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My Hero: John saved the day today by showing up home at 3:30. I had just given up on Maggie snuggling on the bed with tired, sniffly me. I promptly dumped a cake in the crockpot (so that having corndogs for dinner wouldn't be so bad) and fell asleep for 2 hours. John watched Maggie all afternoon and evening and now has lots of work to do. Thanks, honey!

I'm Such a Nerd: An actual quote from my journal Senior Year: "It just seems weird to be actually doing actual social activities."

Two Nice Things About Living in Utah:
1. General Conference on local TV channels.
2. You can leave boxes of crackers and cereals open for months and they don't get nasty.

[Comments] (3) Defining Moments: Once Upon a Time, Mom was discussing us kids being "grounded" in our lives. She says I became grounded when I was in Romania. As I've mentioned earlier, I feel a lot of this process had already happened.

About a year before I left, a couple months before I applied for the program, I stopped taking my medication, broke up with my boyfriend and decided I needed to do something with my life. I was volunteering at the State Hospital and learned about Recreational Therapy - consequently changed my major. I signed up for Run For Your Life. I showed up at Alyson's house in the middle of the night (sorry about that!). I became less needy and dependent (high school girls can't go to the bathroom on their own syndrome) and, related or not, got abandoned at a strange apartment complex by my roommates. I applied to devote four months of my life to service halfway across the world. I moved into a house with 9 people I didn't know.

I decided I was going to get on with my life and live it. So I did.

[Comments] (3) "She's Teething": We've been jokingly blaming every whimper of Maggie's on "teething" since it became evident everything we thought was "teething" wasn't. Apparently, when she cried all night on Sunday, we were wrong. Now Maggie has a little tooth showing! She takes after the Chadwick side with the late teething, that's for sure.

Today Maggie decided maybe walking could be a viable means of transportation, and not just a way of getting her parents to cheer for her. She wandered around the scrapbook room, dragging and tripping over her blankie.

Ember's 12th piano lesson was this afternoon and we finished her first set of books. She's really gotten quite good.

[Comments] (5) : I've been trying to teach Maggie a few signs over the past two weeks. I think she understands them, but won't do them herself yet. I noticed that when I sign or say "sleep", she puts her finger to her mouth and blows on it. We figured out this is from a Wiggles song. "Now your bear's asleep, Shh, Shh, Shh."

Rachel: she is growing so fat

The daffodils are popping up everywhere, so pretty and yellow, making me miss Mom and wish I had planted some bulbs last fall. I definitely plan on doing so this year.

[Comments] (1) Sunshine in My Soul: We've had beautiful weather this weekend, as promised. John and I went out in the yard on Saturday and got out two of the three bushes we're removing. John also put up the canvas to our patio cover. We put Maggie outside on a blanket with her car and her Fisher Price farm. She was quite skeptical about touching the grass but, apparently, crawling to Daddy is worth it. Yesterday we had Jamie and the boys over for dinner and the guys played football in the backyard. It was really nice to be outside. Maggie already has a nice tan.

We also went to Home Depot on Saturday and bought a push reel mower, a cordless electric weedwhacker and a garden hose. The salesman tried to talk us out of the push mower, but we think he thought we were just trying to get the cheapest one.

[Comments] (1) : It is so fun to see Maggie toddling around the house. I've been scrapbooking and writing up a storm so please read my articles and look at all the pretty things I've made!

I made a friend: Do you ever find yourself purposely trying to be a good listener? I called up a girl in the neighborhood today and we took our babies for a walk. I've been wanting a friend in the neighborhood to go walking with - take advantage of the wonderful trails near here. Like most people, I like to talk about myself (and my baby), but sometimes I wonder if I do it too much. So I asked her thoughtful questions and listened to her answers. Like I said, I need a friend!

This reminds me of some tapes someone gave me and John for our wedding. We listened to them on the way to Utah from California one time. They gave advice on communication skills and showing your love etc. I still find myself using trite phrases from the tapes, such as "I can understand why you feel like that." It may sound silly coming out of your mouth, but just using the phrases shows that you are listening and paying attention. We learned a lot from those cheesy tapes.

Zoo Pals: Tasha and I took the girls to the Hogle Zoo on Wednesday. It was raining a bit when we got there but the day kept getting nicer. Each time we visit the zoo Maggie is more into it. This time she was excitedly pointing out animals as she spotted them. We saw the penguins swimming, a giraffe trotting, a giant tortoise trying to escape (Maggie just about poked it in the eye, but I yanked her arm away) and the lemurs came right up to the glass to stare back. There were also baby tamarin monkeys and baby meerkats. Maggie really loves to read animal books, I think that's why it's so exciting when she sees an animal in real life now. She was freaking out about the sheep we saw on our walk the other day. She loves animals.

[Comments] (2) : We had a girl's day yesterday. Mom watched Maggie so Jamie, Jodi and I could go to the temple. It was wonderful. Afterwards, we picked up Subway and went back to my house to scrapbook. Coordinates Collections is having a cyber crop this weekend, so I worked on two of the challenges and did another page as well. Jodi stayed for dinner and we had a good time.

Today began with Ember's soccer game at the park right near us. She did great and Maggie especially had fun because Jazmine came. Afterwards Brook and John worked on our sprinkler system. Maggie wouldn't nap today (spent quite a while playing quietly in her crib though) so we went to the mall and bought new shoes for Maggie and myself. We also went to Target and bought various things, including new clippers for cutting John's hair. Our other ones lasted five years but are getting worn down.

We have a week of more business ahead of us.

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