needed to concentrate on the lesson. I was treated to a lot of "But he did this, but he was doing this!" I calmed him down, told him I would look for his pencap in the garbage, and directed him to sit back down, but not by the other boy. He ignored that part, but at least he was paying attention. When the other boy went to the back of the room to get interviewed for something, I told him that he was going to help me look in the trashcan for the other boy's pencap. "But he was spitting at me through it!" I really tried to emphasize to both boys that they are responsible for their own actions and reactions, but seeing that most people in the world don't understand that concept, it's no wonder that these 10-11 year old boys don't either. Together we found the other boy's pencap (yay, fishing through the garbage). I really felt good about the whole thing and how calm I had remained even though I had been ignored, talked back to, and worst of all, shoved repeatedly. But there was still one thing missing. In the Doctrine and Covenants it says we should show for an increase of love after disciplining someone. I have no relationship with these boys other than as their pianist. I don't want to be some mean lady who makes them do things. After primary I went to the boy that I had had to talk to twice, once for the paper balls and once for shoving me and fighting. I thanked him for being reverent for the rest of primary and said I was sorry I had had to talk to him. I'm not sure he paid much attention to it, but it made me feel good.

This may not be a big thing to anyone else, but it is to me. After all, I have virtually no experience with little kids, and I don't think I've ever successfully disciplined a child. (Normal scenario is: "Hey you, don't do that!" and then the kids ignores me). It gives me hope that I won't be an awful mother! I hope that I can keep the Spirit with me as I discipline my children and that I can teach them how to make good choices. Oh, and here's the kind of funny part: I finally found out the other boy's name--and they are brothers! Everything makes more sense.

One last unrelated note: Today Adam was calling Katrina's name and she would look at him each time. We thought, hooray, she knows her name! Then instead of her name, he called, "Flubbernutter!" And she looked. She gave the exact same reaction. So I guess she may not really recognize her name yet.

Temple site

Notice the sister missionary taking pictures too?
It is currently a parking lot across the street from the Philadelphia Inquirer building and down the street from a Roman Catholic school and a Jewish synagogue.
These were all snapped on my camera phone.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Two lists

Yesterday I looked at my pregnancy journal to find out something and ended up reading the whole thing. It brought back some pretty vivid memories: running out of Sacrament mtg to throw up, the day we walked home from the doctor and it took an hour, writing papers and music compositions while in labor... I came up with two lists:

Things I can do now that I couldn't while pregnant:
-Go several hours without eating
-Go several hours without peeing
-Get hungry without getting nauseated
-Walk faster than 1 mph without getting leg cramps or abdominal cramps
-Roll over in bed
-Sit through church without getting lightheaded
-Stand for awhile without getting lightheaded
-Walking without worrying about whether I'm waddling
-Not hear my heartbeat constantly because my heart is beating so fast and hard all the time
-Cuddle on the same couch as Adam
-Take showers without getting lightheaded (sensing a theme?), or throwing up
-Tie my shoes easily
-Stay on my feet and not getting swollen ankles
-Wear whatever shoes I want
-Wear my wedding ring (sometimes. This is still a work in progress)
-Do situps (kind of)
-Do any kind of movement without having to mentally prepare for it first or take several tries
-Fit into the same clothes from week to week
-Walk up and down stairs without dreading the crunch of the baby's head into my pelvis

Things I miss about being pregnant
-My hair never fell out, so I wasn't always picking hair off of everything
-My taut abdomen
-Strong fingernails
-However I looked or felt, I had an excuse--irritable, fat, frumpy, tired
-My excellent calf muscles
-Being able to leave the house with Adam whenever I wanted, not just before Katrina's 8 pm bedtime
-Being completely selfish and not feeling guilty!
-The sense of empowerment because I was working, going to school full-time, working at the temple, and pregnant, all at the same time
-Pants without zippers or buttons
-Being able to lay on the couch with my feet up and have Adam get everything for me (he still gets things for me, but I'm sitting and nursing, not relaxing)

That's a pretty comprehensive list, but I'm sure I could think of more. It's so easy to forget what pregnancy is really like with the baby to take care of. It's been long enough that I don't marvel whenever I walk because it's so easy! But I was also surprised at how many things I miss about it too.

We took some pictures of the baby last night that should have been way cute but weren't. In one her drool is hanging wildly and in the other my underclothes are showing obviously. So no pictures. But thanks to everyone for their comments on my previous post about which formal dress to get. If you haven't looked at them yet, please do and let me know what you think!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Still here, still sick

Last night at 1:30, I was still awake. We had gone to bed two hours before, but for some reason, my brain would not turn off. I looked over at the clock, and decided to fall asleep. Then I did. Why didn't this work before then? Ahhh! Katrina woke up at 6:30, so I was exhausted. After she ate, I put her back in her crib and we slept until 10. But still. How is my cold going to go away? The other night we woke her up when we checked on her and spent the next hour and a half trying to get her to sleep. That was another 1:00 bedtime. Maybe we shouldn't poke her and try to adjust her blankets when we check on her at night. :]

Anyway, other than that, life is pretty fun right now. I am helping someone with wedding plans. (She hasn't announced it to the general public, so I won't either). I have discovered that I have magical skills on the internet. She sent me links to dresses she likes but are a little too expensive, and I sent her back links to those same dresses cheaper. She also has given me some other assignments and I have been able to find some pretty good deals. I have also been looking for a bridesmaid (bridesmatron?) dress for myself. I haven't looked for a formal dress for years. There are actually a lot of options for modest dresses, but they are mostly out of my price range. My biggest quandary is that I don't know what styles would look good on me. I need to go out shopping and try things on. I'm still a size larger than before I was pregnant, which is depressing, but oh well. I have found several options online so far that are either modest or could be easily made so with a jacket and some fabric from the hem.

What do you all think?

Dress 1 -sleeveless chiffon

Dress 2- halter

Dress 3- ruffles in skirt

Dress 4- criss-cross bodice

They have all received a "ooo, that's pretty" from the bride. I am waiting for the other bridesmaid to go out shopping to really decide what style to go with. If she ends up going with something satin-y and shiny, then I will likely do so too. That way we will be the same level of formalness. Also, I want to go out shopping myself and see if there's anything I like in person. Buying something off the internet is scary because it might not fit or be the right color. I bought my wedding dress off the internet, from eBay, actually. That ended up being the best eBay purchase I've ever made!

I just put Katrina's socks on five minutes ago and they are already off. Stubborn girly. Her toes are going to freeze.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not enough sleep x too many nights = sick

First of all, look at these mad sippy cup skills. Isn't she awesome! Yes, she still requires coaching and is as likely to suck on the handle as the spout, but I'm pretty proud of my little girlie.
This is Katrina, being the cutest baby ever. I decided to go to Acme today, even though I didn't have the stroller and my baby wrap was in the car (with Adam). It was pretty chilly, so I got to put her in a jacket for the first time. So cute! She doesn't weigh much, but my back still got sore super quickly. Of course, I have a really weak back, but still. I also found out that she can now sit in the front of the shopping cart! This means that grocery trips no longer have to be a two-person affair with Adam pushing the stroller and me pushing the cart. Or with her carseat in the cart, taking up all the room. I think she was pretty fascinated with the whole experience. The exercise was good for me.

Anyway, I woke up in the middle of the night with an awful cold. It made me pretty miserable and I slept fitfully after that. Luckily, once I got up, I've been a little better. I haven't taken any medicine or anything. But my lymph nodes in my neck are really sore and I'm fairly congested. My whole neck is stiff, which often happens to me when I am sick. (Isn't that a symptom of meningitis? Don't worry, this is normal, I don't have meningitis). I hope I don't give this to Katrina or Adam. Adam has been getting a lot of migraines lately, which is how his body reacts to not getting enough sleep or eating well. He often doesn't eat anything except sometimes a bagel until he gets home and has dinner. And we've been really bad about going to bed before midnight. It was better when the baby was sleeping until 8 every morning, but she's pretty much settled into a 7 am wake-up schedule. If we are at all responsible, we will get our act together and start going to bed by 11.

Life's pretty slow this week. I have a project that I'm working on for Christmas, and that's about all. Pretty much every day I try to cook dinner and get one cleaning thing done. Today I scrubbed the bathroom tub. It would be nice if I could manage to cook dinner, keep the kitchen clean, and do one cleaning thing, but that's a little beyond me. Oh well. :]

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Mostly completed quiet books

Well, my quiet books are done except covers, which I'm not going to make until I figure out what they should look like. I think instead of covers, I might make little totes with handles, that way if any of the pieces fall out they won't get lost. I put all of the pictures into a Facebook album at this link. Even if you don't have a facebook profile you should be able to see the album from that link.

General Conference was nice today. We spent it at Adam's folks' home in Jersey. Mmm, his mom made a turkey dinner that we ate between sessions. It was yummers. I'd like to say that Katrina was wonderful but that would only be mostly true. She did wonderfully from 11:30 to 2:30 and then was a pill until 6:00, when we left. When we put her to bed at 8:00, I tried to convince Adam that we should go to bed too, but he didn't seem thrilled. So we stayed up and I drew animals for the Noah's Ark memory game. I'm particularly proud of that page because I thought up the idea completely by myself and it looks really cute.

Katrina is almost six months old. Crazy! It feels like her first four months dragged on interminably and now the time is flying by. I think that reflects more my state of mind that anything else! I love all the little things: when she lunges forward to pick up a toy, or when she grabs my nose and grins, or when she lifts up her arms a little when I go to pick her up, or when she sticks her little feet in the air and pulls her blanket over her head whenever I put her in the crib. She's the sweetest little baby in the whole world.

This is Adam as a baby. Can you see where Katrina's chin came from?

And I'll post this picture of me again. I think my daughter and I look a lot alike, don't you?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Temple in Philadelphia!

There's going to be a temple in Philadelphia! Ahhhhhh! We are so excited!!

For those of you who don't know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons. We build temples in which worthy members of the church can go to be sealed together not just until death do us part, but for time and all eternity. We also do proxy work for our ancestors so that they can have that same blessing of being with their families forever. That is why genealogy is so important to us and why I have been so excited about the Church's new family history site. We also get together for two weekends a year and listen to our church leaders teach us doctrine as a worldwide congregation. Adam and I hooked up our computer to the television and streamed the two General Conference sessions live today. Well, not quite live. We must have been behind by about three minutes. President Monson, our prophet and leader of our church, was describing a temple dedication recently in Panama. Suddenly, I got a text message. I opened it, and my sister said "Exciting! A temple in Philly!" Confused, I looked at it blankly, and then at the tv. Then I told Adam. We both did the same thing, looking at the tv to confirm that yes, President Monson was still talking about Panama. Then the phone rang, and it was Adam's dad. We quickly were riveted to the tv to hear the actual announcement. Sure enough, he announced five new temples: Calgary, Alberta, Cordoba, Argentina, the Greater Kansas City, Missouri area, Philadelphia, and Rome. Here's a map of all of the temples in the world.

Okay, so there are three big reasons for us to celebrate from this. One, an LDS temple in Rome is just remarkable. I thought everyone there was Catholic! The whole congregation in the Conference Center in Salt Lake kind of gasped, and President Monson just grinned. I remember talking to a sister who went to Italy on her mission. They had been promised years before a temple if they were faithful, but it's hard because every building in Italy has to be accessible to both the government, and the Mafia! But they prayed and prayed, and it looks like their prayers have been answered!

The second thing is the Kansas City temple. We didn't realize this at first, but the greater Kansas City area includes Independence, Missouri. The early members of our church settled in Independence in the 1830's and dedicated a temple site, but were driven out by angry settlers, and later by an extermination order signed by the governor. After that, they went to Nauvoo, Illinois and later on Utah. I don't know where exactly the new temple will be, but isn't it cool that it's going to be so near to Independence?

And finally, a temple in Philly! We think that there's a good chance it will be built really near us. The Church usually buys the land before announcing a temple, and they own land in Valley Forge, just ten minutes or so away. We're really hoping that will be the spot. Even if it's not, a temple anywhere in Philadelphia will be closer than the Washington D.C. temple or the Manhattan temple. Also, we think it will be a smaller temple design because the Church out here doesn't have the membership to support a large temple. Adam checked online and saw that small temples average 18-24 months from announcement to completion. Two years! That's all! We are so excited that it's been tough to concentrate on the rest of Conference today, which is a shame, because it was really good! Adam is already planning on being a temple worker, which I fully support. It's funny, because he has joked several times that his time as a temple worker in Provo was in preparation for when a temple would be built in Philadelphia. We didn't actually think it would be though. It will be so easy to go. Instead of marathon all-day trips a few Saturdays a year, we'll be able to go whenever. For the temple trip that we're planning next month, we're going with Adam's family and switching off watching the children. Childcare will be so much easier when it's only for a few hours!

So Adam is off watching the Priesthood session and I'm here at home, eating half a hoagie and enjoying the silence coming from the baby monitor. Katrina wasn't too bad today, but tomorrow will be tricky because we're going to Adam's family's house to watch Conference. Hopefully she's a happy girlie. We put her in her jumperoo a lot lately because she doesn't have breathing problems while in it, so we kept having to turn the volume up because she was having so much fun jumping :]

Friday, October 3, 2008


I was invited to join "Park Group," which is a bunch of women in the ward at church who get together once a week with their kids at different parks in the area. I even drove Adam to work today so that I could go. But it took a long time to get home, and I still needed to get dressed, eat, and so on. So it is 10:10 and I am missing park group, which started at 10:00. I feel bad for being lazy--I could have hurried and made it just fine. It would be really good for me to hang out with other mothers and their kids. But at least I have the car, so I can finally go to the post office to get my fabric markers, as well as stop by the library and maybe go shopping too. At least I'll be getting out of the house today!

Good news of the day: I am 1.5 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight! The scale is showing me the lowest numbers in a year. This is in spite of me doing really badly lately with my resolve to eat better. I'm not sure why the weight is finally creeping down. But seeing that beautiful number on the scale has reinvigorated me and I am going to keep trying. I think what's helping the most is that I have been cooking pretty much every night for the last week and half. I have been having real problems lately getting motivated to do that. Mixing together the original vitamin I was prescribed as well as the other meds seems to be the trick. I finally have some motivation during the day. I don't feel totally normal, but at least dinner gets cooked and some cleaning gets done. Also, I have been eating less late at night, which is probably the real reason I've lost a couple more pounds.

Bad news of the day (week): Katrina's breathing seems worse to me and is so worrisome. The past three nights she has woken up about three hours after being put in bed and I have to feed her. Wednesday night we couldn't get her to go to sleep and she woke up several times, including at 1:30 am, screaming. Her ear was folded in half, but that happens pretty often without her crying, so who knows the reason. Last night she only woke up at 11:00, but every time we peeked in, she was moving around. She also hasn't been napping very well in the last few days--each nap is only half an hour and she doesn't go to sleep easily. She doesn't seem to have any other symptoms of being sick. That's another reason that I'm glad I have the car today; if this is serious, I want to have flexibility. I know her sleep problems could come from teething, a growth spurt, or some other normal reason, but I still worry.

Speaking of her sleeping, I took this picture yesterday while she was napping. Can you believe she fell asleep this way? Whenever she's in her crib lately, she immediately sticks her feet straight up. Sometimes she does it in her carseat too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Breathing problems

I've been reading other people's blogs out there who have children with respiratory problems and it's heartwrenching. We have been so blessed that Katrina has been happy and healthy. But this problem with her trachea, while the doctor is not concerned, is no fun for the parents. It seems to have gotten a little worse today. I don't put her on her back for very long because it seems worse then. But unlike yesterday, today she breathes funny even while sitting and standing sometimes. I'm not sure what triggers it. Sometimes she can laugh or cry and be just fine, but other times her breathing is constricted. Luckily she's been fine when I put her down for naps and bedtime, otherwise I would worry more about her sleeping. Anyway, the doctor said not to worry. I took a little video of her that has her taking several of these weird breaths. I wanted documentation in case we need to go back to the doctor again, since when we took her yesterday she only did it once. At least she doesn't seem at all bothered. Plus, when we took her to the doctor yesterday her oxygen levels were at 100, which is the best. Also, she had a slight fever yesterday, so she could be coming down with a cold or something. The pediatrician did say it would get worse when she was sick.

Miscellaneous pictures and a video

The almost-completed quiet books.

Snapping pictures of Katrina at the end of her nap.
No flash so she won't blink.
Doesn't Adam look all rugged and studly in his camping attire?

The jumperoo video I mentioned in my last post.