Thursday, July 31, 2008

Future WNBA Star?

Will Kate be the female version of Yao Ming?

Kate was weighed and measured today. Conclusion = Kate is VERY tall and very skinny. Her height is still off the charts and shows no sign of coming down any time soon. Her weight is in the 50th percentile when taken by itself, but put together with her height, she's in the 10th percentile. I heard "She's really tall" at least eight times today and one "She's the tallest 18 month old I've ever seen!". I was really tall as a kid, too, but I've looked back at how tall I was at Kate's age (thanks to my mom for good record keeping) and I'm about three inches shy of where she is now. I am beginning to wonder if she will just be extremo tall or if this is a spurt that will eventually slow down. She's been growing this way since birth so we'll see what happens, I guess. Right now is a little strange, though, because everyone assumes she is much older than she is--so when she starts to babble to other kids instead of actually talking, I get some strange looks from other moms.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 more black feet.

(Not our feet, by the way.)
I mentioned in a previous post about having black feet due to the dirty tile in our apartment. But even after I scrubbed the tile our feet were still black. Our carpet in the living room was stained and nasty, but I didn't think it could be that, could it?? Today the BYU carpet cleaner guys came (they come three times a year) and cleaned our living room. It was SO stained, I really didn't think there was much hope. Surprise! It looks clean enough to eat off of (which is what the previous tenants must have done)! I can't believe the difference! I should have taken a before and after picture. Those cleaning machines are miracle workers! It feels like a completely new room. No more black feet for us!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My thoughts on Kate

Kate is 7 months old in this picture.

A few days ago I came across a complete stranger's blog (who is LDS), and in one sitting I read through six weeks of her blog. I started with the day her year old daughter drowned (click here to read the first entry about her daughter's accident). This woman expresses her innermost emotions so beautifully and has such gorgeous pictures to go along with her entries--tears were streaming down my face as I read. I encourage everyone to read her blog--whether you've lost someone or not, it has been inspiring for me to read of her strength and faith, and a good reminder to cherish every moment I have with Kate and loved ones.

We went to Payson Lakes this weekend with my sister's family; Kate had been unusually crabby the whole time. She has been very clingy to me lately, and it's been hard for me to do anything without her wanting me to hold her. I was worried how she'd sleep--worried she'd cry all night in the tent. But as soon as the flashlights were out and the other kids settled down, Kate curled up on me and fell right to sleep. I tried to put her on her own mattress, but she would just crawl right back onto me and snuggle in. I just held her tightly for a long time and thanked Heavenly Father for such a precious little girl. The next morning, she was the last to wake up. I put my hand on the side of her face to wake her gently, worried she was going to unleash some wrath when she awoke. But as soon as her little brown eyes opened, there were twinkles in them, her nose crinkled, and a smile unveiled itself with a thumb stuck in the middle. She draped her little arm around my shoulders as we laid there, and we just gazed at each other for several minutes. It felt like heaven.

Kate is quickly growing, and I must admit she is not a baby anymore (though I still call her "baby"). It's hard to imagine ever loving another child like I do her, but I'm sure it will happen. When I was younger I never thought that I would ever love children (wasn't a big fan). I even offered one of my friends (who LOVED any and all kids) my first born. I'm glad she never made me pay up.

Anyway, I'm just feeling sentimental lately. I love every stage that Kate's been in so far, but still am a little sad when she moves to the next one. She's such a sweet child, even when she's not being that sweet. I am grateful for Kate's clinginess now; I know it won't last, and in no time she'll be a teenager who greatly prefers my absence.

Every moment to me today has felt so precious. When I went to pick her up from nursery, her eyes lit up when she saw me, and she came running over with her arms outstretched...

I just can't think of a better sight than that.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kate's New Love

Andrew's family had a picnic yesterday to celebrate Pioneer Day and Andrew's mom's birthday! It was a lot of fun--especially because Andrew's mom, sister, and brother were there. Kate spent HOURS sitting on the swings--sometimes swinging...sometimes not. She would cry at any attempt to remove her from the swing. She's never been on a real swing before yesterday, and I don't think there's any going back to kiddie swings (which she's always hated). I felt bad when everyone was playing frisbee or volleyball and I would look over and Kate would just still be sitting there--all alone--on the swing. But she loved it--so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad. At one point one of her cousins was pushing her on the swings. I looked over and Kate was SOARING. Andrew and I ran over to slow her down, worried she'd let go and fall backwards. But before we slowed her down, I caught a glimpse of her face--she was beaming! She was having the time of her life before we slowed her way down to a gentle rocking. Poor kid.

I always knew I was a loser...

Well, today is the final day of the Biggest Loser competition! Sadly, I didn't lose any weight this week. But over the three month competition I lost 17 pounds. My goal was to lose 24 lbs in the 3 months, so I fell short. But who wouldn't be happy to be 17 pounds lighter? The BL competition was definitely motivating for me and I hope there is another one so that I can finish off the rest of the weight I have to lose (hopefully before Christmas!). Sorry, no before/after shots until I get closer to my goal weight!! Thanks for your support! My guess is I'll finish 7th overall, but I will let you know when I get the results. 7th out of 54 competitors isn't too bad!

UPDATE: I did finish 7th! I plan on doing the next Biggest Loser competition that starts in September!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Livening up bath time

Andrew decided to bust out an emergency light that was in our first aid kit so that Kate could play with it. She loved it so much we decided to let her play with it during her bath time. I think that was the funnest bath she's ever had. I was a little worried about letting her play with it because of a little mishap I had with a glow stick when I was a kid. I was at a rodeo and was chewing on a gummy green glow stick. Next thing I knew the glow stick ruptured and most of the glow spurted out onto the lady sitting next to me. Woops. She was really upset (obviously), so I tried not to smile since my glowing lips and teeth would have been hard to hide.

So suddenly (within the last week or two), Kate has been trying to say (and saying) lots of words. Here's a quick run down of words she can say (for those interested)--me, ball, again, all done, more, hot, amen, knee, up, down, Jesus, tree, banana, cheese, bye, ma (mommy--yay!), da (daddy--woohoo!), boat, and I think that's about it. I love to hear her little voice say actual words--so fun!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Family Reunion!

We went to Heber Valley Camp again this year. Last year was with Andrew's family, this year with mine! It was great to spend time with my family on the Heber Creeper, doing strange challenge course activities, eating, and lounging on the paddle boat. Kate did actually fall asleep on that thing. We only stayed one night but I came home EXHAUSTED.

My mom organized the whole thing and did a great job. She even put together a book of spiritual experiences (called the Legacy Book) that people in the family emailed to her. Maybe I'll post one of the ones I wrote up a little later. I just got my computer set up (new hard drive) and so everything of mine is still on the other computer. The book is so neat, though. I can't wait to read through them all.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The WHY of it all...

For those of you who really wanted to know what actually happened (the things I briefly mentioned a couple posts ago), I'm afraid the truth will seem incredibly boring after I got your minds going. But here it goes...

My feet have been BLACK on the bottom (not due to fires) because our tile floor was SO dirty (I mopped it, though, and now they're more of a grey).

Our smoke alarm apparently goes off every time the oven is just turned on...

I came home from the store the other day to find two maintenance men in my apartment. Andrew was in the office and had no idea anyone was even in the apartment--freaky. I hope they knock??

And some man just drove by Andrew's grandparents' house and saw our Saturn in the driveway and called us to see how much we wanted for it. We haven't called him back yet--we don't really want to sell it. We think we need two unreliable cars so that when one breaks (which they always do), then we can fix up the one that is least expensive to repair and use it for a while. And back and forth, and so on.

So there you have it. Next time just let your imaginations run wild and don't ask for the truth. It's always disappointing. :)

Pizza, pizza, and oh--how about some homemade (fattening) ice cream on the side?

This past week of moving has proven to be very bad for eating. I've eaten out a lot, I've had frozen pizzas, regular pizzas, and of course, the Rocky Road ice cream we made. Add to that the fact that I didn't do a single exercise routine (well, okay, besides the moving). I feel fatter (maybe just because I expected to be), but the scale says I lost 1.5 pounds! I'll take it!! I did work impossibly hard all week--lifting things I probably shouldn't have lifted, etc. But still, I didn't think I could lose 1.5 lbs eating all the stuff that I did.

The real trouble now is that I'm back in the habit of having some ice cream whenever I feel like it and not working out afterwards. Now that the hardest part of moving is over, I need to get back on the wagon!!

UPDATE: Oh no! I have to leave pretty soon for a family reunion in Heber and won't be back until tomorrow night. So I will not have the results back today. Sorry! The past two weeks I haven't even gotten the results until the following Monday. So, hopefully I will get them before then. :) Have a nice weekend!

UPDATE #2: I came in at #5 for the week and still #7 overall! This is the LAST week for BL4!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

For Cuteness' Sake

There's no real story behind these pictures other than Kate is super cute. :) Kate uses the rungs on the bunk bed as monkey bars to swing on, and in the last two pictures we were singing about the monkeys being eaten by the alligator (as a subtle warning to Kate to not emulate monkeys too much).

I'm much too tired to go into why my feet are BLACK, why I found two strange men in my apartment this afternoon, why the smoke alarm went off tonight, why the handle to the oven just popped right off when I tried to open the oven door (I guess the "why" to that one is pretty obvious--it's broken), and why some random man wants to buy our car. It's just too late for that sort of thing. So just enjoy Kate's cuteness.

Monday, July 14, 2008

We're in!! Sort of...

Kate dancing with the dolly. Below pic is the view from our living room.
Phew! What a week/weekend! We just moved from the nicest ward ever. I don't even know how many men from the elder's quorum showed up to help us move! There were TONS! And I guess some high priests came, too. Not to mention a bunch of deacons and one kid that was in our sunbeam class two years ago. He's going into third grade but seriously looks like he could be 14--not joking! He asked if he could ride over with us to Wymount (everybody that helped load the truck went to Wymount to UNLOAD--how nice!!), then adding, "I mean, we haven't talked in two years!" That made me laugh. He rode over in the truck with Andrew.

Andrew joked with me that as soon as we got moved out the entire ward would be translated. I responded--"Ah ha! Maybe that's why so many people came out to help!"

Anyway, the whole "move" only took 2.5 hours! That has to be some kind of record. Granted, I had already moved tons of stuff during the week--but still. We were so grateful to have so much help. Thanks to everyone that came to help! You are all life savers! And especially Andrew's saintly grandma! She not only helped me move A LOT of stuff during the week, she also cooked for us almost every night and tended Kate.

Now that we're here, there is a lot to do. I still need to clean up our old apartment. Have I mentioned that I hate moving?

Anyway, my review of the place so far is very favorable! Neighbors helped us unload during the week and offered us dinner. The kitchen and bathroom are as small as everybody said, but everything else feels pretty roomy. I think we'll have plenty of (or at least enough) room for all our stuff. Nobody's been in our business yet, but I can see how that could happen. With no AC and open windows I've heard a lot of random conversations.

Kate has had sort of a rough adjustment, though. At first she kept going to the front door and waving bye-bye, like, "Okay. I'm ready to go back home now." I think she's starting to come around now, though.

Andrew and I have never been great at doing FHE every Monday night, but living here totally makes me want to do it every week. I don't really know why exactly--there's something in the air here--or the water. Tonight we're going to make some homemade ice cream for the treat! We got the maker for our wedding from my MTC companion and I've never felt brave enough to try it. When I found it again in the move, Andrew got really excited about it. How fun!

Friday, July 11, 2008

1/2 pound, 1/2 pound, 1/2 pound!

Well, it seems I can only lose a 1/2 pound a week these days! Things are crazy here, but hopefully I will get the results updated today. :)

UPDATE: I came in at #13 for the week and still #7 overall. :) I will update the blog later--I'm using a computer at the Wymount computer lab. The move went well--details later.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wymount here we come!

(This picture is just from the internet, not our actual building or anything. You'll get real pics later.)

Well, tomorrow (Wed) at 10 AM I can finally pick up the keys to our new apartment. We haven't even seen the inside of this thing yet! Andrew peeked in the windows this afternoon, though. When I asked him what it looked like, his response was, "Small." We wouldn't mind small so much if we didn't have so much darn stuff! I really hope we can fit it all in and still be able to turn around. Andrew is super busy this week with school, so I've been boxing stuff up and loading it into our car, Andrew's grandparents' car, and a trailer that they have. I'm going to take a bunch of stuff over tomorrow with Andrew's grandma (she's so nice!) and hopefully every day until Saturday when we'll have a moving truck and the elder's quorum to help.

I don't know about you guys, but every move is really exciting to me. Every time, I feel sad that we're leaving wherever it is (except for our apartment in Houston--with rats in the walls and scary men lurking about), but always hopeful about the new experiences waiting. Since Andrew and I have been married (five years), we have moved SEVEN times. Ugh. I realized tonight that in some strange way moving makes me feel like we're getting married all over again. It's a new start every time and that's fun. I'm also hoping that Kate will find some friends her age there--that would be great. She's going to be sad not seeing Grandma and Grandpa almost every day; she really loves being around them.

Last night, I stayed up late reading reviews of Wymount. Ha! There were some funny ones and some really bitter ones. The summary goes about like this-- the kitchen and bathroom are insanely small, the walls are thin, the toilets sometimes run (and maintenace sometimes gets to it), the wards are loud (due to the gazillion kids), the lawn mowing people come VERY early, people are all up in your business (especially if you have a cat--which is against the rules), no AC, and no dishwasher, but it's within biking distance of school, it's clean, the people are some of the friendliest anywhere, and if you just have a good attitude about it then it's a great place to live! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Things to Remember

Yesterday at church, a random lady told me I needed to write something about Kate in her baby book. I remembered that I haven't worked on her baby book in a long time...So. There are a couple of things I wanted to write on the blog so that I can remember to write in her baby book when I ever get to it.

Every week in Sacrament Meeting, Kate will "sing" along with the hymns. She will sit there and belt out "Star Spangled Banner" like you've never heard! She raises her voice and makes her "words" go along the tune of the song. Yesterday she did it for an entire song. She's really quite loud about it, and I worried that she was disturbing the older couple next to us, but the lady sitting next to Kate thought it was the cutest thing ever. I found this old video of when she was just 2 months old--she would do the same thing, but infant style. She would only make these types of noises when there was music, so we always thought she was trying to sing along. Now that she's older, though, she sometimes gets irritated at me when I sing to her. I know I don't have a glorious singing voice or anything, but she kind of acts like a teenager when I start singing. She'll yell and smack her head like she just can't even handle it. But whenever I sing "I Am a Child of God," she calms right down. She doesn't usually try to sing along, she just gets really still and stares at me. It is so sweet.
One more thing--
Every day at nap time and bed time, Kate lays down in the living room on a pillow with a blanket and has a bottle of milk. When she's done she stands up, walks over and hands her empty bottle to me. I then pick up her blanket and follow behind her as she patters into her room and stands by her crib. I pick her up, hug her, and put her in the crib with her blanket. I say "good night" and that's it. It's the easiest thing I've ever heard of! Even as I'm hugging her sometimes she'll lean way back towards the crib trying to get me to put her down. It's never been a struggle to get her to sleep (after the first few weeks) and I am so thankful for that!

Biggest Loser Ranking Update

This just in! I didn't get the rankings until just now--I didn't forget about you! I was ranked #12 for the week and fell to #7 overall. Oh no! We are moving this week so I'm not sure how much working out I will be able to get in--ahhh!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Pit and the Pendulum

Last night when Kate and I got home from dinner at Andrew's grandparents' cabin, I found Andrew sitting on his bed engrossed in an Edgar Allan Poe story. He hadn't gone with us to dinner because he'd been working on his computer program all day. The past few days when he takes a break--rather than turning on the TV or surfing the web, he has reached for Poe instead. We have a book of Poe's short stories and last night Andrew was on "The Pit and the Pendulum." Andrew was really into it, so I got Kate ready for bed while he read (sorry about the rhyme).

I was reminded of one of the first things that drew me to Andrew in the first place. On the first full day in the MTC, Andrew and I were paired up to "get to know you." He told me how he loved classic literature (he was even thinking of being an English major at that time) and had just finished reading Dracula with his grandmother (don't worry--he doesn't just read goth tales). I knew we would be friends at that point. I was impressed that a boy would read classic literature--I know it happens, but I surely had not dated or known any boys that read. One guy that I dated said the only book he'd ever made it all the way through was a Seinfeld comedy book. I knew we were doomed.

As Andrew returned to his program, he encouraged me to read the short story. I don't know what's been going on with me lately, but I have not been in the mood to read! The last book I read (about 6 months ago) was Animal Farm and 1984 just before that. I am currently half way through Brave New World. I start books and then let them go unread for months. It's been very unlike me, so I took his challenge.

Wow! I love classic literature. Poe tells a mighty fine horror story. I decided it would be fun for a Halloween tradition to read one Poe story or poem. Our kids can learn words like surcingle (that was one I had to look up last night). Anyway, if you haven't read this story--do! (Click here to read it online.) It's horrifying, but by far one of Poe's most hopeful stories. It was fun to discuss it with Andrew when I was done. We're not going to hook up our TV at our new apartment (Wymount), so I am going to start reading again. Maybe I should just read short stories for a while--so I can still do other things. Reading, for me, is far more consuming than watching TV. If I get really into a book there's no stopping me until I'm done! That means cleaning, feeding the family, etc. goes by the wayside... Maybe that is why I stopped reading.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July FUN!

Sorry these pictures are not the best...the one of me and Kate was completely black, but I managed to get some picture out of it in Photoshop.

I think this was our 4th annual Park City Fourth of July. It was really fun! We looked at all the galleries, ate an amazing dinner, and then watched the AWESOME fireworks.

Here are some highlights:

--I suggested we get some ice cream to share--I figured that's what you should do on a holiday with a little kid, right? Well, Kate refused to touch it! I was able to stick a little in her mouth and she seemed to like it, but still wouldn't have any more. I didn't want to eat it all by myself, so I finally let Kate just hold the cup of ice cream. That thrilled her and she started sticking her finger in for a taste. Eventually, she realized her folly in turning it down earlier. It's not like I want her to get hooked on ice cream or something--but it's the fourth of July for heaven's sake!

--At one point, Kate was freaking out in one of the galleries, so I took Kate out and walked a ways to the bathroom while Andrew stayed behind. On the way back, I suddenly found myself right behind a group of young men in wife beaters (white tank tops for those unfamiliar with the term) that were yelling and swearing at each other. I was the only one near them and slowed my step way down. They were threatening each other, etc. and I stopped walking. One of the calmer ones put his arm out towards me and said, "I don't think you want to come through here." I didn't think I did, either. I quickly moved myself and the stroller into the street. As soon as I did, there were two guys slugging it out on the sidewalk. They were on the ground before anyone could drag them off each other. Doo da doo...I passed them by carefully but quickly. Phew! I'd never seen the gangster type in Park City before.

--Kate hated the fireworks and tried to run when they started. We always sit as close to the protective fence as we can--that's the only way! I think Kate would have liked it from a distance, but it's so much better up close! It feels like you're inside the fireworks. She settled down after a little while and almost fell asleep on Andrew.

--We got an amazing parking space that we RAN to as soon as the fireworks were over. Andrew had figured out a back way to go to avoid the huge traffic jam afterwards. We were on the highway in 17 minutes!! That has got to be a record!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Better than I expected

I only lost 1/2 a pound this week, but considering I felt sick for most of the week and didn't work out every day, I am content with that. I did start to feel better after the first couple days, but the last couple days I have been sick again. I can't wait until I'm done with these antibiotics! I need to get some motivation back for the final three weeks!

Hope you all have a great 4th of July!! We'll be following our tradition of going to Park City to check out the photography galleries, eat dinner, then watch the awesome fireworks. We're looking forward to it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Home Again!

Giving Daddy a kiss

Yay! Andrew made it home Saturday night, and we are so glad to have him back! He had a wonderful time on his trip with some awesome photos to show for it. Kate was overjoyed to see Daddy again. She's been giving him hugs and kisses constantly for the past couple of days. He was very happy to see her, too!