Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I thought I had lost my CD until yesterday when I found it crammed in the glove box. I immediately inserted it into the car player and was transported back to Europe.
I remember vividly listening to the beautiful strains of "The Rocking Carol" as our bus meandered through the streets of Oxford.
Joseph, dearest, Joseph mine.
Help me cradle the child divine.
We will rock you, rock you, rock you.
Jesus, Jesus, do not fear,
Those who love you will be near.
Later that evening, we went to King's College (pictured below) and listened to the famous boy's choir perform at Evensong (evening Catholic worship service) by candlelight. It was a beautiful and aesthetic experience.One of my favorite memories of Christmastime in London was when I attended a choir concert at St. Martin-in-the-Field (pictured below). This concert was held in the evening by candlelight and was absolutely amazing! The soft glow and flicker of the candles danced and reflected off of the antique walls and ceilings. The voices from the choir filled the room and its tones were impeccable. It was almost magical to be in that setting and to have nearly all of my senses awakened.
It seemed like Christmas in Europe was much more about the music, the community, tradition and less focused on gifts and commercialism. Maybe I was just blinded because of the difference in culture.
Even the Mormon church parties were different. I attended the London Stake Christmas concert in which a professional opera singer was hired to perform an aria from "Handel's Messiah." Holy awesome!
Speaking of "The Messiah" I just remembered attending a performance in London shortly before Christmas. All of the performers, including the orchestra, were dressed in traditional Baroque costumes. The sounds were so impressive and incomparable!
I had the the opportunity to spend the weekend in Germany with two of my flatmates. One of them had been an exchange student in Germany during high school and we flew from London to Frankfurt to spend the weekend with them. We attended their ward Christmas party and it was so neat to sing Christmas carols in German and, once again, listen to professional performers. Later that night, our German host mom sang us carols in German in her home over delicious cakes and desserts.
I'm so grateful I was able to experience Christmastime in another culture. One other thing I loved about London--caramel roasted nuts from street vendors. You could literally smell them all the way down the street and they were so warm and tasty on a cold day.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Santa: How old are you James?
Santa: How OLD are you James?
Santa: What do you want for Christmas?
James: Pausing for quite a while finally says, "Mmmm, rocks."
At this point I busted up laughing and Santa looked like he was thinking, "Okay."
Finally, Santa says, "What kind of rocks?"
James: Um, big rocks.
I was laughing so hard. All I could think was that the employees must think my kid is deprived because the most exciting thing he could come up with was rocks. I still don't know where he came up with that because I have never told him that if he's naughty that Santa will bring him rocks/coal. He's a funny kid.
This is James at the Old Idaho Penitentiary. I helped organize an outing for the foreign exchange students in the Boise and Idaho Falls areas. By the way, little kids don't like creepy old jails. In fact, it really freaks them out. James still talks about it. He would cry and say, "Mommy, don't go in there. I don't want to go in there." I must say, I was little creeped out myself. Especially since it was featured on the travel channel as one the most haunted places in America. Note to self, don't do that again. Although, I have to say, it was a learning experience for him. He now somewhat understands what it means when we talk about jail. Not that we talk about it a lot.
This picture was taken at an International Holiday Celebration at Boise State. We joined hands with everyone in the room and did a traditional Native American dance. I think James thinks his parents are officially crazy now. He didn't know what to think about the dancing with the wild shouting and yelling but I think he had fun.
This is a picture of the first snowfall of the season. James shoveled our entire driveway and walk all by himself. It was awesome! He did a great job, too. And he's only three!
Here are some pics of Ruby while she was in the hospital. They were taken with my phone so they aren't very good. The first picture of James and Ruby is really sweet. James missed Ruby a lot and worried about her a lot too. He wasn't allowed in the hospital due to the Swine Flu epidemic (no one under 14 allowed) and so he didn't get to see her for about a week. We finally just brought him in because we were the only ones in pediatrics. They were so excited to see each other. They just stood and looked at each other and laughed and laughed. It was so cute. It was the happiest I had seen Ruby in a long time. She looked so cute in her little hospital gown--poor little baby.
The last picture was taken right after her first surgery. She doesn't have any clothes on because she was burning up with a 103-104 temperature.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Some shows I am really enjoying this season are, in no particular order:
1. Modern Family on ABC Wednesday nights. Funny and original.
2. The Office, of course, but doesn't seem as funny this season.
3. Community. I enjoy this one a lot.
4. Parks and Rec. This show has really redeemed itself this season. Much, much better this year.
5. 30 Rock. Love Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.
7. Biggest Loser
9. I never thought I would say this but I actually enjoy tuning in to the Jay Leno show now and then.
10. House Hunters International
11. Psych. I'm excited for the new season to start in January!
As for James, he's really into Bob the Builder these days. He goes around the house all day singing, "Bob the Builder can we fix it? Bob the Builder! Yes we can! Working together to get the job done." I personally find the show extrememly boring. At least The Wiggles were somewhat entertaining.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
"James, please don't pick your nose and eat it. It's so gross and disgusting."
"No, I'm a squirrel."
"Squirrels don't eat their boogers."
"I'm a squirrel pretending to eat acorns."
I wanted to laugh and puke at the same time. So gross!
By the way, all of my posts have been 'naked' lately as my USB cable is on the fritz and I'm too lazy and poor to buy a new one.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Adam was able to focus almost solely on school. Because of that, he was able to take more classes and will now graduate slightly earlier than expected.
When Ruby was in the hospital, Adam was able to take care of James most of the time and he was able to come and relieve me at the hospital.
We learned to rely on the Lord for nearly everything. It is a miracle to us that somehow we have managed to pay all of our bills every single month without going into debt or having to borrow money from our parents. We also never had to apply for food stamps or other assistance (other than medical) which we are grateful for. I'm very thankful to know that assistance is there if it came down to it but fortunately we were able to get by without it.
We have learned to go without even if it was something that we really needed at the time. Is it an absolute necessity or can it be put off for a few more months? I'm thankful that (hopefully) I've learned the value of money.
We have learned from some mistakes. A few years ago, we bought a car that we immediately regretted purchasing. We have prayed and prayed that we would be able to sell it but we haven't. I know the Lord understands that we have learned our lesson but that doesn't mean He's going to instantly make the problem go away. He's definitely helped us make the payments but it would have been easier if we could have sold the car or, even better, never purchased it to begin with.
The blessings of tithing are real. I'm so thankful for this divine commandment. The Lord gives us so much more in return. We are indebted to him for all that we have and all that we are. He wants to bless us and He wants us to be happy.
James: How did he help him?
Me: He gave him some water and took him to the hospital.
James: How did he take him to the hospital?
Me: On his donkey.
At this point he starts laughing hysterically and shaking his head. He finally held his hand up and while still laughing said, "I guess I just don't understand."
Me: What don't you understand.
James: (Still laughing hysterically and keep in mind he is only 3) A donkey can't hold two men it can only hold one man. And then he laughed and laughed like it was the funniest thing he had ever heard.
After Adam got home that night, I was telling him about it and I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face. I love that kid. He is so stinkin' smart and cute.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
We waited at the hospital for the results so she could go directly in to surgery without having to do another IV. The doctor finally called and confirmed that it was a pus pocket and they were preparing for surgery right away.
I was so disappointed and upset. I was worried about Ruby and I was mad about our trip. Why did this have to happen now? It was 4:00pm and we were supposed to be on a flight at 7:45 in the morning. Adam's parents met us at the hospital and we started talking about our trip. To me, going was not really an option anymore. I couldn't get a hold of anyone at EF to see if we could fly out a day later but I couldn't reach anyone. The doctor had told us several times that it would be alright if we went, that this procedure was not exactly routine but that he had seen it enough times to know that she would only be in the hospital for 1-2 nights. Adam still wanted to go. Adam's parents still wanted us to go, saying that they would take care of Ruby and everything would be alright. I was not so sure. Adam went home to pack and I stayed and waited for her to wake up from surgery.
I was up all night with Ruby. I literally had not slept all night. Adam's parents came to the hospital at 5am--one was staying with Ruby and one was taking me home to get my luggage. It was so hard leaving Ruby, curled up on the big hospital bed, burning up with fever. I tried not to cry. I didn't want to disappoint Adam. He wanted to go so bad. I was in such a daze from lack of sleep. It all seems like a dream then and now looking back. Somehow I went home, packed up the car and we got on the plane. I cried practically the entire flight to Salt Lake.
Once we got to Salt Lake, it didn't seem as bad and I was actually getting excited about spending the evening in Boston. Plus, Ruby was going home in the morning so it started to feel ok.
We arrived in Boston and spent the night there and then left for Bermuda the next morning. We didn't have cell phone coverage in Bermuda because it's another country and calling from the hotel was ridiculously expensive. Finally, we were able to call that evening fully expecting to hear that Ruby had been released and was doing well at my mom's house. Well, my mom said she hadn't been released but would probably go home in the morning. My mom calls the next night, Ruby didn't go home again today, her fever isn't going down and the doctor is thinking about doing another CT scan because she might need another surgery. Adam and I talked about it and decided that we really needed to go home. We were able to get a flight out the next day at noon.
We arrive in Boise at midnight and go straight to the hospital. The next day, another CT scan is done which revealed that the original pocket had filled back up with pus plus there were two more pockets that needed to be drained: both sides of her neck and the back of her throat.
Another surgery. Ruby seems to be doing better right off the bat but her fever is still present. After 10 days in the hospital, the doctor says we can go home. Our first night home, Ruby slept all through the night, she seemed happy, etc. The next day, things were great until her fever hit in the afternoon and she was up all night with a fever and she threw up.
Took her to the doctor in the morning and he said her lump was the same and call if there are any changes. Went home, put Ruby down for a nap. When she woke up, the whole side of her face was swollen. Call doc immediately. Sends us to hospital right away for yet another CT scan which showed that she needed a third surgery to drain it. Adam and I had to hold her down for nearly a FULL HOUR while the nurses tried to get an IV in. It was so sad. I wanted to leave but I knew I had to stay and give her what little comfort I could. It was so painful for her. She screamed and thrashed through the whole ordeal. Finally, a nurse from PICU came and put one in her head which was very sad. Poor little Ruby. She just cried and cried while they held her head down and put a needle in her scalp. I was a mess. I wanted to scream at the nurses, "What kind of a children's hospital is this that you can't even get an IV in a child?!" My stress level was at an all time high. I just wanted Ruby's torture to end. I just wanted her to get better.
This time a specialist of pediatrics, infectious diseases was brought on board. So, we spent another 5 days in the hospital. She was released just yesterday (Saturday) morning. So far, so good.
Bermuda was awesome, by the way.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I'm starting to get really excited about our trip to Bermuda. It's beginning to feel real like it's actually going to happen. I'm also really nervous about leaving James and Ruby for six days. When we went to Chicago for a few days James cried on the phone the first night, "I want you to come get me!" It broke my heart. It was so sad. I wanted to fly home right then. I keep thinking about that and I am increasingly apprehensive about leaving. Plus, we're leaving the morning of Halloween and I'm super sad that I won't be with the kids Halloween night. Adam doesn't care but I really love Halloween and I want to share that magical evening with my children. I posted these pictures for inspiration.
Friday Adam and I went to the temple, picked up the kids and then headed up to Bogus. We found a little trail off the side of the road and went exploring. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with clear skies and cool temperatures. James loved finding pinecones and sticks and had to stop every few feet to dig a hole.
That evening we went downtown to pick up some concert tickets and ended up walking around. James played in the fountain on the Grove and we did some people watching. I love the energy of downtown. It makes me feel like I'm back in a big city.
Anyway, that was my weekend. How was yours?
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Last week I read the first book pictured Under Pressure and this week I am working on So Sexy So Soon. Under Pressure is a great read about the consequences of hyper-parenting. The author asserts that in today's world parents hover too much and obsess about germs, getting into the right university, keeping them involved in every activity available, stranger-danger, and more. It was full of good advice in how to raise a happy, non-anxious, creative, well-rounded child. Really enjoyed it.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I am an avid recycler. I'm actually slightly compulsive about it. My husband thought I was crazy when we were newlyweds but now he's gotten used to it. I love the new city bins that were recently delivered. They have made it so easy to recycle now--no sorting just throw it in the bin. I love the fact that my recycling bin is more full than my garbage bin by the time trash day comes around. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I'm not just consuming, consuming, consuming and throwing it all in the city dump. Call me anal, but it irks me when I pass a trash can full of empty plastic water bottles or aluminum pop cans. How hard is it to take it home and put it in your recycling bin? It bothers me when people don't care especially when members of the church don't care. If anything, we should care more. I despise the mentality that the Lord has given us this Earth to use it's resources however we want--just use it up because "there is enough and to spare." There is only "enough and to spare" if we use those resources righteously. There is an island of trash the size of Texas floating in the ocean off the Asian continent. That is crazy! The size of bloomin' Texas! I wish I could do more but it makes me feel good that at least I'm doing my part to limit how much of my trash is dumped in the landfill. It's awesome that most items can be recycled. The city of Boise has made it so easy so just do it! It will make you feel good.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Last week while eating at my in-laws, Adam's brother said something was stupid and James turned to him and said, "Damn it, Aaron, don't say stupid. It's a bad word. You know better than that. How many times do I have to tell you?"
By the way, Ruby took her first steps tonight at the Elder's Quorum activity. She just stood up and took three steps. Hip-hip-hooray! I'm excited for Ruby not to have dirty hands and knees anymore.
Our street has been under construction for several weeks now. At one point, we had a huge pile of dirt right in front of our house. It's actually been kind of nice because it's been easy entertainment for the kids, especially James. He will sit and watch all of the trucks work thoroughly enthralled in all of the diggers, bulldozer, rollers, and sweepers. In the evening, after the workers have gone, James and the neighbor boy play in the huge piles of dirt. Even Ruby wanted in on the fun. She kicked until I finally let her down so she could crawl up in the dirt. James has been in heaven being able to watch up close all of the trucks working.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I love church distribution materials. They are so inexpensive and obtainable even while living on unemployment. I read about the new church art book in the Ensign a few months ago. It's only $3.50 for over 130 pictures/photos of prophets, Book of Mormon/Bible stories, Church history, temples, and other themes. This has been a great teaching tool and James loves his new book. He can tell me what most of the pictures are about or name the people in the pictures. It's been great for family home evening as well as a good 'quiet' book for church.
Our darling little baby James turned 3 this past June 28th. I can't believe he is getting so big and grown up. He is so much fun and he always keeps me laughing with his crazy little comments. He is all boy and loves anything that's loud and obnoxious and has four wheels. He love, love, LOVES trucks, hence the construction theme birthday cake I put together for him. It was really fun making the cake and coming up with interesting and edible look alikes of the real items. James was pretty excited to dig in.
James is also a good big brother, although he can get pretty rough with Ruby and I don't dare leave him alone with her for very long. He likes playing with her and has recently started picking her up and putting her in his fire truck bed. He sticks a rain hate on her and says she's helping him put our fires. So cute.