28 April 2008

Amelia turned 1 year old!! I cant believe 12 months are gone already. Some days it feels like forever others a passing memory. We are so grateful to have Amelia as a daughter. She is so funny, smart, and precious. It is hard to believe two nerds in love made such an awesome human being. Heavenly Father has a funny sense of humor.

Justin had the week off so Amelia and I relaxed and enjoyed Justins slower pace of life. I am like a whirlwindJustin like a summer breeze. He managed to paint the front and back stairs (per HOA policy) and kept the couch from running away each afternoon. We walked to Dairy Queen for FHE. At least we worked for our dessert!

I arranged a fun Tuesday for us but he bummed out at the last minute and stayed home to nap and take a bike ride. I arranged for him to go shoot bunnies in the desert with Josh Johnson, it was out of character not to want to go bunny blasting. Instead Amelia and I met Sarah (Joshs wife and my good friend) and Bridger for a fun afternoon at the Tulip Festival. Bridger is a lively 2 year old boy. He had a great time chasing the birds, smelling the flowers, and splashing in the water. The tulips were not in top form this year. Only about 40% of the flowers were actually blooming. The colder weather and strong winds did not bode well for the tulips this year. Still it was refreshing to be outside in the warm sunshine and good company. Amelia and Bridger really liked the Secret Garden fountain. They were completely soaked after a few minutes. We enjoyed a yummy luncheon at Thanksgiving Point.

I felt compelled to get some cuter shirts on Wednesday. Lately, Ive experienced the frumpies and wanted to be as cute as Amelia for the summer. Ross had a good stash of decent shirts and some athletic shoes. Once the weather warms up I will look a bit cuter in my new shirts than in my worn out winter wear. I also had two photo shoots on Wednesday. I photographed an entire preschool of 7 active 3 year olds in the morning. In the evening I photographed a little girl for her 2nd birthday.

Miekka watched Amelia on Thursday while Justin and I went to the Jordan River Temple. She was good for an hour than cried for 2.5 hours until we picked her up. Little stinker pot. Miekka just ignored her whining and started making her birthday cake. Justin and I enjoyed a nice lunch at Rumbis before the session. I love attending the temple. This time seemed more relaxed since there was not a huge rush to get there and through the session and back before Amelia's next feeding.

Amelia's birthday was fun. I was very excited to dress her in her b-day onesie, tutu, tights, shoes, bracelet, hair bow, etc. She was VERY cute. We made a Costco trip with Seth and Jacob to allow Miekka time to finish her cake and get cleaned up after all her hard work. The kids snarfed down hotdogs and lemonade and smeared each other with cinnamon from their churros. Justin was thoroughly put out when the boys started licking each others tongues in the cart. For me, it was hard not to laugh; I put on my stern mommy face and told them to stop. Amelia must have caught a whiff of excitement because she decided an afternoon nap was out of the question. She was very cranky and crabby by the time we arrived at Mom's for her party. Justin grilled up the hot dogs and salmon/halibut (freshly frozen from Alaska). The rest of the party goers ate food and tried to appear excited. I think most were tired from a long week and ready for a big nap (probably just projecting my own feelings). We ripped open her presents and the kids fought over the toys. Amelia cried a lot and acted like a true birthday girl. The cake was the crowning glory. Miekka out-did herself with the cake. She fashioned it after the invitation graphic of a pink monkey. We gave Amelia a whole monkey ear to demolish. She just poked the cake and daintily put a few pieces into her mouth. I wanted to chocolate fountain of birthday cake gooiness. It was tempting to help her out. We ended her day with cuddles and kisses.

Saturday we slept in a bit, did the lazy dog (lay in the sunshine, kick our hind legs, while snoring with contentment), and went on a bike ride. This was my first outdoor ride of the season. Amelia rode in her bike trailer behind me. It was windy so the drag between me and the trailer was stupendous. Usually my heart rate is about 130-140, with Amelia behind me it was 160. For the first time I was struggling to keep up with Justinthat made him smirk with glee. We drove over to my Moms house for a reception around 4 pm. My Uncle Duane and his wife Rebecca were sealed earlier in the day. My mom's family gathered to celebrate.

Sunday, I was called to be the Wolf or Bear den leader for my ward. Can I just say that for once I feel totally and utterly intimidated by a calling? Talk about moving out of my comfort zone. Amelia and I went on a long walk Sunday to enjoy the perfect weather. Her peals of laughter brought out the folks around our little park when we rode the swings. Moments like that are gold.

Justin left this morning until Thursday for his new audit assignment in Berkeley, CA. We miss him already. Amelia had her 12-month check up today. She weighs in at 17.7 lbs, 27.5 inches (the 4th percentile). She showed her pediatrician her belly button, waved, and even nearly fainted when the nurse immunized her. It was a taxing experience for the little soul. Miekka invited us over for dinner. James turned 32 today! Mom and the boys showed up later on with a cake and gifts. The cake blazed with 32 candles!!! James managed to blow out all the candles with one big breath.

20 April 2008

It seems like most of the week was spent running errands. I dislike weeks like that! Amelia and I went to Walmart (a couple times), Toys r us, the library, Burlington Coat Factory, Roberts Crafts (twice), Carters, Office Depot, REI, DWS Shoes, Deseret Book, etc. The bottom line is we have food to eat, presents for Amelia's birthday, and a bag & binder for Justin.

Last Sunday night, the weather man forecasted a warm & windy Monday. I called up Mom and suggested a kite flying and picnic FHE. The weather man actually delivered! It was really windy. Seth and Jacobs kites flew non-stop, they even stayed airborne when tangled in others kite strings. Jared flew his airplane trick kite, James his clown fish kite, and Justin his trick kite. James flew his kite near Amelia so she could see it. She hardly kept her eyes off the kite. We had a lot of fun flying our kites. After an hour or so we sat down and ate our picnic dinners. What a fun evening!

James organized a surprise cake and ice cream party for Miekka on Thursday. Her sister and her children, her brother Andy, and her mom all showed up as well. We had the perfect dinner of ice cream and cakemy dream dinner. Amelia and I had lunch with Miekka and the boys earlier that day at Rumbi Grill. Happy Birthday Miek!

I spent most of my free time during the week at home making hair clips for Reagans birthday present. I didnt want to dump all the hair clips into a bag so decided to make something to hold all the clips. My idea was a bow board. I took an artists canvas frame, stapled fabric to it, glued some horizontal ribbons across the board, and decorated it. The end result is pretty cute. I think Amelia needs one now! Charity and Ken invited us over for ice cream and cake on Friday. Justin ended up making crepes for the adults! Yummy. Reagan is such a cute 3 year old girl. She is very precocious and lively.

Yesterday, Justin decided he wanted his office back (the spare room) because he had to use the basement disaster area. His new calling requires him to spend time organizing agendas, schedules, and making phone calls. It is a good idea now that we wont have many visitors sleeping at our home. Charity has more room and my parents home has more beds. He also wanted a nice binder and messenger type bag to carry all the needed paperwork to keep track of our bishop (and his schedule). We spent the afternoon searching for the perfect man bag. I started to clean up our yard for the yearly HOA inspections.

Today we had dinner with Mom, the boys, Jana, De-bo, Alex (my cousin), and Courtenay. We made quite the lively bunch. Amelia wore a fun outfit my mom made her. She reminded me of Holly Hobbie from my childhood. I LOVE having my mom close by. I started crying the other day contemplating their pending departure for Jordan in July. Justin sought revenge by hiding a pair of shoes I left out on Friday. I asked him if he saw them and he said no. A while later I came down wearing a different pair of shoes to find him holding them out for me. Little stinker! I guess what goes around comes around. I deserved that!

13 April 2008

I had a crafty week!!! I crocheted 3 hats, made about 10 more hair clips, 4 bracelets, two tutus, 2 scrapbook pages, and Amelias birthday invites. Amelia finally crawled across the room on Wednesday night and has been creeping all over the main floor. She even managed to roll down two stairs and bonk her head! Her favorite place to crawl to is the TV cart, pull herself up, then push all the buttons. The TV is now unplugged during the day!! She is still clompy when she crawls, I am sure soon she will crawl with more finesse.

We went to Smith's for the semi-annual caselot sale and supplemented our canned vegetable and fruit supply. I only need a couple more items before we could sufficiently survive for quite a while. I am grateful for the spiritual promptings to prepare and for a husband who listens to me!
Amelia and I went to visit my mom on Thursday to show off Amelias new crawling skill. She clomped across her carpet several times grinning with delight and clapping after completing her feat. Punkle Joe and Aunt Jana had fun playing with her for a while.

My good friend, Catherine, emailed me a couple weeks ago about a large consignment sale at the Hilltop Episcopal Church in Sandy. Twice a year the church sponsors a consignment sale of maternity, girls, and boys clothing, toys, etc. I met Catherine and my mom there for an hour of fun shopping. Catherine was only there about 30 minutes and my mom a couple minutes. Catherine was super-shopper supreme. In about 5 minutes flat she had tons of cute outfits for both her girls and her little niece. Amelia helped me shop since she was in the front carrier (she pulled all the clothes off the hangers that were within reach). I went crazy, yes, I said crazy! I spent about $80 on clothes for this summer and next for Amelia and clothes for my new nephew, Elijah. Most of the little dresses I found were from Gymboree, Gap, etc! So, so cute! I cant wait to dress her! The crowning glory was a pair of GREEN sandals. I also found a cute toy hippo Amelia can sit on and scoot herself around the floor. After leaving the sale I was on cloud nine cloud nine is the I found the BEST deals, even though I was in no need of any deals, but so what the deals were CUTE. My favorite cloudOn the way home I decided to feed my fettish and get some devil juice (aka Diet Coke) from McDonalds. Amelia was asleep so I went through the drive thru. I ordered my drink and politely asked for no ice. The attendant responded, we dont do dat here. Customer service? No, not here. I drove around and waited to payat that moment Amelia squeaked. My first thought was cool she is awake lets go in and make my drink to order. I pulled out of line and parked. The attendant started yelling at me, cussing and saying, you dont do dat here! I yelled to cancel my order or make my drink with no ice. We dont do dat here!!! I thought she was going to jump me! All the way home I laughed a nervous laugh pondering the complexities of customer service.

Miekka's sister, Marrisse and her 5 kids came over for a photo shoot Friday afternoon. I had so much fun photographing the kids. We tried several group shots then individuals of the kids. The littlest child is a two month old preemie named Kataya (spelling is slaughtered). I had a blast photographing her. Marrisse showed me how use the Moby Wrap she made. It is very similar to how the Cabo Verdians strapped their infants to their chest, side, or back. I want to make one now. It was much more forgiving on my back and shoulders than my front carrier is.
Saturday morning we drove up to Logan to visit our new nephew and my grandparents. We stopped for some lunch at Great Harvest Bread. Justin was watching Amelia while I filled our drinks. A little 4-year old boy at a neighboring table skipped over to Amelia and kissed her on the cheek. Justin said it was a cute moment!! Little Elijah iswell, very little. He now weighs about 5.08 lbs and is on oxygen. He is so delicate! Emma shared her crayons and toys with Amelia. It was nice to visit Scot and Raquel for an hour as well. Emma learned how to curtsey so showed off her talent a couple times. She is quite the talker now! About a year ago she hardly said a word to anyone. Emma and Amelia look quite a bit alike, especially in the eyes.

Amelia was really cute for my Grandparents. She stood at their coffee table jabbering away, delighting us all with smiles, laughter, giggles, and cheesy grins. Her little joyful soul seemed to bring a measure of sunshine to Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma was kind enough to offer me some fabric, buttons, and ribbon from her stash of craft supplies. I will definitely use it all. I love hugging my grandpahe smells like gasoline and motor oil!! I know that doesnt sound very comforting or even appropriate to say but he reminds me of a hard working man. I inherited my smile from Grandpa Baerwaldtthat is so precious to me. Grandma gives soft, deep hugs much like my mom. Oh, I miss my time with them. The three years I lived with them were good, precious years. Here I am tearing up thinking about them. Justin learned a valuable lesson last night. I put my crocheting down to do something. Amelia crawls over and picks up my skein of yarn and starts pulling it apart. Justin is watching her and makes no effort to stop her, instead walking away thinking about what would happen if he let her continue to ruin my yarn. I walk in a while later dismayed to see a tangled pile of yarn with an Amelia perched on the top. Justin comes in and confesses that he did not stop Amelia. First of all, confessing that he knew what she was doing is probably not the best move, even though I do admire his honesty. Later, as I am untangling the yarn, uttering soft threats to Justin about hating him, he claims that I dont hate him. Yes, I dont hate my husband, but I do hate that he watched her actively destroy my yarn. So, what did Justin learnNot to tell me he knew about the yarn. We will be revising that lesson learned!!

Today, Justin was called to be the ward Executive Secretary. Several members had bets going on that he would be the new Elders Quorum president! Ha, ha! Thwarted! I taught the RS lesson on Baptism and the HG from the Joseph Smith manual. One principle that Joseph clearly taught was that only two things separate our church from others: baptism and the gift of the HG. All other gospel principles, ordinances, covenants, etc are ALL encompassed in the gift of the HG. I never really thought about it so simply. However, the more I ponder that principle the more I agree. This evening we had a dinner group with two families from our ward. Dinner was hosted by Catherine and her husband, Jeff. They made a yummy pasta dish and salad. The other family brought bread. I made a real Italian crostata for dessert. It turned out really good. We all exchanged our how we met and married stories. Then I showed Catherine how to crochet part of a hat for her daughter. We had a really fun evening.

Thanks for reading.

07 April 2008

The big news this week is that Justin was asked to travel back and forth to Berkley, CA starting the last week of April through mid-October off and on. I think he will be gone about 11 weeks during that time span. We were not very happy with the circumstances of the demand to travel. Originally, the firm wanted him to travel each week for six months but he was able to reduce that by more than half. Because he will be gone so much I may go to Disneyland for a week with Miekka and her family and plan a trip or two to Gilroy. Maybe Scott and I can do some fun photography sessions!!!

Diana flew out here on Wednesday to spend some time helping Raquel, Scot, Emma, and new baby Elijah. Raquel was very stressed out trying to divide her time between home and the NICU. The hospital finally released him on Saturday to go home. He is doing well on an oxygen machine. Raquel said little Elijah sleeps a lot and eats just as much! We cant wait to visit him. I helped my mom check out a used digital camera (SLR) later on that evening. Dad wanted them to have a nice camera to create a new hobby for the boys. I am going to give them some camera and photoshop lessons in the next couple weeks.

My project this past week was making summer hats and hair pretties for Amelia. I learned how to make lined alligator clips and cute boutique bows from this cool website: http://bowdesigns.50webs.com/index.html. So far, I made two crocheted hats and about 12 new hair clips. They are majorly cute!!! I was so excited about one of her hats that I made one for myself. Now Amelia and I have matching white hats!!! My project for this week is making some tutus and fairy wings.

Friday evening Justin, Amelia, and I went to his mission reunion. His president is from Florida so he only holds reunions every 5 years or so. We sat with about 5 Elders he served with and ate dinner and snacked on peanut M&Ms. One guy put together a fun slideshow of the missionaries from that time frame. I think Justin only showed up once! He spent about 8 months of his mission in the office. Amelia loved watching all the kids running on the cultural hall stage. She was literally squealing with delight. I really enjoyed seeing another side to Justins pre-Jenni life. The spirit of the mission was strong and compelling. I met a girl from Brazil there so practiced some Portuguese on her.

General Conference was very inspiring. I felt a little underdressed for the solemn assembly Saturday morning. I thought it was Sunday morning so was not prepared. Still the pervading spirit of the sustaining of our new prophet was memorable. I remember sustaining President Hinckley quite vividly. Justin and I both commented several times how the mantle of prophet is quite evident now in President Monson. His demeanor and even the way he spoke seemed more assured and spiritually determined. I love conference because my spiritual batteries are recharged. Hearing the talks given reminds me how to be a better person, wife, mother, and daughter. I am so grateful for the gentle and sometimes stern reminders to live righteously. During sessions on Saturday we picked up Justins new backpack from REI and had a quick lunch at Noodles and Co (all because I had a coupon). During the afternoon session Amelia was awake so paying attention was a bit harder. I put Amelia in the box that Justins pack came in as a diversion. She thought that was pretty cool. Then we put her inside the packwhich was okay until I put her hands inside the pack and she slid to the packs bottom. I got some pretty cute pictures. She also pulled herself up on the TV cart ALL BY HERSELF. Amelia was beaming with happiness once she succeeded in pulling herself up. Once she was standing up and two inches from the TV monitor she started to conduct the music the MOTAB was singing.
Sunday afternoon we drove up to Charitys to visit Grandma Diana and the cousins. Amelia was enthralled to play with her cousins and Aunt Charity. The weather was really nice after conference so Charity and I went on a walk around her new neighborhood. Good times.
Justin noticed that some strange charges showed up on our bank account this weekend. After tracking the charges and noting that all were made with my checkcard we called the bank. It appears someone stole my card number and was making internet purchases with my card. Extraneous charges showing up on our account was strange enough. Today I got a package from one of the purchases made unbeknownst to me. I wanted to laugh at the incredulity of the whole situation! At least one of the items came to me instead of my credit card intruder! Whoever stole my card number is an idiot.