30 June 2008

Amelia's Necklace

Talk about Techno Savvy!

29 June 2008

Logan and Anne's Wedding


We celebrated a great week! It started with food and ended with food!! The Lance families met at the Centennial pool for an evening of swimming for FHE. The bigger boys had fun on the awesome water slide. The water was pretty warm but the air was cooler so Amelia got chilled after 30 minutes. Justin was on an airplane to LA while we played. He attended a 3-day training there.


Our neighborhood book club met Tuesday night. The books we read this month were 3 short stories about Griffin and Sabine. Each book is filled with post cards and letters between Griffin and Sabine. The books make an interesting read. I hear there are 3 more books of the same series to indulge in. While at book club a little 3 year old girl taught Amelia how to pretend eat food. The little girl would give Amelia a pretend bite of peas from a Fisher-Price play table. At first Amelia was like, what the heck are you doing? Then she caught on giving pretend peas back to the girl and eventually to me! It was so interesting to watch her grasp the concept and role-play.


Wednesday I picked up some of our Cub Scouts from day camp up Millcreek canyon. The boys were at the Jurassic land section of the camp. It was stinkin' cool. We spent the rest of that day at mom's home to enjoy Joseph and Jeff's company. Amelia played a while in grandma's backyard with the hose and a large bowl, which became a perfect-sized pool for her. Grandma and Grandpa Lance arrived from Gilroy Thursday evening. Mom made calibicitos (a vegetable dish) and scones for dinner. Grandpa loved the scones. Justin showed up after dinner much to the delight of Amelia. We chatted for a while longer before going back home.


Logan and Anne were married on Friday at the Bountiful temple. Aunt Charity took Amelia for a couple hours so Justin and I could attend the sealing. We were married in the same temple so it was a tender reminder of our own marriage. I remember smiling so much that my face hurt!!! I loved watching Grandma Lance interact with her three siblings, Mary, Fred, and Margaret, before and after the ceremony. The wedding was very instructional and sweet. Logan and Anne looked very calm and content. After pictures we headed to Mt Green for lunch at the local fire station! Matt and Laura decorated the rec room with frogs (Anne) and monkeys (Logan). At the entrance were two baskets filled with foam frogs and bananas. I loved the theme! Amelia wanted to hug and kiss each of the monkey placemats like a true Call girl. We hung out at the Pettits until the reception began. We only stayed a little while then headed home. It felt like three days had passed since that morning. Weddings can make for a long day.


Saturday morning I attended a photoshop class for two hours. Justin stayed home with Amelia. After class I took myself to the Instacare due to a nasty sinus infection. My face and teeth were literally aching and pulsing with intense pain. While at the doctor's office my sinuses actually started to bleed. Yuck. The rest of the day we mostly spent lounging about. Justin was very attentive. He made two Walmart runs for medication and even a Del Taco run. Thanks honey! Our ward threw a magnificent BBQ towards the evening. One little boy gave Amelia a nice kiss on the cheek. She started bawling! Keep those boys away...


Today my face didn't hurt, just the normal "I have a cold" aches. Phew! I'll take that any day. The next week will be filled with a plethora of family dinners and parties. Dad flies in tonight!!! Finally! The Lances will fly to Jordan the evening of July fourth. Jeff leaves two days later to resume his Iraq deployment. Justin and the Lance Grandparents will fly to CA on Sunday as well. Let the parties begin.

28 June 2008

Sick

I must have the worst sinus infection...ever. It started on Tuesday when I rode my bike. The wind kicked up some allergen that caused a nasty allergy reaction. By Friday my upper face hurt so bad I wanted to bash my head into a wall because that would feel better. I took myself to Instacare this morning to pay a doctor to tell me what I already know...Mommy is sick!!! When blood is pouring out of your sinuses that is NOT a good sign. To get better one is supposed to rest. Well, sleeping is about the most uncomfortable position of all. Even reclining was causing enough pain to make my eyes water. So, I stand or remain upright. I heart amoxicillian. Make me better!!! I attached a humorous self-portrait of myself. It was too much work to rearrange the smile on my face and squnich my eyes.

24 June 2008

Naked Hoser



Today I was out in the yard tending my garden when Amelia discovered a puddle of water. She was drenched so off came her clothes and then came the hose. She had a great time discovering the properties of water. My favorite was when she kept spraying her face.

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22 June 2008

Nerds in Love

This week was much better that the last. Amelia is feeling much better. Her second front tooth is trying to make an appearance…at long last. Four teeth by 14 months is pretty good.

My big goal of the week was to get my and Amelia’s passports completed and submitted. We made an appointment at the Magna Post Office for Wednesday morning. I went Tuesday afternoon but realized that Justin needed to be present. Putting our names on an appointment list made the trip out to Magna seem worthwhile. We went swimming with Charity and Melissa after the post office then made a stop at a plant nursery. I purchased some sand for Amelia’s sandbox and a nylon grid to tie up my tomatoes. Late Tuesday afternoon I FINALLY checked my messages only to find out that enrichment was in a couple hours. The problem was I volunteered our home as part of a “parade of homes.” Luckily, our house is usually very clean. Justin came home early and helped vacuum and straightened up the upstairs. I straightened up the rest of the house. Usually, it takes me a whole day to clean the house. With his help it only took an hour. We toured 4 homes in our neighborhood. The Handy’s home was awesome. The previous owner made a fourth floor in the attic/roof area. It was air-conditioned, light, and very spacious. I was envious of all the extra storage space.

Wednesday morning we paid Homeland Security $225 for our passports (yikes!). Then I went to Old Navy and spent some more on cute shorts for…me! My good friend Sarah met me at Old Navy. We perused Target for a while then hopped over to Chic-fil-a for lunch. Bridger is totally ready for a sibling. He “helped” Amelia with this and that. In fact, Amelia is ready for a sibling too. She needs to learn how to share and not throw tantrums. For dinner we drove to Mom’s home. PFC Fluffy (Jeffrey) is visiting for 18 days from Iraq. He looked tan, lean, and mean. We snacked on cold ham and cantaloupe, fresh bread, and watermelon for dinner while Jeff told us all about Iraq. He seems to be enjoying himself. The army keeps the soldiers busy so there is not much time for goofing off. Still I was thoroughly grossed out by a video he showed of his team poking holes in and throwing around a dead donkey to check for IUDs. The donkey ended up in some poor Iraqis living room after being thrown over a bridge. He wore a Dr Pepper shirt and Mt Dew pants. I wonder what he likes to drink? Pepsi? LOL.

Friday we went to the zoo. We went to see mom Friday night. Amelia showed off her new skill of standing, balancing, and taking little tottering steps. She stands with a huge grin on her face and balances with giggles. So cute. Saturday we went hiking at Donut Falls. See previous blogs. We are trying to cram as much Mom, Jeremy, and Jared time as we can before they leave in 2 weeks. So we had dinner over there. Mom and James both made oriental dishes. I made the odd-man-out dish with a totally tex-mex black bean and corn salad. It made for an odd combo. During our hike on Saturday Justin was using his GPS unit to tell me we only had 442 steps steps to go and I said oh like less than a quarter mile. He said, a mile has 5280 feet, so it was less than a quarter mile. It said the exact same thing but differently. After dinner the adults were sitting around the table talking. I was calmly crocheting a pair of uber cute mary jane booties, when Justin starting spouting off detailed gun specs. I started to mouth him in irritation. Jana noticed my little passive aggressive stint and called me on it. I started laughing so hard my face turned red. Justin was doing the same nerdy spoutation of interesting facts. He kept going ignoring my gales of laughter. I married the best nerd on the planet. He makes me laugh!!! Later I came to a difficult part of my crochet pattern. He made fun of my nerd crochet language..."oh, you h-d-c over the d-c 8 times." I deserved that.

21 June 2008

Hiking Donut Falls


We slathered on sunblock and bug repellant for a 3 mile hike around the donut falls area. It was awesome to exchange the 96 degree heat for a cooler 83 degrees. A slight breeze cooled the air down a bit more. Catherine was kind enough to let us borrow their baby backpack for the excursion. Amelia was not very fond of the backpack. She cried when we strapped her in then calmed down for the first part of the hike to the actual falls. The best part was when a cold shaft of air came rushing down the canyon from the cooled by the frigid mountain water. Most of the hike was uphill. The water was extremely high and fast. Parts of the trail were even flooded! The trees and shrubs were a vivid green from all the recent water accumulations. Amelia started to cry when we explored a small trail that went up and over the falls. A small branch scratched her arm (not even classified as a flesh wound). That small brush on her arm sent her over the edge. On the way down she sucked incessantly on her binky...maybe her ears did not pressurize. It was breathtaking to observe the falls from above. Justin was very relieved to finally go on a hike. He is planning on hiking up King's peak in July (the tallest point in Utah). Our practice run was very fun and not too difficult. Justin is very pleased with his new pack. Amelia snotted and boogered up Catherine's nice pack during her crying spells. Sorry!!!

20 June 2008

Stand and walk

Yesterday evening Justin called for me to come watch Amelia. She had a marker in one hand and was standing in the middle of the room. She took a baby step, lost her balance, stood up again and took another step. All week she's practiced standing and squatting then standing again. It is funny to watch her because she looks like she is doing squats. I think Aunt Jana (a physical trainer) gave her some good tips! This afternoon I caught some video of her trying to walk by herself from the sand box to her little pool. Note the chubby legs!

Also, we had some ice cream on our way home from Ma-ma's house. Amelia's face was covered with ice cream. She noticed her ice creamed face in the little mirror over her carseat. She started pulling funny faces at herself and laughing. I nearly died of laughter. She would giggle, take a smear of ice cream, look at herself, pull a face, giggle, and on and on. Wow, that giggle feels like an explosion of warm goodness inside my soul. Nothing makes me happier than to do something silly and get a laugh out of her.

Zoo



Justin played hookey today! We left early to visit the zoo for the morning. Our visit was so fun! We finally saw the white alligator, the new tiger area, and admired the renovations. For the first couple hours Amelia was pretty quiet. Her eyes were huge as she tried to soak in all the new information. Her eyes were as big as saucers when she finally noticed a huge gorilla (mi-mi). She zoned in on the animals that were moving around. She really liked the elephants, cougar, zebras, giraffes, and monkeys. Towards the end we visited the reptile habitat. It really stinks because of the porqupines, ironically that was when Amelia loosened up. Maybe she likes the smell of dirty armpits. Actually, I think she liked being able to walk around and touch the glass near where the animals were. The merecats were a huge hit because they crowded around her tiny hand on the glass and bobbed up and down. On our way home we stopped for McDonald's. I am not a huge fan of McDonald's. Today was an exception. The salty fries and buger tasted like heaven after being outside in the hot sun. It was the best l-u-nch I ever had (said in a Nacho Libre fashion).

Sun, Sand, and Water



Don't you love those words together? I absolutely LOVE summer. I must live on sunshine and fresh air. The winters stifle me. I assembled my ghetto sand box for Amelia. Like the cheap-o I am forking out $60 bucks for a sand box was over the top. My solution cost only $8!!! Amelia loved playing in the sand. She got her fill of silica for the day. After playing in the sand she took a turn in the pool and sunshine. Lazy summer days are the penultimate pleasures of life.

19 June 2008

Keepin' It Real

My first tag!!! How exciting. So this tag is about taking snapshots of what is happening in your life right now. I took these last night but was not able to upload them until tonight.

1. Fridge
I hate cleaning fridges. I would rather clean the oven then the fridge.

2. Closet
Not too shabby!! Like Catherine my clothes are color organized and sorted by type in the bins.
3. Sink
Sister Brinkerhoff taught us Sisters to never go to bed with a sink full of dishes. Yipee tonight that goal was met.
4. Laundry
Never done...
5. Toilet
Note: the lid is down...Please don't think Justin was trained to do this. He simply gave Amelia a bath and closed the lid to have a more comfortable seat.
6. Favorite Room
Ahhh...my den of crafty insaneness. Can you say computerexercisescrapbooksewingphotostudiolibrarystorage room?
7. Shoes
gotta love them Keens...right back at you Catherine!!!
8. What your children are doing right now
Ha, as if I would actually snap a flash at Amelia right now...I am not crazy. This is as good as it gets.
9. Self-Portrait
Well, what do you know? This is what I do late at night...make up new faces in the mirror. This face was the winner of the evening.

16 June 2008

Pay FHE


We attended the yearly Pay Family Home Evening at Draper park today. There were a lot of Calls there! Yipee. We picked up Cafe Rio for dinner before heading to the park. Two of Bruce's brothers were in attendance with their children. All the kids splashed in the ankle chilling water of a small stream running through the park. Amelia thought running through the water (with help) was hilarious. This is the third year I've attended and the stream was always within it's banks. The stream flooded about four feet beyond it's banks this year. Visiting with family is always fun. Melissa was glad to see cousins and family she had not seen in years. Fun times.

Father's Day Gift

Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day! Justin is a great dad. He was gone all this week in Minnesota. By Thursday Amelia and I needed a break from each other. Friday she practically jumped out my arms to her Aunt Charity as if to say, yah, another mug to look at! Justin arrived home Friday around 9:15 pm. Amelia and I were outside prolonging bedtime so she could see daddy. When I spotted his car I started waving, jumping up and down, and shouting something about daddy’s home. Amelia caught on to the excitement and gave Justin a very warm welcome! She loves her daddy! For Father’s day we gave Justin a framed picture collage for his desk at work. Amelia Thelin came over on Thursday and took pictures of me and Amelia then vice versa of Amelia T and her son Oliver. Amelia T is a very talented photographer so it was a fair trade.

This week seemed more like a month. Amelia was sick with some virus. Monday morning she woke up with a fever of 102.5 and white spots all over her mouth. I thought it was thrush. So we scheduled an appointment. She still had a fever that afternoon but the spots faded. The Dr said she had a nasty virus and sent us home. The spots came back soon after we left. Murphy’s law!! All through the week she struggled with a very sore throat, bad gas, diarrhea, constipation, runny nose, and teething. If she is not feeling better by tomorrow we will go visit the doctor again. I plan on photographing the spots as proof before we go!!!

Besides a sick baby I kept busy with five photo shoots this week. I asked a couple ladies in my ward to come model with their newborns in order to practice the techniques from the Bellies and Babies conference. I was pleased with the results! The most frustrating part is dealing with my hot lights. It was very difficult to get the same lighting effects without strobe lighting and soft boxes. Still, my improvised lighting situation worked for the most part. The most difficult part about being a photographer is putting in to coherent words what I want the person to do in order to get the result I see in my mind. I’ve always been better at writing then speaking. Practice makes perfect!

I already wrote about Amelia’s little freak out session. She did a five minute repeat of that nightmare about an hour ago. It was past her bedtime so maybe fatigue is the answer to weird toddler behavior.

Charity, Melissa, and Raquel all came over on Friday to pick Amelia and I up. We went to the Gateway for a while to peruse some stores and enjoy the wonderful weather. It was a splendid day to be outside. Catherine Taylor volunteered to take Amelia for 45 minutes that afternoon so I could squeeze in a short workout session. It was heavenly! Thank you so much for the 45 minute break. Catherine said Amelia would squawk everytime Kate (their 11 mth old) got to close or tried to imitate her. Amelia needs a sibling to maul her a bit. Hopefully, nursery will give her some much needed mauling experience. Defend yourself kid and buck up cowgirl. Melissa hosted a BBQ for her good friend who was visiting Utah. We had some yummy grilled chicken, beans, and chips with fresh salsa. Charity has a wonderful dirt pile (aka the cave) in the vacant lot behind her home. Ethan especially loves the cave. He squats down like Gollum from Lord of the Rings and protects his hill with gusto complete with the shrieking and hand movement of the said character.

Saturday morning we enjoyed a family bike ride before the day warmed up. Nothing feels better than to hear the whir of bike tires on the pavement! What a rush! Justin picked out four shirts at Kohl’s to expand his professional wardrobe after lunch. We used the excellent Father’s day sale prices as an excuse to get him shirts. Soon after Kohl’s Charity called and invited us over to swim in their community pool. I was so excited. Something about having a child (who now loves water), an available pool, and cute baby swim suits makes pool lounging a dream come true. That evening Justin and I dropped Amelia off at James and Miekka’s while we went on a date. It was awesome! We had dinner at Olive Garden taking our time and not worrying about food splattered all over the floor and walls. Being Amelia-less felt a bit odd at first but we eased into the luxury. Toys r us sat across the street so we jogged over there to look at sand boxes and fun summer toys. Amelia was very tired by the time we picked her up at 7:20. I love when she clings to me after being gone. Makes the time away appreciate her that much more.
I only attended sacrament meeting because Amelia was acting very cranky. Justin enjoyed the rest of church. Mom cooked a casual spaghetti dinner at her home. When Mom’s spaghetti is involved there is an open invitation. James and Miekka invited everyone over for root beer floats afterwards. Amelia’s favorite toy at their house is a leap frog play grocery basket. She is learning how to steer and move the cart into different positions when she hits a dead end. She was concentrating so hard that everything around her faded into oblivion. What a funny baby! Justin said she grew taller this week. He left a baby and came back to a toddler. Her speech improved quite a bit this week and she can nearly take steps on her own.

14 June 2008

Motherhood

Thursday night Amelia freaked out. We went on our usual evening walk and visit to the park. She learned how to slide down by herself once placed at the top of the slide. After about 30 slides I was getting tired but she was not. We had one more slide then walked back to the stroller to continue our walk. That was when her first tantrum started. She cried all the way home. She cried all the way into our home, the bath tub, getting jammies on, reading books, etc. Her behavior was so strange. She was rigid like her tummy or bowels were in pain. When I held her she wrapped her legs around me. When on the floor she would scoot herself backwards like she was trying to take off her bum. I was worn out after an hour of this crying. Nothing would console her. We finally went outside (where the crying intensified) and walked over to my neighbor's home. They have three little children. Eventually, the curosity of the toys and kids overcame her crying. My neighbor gave her a blessing. I gave her benedryl and then put her to bed.

I still am completely baffled by her outbreak. I checked her entire body for bug bites, bee stings, diaper rash, sore throat, etc. Was it tantrum? If so, I am in for a long terrible twos.

My new theory on Motherhood: rollercoasters (period). Love the highs. Love the lows because they lead to the highs. Love the person beside you. Love the unexpected. No book would explain that. Ha, ha.

Boom, Boom, Boom, Mr. Brown Makes Thunder

I meant to write this entry Wednesday night. Five photoshoots, babysitting, and a sick baby, etc kept me busy enough to ignore my blog.

I love lightening storms. My family lived in Tuscon, AZ when I was about 3-4 years old. I distinctly remember the lightening storms that would rush across the desert. One day our landlord put new grass in the backyard of the current home we were renting. Later on that day it started to pour rain. Dad did not want us to run on the new grass in fear of damage to the wet grass. I vividly remember standing near a white post under the patio with tears running down my face just like the rain. The lightening and thunder made a fantastic fanfare to my tantrum. It seems ever since we lived in Arizona lightening storms became an acute fascination. Late Wednesday night I woke to a screaming baby and a delightful thunderstorm. After putting Amelia back in bed, I went downstairs and sat on our back porch in the rain to feel the thunder pound and the lightening streak across the sky. I was in heaven.

09 June 2008

I Love Biking


I love to bike outside. During the winter I bike on a trainer, which is quite boring. Amelia and I started going on bike rides three times per week for the past two weeks or more. She gets very excited when I prepare her bike trailer and tries to buckle herself into the trailer. I stuff lots of food, toys, and drink to keep her amused for an hour. Then we are off coasting in the early morning sunshine. Nothing feels better than the warm sun on my skin, soft scented air, the black pavement, and the rushing wind on my face. Justin found a new route that takes me about 45-50 minutes a couple weeks back. It is close to our home and not terribly risky with a bike trailer. This morning I stopped at a long traffic light and heard Amelia singing the Primary song, Hello, Hello and imitating the chirping birds. I am so glad we enjoy our bike rides!!!

08 June 2008

Trip to Logan

I spent a lot of money this week at Walmart, NPS, and the Blue Chip Group on supplies that are usually taken for granted like toilet paper, laundry soap, diapers, toothpaste, etc. At the Blue Chip group I ordered 75# of Morning Moos and other food storage staples. It seems that more people are getting the same feeling to get their affairs in order, especially their food storage. The waiting list is now 8-12 weeks for regular items like wheat, beans, milk, etc. Luckily, they had everything I needed in stock at their little store. The lady who checked me out was super slow. It was very hard not to feel irritated with an interested baby who wanted to pull all the inventory off the shelves and watch her hen peck at the keyboard. I think it took 35 minutes for the lady to check us out. Ironically, it only took me 10 minutes to assemble what I needed. Next month I will flesh out a couple of items then we are at a full years supply. That feels good.

I crocheted two hats this week: one for a lady in my ward and a hat for my sister Jana. My main project included designing 6 Photoshop collages for a photo shoot from last week.

After Justin got home from work on Friday we drove to Charity’s home for a small BBQ. I made potato salad, brought hot dogs & Better Cheddars, buns, ice cream, and some drink. Charity made a potato salad and provided a yummy watermelon. The best part was putting some dry ice into the kool-aid. We got a package of ice cream from Justin’s firm this year; the packaging included dry ice to keep the ice cream frozen. Amelia and I played with it all afternoon! We had so much fun watching it bubble and froth in warm water. Amelia started taking small steps by herself this week. We caught some footage at Charity’s home. She was very excited about all the clapping and cheering as she walked one or two paces. I think she will take another month to really start walking on her own (hopefully).

Saturday afternoon was my first photography seminar! A renowned infant photographer, Sandy Puc, came to SLC to teach about her techniques. It started at 1pm and ended around 8 pm. The topics were so interesting that it seemed only an hour passed instead of 7 hours. She showed us how to pose infants, lighting techniques, equipment basics, marketing, etc. A fellow photographer and I attended the seminar together. We had dinner at the new CafĂ© Rio right across from my home. That is dangerous. Talking with Mary Kim about all the techniques and content helped solidify the information. After the conference I debriefed Justin then wrote a summary to remember the basics. While writing I came to the conclusion that this is not the right time of our life to start a full-blown business. This is the time to practice and hone my skills. Once our children are older and in school then I can think about going professional. For now, I am happy with my small, ghetto setup. Having a harder set up to work with will help me learn how to deal with difficult situations and not take future professional setup for granted. Scott sent me an article about how the equipment doesn’t really matter; it is the artist behind the camera that captures the art. I like that; I will learn how to make what my mind imagines into great art!
Today Justin flew out to Minnesota for a week right after Sacrament Meeting. Amelia was running a fever so we went home with him. After bonking her lip, palate on the coffee table Monday night her mouth was very sore. Her gums are all bruised and her lips are white inside. Plus she is teething again and going through a growth spurt. Being little must not be as comfortable as it seems. I was very grateful for two men in my ward. Both of my neighbors on either side are not LDS. Lucky (my neighbor to the left) started an overwhelming project replacing the treads of his stairs. He was nearly in tears trying to figure out how to replace them without replacing the entire staircase. Two guys from my ward noticed his dilemma, grabbed their power drills, and started to dismantle the stairs with ease. The whole project was finished by 4 pm, taking a project that could have lasted 8 hours down to half the time. Lucky was so grateful. I was thankful these men understood the law of the Sabbath. They helped a neighbor in need even though it was Sunday and the project hard labor. The church is true!!! Jana and Jeremy came over for dinner. I prepared pork chops with a tangy rub and grilled on the grill, corn, and kidney bean salad. Jana and I talked about options for earning money while she is in an intensive program starting August. She is really concerned about making ends meet. Amelia found one of Justin’s photo ID badges and carted it around with her for a couple hours. I heard her saying, “da-dad, hi daddy” over and over to this badge. Justin melted when I told him.