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Hello cyber world: I'm glad to be a "blogger" now, however, with this blank page staring me in the face, and with all the pressure to write something witty and cool for my initial entry, I think I'll just start with a hello, and a report on my dinner. I made a pot of beans, which I do on at least a weekly basis, but today I tried using my crockpot to cook them while I was away at the park with the boys. They were some of the worst beans I've ever eaten. I guess I'll have to practice with my crockpot if I am to do that again.

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails : Tonight while I was putting Atticus down for bed, he said, "Mommy, I'm sad." I asked him why, and he replied "because I don't have a dog. Or a piggy bank." We'll have to go visit Grandma to satisfy the puppy desire, but the piggy bank wish should be an easy one.

The Wheels on the Bus: Today I rode with Atticus and Samuel to KU campus on public transit. I try to take Dave lunch at school every Friday, riding the bus, and making it a little fun outing for us all, but particularly for Atticus. The first time he took the bus, he was with Dave, and he tantrumed when the time came to exit. I, on the other hand, have been lucky. No tantrums. Yet. The bus picks up right in front of our apartment, so it really is convenient. Samuel sits strapped into our Kelty "kid pack," and Atticus enjoys selecting his own seat and feeling like a big boy who rides the bus to school. The particular bus we rode home today looked like it was out of the Kennedy era, with new upholstery, of course.

Task Avoidance: I have done a lot of productive things today, mopped and vacumned all my floors, made a batch of granola, received a haircut, finished reading Steinbeck's East of Eden, and other less mentionable things. Why do so much on a Saturday? So that I can procrastinate writing my 15 minute talk for 9:00 am Sacrament meeting tomorrow.

: I survived my speaking assignment in church. I'm so glad that is over. The good thing is that once you've had a turn, you know it will be a good while before you have to do it again. On the other hand, Atticus woke up this morning with a very hoarse throat. I told him that he should have a drink of juice, and he would feel better, to which he replied brightly, "Yes! Then all my froggies will jump out."

: I am so grateful for my dishwasher. I made a carrot-ginger soup with biscuits for dinner tonight, the first time since becoming a "dishwasher owner." I have made this meal many a time, as it is one of my stand-bys. It is fairly involved though, chopping 5 pounds of carrots and pureeing the soup in a blender when complete to name just two of the more messy tasks in preparation of the meal. Well tonight I used my food processor to chop the carrots, and when the meal was all done, I loaded the mound of dishes from my counter into the dishwasher, not to be seen again until clean. What a miracle.

What?: Yesterday, Atticus approached me and demanded "Let me see your nails." I couldn't understand him for the first three or four times he asked, partly because a lot of my comprehension of what he says is based on context. I had no idea what "nails" he was talking about. He repeated and repeated himself, and finally he asked, "Do you have nails like me on your thumb?" He showed me his thumb, and I showed him that I indeed had nails on my thumbs, too. He went away very pleased and satisfied like he'd learned some secret to the universe.

: They say that a mother shouldn't begin to wean her child during any time of trauma, including teething. Samuel now has one top and two bottom incisors, and I can see the small bump on his gum that indicates he is cutting a second top incisor. He has also recently found great humor in biting me while I am nursing him. So does that rule about not weaning during teething still apply?

Chagrinned: My sister, Kristen, alerted me to the existence of a MTV show that follows pop celebrities. This show is entitled "A Day In The Life," so I think I'd better change my weblog name. I didn't intend to allude to MTV. I had something else in mind.

: I began weaning Samuel today. Apparently, he has a kinship to Gandhi, because he is on a hunger strike. I finally pitied the child at around 3:00pm and I nursed him, but then he bit me again, so I’ve learned my lesson. With Atticus, I took my time and switched to the bottle gradually, but after today, I must do all or nothing with Samuel, or he’ll just hold out for his mum for every feeding. He has to make this transition soon anyway, so why not today?

: Today was generally frustrating. Thursdays are my long days. Dave has a night class in Kansas City on Thursdays, but still has to go in at 8:30am and stay until 5:00 to get his work done. Then he leaves for KC at 6:00. That is a long mommy shift, but I think I’m getting better at handling all those hours alone. I haven’t had to since before Samuel was born, so this has taken some getting used to. On a happy note, Atticus saw his first rainbow today. He was genuinely thrilled. It was a bold, beautiful bow—(I didn’t intend the alliteration). Perfect for a first sighting.

Socializing: We have been quite busy this weekend. On Friday night, we celebrated "Canadian Thanksgiving" with a handful of Canadians that we know, and some we didn't, from our Ward here in Lawrence. It was really fun. If you are wondering, no, there is no difference really in the Thanksgiving feast of a Canadian as compared to one in the States. Although--have you ever eaten Nanaimo Squares? Well, that would have been one unfamiliar item to most Americans. The first taste I had of this delectable Canadian treat was at our pre-wedding reception in Cardston, Alberta.

Tonight we went to a "dinner group." I signed up on a paper that was circulating on a clip board in Relief Society, and someone organized all the names into "dinner groups." Now we are taking turns as host, providing the main dish, and all other group members bring a side dish, dessert, etc. It seems like it will be fun. It was enjoyable tonight.

Trilobites: We received a fun package of trilobite fossils from a very thoughtful cousin today. When I explained to Atticus that long ago, these creatures got stuck in the mud, he was alarmed. He said, "Mom, lets get them out!"

Them Bones: Atticus found a book about bodies, and he was fascinated when he realized that he has bones and muscles. He danced around and contorted himself while admiring his movements. Then he exclaimed that he has blue bones. Blue is his very favorite color. What other color would they be?

: As I wiped the nastiness out of Samuel's high chair seat tonight, I thought of Atticus saying to me, "You're not a princess--you're a mommy!"

[Comments] (1) : I'll be glad to put my feet up when this day is over. Went to the library, and to the park. Got two good naps out of Samuel, and he even drank about 6 ounces of formula today. That is better than I've seen since I weaned him (all except an early morning feeding). He of course eats lots of solid foods. Tonight I'm going to make sugar cookie dough (like Susie) to chill overnight, and clean up the mess of living in our apartment.

: I am continually trying to settle into routines: bedtime routine, morning routine, weekly routine. I am so obsessed and I devote so much energy and thought to establishing a schedule.

In such a vein, I ordered a book online called “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” It is the “newly revised and expanded” version of the 1987 publication, now with a forward by Cindy Crawford. Great. The book makes me feel like all my problems will be solved if I just read this book and implement the ideas. To be fair, I did use the first edition to help understand Samuel’s sleep needs when he was first born, but I sniff the reeking odors of marketing for big sales in this revision.

[Comments] (5) Snap, Crackle, Pop: After attending to Atticus in the middle of the night, I heard a popping sound from somewhere in my apartment. I thought at first that maybe Atticus was clapping his hands to irritate me and further conspire against my sleep needs. I rushed into his room to scold him, and found him snoring and deeply asleep. So then I returned to my bed, and tried to relax, until the popping began again.

I rose up again from my bed to stalk the source of this noise. It seemed to be coming from the kitchen. The sound ceased when I entered, so I opened the dishwasher door and thought maybe that would solve the problem. I again returned to lie in my bed. This time, I was disconcerted enough that I could not sleep. I listened for the pop to continue, and now that I was thoroughly awake, and would be until I discovered whether a mouse or some creature was creating the racket, I decided to follow it until I found the source.

Well, I went to the kitchen stood listening; the sound came from a bowl of chickpeas I had left to soak overnight. I picked up the bowl and I could feel the pressure of the popping beans like tiny explosions in the water. I never knew that such a riot might come from a bowl of soaking beans.

Confessions of a Brown Thumb: I have wonderful memories of my great Aunt Jeuney's backyard in California. Most vividly, I remember the sweet, full fragrance of her roses. The smell of the flowers overcame me whenever I went outside. Really, my memory of LeJeune’s home in Sunnyvale is connected to memories of my grandpa Earl’s death. Eating chocolate dipped strawberries at a family open house. Purple irises on Grandpa’s casket.

Anyway, I was thinking about Aunt Jeuney today when I looked at my mostly-dead ivy plant. I bought it at the farmer's market here in Lawrence. The lady at the stand said the plant would be easy to care for. A week ago I noticed that I had a crop of mushrooms peeking out of the ivy leaves. I stopped watering it so much, and now, everytime I look at it, another vine is totally dried up, though the soil is damp. I guess LeJeune's green thumb genes skipped my DNA strain.

[Comments] (5) Wiltingly In Love: My mother has a "boyfriend." What a strange reversal of roles to hear my mother carry on like I am her college roomate and she has just found the man of her dreams. Stories about staying out until 4:00 in the morning talking, descriptions of the first kiss, you know. She really is in love.

What they say about dogs is true . . .: Our backyard neighbor has two doggies. Anytime an emergency siren wails, the dogs add their own howling echo. It is rather cute, and I actually look forward to it. The funny thing is, they start to howl minutes before I hear the siren. Dog ears really are more sensitive than human ears!

[Comments] (1) Superman for Hire: Samuel found Atticus' Superman cape today. He brought it to me, grunting until I took it from his hands. Then he turned his back to me--and waited until I put on the cape. Our "baby" Samuel will be one in three weeks. He strolls around the apartment, and has even attempted to run a few times. We can't believe how much he's grown.

Potty Humour: Atticus was so proud of his bathroom success today that he called Dave saying, "Papa, come see my new poop. It's like--ultra."

Excursion: Yesterday we went on quite a tour. We visited Kansas City, and had intended to visit the Crayola store at the Crown Center among other things, but the kids were sleeping really well. We didn't want to wake them, so we drove around areas where Dave lived while on his mission. It was pretty wild. Then we went to meed Ken, a friend from Dave's master's program, at the Liberty Jail visitor's center. After that and some great bar-b-que at Gate's and Sons, we came home exhausted. I wish our sons had remembered daylight savings and slept in this morning.

Jayhawk Fan: We like to tease Atticus while we are driving to church on Sunday, passing jayhawk sculptures along the way. "Don't look out your window or you'll see a jayhawk." And he covers his face with his hands until he knows we've passed the site of the jayhawk (there are 30 large jayhawk mascots throughout the city--"Jayhawks on Parade"). Today our friend, Ken Baird, asked Atticus if he likes jayhawks. With a strong defensiveness in his tone he replied, "I like jayhawks. I'm a jayhawk man."

True Kansans: We have exchanged our Utah Olympic plates for Kansas plates. Pretty sad, but we can't keep Utah residency if we are going to be here for four years.

[Comments] (2) : Atticus announced today that he needs a little sister. I reminded him that he has a fun baby brother to play with, thinking that would satisfy him, but instead he said, "Brothers need a sister, too."

Well, he'll have to wait a few years.

: I took the boys to a Halloween party today that was a mild disaster. One of Atticus' friends' grandma hosted the party. Her beautiful house is full of very nice things, so imagine about 15 kids 4 years and under wandering around at will--and then imagine the stress of the mothers. Yikes. At least the boys enjoyed themselves.

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