Monday, December 24, 2007

twas the night before christmas

as my new little family has grown this year, i have been reflecting on christmas traditions. everyone has them and no two family's traditions are the same. here are some of my family's traditions. there are definitely a few that i am going to continue with my family and a few that i am going to bury in my subconscious until a therapy session in my late thirties overflows with the suppressed traumas of christmas past. here are some keepers.
  • the christmas pickle (my favorite tradition!!). the christmas pickle is an ornament that's shaped like... well... a pickle. it's an old german (or something) story that ol' saint nick hides the christmas pickle on the tree somewhere when he delivers the goods on christmas eve. whatever eager boy or girl who rushes down the stairs and finds the pickle first gets an extra present (my mom usually just made it a fifteen dollar giftcard somewhere cool. in later years she began tailoring the pickle present to me since i was the only kid who really cared about the pickle in my family). you can buy pickle ornaments at hallmark stores around christmas time. the story comes with it.
  • christmas eve presents. every christmas eve everyone gets two presents. this includes mom and dad, grandma, dogs, babies, etc. the first present is a pair of pajamas. the girls match and the boys match but we never match each other. the second present is an ornament, usually commemorating something that individual did, something they got interested in, something representing their personality, or something that was on-sale at dillards that year. this way christmas day is always a parade of matching fleece and the tree gets some new trinkets every year.
  • movie marathon. every year since i was in junior high and mallory (my gorgeous, fun-loving sister) was in elementary school, christmas eve has been reserved for one thing, and it's not sleep. mallory and i (now joined by our younger brothers, spencer and zach, and my husband) spend a sleepless night december 24th. on that night we pull out an arsenal of christmas classics that would put bing crosby to shame. the santa claus, a muppet christmas carol (aka the best christmas movie ever made!!!), charlie brown christmas, garfield christmas, rudolph, frosty - the gang's all there. choose your poison on this night, but for older siblings, this is an amazing tradition to encourage. i have some very fond memories of this night and miss christmas without my siblings most for this reason.

those are three of my favorites, but i am always looking for more memories to create with my family. if you have any favorite traditions, i'd love to hear them! merry christmas!!!

spoon fed

i have a question that may be silly, but i am unsatisfied by my new-mommy book answers. please help if you have answers and smoke 'em if you got 'em.

avery has (finally) decided that she is okay with eating rice cereal. this has been going on for a few days now and i'm very proud. however, what now? do i just keep feeding her rice cereal for a few months? how often do i feed it to her (every feeding? breakfast lunch and dinner? twice a day?)? also, if i start her on another food (oatmeal... veggies... etc.) do i stop feeding her rice cereal and move on? seriously, this is probably such a no-brainer but i'm seriously perplexed. i mean, obviously she will stop eating rice cereal at some point.

alright, i just had to throw that out there. thanks (in advance) for the advice.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

santa and brad pitt

when i was in idaho this weekend, i got to see my niece, elle, perform with her dance class. after i enjoyed a special rendition of rudolph the red nosed reindeer, the class had a special visitor. children stood up, eyes wide, jaws on the floor, for ol' saint nick had come to visit the class (actually the instructor's husband with a cheap suit and pillow stuffing). it was like a majestic train wreck. and i couldn't help but remark that santa claus's entrance into a room must be akin to that of brad pitt's or the beatles' to adults. i mean, seriously, every single one of these kids could not take their eyes off of this jolly impostor. it would be like johnny depp walking into the local PTA meeting.

man, i need to join the PTA just in case.

comedy hour

avery loved being around her cousin, milo. he is the other baby in this video. if you can believe it, he is actually a month and a half younger than her!!! haha. she just thought that he was so funny, though, and i wanted to share their adorable exchange. that's cousin elle in the background giggling at her two favorite babies.

added bonus!! avery is actually enjoying some tummy time here! :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

join the conversation

i found this article while perusing the Church website! i thought that Elder Ballard had a great point about using blogs for good so i wanted to share this with everyone!!

LAIE, Hawaii 15 December 2007 Two hundred graduating students at Brigham Young University-Hawaii were urged today to use the Internet — including blogs and other forms of “new media” — to contribute to a national conversation about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder M. Russell Ballard, a senior apostle in the Church, told the mostly Mormon student body that conversations about the Church would take place whether or not Church members decided to participate in them.
“We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches,” he said.
“While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.”
Church leaders have publicly expressed concern that while much of the recent extensive news reporting on the Church has been balanced and accurate, some has been trivial, distorted or without context.
Elder Ballard said there were too many conversations going on about the Church for Church representatives to respond to each individually, and that Church leaders “can’t answer every question, satisfy every inquiry and respond to every inaccuracy that exists.”
He said students should consider sharing their views on blogs, responding to online news reports and using the “new media” in other ways.
But he cautioned against arguing with others about their beliefs. “There is no need to become defensive or belligerent,” he said. ---

life with mandy

my sister-in-law's name is mandy. a weird coincidence, i know. at first when i got married it was kind of strange. we'd all be at klayton's parent's house and someone would say "HEY MANDY!" they were rarely talking to me. anyway, mandy is amazing. she has become one of my best friends in the past few years and i am SO grateful that i married into her family! just more icing on top of my klayton cake!
i got to go home to idaho this weekend with avery so she could get her RSV shot (synergys... or something like that) and we had a blast! i was a little stressed to fly alone with a fussy baby, but thankfully avery was great all weekend. she loved being around all of mandy's kids, who made a non-stop fuss over her. it was so good to be back in idaho, despite the snow and ice. i actually enjoyed the cold weather if you can believe it! it's been a month since we moved and i miss it so much. klayton's family are a big part of missing idaho, especially mandy and her family. it was such a treat, though, because i got to experience something i never would have been able to had we not moved to vegas: i got to be a guest at mandy's house! i know it sounds silly, but seriously, it was great. mandy and troy (her husband) set up a blow up mattress on their living room floor by the christmas tree and stayed there all weekend so avery and i could have their room and bathroom (they shared with their toddler and pre-k girls, elle and ava, and their 6 month old son, milo). i can't honestly say that i would have been as nice, which made me feel a little bit bad about myself until i remembered that mandy is a saint. i can't live up to that kind of pressure. but we watched a different christmas movie every night, we went shopping, we shared recipes (haha)- it was perfect.
i've been feeling really blessed lately because of all of the great people in my life, especially my wonderful family. i miss our family in idaho and i'm so glad to be so close to my family here in las vegas, especially around the holidays! here's to family!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hump Day Movie Review

so last night i asked myself, in what area do i have a wealth of useless information? and this is what i came up with. please enjoy my hump day movie review of... (drumroll)... ROMAN HOLIDAY!!!

Roman Holiday (1953)

Starring: Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck

Rating: *****

so, i know that it's the Christmas season and perhaps i would have been more wise to choose a holiday movie for my first ever hump day movie review. but i totally should get credit because the title has the word HOLIDAY in it. so everyone wins. anyway, Roman Holiday is amazing. it's a black and white classic. audrey plays a young princess on a diplomatic european tour. when the tour stops in Rome for the night she pretty much has a nervous breakdown and sneaks out on her own about the town to have some genuine human experiences and not be treated like a royal (ps if this sounds familiar it's because there have been lame modern-day knock-offs starring people like Mandy Moore and Katie Holmes. and if you couldn't figure this out on your own, they've got nothing on audrey). the princess runs into a young american journalist (Peck) who she thinks is just a helpful stranger when all the while he is really just trying to get an inside story on the princess. very entertaining. watch out for classic scenes like "The Mouth of Truth". movies today are still trying to capture the magic of this scene (see National Treasure 2 commercials). rent it today. trust me, even your husband might enjoy this one!

*** Roman Holiday bonus information *** this is the film that put audrey hepburn on the map. she went on to become one of hollywood's brightest stars in films like Breakfast at Tiffanys, Sabrina, Charade and My Fair Lady. in other words:

Roman Holiday is to Audrey Hepburn as Pretty Woman is to Julia Roberts.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lights... Camera...

Oh Man!

blog virgin/tummy time

well, i've broken down. i've been hearing about blogs forever and have been resisting the temptation to check it out. when i finally checked out my cousin melissa's site i knew that i was a gonner. i am excited to start my own little online journal of sorts to keep friends and family up to date with my family! here i go...

today i have been trying to put avery on her tummy as much as possible. it's been hard because she has had wicked reflux since leaving the hospital and has been on three different medications, so tummy time has hurt her a lot. but i know it's really good for her development... hmm. well i'm just glad that, except for being quite a bit behind her peers, she is perfect. she'll be 7 months old on monday and she's coming along at about the pace of a four-month-old, which she should be. she hates being on her tummy, though! i try to wait about an hour after feeding her before i put her on her tummy, but she still rarely tries to grab for any toys i dangle in front of her and lately she's stopped even trying to roll over onto her back, which she was doing quite consistently for the last few weeks. any advice? my nephew loves being on his tummy and he's about a month older than avery (corrected gestational age wise) and he can roll from tummy to back and back to tummy. oh well, for now i guess i'll just keep trying.

by the way, i think that i worry too much. sorry about that.