Thursday, December 30, 2010


Zoe hasn't been in a rush to speak. Her expressive level gaze and pointing finger, accompanied by an array of grunts, squawks, and demanding screeches, is generally more than enough to convey anything necessary. Sign language, in her mind, is meant only to emphasize "MORE MORE MORE" or demand "Give me that breast right now, milkmaid." The last two weeks, though, she's finally started picking up about word a day and we are totally loving it.

A few days ago, while sitting in her carseat, she overheard Michael and me talking about how hungry we were and one of us (to remain unnamed) growled "MEEEEEEEEEAT!!!!" She thought that was funny, and the rest of the day she spent growling in her itty-bitty-girl voice "Meeeeeeeeeee!" So cute it's really ridiculous.

She says "Thank you!" It sounds more like a sing-song "Day-doo!" She doesn't use it in context, she prefers to thank people with a goofy wrinkly-nosed smile. She just likes walking around and saying day-doo day-doo day-doo!

When you place something tasty before her, she exclaims "Yumyumyumyummy!"

If she is wrestling (one of her favorite pastimes, she starts it) with Dad or Jed, and they are on top of her, she shouts "OFF!"

She knows dad's name, which she prefers to shout at 4:30 AM when she can't sleep. "NAAH! NAAH!" Michael has been nightweaning Zoe for me (oh bless his heart) and the last few days have been a little rough. But we both giggle when she starts shouting crankily "Naah!"

Also, when Jed leaves the room and she wants him back, she shouts his name "YED!" (Do you sense there is a lot of shouting at our house? Because there is.) She shouts "Yed!" when she wakes up in the morning because Jed loves to be the first one to come see her. I have to wait at the top of the stairs while he goes down and pats her cheeks and kisses her head and gives her hugs over the top of the crib. Then I'm allowed to come down and get her out. But a few days ago, somehow, Jed figured out how to pull her out of the crib himself so now I'm not allowed to come down at all. I don't mind, they are so cute together, but I do always sneak a look down at the sibling love-fest.

She says "Shoes", which sounds exactly like Jed's way of saying it as a toddler, "Shzzzz." Both of my kids have had a strange shoe fetish.

Also, "Wheeeeeee!" as she goes backwards down the stairs. Which she has only just started doing. She is kind of stubborn. She prefers her personal slaves to carry her. It took months of leaving her screeching angrily at the top of the stairs before I caught her sneaking down them when I wasn't looking. But now it is a game worthy of "Wheeee!" if we all go down backwards together.

Finally, and my favorite, Zoe has learned to say "Jesus." She knows who he is, too! I didn't even know she recognized him until her grandma pointed it out to me one day. She points him out as a baby in nativity scenes, and she also points to paintings of him as an adult and says his name. I confess, this makes me beam in pleasure. I guess we're doing all right in the parenting area if she picks that kind of stuff up all by herself.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Scripture Stories

Today, Jed brought in a leather-bound book and announced these were his new scriptures. He sat next to me and read me some of his stories. Here is a direct transcript:

Chapter 1
Helaman and Joseph really wanted to play on the dirt pile. But it was raining outside. So they just kept asking.

Chapter 5
So this is what they did they sneaked out where the rainy dirt pile was and they played in it all morning long. They didn't want to go with their mom to plant seeds and they didn't want to go trick or treating with their mom and they just played all day outside. But their mother came outside. She was really mad at them. The end.

Chapter 1
Some bad guys came into their yard and so what the bad guys did they knocked out some of the bricks but their house didn't fall down. They looked outside and they saw anybody there but none of the bad guys ran away.

Chapter 5
Helaman and Joseph were playing at the playground but they fell off the roller. They fell off and got rust stuff on their pants. Their mommy came and found them trying to flip off it on the top. And they were jumping off the top. But they didn't get hurt! They just rolled around on the playground because it was soft. The end.

Chapter 2 (This is the new one that I used to read and then it was old but then it was new again!)
How Helaman flipped a book out their window. But their window wasn't open and it crashed a hole in it. And the flipped book came outside where the dirt pile was and they went outside to get the book but it was stuck in the mud. But it melted and melted all the time. They liked that book because it had monsters in it. (Five little monsters sitting in a tree. One went shimp and the other went bam.) It was loose in the mud the next day.

Chapter 2. 31:21 that's the one we read tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Budding Professional

Our daughter with her busy schedule has decided that nursing time is also a perfect time to take care of business. Talking with her mouth full is a little awkward. And if V and I talk to loud during her conversation she shushes us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Woman of Passion

Or perhaps just caprice.

Yes, that is Jed with his mouth overflowing wandering around in the background. Dinner Manners are still in early development around here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Zombie Squeeze!

One of my favorite of Zoe's many amusing activities is when she ambles around the house, hands outstretched, reaching, like a little pink zombie. She sneaks up on Jed, standing unaware and facing away from her, one bum-cheek conveniently available for each seeking hand, and gives his backside a good hearty squeeze. Then he runs screeching and laughing, and she giggles so hard she can hardly stay upright as she chases him, hands still stretched out, ready for another squeeze.


Back in September, my mom and dad invited Michael and me to join them in the yearly Dowdle Book of Mormon Challenge. Every year, beginning in September, my parents read the entire Book of Mormon with a goal to finish by Christmas. I haven't joined them in a long, long time, but this year I felt moved upon to join in, so I did!

Every morning for the last three months, I've snuck out of bed early and deposited myself on the upstairs couch to read my three chapters for the day. To my own surprise, I found myself so excited every day for this precious time for spiritual uplift and reflection. If the kids woke up early, I was almost cranky about it -- this is my special time! Eventually, Jed realized that Dad and Mom were having this quiet reading time and he started waking up ridiculously early, just so he could come in and snuggle on the couch with us. Michael was pretty good about helping him sit quietly and look at books so we wouldn't miss out on our sacred scripture time.This past Saturday, I finished the very last chapter of Moroni, savoring it, almost reluctant to let the experience end. The last week I read only a chapter a day. I've been so thoroughly engrossed in the experience that I ended an entire month early!

Though I have read the Book of Mormon many, many times before, this time it felt so fresh, so new. Sitting there in the living room, the morning light climbing warm and bright across the walls, my mind seemed to be filled with light, too. The stories seemed more meaningful, the connections more clear. Nearly every day I found verses and thoughts popping into my head during the day, relevant to the challenges and opportunities facing me that day. I felt a spiritual rejuvenation that I haven't felt since my single years just after my mission -- a sense of meaning and purpose that enlightened every aspect of my life. And perhaps most importantly, I feel like my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ, my understanding of his role and my gratitude for his love for me, has deepened and become so important to me.

The Lord truly is merciful to us today and now, and I am more grateful than ever for a book that testifies of Christ and serves as a rod, a guide, that brings our families closer to Him.

Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Two of my favorite things

This is the photo Michael and I both have as our background on our phone. Every day, those sweet little faces cuddled up all warm and happy makes us feel all warm and happy inside.

A recent tale regarding Jed:
Before he falls asleep, Jed loves me to tell him a "made up story". These stories generally involve an anthropomorphized object or animal who faces an ethical dilemma and chooses the right and feels the rewards of his right decision. Yes, I am the modern Aesop. Last night, though, we were doing a quick one, since it was so late. I told Jed a story about Snoot the Snowflake who fell from his soft fluffy cloud and landed right on a little boy's nose. As Snoot and his friends squealed "Wheeeee!" while falling, Jed reached out of his blanket and his soft, moist little boy hand wrapped itself around mine. He snuggled into his pillow and his eyes closed, and gentle smile on his lips.

And Zoe:
Marshmallows are a big hit around here of late, seeing as how we had so many campfires in the fall, and now that the weather has turned blisteringly cold, hot cocoa is a daily affair. A couple weeks ago we were over at the grandparents' house and I was wiping Zoe down after a particularly messy dinner. After I got her rosy cheeks and hands scrubbed down, I let her go (she's at a dead run before she hits the ground). "Wait," Jan said. "Is there something under her chin?" Michael grabbed her and tilted her chin up. She screamed and squealed in protest as he revealed, yes, an entire large marshmallow shoved beneath her chin. Stickily stored for later consumption, it had melted into the folds of her ample double chin and cemented itself into a gooey white cement blob. Prying that sucker off all that soft pink skin was no easy task, and she was generally displeased with us all the rest of the evening.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Night

Michael's work, of course.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Dinner is utter silliness at our house.