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[Comments] (1) Annual Bookworm Post: I read about 19000 pages (in completed books) this year, more than double 2007. I read the Twilight series twice, three Eragon books, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, lots of novels and a few organizing and parenting tip books.

Some other numbers from 2008:
Articles published: 67. My goal was one a week, which I didn’t do, but I guess this is good enough.
Coupon Savings (since June): $153.83

For me?: Today we had a birthday party for John's brother Nathan. We drew their name for Christmas and Maggie has been carrying their wrapped gift (a card game called Fluxx) around the house for weeks. At the party, she tried to open it. Then she started pulling tissue paper out of all the gifts in bags. Luckily, the next party will be for her. Not that she will feel much guilt in opening Hannah's presents as well.

[Comments] (3) : Maggie has started "reading" words by spelling them out. She sounds like she's in a spelling bee. Seriously.

[Comments] (1) Busy Bees: John is in California for training and Maggie and I have had a busy week. We've been to the grocery store, the music store, the library (twice), Grandma June's, a baby shower, a playdate, and to Logan, and had 5 piano lessons. We also cleaned the house so John can be happy to come home, and shoveled snow so he can get home.

We discovered at the baby shower that sign language is also useful for babies to communicate across a crowded, noisy room. Maggie enjoyed her cousins' jumper (even though she was too tall to bounce and looked more like a child wearing a floaty tube) and signed "all done" to me across the room when she wanted out.

Also, I have read 4 books while John is away.

[Comments] (2) There's No Place Like Home: "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." - Nelson Mandela

Without a home you have no place to compare yourself to. I have my own home, but that's new and forward-looking. There isn't any "home" to go back to.

[Comments] (6) Greener Pastures: (to borrow my title from John.)

Very early this morning I lay awake on Maggie's floor for half an hour thinking of everything I didn't like about living in California. Cockroaches. Cost of living. No Zuppa's. No Cafe Rio. No family. Spiders. 1/4 the living space for the same price. No yard. No cousins for Maggie. Apartment living. No playdates. Crappy library and no storytime. And umm... cockroaches. Am I trying too hard?

How Embarassing: I just screened out of a survey, not because I couldn't see the image, but because I don't know the difference between a diamond and a triangle.

[Comments] (1) Maggie Braggy: My post last night has disappeared into cyber-space so here you go again:

John is out of town. Maggie and I went to see Grandma June. Me: We're going to McDonald's. Maggie: E-I-E-I-O! Even Grandma thought it was funny.

Maggie is "reading" words all over the place, words you don't notice are there until she starts saying letters out loud. Like "A-D-T" (security sticker on our windows) or "g-e-r-b-e-r" on her sippy cups. On the way into Wal-Mart today she spelled "Food Center." She's also learned several sight words; her favorite is "my".

She now has eight teeth, three of which are molars.

Bears and Books: Maggie got a Fox in Socks from the hospital so we brought up the book for her to to read with it. And yes, that toy is as ugly as it sounds. She, of course, knows that her 100 Acre Wood friends go with her Pooh books. Now she's started wanting to snuggle Patrick the Bear while reading The Berenstain Bears books.

[Comments] (1) Teaching Piano: I had so much fun teaching piano lessons today. I paid a girl on our street to babysit Maggie so I didn't have to worry about her. Best investment ever. My new students are so bright and because they are younger, I've been looking for some fun games to incorporate into our lessons. I found so much stuff, I can't wait to use some new ideas next week for all my students.

ETA: I had a really hard time searching for game ideas online. I finally managed to stumble onto two websites that were helpful: Music Matters Blog and this blog.

I use the Bastien books. I looked at several other programs and decided to use what I was familiar with. Recently, I looked closely at some other series' to see if I could find something better for my pre-reading student, and I decided I'm very happy with the Bastien. It has some major flaws - focus on "hand positions" rather than note-reading for one - but I still think it's the best.

[Comments] (2) Girl's Day: Maggie and I had an awesome day yesterday. Jodi and I went to the temple in the morning while Maggie played with her Grandma and Grandpa. Mom made potato-cheese soup for lunch. I brought Maggie home for a nap, while I packed for CHA. Then we went to the mall with Jodi. It was a very unexciting mall trip. We didn't buy anything, or even really look at anything, but we got our rings cleaned, which was the purpose.

We went to Jon and Sharon's later, because Uncle Leonard is in town. We went to dinner, along with Cory and Alyssa, and Kristan and Sarah. We hit Maggie's bedtime about the time we ordered our food, but she was well-behaved for the most part. It helped that she adores Sarah and Sarah is very good at entertaining toddlers. We went back to Jon and Sharon's after, and since Maggie was still awake I took her inside to eat some pie and put her PJs on. Soon enough Sarah got out a train set and I had to drag her away to go home. Maggie went to bed around 10.

I called John and realized how much I missed him. It's easy to forget when you are so busy. He gets home this afternoon and we get about 4 hours together before I am leaving for CHA.

[Comments] (2) CHA Day 1:
1. Got ran over by C-3PO.
2. Shared a bed with someone I met on the internet.
3. Saw Paris Hilton.
4. Planned 8 kits.
5. Got tons of free stuff.
6. Had chocolate thrown at me.

[Comments] (5) CHA Recap: Awesome stuff:

1. Staying at the Hilton.
2. Being in Southern California.
3. Flying JetBlue
4. Eating at Cheesecake Factory - twice.
5. Eating authentic Mexican food (even if we had to walk a mile into "un-Disneyfied" Anaheim to get it.
6. Staying up until midnight giggling every night.
7. Yanking old Bazzill color swatches out of the swatch books.
8. Meeting Lisa and Jen from the Coordinates Collections Design Team.
9. Getting lots of free stuff - and not keeping most of it. I'm very proud of myself for fitting everything I brought back into a Making Memories paper holder.
10. Being inspired.
11. Snuggling with Maggie, who seems to have grown and gotten smarter in the four days I was gone.
12. Taking a 2 hour nap.
13. Coming home.

Not so awesome: the 40 degree weather swing on the way home. And I am still exhausted.

I am now ready to start putting my life together, hopefully before the hundreds of products we ordered start rolling in to be put in the store.

[Comments] (1) Happy Friday: Today is a stay-at-home day. We're saving money and the earth by not driving anywhere. I try to do this at least once a week. Not running errands leaves plenty of time for snuggling and doing laundry. I also made myself a new-and-improved bedside organizer. Maggie is napping and I probably should be, too. I slept terribly last night after M woke up screaming around 3. John was nice enough to get up with her at 6:15 so I could get some more rest. "Up!"

[Comments] (1) Stuff: Save the Earth: Recently I was asked what movie I thought would make the world a better place if watched by everyone. In that spirit, I ask you to watch The Story of Stuff. It is a 20 minute film about the (non-cyclical) life cycle of "stuff" - from pollution-creating production and distribution, to careless disposal.

I disagree with the film in the way it lays most of the blame on the government and corporations. Although they are certainly at fault (70x the amount of your waste was discarded in making it in the first place), consumers make decisions that ultimately lead to the problems the earth is having. Buyers may be influenced by advertising etc, but that is still their fault: wake up and smell the pollution. Own your choices.

I cringe when I see all the JUNK for sale out there: fluffy teddy bears in every color for Valentine's Day, disposable products that are barely used then trashed, "gift" items that nobody wants (much less needs), and just about everything sold for a dollar. That is all complete junk, created with toxic byproducts, a waste of money, and filling up landfills.

The film states that 99% of stuff makes its way to the landfill within 6 months of purchase. How much of what you buy is still in use 6 months later? The next time you go to buy something, ask yourself, "Isn't there a better alternative?" I guarantee there is.

[Comments] (2) Counting Sheep: When I need Maggie to be patient for just a minute I sometimes tell her to count to ten. That used to distract her for a minute or so, long enough for me to finish what I'm doing and give her my full attention. Now she just says, "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10" and I get about 3 seconds to finish what I'm doing.

Also, she can apparently count to 12, though we're not sure where she learned it from.

[Comments] (4) This is My Sacred Duty: This morning I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Draper Temple Open House. I was an usher near the baptistry which involved gesturing towards the stairs and really a lot of smiling and eye contact. It was actually kind of non-temple-y in a lot of ways. Because I was in the basement near the engineer's office and the laundry, I saw men carrying tool belts and cardboard boxes and sneaking into emergency exits and boiler rooms. Also, there were children, and people on cell phones and radios, and people dressed in casual clothing. One of the weirdest things was that no one was wearing white. I noticed it as soon as I walked in. I expected to see a lot of nice ladies dressed in white to tell me where to go. But that was my job as an usher (in church clothes), so no one was there to do it until I got there.

I was standing next to a painting of the Savior with Mary and Martha, and one of the sun setting in Jerusalem, both of which were very beautiful and inspiring to ponder while I waited in between groups. I enjoyed being able to serve and share my testimony (with a smile and hand gesture). As soon as I got home, I marched over to our neighbors and invited them to take the tour.

I'm looking forward to going on the tour with John and Maggie in a couple weeks. I may take Maggie during the day sometime. I think she might enjoy seeing the temple. Also, the cookies are good.

[Comments] (6) Gift Ideas for the Maggie:
step stool
potty seat
lavender twin sheets (like $10 ones from Target)
Cars DVD
Wooden ABC puzzle (like the ones with pegs on the letters and no annoying sounds)
dress 2T
pajamas 2T
nylon tights
Gerber puffs
$ for college fund
twin bed

[Comments] (1) Dream Purse: Last night I dreamed I was at a trade show and looking at a purse booth I found a purse I just loved and tried to schmooze them into giving it to me. My conscious self would never have picked out that purse but the more I think about it, I really like it. It was much too small for my current purposes. I could fit my essentials into it, but no snacks or toys for Maggie. It held it's shape, was made out of pink leather - the dark pink that purses are. It had some weird eyelet holes, and a little design on the corner, a flower or something, not some tacky logo. They told me I could have it if I spent $96 on some other ugly purse. No thanks.

It was a bit like this Coach purse in shape, only not so sickly a pink.

: Among the things I don't feel like doing while recovering from the world's longest cold: changing crib sheets, giving baths, listening to whining, cleaning up troubled assets and convincing that Piglet will return from the depths of the washing machine. Don't mind: extra snuggling.

Special Me!: An article I wrote for Valentine's Day last year, Chocolate-Free Desserts, is featured on the main page of Associate Content. Woo hoo!

Hello, World: I was already feeling a little boring when I clicked on my blog's random entry generator just now, and was shown an entry involving Latin dancing, trips to London and pleather pants. Sigh. None of those things are currently forecasted, especially not the pleather pants.

In real life, Jodi, Franco, Maggie and I went to visit Grandma June today, then we met up with more family at IHOP. I got to sit next to Logan, who made me laugh, and Maggie got to sit next to Franco, who made her laugh. I did some cleaning and a couple hours of work for Jamie, and we went for a walk to get the nonmail. And I just had a delicious rootbeer float.

Oh yeah, for Valentine's Day John bought me and Maggie some delicious, fancy cookies. We made him Valentines and bought him a power cord for the elliptical (so romantic). Jodi watched Maggie in the morning so John and I could go to the temple together. I made shrimp scampi for lunch (for John (and Jodi)) and picked up a stuffed crust Hawaiian pizza (for me) for dinner.

[Comments] (1) I Love [Fake] Spring: John planned a surprise for us today, which I finally guessed as bowling. I am terrible at bowling, but it was so much fun. The funniest part was that Maggie was so sad that the balls disappeared! "ball! ball! wah!" Even watching them come back out of the machine didn't make her happy. Finally I said, "Look, Maggie, I'm going to put the ball down the slide" (the lane) and she seemed to accept that.

After bowling we went bed-shopping for Maggie. If anyone is looking into buying a bed, you should know that it is MUCH cheaper just to buy a headboard. That's what we ended up doing. $99 headboard vs $500 bed: no question.

We also bought purple sheets, a spring dress and some PJs for Maggie's birthday. For some reason we don't get a lot of PJ handmedowns, because it seems like that is the thing I buy most for her.

Later we went to the park to play and made smoothies for dinner. Because it was such a nice Indian Spring day. We even went in the backyard for the first time in ages. John weeded!

[Comments] (3) So Much for That: We got two new sets of neighbors this week. John and I were just enjoying our third day of having no For Sale signs on our side of the street when a new one went up today. There are currently 5 houses on our street for sale or rent - out of 20 total houses! That makes 9 total since we bought our house, once of which has changed hands twice.

[Comments] (3) Back Seat Sewist: I did some sewing today. I mended some of John's clothes, and made some felt food items for Someone's upcoming birthday. I have one more to make, and I will post pictures tomorrow. Maggie has taken to standing behind me while I sew and saying "uh-oh!" every time I stop the machine.

Baby Maggie Steps: After dealing with Mom's (50) scrapbooks, I've decided that I'm just going to make one scrapbook and my kids can fight over the pages. We have all the pictures digitally, so hopefully it won't be a big deal. Since Maggie technically doesn't have a baby book, here is the list I've kept of all her baby firsts and accomplishments

First smile: 5 weeks
Spontaneous smile: 5/13/07
Makes Razz sound: 5/17/07
Rolls over - back to front: 6/17/07
Sits alone (no hands even! at the beach): 7/12/07
Solid food: 8/20/07
Rolls onto back: 8/27/07
Stands holding onto crib: 8/31/07
Crawling: 10/16/07
Pulls up in crib: 10/16/07
Says "Dada": 7.5 months
Climbs stairs: 8 months
Waves bye-bye: 8 months
Stands alone: 1/19/08
Claps hands: 2/14/08
Walk between furniture and parent: 2/14/08
Climb down stairs: 4/7/08
First tooth: 4/6/08
Walks well: 13 months
First word ("Bubbles", after a couple weeks in nursery): 18 months
2 word phrases: 22 months

[Comments] (2) Birthday=2: Yesterday was our family party for Feb/March birthdays (Dave, Hannah and Maggie). We gave Maggie a dress, two PJs, a sweatshirt and a felt watermelon and two popsicles. Everyone else gave her... a slide! Since they all went in on it we were able to get her a big, nice one. It was big enough that even two of her cousins could go on it. It's a big hit already.

We also set up Maggie's new bed yesterday ("bye bye crib!"). Unfortunately, the headboard was cracked so I have to exchange it for a new one. We went cold turkey into the big girl bed, which might have been mean since she didn't get a nap yesterday. She fell asleep after John lay with her for 45 minutes, and slept through the night... mostly. I went in when she woke up at 4 and found her curled up on the floor asking for her pillow. ... I don't know if she'd just then fallen out, been lying there for a while, if she'd gotten out, or if she even knew she was lying on the floor. I put her back in bed and gave her a drink and she woke up at 8:30 saying, "bye bye crib! Purple sheets!"

I taught Maggie to say "2!" when I ask how old she'll be on her birthday. Now whenever someone says "birthday" she says "2!" and tries to hold up 2 fingers.

[Comments] (2) Spring wants to come out: I took precautions to make sure I would be missing Mom this Spring.

[Comments] (1) Maggie is sick: although acting fine. I wouldn't have taken her to Logan today if I'd know she was going to throw up the whole way there, the whole way back, and a few times in between for good measure. I am impressed with how well Ember handled sitting next to puke girl the whole time.

However, I can't say I'm sorry I went because we ate at the Bluebird. Jamie and I had the special, a chicken cordon bleu sandwich. It was so delicious and I couldn't even finish it, so John gets to try some tonight.

At Two: Maggie is: well-behaved, calm, a good helper, sweet, intelligent, cute, quick-learning, happy, talkative, coy, friendly, and cautious.

Maggie loves: bubbles, Popcorn Popping, E-I-E-I-O, Piglet, her family, animals, treats, books, playing cars with Grandpa, walks, the park, singing, and Frosty Returns.

Maggie knows: the ABCs, how to count to 12 (not just reciting the numbers, but she can actually count and tell you how many there are of something), and about 50 sight words.

Maggie says: Where X go?, especially while hiding X; that she's 2 (or sometimes 8) holding up 2 fingers; "bye-bye Mama/Daddy" to get rid of us (if she wants to hide, take a nap, or make a dirty diaper); random words she recognizes.

Maggie doesn't like: getting her hair washed, being scolded, not having the blankie cover her toes.

Maggie can't: jump, undress, or count to one (if you ask her how many noses she has, she will count hers, yours, and any other noses nearby).

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

[Comments] (1) Reminds me of Mom: I've neglected to mention that I've been called to teach the Valiant 10 Primary class in our ward. I think there are about 10 kids total. I am a team teacher, but the lady I teach with hasn't been to church since I was called, and won't be there the next two weeks. Also, we get to do Sharing Time next week! The good news is that since John isn't teaching, I can use all his creative ideas for myself.

Last night was Girl's Night Out with John's cousins. We went to Leatherby's, so I had cheesefries and a Black & Tan for dinner. This Black & Tan had toasted almond ice cream, instead of English Toffee or something like Rosemary's has, but it was still very yummy.

: I just finished reading Affluenza, which is about the epidemic of consumerism taking over America. And how bad it is for the planet, and the people living on it. I got 14/100 on the quiz - pretty good. My favorite quote really didn't have much to do with the book: "In ancient Greece, the word "idiot" meant someone not involved in public life".

: Despite the germs floating around our house this weekend, we've managed to have a busy and fun time. Maggie and I went to a playdate at the park on Friday morning, with our gloves and mittens on. Yesterday we went to visit Grandma June with Jodi while John got some work done. Jodi and I did a 550 piece puzzle while Grandma entertained Maggie, then we had a McDonald's picnic at the Lehi Cemetery. We had Jamba Juice for dinner to help our poor throats feel better.

Today, in addition to my Primary class, I was in charge of Sharing Time. Luckily, John gave me a great idea for an activity that went really well. My fuzzy head and misbehaving pre-teen boys didn't help, but I survived. We went to dinner with Jodi and Franco at Maggie's favorite place, "'Ma Papa's!" It was so yummy! We had pork au jus sandwiches, yummy salad, and baked potatoes. And ice cream sundaes for dessert. Maggie was a good eater, dipping her meat into my dip. She is such a little carnivore. She wore out her Grandpa from playing after dinner.

Book Twins: I recently read three of Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern (and really liked and recommend them!). John and I noticed that the cover art was very much the same style as Maggie's latest favorite book, I Took the Moon for a Walk, which I can recite from memory. I finally remembered to check today, and sure enough both are illustrated by Allison Jay.

I feel all smart because I never notice stuff like this, but she does have a rather distinct style, and there's a "cracked" layer over the art as well.

[Comments] (1) She gets it from her Mom: Miss Maggie has been a clumsy fool over the past 24 hours. She started out with various unknown bruises on her legs and has since added scrapes from tripping on the sidewalk, a nasty bruise on her tummy from falling off the chair, about 10 table-head bonks, and a scratch on her nose from pulling a carton of applesauce off the shelf at the grocery store. I've never seen someone hit their head on the table so much.

Best Dr. Appt Ever: Maggie had her 2-year check up today. We had a busy morning full of errand-running, but I made time to tell her what would happen at the doctor. I didn't mention shots, so luckily she didn't need any. Anyway, she is big enough now to stand on the scale, and have her height measured standing. I think that made all the difference. She started to cry when I took her shoes off, but I reminded her they were just going to see how big she was and she was fine. She is 23.5 lbs and 33" tall.

She was really good while the doctor talked to me, repeating words she heard. Apparently, 2 year olds only have to know 20 words to be normal! Maggie must know well over 100. The doctor listen to her heart, and looked at her tummy and in her ears. Then he backed off and she said "eyes! eyes!" I had told her he was going to look in her eyes and she thought he forgot. Then she just sat there like a princess the whole time and didn't cry once.

Afterward, I took her to Coldstone for her free birthday ice cream. And maybe a bit of a bribe.

[Comments] (2) You Know You Married Right When...: Yesterday, Jodi called to say she found Girl Scout cookies for sale and what did I want her to buy for me? True love, I'm telling you.

: Yesterday, Jodi and I went to the temple. I got stung by a mysterious insect (inside the temple, no doors or windows anywhere). I thought something had dripped on me and burned me, because I saw a drop of, presumably, venom. Then it swelled up around the area like a bug bite, so I guess that's what it was. By the time I went to bed last night you could barely tell, except that my arm still stung and hurt. When I woke up this morning, I had a big, swollen, red area on the inside of my wrist. It's about 2x3 inches and has only gotten more swollen today, if anything. I've never had an allergic reaction to something like this before, so it's kind of weird. Ssssting Stop has been helping.

:
Maggie: No stripes!
Me: Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease? *tickle tickle tickle*
Maggie: *giggle giggle giggle* No stripes!
Me: I'll let you wash your hands.
Maggie: Wash hands! *lets me put shirt on her*

[Comments] (1) Yum: I found a receipt in the Pathfinder for Flame & Skewers, a Mediterranean restaurant in Bakersfield. It's obviously Rachel's because it only has one meal on it, and it was two weeks before Maggie was born. It's been hiding for two years and decided to make a grand entrance. This place has delicious falafel and kabob sandwiches. Yum.

[Comments] (10) Our Garden Grows: A little Chadwick Sprout is on the way, expected on October 3rd. Maggie is pretty excited about the baby in mommy’s tummy, and I am pretty excited that maybe I will start feeling better soon. I am way more nauseous than with Maggie. Everyone, including my doctor, says this means I am having a boy. We shall see!

[Comments] (1) More about Maggie: Two cute things Maggie has been saying lately: "okay!" and "gawck" (broken). A lot of things she says sound like letters of the alphabet put together. For example, ice cream is "S M" and she says "O N" for snowman. And I love when she says "E ba" for zebra. She does her ABC puzzle about 10 times a day.

She woke up this morning asking for eggs. I'm pretty sure she meant the Cadbury kind, but I microwaved her a chicken egg, cut it into strips and gave her some ketchup to dip it in. She ate the whole thing. She will eat just about anything if she can dip it.

Earth Hour 2009: Did you participate? How did you spend your 60 minutes?

We read bedtime stories to Maggie by lantern-light, which she thought was pretty cool. Then John worked, with one light on, and I made some cards and read the Ensign by the lantern.

[Comments] (3) : So... we bought a new car. Shiny, new, so pretty. We got a Toyota RAV4 with a 3rd row that folds down (seats 7), and shocks that keep it from rocking side to side, and an engine that accelerates. My only complaints so far are that the glasses holder is cheap-o, the sun visor is too fat for our garage door opener, and the clock is hard to see (possibly because of my sunglasses, must experiment). It is very nice to drive and we feel safe and can fit lots more kids in it.

In other news, I was all proud of myself to making appointments to go visiting teaching this month (barely). Then I went to write them on my calendar and realized I made two of them for the 1st. Oops.

Grandma June and I went to Winger's today, to get Maggie's free birthday meal. Grandma said she wasn't going to eat a single bite, which apparently meant most of Maggie's french fries, some celery sticks, and a little container of ranch dressing. I had half a wrap, a baked potato, and 3 huge glasses of strawberry lemonade.

[Comments] (1) I *heart* my husband: This happened a while ago, when I was first pregnant, and I've been saving it in perpetuity. I mean, to post on my blog after people knew I was pregnant. Yeah, that.

Susie: I should have put those green onions away. The smell is making me sick.
John: That's what you get.
...
John gets up, puts the green onions away, puts the cutting board in the dishwasher, AND sprays room freshener.

*heart*

We went to Zuppa's for dinner today. It is too easy to talk John into eating out, if Zuppa's is involved. I've been cooking dinner though, and I even cooked chicken for the first time in weeks. The doctor recommended a drug cocktail that has kept me from throwing up, so yay.

[Comments] (1) : Despite several inches of snow yesterday, today is a beautiful, warm, sunny Spring day. We celebrated by taking a long walk and spending an hour at the park.

[Comments] (1) And so it begins: I bought Maggie a potty seat at Target today. She calls it her purple potty. She and Piglet both got stickers for sitting on the potty, but Maggie was chanting "no pee-pee" the whole time she sat there.

Maggie has learned how to say her name and now refers to herself in the third person. "No, Maggie's juice!" etc.

I found a paint-with-water Pooh book - Easter themed, even - while getting out games for the Chadwick Girl's Night on Saturday. Maggie sat at the kitchen table and colored a picture while I did the dishes today. She really enjoyed it. I hope that stuff isn't toxic...

Eggs in the Dark: Tonight we took Maggie to the neighborhood Flashlight Egg Hunt. She thought it was great! I told her all day we were going to find eggs at the park. It was still light when we got there, so she saw the eggs scattered all over the park and got really excited.

She loved picking up the eggs when John shone the flashlight on them, and putting them in her little bag. When we couldn't find anymore she started saying "More eggs, more eggs!" so I threw the empty ones I'd picked up on the ground in front of her for her to "find".

Easter Bunnies Everywhere: We took Maggie to the Draper City Easter Egg Hunt at the park this morning. It was better organized than I anticipated, and I was glad to see a section for 0-2 year olds (the whole thing was divided by age). Maggie got a few eggs and really a lot of suckers. She also got her picture taken with the Easter bunny! She was a little unsure at first, due to repeated viewings of "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown". But John assured her he was the one who put out all the eggs for her to find.

We will not be able to go to a park without Maggie saying "eggs!" for quite some time. We had a playdate at the flashlight hunting park on Friday and everytime she would go down the slide, she'd sit at the top and chant "no eggs, no eggs" first.

Since it is an overcast, sprinkly day, we went for a walk to IKEA. Other than $2.50 on hotdogs for the 3 of us, we didn't buy anything, but we spent 2 hours walking around and entertaining/wearing out Maggie. We planned the "office" we're going to put in the random space in our basement, once our current office becomes a nursery. When we left, who was standing by the entrance? The Easter Bunny, of course! Maggie gave him a big hug and got to pick a treat from his basket. She was pretty excited about it.

[Comments] (2) Happy Easter! "Eggs!": Even more Easter Fun.

Maggie's had four more egg hunts: in the backyard last night, in the basement this morning, and helping Daddy find the Cadbury caramel eggs I hid for him. She doesn't care what's in the eggs, she just likes to find them.

Right after church, we had another egg hunt at "Ma Papa's". She was a little Socialist Butterfly, handing out her eggs and candy to everyone else after the hunt. I realized later, as she distributed an entire bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, she probably was being the Easter Beagle.

I taught Primary today, and I couldn't believe how well my lesson went. I won't say it was because certain kids weren't there, but it possibly was. The kids enjoyed picking an egg with a question, quote, or scripture, even though I didn't bring any candy. Sharing Time was also really good. The lesson was on Testimony and really made me think about my testimony about Jesus' resurrection and atonement. Then the new song we're learning this month is one of my favorites, "I Wonder When He Comes Again."

[Comments] (1) Baby Fat: We've returned from a quick post-tax season getaway to Park City. It snowed quite a bit right before we left, so it was cold, but we still had a good time. I made my semi-annual phone call to Uncle Justin, and we enjoyed a night of Cable TV. We bought a few things at the outlets, but only things we had planned on purchasing, and we spent much less on food than we thought we would.

I got two maternity shirts, hopefully all I will have to buy. I borrowed most of the clothes I wore during my last pregnancy, so I don't have much, but I'm planning to make and alter some clothes.

So, speaking of maternity shirts, here is a picture of me (and baby!) wearing one. Definitely getting fat. But not so fat. I banned myself from the scale this week, so I can't say for sure, but I probably still weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with Maggie. The doctor told me to gain less than 30 pounds (hah!). I gained 40 with Maggie and lost 55, so I think I'll be ok.

[Comments] (3) Best Dollar Ever Spent: I said this to a man at the park today while Maggie was flying her new Cars kite. We were at a different park last night with 5 or 6 kites up, and we actually had to leave because Maggie would not stop saying "Maggie kite!" So we picked out one at the store today and went to a park up the hill when John got home.

Perhaps it's because we live in the perfect town for kite-flying, but it was really easy. Maggie had no trouble doing it, and she only let go three times. The park we went to is right next to the mountain. The mountain is literally in the backyard of the houses across the street. We saw a lot of deer - about 15 - grazing on the hill, and plenty of flyers from the hang-gliding park.

[Comments] (1) Dictation: Maggie got a hand-me-down MagnaDoodle from Ember. She likes to say words or names for us to write on it. Usually it's something like "Maggie. Daddy. Mommy. Colette. Baby." In that order. Yesterday she also wanted "James" written, after having a playdate with him. Now she wants me to draw her a kite.

Maggie used to say "okay" when I guessed correctly what she was trying to tell me (or something else acceptable). Now she says "mm-hmm", occasionally accompanied with a nod of her little head. John theorized that she picked it up from watching My Neighbor Totoro.

Also, we checked out a few books about using the potty from the library. Maggie calls them "poopy books". ETA: She stepped on a pile of library books, slid a little, and said "Uh-oh poopy!"

: What have we here? A beautifully made bed? A Primary lesson* in progress? And no Maggie in sight? What a sweet husband I have.

*I normally would not be planning a Primary lesson on Sunday morning but my team teacher works for a temp agency and called me late Saturday night. Sigh.

Busy Me: If it seems like I've been busy lately, it's because I have. I've taken on a little project - little in amount of time until deadline, not in amount I have to do - helping someone revise a book. Seriously!

John and I are going to the temple on Friday, so we took Maggie to show her around. She says "temple" so cute.

We had a busy morning, beginning with taking John's car to get the tires rotated at 8:30. It only took 10 minutes instead of the 30-45 I had planned on, so we went to Draper Park until JoAnn's opened, then shopped, then went to storytime at the library. When we got home Maggie's little friend Ethan came over to play for a bit. No nap today, so none for me, and I took a break from working to get some cleaning done.

[Comments] (1) Do you have a shirt that you really love?: The scrapbook I am currently filling has 45 layouts in it. There are pictures of me on 25 of them. In 8 of them, I am wearing the same gray sweatshirt. If you don't count the ones where I'm wearing a swimming suit or a hospital gown or was told what to wear (family pictures), and include the one where Rachel (!) is wearing the gray sweatshirt, that makes 47% of the pictures of me also featuring this sweatshirt. I really do wear it almost every day. I've had it 6 1/2 years and it is starting to wear thin where I poke my thumbs inside the sleeves. The zipper pull has been missing for ages.

I once said to Rachel "Hey, I have a sweatshirt just like that. Mine is missing the zipper pull, too. Wait a minute..." on a different occasion than the one scrapbooked.

: We spent last night at the cabin. Maggie was an angel, other than having a hard time going to sleep - both at bedtime and when she woke up at 4 AM. We went for some walks (sticking to the pavement mostly, because it was quite wet) and tried out our new backpack carrier (thanks Leonard!). Maggie was quickly convinced that riding on Daddy's shoulders has the best view. She was adorable and giggly and happy to get in and play peek-a-boo. We played some games and some "beep beep" and watched a few shows and read a lot. The whole drive home Maggie was asking for "ah-mos" - I pointed out some animal noises (chipmunks and birds), and she wanted to see the animals.

Happy Teeth: We took Maggie to the dentist for the first time today - just to see what the haps is, since she isn't on our insurance yet and only has 10 teeth. She watched John for a while, then went in her own chair and let the dentist look in her mouth. Sort of. She thinks her tongue is a tooth so she kept sticking it out. She got a pink bug, a crayon toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. Overall a good experience. At this rate we will never have to buy toothbrushes or toothpaste, because our dentist gives us a full-size one!

Also, I've never had to sit down in the waiting room. If you're looking for a dentist in the Draper area, we've got the guy for you.

: On the way to the Lehi Cemetery I insisted on being let out so I could show Maggie some lambs. We fed them grass through the fence and walked the rest of the way to the cemetery (like 100 yards). Lambs! So cute! The only thing cuter is watching Maggie feed them grass. I just asked Maggie to say "lambs". She said, "pams. Where Ma go?" Just like she did when we were feeding the lambs and Grandma drove off.

[Comments] (1) You've Got Mail (Still): Mom got a $900 check in the mail today, the third anniversary of her death. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately considering our luck cashing previous checks) it was one of those fake checks that's really a discount, for Lasik in this case. Ironic, nevertheless.

[Comments] (1) What to Wear: Here's what I own as far as maternity clothes go: 9 shirts (4 of which are too hot to wear this summer), 1 pair of nice pants, 1 pair of jeans, and 1 dress. I also have some undershirts, two of which are tooooo small. Maternity shirts can be really sleazy so these are a must.

Going to DI today to drop off the three bags of stuff we've collected over the past 6 months, and to scout out jeans/fabric I can use to make maternity clothes. I was going to use a pair of jeans I already had (1 size too big, and 2 sizes too big) but I spent several weeks relying on each. So I think I'd better keep them as is. I already have some fabric to make a skirt, and fabric and elastic to alter the jeans.

Hopefully, Tasha's baby will be safely out in a few weeks and I can borrow some of her clothes, too. I'm getting quite the tummy.

UPDATE: I found a pair of maternity capris, which I actually considered paying $40 for at a maternity store, for $4. I also got two pairs of jeans. One is 2 sizes too big and really low cut so they fit great right now. The other pair I couldn't zip up all the way, so they will be perfect for making maternity jeans. The great thing was, since I didn't have to be picky about size I could pick out the cutest jeans.

[Comments] (1) Wet Weekend: Friday morning I was doing laundry when I noticed that the bottoms of the baseboards in the basement were gray. As in wet! I called John over and he noticed several inches of standing water in our window well. Eventually, we figured out the neighbor's sprinkler pipe was leaking, flooding our side yard. The water was getting into our house through our sprinkler turn-off, which is inside. Brook was the hero of the weekend; he came over and spent all day helping us clean up and fix the mess.

We called a restoration company. They got us set up drying the place out (we have to replace about 110 square feet of carpet padding), but I called them the next day to come get their fans, because they hadn't told us it would be another $350 to put everything back together - even when I said we'd rather do new carpet if it'd be cheaper. So now we get to learn how to put the carpet back ourselves.

Also, our garbage disposal broke. Must be replaced. Joy.

Needless to say, we didn't get much done that we wanted to this weekend. We were able to go on a 2 hour hike in Corner Canyon, and we had Tyler and Tasha over for dinner (so Tyler could look at our basement). We also went to a big Mother's Day get-together at Grandma June's last night.

[Comments] (1) And Now My Story is All Told: I went shopping this afternoon wearing Rainbow flipflops in two different sizes.

YES!: Maggie is taking a nap for the first time since she fell asleep in the car 6 days ago. She is obviously not ready to give up naps, but we made her miss it one too many days in a row and then she had some trouble. Hopefully, she will go back to normal now.

Maggie: Can count to twenty. Has gone from saying "okay" to "mm-hmm" to nodding her head emphatically. Calls blankets "eepies", as in "sleepy". Doesn't like to wear pants. Calls cars "beep beeps". Says "Oh Nooo!" instead of uh-oh now. Holds the camera up to her face and says "one two three". Is obsessed with bugs. Likes to lie in bed, possibly due to teething. She's had her hand in her mouth for the past three or four days.

[Comments] (1) Sly and Crafty: I've been super crafty this week. I sewed some maternity clothes and some snack bags for Maggie. I also did some scrapbooking, and planted our garden. Right now I am working on some felt play mail for Colette as a big sister present. It is turning out really cute.

[Comments] (2) Hello in there: I love being pregnant right now. I am *almost* back to my normal energy level, so long as I don't have to carry anything (or anyone). No sickness. Only a little bit of an achy back. I have clothes to wear. And little baby is kicking away, but not getting stuck in uncomfortable positions or waking me up with karate chops.

[Comments] (1) I was right: We are having a boy. I had an ultrasound at 12 weeks, and as soon as I saw him kicking around in there I thought it was a boy. I've been referring to him as a "him" ever since. Today's ultrasound proved me right. Maggie is getting a little brother.

[Comments] (1) : We went to Provo today to celebrate Memorial Day a little early. We bought some flowers at Home Depot - African Daisies - and John made a cute card with an announcement on it. We picked up some burritos to eat on the grave, which Mom approves of, but I think may have earned us some dirty looks.

Afterward, we went to BYU and walked around. Maggie was pretty obsessed with the Y on the mountain. I think her favorite part was playing with the physics exhibits in the Eyring Science Center. We shot the air cannon at her, and let her watch the pendulum, and try to touch the mirror dollar. She also got to splash in the Tanner Building fountain.

We also bought a light fixture and some pruning shears at Home Depot. It's about time; we have needed those things since we bought our house.

Various Quotes:
John told his nephew James we were having a boy and he said, "Oh. What's Maggie?"

Logan: I made white trash quesadillas. We were out of shredded cheese so I had to use sliced.

John's variation of Sesame Street: Poppy Lane.

Grandma, on dying: I think I'll make it through Lawrence Welk tonight, but I definitely won't make it to dinner at Scott's tomorrow (she did, of course).

We had a good time at the cabin. We went for a muddy but fun hike. Maggie sat happily in her carrier the entire time without a single fruit snack. I sang "Give, Said the Little Stream" to her when we saw a stream, and she sang along! That is her latest favorite song. We saw a snake and a deer and cleaned the place up. Best of all, Maggie slept the whole night in her own "bed", a blanket and pillow I brought from home and set up on the floor of our room for her. This is the preferred sleeping arrangement (all night, and not in our bed) for our Yellowstone trip, so I was glad to see it work out last night.

: Tasha was induced this morning. I feel like I'm becoming an aunt. Or a mom of twins. I've got two toddlers following me around (actually, Maggie miraculously took a nap). I took them to the aquarium (brave me), and we played outside. Really, that's about it because we had the carpets cleaned this morning, and all the rooms with toys are carpeted. Fun.

Getting to Know You: Maggie is starting to remember her Auntie Rachel. Yesterday when the computer signaled an incoming call, she ran into the room saying "Rachel, Rachel!" which sounds a lot like "baseball". Then, in the middle of our video chat/peek-a-boo game, she started Meow-ing. Rachel went to get Nimbus, who turned up his nose and stalked out to the windowsill.

Perhaps the gifts are helping.

[Comments] (3) Downtown: Today (after cleaning the church again) we took Maggie downtown for sight-seeing. First we hiked Ensign Peak. That was really cool. You can see the entire valley, including the Salt Lake, and all the way into Utah Valley. I'd never been up there before. It is a steep hike, although not long, but I was breathing for two, and forgot to change out of my flip flops.

After that we went to The Gateway. We watched the water fountains, and met my cousin Alyssa for lunch at CPK. Then we road TRAX to Temple Square. Maggie loves trains, but as soon as it started to move she said, "no train!" She got over it though. We walked around Temple Square, and went to the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. I think that was Maggie's favorite part, just pressing her nose up against the glass on the Observation Deck.

We went to the visitor's center and took Maggie up to see The Christus. I'm afraid we don't have one of those cute stories to share in Sacrament Meeting about how Maggie loved it. She was more interested in the escalator ("up-up"), and in peering down in between the ramp railings. And in pointing to the Earth and saying "Earth ball!" (Grandma June gave her an Earth stress ball.) She did seem intrigued by Jesus' "owies".

We took the train back to the Gateway and went to the Planetarium (free, except for the IMAX). Maggie was pretty fascinated by some of the exhibits. Mostly the little balls in perpetual motion.

Maggie and I crashed when we got home. Maggie is still crashed.

UPDATE: Now every time we mention Jesus she says, "Jesus Owies" several times. Maybe we have a story to tell in Sacrament Meeting after all.

Big Winner: A good mail day today. I got the maternity swimsuit I ordered and another surprise package. The swimsuit is not as cute as it looks online. The colors are a lot brighter. However, it fits well and I think that is more than one can reasonably expect from a maternity swimsuit purchased online, and no more than I can ask with a swim-play-date tomorrow morning and a vacation starting on Friday.

I thought the other box was something Rachel ordered so I didn't open it excitedly as soon as I got home. When I did open it, I just stared at it for a minute before I realized what it was. I won a prize on Mommysavers, and I didn't even notice. The contest barely ended on Sunday! I won two free Carl's Jr. milkshakes, Season 1 of the OC, body wash, lotion and a wallflower from Bath and Body Works, and a digital camcorder. Just in time for our vacation!

This is at least the 5th prize I've won from Mommysavers in the two years I've been hanging out there. I won a cutting board and hand towel when I first joined. I won a DVD (can't remember what it was, I sold it on eBay... the direction the OC is going soon). Also, a $20 Target gift card, and recently a touch-and-feel baby book. I think there might have been something else. Yay, me!

So excited for our trip to Yellowstone on Friday. I've had a crazy-busy day and another one tomorrow, but hopefully all will be ready and we'll have a blast.

[Comments] (1) So far on our trip: We've already done a ton of stuff on our trip to Yellowstone. We stopped at Bear World on the way up and took Maggie on some kiddie rides, petted a deer, and saw some baby bear cubs. Yesterday, we went into the park and made our way to Old Faithful. We saw some other geysers, boiling mud pots, and some wildlife. We saw some elk, an eagle, and a lot of buffalo. Maggie enjoyed watching the baby buffalo "bunning" (running) and thought it was hilarious when one of them rolled on the grass to scratch his back, just like our neighbor's dog does. She yelled "oh no!" in her silly voice. We got so close (in our car) that we could hear them tearing the grass off as they ate.

Our favorite stop that we made was seeing the Prismatic Spring. We had to hike up through a LOT of steam. It was dripping off our faces. We stuck Maggie in the backpack and Dad in the wheelchair and made our way up. The Prismatic Spring was covered in steam, because it was so cold, but we still got some pretty great views.

Today it SNOWED all morning, so we went to a Grizzly and Wolf habitat in town. We got to watch some huge grizzly bears lumber around, and a few of the wolves came to say hi to Maggie through the glass.

Maggie is having a lot of fun. She is attached to Ember during all waking hours, and enjoying the company of two of her new cousins, Sabrina and Mary, as well. We've worn her out pretty good; I'm missing the wolf feeding because she went ahead and put herself down for a nap.

Yellowstone: Part 2: We had a lot of fun our last few days in Yellowstone. We saw bears, elk, a fox, big horn sheep (including babies!), coyotes, pelicans, a parade of bison in the road, lots of geysers, hot springs and mud pots. We got to do an awesome 3.5 mile hike to Mystic Falls. We were lucky enough to see Old Faithful erupt from a viewpoint. Maggie loves hiking. John also took her to see some bison up close, but I was too scared. We saw Mud Volcano and Dragon's Mouth, which were really cool.

We went to Mammoth Falls and The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The canyon was one of my favorite places so far. We hiked down to the Lower Falls where we were standing right on the edge of the 300 ft drop. The water was high and the river was so wide and swift. We also visited the Upper Falls, then hiked along the South Rim 1 mile from the Upper Falls to Artist Point. Maggie was asleep in the car, so we got to hike carefree - John's parents watched her, then we took them down to see Artist Point, which is the best view we've seen.

The Grand Tetons: We've spent the last two days in the Grand Teton National Park. We saw some boats, a frog, a tiny snake, and a moose carcass. Yesterday we went to Jenny Lake and String Lake and did a hike all the way around String Lake (about 3.5 miles). It wasn't a very hard hike, and we got beautiful views of the lake.

Today we went with just Brook, Erin and Ember and Jodi and Franco into the park. We went to Jackson Lake and dropped off Jodi and Franco for fishing ("iffing"). Then we took off to find a hike. We found one that went over a sandbar to an island and all the way around the island. The sun came out - we haven't had terrific weather on this trip, so this was really nice. We stopped at a rocky beach. Maggie learned how fun it is to throw rocks into the water. Ember and Erin waded in the water. After we walked back we ate lunch on the shore with Jodi and Franco, and acted like kids by throwing rocks into the water.

We're heading home tomorrow. It's going to be a long drive.

Chadwick Family Funnies: Yellowstone Version: Here's a collection on funny things that came out of Maggie's mouth (over and over) during our trip.

*elephant trumpet* while pointing at Daddy's PJ pants = grey. I guess I said, "grey like an elephant" a few too many times.
Singing ABC song, with no tune. I hope she isn't tone deaf. After Z she sings something that sounds like "Mama ABCs".
"Da Da Doo!": Horses say "neigh"; Ducks say "quack"; people and inanimate objects say "da da doo!" This happened a while ago while Ember was babysitting Maggie, but got excessive during the trip. The kids thought it was hilarious!
"Oh no!": Two predictable times she said this were when Justin pretended to be a raven, and when the bison were rolling on the grass. It is so cute that we bought a postcard of the bison rolling so we can recreate it.
"baby buffalo bunning": This is how Maggie describes what she saw when some baby bison were chasing each other. She often uses "b" for "r".
"Bicky Boss" = Mickey Mouse: Got really tired of listening to that CD.
"Bussy Boom" = "The Bearenstain Bears and the Messy Room": Took me a long time to figure that one out.
"Beaning" = "raining": Usually followed by "Umbrella" which sounds a lot like how she says "banana". We saw a lot of rain.
"There goes Uncle Brook"/"Where Uncle Brook go?": We caravan-ed behind Brook, and heard this at least 50 times a day. She also learned that Uncle Brook has a U on his car, and Uncle Dave has a Y.
"iking!" = "hiking": Maggie loves her hiking carrier. "Ma ai" = "Grandma's car": The one day we didn't drive in Grandma's car, Maggie asked about it all day.
"Montana: You can't afford it." On a sign when we first entered the state. It actually said "drunk driving" in the shape of the state, or something, but this is how we all interpreted it.

And some interesting interpretations during a game of Catchphrase:
Susie: stick = something you hit someone with.
Justin: fishbowl = place where aquatic life lives.

Chadwick Family Funnies: On potty training.

Mommy: Where do we go pee?
Maggie: Panties!

Socialist Butterfly's Calendar:
Friday: Ward playgroup at the park.
Saturday: Stake Family Fun Fair - Tigger bounce house, train rides, hot dogs. And we took Maggie to see UP and she sat through the whole thing. The free popcorn helped.
Sunday: To the cabin for dinner and lots of attention from Grandpa on "Happy Papa's Day!"
Monday: swimming at a friend's house.
Tuesday: being babysat by Aunt Erin and Ember, and to the aquarium with a friend.
Wednesday: Storytime at the library, and mini-golf for John's work party.
Friday: This week's playgroup is a tour of the fire station.

Hmmm. Better find something exciting for Thursday.

[Comments] (1) Maggie's First Hair Cut: This morning Maggie went to Aunt Erin's house, had fun playing with the dogs, and brought home a Princess chair. I went to the doctor. He said with the second baby I'll have more and earlier aches, pains, and cramps. I guess that explains why I've had more and earlier aches, pains, and cramps with the second baby.

Also, I gave Maggie her first hair cut a couple days ago. I trimmed about 3 inches of straggliness off the back of her hair. It makes her hair look more full, and it curls up on the ends really cute. ETA: pictures here.

Red Doggie: The ward playgroup went to the fire station today. Maggie was saying "no fire truck" all morning, and pretended to be shy for a few minutes after we got there. But once they turned on a cartoon about an escape plan, she got very into it. She wanted to volunteer when the firefighter asked for helpers. When they made pretend smoke and crawled under it, she went right along with everyone. She wanted a turn to hold the sledgehammer and turn the nozzle on and off. And she really wanted to have a turn getting inside the fire engine. She's been talking about it ever since we got home. Jana sent me some pictures she took of Maggie.

Staycation: We had a really fun day. This morning we walked from the South Mountain Country Club to the Draper Temple and back. I went to my cousin Julie's baby shower this afternoon. I also got to see my Aunt Sharon and my cousin Jill, which made me happy. We had dinner at Rumbi and took Maggie to the park afterward. Also, we've been working on/buying some birthday presents for Leonard.

We also did some planning of things to do close to home this summer, since we're not doing a vacation we had budgeted for. Next week we're going to visit a spring, and hike/tour Timpanogos Cave on John's work holidays. I also want to take Maggie to the Great Salt Lake, and to the copper mine. All of these things cost a few dollars, but definitely less than taking a trip would be. Maggie and I are also going to get a membership to a nearby water park. It's a better deal than the swimming pool and opens earlier, although it's farther away.

Quick Brag: Someone at church was impressed with Maggie's number-knowing. I think he was visiting and stayed in nursery with his kid. He said hi to Maggie and then said to me "she knows all her numbers! What a smart girl." Yes, she is! We're learning 21-30 right now.

Also, I posted some videos of her singing the ABCs. She let me take lots of videos of her, because she likes to watch them after.

Really. Long. Hot.. Day.: Yesterday began with a morning walk with a friend. I had to wake Maggie up to go. (She's been sleeping in a lot lately, but apparently that changes starting today). If you ask Maggie about this walk, she won't say that we walked, or visited the horsies, or went past James and Kate's house; she remembers Cody let her play with his toy car.

Immediately after we got home, we rushed off to the grocery store, then dropped off groceries and hurried to the library for storytime. We had goldfish and melty ice cream for lunch, and were very hot and sweaty by the time we got home. Maggie didn't take a nap and was super hyper by the time Erin and Ember came for piano lessons.

In the evening I went to a bridal shower for John's cousin. When I got home, I did a quick clean of the bathrooms and floors, because today we are going to the cabin and hiking! Hurray! Maggie says we are going to the cabin to play balls and beep-beeps, and going hiking to a cave with MaPapa. We are indeed hiking to Timpanogos Cave this afternoon, but Grandma and Grandpa will be joining us on a wheelchair friendly non-hike tomorrow.

Staycation in American Fork Canyon: John had Thursday and Friday off for Independence Day, so we spent both nights at the cabin and crossed some things off our "staycation" list. We made reservations to hike to Timpanogos Cave and take the tour on Thursday afternoon. The hike is a very steep 1.5 miles and I had a hard time. I can't walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. I did fine the first half, huffing and puffing. By the 3/4 mark, I realized my legs were hurting, probably from carrying an extra 35 pounds (between baby weight, and our backpack). I wasn't sore later though.

When our tour started, Maggie was whining and saying "time to go." Luckily, once we got moving she was fine. We pointed out rocks that looked like different things to keep her distracted. When they turned the lights off, she politely asked for them to turn back on. After our tour, it was pouring rain. Other than our carrier being soaked, we missed the worst of it. Pictures here.

Friday, we walked down to the reservoir in the morning. Maggie enjoyed throwing rocks into the river, and seeing all the animals (chipmunks etc.) In the afternoon, we drove to Cascade Springs. It was a slow and scenic 15-mile drive from the cabin. The pools at the Spring were so beautiful. You can see the fish in the water, and there were lots of little waterfalls and wildflowers. Pictures here.

Saturday we hung out with John's parents, and James and Hannah, at the cabin. In the afternoon was the Holbrook 4th of July party. We hiked down to the reservoir with Hannah again (Pictures), went for a few little hikes, and played on the swings and hammock at a neighboring cabin.

After the party, we went home to try to get Maggie to nap. No such luck. We found out we can't do fireworks at our house because we are up on the mountain. So we ended up driving to John's parents. Naturally, Maggie fell asleep on the way there. We woke her up an hour later to do our measly $10 of fireworks. Logan lit them in the street for us. Maggie was afraid of the noise, but she enjoyed it from afar. She enjoyed looking at all the lights in the sky on the drive home, but was even more glad to see her bed. She slept until almost 10:00 this morning.

Also, someone is turning 30 this week. I spent most of the afternoon sewing.

[Comments] (3) Things Maggie Says: "Horsie braids": I asked Maggie if she wanted pigtails or ponytails and she asked for "neigh neigh". Since braiding her hair keeps it out of her face best, I like to do it most. So we've started calling them horsie braids, so she'll ask for them. This reminds me that I called half-ponytails "birdie tails" when requesting them from Mom.

"Time to go!": Maggie now announces when she is done being somewhere. A few weeks ago, she was saying this in Sacrament Meeting before the meeting had even started. She also used it to tell me she was done going down waterslides at the water park the other day.

":Almost home": She says this when we get off the freeway to get to our house, or otherwise get near our house. Sometimes she also says "Almost to Ma Papa's".

"Mommy Daddy temple, Maggie temple": She says this when she gets a view of the Draper Temple while we wait to turn onto the highway. And any other time a temple is mentioned.

She also repeats just about anything I say. If I answer a question, she'll repeat what I say. "Where Aunt O-ey (Jodi) go?" "She's waiting at Aunt Jamie's for Uncle Franco to come get her." "Wait at Aunt Ee's, Coco come get her."

Maggie loves to play with my bobbins and spools of different colored thread. She likes to line them up, and if you look carefully in the picture, you'll see that the three with holes are on one end, and the two without thread are rejected (one is in the Fisher Price car). She is very organized when playing with her toys.

True Garden Success: The other day I took Maggie out to look at our garden before her nap. There were a couple green beans, so I picked one and ate it and she wanted some. She ended up eating all the green beans I could find on the bushes! That made me very happy.

[Comments] (1) Not Utahn: Lately, I've been trying to catch myself to see if I say "acrosst" like Utahns do. The answer is no. I also heard myself telling Maggie we were driving through the mountains - not "moun'ains".

: John is out of town. We are doing potty training. It's going ok. Maggie is eating a popsicle she just earned by peeing in the toilet. I just want to write that down so I remember success the next time she pees 2 minutes after I take her off the potty.

Big Girl: Miss Margaret has been an excellent potty training pupil. It's been 6 days and she is asking to go potty and hasn't had an accident in a couple days, despite our busy weekend. She needs to wear a diaper at night and during naps. And to poop in. But we're not worried about that yet. We also used a pull-up during church, which turned out to be a good thing: there was a line for the nursery potty and we both had to hurry to class, so she eventually went in her pull-up during nursery.

I bought some training pants, and I've just put her in those. Most of the time they absorbed her accidents just fine. I am kind of anti-pull-ups because it's the same difference as a diaper, only they cost more. They only reason we have some is because I traded Maggie's uneaten baby food for a nearly full package a few months ago.

Also, Maggie has cut two new teeth, the first since January. We're up to 12 now. John pointed out today that we're likely to have two children teething at the same time. But at least we won't have two in diapers!

: The other night I had a dream that severely confused Church and US histories, with a spattering of Mommysavers search tags thrown in.

So that's a boy...: Yesterday Jana and I took Maggie and Ethan to the Hill Aerospace Museum. It's a free museum, but it's about an hour away. The kids weren't as into it as we'd hoped, but they still had a good time.

Jana changed Ethan's diaper. Maggie is a bit obsessed with belly buttons and immediately announced that Ethan had a button on his bum.

Happy Anniversary!: We celebrated our anniversary early this weekend. The temple is closed next week, so Jodi and Franco came over to watch Maggie while John and I did sealings this morning. We did some family names, including Grandma Jessie and her parents.

Since it's so hot, I asked John if we could move our office downstairs this weekend, so we went to IKEA last night and bought our new furniture. John put it together in record time - hardly longer than it took for the two of us to put together the dinky changing table. We have our new desk and craft/toy area all set up downstairs and I love it! The Fisher-Price toys and my 12x12 paper holder fit perfectly on our new shelves, and we have plenty of space.

We also took all the baby stuff upstairs, and John rearranged in the storage room and under the stairs. The storage room looks relatively empty without the baby stuff everywhere - although there are still two high chairs and boxes of baby girl clothes. We only added a box of fabric and a pile of yarn. I need to get some baskets to organize my yarn and patterns and then we'll be all set.

While we were at IKEA, we found a duvet cover for Maggie's bed for $3. Couldn't pass that up.

Sick Baby: Maggie was up half the night and down half the day with a fever. Not sure what else is wrong, but that is plenty.

[Comments] (1) Sentenced: When she isn't repeating everything I say, Maggie has been using a lot of sentences lately. Sometimes I'm surprised at what she puts into a sentence, rather than just use the nouns and adjectives. Two things she said (over and over) that made me laugh: "Daddy is working." and "This is Ember's."

Also, trying to work on saying "please." She is horribly demanding sometimes.
Maggie: Daddy home! (wants me to sing "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home")
Me: "Daddy home" what?
Maggie: Daddy home song

Speaking of demanding, Maggie occasionally wants to know things like "Where is Maggie's horsie?", "Where is Maggie's green boat?", and somewhat more normally "Where Maggie's Lightning McQueen shoes?" She doesn't try to grab or ask for stuff in the store, even when we go in the toy aisles luckily. Ok, one exception is "at ink" - chocolate milk. I'm so glad she doesn't watch TV, I can picture her falling for every commercial.

[Comments] (1) Happy Anniversary, Part 2: Thanks to Jodi and Franco for watching Maggie for us on Saturday. We went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and had take-out lunch from Ruby River. Maggie went to the park, drove a beep-beep at the grocery store, and watched some Snoopy shows. She was asking today when Mommy and Daddy are going bye-bye again; she sure had a lot of fun.

I am pretty sure that Maggie had roseola when she was sick last week. 3 days of fever, followed by a rash on her tummy for less than a day. She was pretty irritable with the fever. Now her irritability has turned into something... irate.

She's been waking up screaming inconsolably, for 10 to 45 minutes. Usually, it's when she is ready to wake up anyway, either in the morning, or after nap. But last night she was up in the middle of the night, and today she was screaming before her nap. Not sure what's going on. We are experimenting with less sugar, and praying for more patience.

[Comments] (2) Susie the Circus Performer:

She flies through the air with the greatest of ease
Susanna Banana did not eat her peas
Her kittens have ticks and her puppies have fleas
And she always comes down in the bay.

The Flying Trapeze was written about Jules Leotard, inventor of the... leotard. For the record, I like peas.

[Comments] (5) Birthday Wishes: John asked me what I wanted for my birthday, so I guess it's time I decide. We're expecting a new arrival within a few weeks of my birthday, and he needs a lot more stuff than I do.

chocolate-covered caramels
chocolate-covered cinnamon bears
Jo-Ann gift card
IKEA gift card (organizing stuff for my new office)
Babies R Us gift card (the chance to pick out baby clothes!)
restaurant gift cards (Zuppa's, Jamba Juice, pizza. Things I will use within a few weeks of my birthday, or that John (or Rachel!) can go get for me after)
an extended visit from my sister (or anyone else I like who lives more than 500 miles away)

You can also check my Amazon wishlist, Target baby registry, and Amazon baby registry. A baby registry (especially two essentially similar ones) is somewhat superfluous, but I made them to get free gift cards.

Obedience School: I think Maggie has been spending too much time with Jetta and Jazzy. The other night I went into her room when she was screaming. I thought she was saying "sick" - a good reason to be screaming in the night, and also Colette had just been to the ER. Nope. She was telling me firmly to "Sit!"

I buv you!: On Monday morning, Maggie and I paid a short visit to Grandma June. As we were saying goodbye I said, "love you" to Grandma, and Maggie said, "I buv you!" so cute. Her first spontaneous "I love you."

[Comments] (1) Farm Auction: Last night was the talent auction, my favorite Enrichment. I've been looking forward to it for months, AEB finishing my donation weeks and weeks ago. I made two felt sack lunch sets. They were the first thing auctioned so they didn't go for much, but both people who won them told me how cute they were.

I won two dinners, a plate of brownies, and a painting of Mike Wyzowski done by one of the YW.

Today we went with the ward playgroup to the farm at Thanksgiving Point. Maggie has been looking forward to riding a pony all week. She did great, and enjoyed petting the animals and feeding the horses from her hand. She was afraid just walking by the goats, but she let horse eat from her tiny hand.

[Comments] (2) Sing Song: Do you ever get a song in your head and wonder where you heard it before? Ember is learning Jacques Offenbach's Barcarolle. I finally decided it was in Life is Beautiful and I was right. Thanks, Wiki.

Last night we held a piano recital for my students, my first. Only four of my students were able to attend, but they did such a great job. I'm so proud of them.

[Comments] (2) The Beginning of the End: I am typing up another journal Mom wrote (1978-1985). It's actually a journal for "Posterity" that she and Dad both wrote in. I'm keeping this one, so I haven't been in a hurry to type it up. But I wanted Leonard and Rachel to be able to read it, since it encompasses our early childhood.

Reading Mom's journals, and especially her patriarchal blessings, is like reading a book to which you already know the ending.

Sew Soon: Recording my birth in her journal, Mom wrote, "I accomplished nearly everything I wanted to do before the birth of the baby – including making Leonard’s Halloween costume. I guess it’s time to start working on Christmas now."

My birthday is about two weeks before our baby's due date. And Mom sews a lot faster than I do. I'd better get started. 51 days to go.

I made a list of things I want to get done before the baby arrives, really a lot of which is sewing. Today I picked up fabric for Maggie's Halloween costume, and luckily Christmas fabric is out already. Maybe I will actually get stockings and a tree skirt made this year.

: Maggie took a nice long nap yesterday, so I got started on my list of things to do before the baby is born. I got two projects completed, entirely from scraps. First, a grocery bag dispenser, just like the rag holder I made Leonard. It's even made out of the same repurposed material, a badly sewn apron I made for Pioneer Day when I was 18 and worried some of my Primary children wouldn't have costumes for the parade. I also made a rice bag warmie for a birthday present, using flannel scraps from a pair of boxers I made Leonard last Christmas.

I made a pair of baby pants, also out of Leonard boxer scraps, but they are so tiny they'd barely fit a newborn (at least, one wearing a diaper). So we will call them practice. Baby D has a 12 pairs of PJs and only a few pairs of pants, so more will be made.

[Comments] (1) Check and Check: I am still plugging away at my pre-baby-D list. Yesterday, I made a sheet for our pack-n-play. We tried to buy as much gender-neutral stuff as possible with Maggie, but I could never find the green sheets, or even blue, and eventually had to settle for pink. So John picked out some flannel when we were spending his bonus money on food storage on Saturday, and I made one. It was really easy, and it will be nice and snuggly for our winter baby. The flannel was $3/yard, and I bought 8 yards of 1/4" elastic for 97 cents!!

Another project, I just finished is Maggie's Halloween costume. I made her a "Lucy dress" - as in Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts. It cost about $5 to make and she really likes it. I used a different style on the same pattern from previous dresses, and leftover thread from Rachel's dress, so I just had to buy the fabric (with a 40% coupon, of course).

In non-sewing news, we are in the middle of rotating our water storage. Very exciting. Next up, a tree skirt and Christmas stockings, which I never made last year, and a quiet book for Maggie.

Grandma Rosie Face: I was looking at the pictures I took of Maggie in her Lucy Dress and kept thinking she looked a lot like her 2nd cousin, Leah. When I told Rachel, we decided it was a Grandma Rosie face. I didn't post all the pictures, but she looks like that in the other ones too.

Family, New and Old: Maggie and I went down to Provo today to see my cousin Julie's new baby, Vivian, and Aunt Anne (and Julie and Chuck, of course). On our way down, we stopped to visit Grandma June. Grandma suggested we sit outside. I said I was too hot to go push Maggie on the swing and we sat on the porch. Grandma told Maggie to go play on the swing, and next thing I know, she is over sitting on the swing with her. I had nothing to do with it! That silly Grandma will never stop playing.

We had a really nice visit with Anne and Julie. Anne called earlier and said we were going to the fabric store, which made me cry for missing my mom. On the way down, I tried to convince Maggie that "Aunt Anne" and "Aunt Erin" were not the same person. She was shockingly ok with sitting at the table with Anne while I went and snuggled the baby. Then we went on a fabric shopping spree (all the really cute stuff was purple, so I still don't have anything to make baby's carseat cover with) and ate lunch. Julie is lucky to have her mom there making her yummy food and forcing her to take naps.

One of Maggie's favorite things about the trip was seeing the Y on the mountain (and, let's face it, the G). She asked about the U, but no such luck. Then she started asking for A and B. She also enjoyed the "M for Maggie going in circles, so big!" at the McDonald's on University Parkway.

Also, for some reason I was incredibly dexterous today. Chuck joked that maybe I was the opposite of most pregnant people, but it's not true, and Maggie tripped on the rug just then to prove my point. One manuever, hopping across the kitchen floor to grab the stool Maggie was trying to climb up before it toppled on her, can be explained by super-parenting skills. But I randomly caught the fork she dropped, and the book she tried to throw across the room. Just awesome today, I guess.

More "Beaning": We didn't have church today, due to the Oquirrh Hills Temple dedication, so we went up to the cabin last night. This morning we decided to go for a hike. By the time we were ready to leave, it was raining, so we waited it out making delicious mint-chip cookie dough. It stopped raining, so we left.

We weren't even to the trail by the time it started pouring. Not so bad: we had an umbrella, and borrowed sweatshirts from the cabin. Then we had to wade through 3 feet of wet grass in the meadows, which completely drenched us. Then it started raining even harder. Maggie was quite happy in her carrier, under her rain cover, and "helping" to hold the umbrella. The rain stopped about halfway to the lake (Tibble Fork Reservoir) but by then we were headed downhill in the mud, so it still wasn't much fun.

John said, "every time we mention the word 'cabin' it rains." Very true, unfortunately.

Blue Slides and Project Updates: This morning I took Maggie and Ember to the waterpark (Blue Slides, as Maggie calls it). Ember starts school on Wednesday, so it is our last time taking her. It was about 80 degrees and cloudy and we were just about the only people there. Maggie got tired of riding the slides (even though she didn't get dunked this time) and let Ember watch her so I could go by myself. Amazing! I hardly get to do anything by myself.

I also finished a cover for our car seat. Maggie picked out the fabric and laid claim to it as soon as it had any resemblance to a "monkey blankie". I had to convince her it was for the baby and remind her that she has a pink duckie blankie for the car. She still kept snatching it and tucking herself under it.

Sadly, I noticed that my purse is coming apart - probably because the home dec fabric I used was very unravelly. It probably unraveled itself away from the zipper. I am trying to remember how old Maggie was when I started carrying a purse again, and I think I will make myself a zippered pouch with a cell phone pocket instead. So that has been added to my project list, along with baby hats and getting Maggie's winter clothes in order.

Getting Ready: I've been having contractions, something that didn't happen with Maggie until hours after I was induced. Maybe this baby will come out on time!

: I accomplished a lot today - and none of it was sewing! Maggie and I did some work in the backyard in the morning, and a lot in the front yard in the evening. My squash plants have little green squash on them, they are so cute. This evening, I was pulling weeds from the front lawn and pointing out to Maggie some worms that came wriggling up. Then, I saw the hugest worm I've ever seen! It was about 7 inches long and pretty fat. It totally grossed me out.

I also finished typing my parents' journal from 1978-1986 and started scanning my postcard collection for Leonard's project.

Maggie had a playdate with Colette. Those two are so giggly and girly together.

Update: We went hiking today, with a group from the ward, to Cecret Lake. It was a nice hike, and we got to see some moose hanging out, and also some salamanders swimming in the water. Maggie especially loved the "swings" - she really wanted to go for a ride on the ski lifts! I think I'm done hiking while pregnant - for reals this time.

In addition to finishing the journal, this week's accomplishments from my do-before-baby list include vacuuming the car, making some baby pants and hats, making a zippered bag to use as a mini purse after the baby comes, and getting Maggie's winter clothes in order.

I went through the hand-me-downs. For some reason, we don't have much 2T, and the 18-24 month stuff I thought may still fit this winter... won't. So Maggie has a few 3T things that aren't too big, a few things from last year that will be ok, and I bought 3 new shirts and 3 new pants at Target and Old Navy today, spending only $15 since I recently won an Old Navy gift card.

Maggie thinks Target is the Circle store. "More circle! More shopping!" I don't know what the new obsession with shopping is about. She still doesn't ask for anything besides chocolate milk. I let her help pick out the clothes, so she'd better wear them.

Ugh: Maggie has been screaming "Shoes on!" for the past 1/2 hour. I had to drag her out of Colette's house because she threw a tantrum about washing her hands. Then she was mad I put her in the car without her shoes, and is still sitting on her bed screaming about it.

Great and Salty: On Thursday, I took Maggie to the Great Salt Lake with my cousins Jill and Sarah Whitney. We first went to the Marina, which cost $2 and was quite lame. We finally found a path leading down to the "beach", which was covered in giant cement blocks. It was stinky and the sand was inexplicably green. Sarah was afraid to step on it. Also, the boulders around the marina were covered in giant spiders - we counted 13 in one big web. Yuck!

After that, we drove back to Saltair, which has never looked trashier. However, it does have a decent beach. A lot of decent beach. We had to walk nearly half a mile to get to the lake! We sat down on towels to eat our lunch, and by the time we were done, our pants were soaked. The water was quite warm, and the bugs (no-see-ums) which gathered on the shoreline, dissipated when we waded near them. Other than some algae and some giant dead spiders, it was really nice to wade in the warm water with the soft, squishy, clean sand. I wouldn't mind going back, with trashbags to sit on, clothes to "float" in, and someone else to carry Maggie there and back.

A B C D E F... W!: Maggie has discovered that it's funny to sing the wrong words to the ABC song.

One More Month: One month feels like a lot less than five weeks. Here is what my Project List looks like:

Ember warmie
tree skirt
stockings
crib sheet
grocery bag dispenser
car seat cover
Lucy dress
baby pants
baby pants
rotate water storage (almost done)
fix side yard (this has to wait until after 9/15 so John can do it)
make jam clean fridge and freezer
Christmas list and get started
finish journal
scan postcards
lasagna for freezer
beef stroganoff for freezer
yummy balls for freezer
cookie balls for freezer
hot pockets for freezer
pretzels for freezer
stock up pantry
quiet book (in progress)
M snoopy jammies
thank you cards
Maggie winter clothes
baby hats
zipper bag w/ cell phone pocket
CCCs for while I'm gone
order printer ink
sealings
clean lazy susan
M hoodie (in progress)
pin cushion
infant shoes
M white long sleeve t-shirts

A Prayer by Maggie: [translation:] Heavenly Father. Thank you. Bless us. Ma mo ma mo etc. Amen.

I have no idea what the ma mo part is. She is so proud of herself when she says the prayer though.

Brag About Nothing: I finished something really fabulous tonight (possibly as awesome as the mini dinosaur shoes), but I'm going to wait to post about it until after we see Colette on Wednesday. 'Cause Colette gets one too. John asked, "why did you make Colette one?" The answer is, I didn't. I made one for Maggie, then realized I could do better. A in Calculus notwithstanding, I had miscalculated horribly and had over twice the fabric I needed anyway. So, I picked up another zipper and made another, better one for Maggie. I think my mom is beaming down at me.

Update: I've posted about the Fishie Coats now.

No More Uncle Coco: Maggie and I went to the cabin with Jodi and Franco today, since John had to go into work. She's really missed her grandpa, and had the best time rolling cars on the floor with him. We also had a bonfire and roasted marshmallows. I love to hear Maggie learn how to more correctly pronounce words she already knows (she knows tons of words, but her pronunciation isn't that great). "Cabin" and "Franco" are two of her newest ones.

When we were sitting outside eating s'mores, she went around picking up little sticks and sticking them under people's bums or next to them. Very nice of her to share and it made us all laugh.

Also, she has started saying "Happy Birthday Daddy, I love you!" and "Thank you Mommy, I love you!" Not sure where she got that, but it sure is cute!!

Love Bug: John got home a few minutes after I put Maggie in bed last night. He peeked in to say goodnight, but unfortunately didn't get to spend any time with her yesterday.

This morning I woke up to, "Daddy! Daddy! Daaaa-ddddy!" and I went in to see her.

Maggie: No, just Daddy!
Me: Daddy's at work.
Maggie: Go find him?
Me: We can't go find him, he's working.
Maggie: Mommy go to work.

Poor little bug misses her daddy, and poor daddy misses his little bug. 5 more days!

We had piano lessons today; I love that Maggie loves her babysitter, a 12-year old girl in the ward who walks up after school. It makes me happy to hear her giggling all the way downstairs. When she left today we watched her walk down the street. As soon as she was out of sight, Maggie started asking to walk to McKell's house.

A New Generation: of Tummy Bubbles.

"Ai a ubble bummy please!"

: I made my semi-annual phone call to Uncle Justin. We are going on our usual post-busy season getaway to Park City (also for my birthday).

Also, our ward apparently takes the Primary Program quite seriously. It's happening on October 11th, and I don't have to teach my class again before that (or after that for an undetermined amount of time).

Birthday and Other Gifties: This morning Maggie and I met Tasha and her girls at Wheeler Farm. We had lunch surrounded by honking geese and saw the animals, but didn't get to pet anything today.

Afterward, I took Maggie to visit her "Papa" in the hospital. She wanted to see the "U" on the mountain, but by the time we left it was pouring rain and you couldn't see it. We got really wet running to the car.

John came home, surprisingly early for September 14th, and brought a present from a co-worker. One of the gifts was the most perfect baby blanket ever. I'm so excited about it! It's blue with Pooh on it, and it's really soft and a little bigger than Maggie's. We had a similar pink one for Maggie, but when we opened it, it turned out to be very small - so small it was pretty much useless. This one will be nice and snuggly warm for baby all Winter.

Yesterday was our September birthday party. I made Brook a Utes blanket. I got some fun gift cards and cash to spend on food and generally spoil myself with. John is taking Thursday and Friday off work and I have shopping lists for IKEA, Target, and Jo-Ann, so my birthday money will be spent soon enough.

[Comments] (1) Birthday Shopping: I've been dragging John around doing shopping for the past two days. Yesterday we went to IKEA and bought some stuff to organize the office and a lamp for the baby's room. Today we went to Jo-Ann and bought fabric and trim to make a tree skirt and stockings for all four of us. Then we went to Target and combined some Target coupons with manufacturer coupons to get some cheap diapers and other baby stuff. We also picked out a present for Maggie from the baby, and bought a hanging clothing organizer to put all his clothes in. That may actually be everything we need to buy for the baby, other than some newborn diapers and possibly more clothes

Once our shopping was done, we went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Maggie was really well-behaved today, and we really enjoyed our lunch. We still have a piece of red velvet cheesecake to try later tonight. After lunch, we visited John's dad in the rehabilitation facility he is now in. Maggie brought a ray of sunshine to her Grandpa.

Tomorrow is more shopping in Park City, and Saturday we are taking Maggie on the "big swing" she's been asking about for two weeks.

Chadwick Girls: I took Maggie over to visit Ember on her birthday this afternoon. She drew a picture of some fish for Ember: ovals and diamonds with dots for eyes. Maggie wanted me to leave. "Mommy, go doctor!" she said. On the way home she asked for more. "More what?" "More see Aunt Erin?"

Yesterday we went to a dinner at the rehab place Dad is in. Maggie got to spend some quality time rolling on the grass with Hannah. She just about learned how to somersault. That girl is so lucky to have such fun cousins who adore her.

Amen!: Maggie really loves to sing. One of her favorite activities is to sit at the piano (or dance around the room) with me or John while we play her favorite Primary songs. She knows the words to so many of them and I love hearing her sing along. The past two days, she's been singing some song that has a long of "Jesus Christ Amen" in it. I don't know if she is just talking to herself or if she is singing "A Prayer Song", which I've sung to her a few times.

After Sacrament meeting on Sunday, John and I were talking to the couple behind us and Maggie started yelling "It's time for nursery!" at the top of her lungs. That girl loves nursery.

She just went upstairs to get a diaper all by herself. I love that she can do stuff like that for me! She is potty trained, but still poops in a diaper.

She is playing with her "guys" - Fisher Price little people. "This guy eating dinner. Where's the chicken? After dinner we're going shopping! Going to buy a yellow table." (We bought a yellow table at IKEA last week.) I think she is also singing "In the Leafy Treetops".

Come Out, Come Out: We have a plan... which means baby is now working to not follow it. I'm scheduled for induction on the 9th, which gives me 6 extra days to go into labor naturally. Haha.

I've just about finished (or given up on) my pre-baby projects. Which means now I am just waiting. I got started on Maggie's quiet book again so I have something to do. I still haven't decided how to make the pages, though, so it's just a pile of activities. I also made my friends and my husband feel bad for me and plan fun stuff to do.

It's Autumntime: We had a really awesome day today. We sat around all morning - John went to the temple and I worked on Maggie's quiet book. Maggie threw up apple juice everywhere, then played with her fisher price "guys". Jodi met us late in the morning and we went to visit Grandma June. After lunch with Grandma, we went to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point. We were there over three hours and had a lot of fun. Besides the corn maze, we did a tractor ride, a hay ride, duck races, played in the corn box, watched a goat race, jumped on the giant pillow and in the princess playhouse, and went down the slides a thousand times. We also did the "Iguana of Death" (Maggie and I opted out of this), and a cool 3-D funhouse.

Maggie had tons of fun at the "corn place" and was such a big girl climbing on everything all by herself.

[Comments] (1) Low Expectations: The bright side to having Maggie 9 days late, as I told John, is that I was a lot less unhappy last night than most girls whose due dates have come and gone.

I have a theory that walking, hiking, mowing the lawn, storms, and bumpy hayrides only induce labor in inactive people.

Also, all three of us are sick.

Little Snot: I canceled today's fun thing to do (storytime at Colette's library) so we don't get our friends all sick, especially Madeline. I just renewed my aquarium pass last week, so I'm going to take Maggie there instead. We're also going to "the circle store" - Target - to combine manufacturer and store coupons on diapers. John and I realized that a $4 pair of brown leggings would extend the wear of three of her dresses considerably, so I hope they still have them. And speaking of Maggie clothes, I'm proud to say I got her wearing two new-to-her items of clothing today. Quite an accomplishment.

Me: Let me clean your face, you have boogers on it.
Maggie: Like Ember.
Me: Like Ember what?
Maggie: Polka dots! [Freckles]

"One, two, three, set, go!" *throws fisher-price rooster across table*

*Nest*: Today I made soup for lunch, and another double batch of pretzels for the freezer, and nice, real dinner for John. I hope the pretzels even fit in the freezer after the batch of hot pockets I made yesterday.

I also finished another page in Maggie's quiet book. I've decided to do one more page, then sew 3 buttonholes along each page and thread something through to tie them together. The book could use pockets to hold some of the items when they aren't being used, but I can't decide how to do them, so I'm just not going to. I'm going to try to finish the book tonight.

Another item crossed off my to-do list is getting new insurance. We got new auto and homeowner's with lower rates on each, and a MUCH lower deductible on the homeowner's. yay me!

Crafty and Sly: Being a parent is the most fulfilling thing in my life right now. Maybe that isn't saying much, but I love watching Maggie grow and learn new things every day. (Yesterday she learned the word "facebook"...) She makes me laugh out loud, and is silly on purpose, and is So. Incredibly. Smart.

One of the great things about having kids is that making toys is so much fun! It's very rewarding to make something both useful and fun. I just finished Maggie's quiet book. It isn't spectacular and it was a lot of work, but she loves it.

Speaking of crafting, apparently me and my craftiness was the topic of conversation during Relief Society a few weeks ago. I was able to get the fourth person who mentioned it to me, Jenny, to tell me what really happened. The lesson was on talents and Jana raised her hand and said how I can make something from nothing and several other girls chimed in about my craft blog. This was before I gave Jana her baby gift made from scraps. Is this what I get for being friends with the Relief Society President?

[Comments] (2) Here He Comes!: John's biggest worry, that they'd bump my inducement to tomorrow, is over. We were afraid that we'd only survived another late baby so well this time because we had light at the end of the tunnel. But, I'm off to the hospital!

[Comments] (1) Dalton's Birth Story: On Friday, October 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm we welcomed Dalton William Chadwick into our family. He weighed 7 lbs 8 oz and was 20 inches long. Pictures here and here and plenty more to come.

Dalton is named after my Grandpa Richardson, and we picked William out of the Chadwick family names. We thought that was only fair since Maggie got a name from each of our mothers' sides of the family.

Erin picked me up a little after 7 am and took me to the hospital to be induced. “We told you so” to all the people who thought he might come on time – 6 days late this time. Erin waited with me until John got there around 9:30 or 10. They started the drugs at 9 and it was a boring few hours. John was afraid we’d have another middle-of-the-night baby, but when things happened, they happened fast.

I got an epidural around 12:15, and another one around 4, 45 minutes after the first one stopped working on one side. Ouchie. Once the second one kicked in, we were ready to go, and 5 pushes later, Dalton came right out. I kept saying “that was so easy!” because I expected to be pushing for an hour. The second epidural was a lot stronger than the first. I was so proud that I could twitch my toe by the time they moved me to my room!

I really love my doctor. I felt like he was more involved and more communicative than the doctor who delivered Maggie. He cleaned Dalton up and let me hold him for a minute – I didn’t get to see Maggie for quite a while, until they tried to make me nurse her but I was too busy throwing up. That was probably NICU’s doing though. Dalton was a great nurser right off the bat. He came out pretty hungry.

He’s got adorable spikey hair, and looks a lot like his daddy’s baby picture, except he has a little Susie nose, we think. He’s a good sleeper, during the day at least, a pretty good eater, and a great snuggler.

Maggie’s been pretty grumpy, between being dragged all over the place, Mommy being gone, and not getting much sleep. I don’t know how much of it is because of the baby – she always wants to snuggle me when I am nursing Dalton, but she slept right through his crying all night last night. She's somewhat better today. We spent the whole day at home, other than John brought Grandma June to meet the baby.

Thanks to Mom, Brook, Erin, Jodi and Franco for watching/entertaining Maggie, Erin for taking me to the hospital, everyone for visiting and calling, and honorable mention to Franco for stopping by the day before and finishing off my “nesting” list by leveling out the ground in our side yard.

: After the first night home, in which John ended up sleeping on the couch and I ended up not sleeping at all, we put Dalton in his crib. He's decided he is pretty happy there at night. The other good news is that Maggie screaming in the night didn't phase him. John said, "he's used to it." Maggie was not affected by Dalton's gentle "I'm hungry" whimpers either, just her annoying cough and her bad attitude.

Rachel and Edd get here this afternoon. John ended up working from home today, which I'm grateful for. I'm not sure I can survive on my own with both kids yet.

: John, Rachel and Edd have taken Maggie on her long-awaited trip to the zoo, so Dalton and I are on our own. He is sleeping, which is what he does best. He's only gotten me up twice the past few nights. Maggie is loving all the attention her Auntie Rachel has brought: two new people to climb on, repeat everything she says, and give presents (including a big box of hand-me-down clothes, toys and books from Shannon).

I am taking advantage of the quiet house to get some things done. I started some laundry, changed Maggie's sheets, wrote some thank you notes, and tidied up a bit. Now I think maybe I need a nap too.

In case you have forgotten, John is the world's cutest daddy, snuggling his little guy every chance he gets.

[Comments] (1) Anne on Big Sisters: "If she's anything like her grandma, she doesn't like new ones coming along to steal the show, so tell Dalton to keep a low profile."

[Comments] (1) Pop Pop Pop: Rachel brought two boxes of Richardson Farms peaches, so we spent the past few days canning. We made three batches of peach jam, a batch of sliced peaches, a peach cobbler, and an extra peach cobbler filling for the freezer. It's very satisfying to see all the jars of food that will last for a while.

[Comments] (1) Two Fast Weeks: My little boy is already two weeks old. That went by fast! I am mostly recovered, except what we thought was a bruised tailbone turned out to be a cyst and I had to have it lanced at the urgent care yesterday. Ouch. Hopefully in a few days I'll be all better.

Rachel has been a ton of help and it's really nice to have John home. Unfortunately, when John's goes back to work (right after Rachel leaves), he is going out of town. I hope I can survive.

Maggie has been her usual ornery self a lot of the time, throwing fits over whatever a little princess deems fit-worthy. Dalton is a very good baby so far. He has his awake time in the morning, then takes a really long nap in the afternoon. He's just started having crying jags in the evenings.

Baby D Update: I took Dalton to his two-week appointment today. He's already gained a pound above his birth weight - up to 8 lb 8 oz. You'd think that would add some chunk to his bones, but no such luck.

[Comments] (1) What am I going to do: without Rachel and John here all the time? Not only will I have to watch both my kids all the time, I have hardly had to life a finger the past few weeks. Other than laundry and a few dishes, I haven't done much. Rachel has made dinner and done most of the dishes, and stockpiled my freezer, and rocked Dalton to sleep, and done everything else I've asked her to, and just generally been fantastic to have around. John has been making us fancy breakfasts nearly every morning, doing all kinds of stuff around the house, and taking Maggie on daddy-daughter outings. They went to Chuck-E-Cheese yesterday and are going to visit John's dad today.

Rachel leaves tomorrow, and even worse, John is going out of town all next week. Ack!

Chadwick Family Funnies: Yesterday at Walmart, Maggie picked up a cantaloupe and asked if we could get a "buffalo".

Me: Where does Mickey Mouse live?
Maggie: India?

[Comments] (1) Halloween Goodies: We had two days of Halloween fun this week. On Friday we started a new tradition. John carved a pumpkin with Maggie's "help". Then we set it out for the Great Pumpkin to fill with presents! This year he brought us each a book. Friday was also the ward Trunk-or-Treat. The highlight of that event was all the kids dancing to Thriller on the stage. Seriously. Maggie really enjoyed trunk-or-treating. She started skipping from car to car and was generally adorable.

Last night Mom came over to watch Dalton and answer the door so we could both take Maggie around the neighborhood. She got tons of candy and had a good time. I don't think anyone really knew who she was, even in the light with no coat at the party. Even with John standing next to her in his Charlie Brown shirt. I'm sure no one knew that I was Peppermint Patty either, though I was obviously supposed to be someone - who wears flip flops trick-or-treating? Oh wait, I think I did last year (in the rain). We did get a lot of compliments on the candy corn trick-or-treat bag I made last year.

Maggie loved counting down to Halloween on the calendar John made last year, so we're going to have to come up with an idea for Thanksgiving.

[Comments] (1) I Survived: My first day home alone with both kids. John left for California last night. Dalton chose last night to decide he needed feeding every 3 hours, and then didn't go back to sleep when he got up at 7. But other than being zonked, today went ok. Tasha came over with her girls in the morning, then Dalton took a long nap, then Susan came over to play with Maggie in the afternoon. Unfortunately, she was too late for me to get a nap before Dalton woke up, but Maggie really enjoyed the attention and I did get to take a shower. Erin was going to take her, but Ember has the flu.

Everyone got fed and bathed and their diapers changed/bums wiped. Really, what more can a mom ask?

2 Nephi 9:51: My new favorite scripture.

Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.

I don't have enough time right now for that which cannot satisfy.

A Good Day: I ignored Dalton a bit when he first woke up last night, and next thing I knew, I'd gotten 4 1/2 hours of sleep.

I fit into pants just 1 size bigger than normal. Very comfy, and made me feel better.

Leonard and Sumana are snuggling Dalton and singing Barbershop. I'm glad for some company and Dalton and Maggie are glad for the attention. Maggie just about swooned with all the peek-a-boo and book reading going on while I finished dinner.

: John went to work today - into the office for the first time in a month. I am ready to find the new normal.

We had a nice visit with Leonard and Sumana. We had Early Thanksgiving (recipes here, here and here), and I didn't cook a thing.

Maggie really loved playing with her Uncle "Wenard" and Aunt Sumana. She was quick to notice that Sumana was "brown" (Maggie is "pink", she says).

[Comments] (2) Halloween Lullaby: Rachel wrote this lullaby for Dalton. Supposedly it has "a lot" of verses, but this was all I heard.

Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep
Charlie Brown
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep
Linus
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep
Peppermint Patty
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep
Lucy

Little boy wondering what to be, what to be
Little boy Halloween
Little boy wondering what to be, Linus
Little boy trick-or-treat

Maggie also loved the song - beeping and Peanuts, what's not to love?

[Comments] (1) Chadwick Family Funnies: Maggie silliness upload.

Ghostie store = grocery store. She wasn't saying it wrong, she really thought I called it the ghostie store.

Just a minute, it's my turn!

Maggie: I'm bowling.
Me: Oh, are you winning?
Maggie: No, I'm bowling.

Dalton got a Winnie-the-Pooh book as a gift from the Relief Society. I made the mistake of reading it to Maggie word for word. On the Winter page, there is a picture of a sled. Piglet says "Pooh, I have a puzzle for you - a poozle." The next day Maggie was flipping through the book looking for the "poozle" - apparently that's what a sled is really called.

Maggie knows a lot of Primary songs and goes around singing them. It's awfully cute. John was a little confused one day on the way to church when she was singing "going to nursery to feel the Holy Spirit", a phrase she picked up from "I Love to See the Temple."

I've also heard her say "one two three four five six seven eight nine ten name of Jesus Christ Amen."

Also, Sumana was singing to Dalton "Go to sleep, go to sleep, or we'll sell you on eBay" when I complained, "eBay sucks. We could sell him on Etsy, he's handmade."

: An older lady behind me in line at Jo-Ann made my day today when she complimented the car seat cover I made for Dalton. She said, "you girls are so clever with the things you come up with for your babies."

[Comments] (3) 6 weeks: I took Dalton to the doctor today, basically for what ended up being cradle cap. Just as well, since I was able to get Maggie an H1N1 vaccine while we were there. Dalton charmed all the nurses while I took Maggie to the bathroom. Also, he's gained another 2 pounds since his two week appointment and is up to 10 1/2 lbs.

We are having the last nice days of fall, I think. Yesterday, I loaded the kids into our new stroller (a fabulous Christmas present from Leonard and Sumana, and took them for a walk around the neighborhood. We went down to the park so Maggie could swing for a bit. She noticed some construction workers had "colored" on the street and sidewalk, so when we got home, I got out some chalk for her to color on the driveway. She loved it.

ETA: John and I also got H1N1 vaccines today. We had an easier time getting these than the seasonal flu. Who knew.

[Comments] (1) Fall Wonderland: We spent Sunday night at the cabin, watching the lightest snow fall. It was so beautiful and picturesque with a dusting of snow on the trees and the cabins. It was like being in the woods!

It Must Be Nice: to wake up hungry in the night and get a snuggle from your mommy and some warm milk. Of course, you have to get out of your nice, warm bed. But, so do I.

Holiday Accomplishment: Well, despite Dalton refusing to nap (as usual) even in his carseat at the store (unusual), I managed to get something done today. I did a load of laundry, a load of dishes, made dinner (crepes), and did the dinner dishes. I also went grocery shopping and visit teaching this morning, and invited two neighbors to the ward Christmas program. And this evening, Dalton chilled out and let John watch a show while I made a Christmas gift for his parents.

You'd think we'd be simplifying Christmas this year, but not so. Maggie is really getting into it, and since we missed a lot of it last year, and will be in India next year, there are a lot of things I want to do with Maggie. We made a Christmas countdown chain with a fun holiday activity on each link. And we're kicking the month off with a bang tomorrow with a trip downtown to see the lights at Temple Square. I'm taking the kids to the Church History Museum, then we're meeting John after work to see the lights. I wanted to do this one early in the evening and on a nice warm day, so this is the plan I came up with.

I guess instead of being simple we are being organized. We've got most gifts and stocking stuffers taken care of, and the rest will be done in the next day or so. Except for Leonard and Sumana. I ordered our Christmas cards yesterday. We've got our Angel Tree/church gift basket shopping trip and our neighbor gifts planned. Busy, but not stressed - that's the plan.

[Comments] (2) Chadwick Family Funnies: And yet even more Maggie adorableness:

She wants to "fly on Dumbo" - after seeing a banner ad for Disneyland, and playing with a Dumbo token from Disney Sorry. We finally borrowed the movie from John's parents so she can know what she's talking about.

Everytime Santa is mentioned she says, "he brings me presents!" I asked what she wants in her present and she said, "a car with guys". That's the only real answer we've gotten from her. She usually says "yellow."

She called John "Daddy Sue" in response to his "Maggie Sue."

I'm hungry for treats!

Things are "bery bery" such as "Mommy's shoes are bery bery big" and "this potty is bery bery dirty", neither of which are true.

She announces "I don't like that!" I'm pretty sure she got that from me, as that's what I say when she kicks me or something.

She says "first" and "just" all the time, and not usually correctly. "Pooh wants honey first." Her sentences make more sense without the "first" tacked onto the end of all of them.

When she doesn't know an answer, or is making something up, she says "mommy". For example, "Up on the housetop reindeer mommy", just to be silly.

[Comments] (1) The 25 Days of Christmas: Today I took Maggie to the Church History Museum to see the I Am a Child of God exhibit. It would have been more fun with more kids because there are some dress-up/act out activities, but she had a good time. I got a little confused when I had her walk on the straight and narrow path holding on to the iron rod - isn't it supposed to lead to the Kingdom of God or something? Then I realized I had her walk the wrong direction - away from the Tree of Life. Oops.

The words to the song are printed around the room, along with related quotes and other songs, and there are activities for each. There are babies to dress and take care of for "Has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear", scripture activities for "Teach me all that I must do" and temples to build for "To live with him some day." It's quite clever.

Afterwards, we met up with John, ate a PBJ dinner in the car, then walk over to Temple Square to look at the lights and the Christmas trees. It wasn't too cold and we got out of there before it got crowded, but after the freeway traffic cleared. Very well executed, if I do say so myself.

Each day this month, I have something fun and Christmas-y planned to do with Maggie. I'm going to post pictures each day, so check my picture blog for the updates.

Wishlist '09: Lame stuff. We really don't need anything, and I don't want anything I don't need.

Payless gift card for cute cheap shoes
Jo-Ann gift card
restaurant gift cards
expensive bath pouf
vacuum
blender (stuff we got for our wedding is now wearing out)
chocolate-covered cinnamon bears
Amazon wishlist - some kitchen things I'd like

The kids don't really need anything except maybe clothes.

Dalton's Blessing: Today was Dalton's blessing day. We had John's entire family there, except for Dave, who had to work, and Tyler, who was sick. Jon and Sharon and some of their family came, and Tyler and Tasha. John gave him a beautiful blessing and it was great having everyone there with us. Dalton looks smashing in his little (not white) suit, and Maggie was just adorable in her Christmas dress. I put her hair in braids with ribbons on the ends, but I think it was a mess by the time any pictures got taken. She's got her cousins carrying her around upside down, so her hair messes easily now.

After Sacrament Meeting, we came back to our house for lunch. I made 4 lbs of penne (just enough for the 29 of us and John's lunch tomorrow!), pesto, and a butternut squash sauce. We also had red sauce, some delicious salads, rice krispy treats, and garlic bread. Simple, yet delicious.

There were three babies blessed in our ward, but that hardly compared to Tyler's baptism yesterday - he was among 8 children to be baptized in his stake! We all made the drive up to Logan. Jodi and Franco almost didn't make it and we ended up picking them up in our car halfway there. There was some snow, and a LOT of accidents. But we were all safe and able to be there to support Tyler.

[Comments] (3) Oh Dear: Maggie has started saying, "Oh bother!"

Tantrum Time: Maggie has been throwing a lot of tantrums lately. A lot of times it's because I can't give her attention when she wants it, and a lot of times it's because she needs a wipe. Today she got mad at a playdate because I made her say please for a wipe. She wouldn't put her coat and gloves on and screamed the whole way home (3 blocks). Then she got mad that I wouldn't hold her (and push the stroller uphill at the same time). She screamed in her bed for 1/2 hour, then asked nicely for a wipe and chocolate milk (which I wouldn't give her, so she settled for apple juice) and went to sleep. Not even going to the aquarium with Colette would break her grumpiness, so she gets a nap instead. This is her third nap this week (and fourth tantrum). The doctor says to ignore, and don't give in or reward with treats.

Dalton is also asleep, miraculously not in my arms, so I'm off to do some sewing projects. I'm not in much of a mood to make anything for Maggie, but that's all that's left.

2 Hot Dogs Later: Wow, that was fast. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have time to yourself.

Christmas Spirit: Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year - we picked out someone from the Angel Tree and bought gifts. We chose a one-year-old boy who liked Winnie-the-Pooh, and bought some clothes, a soft stuffed Pooh bear, and an electronic Pooh book that Maggie has - and has been one of her favorite toys for nearly two years. We also bought stuff to make a gift basket for the ward.

This morning was breakfast with Santa. We practiced asking Maggie what she wanted Santa to bring her for Christmas.

Maggie: A present.
Us: What kind of present?
Maggie: Yellow.
Us: ? What do you want in your present?
Maggie: A horsie.

She sat pretty willingly on Santa's lap, although she said she didn't want to. Dalton didn't seem to mind either.

After the breakfast, we went to Jodi's ward, and provided some musical entertainment. John, Ember and I played the piano, and Jodi sang, and Jodi and I sang (Mom accompanied). I'm so proud of Ember. She did really well, and John said he was surprised at how difficult her pieces were. She had obviously been practicing really hard and I'm glad we thought to have her come and play. After all, isn't this what lessons are for?

No, Never!: Today I wore a pair of my regular size jeans (which I barely fit into). 25 more pounds to go...

I've resumed piano lessons. My babysitter is only 12 and I don't think she knows much about babies. But what better way to learn than just for 1 hour when I'm home? Maggie was on the couch looking out the window for her for an hour and a half before she came.

I made a really yummy dinner (cilantro-lime chicken with rice and fried zucchini) and did the dishes and got the floor cleaned. It sure was nice to accomplish something besides laundry. Dalton was nice enough to sleep on Daddy while I cleaned up.

To Maggie, With Love:
Maggie, "reading" a Christmas card from Grandma June: And a really, really, big present....

Parties: On Friday, John and I left the kids with his parents (yay! Maggie had fun and Dalton actually drank his bottle) and went to his work Christmas party. It wasn't quite what we expected, and it certainly wasn't the grand affair they've had in years past, but we had a nice time. It was in his boss's newly remodeled house in the Avenues - all the comforts of the 21st century and all the details (and oddities) of the 19th. Rachel would have loved it.

Yesterday we went to visit Grandma June with Brook's family. Today we had Jodi and Franco over for dinner and to give them their gift, since they will be gone on Christmas. I made BBQ chicken pizza and we had Ceasar salad and sugar cookies and delicious grape juice Leonard sent for my birthday. Maggie got out a present that said "Maggie" from under the tree and wanted to open it when Jodi ad Franco opened theirs. We're such nice parents to let her! (It was yogurt-covered raisins.)

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like: A Bakersfield Christmas. A foggy day! I sang Rudolph to Maggie and told her how the clouds come down sometimes (though rarely here).

[Comments] (1) The Amazing Susie: In the last week, not only have I actually scrapbooked, I even exercised.

[Comments] (1) Looking Forward To: When I took Dalton to his 2 month appointment, the doctor told me I was feeding him too much - too often, that is. He said he should be able to go at least 3 hours during the day. Well, he was right. Dalton won't always wait quite three hours, but I've definitely been feeding him less often, and he eats better and longer at each feeding because of it. This makes it easier to go places and do stuff. Also, he is sleeping up to 8 1/2 hours at night, which is great.

At John's work party the other night, we were talking about how dismal January is. The holidays are over. Work becomes busy. The weather is crappy. And there's nothing to look forward to - the next day off John gets is Memorial Day. John is once again going to Orange County to work on a project for a client down there who keeps requesting him. And this year we are going, too! We will be in California for 10 days. We're going to get 6 day passes to Disneyland, and I'm planning to take the kids (during the week when John is working) up to Pat's house to see my family. I'm very excited.

Christmas Magic: Last night we went to the Christmas Eve party at John's aunt Birgitta's house. She's been hosting this party for about 30 years and it is a LOT of fun. There's tons of food, the kids run around like crazy, and everyone has some rice pudding and hopes for an almond in theirs to win a prize. Then we sing Christmas songs by candlelight and do Santa Lucia (although that didn't happen this year).

There were around 50 people there last night. It sounds like a lot, but considering Grandma June has 30 grandchildren, 23 of whom are married, 20 of whom have children, and 18 of whom have more than 1 child, a lot of people were missing. From our family it was just us, Susan, and Nathan's family. The last time we went was 3 years ago, when I was 6 months pregnant and had fallen down Brook and Erin's stairs earlier that day. Two years ago, a big storm kept us from venturing out, and last year we ended up in the ER.

This year I got to help Birgitta dole out the rice pudding and accept lots of compliments on Dalton (he has big eyes, holds his head up well, sleeps good and is generally the cutest thing ever. John said one of his cousins said he doesn't think boy babies are cute, but Dalton is.)

This morning, Maggie had to wait for John to finish running and for us to shower. She was impatient, not because she wanted to see what Santa left but because I wouldn't let her see Daddy (Santa visited the same room as the elliptical). She was pretty thrilled and we got some good photos. John joked that she would be happy if we'd filled her stocking with her existing toys. That's probably true; she's been carrying it around full of her toys for days. She got some fun treats and some Snoopy socks and Hello Kitty clippies. Santa brought her a blue table and a stuffed horse.

I made crepes with nutella, bananas and cream for breakfast. Our blender died a few days ago (everything we got for our wedding is falling apart) but luckily the hand blender worked ok. After breakfast we opened our presents to each other. We got Maggie and easel and some art supplies. John got a big mirror which we hung over the couch. Leonard sent me some Scrabble tile earrings. We actually didn't get Dalton anything. Santa gave him an elephant and he had a present from Leonard, Rachel, and Aunt Pat (who sent If You Give A... books)

And I have a surprise present coming tomorrow which requires babysitting...

No, Thanks: (Maggie's latest saying)

I am a little weary of Christmasness so refer to John's blog for part two of the Christmas rundown. I did finally get around to posting pictures. Now you can share in our 25 days of Christmasy goodness. Enjoy.

Yesterday Susan babysat while John took me to The Harvest restaurant at Thanksgiving Point. It was delicious. Instead of getting expensive dessert, we went to the candy shoppe and bought our favorites. It was a great date.

We are home sick from church today. I guess between being sick and having sick kids, I am too tired to enjoy any more holiday.

On Christmas Eve we went to the mall to enjoy the shopping/holiday frenzy. We paid $1.50 for Maggie to ride the carousel and walked around. They have a little dino play area. She climbed up on half an egg buried in the ground, put her fists to her mouth and started making trumpeting noises. An angel!, she says. Now she goes around tooting her horn and pretending to be the Angel Moroni.

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