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Word Girl: Maggie's starting to pick up words all over the place. Last night while trick -or-treating she pointed at the umbrella and I told her what it was and she started saying "lella!"

We borrowed Meet the Numbers from the library to take to Park City and Maggie's picked up the numbers really fast. I got out her foam numbers to play with in her bath yesterday and today she grabbed the eight out of the bucket and said, "eight!" Seriously! I love these DVDs - Maggie also learned her colors from them. I requested Meet the Shapes from the library, although she kind of already knows them.

Speaking of speaking, Maggie apparently made up a sign for "sorry" - she puts her hand on the back of her neck. Not sure where it came from, but she does it whenever we ask her to say she's sorry. Also, "Aunt Jodi"="sss" ???, "shh"="binky" (because she only allowed it when she sleeps) and Thursday she said "Tuh" twice when I mentioned Colette. ETA: I don't know if I've previously mentioned that fish say "glub glub" or "wubwubwub" and kitties say "mmmm!"

I Voted!: And I wasn't the only one.

[Comments] (2) America Has Spoken: and We Want Change.

In the 2004 Presidential Election, Utah was Bush's strongest state with 72% of the popular vote (Kerry 26%). While it comes as no surprise that Utah went for McCain in this election, I'm happy to say that he only had 63% and Obama 34%. Congrats to Leonard for correctly estimating a 10% drop in Republican supporters in Utah this election.

I'm even prouder to say that Salt Lake County was 49% McCain, 48% Obama (2004 Salt Lake County results were Bush 60%/Kerry 38%). The Obama votes were higher earlier last night. It seems as though highly Democratic precincts are faster in getting their data turned around. Interesting...

The next two years (at least) are going to be rough, but I'm glad we won't just be having more of the past eight.

Food, Family and Fun: As John mentioned, much more wittily than I could, we went to dinner last night with Brook, Erin, Logan and Ember. Nathan and Ashley gave Brook and I gift cards to the same restaurant. It was fun and yummy - I had sweet potato fries with my ribs - and Maggie enjoyed playing with her cousins.

Next summer we are planning a Grand Chadwick Yellowstone Adventure with John's parents and Brook's and Jamie's families. That's at least 16 people - more if Jodi's and Nathan's families are able to come. John's parents put down a deposit on a brand-new, fancy, 8 bedroom, 5 bathroom "cabin" for us to stay in. It's 7 months away, but I'm getting excited for it already.

[Comments] (2) The Blue Four: The Uno deck at Mom's house carried a hallmark card - the Blue Four with teethmarks from yours truly. You could always tell when someone held the Blue Four in their hand but we played with it anyway and laughed about how I chewed up the card.

Maggie's been playing with the numbers from her foam bath letters set and I remembered that the Four has teethmarks on it! There are three little bites. I'm pretty sure it was Colette who bit it because Maggie only had teeth on the bottom at the time. Also this Four is Orange. Nevertheless a little ironic.

[Comments] (2) Self-Soother: John is out of town this week so we (I) chose it as the magic week to take away Maggie's pacifier. She's only been using it for naps and bedtime for a few months. We threw most of them in the trash on Sunday. I gave her one with the tip cut off a little, but she wasn't interested.

Sunday night she cried for 1/2 hour, woke up for 1/2 hour at 1 AM and then woke up at 6:30. Monday night and last night she went right to sleep and I hardly heard a peep from her all night.

Naptime has been a different story. Monday on the way home from Logan she cried until I put on the Wiggles CD then went right to sleep, but she woke up as soon as we got off the freeway and was grumpy the rest of the day. Yesterday she cried for 1/2 hour, slept for 1/2 hour, then I got her up and let her take the rest of her nap snuggled with me.

I guess a grumpy naptime can take it's time to be worked out, so long as she sleeps at night when John gets home and needs to get up early for work.

UPDATE: Maggie went right to sleep with no fuss at naptime today and appears to be doing the same for the third bedtime in a row. If I'd known this would be so easy I'd have done it a while ago.

[Comments] (6) Wishlist Time: As always, if you think I'm buying something for you, please do me the honor of giving me ideas. I am a practical person and I'd rather not give (or receive) something that won't be useful.

Me: I've been good about updating my Amazon wishlist, although a lot of the things on there are for John and Maggie. I have need of some kitcheny things and some extra-cushy slippers.

Maggie: See my wishlist above as well.
Big girl bed
Big girl bed sheets
Toddler slide
Coloring book
Church shoes
Healthy treats like yogurt-covered raisins, graham snacks, fruit
Baby doll (nothing fancy)
Wooden alphabet puzzle with pegs

Amazon wishlist
child hiking carrier
Digital picture frame

Non-Wishlist - please don't give us any:
Books not specifically requested. Except Maggie. Buy her all the books you want. I have a really hard time getting rid of books and we prefer borrowing them from the library.

[Comments] (1) Crafty Friday: I was on a crafty roll all day yesterday. I made a rice bag, a drawstring bag, a something something, finished my last chocolate chip cookie and four cucumbers/pickles and most of an Oreo. I also made some homemade notepads for my piano students (article forthcoming) and scrapbooked 8 recipe cards for an exchange. Is that it? It seemed like a lot more work yesterday.

So Smart?: I was telling a friend the other day about how Maggie learned her numbers (and knows her shapes and colors) and four letters (M, S, Y and O). This was one of the many times I have highly recommended the Preschool Prep DVDs. This friend insisted that Maggie was just exceptional. Well, that may be the case. But when John and I discussed it later he pointed out that maybe it's just because we taught her those things. Maybe other parents don't teach their toddlers colors, shapes, numbers and letters.

But why not? Probably because they think children can't learn them so young. We introduced the Meet the Letters DVD this week and Maggie's knowledge of the alphabet is rapidly expanding. At the beginning of the DVD the creator says "most learning tools miss this window [of opportune time for learning such things] by a year or two." Most parents too, apparently.

I should also mention that Maggie loves to learn. From the moment she was born she's been alert and attentive to the world around her, soaking it all in.

: Maggie learned a new word today: Earth. I won't tell you about the awesome present I was making when she learned it (unless you are Rachel, in which case I have sent you an email with a picture of said awesome present so you can revel in its awesomeness with me) but it is quite awesome if I do say so myself.


[Comments] (2) Change Me!: Two and a half years ago I got a new friend. We'll call her "Bernina". She's 20 years old, but top of the line. Anyway, for two and a half years I've been sewing with the same needle. Big no no. But I didn't know how to change it. I actually fully intended to make Rachel's dress with a new needle, but I couldn't figure out how to change it and I couldn't figure out the 12 different needle types Mom has.

So last night (I actually typed "Sew last night"...) I was making a little make-up bag and I broke the needle on the zipper foot. Oops. I ended up sewing the zipper in by hand.

My point is, today, 2 quilts, 15 pairs of boxers, 30 baby announcements, 2 sets of felt food, 7 rice warmers, 3 dresses, a skirt, 2 tutus, a pair of pants, 2 purses, a wallet, a makeup bag, and some other stuff later, I finally changed the needle.

So Cute: Maggie pointing to the ABC page in chicka Chicka Boom Boom, saying "Mama", and signing "sing".

[Comments] (2) Thanks That Happened: I haven't been a good blogger lately. That happens when the people I blog for come into town. We've spent the past few days hanging out with Leonard. Maggie especially enjoyed having an uncle whose express goal was to play with her as much as possible. We also greatly enjoyed Leonard's cooking and computer-fixing. He got our pictures off Broken Laptop A and got it working again. He also installed free anti-virus software on my computer and the webcam Rachel gave me for my birthday. Free Google Video Chat overseas - how awesome is that??

Wednesday we went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch, then spent most of the day cooking. Thursday we had Thanksgiving dinner at the cabin. On Friday Leonard watched Maggie (who was asleep) so John and I could score a Black Friday deal on an elliptical machine. Check it out! John put it together himself. We've also been going to lots of walks in the cold (but non-snowy) weather.

This afternoon we are going to see Twilight with Brook, Erin, Chad and Logan. Nathan is being kind enough to watch Maggie and Ember (in addition to his own kids). I love going out without Maggie once in a while.

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